Welcome back to the ballroom! Week 4 was ‘Acoustic Night,’ which apparently called for a raised circular platform that I excitedly assumed would make Dancing With the Stars seem like even more of a circus than it already was. Instead, Monday’s rumbas and Argentine tangos severely underwhelmed, and I found the small dance floor too stifling. I get that they were going for an intimate setting — it obviously worked for the demos from Our Pros and might even work for one round during the semifinals. But for the still-shaky contestants on Week 4, it was all just a bit too serious, bordering on terrifying. WHAT IF THE SITUATION DROPPED KARINA?
For me, DWTS is at its best when it’s ridiculous and over-the-top-cheesy or when the dancing is spectacular. I found only one dance truly impressive last night, and perked up for the first time when suddenly Florence Henderson was sauntering down a catwalk in a giant-sequined shift. This was more than an hour into the show! (Update: My notes suggest I may have simply blacked out during Corky’s nude scene moments prior!)
I try my best to take a “whatever” approach to this silly series, DNCMSTRs, but sometimes even I need a boost. You know it’s an off week when Enthusiastic Chimes Lady is barely in sight and our new fave, Thoroughly Professional Violinist, is repeatedly overtaken by Flamboyant Second Violinist and Accordion Man. But hey, no big deal. Water under the bridge. Puddle of spray tan under the circus platform, right? It was worth a shot. Let’s get to the JUDGES’ LEADERBOARD for the week 4 performances. Remember it was a DOUBLE SCORE SHOWDOWN, so each couple received a score out of 30 for both the Technical and Performance aspects of their dances.
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann In-ahhh-ber!
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough: Technical score of 27/30 plus Performance score of 29/30 = 56 out of possible 60 Jennifer and Derek’s Argentine tango was so far beyond any other performance tonight. I think it was the piano-playing. And you thought last week was prop week! Just kidding; it was the choreography and Jennifer’s ability to keep up. What I liked most about this dance was that it didn’t seem lopsided in favor of the pro (ahem, Mark and Bristol) but instead they seemed like a real couple dancing in Len’s favorite locale, a seedy club in Buenos Aires. (Complete with totally distracting flying football-game cameras!) It helped that their music was a traditional tune and didn’t sound as if it had been whipped to a pulp in the dreaded Where Popular Music Goes to Die Blender (exclusive to DWTS — until Idol starts back up in January!). I think Derek’s white spats may have also helped — they accentuated just how sharp and in sync their steps were. Tom’s doppelganger Jamie Lee Curtis loved it, too.
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 22 + 26 = 48/60 This was hard for Brandy, y’all. She doesn’t feel sexy unless she’s in love, and she hasn’t been with anybody in six years. Dear Mirrorballus in ballroom heaven! This revelation struck me as the stunner of the show. But their rumba was pretty good, too, if you could get past Brandy’s white sparkly boyshorts/poncho combo long enough to realize that Maks’ shirt was wide open and flowing almost as hard. (You could.)
NEXT: Warning: Argentine tango may cause wrinkles, mustaches.