'Dancing With the Stars' Recap: Ready to Rumba
Jennifer and Derek get a perfect score for an 'instant' classic
For the first time ever -- man, has Tom Bergeron said those words a lot this season -- our celebrities competed in an "instant dance round." How did that work? Well, each couple drew a song out of a super classy mirrored bowl less than an hour before dancing to it, though they knew well beforehand which style of dance they’d be doing.
And was it a success? Well, I spend a lot of time making fun of the show’s latest innovations -- Rock Week? Movie Week? Dance with a blindfold on while Len yells at you? Sigh. This one, however, is a keeper. And it sure turned out well for Jennifer Grey, who got the first perfect 30 of the season, as well as for Kyle Massey, who scored a 29 for his jive.
Brandy and Jennifer finished the night tied at the top, with Kyle right on their heels. Bristol and Kurt, well they better hope their supporters are busting out the phone trees.
Here’s a rundown of tonight’s routines:
Kyle and Lacey danced a fine-tuned, emotional waltz that really had the crowd cheering. Kyle’s frame was very good, and Len commented on the improvement in his posture. Lacey was adamant with Kyle during rehearsals about his footwork, and her coaching really paid off out on the floor.
Forget the standard disclaimer about how hard the jive is, Kyle and Lacey’s "instant" jive started out with a rockin’ solo and just kept delivering. It was a fun routine, and impressively limber. Some of the kicks were downright incredible, as was Kyle’s perfect dive and slide between Lacey’s legs. Saucy, too! This was -- by far! -- the pair’s best routine. Forget rehearsing from now on, eh?
Viennese waltz: 27/30
Once again, Jennifer was injured during rehearsals. She has a torn tendon in her left knee, but decided to keep on dancing. She and Derek turned in one of the best quicksteps I’ve ever seen on this show -- it had the perfect balance of classic technique and modern jauntiness. There were a few missteps, but Jennifer was just so perfectly on out on the floor that the judges didn’t seem to care. Truly a memorable performance!
I’ve really been looking forward to seeing Jennifer and Derek do a rumba because it demands such a connection between the dancer and the dance. I wasn’t disappointed. The routine was beautiful. Jennifer’s leg extension was jaw-dropping, her rhythm was beyond perfect and she really sold the song. It’s hard to imagine how this routine could have gone off better, and, sure enough, it garnered the first perfect score of the season.
Kurt has really come a long way in this competition, and this week’s stunning waltz is a testament to his hard work and Anna’s wonderful coaching. It really is amazing to see a gigantic football player waltz so, well, prettily. There were a few technical problems: Kurt’s lines weren’t quite perfect, and neither was his footwork. Overall, however, it was a great performance.
Kurt and Anna’s instant cha-cha was full of energy, verve and, unfortunately, lime green costumes. Kurt’s footwork wasn’t what it could have been. Still, he kept his hips nice and loose and his rhythm was quite good – maybe even better than usual.
An Argentine tango needs to be as fluid as it is intense, and I didn’t find Bristol’s fluid or intense. All of the pieces were there, they just didn’t quite fit together into an organic whole. But there were definitely good points to the routine. Mark and Bristol pulled off two stunning lifts, and the judges had good things to say overall. She turned in great performance last week, and though this one didn’t quite live up it was nothing to cry over.
Bristol’s samba had what her tango was missing, namely, spirit. She seemed more relaxed than we’ve ever seen her on the floor and turned in some shoulder shimmies that must have made her mother blush. She did have a little trouble coming out of a spin and lost the thread of the steps at one point during the middle of the routine. Carrie Ann also took issue with Bristol’s musicality. She felt that Bristol had trouble staying on beat and relied too much on Mark to keep her there.
Argentine tango: 24/30
This was an amazing waltz -- emotional, technically beautiful, and a showcase for Brandy’s incredible strength, musicality and timing. Not to mention balance. Man, were there a lot of spins in this routine. Carrie Ann took off one point because apparently Brandy wasn’t extending her neck enough. Whatever, dude. You’ve been sitting next to Len for too long.
Brandy and Maks’s "instant" cha-cha had a lot to live up to after that waltz. And it came close. Brandy’s musicality was right on, and she more than performed her half of the choreography, but the judges took issue with the little bit of stair-sitting at the beginning. Carrie Ann seemed to see it as a trick to buy time, and Len agreed. Maks .... didn’t take it well. He tried to talk over Brooke Burke during the last minute of the show, actually. But hey, Brandy and Maks are still tied at the top with Jennifer and Derek.
Who won over the judges? Jennifer and Brandy
Who won over the crowd? Jennifer and Kyle
Who needs to step it up? Bristol and Kurt
I think the people that are honoring her efforts are seeing how much work she's put into this all these weeks.. How far she has come with absolutely NO musical training, nor dancing, nor showmanship training...
It's like putting a little boy on a feisty horse and putting them in the Kentucky Derby and the boy and horse win.... would you boo that?
We expect Brandy and Jennifer to be good because of their careers, so to me, its not that much of a stretch for them to put on a really good performance.
