The final five teams perform two dances (Ballroom and Latin), as do the pros

By Annie Barrett
Updated May 05, 2009 at 04:00 PM EDT
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Dancing With the Stars

S8 E16
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‘Dancing With the Stars’: Waltzing the night away

Important announcement, DANCMSTRs! I officially have a new favorite Dancing With the Stars minor character for season 8. He’s the highly distracting snowman-like parking garage mascot that kept popping into frame during Derek and Lil’ Kim’s rehearsal footage this week. It’s quite possible his highness has been there all along, but I just noticed him tonight and it’s never too late to introduce yourself to a super hot guy. Check him out. He just wants to dance (with Derek)! He’s got some beautiful lines, to be sure, but needs to work on that ever-important performance quality. Right now: too flat.

Monday’s two-hour extravaganza allowed for not only a Ballroom and a Latin performance from each of the five remaining couples, but two fantastic Louis van Amstel pro demonstrations featuring Dmitry & Kym, Jonathan & Anna Tre-BUN-skaya, and Louis & Lacey (who is so hot right now). Soapbox time: I strongly feel that some light punishment needs to be administered to audience members who look anything less than totally jazzed to be there. Nothing serious, maybe just some mild electrocution via one’s seat cushion. (Are there cushions?) Crowd-based glumness is especially inexcusable during pro demos as great as these, and on a Monday night, too. What exactly is going to enrapture you if not this? Why are you sitting there? Are you even a-liiiiiiiiiiiiive? Please, just smile. ”Dang-it!” I’m so upset, I’ve become as eloquent as Melissa. Speaking of whom….

Melissa Rycroft and Tony: 57 out of possible 60 Boneless Ribs floated her way into the top spot this week after what Tom’s voice-over would surely call a ”sizzling samba” and an ethereal Viennese Waltz set to a horribly sped-up version of Sarah McLachlan’s ”Angel.” Gross! I only approve of ”Angel” when it’s played in Meg Ryan movies, commercials about dogs that need your help, or the CD player of my mom’s Toyota circa 1997. Melissa was physically and emotionally tentative throughout the waltz, but I found the part at which Tony supported her as she leaned all the way back, mid-spin, pretty impressive for someone with a hairline fracture in her ribcage. Later on, Melissa’s samba seemed predestined to earn that perfect 30. Nice fakeout from Carrie Ann: ”I have to point out the flaws. Take the week off. Flawless!” Thanks to some well-executed samba rolls, Melissa sported some major under-boob action in the left breast region for the second half of her dance. This might have gone unnoticed had it not been for her loud acknowledgement to the increasingly ecstatic Tony, and Tom, and America, that ”my boob came out!” Just kidding; we totally would have noticed anyway. This week marked Melissa’s second ”webbed” costume of the season, though the samba one was about 20 billion times more porny than this…thing. I particularly enjoyed the oversize ruffle of the rump.

NEXT: Cheryl continues to berate Gilles

Shawn Johnson and Mark: 56/60 Team Shark first danced a quickstep to ”Friend Like Me” from Aladdin, which I was delighted to realize for the first time contains the line ”How about a little more baklava?” (I am always saying that, just not in song.) For her final pose, Shawn confirmed that her bluesy gown did, in fact, make her the genie, by pointing to herself in triumph. The judges weren’t havin’ it though: All three called Mark out on breaking the hold more than once during the dance. Maybe he thought he could get away with that because his bosom buddy Derek has, in the past. For the Latin round, ”Baby” Shawn seemed terrified of the paso doble — and not just because her baby Mark was being super intense about the imaginary bulls that roam free in his brain and must be killed as he emits incredibly accurate sound effects. Shawn didn’t know if she could be serious enough for the paso, but for someone who can hold an ”I’m pissed at you, camera” gaze during one of those treacherous backstage pre-commercial pans and not break character at the last second, a successfully acted paso should not be so surprising. Shawn’s solo at the very beginning reminded me of what she might do at one end of a balance beam. Hand flick. Twist turn. Cock the head. With a flourish! I thought her gymnastics background suited her for the paso, at least physically, more than for any other dance she’s done. What was with the sudden gush of judge-hugs at the end? I thought I’d accidentally fast-forwarded to Lil’ Kim.

