It’s Latin Week on Dancing with the Stars, and tonight’s episode showcased all of the following:
“Jaleel White’s chest”
“Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s chest”
“Derek Hough Shirtless”
“Mark Ballas jock strap”
“William Levy tuxedo”
“Gavin Degraw sexy hat”
“Donald Driver hot arms”
If you think I’m merely listing these things to increase my visibility in keyword searches and optimize my Search Engine Optimization to maximize the amount of traffic this entry will receive, you have a very suspicious mind.
(“Lindsay Lohan arrested” “Pippa Middleton topless photo” “Who got kicked off The Voice” “fun cookie recipes for kids” “Is Ryan Seacrest gay?”)
On with the recap!
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson – Samba – Jaleel and Kym have been in a downward trend since the first week of competition. And when you’re sliding in your performance, everyone knows the only choice is to show some skin. I know that when there were rumors of a staff cut at my last show, I ditched my regular khakis and sweater vest ensemble and started showing up for work in a purple sequined speedo, a paperboy cap and undersize glasses from my Mr. Potato Head kit. Not only was I not let go, there’s going to be a thirty second video of me in the network’s new sexual harassment presentation. Job security and fame. I’m on my way to becoming a legend in this town!
Did anyone else know Jaleel had a body that ripped? Check out those guns! The costumes were tight, the lighting was seductive and the moves were hot. That’s the way you make the world forget about Steve Urkel!
Len: “Your bum was going like you were chewing a toffee.” (I don’t know what that means, but I’m going to use it tomorrow as much as I can at my sex-addicts support group).
Bruno: “That wiggle! Have you got a Mini-Me inside operating it?”
Carrie Ann: “You came out with attack and fire.
SCORE 24/30 – a bounce back up from last week, and almost a guarantee to avoid elimination tomorrow night.
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Salsa – This screen grab says everything I feel when I watch Melissa perform. I don’t think she wants to be on this show. In fact, I’m thinking she broke some law, and the judge gave her a choice: six weeks picking up trash off the 405, or Dancing with the Stars.
Melissa still seems like she isn’t quite able to keep up with the choreography, and there were a few moments where you could see her watching her feet as if she was baffled by what they were doing, like when your dog suddenly notices things on the television move.
Try as she may, it seems Melissa is forever having a tough time delivering on the musicality. But Maks got a spray-tan and kept the shirt open, so I’m thinking we’ve still got at least one more week of the Hoofing Half Pint ahead of us.
The judges took time to talk about how good Melissa looked tonight. On most shows, that’s a good sign. On Dancing with the Stars, it’s the equivalent of being told your kid did an phenomenal job keeping that bar of soap tied to his head in the school’s production of Mister Hygiene Comes to Town.
Bruno: “This is a fast dance… you’ve got be ON IT! Go with it… but control it.”
Carrie Ann: ” It just feels like your feet get out from under you.”
Len: “There were some excellent good parts, and there were some parts that were not quite so good.”
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough – Salsa – Maria had the good sense to lose the giant yellow headdress at the start of her dance tonight. If you’ll recall, that’s the same giant yellow headdress Margaret Cho wore a few years back when she did her impression of a bisexual parrot on meth, and we all remember how that worked out for her.Yes, headdresses and choreography are a dangerous combination. Apparently, Maria is up on her classic I Love Lucy episodes.
Derek reminds us that Maria has a bad foot, damaged ribs and a busted-out chin. The girl is falling apart faster than a wet taco!
Could that have been the reason Maria’s moves seemed a little reserved this week. Sexy Sure! But I’m not feeling overly-wowed by these two. It also looked a little choppy, but the judges and the crowd seem to love the supposed “fever” I never seem to catch whenever these two dance. This despite the fact that Super-Twink Hough turned the evening into a bare-chested tri-fecta only 35 minutes in! Thank you, ABC. (Photo after the jump)
Carrie Ann: “I don’t think you needed the kiss… I think that was a sell-out. Dance is about the illusion of passion.”
Len: “Two things were revealed out there… Derek’s body and YOUR talent. You are a terrific dancer.”
Bruno: “Three questions. Was it legal? You want me to get you a room? Can I join in?”
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas – Argentine Tango – Katherine and Mark’s tango was flawless as far as my amateur eyes could tell. And they scored without overdoing the sexiness. It was pure dancing with a total lack of cheap plays for votes. Mark is doing an amazing job making Katherine look like as much of a professional dancer as he is. And do you see that leg up there? Damn! There are countries in South America that aren’t that long!
Wet Blanket Mark had to go and ruin the bare-chested run the show had going up to this point. Though he did sport this look in the tape package. Don’t ask.
Len: “Sharp! Menacing! Well done.”
Bruno: “Dancing and choreography of the highest quality. It was played to perfection.”
Carrie Ann: “Your legs are the best legs I’ve seen of any contestant. Poetry in motion.”
Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff – Poor Gavin and Karina, having to follow Mark and Katherine. Remember when you used to watch The Cosby Show Thursdays at 8 on NBC… and then right after there was A Different World? You wouldn’t reach for the remote necessarily, but you weren’t against using the time to file down your nails or give the cat a flea bath… so long as you were back before Cheers started at 9.
Gavin started the performance paddling around in a prop canoe. He should have stayed in it. He’s got charm, he’s got the smile, he knows how to work a hat… but… well, at least he looks as if he’s having fun. And that’s what’s important. That and trying your hardest. My mother always told me that if I have fun and try hard, I’m a winner, no matter how many times the dodge ball hits me in the head or the number of toilet swirlies I get after P.E. class.
Burno cackled and added, “You should have stayed on the boat!” (And that’s why I should be a judge on one of these shows.)
Carrie Ann: “You were lacking a little bit of form. It was hard to tell that it was a samba. But I love you for trying and I love that you were so joyful.”
Len: “It was a gallant effort.”
William Levy and Cheryl Burke – Tango
Last week, William nearly dropped Cheryl and forgot a big chunk of choreography, and he still sent several million women to the laundry room to hop on top the washer during spin cycle.
This week, William definitely redeemed himself. And it was another performance that was light on pandering, and heavy on well-executed, super-tight, super-strong moves. This was as sharp as William has looked all season. Across the country at this very moment, wives are flinging yogurt and marinara sauce at their husbands so they have an excuse to start another load before Jimmy Kimmel starts at 11:30.
Carrie Ann: “That was ridiculously amazing! All I could think of was the Latin dancing James Bond.”
Len: “I saw mood, I saw passion. I saw sensuality and color. Well done!”
I couldn’t understand a thing Bruno had to say… but he mooned and rolled his r’s for so long, I thought he might have a pocket rocket in his mouth!
Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus – Samba – Gladys had to divide her time this week between performing across the country and rehearsing. And since she’s the least ambitious dancer in the group to begin with, I wasn’t expecting much more out of the performance than some prancing around, low kicks and that exaggerated arm swing kids do when they’re playing “Red Rover, Red Rover.”
And that’s pretty much when I got. Tristan more or less steered her around the room. Then there was a little “gimme ten” action, a few twirls, and finally Gladys shook her hips the amusing way one does at weddings when they’ve had too much champagne and get dragged out on the floor for the final Hokey Pokey of the night by the little flower girl.
But I will say this… she’s a true performer. Despite another under-ambitious round of choreography, she still managed to totally work the crowd!
Len: “You’ve got a naturalness about you. This number was simple, but it was effective.”
Bruno: “You have incredible stage presence. I love watching you.”
Carrie Ann: “You have a few tiny mistakes… but when you’re out there, you command the stage.”
SCORE – 22/30
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower – Salsa – It doesn’t seem like Roshon is really lighting up the switchboard this season. He gets some of the highest scores, and he still ends up in the bottom two. And unfortunately, going shirtless isn’t really an option for Roshon in this particular competition. He’s built like a firewire cable.
Posing next to William Levy, shirtless in a glossy photo probably isn’t such a hot choice either.
Saving grace… Roshon can really move. I mean really move. If I’d been able to slide and glide around like that back in grade school, I’d have had every priest in the rectory after me! Oh well. It wasn’t meant to be.
Chelsie and Roshon are a great pair, and week after week, they’re one of the most entertaining teams on the floor.
Downside, I don’t think anyone over the age of 14 is voting for them. Upside, there’s a lifetime of Disneyland parade opportunities in both their futures.
Bruno: “You’re timing is unbelievable.”
Carrie Ann: “You were kinda sexy. And I’m not being a cougar.”
Len: “You’re like a young guy with his first car. Full-on speed and attack.”
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd – Argentine Tango – Strut and strength… Donald Driver has got both, and they dovetailed perfectly with the Argentine tango, where if a man can’t sneer like a doberman and toss around his woman like a half-empty sack of potatoes, he’s just not a man.
Carrie Ann: “That was divine! You were so in control of Peta the whole time.”
Len: “I thought the lifts were spectacular, but the rest of it… nearly, but not quite.”
Bruno: “The build-up was amazing. I was expecting it to carry on like that. But overall, a fantastic job.”
SCORE: 27/30 – boos from the crowd. And Donald wasn’t too happy either. He looked like he wanted to snap something in half. If I was Roshon Fegan, I’d have run for the hills.
HICH SCORE OF THE NIGHT: Tie between Mark and Katherine and William and Cheryl who both hit 29s
LOW SCORE OF THE NIGHT: Gavin and Karina with 19. How this inauspicious title did not end up going to Gladys and Tristan is a mystery to me.
WHO’S GOING HOME? Are they just trying to hang on to Gladys for Motown Week? I don’t get it. I’ll go with Gavin and Karina again. I don’t think it was fair they had the lowest score of the week. But I haven’t got time to dwell on it. I’ve got to switch over to NBC and see which whiney, insecure basket case is out of the show on Smash this week. Happy Latin Nights to you all!