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Welcome back to DANCING WITH THE STARS! This week everyone danced film scores, which brought out everyone’s inner character. Also the dances were dominantly Latin. The Latin dances are my favorite, especially the Paso Doble. It’s the one dance that gets me extra fired up as a faithful viewer. Let’s see if they did my dance, and the others, justice.

First up this week, Chynna Phillips and Tony danced the Tango to the theme from MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, and it was impossible to watch. AMIRITE? Tony began the dance suspended from the ceiling, which was about as exciting and advanced as DWTS special effects get. Unfortunately, it all came crashing down from there. Almost instantly, Chynna seemed for forget everything about the dance, and spent majority of the time stalling and looking horrified. It was one of the most awkward and uncomfortable dances I have ever seen on this show. (but not THE most uncomfortable, you still win that one, Kate Gosselin). I felt bad for Chynna, she was crushed. The judges felt bad too and it was nice to see them compassionate, but I think three 7’s was an insanely generous score. At least we got a good laugh out of the situation as Brooke tried to offer some comfort to Chynna by saying, “Just to humanize the moment, it happened to me.” Brooke…human?

David Arquette and Kym took on a Paso Doble to the theme from RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The dance was fun to watch and they got one of the better pieces of music to work with. David worked the whip like a pro and this was probably the best paso of the night. It had all the aggression and the excitement, without being too serious. David continues to charm with his childlike vulnerability, like when he admitted he struggles with which foot is left and which is right. One can’t help but root for him. Just as ask our favorite boy, Tristan MacManus, who the camera caught cheering enthusiastically for David and Kym. (He obviously did not get the memo that when the camera focuses on the dancers waiting in the wings, they are supposed to look bored and underwhelmed. Which is yet another reason to love him.) Anyway, the judges (I’m looking at you, LEN) were unnecessarily harsh on him, and his scores were pretty unjust.

Carson Kressley and Anna danced the Viennese Waltz to the music from PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. The music was great and the costumes were fantastic but the dance failed to deliver as a waltz. It did, however, succeed with the drunken pirate theme. Does Carson’s dancing really matter though? Because he is delightful. The highlight of the night was watching Carson interact with stunt man, Storm. From faking an injury and crying “Hold me, Storm” to thanking him for having a low buttoned shirt, Carson is more enjoyable than the most perfectly executed dance. The fact that Len scored him lower than Chynna, who was literally a deer in head lights, is criminal!

Just as I was complaining about there not being enough Tristan on the show, we got a tiny (yet large, in terms of awkwardness…) segment dedicated to his chest hair. (Thank you, Gawker, for getting it on video). What a way for the show to get us excited about Nancy and Tristan’s upcoming dance! But before I talk about the quality of their Paso Doble set to Queen’s FLASH GORDON theme (an interesting choice for a woman who has undoubtedly never seen this movie, but I digress), let me gush for a second. Tristan kissed Nancy on the cheek when he greeted her (visiting the set of her TOT MOM TALK SHOW on HLN*)** he never showed frustration while teaching her, and even when they both knew she had made a mistake, Tristan sent her a dashing wink of encouragement. As a result, Nancy really put on a good performance.  The judges did not love her this week, but I remain impressed. Honestly, I expected Nancy Grace to be terrible at dancing and to be one of the first to go home. I was wrong. Tristan has made her into someone almost worth rooting for, especially when a vote for Nancy means a vote for him. As per usual, he has charmed both myself, and fellow Reel Vixen-er (and my partner in DWTS live-texting crime) Mikela Floyd. We’re 100% sold, so expect a farewell to Tristan post when Nancy’s day finally does come.

Up next was someone who needs to take about ten chapters out of Tristan’s book on how to treat your partner. Maks has been a bigger bully this year than ever before. I don’t care for Hope Solo’s dancing but I feel for her. Last year, with Kirstie Alley, Maks was funny, positive, and adorable. Perhaps because Kirstie was a strong enough personality to mellow him out. With Hope, he barks and curses at her like she’s his dog. It’s a little hard to watch. The two did dance their Foxtrot well, set to TOY STORY‘s “You Got a Friend.” This was probably Hope at her best, but it still fell a little flat. I feel like she may want out of this (and away from Maks). Len called both of them out, her for lacking in effort and him for being harsh. I was right there with Len.

