Dancing With The Stars: Week 3
(S05E06) This week's episode was quite the emotional roller coaster, wasn't it? Tears, comebacks, fake hair, a bare-chested Maks--all in 90 minutes! Tom opened the show by noting that this season's cast has logged more hours of training in the show's entire history, which is encouraging. Drew Lachey was back again for more awkward small talk and poorly articulated jokes. He did this really dorky dance next to Tom which proved that you can forget months of dance training like that.
A few things caught my eye during the introductions. Maksim brought back his trademark vest-only look; Jane Seymour was wearing a wig; Mark Cuban was, thankfully, wearing sleeves; and, Wayne had fake hair on both his head and face.
I'm also really starting to over-analyze the post-introduction views of the cast during the show's theme song. When the cameras focus on them, the contestants do some variation of an awkward wave, a goofy dance, or pretending to have tons of fun standing around (when they're really just killing time until they can go backstage). I wonder if they divvy up the time-killing gestures beforehand, to ensure that they don't all do the same thing? That would be hilarious.
Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas (Jive) - Sabrina was feeling the pressure of competition after placing second behind Helio and Julianne. She has got to be super-competitive if placing second is stressful for her. If anyone should be stressed based on last week's scores, it should be Wayne. Mark and Sabrina hoped that their Jive would put them back at the top of the leaderboard. Sabrina kept questioning Mark's choreography, which was a little ungrateful. He did manage to make her the top-scoring woman two weeks in a row. Not too shabby.
It turned out that Sabrina had no reason to be worried. The couple's Jive, performed to "Shake, Rattle and Roll," was a tremendous hit with the audience and the judges. One thing that Sabrina and Helio have in common as competitors is their incredible energy onstage. Sabrina and Mark had huge smiles throughout their routine, and did some lively, challenging moves. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Sabrina is the most technically proficient dancer among the ladies.
Len told Sabrina that she gave a full-bore performance, and that the Jive was her best dance thus far. He pointed out a few bizarre steps, but loved her Jive overall. Bruno called the couple's routine a "sismic" event, which Tom quickly changed to "seismic." He felt that Sabrina brought incredible power to the Jive and gave it 110-percent. We got a quick look at the audience, which included Monique Coleman, Lisa Rinna, and Louis van Amstel. Carrie Ann was relieved that Sabrina didn't overpower the dance, and called the end result "vibrant." Score: 27 (9, 9, 9).
Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska (Tango) - Cameron took last week's criticisms and average scores to heart, and resolved to break away from the pack. Edyta informed Cameron that, since the Tango is a dramatic dance, he would need to use his acting as a secret weapon. I guess Edyta doesn't watch All My Children. Nothing against soaps, but they aren't exactly a breeding ground for Oscar winners, if you know what I mean. Despite having one of the most packed schedules among this season's cast, Cameron was determined to put his all into each routine. I absolutely love Cameron's personality and determination. Hopefully he can make the leap from a likeable guy to a great dancer. If not, he always has that three-walled private jet.
Cameron poked fun at Bruno's comment from last week by wearing Clark Kent-style glasses. He also threw in a bit of Superman with a huge leap off the stage onto the dance floor. The couple performed the Tango to "The Beat Goes On." Cameron is one of those dancers that gets consistently better each week, but never totally wows the judges. His Tango involved more challenging moves than last week's dance, and he looked more in sync with Edyta's steps. For a Tango, it was missing the energy and sexiness that I remember from previous seasons' routines. Perhaps he hasn't found "his" dance yet. Also, serious props to Cameron for lifting Edyta and carrying her to the judges' table. On a side note, does Edyta ever learn from her near-wardrobe-malfunctions? A few more inches of fabric would make things much easier on the cameraman, and it wouldn't make her any less sexy.
Carrie Ann called the pair's Tango G-rated, but praised Cameron's improved posture. Len acknowledged that Cameron's posture and holds were good, but felt that he was missing the character of the dance. Bruno argued with Len about that comment, and called Cameron a lady-killer. He saw a lot of improvement in Cameron's performance this week. We got a look at the Bachelor, who apparently has an identical twin brother. Now there's twice as much of him to not care about! Score: 23 (8, 7, 8). This score was appropriate, since it rewarded Cameron's progress while leaving room for more improvements.
Mark Cuban and Kym Johnson (Jive) - Mark was thrilled to have escaped the dreaded "Bottom 2" curse. He and Kym were unfortunate to have drawn the Jive this week, which involves a lot of jumping. His injuries made training both difficult and painful. For once I was cringing out of sympathy for Mark. I hate seeing people hurt themselves. Kym was concerned that he might dislocate his hip again, but Mark didn't let his pain stop him from putting his all into the dance.
Their Jive, performed to "New Shoes" by Paolo Nutini, was not very memorable. This week's dances were so amazing that I'm afraid that this routine will get lost in the shuffle. Mark dances very well when you consider his injury, but that might not be enough to keep him on the show for another week. At some point, he will fail to keep up with the dancers that consistently improve and those that are already incredible. The routine was a little slow for a Jive and it looked like Kym choreographed the performance so as to avoid certain types of moves. Mark's facial expressions continued to distract me as well. On the plus side, he always looks like he's enjoying himself and does a good job of playing to the crowd.
Bruno noted that Mark was more polished, clean, and in control. He also thought that Mark needed to be lighter on his feet. Carrie Ann felt that Mark was still awkward, and recommended that he pay attention to the placement of his shoulders. Len was entertained but thought that Kym and Mark lost their way towards the end of the dance. Tom informed us that tomorrow's results show will include performances by Seal and Miley Cyrus--and her father, Billy Ray Cyrus. Good lord, he's back. Score: 20 (6, 7, 7).
Jennie Garth and Derek Hough (Tango) - Just in case you didn't see one of the dozens of replays showing Jennie's fall, they showed it again. How much humiliation can a girl take? A tearful Jennie was extremely hard on herself during her post-performance interview. Both she and Derek felt that they had to rise to the challenge this week. Jennie wanted to prove herself to her fans, and Derek wanted to help Jennie with her self-esteem.
This was the first week that Jennie wasn't visibly nervous. She definitely had her game face on tonight. The judges place a lot of emphasis on the character of the Tango, and Jennie was very much in character. Her movements and expressions were dramatic and passionate, and she was able to pull off some high kicks. This Tango was significantly better than all of her previous routines. I was afraid that Jennie would fizzle out after last week's mistake, but she could easily improve and become a serious contender. I was so glad that she finally looked proud of herself after a performance, instead of looking terrified.
Len called the couple's Tango sharp and tangy, like a pickle. while she had some heel and posture issues, she nailed the mood of the dance. Carrie Ann gave Jennie a much-deserved standing ovation and a high five. She said that the dance was passionate, elegant and well-done. Bruno called it the comeback of the season, and told her to be proud of herself. Jennie looked genuinely excited to have her hard work rewarded. Score: 26 (9, 8, 9). That was probably a bit high, but she earned extra points for having the courage to get back out on the dance floor.
Melanie Brown and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Jive) - In order to reach the energy level necessary for the Jive, Maks took Mel to the Le Reve show in Las Vegas. I thought it was funny that the Vegas performers had to stand around while Mel and Maks practiced. I'm surprised that there hasn't been much conflict between Maksim and Melanie. Maks tends to have at least one diva meltdown per season. Keeping the peace is working wonders for them, though. Mel hasn't had any major slip-ups so far, and I think she'll be around for a long time.
The pair delivered another high-energy, spirited performance. Their Jive ("Sweet Soul Music") included tons of kicks and side-by-side moves. The entire routine looked very challenging. This couple doesn't know the meaning of the word filler. I always enjoy watching Melanie dance, but I wonder how she would have done if she had danced the more dramatic Tango. Most of her performances have suited her personality well. How would she handle one of the "acting" dances?
Bruno praised Mel's ability to maintain control of her boundless energy. Len declared that this week's "B" was for bounce, and called it her best dance. Carrie Ann agreed with both sets of comments, and said that the Jive was Melanie's dance. Backstage, Drew hassled Maks about going shirtless, which only made Maks remove his vest and put his body on display even more. The man has no shame. I couldn't help but laugh when he covered his nipples with his hands, though. Tom took the opportunity to rip on Maks' gigantic ego as well. Score: 27 (9, 9, 9).
Wayne Newton and Cheryl Burke (Tango) - Wayne admitted that he was confused when he landed in the bottom two last week. I'm sure that Albert was even more confused that Wayne wasn't sent home, but no matter. Cheryl said that Wayne need to work on his fire and attitude in preparation for the Tango. The Tango really didn't sound like the right dance to showcase Wayne's strengths, and it wasn't. Wayne visited his ranch and looked to his 75 gorgeous horses for inspiration.
Wayne's training footage should have included a visit to the costume shop, because he certainly looked the part for his Tango. Unfortunately, his preparation appeared to have stopped there, because his technique didn't improve this week. Cheryl was basically dancing around him for the majority of the routine. You can get away with letting your partner do the real work for part of the performance, but not the entire thing. Wayne had a lot more fun with the Tango than some of the other contestants, but his dancing did not measure up. I still can't get over how my expectations of Wayne have plummeted over the last few weeks. I really thought he'd be a considerably better dancer, or that he'd at least be able to fake it better.
Carrie Ann loved the look and character of the routine, but noticed that Cheryl was leading Wayne at certain points. Bruno praised the effort that Wayne put into his appearance this week, but told Wayne to take over the job of leading the dance. Len hated the feathery hat, and said that it reminded him of Puss in Boots from the Shrek movies. Hey, I loved that cat! Backstage, Cheryl had a weird response to Drew's question about their strategy for next week. She made it clear that she didn't expect to be back next week, but said that Wayne was a "great guy" and that she enjoyed working with him. Ouch. Score: 18 (6, 6, 6). I think the judges were trying to soften the anticipated loss on Tuesday with a slightly higher score.
