xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

'Dancing With the Stars' recap: Ballroom, Latin and ... insanity

Tonight, the remaining competitors on Dancing With the Stars have to take on two performances each, one ballroom and one Latin. And yeah, they're kind of stressed about it.

The show starts with a video of the judges giving the final five advice. But how can anyone take advice from head judge Len Goodman when he's wearing that ridiculous shirt? Dress shirt with a white collar and cuffs, but the rest of it is lemon yellow.

Advertisement

The first couple is Mya and Dmitry Chaplin, with the quickstep. I'm hoping choreographer Dmitry lessens the gimmickry a little. But in rehearsal, Mya says she doesn't want to change what they're doing to please the judges and maybe end up alienate the audience. Ruh-roh! But actually, this is really charming, and they're interacting, and they seem to have upped the technique factor, too. Incidentally, I love when, during a performance, you can see the judges (usually Bruno) standing up and peering over the table to really see the footwork. This time, you can also see him tap-tap-tapping on the table in rhythm with the song to check whether she's on beat and then clapping for her after the sequence. Len says his priority is how you dance and her priority is the wow factor. He says he was disappointed tonight because he couldn't find anything to criticize. That was a fabulous fakeout! Bruno Tonioli: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is quality!" Carrie Ann Inaba says they made the difficult and intricate quickstep look easy. She loved it. Scores:  9-10-10, 29/30. A 10 from Len! They are thrilled!

Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff have decided to work on having as much fun and enjoying the experience this week. When Karina starts to feel ill, they start wearing masks, which looks bizarre. Their foxtrot is sweet and Aaron actually controls his manic energy. It's pretty great. Bruno says he can tell how much work went into it, but it felt a little tense and didn't have the "ease of flow to sell the foxtrot." Carrie Ann says they are watching every detail, and he was trying to achieve every detail, but they lost some fluidity as a result. Len says watching him dance is like watching his son in a toy shop: "There are so many emotions, excitement, joy, bewilderment. I am proud of you whatever happens because I think you've worked so hard and tried your utmost." Scores: 7-8-8, for a 23/30.

Advertisement

Have you ever wondered what would happen if someone injured themselves during the goofy intro segments?

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough are also doing the quickstep, so they spend some of their rehearsal time analyzing Mya's strengths and weaknesses. Their quickstep doesn't have the exact same natural flow to it, which is probably because Mya has more dance in her background. But it's still fast and fun and charming, too. (It's just a charming evening, I guess.) They get some oomph from starting in the audience and running down the stairs and ending on the stage stairs. Carrie Ann says these routines are really long (I thought so, but I hadn't clocked it; glad I'm not crazy) and are full of content, but she says while Joanna's top half looked great, her legs and feet were a little off-kilter and out of sync here and there. Len says this is not the standard for the quarter-final. Bruno says it looked like Joanna was running away from the scene of a crime. Ouch. Scores:  8-7-8, for a 23/30.

Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel weirdly haven't had a ballroom dance since the first week. Isn't that kind of strange? Kelly's goal is to do a foxtrot "that proves that I belong in this competition." She definitely recaptures some of her week 1 magic, finally looking comfortable and graceful on the floor again. (I wasn't 100 percent behind the judges' claim last week that she looked amazing out there.) Len says he had forgotten how much grace and elegance she had and that her posture was great, though her footwork was distracting. Bruno says she kept her focus. Carrie Ann says her secret weapon is that when she has a breakthrough, the audience goes crazy for her. But she needs to work on her spots on her turns, Carrie Ann cautions. Scores:  8-8-9, for a 25/30.

Last in the ballroom round are Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson. Donny says that he was burned out last week, and now he is starting over. They dance the Viennese waltz, and Donny does seem rejuvenated. It's quite lovely, though there is one part where Donny has his hands on Kym's face while they do turns and it kind of looks like he is choking her. Bruno says it was like watching a Lifetime drama, it was so dramatic and entertaining. Carrie Ann says it was mesmerizing and not over-performed. Len says they had lovely rotation, but it was "arty-farty." "What's wrong with a little farty?" Bruno asks. Scores:  9-8-9, for a 26/30.

