Dancing With The Stars

Dancing with the Stars: Week 7 (Nov 4)

Previously on Dancing with the Stars, Cloris Leachman was voted off, thus ensuring that America didn’t have to worry about an 82-year-old woman gratuitously using the phrase “skanky hoe” repeatedly in prime time. There’s a pretty funny Photoshopped animation of Corky airplaning her right off the set, and I turned two nouns into verbs in that sentence. Verb! That’s what’s happening!

Hey, Tom Bergeron! What do you call that when you play your Xbox 360 online? Xbox…. LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVVVVE!

Tom and Samantha Harris mention that tonight is the first ever Team Dance, a concept which baffles me. Is this still about Bruno and Carrie Ann trying to sell another season of Dance War? This week, Cody is dancing with Edyta since Julianne’s still recovering. You don’t realize how much Edyta adds to the season until she’s eliminated in the first week, you know?

We’re getting right to it with Warren Sapp and Kym. They remind us of that part where he missed a step and swore. I bet if you don’t yell “Damn!”, it’s harder for regular people to tell that you forgot something. Kym brings Warren to a ballroom class so he can see a man do the Fox Trot. There’s a man named Nick who’s a world champion, and they keep talking about him as if we should recognize him. (He danced with Tatum O’Neill in Season 2, I think it was.  I don’t know if he was on any other season.  Tatum probably broke him.–Myndi)  Weirdly, Warren is in awe of him. Is this guy ridiculously famous and I just missed it?

They’re off to a good start, striding right up the steps to the judge’s table. When Warren Sapp looks you in the eye, you give the dude a 10. It’s nice and fairly elegant, but this is one time when Warren’s size works against him. Since the Fox Trot is slower and more measured, it’s less impressive to see him bust out the footwork. He just looks like a big guy dancing. It’s still good, with a nice energy level, but it lacks the “Holy Crap!” factor I’ve come to expect from the big man.

Len is back in the ballroom this week, which makes me happy. Better the devil you know… Anyway, Len says it wasn’t “classic” and lacked Warren’s usual personality. That’s sort of like what I said! Len gets booed from somebody who might actually be a zombie, based on the sound. It actually freaked out Bruno, so you know something weird is going on. Bruno, wearing Kim’s boa and still seeming less creepy than Mystery from The Pick Up Artist, thinks he missed a lot of steps and lost his ease of movement. Carrie Ann says it wasn’t his regular performance and demands to know why. He sheepishly says he had the wrong shoes. Poor Warren!

Backstage, Warren tells Samantha he wears 15EEE. Damn. I thought I had big feet… The judges score 7’s across the board, for a 21 and a half-hearted “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.” Warren seems sad. I’m going to go vote for him now.

Going into the commercial, Tom promises drama, and we see clips of some serious tension between the couples. This season is turning into the final season of Oz. Nobody’s making it out in one piece.

Up next is Susan Lucci and Tony, and Tom says Susan had a “very difficult week”. In rehearsal, Tony is losing patience with her. He is getting pretty snippy, actually. Of course, Susan goes all Drama Queen about it. I get the feeling neither of these two speaks to a normal person more than once or twice a week. Still can’t get over how tiny she is, by the way. It keeps getting weirder.

It’s paso doble time, but the cape is nowhere to be seen. Tony is dressed like a shirtless bullfighter, which is to be expected. He also has the saddest little mustache ever, and I am fighting the urge for a Dirty Sanchez reference. But no. We run a classy operation here. I’m disappointed, because the paso is my favorite dance, and this is kind of flat. Susan’s movements are too small, and there are a couple of kicks that she seems to just miss. At one point, she gets ahead of Tony in a hold, and you can really see that it’s just memorized movements and that she’s not reacting to what he’s doing. He spins her through his legs, which should have been cooler than it was. It’s definitely better by the end, but it’s a disappointing paso.

Bruno, however, is really impressed by her “pride and dignity”. Carrie Ann wants her to announce to the audience that she’s doing good, because she’s crazy. Len thinks it was up there with her best dances. What the hell, judges? Trying to make me look like a dope? Tom plugs the Wednesday results show, and lets us know that Kenny Mayne is back with DanceCenter. Yay!

Samantha asks Susan about her tough week, but then the question turns into “how does it feel to be awesome?”  Her questions rarely end where you think they’re going to. Three 8’s make a 24, and I’m astonished that Warren got chastised by the judges and ended up with 7’s, while Susan got to declare herself Queen for a Day and pulled 8’s.

Maurice Greene and Cheryl are next, and I probably shouldn’t care, but I miss Maurice’s mustache. It’s like when Turk shaved on Scrubs. It just looks weird. Last week, the judges didn’t like him, but he’s coming back with a Cha Cha. In rehearsal, he’s having a tough time. Cheryl wants him to make mistakes so she can correct what he’s doing wrong, but Maurice doesn’t like mistakes. Also, Cheryl hits him with a wire hanger every time he has a misstep. During Team Dance rehearsal, Maurice hyperextended his leg. OK, this isn’t a joke anymore – this season is dangerous! Maurice really looks upset by this turn of events.