So, I've been honoring Bristol with my votes because of her determination to see it through and to really learn to dance well and learn showmanship and she did it this week! Both dances were amazing.. The second dance was supposed to be 'cold and unattached'.. she played the emotions perfectly...
Kyle is a delight to watch and I would have rather seen Florence in the final than Jennifer if you want to talk about the 'older generation'...
I voted on Monday night to keep Jennifer in as I feel she is the best dancer. I also voted for Bristol thinking that she would need a lot of votes to beat Kyle, who as one person mentioned here is just a clown and I agree!!!! Brandy, i thought, would stand on her ability alone. I guess my strategy did not work as Kyle is in the finals and Brandy, whom i thought would give Jennifer a good run, is out! This show was supposed to be about the elegance and beaty of ballroom dancing and some have turned it into a circus. Kyle should have been gone long ago!!! Even the judges seem to be getting a payoff as they continue to praise him every week!!
If the best "dancer" does not win! this will be my last season watching!!!!!
Palin will NEVER admit that the other dancers were better than her. It's all a pity party and winning on the political lines of who her mom is.
In this country I am learning it's not what you know or how you perform, it's all about who you know and your connections. SAD DWTS. AND IF THEY SAY THEY ARE NOT PLAYING THE RATINGS CARD....IT'S NOT TRUE!
Last night was a JOKE.
THIS WAS SO UNFAIR!!!!!
I will NEVER watch this again and will tell all my friends not to.
Palin is not that good, to say she's not a dancer, she did well BUT, she should not have made it this far. The show is a JOKE. It was fixed. The shows stance will be, "it's up to the public to vote" BULL!!. It's all political and RATINGS...DWTS is milking this for all they can get. Enjoy for they shall be cancelled or will drop so far in the ratings next season it will not be funny.
It's all about $$$ and RATINGS and milking the palin connection as much as possible.
I have never seen dancers work so hard and gain weight instead of loosing weight? But Palin has gained so much more weight??? I will NOT watch the conclusion of this JOKE but, odds are Palin will win the entire contest. It should have been Brandy & her partner and Jennifer & her partner in the finals....THIS WAS SO UNFAIR!!!!! I will NEVER watch this again and will tell all my friends not to. SAD day for DWTS.
This is sooooooooo wrong. I cried. I agree with everyone who said Bristol should have been gone long ago. Oh, before any of you Palin groupies, tea baggers think it. No, I am not jealous. I know talent when I see it. Yes, Bristol did try, but she is not that good. I couldn't help but see Jennifer and Derek' faces when Brandy and Maksim were eliminated. I'm sure the Nation took note of it. We can see where this is going. Bristol is going to win. This is a quote from Sarah Palin "I slept in her bed with her and we stayed up talking," Sarah tells PEOPLE of a recent bedtime pep talk during a visit to Los Angeles, where Bristol is competing on DWTS. "We were both saying the criticism of her on the show, by some, is that she doesn't come across as a performer, as an actress. And she's like, 'I'm not!' And I'm like, 'Why not dig really deep and prove the naysayers wrong?' "
Yep! "Why not dig really deep and prove the naysayers wrong?' " Were the judges bought off? Sarah, what the hell do you mean by this. "We were both saying the criticism of her on the show, by some, is that she doesn't come across as a performer, as an actress". When you're in the spot light expect criticism especially if you are NOT a good dancer. What!? Are you going to build a 14 foot fence around Bristol all her life? Let her grow up and be herself. The Palin's and those who are voting for her are just setting Bristol up for a big fall. She'll get depressed and get pregnant again. I never pushed my child to be something he wasn't when we knew he wasn't good. Sarah is not doing this for her daughter, she is doing it for Sarah herself. Gee, you so much love the spot light. Sarah, it's getting old already.
Really... This is a dance show, I want to see the best win.
Use your political vote in elections, not on DWTS. This is wrong.
Gee by golly garsh darn Bristol sure is her moms daughter.
Hey MSN - You think you could not spoil the results for us west coast folks? This story appeared before we got the results - THANKS MORONS!
Btw, this has been the most ridiculous season. Nine times in the bottom 2 with the judges? Get real, folks. I'm a Margaret Cho fan, but would be ashamed of myself if we somehow voted her into the finals.
I hope the judges are reading these comments and ABC. I agree with Dazy929. I demand a do over without the non-celebrity that is Bristol Palin. Who, btw, don't they see that SHE CAN'T DANCE??!!!
And Dazy929 is right, Rick was much better than Kurt, but Kurt was soooo much better than Bristol. Shoot!!! So was Florence Henderson. This surely has to do with the politicos. No doubt about it.
Only thing is Dazy929, don't you remeber Mario Lopez? He was very good! I loved Gilles and Nicole too. And .... Apolo Ohno.
It is a shame that DWTS has become so politicized this year.
The tea partiers have high jacked the show and are making a statement by voting for Bristol.
The producers owe an apology to all of this year's other contestants and should redo the season without Bristol.