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Dancing with the Stars recap: Latin Intensity

The dancers add a Latin performance that is meant to spotlight their solo work, a good thing for some (Brooke) and not such a good thing for others (Cody)

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Maurice Greene
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: In the spotlight

On last night’s Dancing With the Stars, the showrunners decided to really switch things up by demanding a 15-second solo from each of the five remaining ”stars.” Were we even ready for it?! You tell me. Cody Linley leapt onto a table, Warren Sapp played hopscotch, and Lance Bass appeared to have been auditioning for the role of ”special dancer” in a vaguely hip-hop version of my junior high’s production of Cats. (Yes, that was my role. What?) Maurice Greene wielded a periwinkle-on-one-side cape. The upper half of Brooke Burke did the twist. Yeah. I think we could handle it.

Indeed, my excitement level for the week 8 performance show about matched Tom Bergeron’s as he uttered the line — and I wish I was kidding here — ”The always hot and spicy Latin round is about to get all hot and spicy.” Still, there were some bright spots — namely, the dozens of giant gold sequins on Kym’s 2008 Wall Street Bailout tango costume, which I’m praying one of the wardrobe assistants wore on Halloween. So topical, this show! Here’s how the final five ranked after completing a ballroom and a Latin on week 8…

Brooke Burke and Derek: 55 out of possible 60 Brooke is undoubtedly the best dancer of the final five, but Carrie Ann’s exaggerated praise from last week, about Brooke being as good as the show’s professionals, clearly struck DANCMSTR’s cranky nerve after Brooke and Derek’s tango. He got as nitpicky as he would with a pro, saying the dance was ”riddled with mistakes. Derek knows that.” I was less surprised by Len’s uncharacteristic fault finding in Brooke than the way Carrie Ann ignored the little lift at the end of the tango, just moments after she called out Cody and Edyta for including a lift in their fox-trot. I actually enjoyed Brooke’s tango much more than her mambo, and I’ll go ahead and superficially blame costuming for that. The unnecessary ”belt” part of Brooke’s tango gown — which served to hold up nothing — was quite mesmerizing, whereas the heinous wig she donned for the mambo somehow managed to lend Brooke a slight desperation/Lisa Rinna vibe. I didn’t even recognize her at first, and assumed this was a last-minute stand-in — DANCMSTR’s latest Hooters server, perhaps, having been instructed to ”Do this, and, um…wear this,” to which she obliged because she already knew she looked good in orange and quite frankly just needed the cash.

Warren Sapp and Kym: 54/60 We know that Kym loves herself a sweeping cinematic theme song (who can forget her dance with Joey Fatone to Star Wars). For ”Secret Agent Warren Sapp,” it was a tango set to the Peter Gunn theme. (Not 007. Thanks!) Actually, the music wasn’t even the most significant detail — rather, the big news here was that two people not wearing any red whatsoever danced a tango on DWTS and somehow pulled it off! Kym was the real hero last night, likely due to her recent penchant for knee-high leg warmers (in two colors!), each of which was a quantum of solace amidst the harsh climates of the DWTS rehearsal studios. Kym’s crafty choreography couldn’t mask Warren’s flawed footwork during their jive, much to DANCMSTR’s dismay, but I’m with Carrie Ann on this one: When Warren falls behind or forgets a step, he always does realize it, and makes a valiant effort to catch up. (Ha! And this is the person who will probably beat Brooke Burke for the sparkly trophy. The unapologetic ridiculousness of DWTS never ceases to amaze me.) Warren’s solo had the best ”flavor of the given dance” vs. ”flavor of the celebrity” combo, so for at least 15 seconds at least, he has already won!

NEXT: Lance and Lacey trotted out a new philosophy