Floyd Mayweather and Karina Smirnoff (Jive) - Floyd approached the Jive with his usual positive, ready-for-anything attitude. Karina believed that the Jive would be the couple's breakout dance. Both were excited to show what they could do and move up in the leaderboard. Floyd always looks like he's trying to combine boxing and dance training, and this week he brought in his jump-rope. I can't wait for the week when they bring in a live chicken for them to chase around the studio.
Their Jive started with a neat jump-rope gimmick that matched Floyd's energy perfectly. As with Mel B., I wonder how Floyd will do (assuming he advances) when he can't go full throttle on his performances. Fast numbers suit his athleticism, but can he pull off a slow, graceful routine? The couple performed their Jive to "Mess Around," and for once there haven't been any terrible song choices. Here's hoping the trend continues. There was a lot of bootie-shaking and pelvic-thrusting, and Floyd's personality made the dance.
Len scolded Floyd for rehearsing in tennis shoes, and blamed that choice on Floyd's lack of attention to his toes. Carrie Ann loved Floyd's approach to the dance, but wanted to see more structure, body placement, and detail. Bruno told Floyd that he could do anything, but that he still hadn't done much yet. He has potential, but he needed to polish his technique much more. Backstage, he shamelessly promoted his upcoming boxing match (Dec. 8, Pay-Per-View). Score: 21 (7, 7, 7). I agree with the judges that Floyd could be significantly better. It's almost like he gave up after getting a low score the first week, and now he's coasting on his natural ability.
Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani (Tango) - Jane was brave enough to return to the show after losing her mother. She was so determined to stay on that she rehearsed in England while she was dealing with her loss. It was very sweet of her to dedicate the performance to her mother, who was a fan of the British version of the show.
Her Tango was very passionate, sleek, and sophisticated. She's been criticized for being too prim and proper in her earlier performances, and I was afraid that the style of dance wouldn't suit her. I was way off. Jane looked the part, stuck to the tone and character of the Tango, and managed to throw in some difficult moves. I don't think anyone would have minded if Jane's routine was less challenging, but she rose to the occasion anyway.
Bruno told Jane that she reminded him of a silent movie queen, and said the dance contained drama, pathos, and passion. Len praised her for getting the acting elements of the dance down, and said that her Tango "could have been on Pay-Per-View." Lots of cleverness this week! Carrie Ann got a bit choked up and told Jane that she created a special moment on the show and transformed her emotions into a gorgeous dance. Then everyone got a bit choked up. Score: 27 (9, 9, 9).
Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough (Jive) - Helio was glad to still be in the judges' and fans' favor, but put a lot of pressure on himself for the Jive. Julianne called him a perfectionist, and said that he was obsessed with getting all the details right. We learned that Helio has a weak foot, and saw him fall down hard on it during practices.
Decked out in matching teal outfits, Julianne and Helio performed their Jive to "Kids in America." Their routine was fast, fun, and featured Helio's usual enthusiasm. Helio overdid it this week, and got a scraped knee and torn pants for his efforts. He even limped his way to the judges' table. This has been a dangerous season so far! First Jennie, now Helio. If Helio gets hurt, I might never be able to watch the show again!
Carrie Ann said that Helio's fun attitude is contagious, but asked for better posture. Bruno praised the couple for their charming stage presence. He was afraid that, by setting the bar so high early on, he didn't meet his own standard this week. This was met with some boos, but I have to agree. By being such a strong dancer, Helio has less room for error. Len thought the dance was well-done overall, but noticed a few bad kicks. Score: 24 (8, 8, 8).
Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts (Tango) - Marie was still thrilled about finishing so high last week. Her brother Donny turned up at her rehearsals with Jonathan, and it was fun to see them goof off. Jonathan looked a little annoyed, though.
I didn't catch what song Marie danced to, but it set the tone for her performance very well. Marie is extremely fun to watch, and combines entertainment with natural ability. She was able to convey the attitude of the Tango and still maintained her light personality throughout the dance. I believe that if her technique is consistent, her interaction with the audience and her fan base will take her far.
Len admitted that he didn't think Marie would be a very good dancer, but she proved him wrong. He thought her Tango was a marvelous musical interpretation, and commended her poise. Carrie Ann said that Marie reminded her of Lucille Ball (in a good way), and that the performance was elegant. Bruno called her a "mistress of characters," and was glad that she didn't cross the line into slapstick. He also dubbed her the Meryl Streep of dance. Score: 26 (9, 8, 9).
Once again, Mr. Las Vegas landed in the bottom of the leaderboard. I think he might be going home.
|Wayne Newton||1373 (83.4%)|
|Mark Cuban||93 (5.6%)|
|Floyd Mayweather||54 (3.3%)|
|Cameron Mathison||10 (0.6%)|
|Helio Castroneves||16 (1.0%)|
|Jane Seymour||11 (0.7%)|
|Melanie Brown||11 (0.7%)|
|Jennie Garth||17 (1.0%)|
|Sabrina Bryan||20 (1.2%)|
|Marie Osmond||42 (2.6%)|