Dancing With The Stars: Week 7
(S05E14) The hosts of Dancing With The Stars were doing some major damage control in the wake of Sabrina's elimination. Viewers were warned at least a dozen times to remember to vote for their favorite celebrities. Personally, I think it's sad that people need to be reminded of the basic principles of this show, but oh well. The competition has changed now that Sabrina is gone--it's a battle of the fan bases! This week, the remaining dancers performed two dances, one in the Ballroom style and one in the Latin style. I'm always excited when we reach this point. You get a much better idea of who can handle the pressure and difficulty of learning two routines. As always there were some fun surprises and a few flubs.
Gallery: Dancing With The Stars: Week 7
Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough (Tango) - Helio and Julianne started off the Ballroom round with a Tango, performed to "The Jean Genie" by David Bowie. You can add this to the list of bizarre song-performance match-ups. I found the song choice to be a bit distracting. Helio was nervous about the challenge of learning two dances, so Julianne gave him a touching video message from his parents. You can certainly see where Helio gets his big smile! The performance itself was decent, and Helio looked very comfortable, but it wasn't very exciting. Helio's personality and enthusiasm came through, but it felt like more of the same.
Len declared that this point marks start of the race to the finals. He acknowledged that the routine had drive and attack, but there were some technical shortcomings. There were no heel leads, Helio's arm was too far out, and he needed a better hold. Bruno compared Julianne and Helio to thunder and lightning, and added that he wanted their performances to be more polished. Details will be crucial to making it to the finals. Carrie Ann thought that their "twist" on the Tango suited them well, but there were a few balance issues. Backstage, Samantha took viewers to task, telling them that fans were responsible for Sabrina's elimination. Tom quickly lightened the mood by adding that global warming is the viewers' fault, too. Score: 25 (9, 8, 8)
Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts (Quickstep) - Marie looked very worried when she found out that she and Jane were performing the same dances. She joked that she was trying to make her hip movements more girly, like Jonathan's. We also got a look at her dozens and dozens of children (OK, she only has eight kids, but it looked like an entire third grade class in there). The couple did a lively Quickstep to the tune of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." Now that was an appropriate song choice! Everything about this routine showcased Marie's strengths: her personality, energy, and her technical abilities. She may not be as flexible as Jane or the younger ladies, but her footwork was great. Even her brother got in on the action (and almost knocked her down) after the performance.
Bruno called the routine a "morale booster," and said that when Marie gets it right, she gets it right. Carrie Ann was pleased that the Quickstep was camp-free, and praised her footwork and posture. Len joked that entertainment flows though Marie's veins like Chianti does with Bruno's. He thought that she brought a wonderful twist to the dance. I guess that kiss at the end of the routine paid off! Marie sweetly dedicated the dance to her parents. Score: 28 (10, 9, 9)
Melanie Brown and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Foxtrot) - Melanie's Spice Girls work was taking its toll in practices. In addition to learning two routines for the show, she was learning 20 songs and dance routines for her tour. Maksim mentioned that although Melanie learns routines quickly, "picking things up" wouldn't be enough to stay in the competition. Mel and Maks danced to "Jimmy Mack," by Martha and the Vandellas. The routine was charming, but wasn't as impressive as last week's 30-pointer. To be fair, it's tough to deliver two incredible routines back-to-back. They did a wonderful job with this performance, but it just wasn't a show-stopper.
Carrie Ann noticed that Mel and Maks were out of sync with their footwork and the size of their steps. Len had issues with the couple's footwork as well, but thought that Mel's arms were lovely. Bruno wanted to see more finesse from Melanie, but didn't think the routine was horrible. Score: 24 (8, 8, 8). Melanie was pleased with the scores, but Maks bragged that their second dance would kick some serious butt. Samantha's second guilt trip included her acknowledgment that most viewers tune her out at this point in the show. Naturally, the camera cut to Tom, examining his fingernails. Ha!
Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani (Quickstep) - Jane compared last week's sudden illness to the pain of having twins. She recovered in time to take on both routines, fortunately. She dedicated her first dance, the Quickstep, to Johnny Cash. I didn't know that Jane and her husband were friends with Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash; it's hard to picture them all hanging out. Their routine, performed to "Walk The Line," was very light and cute. As with Helio, I felt like we were getting another version of routines that we had seen from Jane before. Jane is the most naturally graceful of all the performers, and it's always a pleasure to watch her. I'm afraid that she might not have any new moves left, though.
Len commended Jane on her usual elegance and terrific posture, but disliked the total lack of body contact in the routine. Bruno mentioned that with the standards getting tougher, the expectations get higher. Jane needed to work on the details of her performance. Carrie Ann loved Jane's technique, but told her to excite the fans and be outstanding. Jennie Garth got a similar criticism several weeks ago, and this could be a sign that Jane isn't progressing in the way the judges expect her to. Score: 24 (8, 8, 8)
Jennie Garth and Derek Hough (Viennese Waltz) - Jennie was terrified of doing two dances, especially two such different styles of dance. She was the only one who performed the Waltz, which isn't as much of a crowd-pleaser. I was glad she set herself apart from the rest of the dancers, though. The Quickstep was done to death. The end result ("Runaway," The Corrs) was lovely. Jennie appeared to be more graceful and flexible than ever. This is where I think Sabrina might have missed out on votes. For me, it's far more entertaining to watch a celebrity grow and improve over the course of the show. Jennie's time on the show has featured both highs and lows, which makes for a more exciting journey.
Bruno felt that, at times, Jennie's movements were very fluid and nymph-like. She's close to being perfect, but needs to sustain that perfection throughout the dance. Carrie Ann thought that Jennie had moved backwards, and saw several broken lines. She believed that Jennie was building up a momentum and needed to get much better to continue to the finals. Len thought the dance had a "lovely musical lilt," but wanted to see more Viennese Waltz elements. He mainly took Derek to task for his choreography and left Jennie out of his remarks. Score: 25 (8, 8, 9). When compared with the earlier dances, I thought Derek and Jennie deserved a slightly higher score.
Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska (Quickstep) - Cameron's schedule interfered with rehearsals again this week. We got a rundown of what Cameron's average week is like, and I don't envy him one bit. He wanted to step it up after being in the Bottom Two, and said that this week was his most important week. Cameron and Edyta's high-energy Quickstep ("Why Can't I Be You?" -The Cure) seemed much more fast-paced than the other Quicksteps, which didn't seem like a good thing. There were several tough moves, and Cameron has the advantage of never looking awkward or uncomfortable with any style of dance.
Carrie Ann asked if Cameron drank a Red Bull before the performance. She called the routine "wild" and "out of control." Len told the couple to calm down, and warned them to focus more on the basics of the dance and less on the fun stuff. On a positive note, he mentioned that ,when they were in the proper hold, they looked great. Bruno believed that Cameron forgot the steps during his rushed performance. Score: 24 (8, 8, 8). I'm getting the impression that the judges want to make the scoring fairly even in order to give the voters more power. They were probably upset that their mid-level scores for Sabrina contributed to her elimination.
Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough (Samba) - This dance was Helio at his finest. He brought his biggest smile and his hottest hip-swivel. The couple's routine ("Ay Candela," Ibrahim Ferrer) was far more difficult on a technical level and way more fun than their Tango. I think a lot of the couples wisely saved their best moves and energy for the Latin dances, since they are the biggest crowd-pleasers.
Bruno told Helio that those are the kind of dances that he likes to see from him, and that "the boy from Brazil has gone bananas." Carrie Ann agreed (minus the bananas comment). She thought that Latin dances flowed through Helio's body more naturally, and that he should stick with those in the future. Len remarked that you cannot assume a Brazilian will be a good dancer, just as you can't assume that a Texan will be a good president. This got a huge reaction from the crowd, and not a positive one. I didn't know that the Dancing With the Stars audience was so conservative! Bruno made a hilarious joke about Len losing his Visa. Tom's joke was easily the funniest: "You only annoyed 33% of the people." Score: 27 (9, 9, 9); 52 points combined.
Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts (Cha Cha Cha) - Marie began the dance wrapped in a feather boa. I wonder how many of those are in the DWTS wardrobe? We probably see between five and ten of those per season. Marie and Jonathan performed their Cha Cha Cha to "Venus," by Shocking Blue. Once again, Marie's superb command of the stage came through and made her performance a winner. I think it's great that she's comfortable doing solos and being onstage alone, as she was at the start of the routine. This dance was probably a little low on the technical elements, but the attitude and entertainment value were amazing.
Carrie Ann said that she was afraid that the boa would make the dance too campy, but Marie nailed the tone of the dance perfectly. She was hoping for more content, though. Len appreciated the effort and the Cha Cha Cha elements that were present, but thought the couple "messed around" too much. Bruno loved the character of the dance and thought that she peaked with the first dance. Score: 24 (8, 8, 8); 52 points combined.
Melanie Brown and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Paso Doble) - Melanie was incredibly sexy in her black leather ensemble, and Maks was probably thrilled to be in a black leather vest without a shirt. The crowd and judges loved the routine ("Free Your Mind," En Vogue), but it wasn't my favorite. Perhaps Carrie Ann's comment about Cameron's dance being too wild influenced my opinion of this dance. I loved the attitude, but thought Mel's movements were too frenzied. It was still much better than the majority of the other Latin routines, though. With Sabrina gone, Mel has to make it to the finals.
Len said that the dance had it all: passion, turns, and aggression. He absolutely loved it. Bruno called Mel "an adrenaline-charged dominatrix," and said that his jaw was on the judges' desk. Carrie Ann seconded Maksim's earlier comment about the routine kicking butt. Backstage, Maks showed off a tattoo of a cheetah's pawprint, which was a sweet tribute to Sabrina. There were a few signs of Sabrina-love in this episode: it looked like Helio was wearing a Sabrina T-shirt, and Julianne pointed to a tattoo on her arm during the opening segment. Score: 30 (10, 10, 10); 54 combined. I guess I'll have to go back and watch that routine again!
Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani (Cha Cha Cha) - The couple's routine ("The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss),") was fantastic in terms of technique, but Carrie Ann's comments influenced my viewing again. I can see what she meant when she said that Jane doesn't provide the wow factor. She's clearly a gifted dancer, but entertainment is a major part of getting votes. It could be Jane's turn to go home this week. She's a polite and ladylike dancer, but doesn't bring the sexiness that some of the other dancers do.
Bruno dubbed Jane a "golden icon," and thought the routine was well-executed. He also praised Jane's hip movements. Carrie Ann thought she did very well, and thought Jane looked amazing in her dress. She wanted more than Jane's usual daintiness, though. Len was looking for fireworks, and told Jane to bring more than the basic technique to the dance. I think the judges are expecting Jane to be eliminated, and softened their remarks a little. Score: 26 (8, 9, 9); 50 points combined.
Jennie Garth and Derek Hough (Rumba) - In her earlier training footage, Jennie was concerned about getting the lovers' element of the dance down. She shouldn't have worried. Derek and Jennie's Rumba ("Fallen," Lauren Wood) was slow, sexy, and hot. Despite the age difference, they played the part of a couple in love very well. Jennie has done a great job of conveying the tone of each dance over the last few weeks. I might have liked this routine better than her performance last week.
Carrie Ann loved it, and praised Jennie for recovering from her difficult first dance. Len told Jennie that she's the only person who isn't convinced that she's a good dancer. He thought her routine was great. Bruno simply called the dance "satisfying." Enough said. Score: 28 (9, 9, 10); 53 combined. Wow, Jennie won Bruno over! With two judges eating out of her hand, she could go far.
Cameron Mathison and Edyta Sliwinska (Jive) - Cameron and Edyta were able to simmer down in time for their Jive ("The Boy From New York City"). The routine was much lighter and less intense then the couple's Quickstep. There were still plenty of fun elements, though. Cameron jumped over Edyta's shoulders at one point. John Ratzenberger certainly looked impressed.
Len informed us that the Jive normally suits short, compact dancers, but that Cameron did a fantastic job. Bruno said that there were "more kicks than a rodeo" and loved Cameron's performance as well. Carrie Ann added that Cameron began the competition as the good-looking guy who could "kinda" move, but developed into a great dancer. Tom appeased the Sabrina fans by advertising the DWTS tour, which Sabrina will be a part of. Score: 27 (9, 9, 9); 51 points combined.
The final leaderboard put Mel and Maks ahead of the pack, with Jane and Tony in last place. I've always loved watching Jane dance, but I'm guessing that she'll be sent home tomorrow. The other competitors are just too strong and have shown more improvement. She'll be missed!
Tuesday's Results Show will feature performances by Michael Flatley, LeAnn Rimes, and the return of DanceCenter! At last! Until then, check out AOL's extensive Dancing With The Stars coverage, which includes photo galleries, a live chat (Mondays & Tuesdays, 7:30pm ET), and the chance to support your favorite couple by voting in AOL's poll!
|Jane Seymour||1299 (70.8%)|
|Marie Osmond||151 (8.2%)|
|Jennie Garth||65 (3.5%)|
|Melanie Brown||69 (3.8%)|
|Cameron Mathison||180 (9.8%)|
|Helio Castroneves||70 (3.8%)|