We are now in the seventh week of competition on Dancing with the Stars and the dancers are all really beginning to hit their strides. Most of the chaff has been separated out from the 13 original celebrities who started this dancing journey. Now, the stars who really shine get to show off their newly acquired skills one more time.
Tonight, each of the seven remaining couples will perform one unlearned style showcased in the first six weeks of the season. Not only that, as is Dancing with the Stars tradition now, the couples will all come together to perform one big group routine. This one is a 1960s dance, which should be tons of fun.
Stay with me and keep me company as I love blog the entire event.
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Oh, another thing I forgot is that tonight is the night in which the celebrities designed the costumes for their professional partners. This would explain why Edyta Sliwinska is covered up more than a devout Muslim woman (because Lawrence doesn’t want his mama to be shocked any more about her chronic state of undress, I suppose). She still looks awesome because she is gorgeous, but she is dressed like she is traveling the Trans-Siberian Express in the dead of winter, with a huge fur-lined long coat.
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani – Argentine tango
Bruno Tonioli has repeatedly told Melissa to tap into her inner maneater, and she has a hard time doing this. So Tony takes her on an ABC cross-promotional tour to Wisteria Lane set of Desperate Housewives. Teri Hatcher gives her a tour, and how this is supposed to help her become aggressive and sexy, I’m not so sure. Whatever.
Melissa looks amazing in her short, glittery red and black dress, and her perfect footwork exemplifies why the Argentine tango is such an exciting style to watch. They have some spectacular lifts too. Overall, my impression of their performance is that they were perfectly in control throughout, not at all rushed.
Len starts off, saying that it was fantastic. He loves the footwork, the lifts and the interaction between Melissa and Tony. He does point out a small blunder because Len wouldn’t be Len if he didn’t. Bruno butts in and says that this was the “revenge of the maneater.” He’s all, “I need a drink.” Carrie Ann dubs Melissa and Tony the King and Queen of Legal Lifts, and thinks that their dance was the finest Argentine tango ever performed on the show.
Carrie Ann: 10
Total: 29 out of 30
Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska – Waltz
Lawrence had a busy week this week. He had to learn two dances and but he also had to host a golf event for his charity. While at the green, he had Edyta tee off, to help her understand how hard it is to be judged at something she has never done before.
The waltz starts off, but I’m too distract by the yards and yards of fabric that Edyta is swathed in to notice how things are going. Seriously, I’ve never seen here wear that much. Thankfully, halfway through the dance, she sheds the big fur-line coat, and her dress underneath is quite lovely. Anyway, back to the dance. Edyta was lovely, and the romantic feel between the two of them is impressive. There were a few bobbles that even I noticed, but they captured the correct feel of the waltz.
Bruno likes the beginning of the piece, but then noticed all the mistakes. Carrie Ann loves the way Lawrence looked so free and compliments him on his dress designing skills. Len is actually fairly positive.
Backstage, Samantha Harris is embarrassing me by making a big deal out of covering up Edyta so much. Edyta good-naturedly makes a joke about how she is wearing so much clothing that she got tangled up in it.
Carrie Ann: 7
Total: 21 out of 30
Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough – Rumba
Lil’ Kim was the first person to knock Gilles off the top of the leaderboard, but she has a huge challenge this week with the rumba. Derek has the task of toning down her sexiness, to make it sensual but not slutty. He also is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on himself to put a lot of proper technique into his choreography.
See, now, usually, I love everything that Lil’ Kim wears, but I’m not liking the big drapey sheer sheet over her. It’s sheer and floaty, which are usually good things, but they overwhelm her tiny frame and hide all her curves. But about the dancing, I think she is striking the right balance between naughty and nice, and she shows some incredible strength with an arabesque hold at the end.
Carrie Ann is a bit disappointed. She says that the rumba was understated, but also underwhelming. She wants more passion. Len agrees with Carrie Ann, saying that Lil’ Kim should stick to what she knows, and not try to please just one person. Bruno complains that Lil’ Kim with the raunch is like a margarita without the tequila.
Carrie Ann: 9
Total: 26 out of 30
Last week, Len was disappointed that Chuck and Julianne danced a rumba that was more appropriate for the bedroom and not the ballroom. This week, Chuck stumps for more votes with an open-air country concert and some good old-fashioned begging for votes.
Chuck and Julianne are both dressed in red satin tonight. Funny how when Julianne dresses him, he’s always in black, but when he takes the reigns he’s more flamboyant. You know, I don’t know if it’s his red silk pajama-type costumes, but he’s got some attitude that I like tonight. He’s still relying on Julianne to do all of the heavy-lifting, but there are glimmers of greatness with him.
Len starts off the critique with, “Chucky! I liked it a lot!” He says it was his best dance yet. Bruno loves how much Chuck was working his butt and hips, and Carrie Ann leaps to her feet and does a little cheer for them.
Carrie Ann: 9
Total: 27 out of 30
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower – Waltz
Ty is back to a traditional ballroom dance this week, which is good because he has been flailing with the likes of the jive. Jewel stops by in rehearsal to point and laugh at his attempts to be romantic. She says that Ty is definitely not romantic and gushy. He once gave her a bouquet of flowers by saying, “Here, hold this.”
Tonight’s performance shows that Ty really is really a lot more comfortable with the traditional stuff. This is the surprising graceful Ty that we were getting to know.
Bruno calls Ty the biggest comeback since Mickey Rourke. He says that last week, he was in the gutter, but tonight, he’s better than ever. Carrie Ann and Len are also unanimously positive about Ty’s performance.
Carrie Ann: 8
Total: 24 out of 30. Haha, Chelsie Hightower explains that Ty wanted to put denim shorts on her tonight, but she wouldn’t have any of it.
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas – Cha cha cha
This week was also a big one for Shawn because she had to travel to New York and Des Moines, Iowa, to accept awards. This means that she didn’t have much time to learn the cha cha cha, and she had to miss the group rehearsals completely. She is so tired that she has a hard time picking up all the steps, but we’ll see how well she does tonight.
Mark playfully wears high-waters with white socks and black shoes. (Nice touch there, Shawn.) Ugh, you know what? I usually love Shawn’s dancing, and there’s nothing overtly wrong with this cha cha. Rather, everything looks perfect, but it just looks as jerky and unaesthetic as a gymnastics beam or floor routine minus the tumbling. I am not really a fan of this, but it might have just been the choreo that I don’t like.
Carrie Ann, however, loves everything about it, including the technique and the life Shawn put into it. Len thinks everything was perfect, especially the rhythm, and Bruno says something incomprehensible that is very positive.
Carrie Ann: 9
Total: 28 out of 30. (Shawn squeals, “My first 10 ever! It feels amazing!”)
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke – Viennese waltz
Last week, Gilles dropped from the top spot for the first time in the competition. Tonight, they have to showcase the calm side of Gilles with the Viennese waltz. He has a hard time softening his movements, so Cheryl takes him to meet a synchronized swimming coach. Naturally, this is just an excuse to show Gilles in his swim suit.
Tonight, Gilles and Cheryl both look absolutely stunning. I like Cheryl’s hair extensions, and her cream colored gown. I also love their dancing, which is just about flawless. So beautiful.
Len loves the romance and rotation of the performance, and especially likes the different nuances of the choreography. Bruno spouts out a lot of French things, but in a positive way, and Carrie Ann squeaks about how elegant Gilles is – the most elegant male dancer left in the competition. Carrie Ann does give some constructive criticism concerning his posture.
Carrie Ann: 9
Total: 27 out of 30
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)