Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars Week 9 Results (May 14)

Here we are at the semifinals! It’s the point in the season where you can watch the opening credits and ask yourself “Wait, were those people on this season?” I mean, did you remember that Monica Seles was on the show? I feel like she was eliminated so long ago. I think I might have been wearing a leisure suit last time I saw her dance.

I could remind you of what happened last night, but you’ve got Myndi’s recap at your fingertips. Also, ABC will be spending the first twenty minutes of the show doing just that.

Who’s going home this week? Tom Bergeron describes them thusly: “Kristi, the early favorite who’s lost momentum” – That might be a bit harsh. She’s still consistently placing at or near the top, including a first-place finish last night. “Cristian, the one-armed warrior” – Man, does that sound dirty. “Jason, who slipped down the leader board” – Well, technically true, but placing second to last with four people left is certainly not disastrous. “And Marissa, who finds herself at the bottom for the second week in a row.” – OK, that’s right on. Is it just me or do these descriptions cast everybody but Cristian in a negative light?

As usual, we get the quick recap of last night. The judges loved Jason’s fox trot, and we see Jason say he loves Len “like a play cousin”. I don’t know what that is, but it cracks Edyta up. In his second dance (Holy crap, the DWTS producers are splitting up their recap the same way Myndi does! Just think, I was copying Myndi before everybody else jumped on the bandwagon.), the paso doble, the judges compared him to the price of gas. Sorry, Len, that would have been funnier were we not reminded of the current reality of $4 a gallon. Remember when gas stations cranked up their prices on September 11, and later they were prosecuted for price gouging? Man, I miss those gouge prices. Cristian rocked a Viennese Waltz with his one good arm, and Cheryl donned the strangest outfit I’ve ever seen. Then he hit the samba, the dance that claimed his arm last time. There’s a funny bit of Tom teasing Cheryl in the hallway. It seems like it’s after the show, since Tom had ditched his suit jacket. I’m thinking way too much about what Tom wears. By the way, Cristian really does not find it funny when Cheryl jokes about breaking his other arm.

Kristi’s tango was loved by two of the judges, but Len got all angry. Of course, their scoring table scuffle resulted in a 29, which is a lot of fuss over a single point. Their jive provoked a particularly awkward metaphor from Bruno, which essentially amounted to their jive being the icing on the cake, only the cake was also their jive. (The previous sentence was brought to you by the word “jive”.) Kristi and Mark beg for votes, which is adorable. Marissa missed a jete in her quick step, which was one of the rare times when I actually noticed and would be able to verbalize a mistake. Of course, I would have called it a “little jumpy move”, but you would have gotten my point. Her rumba was boring, as rumbas often are, but Carrie Ann seemed kind of angry about it.

Essentially, the suspense of the episode is “Will Marissa go home, or will there be a surprise?” Hee.

Recaps over, Tom and Samantha are ready to lead us into the show proper. Samantha does not look like she’s turning over ninety percent of her earnings to Cy Tolliver tonight, so that’s progress. We’ve got dancing kids and a tribute to Thriller to look forward to. Did anybody think that maybe they shouldn’t put preteens and a Michael Jackson-inspired segment into the same show? It’s like they’re taunting me.

Our hosts tease next week’s finale, with Tom claiming they’ll have two performances from “one of the greatest entertainers on the planet, Usher”. There’s not enough ‘meh’ in the world for Usher, in my book. I keep thinking of his episode of Cribs, where he turned out to basically have the same personality as a 14-year-old girl.

After reminding us of last night’s standings, Tom throws it to the judges for tonight’s encore. They chose Kristi and Mark’s tango. Apparently Len is no longer bitter about how hectic it was. It really is an awesome tango, but it’s already been recapped. No duplication of effort here!

Tom and Samantha promote the website, where you can apparently upload your own dancing video. (Oh yeah, I’m thinking about it.) But now, it’s time for the Tiny Dancers, and all the awkwardness that entails.

Rashell and Aaron won the 9-and-under round with their paso doble. Rashell explains that she was happy, and she and Aaron both seem to be wearing Hogwart’s school uniforms. There’s a point where they speak in unison, and it is deeply unsettling. Aaron is happy to be famous. Oh, is he the kid who kept talking about getting rich? That’s unfortunate. They are intimidated by the older kids, as they should be. A lot of Transformers were mangled by older kid shenanigans. Kym comes down to visit them, wearing a clingy tank top. Puberty kickstarting in 3…2…1…Ignition!

They’re dancing the cha cha to “Mr. Postman”. I don’t even know how to write about dancing kids. They’re simultaneously adorable and a little creepy. I sort of feel the way Oscar feels about Angela’s “Babies with saxophones” poster. I can tell, theoretically that it’s good, but it just seems weird. Especially when they’re this young. Anyway, the judges love them, with Len making a remark about their “little bums” that he seems to regret almost instantly. And, wait, we’re supposed to vote? Don’t drag me into this, ABC!

Hey, Dana Delaney is in the audience, and she’s wearing glasses. That makes me like her even more. (It has been suggested that my love of Dana Delaney may owe something to the fact that she was the voice of Lois Lane for several years. I am not willing to rule out that possibility.)

Tom tosses it to Samantha who’s backstage with the stars. Quite a height differential between the men and the women this season. And yes, I think Jason and Cristian should have their own reality show. They could solve predicaments through the power of friendship. Kristi reveals that she is happy to be in first place, and Marissa is shocked that she’s still there. Samantha says Cristian is risking long-term injury just to be here. I hope that’s not actually true. He and Jason have a dream to get to the finals together. Awww. Seriously, I really like them and I want to hang out with them. Samantha calls it a “budding bromance”, and Tom fakes crying when he comes back. Hee.

And now it’s time for the Thriller tribute. Guys in white suits appear in the audience and rush the stage. Omarion (or is that the name of the group? I am painfully unhip.) is dressed like a Cenobite. They lead with “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and there’s a whole armada of white-suited men out there, and it’s got this really fun energy to the whole thing. The dancing is great but man, did MJ know a thing or two about writing a song back in the day! Suddenly, there are women in white shirts and black skirts, and there’s a guy on a lighted floor, and the song switches to “Billie Jean”. This is really hard to describe, because everything’s moving so fast, and there may be some sort of sorcery involved.

Ahhh! There are giant blinking eyes projected onto the curtains at the back of the stage. Seriously, I’ve totally lost my bearings here. Now the fog machines kick up, and there are more guys wearing Pinhead’s outfit for “Thriller”. And when the music ends, all the background dancers disappear in the two seconds the camera is off them. What the heck happened here? I’m just totally thrown off my stride here.

When we come back, Tom’s having some trouble with the microphone. He got all overwhelmed, too! Anyway, now we get our second round of mini-dance, this time the 10-and-under group. If there’s already 9-and-under, shouldn’t this group just be 9-10? I don’t understand the intricacies of children’s ballroom classification.

It’s Jaryd and Cara, because apparently one kid in each couple must spell their name incorrectly (Hey!  Using a “Y ” is not incorrect!–Myndi). We see Bruno call them ‘gremlins’, and then there’s a shot of firemen saying hello to them on the street. That’s cute, but what about the fire? Jaryd and Cara will still be there when you get back from battling the blaze. We see a pep rally their school held in their honor. I can’t decide if ballroom dancing on TV would get you beat up more or less. Making Myndi very happy, Maks comes to visit them and pass on the benefit of his experience. Hi, Maks! These kids aren’t nearly as chatty as the first pair, so they get a much shorter video segment.

They’re dancing the samba. To They Might Be Giants. It’s a very weird scene to take in. Cara actually lip-syncs part of the song, which is kind of cute, but Len would yell at an adult who did that. Once again, it’s weird and adorable. This looks a little more natural to me, since they’re not in hold as often. I think that’s the part that throws me off about seeing kids dance. After the dance, Tom asks for their autograph. Carrie Ann won’t start until Cara is done writing, because apparently she will shrivel up and die if anybody’s attention is elsewhere. Again, the judges love them.

Finally, it’s the 13-and-under couple, Brandon and Brittany. Their friends threw them a party after they were on the show, and Brandon’s baseball team has been “really funny about it”. And who’s their visitor? Why, it’s Ashley Delgrosso! I love Ashley! I want her to watch the show with me every week! Sadly, she actually has to be identified with an onscreen caption, because they’ve already forgotten her. Even more sadly, it says “Seasons 1-3”, which seems to make it clear that her tenure is over. Come on Ashley, we miss you! Anyway, she was once their dance teacher, and she gives them some pointers and generally gets cute all over my TV.

They’ll be dancing the paso doble. They’re just old enough that it looks a little more like a grown-up dance, and it is pretty cool. The choreography is actually really good, and I’ve decided to give Ashley credit for that. The judges are kind of freaked about how much they liked it. Carrie Ann even talks to them like they’re people and not kittens. Of course, Len kind of blows it by saying that the others were “cute, but this is the real deal”. Cue four little children crying backstage.

After the commercials, Samantha is surrounded by the dancing kids. It is kind of weird to have 8-year-olds competing with 13-year-olds – they double their size in those five years. Samantha asks Brandon and Brittany who they’d like to be paired with if they became professional dancers. Brittany names somebody I’ve never heard of because I’m old, and Brandon says “any of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders”, only he was clearly fed the line. Samantha announces that all six kids and their families are going to Disneyworld! All hail our corporate master!

48 minutes in and no results yet. Guess that means it’s time for more filler. It’s a video segment about how badly the various stars want to win. Even more pointlessly, each stars’ competitors talk about how much they want to win. Yeah, it’s a whole segment where everybody tells us that Jason wants to win, and then everybody tells us that Kristi wants to win. The one funny bit is that Kristi says of Cristian: “It’s no secret that he’s the Latin heartthrob of the competition”. Wouldn’t it be great if that were a secret? One of these four is a Latin heartthrob, but we can’t tell you who…

And now we’re getting to the results. Finally! Edyta once again looks like she’s going to have a nervous breakdown. The first couple to move on to next week is Kristi and Mark! Not exactly a surprise there, but good for them. And now it’s commercials, because something finally happened and now we all need to rest.

Back from the break, Kristi still looks nervous. And why does Samantha say “in no particular order” at the oddest times? “We’ll reveal the next couple in no particular order.” I don’t get her. The next couple moving on to the finals is Jason and Edyta! Yay! I was actually kind of worried that he’d be overshadowed by Cristian’s resurgence. And now we’re left with Marissa and Cristian. Who (Marissa) will (Marissa) be (Marissa) eliminated? (Marissa) And it’s Marissa and Tony. I was never her biggest fan, but she did a good job. Still, she’s not on the same level as the other three. There’s a cute recap of her time on the show, including when she met Tony and he clearly had no idea who she was.

Samantha gives Tony the chance to say how much Marissa means to him, but she misspeaks and says that “he’s been very pro-Tony”. I don’t think that’s what she meant to say, but we all know it’s more true than whatever she meant to say. Marissa tells us all to go out and do something fun and sexy. Well, it’s no Mario giving his respect to the soldiers abroad, but it’s something. Actually, she says to “shake what your momma gave you”. My mother gave me the slippers I’m wearing right now, so here goes…

All right, join us next week for the sure to be dramatic finals! And as an added bonus, there’s very little chance that any of the finalists will perform a creepy-ass freestyle while dressed like a wind-up doll. You wouldn’t think I’d have to promise that, but last season took some odd turns….

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