We see Kelly & Val consulting with a set designer; it's kind of cool to see this really, really behind-the-scenes stuff. We saw a producer with Gilles & Peta earlier during their routine selection process.
This was a smart choice for Kelly; a lot of the paso is about the drama and she's a soap actress, she knows how to do that. It's also interesting to see how the dance looks as done by a tiny little thing like Kelly instead of a fierce Amazon like Laila.
Bruno calls it a "defining performance" for her. Carrie Ann says something so profane they not only silence her they cut to a title card. I guess Kelly's pottymouth is catching. Carrie Ann calls them the "couple to watch." Len says, "Where did that come from?" He compliments her performance and her technique. I think these two may be the "sleeper" couple of the season.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Bruno: 9
Again, I bet those scores would be higher if we were later in the season.
Bombshell Announcement #1: Paula Abdul will be a judge next week. Oh boy. I mean she has dance cred, but I wasn't fond of her stint on "American Idol."
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Cha cha, Carson Kressley & Anna, "Moves Like Jagger", Season 13
Tom says it best when he says that Maks looks like he's ready for "Rambo: The Musical." LOVE HIM. Kirstie picks this dance because she likes how fun it was. More behind the scenes: we meet the wardrobe people.
So, Maks enters in a Union Jack Mini Cooper (nice ad for them) and, as promised, he's in very low cut, very tight pants. Well, it was better than Carson's. But that's not saying much. Let's see what the judges say.
Carrie Ann says it was fun and "by far her best dance of the season." Len said her footwork was good and the cha cha is her dance. Maks has a moment of gay panic when Bruno compliments his pants. How on Earth can you be in ballroom dancing and not comfortable with gay men? That makes NO sense.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8
That feels a tad overscored to me.
Sabrina Bryan & Louis van Amstel
Paso Doble, Mel B & Maks, Season 5, "Free Your Mind"
Part of what was so impressive about this routine was Mel B's fierce attitude. Sabrina's too cute for that. Her boobs are distractingly jiggly in this outfit. I think she needs outfits where she can wear something like a real bra. Ok, the actual dancing: The moves are sharp and precise and the routine's fun. The judges are going to love this one. And they do.Carrie Ann didn't feel like Sabrina brought anything new in terms of "creative content" even though it was "outstanding."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8.5; Len: 8.5; Bruno: 8.5
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Paso Doble, Mario Lopez & Karina, Season 3
More behind-the-scenes stuff as Emmitt meets with a set designer and explains he wants the lighting to be like "dusk." I never noticed before that Emmitt says "Len" with about three syllables. Yep, he's from the South.
Ah, this is a song I love from the Desperado soundtrack, "Canción del Mariachi" ("Morena de Mi Corazón") where it's sung by Antonio Banderas with Los Lobos as his backup band. This was a fun dance with a killer ending where Emmitt charges across the dance floor and slides through Cheryl's legs.
Bruno gives him advice about watching his shoulders, but seems enthusiastic otherwise. Carrie Ann is so enthusiastic she's about to rock out of her chair. While Len's talking, they close-up on Emmitt and you can see every drop of sweat on his shaved head.
Ah, Emmitt explains that the donkey was crowd shy, which explains his non-appearance. His? Hers? I'm not sure about donkeys and gender.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8.5; Len: 8; Bruno: 8.5
Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower
Quickstep, Apolo & Julianne, Season 4
It was smart of Helio to pick a quickstep as his own quickstep was so memorable in his original season. Apolo visits them in rehearsal and points out if they did it like he did it in his original season it would only get 5s on this current season. He's not wrong.
About midway through the dance they go to the top of the stairs and get a spotlight for their fancy footwork section. I wonder if that was Helio's idea - it's a very good one. Shortly after that, though, back down on the main dance floor, there's a moment in a dip where Helio steps on Chelsie's skirt and it trips them up for just a moment but they make a decent recovery as far as I can tell.
Carrie Ann calls him "the quickstep king." The dress slip-up gets mentioned. Len calls it "top-notch."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8.5; Len: 8.5; Bruno: 8.5
Those are VERY generous. What would they have gotten if there hadn't been the dress issue?
The second bombshell announcement is that tomorrow night the couples will be picking styles for one another to dance next week.
Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas