As 'DWTS' visits the outskirts of metal, Brandy sails, Kurt flails, and Jennifer Grey gets labeled 'out of control'

By Annie Barrett
October 26, 2010 at 05:34 AM EDT
Bob D'Amico/ABC
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Welcome back to the ballroom! Week 6 was “Rock and Roll Night” on [cue disembodied British voice] Dancing With the Stars. The heavy metal “DWTS” lettering on the judges’ table and elsewhere — a striking hybrid between the fonts typically associated with Darkwing Duck and KISS — proved it. Someone had overlaid a piece of graph paper onto the ballroom so that much of the audience was grouped into blue steel cages that resembled either Hollywood Squares or jail cells, depending on your worldview. (“Cell Block Tango,” anyone?) Duh, it was a rock concert! I wonder how the producers roped in all of those young people to show up and bounce around in prison all night. I hope they were paid in gems instead of cash. Decoys, all of them!

Each couple performed a paso doble or a tango, then later participated in a hard-rockin’ “dance marathon” that was all about stamina and “youthness,” according to Worm-doing Mark. The marathon was really quite crazily (pre-)judged: Brandy and Maks won the race, even though whenever the camera was on them, Maks seemed to be hurling Brandy over his shoulder like a sack of overgrown gems rejected from the Mirrorballus mine. Kurt and Anna, eliminated within seconds, may as well have remained seated. “There’s Kurt getting his rock on…oops, not enough, apparently,” murmured Tom in his golf announcer voice. Let’s get to the all-important judges’ leaderboard…

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann In-ahhh-ber!

Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 26/30 plus 10/10 in the dance marathon = 36 out of possible 40 I definitely had to rewind their tango and watch it again because the first time I was completely transfixed on Maks’ buns, holding out for a hero sandwich composed of his unique assets. Sorry, but what was I supposed to do? He had random thigh bracelets (two on the left, puzzlingly) and some extremely tight grey leather pants. (Read/see much, much more about Maks’ leather pants in Annie’s Week 6 Crazy Costumes Gallery!) Turns out it was an excellent tango. “Is she Brandy or is she Tina Turner in Mad Max?” asked Bruno. We may never know. I thought Brandy was about to have a nervy b after the dance. I guess she was just tired?

Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani: 24/30 + 8/10 = 32/40 “The reason Bruno may have picked on you is you may be thinking too much,” Tony explained to his glassy-eyed partner. UNLIKELY, but I did like how this conflict resolved itself with Audrina eventually punching a plastic Bruno mask (that I really need for my office). “My boobs are in the way,” the sweet, wholesome girl complained as she practiced the paso doble. The dance was competent, but the judges’ frustration came out. DNCMSTR lamented that Audrina has top-three potential but cannot show the character of the Latin dances. Bruno had a remedy: She should simply imagine she is anyone with the first name “Eva.” Carrie Ann offered a really good note about intention and hilariously prefaced it, “Let me put it in a way that you might understand.”

NEXT: Jay Manuel, Martha Stewart, and Adam Lambert! Wait, which reality show are we watching again?

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke: 24/30 + 6/10 = 30/40 Last night’s tango was the first time Rick has had to contort himself into the dreaded “ballroom hold” since Week 1’s Viennese waltz. He was rusty! During the first half of their tango, stone-faced Rick looked like he was timidly hunting for something. Nothing deadly. Maybe gems. Maybe Cheryl, so many milliliters below. But I thought the tango really picked up toward the end and even became believably sexy — though I could have just been focusing on the fire spitters and the illusion that Cheryl was wearing liquid-silver knee-high boots. “Like a Mohican on the warpath!” cried Bruno. Sure. Or Jay Manuel from America’s Next Top Model. Whichever silver-haired mohawk-monger floats your boat.

Whoa, Martha Stewart in the audience?!

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer: 23/30 + 7/10 = 30/40 During their tango, I became obsessed with how the lyrics of Adam Lambert’s “If I Had You”  — There’s a thin line ‘tween the dark side and the light side baby tonight. It’s a struggle, gotta rumble trying to find it — perhaps reflected Lacey’s inner monologue as she desperately searched the ballroom floor for the missing section of her skirt. Garter belt! Gah! This costume was insane! As it should have been. ROCK WEEK. The judges admired the hard work Kyle had clearly put in — thanks in part to his brother, Chris, who’d dressed for a few seconds as a very sexy woman. But Len, ever the technician, wanted “a bit of balance” between Kyle’s stellar performance quality and his occasionally rough footwork.

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough: 20/30 + 9/10 = 29/40 After their paso doble, Carrie Ann spilled the beans: Jennifer is this season’s “Chosen One.” She should “know her limits next time” and not fall behind on her footwork! Derek graciously stepped in and took the blame, but was I missing something here? If Jen hadn’t screwed up at the end, this paso would have seemed pretty good to me. (Jen also had the evening’s best skirt for whirling purposes.) “You need to calm down. You’re way out of control!” insisted Carrie Ann. I had trouble telling whether Jen’s facial expression during the dance conveyed anger or pain, but I’m not sure I saw that. Also, the slow-motion replay of Jennifer losing her way in the dance was odd, considering she wasn’t the only one who messed up. On a brighter note, I liked how the lighting at the very end of their paso made the ballroom floor look like a pumpkin.

NEXT: Bristol’s stunning display of personality does not include going “full-out” in rehearsal, thanks very much.

Teen Activist Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: 23/30 + 5/10 = 28/40 I agree with the judges that this was Bristol’s best dance, but under no circumstances will I ever be convinced that two seconds of half-assed air guitar — complete with giggles to show that you’re so much cooler than actually air-guitaring for real — counts as showing personality! The judges loved Bristol’s deep purple tango, and Len remarked on her startling transition from last week’s Chimp to this week’s Champ. He dropped an extra point because they broke the hold in order to wail. During the rehearsal footage, Bristol openly admitted she “never went full-out” during the couple’s training. “Oh. Well. Go full-out, please,” Mark dully suggested. Never hurts to ask.

Kurt Warner and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya: 18/30 + 4/10 = 22/30 In order to talk about Kurt, I need to first invoke his rock-and-roll inspiration, future Dancing With the Stars contestant (I presume, anyway) Bret Michaels. Bret had one little piece of advice for Kurt: Keep your eye on your lady after you toss her aside. “She’s gonna go crazy on you, and that’s the most important thing. ‘Goodbye, I love you, you’re the best…in Cleveland,'” he role-played with a skeptical Anna. Classy! The judges universally panned Kurt and Anna’s paso doble set to “The Final Countdown.” “You looked awkward doing it; I felt awkward watching it,” hissed Len. Bruno thought Kurt looked like he was practicing karate. “It was like Jackie Chan. We want Banderas!” Anna’s incredulous expressions were funny here; her looks of total despondency at the end of the show, on the other hand, were just thoroughly depressing. I liked how Jonathan and Kurt’s wife brushed off Bruno’s comments with a shared “he’s obviously wrong!” facial flourish.

‘Til tomorrow, DNCMSTRs — who do you think will head home on Tuesday? Discuss the week 6 performances in the comments, and nominate your Hidden Gems of the Week before 2 p.m. ET over at PopWatch.

Back by popular demand: Annie’s Crazy Costume Watch photo gallery — it’s liiiiiiiiive!

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

LOVE TO TALK ABOUT TELEVISION? Then don’t miss this week’s TV Insiders podcast! Annie Barrett, Dalton Ross, Michael Ausiello, Michael Slezak, Missy Schwartz, and our resident TV critic Ken Tucker weigh in on the best show on television right now, and dish the latest happenings on Project Runway, Survivor, and Dancing With the Stars. Click here to download the TV Insiders podcast to your MP3 player, or listen to an embedded version below!

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