Showmances take a backseat as the judges double down on the tango and rumba

By Annie Barrett
Updated April 13, 2010 at 04:00 PM EDT
Craig Sjodin/ABC

On the Week 4 performance episode of Dancing With the Stars, the judges instituted a Double Score Showdown, awarding each of the nine remaining couples two separate scores for technique and performance… on the same day that KFC came out with its Double Down Sandwich, a triumph of calories and 100 Percent Pure Cheese in which fried chicken filets sub in for the two sides of a bun. First of all: Coincidence? Yes, almost definitely. Second: What is this, figure skating? No, silly. It’s ballroom dancing. Kate Gosselin would like to take this opportunity to mention that Week 4 really wasn’t fair for her. You see, she’s not a figure skater like Evan, a cheerleader like Erin, or a ”lover of performance” like frickin’ Jake Pavelka. Yes, the Bachelor. They are one in the same. Surprise! You are beginning to recognize his full name.

By the way, DANCMSTRs, I hope you’ve arrived at EW.com before going to read the news that will tell you what the rest of the day is gonna bring you — what hell you’re gonna go through. Every day, there’s something huge. And if you already did check the rest of the Internet, you’ve got to let that go. You can’t bring that in here. If you let that get to you, Jon Gosselin wins. If you fail this week, he wins. Will you let that happen? Deep breath, tango and rumba-monsters. Here we go. Come on, let’s do a crazy-ass routine.

Wow, thanks for stopping by, Tony. Congrats on your accordion mastery (potential Hidden Gem?) and for delivering the line of the night: ”Wow, Kate Gosselin’s speechless. This is awesome.” Now, will the judges please reveal their DOUBLE SHOWDOWN scores? Carrie Ann Inaba!

Evan Lysacek and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya: 26 technical + 26 performance = 52 out of possible 60 ”Wait a Minute” — was that a Pussycat Dolls song for Evan and Anna’s tango? Sort of. The couple took a chance by incorporating a chair into the first section of the routine — I kept thinking they better not break hold after that or DANCMSTR would flip his s—. No worries; their dance was great. Bruno called Evan ”strong and powerful with a hint of catlike arrogance.” I’m loving the unexpected instant-replays we’re getting this season during the judges’ critiques — in this case, we could realize what DANCMSTR was talking about when he said Evan’s Viennes crosses pleased him. DANCMSTR and I have always had different priorities; what pleased me most about this week’s top couple were the ”boob-eyelid” cutouts of Anna’s dress and her crazy ”pyramid steps” hairstyle.

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough: 25 + 25 = 50/60 Could Nicole hold back the giggles as she attempted the dance of love? Not with a braid that was possibly a snake attached to her Edyta-lite ”dress”! Like love, a snake/braid attached to one’s costume ”is… scary sometimes.” The worst thing the judges could come up with after Nicole’s hyper-extended rumba was that her arms were over-exaggerated. I’m not sure why Nicole was on the verge of tears after receiving such hearty scores, but maybe it was due to something unrelated to dance. (Blasphemy!) The most lasting visual of their segment was Derek, explaining ”this is my love hand” while slowly humping a pillar in the middle of the rehearsal studio. Runner-up visual was Derek stumbling down the Technicolor Staircase at the beginning of the show. ”Boy, why you tripping like that?” Nicole might have said/sung to him. Pussycat Dolls joke. I’m so sorry.

NEXT: Heart pillows! What’s the occasion? Who cares?

Pamela Anderson and Damian Whitewood: 23 + 24 = 47/60 Maks threw a heart pillow right at Pam after Pam had said she was basically starved for sex. What does it all mean? Nothing. They’re pillows! Pam and Damian’s rumba wasn’t as over-the-top sexy as it could have been; considering where this budding couple could have taken things, I thought it was just right. Her costume could have been even more revealing — not necessarily to show off the maracas, but to show off more of her footwork. I feel the same way about her bedroom hair constantly obstructing her face. Bruno, who also has sex in his blood, called Pam’s rumba ”technically the best dance” she’s ever done. I think Pam could make it to the finals based on dancing and likeability alone. Viewers enjoy a non-ringer improvement arc, and she might be it.

Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke: 21 + 23 = 44/60 Chad could make it a bit further than expected, too — his rumba this week was way better than some of his previous performances, and this one boasted a bonus element of mystery. Get this: It was not a throw rug! Just a pile of feathers. Case closed. Chad bought Cheryl this huge bauble of a ring and no one would shut up about it. Luckily, Derek and Anna were able to step in and rotate the Sparkaliens’ new plush toys around Chad and Cheryl’s heads while they received their scores. These new heart pillows are really coming in handy when the concept of ”showmance” needs to be displayed a bit more subtly. Remember, ladies and gentlemen: If you can’t cook, as long as you got good hips, then you’re all right.

Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 18 + 21 = 39/60 ”Sweet dreams are made of fondling Len’s face…” Too bad they went first — Erin and Maks’ tango was very good, despite Erin’s spaghetti arms (as Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing would have pointed out) and the way she ”started out flamboyant and aggressive, like a murderess,” said Bruno. (He wishes!) At least the couple placed much higher than Maks’ prediction of 12th place, out of 9. Two things cracked me up during their rehearsal footage: a large clump of lint floating around their feet and the almost mythical title of ”Dr. Chris Zarembinski, President of JointVitality.” Is that like the top banking group or mutual fund of Planet Mirrorballus? I’m transferring all my savings there immediately.

Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower: 19 + 19 = 38/600 Jake and Chelsie’s mid-tango adventure up and down the platform steps was one of the most impressive sequences of the night. Almost immediately after that, Jake tripped twice on solid ground. Spotlights seemed to shoot up from underneath them, and then Jake flung Chelsie down at the foot of that blasted judges’ table because he’s never known a girl like her before. It was ”very, very, very messy,” said Bruno, but Jake ”attacked the dance” with a great attitude, said DANCMSTR. Amusingly, someone has created a ”TURN UP, KEEP UP, SHUT UP” shirt for Jake to wear during rehearsals. I want one of those, (with ”That’s What DANCMSTR Said” on the back under ”TRUST YOUR PRO”) almost as much as I want a Free Tony! tank top. Fine, I already purchased the latter.

Niecy Nash and Louis van Intensité: 18 + 18 = 36/60 Niecy’s rumba, otherwise known as ”the bedroom dance,” was a tribute to her brother, Michael, who was shot and killed in 1993. DANCMSTR called it ”a bit boring” and Bruno said she looked like she was in a trance. Carrie Ann thought Niecy’s ”emotion didn’t read well in the dance — in your mind, it might have been bigger.” Maybe, but did Niecy really just get the same score as Kate for performance? Yikes. Niecy looked ready to 1-800-CUT-A-BITCH as she stomped upstairs to the celebriquarium. Are we sick of that term yet? Also: Are all of Niecy’s dances going to be so serious? I can’t wait for next week as she’ll attempt to portray her lifelong love-hate relationship with cheese during a pungent orange-fringed mambo. Seriously, you guys. Please do that.

NEXT: ”For Your Entertainment”: An all-new Kate Gosselin dance-aster

Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska: 15 + 18 = 33/60 Edyta had a blast on that cruise ship, and their whole segment would have been worth it just to see that. You gotta ”Live Like You’re Dying,” you know? Especially on a boat. Cut to the rumba: Whoa, Edyta has just finished a half-marathon. Now half-cover her in foil! As for the dance itself, DANCMSTR said Aiden’s rumba lacked musicality, and Bruno compared Aiden to a stop-motion Harryhausen character. At least he was animated. Awkward inquiry of the night: Brooke to Aiden after he received three 5s: ”Were you hoping for more?”

Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani In Chains: 14 + 18 = 32/60 What Tom called ”two largely positive critiques” from Bruno and Carrie Ann contained the sentences ”For a moment I actually believed you were dancing, but don’t get too excited — your technique is still very bad” and ”You may not have artistry in your movements, but you have determination.” Like the pregnant pause the still-so-fertile Kate took before letting Tony launch her body into the one impressive move of her dance (that final, twisting sweep), Kate’s whole segment was designed to give Kate and her fans hope. But come on, now. That tango, set to Adam Lambert’s ”For Your Entertainment,” may have been better than her recent dance-asters but it was still pretty bad.

Note: No American Idol contestants were harmed in the making of this episode. Just their music. And possibly some singing animals. Should I say something nice? It’s cute that Kate was still celebrating last weekend’s holiday with some crunchy blades of black Easter-basket grass in her hair. Any Cadbury’s Mini Eggs under there? I would love one.

Finally, cheers to Kym (she’s aliiiiiiiiiiive!) for taking time out of her photo shoot for the businesswear section of the Victoria’s Secret catalog to come demonstrate the rumba with Dmitry. I’m loving these performance-night demos. Theirs had almost as much fire as Jonathan and Anna Demi Bra’s — and Dmitry and Kym didn’t even have to incorporate pyrotechnics!

‘Til tomorrow morning, DANCMSTRs — leave your own critiques and nominate your Hidden Gems of the Week in the comments. (I’ve already received some great ones on Twitter and in PopWatch.) Did the double scores do anything for you? Who goes home tonight?

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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