Dancing With The Stars: Week 4
(S06E07) Back for week four, with less Guttenberg, and more 10s. It's still early in the competition, but some of the stars are really stepping things up, as evidenced this week by some very high scores. There were many questions coming into performance night. Would Kristi & Mark continue to run away with the competition? How did Carrie Ann's comments effect Marissa? And interestingly, would we be watching Shannon & Derek, or Shannon & Jonathan? The answers to those, and a rundown of the whole shooting match, after the jump.
Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas (Paso Doble) - Bruno had urged Kristi to become a dirty girl after her tango last week. In response, she made it a point to focus more on the emotional side of her performance this week. She said she has been afraid to show so much emotion. While I was sure that she would perform very well, how the performance would come across was the more interesting part of the performance heading in. As expected, the dancing was top notch. Mark choreographed a really entertaining performance. There were some incredibly intricate and fast sections for Kristi and she handled it all very well. As far as her acting, I thought it was definitely a step up. I still think she has room to improve there, but she made some real progress with this one.
Len said that Kristi can't dance bad. She has such great technique. He also praised Mark's choreography. His complaint was that Kristi's performances all look the same. Bruno disagreed, saying she really unleashed the harlot tonight. He was also impressed with the difficulty. Carrie Ann joined in saying that Kristi and Mark are setting the standard and their performance was fantastic. Score: 29 (10,9,10)
Priscilla Presley and Louis van Amstel (Viennese Waltz) - I continue to be surprised by Priscilla. I came into this looking at her as Jane Seymour. I thought that there would be certain dances that she would be a natural for, but she might be exposed by the faster numbers. We'll have to wait to find out as they drew the Viennese Waltz. It's really hard to argue with that performance. Priscilla carries herself very well and she hits all the right notes in the emotion of the piece. Louis has done a great job making sure that she finishes off her movements as well. And it doesn't hurt that I thought she looked perfect for the number with the flowing dress and gorgeous hair.
Bruno thought it was a great interpretation, but said she needs to watch her shoulder/neck line. Carrie Ann said that what she does that is so amazing is the drama with her facial expressions. However, she thought that Priscilla's balance was off. And, also recalling Jane Seymour, Carrie Ann thought she spied a lift. Len thought it was elegant with a lovely flow. He added that occasionally it looked a bit forced. He also jumped on the lift. I'm hoping that isn't a sign of things to come. Score 22: (7,7,8)
Adam Carolla and Julianne Hough (Paso Doble) - Adam joked that after Carrie Ann told him he was sexy he decided to quit his job and move to Europe to model. In training Julianne was upping the difficulty for Adam. Keeping in mind, that is upping from Adam's level, not Kristi's, but he is showing improvement. For the performance, Julianne got a much better wardrobe this week. Adam entered on a unicycle, which was interesting, but I worried right away that Len would hate it. Fortunately, the unicycle was dispatched quickly, and they got into the main dance. I thought Adam's performance was stiff and only really worked as a spoof. There is ground to be gained with comedy early on, but it might be getting a little too late in the competition for that. It was probably my least favorite of Adam's performances to date actually.
Carrie Ann thought it was smooth and dramatic... and then he got off the unicycle. She said, it gets an A for creativity. Len said that Adam is such a lovable character that they want him to do well. Unfortunately, he's not much of a dancer. Adam interrupted to thank the wardrobe department for dressing him like a silent porn star. Bruno said Adam was the classic example that genius and insanity go hand in hand. The problem being that when it comes to dance, the insanity takes over. Score: 19 (6,7,6)
Marlee Matlin and Fabian Sanchez (Viennese Waltz) - After a solid 21 last week, Marlee was determined to get out of the middle of the pack. Although, setting her sites on Kristi might have been aiming a little high. Her biggest challenge with the dance was getting dizzy. I actually thought going in that this one would be a big score for the two of them. The long hold would seem to give them an advantage over some of the other dances where they spend more time apart.They really sold the performance very well. It never hurts to have an Oscar winning partner when you are trying to tell a story with your dance. While it lacked any show-stopping stunts, it really was a well choreographed and beautiful performance.
Len thought it was very very good, calling it poignant and saying it had a romance about it. He did add that her posture is sometimes off in hold. Bruno liked that she is always immersed in the role. He agreed about her posture. Carrie Ann was a little choked up. Marlee made her cry. She said she was truly touched. Score: 24 (8,8,8) Asked what it is going to take to beat Kristi, Marlee replied, "An asteroid hit."
Mario and Karina Smirnoff (Paso Doble) - Mario took it on the chin last week as Len said he was bitterly disappointed, and rightly so I think. Karina worked with him on his intensity. It was a good dance to be doing on what they consider their comeback week. It was certainly an improvement over last week. Mario danced a powerful and intense paso. The thing with Mario, and it might not be completely fair, he doesn't seem to be improving the way everyone else is. This feels much like watching the same Mario that we saw in week one to me.
Bruno said it was Mario the conqueror, full guns blazing, adding that he liked it very much. Carrie Ann said it was much better than last week. She was worried that his movement is uneven. Len liked it also, but gave the same critique he gave Kristi, that Mario has one style of dance. Score: 24 (8,7,9)
Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska (Viennese Waltz) - Jason and Edyta headed off to learn the waltz, and he needed to learn some chivalry. Probably the weakest of the training videos this week as they headed off to study with a knight... Getting to their performance, I thought it was outstanding. Edyta gave some pretty big moments to Jason and as he glided across the stage all by himself it was very impressive. He continues to improve each week, and I'm constantly impressed by the fluid way that he moves. They did have some balance issues in the middle, but I thought they overcame it. He should also be praised for his performance. Those are some decent acting chops for a football player.
Carrie Ann thought it was beautiful, saying Jason has a grace that suits the dance. Len acknowledged that the waltz doesn't have the wow factor of paso, but that was a wow of a waltz. Bruno compared their dance to a majestic swan and a mating ritual... and that was a good thing. Score: 29 (10,9,10)
Cristián de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke (Paso Doble) - The two of them were butting heads a little bit in training. So, she took him to meet Drew at the opening of her new dance studio... Yeah, the connections aren't always there in the training videos. This shaped up as a great opportunity for the two of them. Two things occurred to me right as they started their performance. First, did Cheryl get Edyta's wardrobe by mistake? And second, I thought they also got the best draw for music this week. The more traditional paso music is its own little advantage. After moving past that, Cristián had a great performance, proving what Kristi had said earlier in the night. Sometimes the emotional part of the performance really is as important as the dance. He took control of the stage and really stepped into the limelight this week.
Len liked the passion and the drama, but he didn't think they really conquered the music. Bruno said Cristián had the pride and the power of the biggest bull in the arena. He really liked it. Carrie Ann disagreed with Len, saying that Cristián was right with the music. She did tell him to watch his eyes when he is out of the hold, which I guess would involve a mirror. Score: 28 (9,8,9) Cristián was thrilled with that.
Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough (Viennese Waltz) - Shannon and Derek had a setback last week as Derek injured his neck while practicing for the results show. While he was laid up, Jonathan came in to work with Shannon on her waltz. Shannon was concerned that he wasn't following doctor's orders and it was up in the air who she would be dancing with. it turns out Derek was able to perform. It was a very beautiful performance. I think Shannon is really improving a lot week to week. This week we saw a great example of the polish she has added since we first saw her dance in week one. A lot of the nerves from those first performances have disappeared and she is really embracing being on the dance floor. As we have come to expect, Derek once again did a great job choreographing just enough to show the best of Shannon, without overwhelming her.
Bruno said the hot babe has graduated to a class act. Beautiful movement and musicality, a spring awakening. He loved it. Carrie Ann said what was so beautiful was that Shannon is comfortable in her own body, making the dance very organic. Len said it was the best dance he'd seen tonight. I agreed with Len. Score: 28 (9,10,9)
Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony Dovolani (Paso Doble) - Marissa's jive didn't go over that well last week. She said that it was devastating to hear their performance called boring. Tony was determined to impress the judges, saying he was going to give Marissa steps that he would normally only give to pros. It certainly wasn't boring. It was a slightly different take on the paso doble, but one that I thought really worked. I still get a bit of a feeling from Marissa that even before the music starts she is worried about what the judges are going to say. Should she stick around, I hope she can overcome those nerves and really show us what she can do.
Carrie Ann thought it was fantastic, saying that this was the commitment she has been waiting for. Len said at last the true Marissa is coming out, well done. Bruno agreed saying that's the way to go. He liked that they saw a different aspect of her that they haven't seen before. Score: 24 (8,8,8)
And there we have it. The week four performances are in the books. I still think that Kristi & Mark are in the driver's seat, but Jason & Edyta, and Shannon & Derek are coming up fast. It really is shaping up to be a great season. Tomorrow night, Sheryl Crow will be the musical guest, and we have the return of the bottom two. It should be fun. Until then, check out AOL's extensive Dancing With The Stars coverage, which includes photo galleries, polls, and a live chat.
Line of the night: Tom refers to Adam as "The man who never met a Mormon he didn't slight."
Performance of the night: Shannon & Derek
Going home: Adam & Julianne
|Kristi & Mark||13 (1.7%)|
|Priscilla & Louis||56 (7.2%)|
|Adam & Julianne||477 (61.1%)|
|Marlee & Fabianne||14 (1.8%)|
|Mario & Karina||30 (3.8%)|
|Jason & Edyta||7 (0.9%)|
|Cristian & Cheryl||15 (1.9%)|
|Shannon & Derek||13 (1.7%)|
|Marissa & Tony||156 (20.0%)|