The nine remaining star/pro pairs performed a group mambo and then waltzed or jitterbugged the rest of the night
Joanna Krupa
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Monday’s Dancing With the Stars week 6 performance night marked the first-ever competition mambo, regulated by the supreme pre-determinism of hall monitor DANCMSTR and won by Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough. I think it was the 10 seconds Derek spent lying on his back — as a just-eliminated Donny Osmond straddled his bespangled chest and Joanna was left off to the side to shimmy all by her lonesome — that put Derek and Joanna over the edge. Joanna’s use of the corner of her dress as a temporary partner was almost as effective as Derek’s repeated ”Time to lower my breathless lady to the floor so she’s completely at my manly mercy, then bob her tiny lips-dominated noggin up and down in the general direction of my crotch”…move. Every day is crotch-bobbin’ day at Dancing With the Stars! Tom Bergeron’s comment, ”Not sure what that move was, Derek” — uttered in a perfect golf-announcer voice — will go down in Rectagon history as one of the greatest Dancing With the Stars moments ever.

Here’s how the nine remaining couples ranked after an individual waltz or jitterbug (worth the usual 30 points) and the competition mambo (maximum 10 points). The judges have their scores. Carrie Ann Inaba!

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough: 26/30 + 10/10 = 36 out of possible 40 Considering the aforementioned mambo moment, Tom spoke too soon when he referred to Joanna and Derek’s waltz as ”the get-a-room dance of the season.” Carrie Ann noticed some hesitation and DANCMSTR wasn’t too impressed with Joanna’s footwork, but Bruno, to no one’s surprise, called her ”a butterfly gently gliding over an alpine meadow — beautiful, gleaming, weightless, wonderful.” It might be giving his speech too much credit to separate it with commas; for maximum poetic effect, it should really be one long run-on word. Two popular long-running DWTS motifs were in full effect for Joanna and Derek’s waltz: Disney Princess Pastel Ball Gown and Twirling Ballerina Atop Tinkling Music Box. Does it get any better? Depends on how well you can tolerate….

Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff: 25/30 + 8/10 = 33/40 Aaron’s waltz scored just one point below Joanna’s, and I agreed with the judges that it was his best dance so far. I also thought this pair, along with Donny and Kym, deserved to stay in the group mambo longer than the slower-moving Mya and Dmitry, but whatever, it’s over. I can focus on the mesmerizing nature of Karina’s spiderweb gown instead. Great idea by the camera man with the usual attention span of a gnat to zero in on Karina’s back at the beginning of their waltz. I think the music helped endear Aaron to me tonight — it was so slow and soft, he remained so calm, and Karina looked so gorgeous that there was virtually nothing annoying about their performance until Tom and the judges had to go and beat the stupid ”instant maturity! before our very eyes!” theme to death again. Aaron played the twirling-ballerina role in the music box for a few bars, but later switched to twirl-er mode near the end. And to my surprise, when I caught the dance again on a better TV: Aaron’s suit was forest green!

NEXT: No props for Mya’s jitterbug

Mya and Dmitry Chaplin: 24/30 + 9/10 = 33/40 I can appreciate a good gimmick and love a good prop, but the feather duster Mya used on that darn judges’ table — which at this point needs to be shellacked with Ballroom Dancer Repellent (BD-40?) — was so misguided. I understand that a duster is prettier and more dainty than, like, a giant vat of ketchup or dirty, wet rag, but waitresses do not dust, even in the magical fairy ballroom land where brooms suspend from the ceiling to flutter about as Dmitry’s wanton playthings and the floor magically becomes a checkerboard as soon as the ‘shrooming set designer flips a switch. Obviously, DANCMSTR couldn’t stand all the messin’ about, and low-balled Mya and Dmitry with a 7 for their jitterbug. The food-service gimmick was a bit more effective on my end in that thanks to Mya’s hypnotizing underskirts, I couldn’t stop thinking about McDonald’s strawberry sundaes. Mya’s obviously talented, but as my colleague Michael Slezak just messaged me, she might not be truly desperate enough to appeal to voters as a viable Dancing With the Stars finalist. I think he has a sad-but-true point there — discuss!

Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer: 26/30 + 6 = 32 There’s a jitterbug CLUB? JUST for the jitterbug? That was a fun field trip for Mark and Lacey, though anything to distract from the weird vibe after his ”dancing with you makes me so horny” comment backstage last week (why even air that? her reaction was perhaps more painful than the line itself?) would have been welcome. I keep getting the impression that something’s off with their partnership during rehearsal segments and interviews, but dance-wise, Mark’s jitterbug was perhaps last night’ most enjoyable routine. Lacey packed it with tricks, and astutely pointed out to us beforehand that most of them would be performed by Mark. I liked when he ”found her” in the orchestra pit, and when she slid down his leg diagonally. That’s so Lacey! Mark licked his lips at one point during the dance and I somehow feared for his life. He needs to choose those moments carefully, you know? If your tongue is out and Lacey kicks you in the back with her ballroom version of an Ugg boot, your face could stay like that.

Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson: 24/30 + 7/10 = 31/40 Their jitterbug was pretty frantic and Kym really wanted to drive home the choo-choo theme, but she continues to draw a shocking amount of effort and ability out of her partner and when they hit the correct angles during the jitterbug, the pair very effectively personified a locomotive. I know Donny might be good for ratings, but were the producers insane and/or going for a Marie Moment by forcing Donny to dance a solo jitterbug and four-minute mambo back-to-back? This after he was shown complaining that ”these lifts and tricks are killing me”? Yikes. Donny did pull out all the stops, so to speak (ha, train theme!), and even found time to volunteer with Kym at the Down’s Syndrome Association of L.A., a hotbed of valuable perspective as well as a new venue in which to try out their jitterbug moves. This was really sweet. I’m not sure which sight affected me more profoundly: Donny volunteering, or Donny’s faithful adherence to the memorable jitterbug move in which, as Kym prescribed, ”you’re gonna go ‘whoa whoa’ and look at my butt.” Both were pretty perfect.

Kelly Osbourne and Louis van Intensité: 20/30 + 5/10 = 25/40 There is no place for beige blueberry muffins without blueberries in ballroom dancing — though there is plenty of room in my stomach, like right now, so shut up, judges. I agree, though, that Kelly’s jitterbug would have been so much better — and she could win, really — if she’d let go of her fear and trust that she knows Louis’ crazy choreography. Even if that decision is made one second before the music begins, she needs to just do it. The paranoia sweeps over her face in weird waves, and it’s normal — endearing, even — but a little unsettling to watch. If Kelly could cop what is becoming her signature puffed-out-lip ”Oh no you di-iiiiiint” facial expression for 100 percent of the dance instead of just 60, she’d be unstoppable. Anyone else get haunting shades of The Amazing Race‘s Mika when Kelly whined about taking the ”leap of faith” and swinging from a scary trapeze? At least she performed the challenge after a few seconds. New motto for mass-consumed reality TV: Ballroom Dancers Do It Better!

NEXT: Michael Irvin fails to waltz away with it

Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower: 21/30 + 3/10 = 24/40 I enjoyed how Chelsie attempted to appropriate one of Louie’s high-tech aerials for the ballroom (Snowboarders: They’re Just Like Us!), but the pair’s tricks-heavy jitterbug — filled with back flips, assisted cartwheels, barrel turns, and geek glasses — left Chelsie on her butt as Louie leapt atop the dreaded judges’ table for a dramatic shedding of his pesky shirtsleeves. Poor Chelsie; at least her amazing green dress offered a convenient corset to hold everything in place. Louie had slipped on the technicolor staircase at the top of the show (they cut away as it was happening — hidden gem-worthy?), so I guess they’re even? Nah, not really.

Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas: 20/30 + 4/10 = 24/40 Much of Melissa’s waltz seemed more like posturing than dancing to me; she often gets these looks of genuine surprise, like ”Oh, we’ll be dancing together? We’ve only just met.” Or something less…British-sounding than that. It probably didn’t help that I hated Melissa’s unflattering lilac gown and their waltz’s screeching accompaniment. Melissa probably didn’t make Shirley Ballas proud (which is not to say she didn’t try; it’s just that Shirley Ballas seems terrifying), except in one area: She kept her ”puppies up,” meaning boobs. That’s the same thing Anna Tre-BUN-skaya told Melissa during their one-on-one training session last week. Isn’t there a Dancing With the Stars-sanctioned bra for that yet? Or at least an app?

Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova: 20/30 + 2/10 = 22/40 The waltz seems like the most difficult dance to screw up, but I didn’t really notice where Michael Irvin went wrong here. He looked great in the vest and ice-blue satin shirt, smiled big, and was delighted to execute all of his arm extensions. What’s not to love? The boring choreography, I guess. Carrie Ann and Bruno each doled out a 6, while DANCMSTR called this waltz ”gentle” and ”charming” and complimented his footwork. Irvin may be in last place, but he did provide one of the top moments of the episode as he and Anna rehearsed for the competition mambo by knocking out foam pads that represented different dancers, including a hilarious stand-in for Louie Vito that was like a meter high. That’s right, I just used the metric system. DANCMSTR and Annie, sittin’ in a pen, C-H-I-L-L-I-N.

Can the Michael Irvin Radio Show solicit enough votes to save him from tonight’s double elimination? Which two dancers will go home? Will Luke and Laura remarry? Let loose in the comments, and don’t forget to nominate your hidden gems of the week!

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