Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars Results: Week 7 (April 30)

Hey, it feels like two weeks since I’ve recapped one of these. Wait a minute… Marlee was eliminated? What the hell, America?

Last night, things went all crazy. Cristian de la Fuente pulled a muscle and went down hard. Shannon Elizabeth and Derek went from denying their relationship to being coy to being that couple who holds up the line at the movies because they’re making out. A Leonard Cohen song ended up as a foxtrot. Samantha referred to “teammates” as “co-players”. Kristi Yamaguchi got outscored. It’s like the Apocalypse, people! It’s raining fire and cats and dogs are living in sin. Come on, Tom Bergeron, restore some sanity to these times in which we live!

You know, the grainy footage of Cristian falling, the close-up of his grimace, and the shots of him being rushed to the hospital – that may not be in great taste. And then they’re superimposing all the couples on a heartbeat monitor (which probably has a technical name). It does sort of make it seem like somebody on the show doesn’t have long to live. I should not be this stressed out watching televised ballroom dancing.

Samantha Harris is looking especially orange this evening. Sometimes the Mystic Tan works, sometimes….

Tom tosses us into a recap. You know, there were a lot of really cool dances last night. Tony and Marissa Jaret Winokur are giddy over their first dance. If Tony were giddy more often, I’d like him a lot better. Cristian disagrees with Carrie Ann’s belief that he was lacking in energy, citing his flop sweat. Eww. The judges turned on Kristi, and my friend and I had a furious argument over whether that Avril Lavigne song is about a prostitute. Tom does not mention that last part. Mario is still complaining about having to learn a fox trot. Dude, that’s what they do on this show. Shannon is contrite about how she and Derek trash-talked the judges last week. That was a weird display of temper from him, but after the neck injury and the food poisoning, Derek doesn’t know which way is up anymore. The judges loved Jason Taylor’s quick step, which was really cool, but Jason looks like a maniac when he does jazz hands.

Crap, two dances means twice as much recapping of last night. I’m thinking of just cutting and pasting Myndi’s recap. That would save time. Anyway, in the Latin round, Marissa talks about her sexuality. I imagine her husband is horrified, because I now assume that her husband actually is Hank Hill, and he doesn’t want her talking about her what-nots on TV. Man, take a look at Cristian. That guy’s really in pain. It was weird at the time, because it didn’t look like anything happened – he was just suddenly clutching his arm. He really looks sick, though. Poor guy. Weirdly, we get a shot of Tony saying he hopes it’s a cramp, and Marissa shaking her head. She’s convinced that it isn’t. Because, you know, she is a doctor and all. Len suddenly aged a thousand years and got all cranky about Kristi’s cha cha, though the other judges loved it. Mario’s mambo was universally loved, but white pants were involved. Shannon talks about her fake butt, and also says that she has “fake boobie pads”. Or possibly “pods”. Regardless, way to class up the joint. Jason did an awesome paso doble, and I just now realized that Edyta’s outfit matches the Dolphins’ uniforms. Jason seems sincerely upset about Cristian’s injury, by the way.

Back to Tom and Samantha, Samantha brags that “one of the premiere arena rock bands in the world” is performing tonight, and we get a shot of five middle-aged men. You know, I’m pretty familiar with Def Leppard, but I don’t think I could actually identify them by sight. It’s actually kind of tough to come up with their names.

Rather than catch us up on Cristian’s condition, it’s straight to the encore performance. It’s Jason and Edyta’s quick step. Wait, is there really a song called “The Dirty Boogie”? They really took the recent criticisms to heart, because Jason is really active in this song. No more of Edyta using him as a podium. It’s a fun dance. I like them, and you just know Edyta is thrilled to have a shot at the trophy after some of the stumps she’s been partnered with in the past.

Next, Len explains that, since they’re pushing the definition of a lift, and nobody wants to see Tony freak out again, next week they’ll allow the couples to do a lift once in each dance, provided it’s appropriate. Jason is especially thrilled, because he’s a giant. He actually lifts up Edyta right at that moment. Hee.

And now it’s time to reveal the first safe couple. To the surprise of nobody in the world, it’s Kristi and Mark. Yay! I like Kristi, and I was kind of afraid that she wasn’t pulling votes just because her scores are always at the top. I feared a repeat of the Sabrina Bryan ouster where the one week her scores dipped, she was out the door. Before the commercial, there’s another shot of Def Leppard. It kind of makes me happy to think about younger people watching this episode and seeing a guy with one arm and asking their parents “Who’s that guy?” And then Dad explains that he’s the drummer, which blows their minds. Also, there’s a line-up of dancers who’ll be performing, and four of them were standing on stage and wearing different outfits ten seconds ago. Also, Anna is there, wearing largely non-existent leather clothing. I can truthfully say this is the happiest I’ve been in about five days.

