'Dancing With the Stars' Season 11, Episode 15 Recap
by Michael Pascua, posted Nov 9th 2010 2:00AM
['Dancing With the Stars' - 'Instant Dance Challenge']
This week on 'Dancing With the Stars' the couples had to pretend they were professionals and were given the music to their second dance 20 minutes before their routines. There could have been several techniques used in teaching the stars, but most of the celebrities just taught a routine by counts instead of music. The test worked out well and we'll probably see this theme return next season. The confidence that the celebrities exhibited was the biggest factor of success, but how I wished that there was a crash and burn on live television.
By this round of 'Dancing With the Stars,' the celebrities are basically filling up the empty gaps in their dances. Brandy will be going into Week 9 with the biggest advantage: She only has the Argentine Tango and Paso Doble left, two of the biggest crowd-pleasers and highest score-getters.
Kyle & Lacey - Viennese Waltz - Lacey was very hard with her teaching skills, but Kyle tried his best to learn even with his blurred Pooh shirt. While I hated Lacey's dress, it didn't distract from Kyle's improved frame from his waltz. There were times where he was leading with his chin, but he kept his frame. There was definably a visible charisma and the two interacted beautifully.
Len thought that he improved and bloomed. Bruno was charmed by the maturity. Carrie Ann thought he had a new elegance and was reminded of watching a fairy tale. Score: 27 (9,9,9). Song Pulled - "Good Golly Miss Molly"
Jennifer & Derek - Quickstep - Jennifer had knee issues this week and Derek had to stop. The doctor told her that she had tendinitis and she was at a crossroads. Her father arrived and boosted her confidence. The dance had a classic Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers style to it and the two fit the character well. I thought the dress was a very strategic way of covering up any big issues with her knee and flicks. The two covered the floor successfully and the end sequence was a really creative technique for letting Jennifer not exert too much energy.
Bruno thought it was a vintage classic quickstep. Carrie Ann thought she was beautiful, but there was a tiny misstep. Len saw that, like the song they received, she faced the music and danced. Score: 27 (9,9,9) Song Pulled - "Waiting for a Girl Like You"
Kurt & Anna - Waltz - Kurt compared the excitement to live football, like every football contestant seems to say. Anna was confident that Kurt would portray the waltz well, but Kurt worried about the technical nuances of smaller movements. I thought the opening was a sweet way of portraying an almost jewelry box doll. I thought Kurt had a confidence that was paired well with happiness when he smiled. I didn't find his arms or oven mitts to be distracting this week. Kurt was on point with Anna with his steps as well. I was surprised that in the package Anna practiced a spin, and in the end Kurt was the one being spun by Anna.
Carrie Ann compared Kurt to a Ken doll; she loved the determination. Len thought that the whole dance was beautiful, even with small technical issues. Bruno loved the smile and appreciated that he tried hard. Score: 24 (8,8,8) Song Pulled - "Hella Good"
Bristol & Mark - Argentine Tango - Mark tried to convince Bristol that she had to step up her game, so she went to visit her family and gained confidence. We got more scenes of Sarah Palin being a supportive mother; fortunately this time not in the audience. Bristol had some character this week, but that opening walk didn't ooze enough fire and it destroyed the rest of the routine for me. I was happy seeing Bristol have some legwork, but it wasn't as complicated as I hoped. Mark did most of the intricate flicks. I thought the end spin with Bristol on the chair was a really lazy way of getting Bristol in the air.
Len thought the lifts were good, but the routine lacked intensity. Bruno pointed out that she lost her emotion halfway through the routine. Carrie Ann thought that Bristol had the most intensity, but her legs needed more oomph. Score: 24 (8,8,8) Song Pulled - "Mas Que Nada"
Brandy & Maks - Waltz - Brandy was worried that no one was safe, but Maks thought that their improved connection would be their winning factor. I liked the really dramatic opening to the routine. The couple had the same passion to match the music and they glided across the floor with such ease. I loved the spin sequence at the end and Maks choreographed the routine perfectly.
Bruno saw that Brandy was immersed in the whole song. Carrie Ann loved the emotional quality; she criticized her neck to expend from the spine. Len was overwhelmed by the whole performance. Score: 29 (9,10,10) Song Pulled - "Teenage Dream"
Round 2 - Instant Dances
Kyle & Lacey - Jive - Steve-O showed up to teach Kyle about how to not be distracting. It was like a G-rated 'Jackass.' Lacey decided to teach the whole routine, music or not. The issue was that it lacked all the musical nuances that the song would have had. I'm sure that with the backstage practice Lacey could have made some of the emphasis points a bit better. It seemed a bit suspicious that Kyle was given an outfit that resembled a reverse piano. The dancing overall had the energy one would expect for a jive. Not only was his technique not that bad, he didn't keel over.
