Tonight is a tribute to Michael Jackson's "Bad" and the show starts with pros and the troupe performing to two of the album's "monster hits" — "Smooth Criminal" and "The Way You Make Me Feel." I wish we were getting a "Thriller? tribute instead of a "Bad" tribute, but "Bad's" the one that's turning 25 and getting a Spike Lee-directed special on this same network later this week.
We're calling the remaining couples "semi-finalists." Whatever. The first round is going to be those weirdo made-up themes/styles and the second round is going to be the Michael Jackson music.
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
Based on the theme/style, I'm guessing their music is going to be Was (Not Was)'s "Walk the Dinosaur. Melissa reminds us this is not a "traditional ballroom dance." Then they're trying to work out the motivations of the cavemen doing the hustle. I am not making one bit of this up. I love it when they parody themselves.
Sunday during "camera blocking" Tony fell to the floor with a back injury, but the doctors have cleared him to dance tonight.
This routine starts with a terribly bad CGI dinosaur in the ballroom. Because this show has completely gone off the rails this season. Shoe watch: they're both barefoot. Because cavemen didn't have shoes, don't you know? But apparently they did have false eyelashes, spray tan, and tooth bleach.
Oh, hey! Look at that, I was right about the song. I'm so smrt, sometimes. Since this routine is weird and lame, let's talk about how this album, What Up, Dog?, turns 25 next year. If you haven't heard it in a while give it a re-listen - it holds up well. If you've never heard it, remedy that immediately.
Len says Melissa never disappoints. Bruno points out that she lost her footing in a couple of the turns. Melissa liked the "caveman" sections better than the "Hustle" sections.
Tom quips, "You gotta love the prehistoric dental work." I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9.5; Bruno: 9
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough
"Knight Rider Bhangra"
So, it's an "Indian folk dance" - go ask the kids from "So You Think You Can Dance" how well those "folk dances" tend to go over.
Does Shawn know what Knight Rider is any more than she knows what "banghra" is? Given that it went off the air six years before she was born? Yeah, take a moment if you need to realize how old that makes you.
I'm not sure I see what the difference is between Bhangra and Bollywood, at least the way it's being presented here. There are a couple of great lifts - not sure whether they're forbidden. Oh, and shoe watch: Derek gets to wear them, Shawn doesn't. Wimmen don't need shoes.
Carrie's impressed that Shawn is actually out of breath. Len says, "Shut up. Close the door. Call me Mary." All of that apparently adds up to, "he liked it."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 10; Bruno: 10
Tomorrow night Paula Abdul will perform "four of her biggest hits" - if there's no MC Skat Kat I'm leading a revolt.
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff