Tom's intro reminds us that last week it was "Wagner who got jacked." They tell us that it's "Rock Week" and the reanimated corpses of KISS are on the ballroom floor to get us pumped up with "Rock and Roll All Nite" - "Nite" is their spelling not mine. Good grammar and spelling rock, kids Stay in school!
There's pro dancers in unitards and KISS makeup and it looks even sillier than the old men rockers, which I didn't think was possible. The female pro dancers are in leather bikinis and this is all uncomfortably close to a primetime cop drama strip club scene. Tom, enthusiastically exclaims after the song is over that "[they] go to eleven!" If only we'd had Spinal Tap on hand. KISS plays along with the band during the theme song and I appreciate them being good sports. Judging by the costumes coming down the stairs we're going to see a lot of Paso Dobles set to rock music. Musical director Harold Wheeler is sporting Paul Stanley's "Starchild" makeup.
Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy
They're doing the tango to Quiet Riot's "Cum on Feel the Noize." (Again, not my spelling.) They've got a female singer doing lead vocals and it sounds weird. Sherri spends A LOT of time at the beginning pulling stripper moves on the judges' table. Even though Len got an eyeful of Sherri's most prominent assets, I'm not sure he'll appreciate that.
This is not nearly as fast as it should be; Sherri is somehow flat footed in heels; they look they're walking more than dancing; and her kicks are weak and low. So she'll probably get 9s. Len mentions a "little incident" with her feet but said overall they were great. Bruno propositions Sherri in French Lady Marmalade style. Carrie Ann, whose hair is closer to Jesus in Heaven than it ever has been, says Sherri lacked her normal enthusiasm.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7. AHA! There's those 7 paddles that we know and love.
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas
They've got the Paso Doble, and Mark is trying to turn Katherine into the "Welsh Warrior" so he takes her to watch MMA training. Sure. Why not? This is a segment that lets you know, "Either the star has no personality or the star and pro have zero chemistry and aren't friends at all." Katherine can't say "badass" without giggling, so this doesn't bode well. She's wearing a skintight bodysuit and looks vaguely reminiscent of Michelle Pfeiffer in Catwoman garb. She can't stop smiling during
the "swirl the skirt like a toreador waving the cape" move, which they might criticize her for as not being intense enough.
That was boring, maybe because I didn't know the song, Muse's "Time Is Running Out." Let's see what the judges say. Bruno says Katherine needs to be careful because she didn't finish her moves and it wasn't as "clean" and "precise" as she needed to be. Carrie Ann points out that Katherine kept adjusting her feet and seemed off her game. Len says it had "promise, but didn't deliver," but then reassures her that she's a "wonderful dancer."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8. I'm not sure it was 3 points better than Sherri, but I think the judges are aware that Sherri will make up in audience vote what Katherine might not.
Jaleel White & Kym Johnson
I have A LOT of problems with this introduction segment, y'all. First of all, Mick Jagger is a PART of The Rolling Stones but is not by himself The Rolling Stones. "Satisfaction" is not a Mick Jagger song, but a Rolling Stones song, even though Jagger and Richards share writing credit. Secondly, Jaleel White does not have "Jagger lips." Thirdly, George Jefferson came after Mick and that strut,
Jaleel. Sheesh. Here comes their tango. They've got a Union Jack projected on the dance floor.
The band is fast, but their dance is slow -- it's very disorienting. Right as they do a close-up of their feet, Kym's feet look weird. Don't know if that was intentional or a misstep. Carrie Ann tells Jaleel not to be so "smooth" that the dance needs to be more "staccato." Len says it needed more attack and aggression, but as a performance it was great. Bruno has apparently decided to stand while giving all his critiques tonight -- he essentially agrees with the first two judges.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 7 Bruno: 7.
Finally, the judges are giving numbers appropriate to the beginning of the season. When we come back from commercial break two of the pro troupe guys are rocking out in their unitards and KISS makeup; Tom quips, "Welcome back to Mimes Gone Wild!"
Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Melissa is excited about the Paso Doble because she says that outwardly she's the good girl, but there's always been a "bad girl underneath." Maks is exhorting Melissa to get "pissed" at him.
This isn't usually something that Maks has to explicitly request from his partners. It may be rock night, but Maks and Melissa are getting a White Stripes song, "Conquest." Check out the video if you've ever wanted to see Jack White in toreador pants.
Oh dear. Rright at the end, Maks spins Melissa around in that sort of death spiral move and in the process falls on his own keister. Poor thing! I always feel bad for the pros when they mess up. Len liked it! He adds "I know silly old Maks fell over" but he "doesn't care." Bruno points out the messed up ending and Maks immediately and guiltily raises his hand and takes the blame. I was starting to not like Maks last season, but he's bouncing back with me. Carrie Ann wants Melissa to work on her confidence when she and Maks are in hold.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 8 Bruno: 7.Looks like Len really did forgive that fall. Brooke finally makes a joke about the ridiculous "Bride of Frankenstein colors her gray and lets down the updo" hair she's got tonight.
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Peta thinks Donald is going to "kill" the Paso Doble and Donald hopes so, given how many athletes have done well at it on past seasons. Peta says she's going to have Donald shirtless because "the ladies will like it and Bruno will love it." She's not wrong. But Donald wants a jacket, to practice with the cape. Peta loans him her delicate white cardigan and it's adorable and hilarious to see him wear it around.
