Tonight, Dancing With the Stars celebrates its 200th episode, which means there's going to be a lot of looking back tonight.
First off, pros from all 11 seasons dance to Beyonce's "Crazy in Love," the first song from the show's first episode. You can just tell how much fun they had choreographing that one. Such fun!
Then, in the most disorganized introduction ever, host Tom Bergeron points out the stars from each of the previous 10 seasons who are in the audience, but said stars never seem to be getting their cue. (The best moment is Jeffrey Ross, who totally has his back to the camera the whole time.) Oh, and no one from season six showed up.
This season's dancers will compete in teams led by two previous champions. Kristi Yamaguchi's team is: Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke, Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas and Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer. Apolo Anton Ohno's team is Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya, Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough. The team scores will be added to the individual scores from round two later tonight.
Team Kristi is doing the cha-cha to Kristi and Mark's song from their freestyle. Kristi's just the captain, see, she doesn't have to participate. She tells them in rehearsal that the other team thinks they have it in the bag, so her team just has to sneak up on them. And really, they do a fantastic job. Sure, Rick and Kyle get outdanced by Mark, and Bristol gets outdanced by Cheryl and Lacey, but they all put on a good show. Head judge Len Goodman says they had to learn these group moves, the individual parts of this dance, plus their individual dances. He says they were the underdogs, but these dogs can hunt. Bruno Tonioli says Rick kept up with everyone, but Bristol lost her steps a little bit, but she did a good job. Carrie Ann Inaba loved the staging and everything. Plus, she thinks Rick was on fire. Scores: 8-8-8, for a 24/30.
Team Apolo is cha-cha-ing to Apolo's freestyle song, and they are having a hard time making time for Jennifer's breaks, and Kurt's having trouble keeping up. In fact, in the performance, they have Kurt in the middle at the beginning (with an Apolo headband, which was a nice touch), and he's just not dancing as well as everyone else, which makes the whole thing look a little off. But again, they're having a ton of fun out there, and it's thus fun to watch. Bruno says something to Kurt, but I can't figure it out. He says Brandy's hips don't lie and that Jennifer is "back on top." Carrie Ann loved the routine and says they didn't dumb it down and they were all doing their best. Len thought they all upped their game, and you know, I think they show is running late because they are being awfully terse. Scores: 9-9-9, for a 27/30.
In round two, each couple has to "reinterpret an iconic dance" from a previous season, and be judged by the star who danced it originally.
Mel B is the first guest judge. Her iconic dance is the paso doble to "Free Your Mind." The couple who draws that one is Kyle and Lacey. During rehearsal, he comes in shirtless in a vest with drawn-on (like with a Sharpie) abs. Hilarious! Does Kyle channel Maks exactly? No, but they are better than I expected. Len says this was his best dance so far. Mel B says it was amazing, and she loved his stance. Bruno says Kyle had the attack and energy of a young bull. He does tell him to watch out for his shoulders. Carrie Ann says Kyle found his own power and strength, just like Mel B did with that dance. Scores: 10-9-8-8, for a 35/40 (Mel was the first one), and they have a 59/70 total.
Emmitt Smith is next on the ballroom floor. His dance is the tango with Cheryl to "Simply Irresistible," which he calls "the absolute worst." Really? Kurt and Anna are the lucky recipients of that one. They give it their all, but Kurt kind of looks like he's thinking really hard the whole time, instead of projecting a character. (Also, incidentally, what's the deal with the belt of tape that Anna has on? I noticed it in round one and thought it was a mike pack or something. But now I'm not sure.) Bruno says he went from mission impossible last week to mission accomplished this week. But he tells him to watch the posture and not stick out his neck. Carrie Ann says Emmitt brought to life the character, and Kurt changed the character to fit him, and she thought it worked. Emmitt says he understand the neck forward because he's trying to protect himself. He loved it. Len says he comes back stronger every time, and this is no exception. But he tells him to work on his knees a little bit, but overall, it was great. Scores: 10-8-8-8, for a 34/40 and a total 61/70.
Kelly Osbourne comes to the stage looking uber-thin. Whoa. Her iconic dance is the Viennese waltz to "Trouble." Bristol and Mark will be taking on this one, and Kelly will be looking for heart and honesty, she says. In the performance, it feels like Bristol is just trying to get through it, like Mark is pushing her along, and I feel for her, but this was not her best. Plus, that's a lot of pressure. Carrie Ann says Bristol has the power to touch people's hearts, but she's still kind of detached. She wants Bristol to bridge that. Kelly says she stole her heart and that she had "big shoes to fill." Carrie Ann kind of makes a face and gesture at her, but Kelly recovers and points out that she meant that it was emotionally a huge deal because her parents were in the front row hysterically crying the whole time, "and I'd never made anyone cry in a good way before." She adds that she did fantastic. Len thought it was lovely and natural, but he thinks they lacked a bit of chemistry. Bruno says she just needs to "ignite" a little bit more. Scores: 9-8-8-8, for a 33/40 and a total 57/70.
Helio Castroneves dances his way out on stage to announce his iconic dance, the quick step to the song from "The Mask." Rick and Cheryl are the couple reinterpreting this one. His girlfriend, Eliza Dushku, shows up during rehearsal to try to bring out more of his fun side (as opposed to his "driven athlete face"). They're cute. Anyway, in the performance, Rick is wearing a giant green zoot suit, and the jacket is so long, I literally think it might be taller than Cheryl minus heels. But overall, they pull it off. Len says sometimes he's too analytical, but tonight he enjoyed himself and so did the audience. Bruno says this was his best performance, and he made more faces than Jim Carrey. Helio is mad that Rick stole his kiss. Carrie Ann says this was by far his best dance. Scores: 10-9-9-9, for a 37/40 and a 61/70.
Gilles Marini joins Tom on stage to share his iconic dance, the foxtrot to "Fever." He wants to see sensuality and sexiness. Brandy and Maks get to try to channel the sexiness. Brandy says during her rehearsal that she wants to win this more because for her, it's personal. Really? Sorry, I think it's personal for everyone, and everyone here has dealt with some adversity. Anyway, that aside, she's lucky that Maks is playing the Gilles role because few other dudes could be as sultry as him. Brandy does a good job, but I feel like she's got her shoulders up by her ears again (not that the judges pointed that out last time I noticed it), and her sultry face looks a little pained. Bruno says every step was driven by "relentless eroticism," but they had a mistake right in front of the judges table. Gilles says he had goosebumps, and he thought it was unreal. Carrie Ann says it beautiful and her hold was great. Len thinks everyone is being pedantic about this little mistake in the middle of a fantastic foxtrot. Scores: 9-9-10-9, for a 37/40 and a total 64/70.
Drew Lachey introduces his dance of the evening, which is his perfect scoring tango to "Shut Up." (How many of these "iconic" dances was Cheryl in anyway?) Jennifer and Derek have some trouble in rehearsal because her injured body is starting to fight back. But they bring intensity to the performance. Carrie Ann says everyone loves a comeback, and she blew the doors off this week. Len thinks she vented all her frustrations from the past two weeks in this tango. Drew loved the musicality and her lines. He thinks she has a real shot. Bruno says she was a phoenix rising from her own ashes. Scores: 10-9-9-9, for a 37/40 and a total 64/70.
What do you think about tonight's performances?