It was samba time for these two, on last night's "Dancing… (ABC )
Tonight's an abbreviated show due to the presidential debate. Four couples will do their individual routines, and the other four couples will dance their group routine.
Tomorrow, they switch.
It's "Guilty Pleasures" night -- which, don't get me started. You like what you like and that's ok. Unless it's illegal. In which case, darn tootin' you should feel guilty.
Tom tells us the freestyle team dance has already claimed one victim; the camera pans to to Melissa and Tony. (Psst, I read online that she was taken to the hospital with a head injury over the weekend.) Details later in the show.
Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: Samba
As Tom introduces them, they make the goofiest faces and it's terribly endearing.
Kelly is feeling fatigued -- wait til the end of the season, if you make it that far; it's twice as long as it was when you were on the first time. This song, by Cher Lloyd, is pretty terrible. There's something just a tiny bit off about this, and it may be the song and the "rock" aesthetic they went for in the costuming. I'm used to sambas being, I dunno, tropical?
Len felt it was a little long-winded at the start. There were elements he really liked, but there was too much gyrating and it was "a little bit on the raunchy side." Bruno is all raunchy side, so he loved it. Except he wanted more of the "samba bounce." Carrie Ann says she looked uncertain and that the runs weren't in sync.
Carrie Ann has some really strange extensions or feathers clipped into her hair. The whole thing is what I've read referred to as "dragged through a hedge backwards."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8.5
Brooke's questioning backstage is clearly trying to push the "These two are DOING IT" storyline.
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd
So, after some of the stuff she wore last season with Donald Driver and the costumes she's had this year, I'm beginning to think Peta is allergic to clothes. In rehearsals, she's also got this crazy wild hair -- think Daryl Hannah in "Splash," but shoulder length. Gilles jokes that their routine should be so sexy that it will be "responsible for a lot of babies."
So, it's a rumba to "I Will Always Love You" -- more the Whitney Houston style of things than the Dolly Parton original.
What's really interesting is that until it gets to the chorus, it's a solo by the female singer, with no accompaniment. That's GOT to be hard to dance to, right? And then when the band kicks in at the chorus, they do this crazy near-death-spiral swoopy move. It's super dramatic. Good job, Peta, with the choreography of all that.
Bruno says it wasn't a dance, it was "master class theater." He said the a capella part was superb, and adds that it was incredible to maintain the rhythm and the musicality without the music.
Carrie Ann stands up and cheers, "Let the babymaking begin!" and then falls out of her chair. Gilles and Tom both rush to her aid, because they're gentlemen and awesome. Len's hiding his face in his hand.
Tom quips, once she's back in her seat, "When you said 'let the babymaking begin' I didn't think you'd get in position!" Ah, there's my "I LOVE TOM SO MUCH" moment for this show. Len calls it a blockbuster and then teases Peta about all her leg extensions.
Back from commercial, they've already set Carrie Ann's fall to goofy music and are replaying it. Nice work, editors!
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len 9.5; Bruno: 10
Oh, you stingy Len.
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Quickstep
Apparently their guilty pleasure song is Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." How on earth is that a guilty pleasure? A No. 1 song from a widely acclaimed soundtrack by an incredibly popular pop act? Why feel guilty about that?
As for the dance itself, it's a weird combo of music and dance styles and it's not quite as quick as you want a quickstep to be. Their leaps in the runs are very low, which I get, what with Kirstie being older and heavier than the other stars. It ends with them kissing behind a screen in silhouette, so the crowd goes nuts.
Carrie Ann says it was her best dance and compliments her carriage. She points out one mistake they made in the routine. Len agrees with Carrie. Bruno praised the runs and the variety of the footwork, while also noting the "mess-up."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8.5; Len: 8.5; Bruno: 8.5
Huh. That feels like a later week inflated score.
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: Samba
Now see, their song, "Copacabana" feels way more appropriate for a samba than the one Val & Kelly had. Emmitt explains that their rehearsal strategy is to laugh when they start to get stressed out.
This routine plays to Emmitt's strengths -- he gets to get his groove on and be sparkly. I might say that technically his moves could be a little sharper and more precise, but this routine is going over a treat with the audience and will with the voters as well.