'Dancing With the Stars' Season 11, Episode 11 Recap
by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 26th 2010 9:00AM
['Dancing with the Stars' - 'Rock n' Roll Week']
You knew this episode of 'Dancing with the Stars' was going to be really cheesy when Brooke used the phrase "Solid Steel Concert Style Set." After seeing Nicole & Derek's successful paso -- which we got to see again tonight -- I was really hoping that the term "Rock n' Roll" would refer to '50s-related dances, but no luck there.
It's interesting to note that no contestant this season has gotten a perfect 30. Although Brandy is inching closer, there still hasn't been a performance that even comes close to America's top ten favorite dances, which were revealed last night.
The full list:
10) Shawn & Mark's Freestyle
9) Donny & Kym's Argentine Tango
8) Helio & Julianne's Quickstep
7) Apollo & Julianne's Freestyle
6) Joanna & Derek's Futuristic Paso Doble
5) Mel B. & Maks' Paso Doble
4) Nicole & Derek's Paso Doble
3) Apollo & Julianne's Samba
2) Gilles & Cheryl's Argentine Tango
1) Drew & Cheryl's Freestyle
If any pattern has emerged from the results, it's that the Paso Doble and the Argentine Tango aren't going anywhere. It's also interesting to see Julianne Hough's continuing relevance even though she hasn't been around for several seasons. Personally, though, Drew & Cheryl's Freestyle was the right combination of freestyle lifts with actual ballroom-related choreography.
Audrina & Tony - Paso Doble - Tony wanted to make sure Audrina had intensity, so he brought her to MMA master Jeremy Pollack. As they danced, though, something about Audrina still read as vacant. She's looking correctly at Tony and the choreography appeared to be clean, but the stoic face didn't read anger or passion to me. If you watch Tony's face throughout the routine, he had passion; Audrina had none.
Len knew she had potential, but she lacked character. Bruno agreed, she had the wrong face for the routine. Carrie Ann saw improvement, but thought it lacked intention. Score: 24 (8,8,8).
Kyle & Lacey - Tango - Kyle was starting to panic because he was so close to the bottom. He wanted to practice at home, so Chris, his brother, put on a woman's top for practice. Kyle had the right passion for the routine, and he surprised me by how well he kept his posture. Lacey did look like she was struggling trying to get around Kyle's wide frame. I was happy that Kyle aced the splits and the crouching steps of the dance.
Bruno thought he grew up; he's improved. Carrie Ann loved the Kyle style and the carriage. Len thought the dance was better. Score: 23 (8,7,8)
Jennifer & Derek - Paso Doble - There was still residual emotion from last week's drama, but Jennifer wanted to use that in her paso. She had a good connection with the passion of the dance, but worried about neck injuries. I thought it started off a bit too frantic for what I would like in a Paso Doble, but found its groove during the chorus. The section with Jennifer and Derek faltered -- Jennifer looked crazy and the explosions behind her were distracting. Jennifer over-spun and lost it near the end, finishing well after the music stopped playing.
Carrie Ann thought she was out of control and was going downhill. Len loved the aggression and attitude, but she lost the control of the dance. Bruno thought she was having a nervous breakdown when she was dancing. Score: 20 (6,7,7).
Rick & Cheryl - Tango - Rick hasn't had a ballroom dance since week one, and he struggled with posture. He admitted to being a control freak, but Cheryl wanted to focus on emotion. I was lost on Rick's stoic face during the routine. I appreciated that Cheryl kept the speed of the tango under control, though it felt like watching a robot, probably Megatron, dance with Cheryl.
Len appreciated the hold and thought he did well. Bruno thought there was a lot of attack, but wished for more romance. Carrie Ann thought he did a great job keeping his emotions well balanced; she suggested that he got too stern at points. Score: 24 (8,8,8).
Bristol & Mark - Tango - Bristol forgot all her steps when she was in the monkey outfit, but this week she managed to perform with decent hold and technique. I couldn't keep a serious face while watching Mark gritting his, but I appreciated that Mark kept the tempo under control and the steps somewhat simplistic for Bristol.