Back from the commercial, my happiness is unabated, as Tom and Samantha introduce Kenny Mayne’s new edition of DanceCenter. Yay! I love Kenny Mayne! Let’s watch, shall we?

We’ve got Len, Jerry Rice, and Kenny Mayne, who has a crazy stripe of sequins and makeup from his temple to his right eye. Right off, he introduces Len as “The old judge” and Jerry as a “tackle football player”. (Dear TV God, please put Kenny on Celebrity Apprentice next season.)

Of Mario, Kenny points out that he is “younger than Len’s underpants” and has a brother named Luigi. His nickname, “Poopy” comes up. Kenny thinks Karina meant to say “Popeye” and “it was a typo”. Jerry talks about how good-looking he is. Len says he needs to work on his finesse, and there’s a hilarious shot of Mario dancing Karina to the end of the stage. She almost fell there. Kenny says Mario’s last name is “McCheese”, which is awesome.

Shannon’s stats note that she “needs a hip replacement” and call her and Derek the “show-mance of the season”. Kenny says she’ll cry at the drop of the hat and then makes fun of her relationship. There’s a funny scene from rehearsal of Shannon punching Derek in the groin. Over footage of Shannon sitting down to receive her scores, Kenny writes “Lazy!” and he and Len agree that she should be hugging a judge instead of Tom. But not Bruno. (Sad fact about me: I have burned every installment of DanceCenter to DVD.)

Cristian is next, and his stats show that he’s a “Chilean Air Force pilot”, which isn’t funny so much as true, although Kenny’s claim that he flies the only plane in the Chilean Air Force makes me giggle. It’s also stated that he “Learned English from B-Movies”. Even if that’s true, it’s still funny. Also, Kenny claims he holds the record for “the largest sea bass ever caught”. Len likes his versatility and Kenny cuts him off. They make fun of his facial expressions, drawing horns and a beard on him, and writing the word “Beast” across his chest. They mention his injury, and Kenny does not make a joke. Len says he’d hate to see Cristian walk down the “boulevard of broken dreams”. Len is apparently either a fan of Green Day or Kim Deitch, and I’m not sure which would be more surprising.

Back to Tom and Sam! Kenny will be back later in the show, and then Tom plugs Kenny’s book, which I am totally going to buy. But not now, because it’s time for Def Leppard! And they’re performing “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, and not some crappy new song! If this song isn’t on Guitar Hero III, it should be.

Holy crap! They have smoke machines! And the lead guitarist is trying really hard to look like Sting, but not pulling it off. Louis, Tony, Mark, Cheryl, Karina, and Anna come out in their leather outfits for an exhibition dance. As usual, too many shots of the band mean we miss a lot of the dancing. However, there’s a shot of the drummer from a camera that seems to be mounted on the drums, and it looks like we’re seeing him in one of those security mirrors. It’s a really good routine, when we see it, and it’s especially impressive that, as we learned, they only have an afternoon to put it together. Def Leppard is completely obscured by smoke by they end.

You know what’s weird? Their performance has not really changed in the last 20 years. That’s sort of amazing. I can’t really say how Father Time has treated them, since as I mentioned before, Def Leppard really didn’t put a lot of effort into putting their images out there. Still, you hear that song and suddenly it’s high school all over again. Which, the more I dwell on it, is kind of horrifying. Let’s move on.

Tom tells us that next week’s results show is the 100th episode, and the judges will be counting down the 10 greatest dances from the series. 100 episodes already? Where has the time gone? When this show started, I was a young man. And now, just look at what’s become of me.

Samantha’s backstage with Jason, Edyta, Kristi, and Mark. Samantha claims that Kristi’s second-place finish made headlines. You know, I think about this show way more than I should, and I’m not sure that I agree with that. Anyway, Kenny’s back for more, and all is right with the world.

Kristi’s stats show that she’s 5’1”. I didn’t realize that she was so small. Also, she’s “Known as ‘The Yam’” and “Perfect in every way”. Len says that she’s compact and neat. So, like a Prius then? Kenny acknowledges she may have an unfair advantage, given her experience with performing choreographed routines to music, Len gets kind of mad and Kenny just doesn’t let him talk. Kenny talks about how she had to loosen up, and draws little hearts onscreen over a clip of Mark undressing her onstage. Jerry looks straight into the camera and calls her “Kristi Yama-Hoochie”. You know what? That’s funny. Len shoots him a death glare, which Jerry returns. Len says she’s a little one-dimensional, and Jerry calls her a robot. Then there are some shots of Mark making crazy faces to overemote, which Len agrees could frighten children.

