'Dancing With the Stars' recap: Rock on
Crank up that dial to 11, ballroom fans, because it was Rock Week during this sixth week of “Dancing With the Stars.” The ballroom was transformed into the Glitterdome, metal cages were erected, heavy-metal fonts were emblazoned on the judges’ table and the walls, and copious amounts of guyliner and raging pyrotechnics were employed. And in case we couldn’t recall the theme of the night, we had rock guitarists popping up every now and again (in the rafters, up on stage) to remind us.
This week not only had a solid-steel, concert-inspired set, but ushered in this season’s dance marathon, set to a rock ‘n' roll theme, as well — the start of the two-dance format of the competition.
But first, as a time filler nostalgic walk down memory lane, a countdown of the Top 10 favorite dances of all time, as voted by you! Top honors went to the immensely crowd-pleasing country freestyle with Season 2 champ Drew Lachey and a very spray-tanned Cheryl Burke, followed closely by Cheryl and Gilles Marini's hot-to-trot Argentine tango from Season 8. I’m a little bummed that none of Kristi Yamaguchi’s routines were on the list, particularly that great jive that she did with Mark Ballas, though I’m glad Mel B and Maks’ paso doble and the futuristic and '50s paso dobles made the cut. And is anyone else missing Julianne Hough after this segment?
But enough of the nostalgia -- on to the competition!
Keep their lead atop the leader board were Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Their quickstep last week took them to the next level, and this week their tango kept them there. Brandy rocked some silver leggings and a blingy corset top, and perhaps more importantly, Maks squeezed into some tight-fitting gray leather pants. Though was it just me, or did most of these competitive outfits look more sci-fi than rocked out? Maks looked more like Han Solo than Hendrix (not that I’m complaining). After an emotional week, Brandy put it all on the dance floor, and her efforts showed in her performance. “You’re my hero,” Len told Maks, a play on the Bonnie Tyler song that the couple performed to. “You’ve come out with a dance that’s full of intensity, passion, aggression. Without a doubt for me, the dance of the night.” “That tango really rocked!” said Bruno, who equated Brandy to Tina Turner from "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." “There was something amazing about your true passion,” said Carrie Ann. Brandy and Maks got a 26 for their tango, and then added the full 10 points by winning the rock ‘n' roll marathon (chalk it up to the boost of energy Maks received after taking off those circulation-cinching leather pants). Total: 36.
Coming in second place were Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani. Audrina has always had a problem channeling the character in her performances, and it came to bite her in the cherry red rear end during her rocked out paso doble, set to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” “You may be thinking too much,” Tony suggested. Might I suggest not enough? Though her movement is truly impressive, those eyes remain vapid, which keeps her from really coming through in her performance. (Maybe, as she suggested, her boobs are in the way?) The judges gave her a shot for her emotional deficiency. “You’re getting on my nerves a bit,” said head judge Len. “Every week it lacks the character of the dances.” Carrie Ann tried to word it in a way that Audrina would understand, telling her to focus on “the intention behind the movement.” They received a respectable 24 for their paso, but got extra eight points for finishing third in the marathon despite outdancing the other top finishers, what with Tony flinging Audrina around like a rag doll and all. Total: 32.
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke held steady on the scoreboard with their impressive tango, set to the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.” And though his haircut was a cross between Cruella de Vil and something Beyond Thunderdome, the former NBA star's routine maintained its hold and its intensity with equal aplomb. Also quite enjoyed how Cheryl (who I’m pretty sure the disembodied British announcer introduced as “Cheryl Birch” right before the performance) rocked those patent silver boots. “I’m always impressed with your hold and your posture,” said Len to Rick. “I thought you did an excellent job.” “It was like a Mohican on the war path,” said a not-so-PC Bruno. Carrie Ann loved the “amazing” mix of intensity and passion, but “sometimes you got so stern that we lost he person behind the Rick.” Total: 24. Rick and Cheryl got an additional six points for finishing in fifth place in the marathon, for a grand total of 30.