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl danced a Paso Doble to the theme from SUPERMAN. Rob expressed his desire to go all out this week, only he didn’t. The dance lacked the power that a paso requires. Just a little more oomph and Rob would have been a top scorer. He is good, and I like him more than I planned to. I do fear that he is forgettable enough to get an early boot, a la Kristin Cavallari. I personally would like to see more of what Rob can do.

I loved EVERYTHING about the next dance. Ricki Lake and Derek tangoed to the music from PSYCHO and this horror loving gal couldn’t get enough! The drama, the precise moments, the use of a screen as the shower curtain! It was no surprise that we saw the first 10’s of the season go to this dance. Ricki is truly talented, but all my props go to Mr. Hough’s choreography. They are going all the way to the finale, no doubt.

Ok, we got Cher to make an appearance in the audience, can we be done with Chaz Bono now? The celebration after Chaz’s silly ROCKY themed paso did not translate for me. This dance was a sloppy mess and in no way earned the tears of Carrie Ann Inaba. The only compliment I can give is that Chaz actually seemed to care this week and actually seemed to be putting forth the effort. Also the dance was not short on suspense, because I was almost positive he wasn’t going to make it up the steps.

JR Martinez and Karina danced a Foxtrot to the theme from THE PINK PANTHER. It was smooth and pretty to watch. Carrie Ann was bored by it, while Len appreciated the technique and declared it the best male dance of the night. None of that really matter though because this guy has the crowd. The people love JR and JR loves the people. I think he is headed straight for a win.

The Power Rankings

Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya: 20 out of 30

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer: 21 out of 30

Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani: 21 out of 30

Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus: 21 out of 30

David Arquette and Kym Johnson: 23 out of 30

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24 out of 30

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: 24 out of 30

JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: 26 out of 30

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: 29 out of 30

So what did you guys think? Is this the last stop for Chaz? Or are you still inspired by his journey?

Tomorrow night we get the return of Julianne Hough. I’m not sure about movie star Julianne or country music star Julianne, but I’m quite a fan of dancing star Julianne! If your memory does not serve you, she was one of the only pros that has ever rivaled Derek’s ability (there’s something in the water in that Hough house). And since we were speaking of the Paso Doble, I highly encourage you to take a gander at the one she and partner Apolo Anton Ohno did back in season 4. (They were my all time favorite DWTS winners and really all their performances are worth a visit to YouTube.) Oh, don’t wanna go search for it? Worry not, you guys. I beat you to the YouTube punch.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now…

*wait, is it about other things?

**it’s not.

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6 Responses to “DANCING WITH THE STARS RECAP: Like a Bad Movie”

  1. MarjG #

    If it’s a memorable Paso you’re after, mine is Evan and Anna from season 10.

    October 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm Reply
  2. Regina Bradley #

    I loved watching that old clip of Appolo. Other than the soul patch, he is absolutely darling.. I loved your comments. I agree, Ricki Lake’s was the best!!!!!

    October 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm Reply
  3. Melanie #

    Good call, I loved Evan and Anna. Another great paso, Maks and Mel B in season 5.

    October 11, 2011 at 4:55 pm Reply
  4. Nancy Sweeney #

    Terrific recap, Melanie! My personal favorites, Cheryl Burke and Drew Lachey?

    Their freestyle dance was the best ever!

    October 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm Reply
  5. Sue Sayed #

    Loved the Hough/ Apolo Paso. In watching the short clip, can I just say that I miss Samantha Harris? You always think the grass is greeener…. but she was better than Brooke Burke. Brooke is beautiful and that’s about it. She has no affect, just poses as a pretty woman. How did she get the job? Loved Evan’s Paso as well.

    October 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm Reply

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