Now ... Latin! Well, first, we watch the pros do some Latin dancing. And then we hear even more from the judges about what they expect to see. Because god forbid they decide to make the show an hour and a half when it's down to this few people. Each couple, by the way, has drawn a decade out of a hat that they have to evoke in their Latin performance.

Mya and Dmitry are doing a '70s samba. They are adding some disco style to the samba and working hard on the samba rolls, while Dmitry fights choreographer's block. They manage to mesh the disco and the samba really well, and it's a lot of hip-shaking fun. Dmitry's mustache, though, is a little over the top. Carrie Ann: "I believe it! I believe that you want to win this competition. ... It was beyond belief." Len: "Mya, you were absolutely on fiyah! ... You have produced two dances tonight ... with no gimmicks." Bruno says she did a mean samba with a Diana Ross break in the middle. (I'll ignore the part where he attempts to sing.) Scores:  10-10-10 for the first 30/30 of the season. Their total is 59/60.

Next are Aaron and Karina with a 1990s-themed samba. Aaron wants to do lots of choreography like he did when he was a child pop star back then and Karina tries to keep him reined in. She succeeds to an extent, but his manic energy is definitely back. Also, it seems like the '90s choreography doesn't mesh quite as well into the samba as the disco stuff did for Mya and Dmitry. Len says it was tough to follow a perfect score, but he sold it and worked his socks off. Bruno says the energy is "made good." Carrie Ann says she was thinking about his difficult times, but he smoothed out all the edges. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30. Aaron pulls a TMI and tells Samantha that his little bobble at the end was because he is still getting over an illness, and he almost threw up. I've always thought that was going to happen on live TV at some point or another. Not tonight, thankfully. His total is 50/60.

Joanna and Derek are doing a future-themed paso doble. It is ... odd, but it kind of has to be. It's somewhat robotic at times, and because they are being emotionless, they lose a large degree of their chemistry. Plus, Joanna seems to lack some flair when she is out of hold. It's still very interesting and entertaining, though, so they will probably be OK. Bruno says it was a masterful reinvention of a classic. Carrie Ann says it was outstanding execution and that Joanna didn't miss a single step except for one little funky back-kick. Len says Bruno stole his word: genius. He says the theme was executed well and so was the actual content of the paso. Scores: 9-10-10, for a 29/30 and a total 52/60.

Kelly and Louis draw the '60s for their jive. They start out with a doll as a prop, and Kelly is running around trying to get it back from Louis, but I am relieved when the prop gets tossed away. The dance is so fast, it just seems really busy and at times like Kelly is trying to keep up. But they definitely have the fun factor (though Louis' wig doesn't do much for his hotness factor). Len says Kelly has been a revelation and that the pressure would get to her, but she has gotten stronger and stronger. Bruno tells her it's been such an achievement. Carrie Ann says that was one of her best performances and that she came alive, but she had a few weird moments in her turns. And yes, the doll thing went on too long and gave her the heebie-jeebies. Scores: 8-9-9, for a 26/30 and a total 51/60.

Advertisement

Donny and Kym have an '80s-themed paso doble, so they are going glam. And ... it's a little stilted and weird. Len says it was the most crazy-bizarre-scary paso doble he's ever seen, "a cross between Adam Ant and Adam Carrolla, but I liked it!" Bruno says it was campier than a drag queen's convention. Carrie Ann says she thought it was hysterical, but she thinks they went a little over the edge into insanity. She also thinks the costume took away from some of their lines. There's a small chorus of boos at this. Scores: 8-8-8, for a 24/30 and a total 50/60.

Advertisement

It was kind of a strange night, don't you think? But I do think Mya stepped up her game and really emerged as the front-runner. That '70s samba was definitely the strongest of the themed Latin numbers.

Advertisement

What say you?

(Photo of Mya and Dmitry -- from last week -- courtesy of ABC)

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement