Last night’s performance episode of Dancing With the Stars started out just like any other. The Sparkaliens descended the amazing Technicolor staircase. Tom let out his first six Chuckles, enough for a single serving of candy. Kate Gosselin mouthed ”I love you” to the camera to remind her kids, watching at home, that she loves the camera. But — dramatic plot twist! — last night turned out to be different… for once upon a time, on a faraway planet known as Mirrorballus, the week 3 performance episode was…STORY NIGHT.
Everyone’s dance had to tell a story so that, ultimately, DANCMSTR could complain about all the gimmickry and messin’ about. We journeyed through a beautiful, magical tale of paso doble, waltz, and quickstep, demonstrated at first by six of ”Our Pros” who were not invited to headline season 10: Jonathan Roberts and Anna Demidova, Maks’ brother Val Chmerkovskiy and Lacey Schwimmer, and Dmitry Chaplin and relatively unfamiliar blonde-with-bangs Snejana Petrova. Welcome back, everyone! Lacey’s signature kiss ‘n’ wink, I missed you most of all. Jonathan even stuck around to support Ochocinco with fellow matador Tony Dovolani via an adorable Three Amigos salute.
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inaba!
Evan Lysacek and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya: 26 out of possible 30 Despite ”a few broken toes” that Evan ”found out about this week” as if they were unfortunate coffee stains on one of his amazing rehearsal hats, the gold medal-winning figure skater turned a perfect cartwheel during his and Anna’s quickstep. ”She might have been late,” said Bruno in reference to Anna, who was rudely applying makeup during the first few seconds of the routine, ”but you were ready to give her the ride of her life! Good for you.” Anna was the perfect flaming-red flapper in that incredible dress. ”Say it in a thick Russian accent” is officially the new ”Say it with flowers.”
Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 23/30 Erin Andrews in a blindfold. Whether you’re about to videotape her in the nude or e-mail her a death threat, she’ll never see it coming. Because she’s blindfolded! Of course, DANCMSTR hated all the messin’ about at the beginning of their waltz. I can understand that, but I loved the blindfold motif. It was more than just a visual prop — I agreed with Carrie Ann that the blindfold added another dimension to the dance, and an element of danger. And obviously, I wouldn’t mind being blindfolded and having Maks reassure me, ”I added candlelight and wine and everything.” I would gratefully reply, ”Well, good, because I’m blind! You better have cooked, too.”
Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough: 23/30 They got two 10s last week. ”Where do we go from here?” they wondered. Why, to sea, of course! Nicole and Derek became not just sailors, but janitor sailors, so that they could follow in the fancy footsteps of two famous couples: Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly from the movies, and Mya and Dmitry from season 9. (Watch this video of Astaire and Kelly dancing in Ziegfeld Follies — I like to imagine them as the two pieces of bread in a hypothetical DANCMSTR sandwich when they’re in closed hold toward the end.) Nicole and Derek did a lift, but apparently lifts don’t count if the girl lifts the boy. I guess Carrie Ann’s rules fly out the window on Story Night! I don’t think Derek and Nicole wanted 10s this week, though — maybe to avoid viewer backlash after last week’s 28. During their rehearsal segment, the producers were desperado for some way to suggest to viewers that Nicole was struggling with the choreography, so they asked her to pretend she couldn’t count.
NEXT: Talking about love is like dancing about marriage equality