Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars Week Five Performances (Oct 20)

Previously on Dancing with the Stars: Rocco DiSpirito was told to pack up his knives and go. Brooke Burke continued to dominate, and everybody learned they’d be doing dance styles that were new to the show this week.

Hey, Tom Bergeron! I’ve got three shows to recap tonight and don’t have time to come up with a lead-in, so if you’d do the honors…. Liiiiiiiivvve!

Tom is very excited about the four new dances this week. He asks Len to explain them, and Len basically says a lot of random words that don’t connect to one another. I think he’s got a plane to catch or something.

First up is Lance Bass and Lacey. We’re reminded that he became a real contender last week. In practice footage, Lacey is wearing glasses. This makes me like her better. Lance tells us that the record label nearly kicked him out of N’Sync because of his sucky dancing. Ouch. Apparently DWTS is helping him get his confidence back. Anyway, their dance is West Coast Swing, and Lacey just happens to be a world champion. Her father, Buddy Schwimmer, which sounds like the name of a Catskills comedian, helped popularize the style. This is apparently when he was a younger, slimmer man, as modern day Buddy looks like a supporting cast member from The Sopranos these days. He dances with Lance, and it’s very cute. There are also dancing children there. What the hell, ABC? I’m doing the performance show this week! I shouldn’t have to get more Dance-Bots!

I seriously don’t know what I’m watching here, since it’s a new style. I don’t know if it’s standard West Coast Swing, of if this is some funky twist on it. The choreography is nice, and Lance is doing a good job, but Lacey is freaking stealing the show here. This is her thing, and she’s injecting some extra crazy into it. At about the midway point, there’s a twirl where Lance doesn’t get out of the way of Lacey’s arm, and then a running slide where Lance actually loses his balance and falls. He recovers quickly, but there’s no mistaking it. Lance is passable, But I like Lacey about a hundred times better than I did before. Misty May and George Hamilton cheer him on. Did they come in together?

Len starts out praising last week’s dance, and feels like Lacey took too much of the spotlight this time around. Bruno points out the fall and says also that Lacey was dominating the dance. Carrie Ann also thinks Lacey showed off too much. Considering that Lance fell, showing off wasn’t the biggest problem there. I’ve never seen the judges focus so much on the pro before.

Samantha Harris talks about Lance’s smooth recovery, and asks if the fact that Lacey is so awesome helped his confidence. Samantha looks a little angry, and I’m not sure why. Who was mean to Samantha? Anyway, it’s 7’s across the board, which rates a “Winner, winner, chicken dinner” from Lance. Tom makes fun of the judges for being cold and boring (“They actually gave off a windchill”).

Next it’s Toni Braxton and Alec. Toni wonders why she hasn’t had a breakthrough yet. She discusses her insecurities, and Alec could not possibly look more bored. Hee. They’re also doing the West Coast Swing, which is what Alec was hoping for last week. Not much happens in their rehearsal footage. Toni really needs to be more funny if she’s going to keep my interest.

Their dance looks nothing like Lance and Lacey’s, so I’m really confused as to what I’m looking for. Theirs is less distinctive, but it has crisp footwork, and a nice energy to it. Then comes the mother of all lifts. Alec airplanes Toni for a solid five seconds, which I assume will freak out Carrie Ann. I have to wonder what kind of thought went into that. Alec’s moving his hips like this is a Latin dance, and I think maybe he moves his hips like that no matter what he’s doing. He probably does it at the grocery store. It ends with a dip-lift. Are those allowed now? Carrie Ann is seriously emitting pure hate right now, so we’ll find out.

Bruno likes that some sections of the dance actually resembled the West Coast Swing, which is what they call damning with faint praise. Carrie Ann thinks they over-danced it, and does not mention the lift. I don’t know which way is up anymore. Len thinks Toni needs to regroup and bring some excitement to the contest so she can live up to her potential.

Tom plugs tomorrow’s show with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Also, there’s a recap show tomorrow at 8, since nobody liked Opportunity Knocks. Nothing a recapper likes more than finding out that there’s actually a recap show. Makes me feel so… useful.

Samantha asks Toni what she has to do to please the judges, and Toni doesn’t know. Well, that was awkward. Carrie Ann and Len give 7’s, and Bruno gives them 8, for a 22. Tom claims that after the break we’ll see both insult and injury, and then we see a montage of the couples arguing. I think these new dances threw everybody off.

After the break, Tom tells us that next week’s group dance is hip-hop, and suddenly I am praying that Cloris Leachman makes it another week. Also, Len’s taking a week off, and they’ll have a world-famous guest judge. Oh, I doubt the “famous” part. And what’s up with Len? Is he having plastic surgery or something? Jury duty? Did he get his own spinoff where he’s a cop who refuses to play by the rules and can’t connect with the daughter he’s raising on his own? (Note: I would totally watch that show.)

Now it’s Susan Lucci and Tony doing the Hustle. Does anybody remember that Futurama where the museum has Fry’s fossilized dog? (Because, you know, the Futurama and DWTS fanbases overlap significantly…) Anyway, Fry thought the Hustle was a protest song, so he Hustled for hours to get his dog back. If you keep this in mind, everything about this number is funny. Oh, except for how Susan apparently broke two bones in her foot last week.

In all fairness, the woman is too tiny to have regular-sized bones. She might even have Avian Bone Syndrome. There are some hilarious photos of Susan in the 70’s, and she claims that Studio 54 was “magical”. And now just try and lose the image of Susan doing lines with Bianca Jagger. Anyway, Susan talks about her injury and cries. We see her go to Cedars-Sinai to talk about her ankle. They might as well open up a Dancing with the Stars wing.

They are doing the Hustle, and the song is, strangely, not “Do the Hustle”. It’s really kind of slow, and you can tell Susan’s lagging behind to watch what Tony is doing and copy it. There’s another epic lift, and I’m thinking maybe those rules are suspended tonight. Would have been nice if they’d told us that. As ever, Tony is putting it out there like it’s The Tony Show starring Tony – from an original script by Tony. (Note: Myndi would absolutely not watch that show.) I watched it twice, and it didn’t really make an impression on me. But then, I’m a little surprised every week when I’m reminded that Susan is on the show.

Carrie Ann admires that she played through the pain, but thinks that she’s performing in a glass box. Like a mime? Len thinks Tony’s treating Susan like a China doll, and she needs to wow them. Bruno, hilariously, confirms that it was a Hustle. It’s like the judges watched a panda die before the show – they’re strangely subdued.

Carrie Ann and Len score 7’s, and Bruno tosses an 8. Same scores as Toni. Samantha brings up Studio 54 again, without ever asking the important question. Did they or didn’t they find the ORB? (The preceding joke will amuse approximately five people.) Samantha asks how Susan’s foot feels, and then stresses the importance of voting.

You guys, this is a really weird episode. Everybody but Tom is just sort of sleepwalking through the show. Somebody better do something crazy, and fast.

Our next Hustlers are Warren Sapp and Kym. We see them being upset about the judge’s comments last week, even though the audience loved them. Warren is tired, and asks Kym to push him. Kym tells us that she’s putting him through the paces, and we see a quick shot of a pretty awesome lift. Warren takes a minute to trash-talk Susan Lucci. Hee.

Kym is dressed like she just came over from Xanadu. They get bonus points simply for dancing to “Funkytown”. Right off their dance is pretty cool and, yes, funky. They have good holds, some decent footwork, and cool choreography. There’s a really nice run where Warren moves with surprising precision. There’s a fantastic lift, and it ends with Kim cartwheeling onto his shoulder. Sweet. They did a much better job this week of keeping Warren moving. He tends to have these slow patches mid-dance, but it wasn’t a problem this time out.

The audience is freaking out because everybody loves Warren. Len actually comes to life, showing surprising enthusiasm for the dance. Bruno warms up, too. He’s thrilled with the funk, and the “climax at the end”. Dirty. Carrie Ann really liked it and actually smiles a little, and she slaughters the pronunciation of “nostalgia” not once, but twice. It’s like she’s only ever read the word and never heard it spoken.

Samantha tells Warren that he did well, and then puts the microphone in Warren’s face. Dear, you need to ask a question before you go for an answer. Len and Carrie Ann bust out the 8 paddles for the first time tonight, and Bruno goes them one better with 9, for a total of 25 and first place for now.

It’s Cloris and Corky, last week’s Bottom Two survivor. Cloris goes to a farmer’s market to thank her fans, which is sweet. You know, if I were trying to buy some rhubarb and Cloris Leachman suddenly showed up, I think I’d freak out a little. Corky explains the seductive nature of the Salsa. There’s an interview shot of Cloris where she suddenly looks her full 82 years and then some. It’s a little jarring, especially if you pause on it.

It’s always hard to write about Cloris’ dances. No matter how well she does, there’s always a stiffness and compactness to it, but again, 82 years old. She does manage to shake her hips surprisingly well. Corky feels her up at one point, which is weird. It’s not amazing dancing by any means, but if you can picture anybody else her age pulling that off, well, you’re probably mistaken. I always feel so happy for her, actually.

Bruno says “the old girl can still turn a trick”, and says she did a salsa but that she also looked drunk. Carrie Ann loves her, but she makes her forget it’s a dance competition. Len loves that Cloris is older than he is. Len is 64. I’m surprised by that, but I’m not sure what I expected.

7’s across the board for a 21. You know, improving one’s scores doesn’t usually work for the longshots. Once they stop being hilarious and/or pitiably awkward, the votes dry up. Cloris explains that Corky told her to play a “skanky ho”, which breaks everybody up. The best part is that she can’t remember right away and keeps saying “a something ho”. Ha! Samantha can barely stay on task on a good day. I’m surprised that she doesn’t just shut down in the Cloris chats.

Now it’s time for Maurice Green and Cheryl. Last week the judges didn’t like them. In rehearsal, Cheryl is frustrated because she’s not comfortable with the salsa. Maurice drops her at one point, which doesn’t help. Cheryl says that she thinks he’s lazy and doesn’t care, which isn’t exactly fair. As I’ve said before, I love Cheryl, but I think she really breaks down her partners.

I like their salsa a lot, right off the bat. It’s crisp, and it seems different from dances that we’ve seen before, rather than just being a variation on one of the standards. It’s sort of like a Rumba, only with bigger movements, and more time spent in hold. Wow. I really like this dance. There are bits where they’re moving and Maurice is twirling Cheryl as they move, and it’s like the Jet Screamer episode of The Jetsons. It’s really fun to watch.

Carrie Ann actually hugs Maurice – she’s so impressed by the way he upped his game. Len says the judges are easier than Cheryl (who really seems to feel bad about ripping on him), and he loved Maurice’s energy. Bruno really loved it, and he pounds on the table as he gushes. Cheryl and Maurice are very happy indeed.

Samantha asked if the pressure made them better this week. Maurice says that it did, and he’ll be even better next week. I like Maurice. He’s got enthusiasm, at the very least. 9’s across the board for a 27 and the night’s new high score. Cheryl apologizes to Maurice again, and he’s just so damn happy with his 9’s.

Commercials. Did anybody else notice that last week Eli Stone established itself to be in the same continuity as Alias? That’s the sort of thing I live for.

And now it’s traditional leaders Brooke Burke and Derek, busting out a Jitterbug. In the rehearsal, Derek has Samurai Jack’s hairstyle for some reason. Derek has never done the Jitterbug before, because he’s not 85 years old. He seriously went on the Internet to learn the dance. And that was probably awkward, because you can’t get anywhere on the Internet without seeing naked pictures of Brooke. Derek assures us he doesn’t usually learn dances from the Internet. He says the dance should look like a cartoon, and the best cartoon wins. Considering that this recap has already referenced Futurama, The Jetsons, and Venture Bros., I am excited about this.

Brooke and Derek are in 50’s garb, and they’re dancing to “Don’t be Cruel”. They are dancing like total spazzes, and it’s awesome. They’re moving wildly, and yet they’re in step with one another. Crazy-ass hand motions, a backflip, legs shooting out seemingly at random. It’s a really controlled mess, and I admire it. It’s hard to describe, but it’s really fun to watch.

Len is amazed that Brooke is so darn good at whatever dance they assign her. Bruno calls it “glorious”. Carrie Ann opens with “Can I nitpick?”, and Brooke responds “Always”. Man, Brooke is kind of awesome. And Carrie Ann says “I can’t.” See what she did there? Everybody loves Brooke!

Tom makes fun of George Hamilton, who’s sitting with Stacy Keibler “despite the restraining order” and then adds “Be careful, Misty. He knows you can’t run fast.” Misty makes the sign of the cross. What do you think? Intentional Love at First Bite reference?

Samantha really wants Brooke to admit that she had a hard time tonight. Those two are totally fighting for Pretty Girl Supremacy, I think. Carrie Ann and Bruno give her 10’s and Len dissents with a 9. That’s 29, and an easy first place unless Kristi Yamaguchi shows up. Cloris wanders over to mess with Derek’s hair, and I’m never sure when she’s kidding and when she’s gone crazy.

And now it’s Cody Linley and Julianne (who appears to be channeling Lucille Ball). Julianne is also unfamiliar with the Jitterbug, and I don’t want her to go looking on the Internet. I feel like I should be protecting her from all the filth she’ll find. They sneak over to watch Derek and Brooke, and then they trash talk each other. Julianne doesn’t think Cody’s strong enough for the lifts and throws. Sure enough, he seems strangely unable to support all 80 or so pounds of her weight. This does not bode well.

Once again, it’s sort of chaos, but it doesn’t look as controlled. It’s still a lot of fun, but they’re not in sync the way Brooke and Derek were. Julianne’s acting like a big goof which I enjoy. Cody nearly bobbles a lift, which terrifies me. It’s pretty good, but I didn’t want to go back and re-watch like I did with Brooke’s.

Bruno enjoyed the “frantic energy” and “slapstick”. He says that Cody’s “acting skill showed”, which may be a bit much. He did half a season of Hannah Montana – it’s not like he’s Harvey Keitel here. Carrie Ann said it was the perfect dance for Cody. Len said it was fun and entertaining.

Samantha knows we’re out of time, so she keeps it brief. 10 from Carrie Ann and 9’s from the boys. That’s 28. Cody spazzes out, as per usual. The audience boos the judges. For a 28?

That’s Brooke, Cody, Maurice, and Warren leading the pack, with Susan, Toni, Cloris, and Lance sucking hind teat. Respectable scores all around. I think it could be any one of the back four going home, but since we’ve only found out the Bottom Two once, it’s hard to gauge fan reaction. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow, when Myndi recaps the results and hopefully puts out some wild-ass theories as to where Len’s going next week.

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