For Marissa, Kenny only notes that she’s the “Loudest competitor” and has “Big hair”. Well, they can’t all be winners. Although he then expands on it to call her the loudest competitor in the history of television. Len likes her bubbly personality and she slightly improves every week. Kenny makes fun of Tony’s shirtlessness, and Jerry mentions his blinding teeth. They show an interview where her voice is sped up. It’s a cheap laugh, but still a laugh.

Finally, it’s Jason who is the “World’s tallest man” and “NFL ‘baldy’”. Holy crap, Jason is four inches taller than me, but we have the same shoe size. One of us is a freak, that’s for sure. Len admires his elegance and charm. Jerry thinks he could win it. Len points out that Jason repeats the same move, and there’s a brief montage of Jason’s signature pose. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll know it when you see it. The camera comes back to show all three men doing Jason’s pose. Kenny talks about Jason’s flatulence problem, showing a clip of him farting in rehearsal. Then there’s dance footage, with superimposed farting sounds. We’re all eight years old. Len gets a pretty good line with “I thought that was Carrie Ann.”

Tom’s cracking up and asks “Why is that always funny?” There’s no good answer to that, Tom. It just is. I just knew Tom would appreciate a good fart joke. He and I should totally hang out. He talks about getting back to the elimination, which he points out, “has a double meaning now”. Bathroom humor, how I love you.

Our next safe couple is Mario and Karina, which actually did surprise me.

Back from the break, Def Leppard is back with a song from their new album! My excitement is less palpable this time. That exclamation point was insincere. By the way, that album came out today and is called Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. That is not a good title, people. Tom calls their new song “a monster hit”.

More security footage of the drummer. This new song starts out kind of rough. It seems to rhyme “start it up” with “sharp enough”, and makes use of the phrase “in it to win it”. A couple of outsider dancers are performing. (I’m very xenophobic tonight.) There’s no smoke for this song, which probably means it’s supposed to be really meaningful, but it totally sounds like it should be played over the end credits of a Bruce Willis action movie. But not Die Hard. One of the crummy ones.

Forty-seven minutes in, only two couples safe, we haven’t dealt with Cristian’s injury and there’s still time for filler. It’s a video segment about how the stars dealt with having to learn two dances. They do show an onscreen clock displaying the time left until the show, and they use the 24 font. We do learn that Cheryl freaks out if Cristian doesn’t have the choreography down by Day Three. This will surprise nobody who pays attention to Cheryl.

Tom makes a cryptic remark that “in the last eight or nine hours, the trajectory of this show has changed three or four times”, the last change coming minutes before air time. What does that mean? This is not going to be a normal elimination. I can feel it.

They run through the couples, and Edyta looks like she’s going to have a panic attack. It’s really weird. Suddenly I’m very worried. Everybody’s acting kind of strange. And no, I will not edit this out if it turns out that nothing weird happens. I will proudly post my suspicions for all to see.

Back from break, Tom asks Cristian about his injury. He’s wearing an arm brace now. It turns out he ruptured a tendon early in the dance. Wow, he toughed it out for a while if that happened right away. Before the show, Cristian found out that he needs surgery to repair it. Damn, that really was bad, wasn’t it? But get this, Cristian’s doctor agreed to delay the surgery so he can continue competing. I’m not sure that’s responsible, but man, that Cristian is tough. He assures us he’s OK with the risks, citing a certain deaf woman who danced on live television as an inspiration.

All right, it’s business time. At this point, it’s the 59 minute mark, so there’s no messing around. Cristian and Cheryl are safe! As much as I like them, I sort of wanted them to be eliminated so the dude could have his arm fixed. Marissa and Tony are in the bottom two. We’re hauling now! Jason and Edyta are safe, which should be a foregone conclusion, but Edyta’s been acting like she’s going to be executed at the end of the show. That means Shannon and Derek are in the bottom two.

There’s not even time to ask the judges to mumble pleasantries about the potential evictees. Shannon and Derek are eliminated, which actually surprises me. Shannon is smiling, but you can tell she’s this close to losing it. Like she always is, really. They actually get to dance for their final dance, with everybody waiting to come down for hugs. Shannon is kind of breaking up as we fade out, so it’s a good thing we had so much filler.

Hey, there were no dancing kids this week! It’s probably in Def Leppard’s contract, “No precocious waltzing children.”

Good-bye, Shannon! At least dance practice will no longer interrupt your humping.

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