Dancing with the Stars recap: Riding the Crazy Train
Give boys wigs and funny things start to happen. Having the Hustle song in your head seven hours after hearing it loop at least 20 times = not funny, ABC! On week 5 of Dancing With the Stars: Hairstyles by Fellini, the 10 remaining couples danced either the paso doble or the Argentine tango and later dabbled in some minimal Group Hustle action. Not exactly the shame bonanza I’d been hoping for (except for the amazing rainbow graphics introducing the event), the Group Hustle was somewhat disappointing, even though it was technically, as Bruno said, ”sublime and ridiculous at the same time.” Not such a high distinction, considering it applies to virtually everything else within the entire series. Before we get to the all-important judges’ leader board, I’d like to alert you to this fairly hilarious Unfortunate DVR Pause of the Night, a Tom/Sam gem that presented itself in my apartment around 2:30 a.m. It pretty accurately sums up nine seasons’ worth of DWTS‘ patented brand of lovable terror, don’t you think? Moving on…
Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson: 29 out of possible 30 Two 10s for Mr. Four Nights a Week in Vegas! Only DANCMSTR held out. The Argentine tango suited the increasingly ”dangerous” Donny Osmond, whom Bruno has newly labeled ”Donnie Darko.” ”You took me there,” cooed Marie’s brother back at Bruno, while Tom gave his best ”Dear God, not this again” headshake. Donny seems much less hammier than Marie used to, and I’m surprised to be enjoying his DWTS trajectory as of late. Part of this could be due to Kym’s costumes — yet again, I thought they were the best-dressed couple of the night, and Kym’s dress was probably one of my favorites ever. Ruffles, sequins, lace and fringe, and all black to boot. Well, all black except for that clear strip of packing tape on Kym’s left hip that suggested the entire dress was being held together by merely a few sparkles and a prayer. Is there any better form of attachment? Check your email; the answer is no.
Mya and Dmitry Chaplin: 27/30 I liked Bruno’s follow up to Carrie Ann’s critique of Mya’s Argentine Tango: ”Technique alone can sometimes become distant.” I think that’s the root of why, despite her obvious talent, I’m not completely on board with Mya this season. Maybe if she and Dmitry hammer two more nails into a foundation for Habitat for Humanity next week, I can be persuaded. Maybe Mya’s just getting a really harsh edit, but I don’t like the condescension involved in her partnership with Dmitry. From the ”Oh wow, great” when he cheesily handed her a rose, to ”It’s hard with the tricks, especially for Dmitry,” I just don’t think that attitude has a place on DWTS. It’s a toss-up between Mya’s ‘tude and Dmitry’s long Hustle wig for my Do Not Want award of the night.
Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer: 26/30 This paso doble, on the other hand, was my favorite dance. I was fully committed to Mark starting with the dramatic crotch outline of his initial pose. As Lacey had told us, thus somewhat defeating the purpose of what she was about to say, ”I’m taking a risk and giving Mark a solo. I really need him to stand out.” The drama didn’t end with Mark’s crotch — suddenly, Lacey emerged from a cloud of smoke! I think maybe it did something weird to her hair. Mark, or ”Mephisto the Red Devil,” as deemed by Bruno, held his serious expression even after the final note, and even got to throw a butterfly twist in there. Lacey’s choreography was fantastic; I loved her ”fluttering to the floor” move at the end. She’s such a cape!
NEXT: Aaron’s road to manhood
Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff:24 /30 Sometimes I don’t understand why Aaron feels the need to constantly play up his whole ”this boy can become a man” story line — it’s like he’s an actor playing this foreign role called ”a male” on TV. And yet most of the things he does (falling to the ground after dancing with Karina’s pro friends) and most of the comments he receives (DANCMSTR: ”You’re lost in the wilderness like a little boy who lost his daddy. You’ve come back to me!” Ew, by the way) corroborate this stupid manhood plot, so okay, I guess. Aaron and Karina’s Argentine tango was extremely effective in its slowness and much better than most of his other routines in that it demanded some never-before-seen subtlety from Aaron. Their final pose was incredible — you think, ”no way can they pull this off in two beats,” and then Karina’s whirling and whirling and all of a sudden BAM she’s on the ground. But back to Aaron: ”A little like watching Robert Pattinson tangoing in Twilight, said you-know-who. Carrie Ann loved his performance, too, and even called Aaron up to the table for a little cheek-kiss action. Tom kept saying ”it’s makeup time” while this was going on, and I like to believe he was literally referring to their frosted snack cake faces.
Joanna Krupa and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24/30 Ooh, I’m loving Joanna with Maks. (Surprise! I like Maks.) Like I said last week, I think Joanna’s actually really good when she’s in hold and can be sort of swept around. She’s tall, but she’s what my mom would call ”just a wisp of a thing” and having a bigger partner in Maks was great for the parts of the tango where the feet are just supposed to lightly sweep the floor. She’s good at draping herself over things and being taken over, like a noodle hotly pursued by a fork. I know she messed up with the footwork, but I still enjoyed this more than most of the other dances and thought Joanna’s character and general sense of movement were pretty spot-on this week. I’m sorry Derek got the flu, but I was endlessly amused by the scene of him lounging around with only his giant wraparound sofa, strategically placed iPhone, and sad ”Get Well Soon” balloon to keep him company…and I am overjoyed that his illness paved the way for Dancing With the Stars to make what I believe was its first ‘4:20’ joke ever with this shot of Derek eating ice cream in bed.
Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Intensity: 24/30 I’m not sure why Kelly was so worried she wouldn’t do justice to her father’s song ”Crazy Train” — doesn’t she know there’s an entire band for that? Bruno’s critique of Kelly was spot-on: When she is ”on it,” she delivers; she just needs to get there and stay there. I’m loving the rapport between Kelly and Louis (they’re so comfortable with each other, he even blows his nose into her mouth) and their shared commitment to the heavy metal qualities of slate gray. The extra-voluptuous Kelly had total Sharon hair for the paso, and Louis loves any excuse to wear eye makeup, so that worked out well. Ozzy Osbourne’s reaction to Carrie Ann’s comment that Louis looked just like him was beyond priceless. On my TV screen it seemed like Ozzy was looking into the camera; not so much in that photo. I guess he’s like one of those lions whose eyes follow you across the room but not if you take its picture. We used to have one of those creepy pottery figurines with glass eyes in my house. I know I sound insane right now, but I have a very clear picture of this in my head and it’s 4:25 in the morning, and maybe that’s enough?
Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas: 23/30 Anna Tre-BUN-skaya (whom Melissa called ”Anya” but later self-corrected) stopped by for a rehearsal session once Mark’s infectious disease became too much for a single surgical mask to handle. In just one day, Melissa learned one of the most important lessons in ballroom culture: ”Boobies up. Try to lift the girls up and keep them there.” Melissa filled in the blanks for the backwards head toss Anna showed her as well. ”I’ll throw my head back — dramatic, like you beat me — but now I’m back,” Melissa explained to Mark once he was back. Hey, whatever helps you learn the technique. Unfortunately, Tre-BUN’s womanly guidance did not hold, and neither did Melissa’s wobbly footwork during the Argentine tango. This was extra obvious because Mark had decided to wear bright red spats! He does love his footwear. Difficult choreo can be impressive with the right partner, but Mark might want to scale it back for next week.
NEXT: Natalie and Alec’s dead-eye contest
Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo: 22/30 Natalie’s transformation into Edyta continues! Take Edyta’s NFL-themed paso doble from season 6, replace her green satin bikini attachments with Natalie’s heinous blue ones, add a horrifying rendition of ”American Woman” and a sparkly black suit for the man, and you’d have Natalie and Alec’s lackluster routine from last night. Nothing really worked with Natalie here — the messy bun, the weird tan shoes…she even looked (gasp!) a bit Denise Richards-y at times. They started out strong, but now Natalie and Alec seem afraid to talk to each other, let alone step on each other’s toes. I can’t decide which episode involved more dead eyes: the actual dance or the somewhat terrifying scoring process. Zero reaction! It was uncanny. I think Natalie and Alec are both just ultra-serious in their training approaches and could benefit from a goofy third party of some sort in their rehearsal package if they make it to next week’s show. I’m disgusting myself a little by referring to the ”rehearsal package” specifically crafted for television instead of, you know, their actual rehearsal time. It’s all the same to us!
Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower: 22/30 Was it just my TV or did it seem like Chelsie and Kym had been awarded the ”honor” of an extra-tasty-crispy coat of spray tan like five minutes before airtime? I digress. All the chair work in Louie and Chelsie’s paso reminded me of my favorite So You Think You Can Dance tango (choreographed by Dmitry, and the reason I started loving Chelsie), her goosebump-y routine with Joshua to ”A Los Amigos.” Louie’s routine was a little less complicated than that. Just a little. DANCMSTR kept saying Louie’s performance was ”pedestrian,” by which he meant not that Louie was mediocre (my original assumption) but that he was literally just walking around. When Louie walks, he ”comes out of dancer mode,” said Carrie Ann. This couple should be around next week, if not for Chelsie’s fan base then as a result of the hype ramped up about Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower by Louie himself as he conducted a Hustle rehearsal interview in the third person. Excellent strategy.
Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova: 21/30 I kept wanting Michael and the newly brunette Anna’s paso doble to really blast off. I guess it sort of did when he launched into his ”cape work” and then ended up knelt over her in a passionate embrace, but it was nothing to squirt a nickel out of your ass over, if you know what I am saying! Michael Irvin knows what I am saying. Sadly, Irvin’s treasured ass nickel — the Non-Hidden Gem of the Week — is currently nowhere to be found on eBay like Bruno promised. There is, however, this signed photo of Bruno in what appears to be a fancy tiled powder room on sale for an inexplicable $29.99. Michael and Anna did get a pimp spot during the Group Hustle, due to a pretty impressive spread-eagle lift that perfectly portrayed one of the long-standing rhetorical questions of Dancing With the Stars: What good is having a crotch if you don’t take time once and a while to remind everyone of its existence?
Who’s going home tonight? Perhaps more important: Who had the worst/most outdated hairpiece — Alec, Dmitry, or Samantha? Discuss the week 5 performances and nominate your Hidden Gems of the Week, in the comments!