Gilles Marini and Cheryl: 56/60 At this point, the editing of Cheryl’s constant berating of Gilles during rehearsals is just comical. A random sampling: ”That’s not how you do it.” ”That wasn’t a heel.” ”You look like a monster.” ”I hate that.” And my personal favorite… ”Pretend you’re the lead in a romantic role.” (Someday soon after this show, Zheeeeeeel!) I much preferred the couple’s first dance, the foxtrot, to their forced-sexy rumba — the subtleties of Gilles’ movements and attitude for the ballroom round were more charming in as sophisticated a way as leopard print combined with sequins can entail. (Come to think of it, I generally love the foxtrot no matter who’s dancing. Am I boring? Is the dance? I say neither.) Gilles’ rumba was pretty solid except for his over-the-top solo, the cheese factor of which was only intensified by his nasty sheer shirt. Gilles is obviously très sexy (pronounced ”sex-eee!”), but the see-through costumes always give off this sort of trashy greasy-bear quality I can’t get behind. Also, that grayish-purple rosette on Cheryl’s thigh looked like a massive bruise. An honorary perfect 10 goes to Gilles’ gorgeous wife, who seemed incredibly good-natured about the fact that her hubby and the C-dawg were about to do it right in front of her.

Lil’ Kim and Derek: 52/60 Miss ”High Mainten-ance” (oh, how I wish that T-shirt she wore during rehearsal had said ”High Mainten-dance instead) looked a bit tentative during the waltz, though once again the choreography of stubbly-this-week Derek made for a beautiful dance anyway. ”When I Need You” was certainly a questionable, and annoying, song choice. It seemed odd that Samantha was urging us to use our phones to vote just after the song had assured us that ”the telephone can’t take the place of your smile.” If Kim gets voted out tonight, we can assume her fans took that lyric to heart and just grinned to themselves in lieu of interacting with technology. (This would not be the worst thing in the world, which happens to be DANCMSTR discussing the merits of spotted dick.) Bruno’s ”you try to be the lady but you’re more comfortable being a tramp” comment after the waltz was a bit out of line — even Kim’s ensuing trademark shriek had an ”Oh no he di-iiiiiiint” tinge to it that is usually overridden by a chorus of squealing seals. Latin round: Major props to Lil’ Kim for performing the most extensive (and hilarious) solo of all five contestants, though perhaps I should be directing this praise to her crotch, which was clearly in the driver’s seat instead of her brain as she writhed around on the floor. With a crotch comes a booty and, according to Bruno, Kim’s can do no wrong. Tom’s comment that ”the solos are already being downloaded online,” though patently insane, was a thickly veiled reference to Lil’ Kim’s new single with T-Pain, ”Download.” (Here’s the ridiculous video for it — fear not; hot-fuchsia obsession and a base understanding of the Internet are both in full effect.)

NEXT: Hidden Gem

Ty ”It’s Pretty Obvious I’m Not Cuban” Murray and Chelsie: 46/60 One of the best moments of the episode for me was Ty with Jewel. You know what I’m talking about: The couple’s leopard-print and safari-esque bathrobes complemented each other perfectly. Together they made one whole zoo. No, seriously, we’ll all remember Ty’s adorable ”sort of a solo” at the end of his rumba, during which he walked slowly (and off the beat) over to his wife while (barely) shaking his hips, as one of the cutest DWTS moments ever. Ty Murray was not built for the rumba, or light purple, but he tried as mightily as Chelsie’s feathered bottom in that Latin round anyway. Mr. King of the Cowboys fared much better in the Argentine Tango, which he liked because he could hold on to Chelsie, act serious, and do some lifts. Bruno called Ty a Power Ranger (which was perfect, and at first struck me as a compliment) and the judges agreed his movements are still too stiff, but Ty’s tango matched his high score (from the Lindy Hop) of 25. He’s getting decent scores, but the others consistently score even higher. I’ll be shocked if Ty doesn’t go home tonight, even though we all wuv him.

The Hidden Gem of Monday Reader Lisa emailed me during the show with this excellent find: Right after Melissa and Tony’s waltz, ”there he was — a dead ringer for Jason the Bachelor! He looked so much like him on first glance, my daughter gasped and nearly fell out of her chair.” (OMG…is Lisa’s daughter Holly Madison during the Argentine Tango?)

Awesome. Thanks, Lisa! Apologies to all for the horrid image quality. I had to snap it with my phone. AT&T sponsors recaps, too!

Ever since Lisa Rinna performed her ”look at me” full-body shake during last night’s show, I’ve been psyched for tonight’s new-pro competition. Calling Rinna, Cody Linley, and Maurice Greene ”some of our favorite stars” is a rather amusing stretch, but these three do make excellent choices for celebrity partners in that they’re all hardworking go-getters with minimal natural dance talent. By the way, did anyone else catch Afton’s very obvious smirk during that staged ”elimination round” in the dance studio, as her original partner Brent was announced as one of the lowest vote-getters? What? Stop booing me. It’s the truth! Spotted dick and custard! Pickle me walnuts!

Okay, DANCMSTRs, it’s time for my medication. Sound off on the quarterfinal performance round in the comments. Your posts will show up….liiiiiiiiiiiive.

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Dancing With the Stars

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