Len thought he was a rocket, but wanted more finesse. Bruno thought it was top of the league for creativity and the timing was great. Carrie Ann thought the dance was the most fun performance to watch. Score: 29 (10,9,10).
Jennifer & Derek - Rumba - Derek was happy that the Rumba wouldn't put too much pressure on her knee. Derek had a smart technique where he played several tempos of music to get Jennifer to adjust on the fly. As the couple danced, Jennifer had sizzle but the best outcome of the routine was that Jennifer looked like she had real eye contact with Derek. She really had the character and sex appeal of a rumba. Jennifer's legwork was beautiful and she showed no pain whatsoever as she balanced on Derek. The two did a marvelous job with slow movements contrasted with fast ones.
Bruno thought the challenge brought the best out of her and she was flawless. Carrie Ann thought Jennifer captured the moment in the dance. Len loved the variation of speed and power in the dance. Score: 30 (10,10,10).
Kurt & Anna - Cha-Cha - Anna decided to choreograph to counts instead of music, which Kurt had trouble picking up. Kurt had his kids come in and they used the same technique as Derek. Sadly, Kurt was thrown off a lot. Kurt should have had the biggest advantage having the Cha-Cha last week, but he still had moments where he oafed around. In other moments, Kurt moved across the stage a lot lighter than I expected, but whoever decided to give him fringe on his pants needs to be fired. Anna looked amazing as she spun around, and like a good partner Kurt was right there with her.
Carrie Ann thought that he finally hit his musicality. Len thought he had focus and performed well. Bruno saw the fun and daringness; the performance outweighed the minor leg issues. Score: 24 (8,8,8).
Bristol & Mark - Samba - Mark explained to Bristol that in professional competitions, no one knows the music until right before the routine, just like the challenge this week. Bristol normally used the words as her counts, but had to switch to numbers. The dance opened with Bristol standing in fear as Mark tried to get the crowd moving. Mark over compensated with his section dancing. The samba had a bit too much walking. Bristol looked confused and really depended on Mark to tell her where to go. It seemed like they didn't choreograph an ending and kind of just ended.
Len thought the samba was the most difficult Latin dance to have, but Bristol coped with the challenge. Bruno thought she shook well, but there were points where Mark was lost. Carrie Ann thought she didn't have musicality, but her personality shone. Score: 23 (7,8,8).
Brandy & Maks - Cha-Cha - Maks decided to use a similar technique to the Dance Marathon. Brandy felt that she had more musicality than her competition, but the couple spent more time shaking their bums. Interestingly, Maks created a bit of a story in the beginning, but wasted a lot of time getting to the dancing. They even spent a few bars standing until they started. As the rest of the dance continued the couple had a lot of fun and Brandy had a natural smile when she was performing, something we rarely saw before. The couple had a good booty shake, but I hated that they wasted the last few bars clapping in a circle.
Bruno thought it was a fabulous performance. Carrie Ann was shocked that the couple wasted time and was upset with Maks. Len thought the Cha-Cha was full of flavor and performance. Score: 28 (9,9,10).
Jennifer & Derek - 57 (27 + 30)
Brandy & Maks - 57 (29 + 28)
Kyle & Lacey - 56 (27 + 29)
Kurt & Anna - 48 (24 + 24)
Bristol & Mark - 47 (24 + 23)
The percentages of the couples are: Brandy/Jennifer 21.5, Kyle 21.1, Kurt 18.1, Bristol 17.7. It seems as though the elimination will be between Bristol and Kurt, but I wouldn't be shocked if Kyle's fans thought he would be safe and he'd get eliminated. I'm happy that Maks got upset about the instant dance and the definition of "instant." I thought that Maks made a point that the routine should fit, but I wished that he thought of something instead of "stand there" as a step. Finally, if anyone was as captured by Brandy's waltz music as I was, the song was "Dark Waltz" by Hayley Westenra.
Who do you think will be eliminated? Leave your comments below.
'Dancing With the Stars' airs Mondays at 8PM ET and Tuesdays at 9PM ET on ABC.