Greetings, DANCMSTRs! Inspired by Lil’ Kim (as I am every day), I tried to write this recap on my Buddha Board, but it kept disappearing. What a bust! You’ll have to settle for the non-relaxing, text-based version instead. While I attempt to wrap my head around just how Bob Saget and Cynthia Stevenson managed to travel from a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiive! studio audience to a cozy sofa in a matter of seconds, why not take a trippy trip (emphasis on trippy) down the sequin-encrusted Mammary Lane of last night’s Dancing With the Stars week 5 performance show? Here’s how the nine remaining couples ranked after performing either the paso doble or the Viennese waltz…
Gilles Marini and Cheryl: 29 out of possible 30 He’s shirtless! He does martial arts! He has an adorable son who calls him ”pah-PAH”! The man can do no wrong. Well, according to DANCMSTR, Gilles’ and Cheryl’s paso doble was ”a bit hectic,” but Tom and Bruno just chalked that up to pec-envy and I think it’s probably just that two 30s in a row for Gilles would seem pretty ridiculous. And this show is never ridiculous. The three-item combo platter of Gilles’ ripply upper half, its burnt sienna hue, and the illusion of heavily applied eyeliner caused me to zone out in one of my typical DWTS-induced hazes wherein all I can see is the vomiting-kaleidoscope graphic again and again and again — so I was actually glad when Cheryl swooped in to barely cloak Gilles in a snug, bedazzled bolero. He eventually got her back for this possibly misguided decision by ”nailing her” in a dramatic final floor-based flourish. ”Gilles for the kill!” He and his multi-faceted triceps are amazing.
Shawn Johnson and Mark: 26/30 We all know what was responsible for ”Shmark’s” lovely Viennese waltz…Mark’s facial scruff! The magical powers of Mark Ballas’ facial scruff (a new season 8 development) range from ”choreographing beautiful yet simplistic routines,” to ”getting away with illegal lifts,” to a feat near and dear to DWTS‘ heart: ”looking hot.” DANCMSTR complimented the pair for the romantic feel of their dance, and I think that had a lot to do with the changing pace of the routine, especially near the end with that slow, drawn-out finish. Mark’s solution to that one-foot-on-the-ground ”It’s not a lift!” move that most couples end up bungling was brilliant: He sort of placed Shawn on the ground so her feet were in a half split, then spun her. Those high heels look insane on such a little person. I loved how, during rehearsal, Shawn spun out of control and fell over on the same double-pirouette move she can easily pull off on a four-inch-wide balance beam, just because she was wearing those heels.
Lil’ Kim and Derek: 26/30 Swathed in a long, peach-hued gown almost too reminiscent of Brooke and Derek’s Viennese waltz in season 7 (right down to the rosette hairpiece), Lil’ Kim floated through her dance in what Bruno called ”total harmony with your partner.” The judges all raved about the pair’s chemistry, but DANCMSTR couldn’t quite get on board with some of Kim’s footwork. (Anyone know the word for ”podiatrist” in British?) Derek’s choreography and smart decisions to cut out some of the moves Kim had trouble with during rehearsal really paid off this week. If Kim had been unsure of her steps (like Melissa was, at times), it’s unlikely she would have been able to make a Viennese waltz look ”sassy” — something Bruno claims to have never seen in his life. But back to that rehearsal segment for a sec: Did I just see a beige scrunchie holding back Lil’ Kim’s mane? Anyone remember Kate’s inexplicable red scrunchie on last Wednesday’s Lost? ABC, stop trying to make scrunchies happen again! They’re not going to happen again. Much to my mom’s eternal dismay….
NEXT: Chuck and the live audience need to grow up