Week 8 of Dancing with the Stars
began tonight with another night of ballroom and Latin routines. This week, for the first time in Dancing with the Stars
history, the teams are allowed to perform one lift per routine.
Last week, Cristian de la Fuente sustained a serious arm injury in the middle of his samba, but he managed to work through his ruptured tendon to please the judges. Read on to find out how he and the other remaining celebrity dancers fared tonight.
Cristian de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke - 57
Cristian and Cheryl had the tango first. Cheryl managed to choreograph a clever tango that minimized the use of his right arm. They even managed to do a lift. The judges were wildly impressed, giving him great scores, but personally, I thought it was a bit tame. Scores: 10+9+9=28.
Cristian donned a glittery arm brace for the mambo. Cristian and Cheryl's second performance of the night was much more animated and stylish than the first, and the judges rewarded them with an even better score. This marks the first time Cristian has been at the top of the leaderboard. Scores: 10+9+10=29.
Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas - 55
In second place for the second week in a row, Kristi and Mark started the night with a high-scoring quickstep. The judges were hugely impressed with the dynamic range of the performance and how Kristi was able to transition from slow, sassy steps to the fast-paced glides. The routine was technically flawless, and scored a nearly perfect 29. Scores: 9+10+10=29.
Kristi and Mark faltered a bit in their second performance. Again, Kristi was technically perfect, however, Kristi looked a little bit out of her element. She looked awkward and a tad gawky, definitely not as at ease as she usually is. Scores: 8+9+9=26.
Mario and Karina Smirnoff - 53
Normally, Mario is criticized by the judges for not being a smooth, elegant dancer, (or, as Len said tonight, "Like Britney Spears getting out of a car") but not tonight. The judges had nothing but positive feedback tonight. Scores: 9+9+9=27.
Although I originally thought that the jive was not a Latin dance, wikipedia tells me otherwise. Who knew? Mario normally thrives in the fast-paced, bouncy styles, but he was felled tonight by sloppy footwork. Scores: 9+8+9=26.
Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska - 52
Coming off of his fabulous paso doble from last week, Jason wowed the judges with another great performance. Although Len spouted some incomprehensible stuff about his tango being more Argentine than his taste would allow, Jason shined as expected with the lifts as well. Scores: 10+9+10=29.
The same style that made Kristi and Mark lose their luster also gave Jason and Edyta some trouble. The samba is a very difficult style, and Jason looked like he was concentrating too much while he danced. The huge lift he performed at the end, holding Edyta vertically upside while turning, could have been a big hit if it weren't executed so sloppily. Scores: 8+7+8=23.
Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony Dovolani - 50
Although Marissa and Tony ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard, I truly thought that their performances was the most entertaining of the evening. Marissa has truly bloomed into a competent andd sassy dancer. She is truly an entertainer and a joy to watch. Scores: 9+8+8=25.
Their second performance was slightly worse technically, but still entertaining. Len wanted some more raunchiness from Marissa, which I'm not sure she's capable of, but it was still a solid performance. Scores: 8+8+9=25.
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)