"Purple Haze" is their jam and this routine certainly has the attack and aggression the judges have been asking for all night. He flings Peta to the ground and her long, long body spins around several times. Bruno says it had power and a "bit of sense of humor." Carrie Ann can't say enough good enough adjectives and finishes with "spectacular." Len jokes that after the show he and Donald should compare tattoos and then calls this routine Donald's best dance.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9.Something about Peta with the big hair and strong makeup is making her look like a skinny Lacey Schwimmer.
Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus
Tristan is impressed that Gladys was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To which Rush still does not belong. Who is more rock, the band that gave you "Tom Sawyer" or Gladys Knight?
Harrumph. I am really not looking forward to hearing how the musical director has had to cut down "Bohemian Rhapsody" for this short dance routine. Although, props for the video at the beginning with the judges and Tom on the big screen recreating Queen's "Night at the Opera" look.
This is just not good, you guys.
Gladys is hanging in there, but at some point you have to stop grading her on a curve just because of her age. Carrie Ann calls it Gladys's "most ambitious
routine" and points out that it's a hard song to dance to. Len reminds her to watch her posture and to make her feet and legs more "crisp." Bruno calls her a "class act" and it says it was a difficult song and talks about its "difficult phrasing."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 6 Bruno: 7.More than fair; they're still giving her a bit of a curve there.
William Levy & Cheryl Burke
William claims to have never heard Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It." He has led a deprived, sad life. Cheryl brings in a couple of guys calling themselves "Steel Panther" and they
put a wig on William. I think this guy in the mesh shirt might play for Bruno's team, given his appreciation of William's thighs. There's a booty shake, which I can only assume both William and Cheryl did.
I have to assume because the camera is in concentrated close-up on only William's backside. There's a VERY botched move and Cheryl's toes come entirely out of her left shoe. She's dancing
the rest of this routine with her shoe held on by its ankle strap and her toes on the top of the shoe. What a pro! I really like Cheryl's dress tonight. Len points out that they lost their timing and there was bad footwork. The crowd boos, but missing steps is missing steps and the judges are there to judge. The guys from "Steel Panther" are hamming it up in the audience.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 8.WAY overscored given that considerable gaffe in the routine.
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower
Chelsie points out that Roshon has trouble controlling his limbs. That seems like something that would be important in dancing. Roshon says he wants to hear three words from Len, "Good job, dawg." It's good to have dreams, kid. The dry ice machine is out full force for their Viennese waltz to "The Time of My Life." Roshon is in a bedazzled tuxedo and still looks like he's ready for prom. In one of their turns, I swear it looks like a million rhinestones fly off them across the stage.
There's a weird moment where it looks like Roshon's forgotten what to do with his arms and it
leaves Chelsie literally hanging for a moment or two before they recover. Bruno loved it and says it had beautiful, flowing movement and was elegant and romantic. Carrie Ann says it's cute and "like watching the climax of a Disney movie" and says he's the best dancer of the men. Len tells him "Good job, dawg" and it sounds exactly like you expect it would from a 67-year-old Englishman. He
points out their stumble but it doesn't sound like he's going to knock off too much for it.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9.Well, guess Len dinged them after all.
We come back from commercial to a little pie-shaped piece of "Stonehenge" floating around the ballroom. Tom's delivery of "Yeah, it's Stonehenge" just kills me.
Maria Menounos & Derek Hough
Maria's got stress fractures in both feet. Add that to the ribs and the poor girl is falling apart. They're dancing the tango to Alice Cooper's "School's Out." Derek's working a fauxhawk and it's adorable. Derek has done some of the sexiest tangoes on this show and I hope they get to do another tango sometime this year that's not hampered by a dumb song selection. I like this song, but it's not really putting me in the tango mood. Derek slings her around but good at the end and it's very dramatic.
Nia Vardalos, John Stamos, and Rita Wilson are going nuts in the audience. Maria's clambered onto Derek's back and is going to listen to the judges piggyback. When asked if she's ok by Carrie Ann, Maria nods and throws her fist in the air, shouting, "I'm Greek!' So that explains her famous cheerleaders! Carrie Ann compliments their chemistry and talks about the passion and swings her head around so vigorously her earrings smack her in the mouth. Len felt like it lost control sometimes but Maria's posture is great. Bruno says her "top line" is the best. When they cut to a shout of Maria hanging onto Derek you can see how very low cut the back of her dress is, yowza!
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9
Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff
Gavin says "rock and roll is really [his] element." They've got the tango to "Paint It Black." Yes, Gavin is wearing a hat. I see a black hat and I want it to come off. Every week a new chapeau, why won't it come off? I think Karina deliberately choreographed them falling there. I guess that's one way to approach the fumbles that have been happening tonight."
Len wants Gavin to tuck his bum and pull his chest away from Karina. Bruno talks to him about his frame and posture, telling him that his shoulders got high enough that he was resembling a turtle. Carrie Ann applauds his showmanship, comparing him to Johnny Depp. Tom is trying SO HARD to keep this thing running on time. I've got a great idea for saving time - don't let Brooke talk.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 7. Ha! I just noticed when rewinding to catch Gavin's score that there was a hilarious of poster of Len in rock star makeup on the stairs going up to the kiss and cry area.
The scores are so bunched up, and with this new dance off for the bottom two, I have no idea who's going home tomorrow. I'm glad I'm not gambling on this thing.
Tom tell us the reason Maks and Melissa are missing from the end of show lineup in the ballroom is that Melissa injured herself and has been taken to the hospital as a precaution. They'll update us on her condition tomorrow night. Or there's this thing? Called the Internet? That'll probably know before the West Coast goes to bed tonight.