That was tied with Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer. Kyle had a lot to prove this week, after his “Charlie’s Angels” ’70s fox trot was skinned alive by Len and Bruno. The Disney TV star needed to prove that he’s still a contender, and Lacey needed to prove that she could hang with Adam Lambert by sporting those plumey feather shoulder pads. I think they both succeeded. Loved how his brother Chris gamely put on a purple top and was dipped on national television during rehearsals. And Kyle played it a lot straighter and spent a lot of time in hold during his performance, executing what Bruno called a "great promenade" down the middle of the Glitterdome. I liked the dance, even though I was distracted by all the many layers in Lacey’s dress. And the fact that she ate Kyle’s nose in the end. Bruno said the tango was “much, much better” than last week. Carrie Ann loved how he threw in his “Kyle Style” and said “the carriage was amazing,” and Len “Chuckles” Goodman said it was “still a bit rough, but “an improvement over last week.” Though Kyle couldn’t have been happier with his 23 score. “That feels amazing!” he roared. Add another seven points for coming in fourth place in the marathon, and Kyle and Lacey had a grand total of 30.
Taking another step back were Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough. Last week, their fox trot was hampered by frustrations and ended up a little out of sync. This week, the air was cleared, and Jenougher was ready to reclaim their spot atop the leader board. Only, their dance, set to Pink’s “So What,” was more like a raging tantrum than a paso doble. The judges blamed her for having too much attack, but I blamed the long hair extensions, which made her look too loosey goosey and like a volunteer at the local renaissance fair rather than a rock star. The judges gave Jennifer a prescription for Paxil along with their critique. “You need to calm down a little bit … you’re way out of control,” reprimanded Carrie Ann. “You’re like the chosen one, but something is going terribly wrong.” “You’ve got the rage right,” declared Bruno. Only, “you’re like the woman on a verge of a nervous breakdown.” Even Derek and Jennifer acknowledged it was a little messy and a little crazy. They got a slap-out-of-it! 20 for their individual performance, though they were helped immensely by the extra nine points from coming in second place for the dance marathon (even though their routine was a bit lackluster). Total: 29.
Hello, Bristol Palin! How so very nice to see you going all out on the Glitterdome this evening! The teen advocate not only redeemed herself from last week’s monkey suit mishap, but she even managed to earn her spot on the show with her impressive tango with Mark Ballas. And they did it all in purple military sparkle jackets and to the tune of Orianthi’s “According to You” to boot. Although I’m a bit tired of Mark using every window of opportunity to remind us that he plays the guitar, I loved how Bristol really let loose with that air guitar riff, which injected a cool and refreshing jolt of sparkly delight into the middle of their dance. “You’re all woman!” raved Bruno. “Best performance and best technique.” “That was ridiculously amazing,” lauded Carrie Ann. “Your face was connected to everything.” Len was a little more cautious with his praise, and docked them a point for breaking their hold. “Last week a chimp, this week … almost a champ,” he said. Though I have to say it’s nice to see that she’s warming up to the camera. Bristol and Mark got a 23 for their tango, her best scores yet. Add on another five points for their dance marathon, and they walked away Monday night with a grand total of 28.
That bested Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya, who ended up being stuck in between a rock and a hard place with their paso doble. So Kurt’s not a rock star. Luckily, Bret Michaels is, and the Poison lead singer brought in his special brand of awesomeness to give the Super Bowl MVP pointers. The best takeaway: As a rocker, you would never throw a smoking hot girl like Anna away. But if you have to, make sure you keep the gaze: “You’re the best … in Cleveland.” Someone give this guy his own show! (Oh, wait.) Sadly, Kurt eschewed the bandanna and the rocker shoes for an ill-advised red jacket with a black shirt underneath, while Anna went more along the lines of Oola from “Star Wars” than rocker chick for their performance. And though their “Final Countdown” routine was a bit raw (what was that on his chin?), methinks he might have been judged a bit harshly. “You have the scruffy, but the dance was kind of scruffy,” said Carrie Ann. “It just didn’t come off,” declared Len. “You looked like you were doing karate instead of doing Spanish dances,” said Bruno, obliviously continuing his un-PC streak. “Like Jackie Chan. We want Banderas.” To add insult to injury, Kurt and Anna also had the dishonorable distinction of being the first couple booted from the dance marathon (though I couldn’t see that they were any worse than any of the other couples out there). They only earned earning a measly four points to add to their already-low 18 for a total of 22. Could the judges be angling for the NFL star’s exit? Cue the angry rock mob!
What did you think of Rock Week? Will Kurt and Anna’s “Final Countdown” routine rock them out of the competition? Was there something wonky going on in the scoring tonight? Do you agree with the Top 10 favorite dances of all time? Could show attendee Martha Stewart be a “DWTS” fan? That’s a good thing.
— Allyssa Lee
Photo credit: Bob D’Amico / ABC