He starts out on one of the risers, and struts down to meet Cheryl. It’s really good, actually, and the Cha Cha is one of those dances I’ve never figured out. It’s got nice energy, and a lot of interaction between the two. Maurice does a lot of posing, and his footwork is surprisingly fluid. I can see where he’s in a little bit of pain, and he does have at least a slight limp. At the end, you can see he’s having a hard time getting up off the floor. Yeah, that may not be a Misty May-level injury, but he’s not walking it off anytime soon.

Carrie Ann loved his mix of form and freedom. Len thought it was like “cheap jewelry”, but then said it was Maurice’s best dance so far. Bruno also loved it, and wants him to trust his instincts. Hey, the judges and I agree on one!

Bruno and Carrie Ann give him 8’s and Len shows them what’s what with a 9. That’s a 25 and the current lead spot. Hey, guess what? Samantha gets Maurice to admit that this show is challenging. Who knew?

It’s Cody Linley and new partner Edyta. In their introductory shot, he pulls down one of her straps. Classy. Not saying I wouldn’t have done the same thing, mind you. In rehearsal, Edyta says they’re doing the Viennese Waltz, and they have to connect instantly. Hee. They go to visit Julianne, who’s on bed rest. Man, Julianne is even adorable when recovering from surgery. Their rehearsals don’t go so smoothly, probably because Edyta is less willing to put up with his antics.

You can tell Edyta’s been itching to get back on the show, because she is busting it out tonight. She starts off with some great extensions and intricate footwork. Cody’s just keeping up with her basically. Because this is a waltz, it’s not as obvious as in some of the Latin dances, but this is basically Edyta distracting people from the fact that Cody didn’t learn any really complicated choreography.

Hey, Jeffrey Ross is in the audience! There’s a good sport right there. Len thinks they were comfortable as a couple, but Cody wasn’t comfortable doing the Waltz. Bruno compares him to a “fledgling bird” and calls him “clumsy”. Carrie Ann thought it was great, and somehow uses the phrase “chinny-chin-chin”.

Samantha asks if it was tough changing partners. I bet we can all answer this question for him if we spend about five seconds. Cody also says “awesome” so many times in this segment that I briefly get him confused with me. It’s 8 from Carrie Ann and 7’s from the boys. 22 right there!

Time for last week’s leaders, Lance Bass and Lacey. They’re doing a Rumba, which Lacey describes as “earthy”, thus, they’re not going to wear shoes. Ewww. You know what people should do barefoot? Shower. That’s it. Anyway, Lance has a broken toe, which should really work well. Lance pisses and moans about being barefoot, and Lacey’s not having any of it. She finally gives up and tells him to do whatever he wants, and walks out. Lacey tells us that they’re still friends, but she’s actually crying as she does so.

Their dance starts on a park bench. Props and barefoot? Yeah, Len’s going to hate this. To me, it doesn’t particularly stand out. There’s not really anything to pick on, as it’s well executed. It’s just kind of boring. Maybe Lacey’s dress and the barefoot thing just makes me think of hippie girls at outdoor concerts who try so desperately to be perceived as carefree, only it’s vitally important to them that people be looking at them at all times. Oh, man. If Lacey is that girl… They’re also dancing to “Your Body is a Wonderland”, which just should not happen.

Kathy Griffin is in the audience. I have no idea what to do with that. Even Tom wants to know what Len’s going to say about barefoot dancing. Bruno thinks it was seductive and romantic. Carrie Ann sort of calls out Lacey for being a rebel without a clue, but says it paid off. I don’t know. I don’t see what was gained by going barefoot. Len, like me, didn’t get it. He says it was distracting and didn’t enhance the performance. Yay Len! He also hated the bench. The crazy guy in the audience yells again, but Len tells him to cut out the nonsense. You know, Lacey’s kind of a brat. I gave her the benefit of doubt early on, but we’re done here.

They talk about Lance’s “foot undies” backstage, and the less said about that, the better. Carrie Ann and Bruno give him 9’s, but Len sticks to his guns with a 7. Tied for first with a 25.

Finally, it’s Brooke Burke and Derek. Last week, they lost the top spot for the first time ever. Brooke wants to kick it up a notch for their Fox Trot. Bam! Her foot’s still all messed up, but she’s got the eye of the tiger. Derek is very complimentary of her technique, and they lead me to believe that Brooke is going to rock it tonight.

Oh! What did they do to her hair? Not good. It’s all sculpted and… theatrical. I don’t like that look one little bit. It looks like the way Kurt Schaffenberger used to draw Lois Lane, back when she was really unlikable. (And yes, this is the first Dancing with the Stars recap ever to reference Kurt Schaffenberger. We’re breaking barriers here.) They start out on the risers and move into a very nice dance. Fox Trots are rarely mindblowing, but this is really elegant and polished. It’s very classical and fun to watch. There’s a nice spin at the end that never turns into a lift, and I like it quite a bit.

Carrie Ann is agape at how good she is. Len said it was fantastic and “more than the sum of its parts”. Bruno can’t believe how awesome it was, and all three judges are happy. Could this be a perfect 30? It is! Three 10’s for the first 30 of the season! As Samantha’s talking to them, they’re actually pulling off jewelry and pieces of clothing to get ready for the Team Dance.

OK, here’s how it works. There are two teams of three couples, dancing together. Warren and Susan were picked as Team Captains, and I wonder which poor bastard got picked last. Susan, Cody, and Lance, along with their partners, are Team Cha Cha. Warren, Maurice, Brooke, and their partners, make up Team Paso Doble. So, my three favorites are on the same team and are doing my favorite dance? I feel so loved. Anyway, the judges will score each team.

Cody explains that as entertainers, they have the edge over the team of athletes. Remember how Brooke Burke led the Miami Heat to the playoffs that year? They all work on their solo parts and communicate via product-placed cell phones. You know, Edyta’s the only person in this team who doesn’t irritate me in any way. They are all nervous because they don’t have much time. Bum ba BUM!

This is going to be hard to describe with all those bodies on the floor. Initially, they’re all doing the same moves, though Lance in noticeably out of sync (Hee!) with Tony and Cody. Cody and Edyta do their individual routine, which looks like Edyta covering for him again. Susan Lucci is really brittle in her segment – it seems like she can’t move her legs naturally. Lance and Lacey are really high energy and it’s good, but it feels out of place with the other two couples. I don’t know if it’s supposed to feel cohesive, but it really doesn’t. Then they’re all out there as a group again, and there’s much shaking and posing. I’m not sure what I just saw, frankly.

Len liked it, but thinks Lance and Lacey saved the day. Bruno thinks it was nearly a disaster, but saved by the L&L twins. Carrie Ann says the unison was “terrible” and says it was “brutal to watch”, but liked their individual performances.

You know what’s awkward? Samantha interviewing six people at once. Better not to dwell. Carrie Ann busts out a 6, Len and Bruno go for 7, for a total of 20. That’s not good.

In rehearsal, Team Paso Doble talks about how awesome they are, and I agree. Cheryl wants to be in the middle of the group, since the other couples have already done a paso. That’s actually pretty good strategy. Warren gives them a pep talk, which is kind of funny. What we see of their choreography looks pretty intricate – somebody could get hurt here. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s Season Seven. Somebody is going to get hurt.

I like the way they set theirs up – Cody and Maurice on the sides do that cool knee-stride, and the less limber Warren is in the middle on his feet, making for a nice symmetry. The camera choices are making it hard to see their unison performance, though. Warren and Kym are pretty great, with Warren getting back some of his rhythm and holding Kim between his legs and flipping her as he walks. Kym’s looking crazy intense, by the way. Maurice and Cheryl are next, and while they don’t have the same intensity, Cheryl does a fantastic slide and Maurice has a jump that must have hurt like hell on his bad leg. Derek and Brooke burst onto the stage, and they’re moving really fast. It’s really short compared to the others, but it’s fast and bold. They finally group together in the middle and send the women sliding. And good for Brooke – as the non-professional woman in her group, she really kept up on those unison moves. Nice.

OK, that was awesome. My guys rocked it! The team is giddy, Tom’s freaking out, and it looks good. Bruno loved it, and Carrie Ann agreed and said the solos and unison were flawless. Len liked it but can’t get quite as rapturous. He says that it was fantastic and better than the other one, but he somehow refuses to get excited about it.

Samantha’s interviewing six people again, and they’re pretty much exhausted and slap-happy anyway. I wish they could be a group forever! Carrie Ann and Bruno give them 10’s and Len goes with 9 for a 29. Wow! So with that point spread, the team dance will pretty significantly affect the standings. Formerly tied for first place, Lance now drops to fourth. Warren jumps from the bottom to third place, and Cody is now left in sixth place. And Brooke has the Yamaguchi-esque score of 59 out of 60.

It’s pretty safe to say Team Cha Cha is losing somebody this week, with Susan especially in trouble. She’s been in the Bottom Two before, and she’s in fifth place, 14 full points behind the leader. That Team Dance really threw things off there.

All right, there’s a whole election thing tomorrow, so Myndi will bring you the results show a day later than usual. As jealous as I am that she gets the DanceCenter episode, I think we all know she can do more with a Lionel Richie performance than I can. (Hello.  Is it me you’re looking for?–Myndi)

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