In addition to their solos, the remaining dancers broke into two teams to spotlight the paso doble and the tango

By Annie Barrett
Updated November 03, 2009 at 05:00 PM EST
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

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On week 7 of Dancing With the Stars, the seven couples danced one solo routine each, but the real theme of the night was THE ULTIMATE DUEL between two ”teams” that charged out into the Rectagon in a smoke-machine sequence straight out of Iron Chef America. The secret ingredient is….rosettes! Tiered ruffles! Sparkly lace overlay! HALIBUT! The seven couples split up into Team Paso, who danced to Joan Jett’s ”I Hate Myself For Loving You” (possible nod to DWTS viewers everywhere, and to Michael Irvin because an improvised Faith Hill-in-thigh-high-boots version is the Sunday Night Football theme song) and Team Tango, who danced to ”You Give Love a Bad Name” (ditto, minus Irvin detail). Here’s how they ranked with combined solo and group scores. Ahem! Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inaba!

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough: 27/30 + 28/30 = 55 out of possible 60 I liked how this week, Derek shoved a flower in Joanna’s face (in the Red Room) instead of, you know, his junk. After last week’s crotch-bobbing display, Derek’s ”dream sequence” — featuring Joanna running on the beach and the two of them collapsing onto a ready-made picnic — seemed relatively tame, even as it ended with an NC-17 sex scene wherein Derek seduced the object of his greatest affection, his one and only true love, in the mirror. During the rumba, Joanna was miraculously able to keep up with Derek, but I think that’s mostly because all he did was fling her around. She’s eminently fling-able, like a slinky. It’s quite breathtaking, in a way. Oh wait, that was just me choking on my second Mountain Dew, still reeling from the loving closeup of Derek feeding Joanna a strawberry in his ”dream.” I didn’t see much hip action from Joanna in the rumba, but that could be because she does not have hips. I also had trouble coming to terms with those snowflake-like appliqués on her arms — the idea of one’s noodle limbs being covered at all for a televised rumba simply does not compute.

Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff: 29 + 24 = 53/60 Aaron must have the same Princess Sparkle, Unknowing Sponsor of Hidden Gems fetish that I do, because he designed Karina’s costume and girlfriend was rocking a big ol’ forehead bauble last night. Aaron’s fast feet during the jive — thanks to an elite personal trainer named Jade (WTF?) — won him a coveted Len Ten! I suffered haunting shades of Derek and Joanna during Aaron and Karina’s final pose; they shared a similar ”her face is at the same level as my crotch, OMG” vibe. Carrie Ann was so excited about Aaron’s jive that she called him a ”roadrunner,” then imitated some sort of robot to apparently illustrate that. She also pointed out ”one weird little thingy in the middle,” to which Tom quickly quipped, ”We call that Len.” I’m not sure which was scarier — Aaron’s ”Wahhhhhhh!” sound effects backstage with Samantha after the jive, or his feverish, over-the-top performance as the kickoff leg of Team Paso later on. Also, maybe Aaron should shave? He kind of seemed like a killer. I don’t mean to place all the blame for that on Aaron’s mealy facial scruff, because there are certainly other areas in which you could look and be frightened, but it did contribute.

NEXT: Kelly tries to go from beige to red hot

Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Intensité: 24 + 28 = 52/60 I wanted to see what the judges saw in Kelly’s salsa, but I don’t think she ever really flipped the switch and became ”unafraid” of the dance. I suspect the judges may have just wanted to insist that she had as some sort of plot device, but I’d rather see Kelly get over her nerves with a real breakthrough dance than merely survive the last third of this one without frowning. The pressure really hit poor Kelly this week, and it didn’t help that her partner is the perennial winner of Most Likely to Lead a Cult, Party of 2 in the DWTS pro pool. At least she made Louis wear the ridiculous fringed pants. ”Made” is probably the wrong word choice there; he clearly loved his costume. Oh, to be the front-row audience member pummeled in the face by such luscious, turquoise, Louis-tinged fringe! I’d have done much more with that swath of magic and Intensité than merely wrap it around my neck like Bruno. I’m thinking custom-made pillowcases and some tiny coasters for my pre-show sake bombs.

Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson: 24 + 28 = 52/60 During rehearsals for their quickstep, Donny and Kym worried about the fast pace of the dance. Uh oh! Kym just left the practice studio with a mysterious ”I’ll be right back.” Would Kym drift into a fantasy realm involving her and Donny surfing in the buff off the coast of Australia? Nope, it was just the dreaded Posture Bar, brought in to cure the Osmond Slouch. (”When I’m on stage, it’s down, with the beat,” he explained. Ohhhhkay.) The judges appreciated Donny’s showmanship if not his failed footwork, and Donny helpfully pointed out that he’d messed up even more times than they’d noticed, which was nice and kind of sad. I have to admit, I barely noticed Donny’s missteps because I was so distracted by the weird, sparkly vertical blinds billowing from both the front and back of Kym’s body. I hate it when the sequins aren’t functional! I know, ha ha ha, the concept of ”functional sequins” seems like an oxymoron…but I believe that most of the billions of sequins used on DWTS do have a specific place and purpose in this world, and those adorning Kym’s blinds just did not. As a result, her bejeweled bra had to work overtime to tie the rest of the look together. No problem.

Mya and Dmitry Chaplin: 25 + 24 = 49/60 After a silhouetted opening that I rather enjoyed, the pair danced barely any of their foxtrot in hold, which ruffled the proud turkey feathers of ye olde DANCMSTR because he has zero tolerance for messin’ about. You’d think Dmitry would have caught on that So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars are two different shows with two very different approaches to ballroom choreography, but all signs point to ”no” and ”that cream-colored suit looked hot on him.” Mya’s costume was also delicious, with the dark pink shiny gown and long gloves. I didn’t think she needed all those sparkly bangles, though. Too many accessories. (Who is writing this? Someone has captured Annie!) At least Mya got to glean some advice from one of the series’ most graceful and eloquent dance technicians. Cloris Leachman is turning out to be one of those DWTS lifers — Mayne, Mathison, Lachey, Sabrina, etc. — who will rush to return to the Rectagon for virtually any reason. I think Lisa Rinna is on call as a fill-in janitor right this second.

NEXT: A flu fill-in

Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova: 23 + 24 = 47/60 I liked that they danced first — their routines tend to be simpler than those of the other couples, so instead of being somewhat underwhelmed and indifferent towards Michael as I usually am, I was just thrilled to see the smiley people beaming and dancing once again on my TV, no matter what the dance. It was a very ”Shhhh, my stories are on!” moment when these two started twirling around in the floodlights as the living embodiment of The Color Purple. So many hues in the same family! And Michael performed the foxtrot well, too. I think it’s crazy that Anna hasn’t given him more to do, or at least something quicker, because I think he could handle it. Or not. We may never find out. Hidden Gem: one of Anna’s sequins kept reflecting off Michael’s teeth in closeups during the judges’ critiques. I wouldn’t know this if he hadn’t been grinning so hard. Aw, I’ll be sad if he goes. Who would rein in and calm the diva-choreographer spirits of the cacophonous group paso rehearsals if not for the gigantic football star? Who would kiss Tom Bergeron on the cheek and then scoot away to receive his scores? (Upper cheek, that is — of course, Tom’s lower cheeks are Maks’ territory only) Think, America!

Mark Dacascos and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya: 19 + 24 = 43/60 Alas! Lacey came down with the flu and Mark had to pull off a samba with his replacement pro, Anna, in less than 48 hours. I loved the random training session with Tony just because he happened to be in the greater NYC area — it probably only served to confuse the heck out of Mark, but it amused the hell out of me! Where was Lacey’s ”sick in bed with soup” treatment like Derek had in week 5 — do the producers not love Lacey enough to poke a camera into her flu-ridden face as she maintains a closed hold with the toilet? Guess not. Anna Tre-BUN and her zesty green eyeshadow proved a worthy replacement for Lacey. I love the faces Anna pulls throughout the show — they’re sassy, but she never seems bratty to me, or like she thinks she’s above the whole ballroom system. I’d like to have seen her and Mark perform the same dance having had more prep time, though parts of this samba were very good. Bruno said Mark and Anna’s dance was ”a little like watching Kung Fu Panda does the samba in Planet of the Apes,” and proceeded to thump his arms on the table while DANCMSTR cowered and seemed to be beseeching the mighty Lord Mirrorballus for a sweet, painless death with his eyes. Sometimes I think Bruno has a giant lottery ball full of printouts from IMDB in his ”writing room,” and he just turns the thing on, hops in, snatches the first few pages that fly by and are within his reach, and goes with those movie titles a few hours later. Yes, that must be it. That is how Bruno comes up with his zingers.

Episode Recaps

Who goes home tonight? Were the group dances fair? When will you ”Call Me” for a tango? Sound off about Monday’s show — and nominate your Hidden Gems of the Week — in the comments!

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