Bruno thought that she was all woman and it was her best technique. Carrie Ann thought it was amazing. Len thought she went from chimp to champ, but he criticized them for breaking hold. Score: 23 (8,7,8).
Kurt & Anna - Paso Doble - Anna wanted to get a true performance out of Kurt, so she invited Bret Michaels to help him out. (Sadly there were no random skanks on a bus vying for his love.) The couple got probably the easiest song to do the Paso, but they were never sharp. Kurt's hands weren't as bad as usual because of how emotional he had to be, though he did slouch for a few steps.
Carrie Ann thought the dance was scruffy and needed polish. Len thought he looked awkward. Bruno saw the intensity, but also saw karate movements. Score: 18 (6,6,6).
Brandy & Maks - Tango - Brandy was beginning to feel the pressure of the competition and had to cry it out. Luckily she used her emotions from practice to capture a character; her technique didn't suffer from it. She whipped her hair at the right time with Maks. Maks lost his balance for a short period of time, but he recovered; Brandy didn't look fazed at all. I didn't really like the ending to the routine, but the dance was strong overall.
Len thought Maks was his hero. Bruno thought the tango rocked. Carrie Ann had goose bumps watching Brandy dance. Score: 26 (8,9,9).
Rock & Roll Marathon - (Jive/Swing/Lindy Hop)
Just as in seasons past, the dancers had to perform in circles of light until there were four people left, when the groups could move wherever they wanted on the dance floor. The couples practiced last week right after elimination. In practice, both Jennifer and Kyle struggled with the endurance factor of a four minute dance. All the couples worked on doing some tricks, but most dropped their partner during practice.
I appreciated that the judges had a second-floor view this season; their vantage point allowed them to see couples that would have traditionally been farthest away from the judges' table. Kyle went for the crazy lifts early on, as did Audrina. I'm surprised how well each group created a routine for the four minute dance. Kurt & Anna were eliminated first, and Lacey & Kyle should have been disqualified next for leaving their circle early. Mark attempted a worm, but got eliminated almost immediately after. Maks, for most of the dance, just grabbed Brandy and threw her back down -- I thought it was both lazy and an ingenious way of letting Brandy learn a minimal amount of choreography. I loved watching Rick play with Cheryl like a doll and throw her around, but it didn't last too long as they were eliminated. Lacey & Kyle attempted a few tricks when the floor opened up, but because of the bad camera, we didn't see much. They got eliminated next. It is generally awkward watching people stop between tricks and recover -- Audrina & Tony were probably the biggest offenders, and they finished in third place. Maks & Brandy concentrated on side-by-side work and wasted time with Maks carrying Brandy around, while Jennifer & Derek looked like they had a real routine. Still, Jennifer & Derek were eliminated and Brandy & Maks took first place.
1) Brandy & Maks - 10
2) Jennifer & Derek - 9
3) Audrina & Tony - 8
4) Kyle & Lacey - 7
5) Rick & Cheryl - 6
6) Mark & Bristol - 5
7) Kurt & Anna - 4
Brandy & Maks - 36 (26 + 10)
Audrina & Tony – 32 (24 + 8)
Rick & Cheryl – 30 (24 + 6)
Kyle & Lacey – 30 (23 + 7)
Jennifer & Derek – 29 (20 + 9)
Bristol & Mark – 28 (23 + 5)
Kurt & Anna – 22 (18 + 4)
With Kurt at 10.6% of the judges' scores and Bristol at 13.5%, it seems like Kurt will be the one going -- especially factoring in that Bristol was saved last week with a very low score. It would be a real shocker if the third-lowest team (Jennifer & Derek) was eliminated again, just like when Florence left. I'm still convinced that Audrina doesn't have the biggest fan base, so I wonder how long she can hang around with just strong judges' scores.
Next week looks to be very interesting, with team dances led by Apollo and Kristi. I'm not sure how that will work if Bristol is still around and Julianne Hough hasn't been on the program. It would be odd seeing Apollo with Chelsie and Kristi with someone like Louis or Dmitri.
Who do you think will be eliminated? Leave comments below.