Dancing With The Stars: Week 9
(S04E16) We've reached the (thankfully) Cyrus-free semifinals, and it looks like tomorrow's elimination will be a nail-biter. There was absolutely no dead weight on the dance floor, a fact that made for an exciting evening of performances. There were perfect scores, pelvic thrusts, and the phrase "Yours is bigger." What's not to like?
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Quickstep) - This week the contestants got to pick their favorite Ballroom and Latin dance styles. For the Ballroom round, Apolo and Julianne chose the Quickstep. Revealing his competitive spirit, Apolo set quite a few goals for himself. He wanted tens for his Ballroom round, and he wanted perfect scores for both dances.
The couple did an impeccable Quickstep that included smooth movements, quick footwork, and several crowd-pleasing moments. I couldn't find anything to criticize in their performance, and neither could the judges. Len called Apolo's speedy footwork "fantastic," and Carrie Ann thanked the couple for setting a high standard. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10)
Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke (Tango) - Ian was bummed about being so far behind in last week's scoring, and resolved to bring out the "real Ian" this week. He has a lot of catching up to do since the other couples came into their own a few weeks back. Ian is obviously very popular (I really expected him to be in last week's bottom two), but he hasn't developed as quickly as the other dancers.
In a shout-out to last week's musical guest, Ian and Cheryl performed to Nelly Furtado's "Maneater." The couple was, as always, technically good and very intense. I still think they are missing the ability to have fun and involve the crowd, though. Their second dance showed more of that quality than their Tango did. Bruno loved the performance, but criticized Ian's foot placement, Carrie Ann felt that they fell just short of a 10, and Len thought it was Ian's best dance ever. Do those three ever agree? Carrie Ann also mentioned Ian's "potential," and it seems a little late in the game for Ian not to have realized that potential. Score: 28 (9, 10, 9)
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Quickstep) - I always laugh at Laila and Maksim's training sequences, mostly because of the clash of attitudes. This week, Maksim brought extra drama to rehearsal, and seriously tested Laila's patience. Maksim strikes me as a bit of a diva, and his later behavior definitely reinforced that. He's still hot, though, and it was nice of him to bring Laila flowers the next day.
The couple danced the Quickstep to "Walk Like An Egyptian." What on earth was Laila wearing? I know there was an Egyptian theme to the performance, but her dress wasn't one of my favorites. She's normally the best-dressed woman out there. I'm surprised that she chose the same two dances as Apolo, since that automatically invites a comparison. Laila's dance was fun and technically difficult, but Apolo's Quickstep seemed a bit cleaner and more challenging. Luckily, their performance pleased both the crowd and the judges. Carrie Ann praised Laila for bringing a "unique vibe" to the dance floor, and Len thought the dance was light, but more "basic" than Apolo's. Maksim unwisely talked back to Len, which was a bit ungrateful when you consider their scores. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10)
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Foxtrot) - Joey Fatone, you just landed in the bottom two on Dancing With The Stars--what are you going to do now? Kym and Joey felt that the best place to reconnect with their fans was Disneyland. A bold choice for contestants on an ABC show!
The couple's Foxtrot proved that they did not belong in last week's bottom two. Kym catered to the horny male voters by wearing little more than a transparent gown over a white bathing suit. Whatever works, I guess. Alfonso Ribeiro and Lance Bass were in the audience again, and I would like to see one or both of them compete next season. They can't be that busy if they're spending their free time watching a dance competition. Joey and Kym's performance was classy, smooth, and almost romantic. Bruno compared the couple to old-time movie stars, and Carrie Ann declared them the winners of the Ballroom round. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10)
The show's "intermission" included a review of the leaderboard. Ian was the only celebrity not to receive a 30. Ouch. Len gave the couples the benefit of his expertise in Latin dancing and managed to flirt with every single female he encountered. I had no idea he was such a ladies' man! Did you notice that his limo's license plate read "DANCMSTR"? Len advised Ian and Apolo on their footwork, helped Laila with her arm movements, and dealt with Joey's butt issues. He also proved that he can still cut a rug with the best of them. I liked rehearsal Len way more than studio Len.
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Cha Cha Cha) - Apolo and Julianne can cut out all the brother-sister talk, because their performance was the hottest I've seen all season. There was bumping, grinding, and hip-swiveling, all set to Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It." It's impossible to look innocent when you're dancing to that song. The audience went crazy for it, but Len was less than pleased. He called the performance "raunchy," and wanted to see more traditional Cha Cha Cha steps. Carrie Ann thought it was the sexiest Cha Cha Cha ever, and Bruno called it a "shot of adrenaline." Score: 29 (10, 9, 10)
Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke (Jive) - Apparently Karina left all of her hairpieces to Ian, since he was sporting a gigantic Elvis wig for his Jive. Something about that wig and jumpsuit changed Ian, because he actually looked like he was having fun. There were plenty of trademark Elvis moves, and Ian grinned for once, instead of looking like he was concentrating too hard. Carrie Ann was thrilled that Ian finally let go and enjoyed himself, and Bruno asked if the performance was inspired by Sanjaya or Liberace. American Idol isn't even over, and the Sanjaya jokes are already tired. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10). Did anyone else think that Ian looked choked up after getting that 30?
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Cha Cha Cha) - Laila brought out her signature strut for the Cha Cha Cha. She also managed to work in The Butterfly. This performance featured the Laila that I've come to love, and included plenty of sultry moves and excellent footwork. Len thought that Laila's arm movement had improved, and gave himself a pat on the back. Bruno called the dance "a knockout," and Carrie Ann praised the couple's technique. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10). 60 out of 60!
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Jive) - I was disappointed that none of the contestants chose my favorite Latin dance styles (Mambo, Samba), but Joey's Jive made me forget all about that. The razzle dazzle was back in full force. Joey and Kym's footwork was sharp, and I continued to be surprised at how graceful Joey is. Carrie Ann was glad that, for once, a man started the performance on the judges' table (she even got a peck on the cheek), and Len love the couple's personality and enthusiasm. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10)
This episode is worthy of a 7 out of 7. For once, I have no idea or preference about who goes home tomorrow. I'd be happy if any combination of the couples advanced to the finals. No couple is singled out on the leaderboard, either. Laila & Maksim and Joey & Kym are tied, with 60 points. Apolo and Julianne are one point behind with 59, and Ian & Cheryl have a 58. Your guess is as good as mine, folks.
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|1 - Worst||10 (1.0%)|
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