On tonight's Dancing With the Stars, the remaining contenders take on two dances -- as well as a solo during their Latin round.
The show kicks off with a group dance starring six pros.
The first performance of the evening is the quickstep by Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas. Their dance is fun and quirky and full of attitude, but strangely, it's also to "You Ain't Never Had a Friend Like Me" from Aladdin, featuring all kinds of wacky voices and accents. (That movie, by the way, came out in 1992, same year as Shawn was born. I am old.) Head judge Len Goodman calls the dance fun, carefree and full of personality. Len says the rules of the quickstep state that you must stay in hold for the middle part of the dance, and they broke hold. Bruno Tonioli says he came out and "danced like Sporty Spice." Carrie Ann Inaba says tonight was her best dance ever, but she has to take a point of for breaking the rules. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30.
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower have the Argentine tango for their first dance. And boy, does this dance form play to his strengths. He gets to show off his power, and Chelsie's choreography is sharp and dramatic. Bruno says Ty won't let anyone down with his strength and determination, but at times the dance needs a little more subtlety. Carrie Ann commends them on how far they have come. Len says they captured the flavor and essence of the dance, even though Ty is not a natural performer or actor. Scores: 8-9-8, for a 25/30.
Lil Kim and Derek Hough have the waltz for the ballroom round. Their waltz is smooth and romantic, though sometimes a tad slow. Carrie Ann says Kim has to extend her hands more and had some missteps. Len says the waltz is a challenging dance, but he was still shocked by the quality of that dance. Bruno says, "You tried to be a lady, but you're more comfortable being a tramp. I mean it in a nice way!" Heh. 8-9-8, for a 25/30.
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke hope to retake the top spot with their foxtrot. They dance to "Fever" and deliver a performance with a lot of style, but to me, not a ton of pop. Len says the performance was musical and had a great feeling, but he had to straighten his legs more to do the dance properly. Bruno says as a performance, it was "in a class of its own." Carrie Ann says Len is crazy and that this dance should take them right to the semifinal. Scores: 10-9-10, for a 29/30.
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani dance the Viennese waltz. It's very balletic, and, danced to "Angel," angelic, too. Bruno says it was beautiful and romantic and he says "balletic," too, but I typed it first. Carrie Ann says she didn't have quite the range of motion. Bruno says she did a great job and he loved it, except he is still not a big fan of her feet. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30.
Another pro group performance is next, showcasing the Latin styles.
Shawn and Mark have the paso doble for the Latin round, and they are a little worried about Shawn showing off an intense side. She pulls it off pretty well, though, but the song choice ("Gotta Get Through This") is a little peppy for the paso. Carrie Ann: "You delivered the drama; you nailed it." Len liked her solo and her crisp turns, though he didn't find it "overexciting." Bruno says she showed off her killer instinct and was focused "like a guided missile," which leads her to run over and hug him. Scores: 10-9-10, for a 29/30 and a 56/60.
Ty and Chelsie are doing the rumba this week, and Ty's laments about being worried he can't do it seem a lot more real that everyone else's similar worries. Oh, poor Ty. His hip action is very stiff, and he seems so uncomfortable. Amusingly, he dances his solo, with LOTS of hip action, right at his wife, Jewel. But he sure did try. Len says it was charming and sweet, but not good. Bruno says he is likeable but they can't confuse likeability with ability. Carrie Ann says she wishes she could score him on what he's learned and how far he's come, but she can't. Scores: 7-7-7, for a 21/30 and a 46/60.
Lil Kim and Derek are excited for the salsa for the second round. As well they should be -- it is awesome and fun, and has some entertaining and well-done tricks. Bruno just sings to them: "You spin my head right round right round, when you get down!" He says she is in her element, but she had one misstep at the beginning. Then, strangely, the sound cuts out for a minute, and the video goes to the audience just sitting there. Did the queen bee say a naughty word? I can't quite tell exactly what happened. Carrie Ann she's never seen a booty shake like that in the history of the show, but she thinks it got a little out of control. Len says she and salsa go together like "Spotted Dick and custard ... it's absolutely delicious." (Samantha Harris should never, ever say "brang it" ever again. Ever.) Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30 and a total 52/60.
Gilles and Cheryl are also doing the rumba, and that seems a little unfair to Ty! It's romantic and well done and whatnot, but it gets a little ... overt when they roll over each other on the floor, especially since their song is "Sexual Healing." Carrie Ann says they delivered, but she thought the beginning was odd, especially the part where he looked like he was moonwalking. Agreed. Len thought it was good, except for the beginning and the rolling on the floor. Bruno says it started like a scene from Showgirl and ended like Ravaged by the Savage. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30, and a total 56/60.
Melissa and Tony have the samba for their second dance. It's a party, that's for sure! For the second half of the dance, Melissa is on the verge of a wardrobe malfunction, but it seems like she's OK. But at the end, just before the judges start talking, she is flipping out, and you can hear her say to Tony: "Oh my goooood! My boob came out!" Len says they 100 percent should be in the semifinal next week. Bruno says their samba had "everyone anyone could possibly want." Carrie Ann says she feels compelled to point out the flaws: "Take the week off! Flawless!" Scores; 10-10-10, for a 30/30 and a total 57/60.
What do you think about tonight's performances? I have to agree that Ty should go before the semifinal, even though he is a total sweetheart. The other four are just in another league in terms of dance ability.