Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower dip it low. (Adam Taylor/ABC )
So we're told by Len at the top of the show that the stars will be coordinating "every little detail." I'm really hoping that doesn't mean they're doing choreography.
Brooke promies us "two bombshell announcements."
Staircase entrances — Sabrina is wearing a dinner napkin that barely comes past her girlybits and Peta's just flat-out gone for lingerie in a see-through teddy and stockings. And Maksim has on a hideous, hideous wig. Oh, and it looks like Bristol can see Russia in her dance partner? What has she done to Mark?
So, they're performing routines from previous shows, but updating them with their own twist. Oh boy. I fail to see how this will be good.
Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya
Cha cha - Season 1, Joey McIntyre & Ashley Del Grosso "Crazy in Love"
Drew's idea is to make the whole thing feel like we're at a show, a rock show. He thinks that means pyrotechnics. Drew wants to bring more sexy to their routine and when Anna compliments him on his hip action, he points out, "I got two babies and they weren't delivered by the stork." Parents across America have some 'splainin' to do to any kids watching tonight.
There's something about sleeveless hoodie sweatshirt under the sleeveless vest that Drew's wearing that make it look like he's hunching his shoulders whether he actually is or not. There's some "b-boy moves" and then a wind machine.
Len liked the concept and their sharpness and their rhythm. Len says overall it was "terrific." Bruno says something about a "power drill" and I cringe. Carrie Ann says it was a really good cha cha with "tight and precise moves."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd
Tango, Season 10, Erin & Maks
They've rigged Gilles into a flying harness and I'm very very nervous about it. DON'T DROP THE PRETTY. Gilles isn't excited about iconic dance week because he wants to be original. He's choosing to take a dance from someone not on the show this season. Gilles is so considerate.
The routine starts with Gilles being lifted up off a bed, as if he's dreaming, because this dance is set to "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" — seems like a lot of trouble for not much payoff, as he's out of the harness before any actual dancing starts.
It's a very well executed tango, but it doesn't feel like a particularly memorable one, despite the audience going wild. Bruno says the reaction proves Gilles could "fly in and out of any bed he wants." Bruno loved the performance but points out that Gilles lost his footing a few times. Carrie Ann says the performance was "exquisite" but they were out of sync and holding the frame too loosely which is why they had some "wobbles."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8.5; Len 8.5; Bruno: 8.5
Those are higher scores than Gilles (and I) expected, so they're thrilled.
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
Samba, Season 13, J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff, "Conga"
Melissa is scared of the double elimination. Melissa wants to put some tricks in that will make the audience go "Whoa." Tony is surprised by how far Melissa wants to push herself in the choreography. Melissa is putting in the risky ending move. ALWAYS DO THE PAMCHENKO.
Their samba rolls are GOOD. Those rolls seem to be a hard thing for a lot of couples to do without looking totally awkward. In the middle of the routine, they do a complicated spin move with everchanging interlocking arms and it looks really cool. They didn't go full on with the risky move but it was still pretty cool.
Carrie Ann says it was "fantastic," with the "samba drops and samba rolls." Len says they had "great technique" and calls it a "knockout." Tony gooses Tom. I love how the pros have that tradition with Tom.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Bruno: 9
I agree with those scores. And think if we were later in the season it might've even gotten a 10 or two.
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff
Foxtrot, Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke, "Fever"
Apolo wants them to do a "Karina is a statue coming to life" motif. Oh boy. Going artsy fartsy. There are two other dancers on stage dressed as statues. Karina's pants are so ridiculous I have a hard time concentrating on anything else. They're see through tiered sparkly ruffles? Anyway. This routine seems technically good, but I just get NO sexual chemistry off these two and that's what was needed to sell this routine and to make it live up to Gilles' same routine.
Len liked the musicality, but would've liked "cleaner feet" and "more of it in hold." Bruno has notes for Apolo about his hands. Carrie thought it was "stunning" and disagrees with Bruno about Apolo's arms. Carrie Ann also praises Apolo's skills at leading, which is huge for the male stars to hear.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 8; Bruno: 8.5
I think that's fair. I didn't think it was as good as Melissa's.
Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy
Paso Doble, Laila Ali & Maks, Season 4