The 11 couples take on four new dances on Dancing with the Stars: the bolero, Charleston, lambada or the country two-step. How will everyone fare? Let's find out!
Before we dive in to the new numbers, Tom and Sam tell us lifts are totally and completely legal for the four new dances. Sorry, Carrie Ann! This will definitely come in handy for the naughty lambada a.k.a. the forbidden dance. Scandalous!
Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya: Two-Step
Chuck used to work at a country bar (who knew?), so Anna's hoping that will somehow come in handy. As Maks mentioned in his TVGuide.com blog, these two are including lifts in their routine, which Chuck hopes will play to his size. Watching this makes me wish Ty Murray was on this season, or that they introduced the two-step last seaon. Anyhow, Chuck is rigid and is endearingly bumbling his way through this. There's a roughness that fits with the number, but Chuck still needs to polish all his moves. Nothing really shines here. The lifts, though, were pretty cool. Len loves the lifts and the entertainment factor, but says he still needs to improve the quality. Bruno loves the carnage and mayhem that still looks like a two-step. Carrie Ann thinks he suited the two-step the best and loves that he never lets the dance beat him.
Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas: Charleston
The theme is the twenties here — score-wise and decade-wise. Melissa wants to score above the teens, so Mark brings her to a 1920s club to get into her flapper-girl character. The whole thing is silly and goofy — a Ballas forte (Exhibit A: the large 'stache) and maybe it's Melissa's too. She's finally moving freely and rhythmically through the routine. The kicks, flips and turns are all there, and Melissa doesn't check out of the routine once. This is her long-awaited breakthrough. Bruno thinks she brought the flapper back to life. Carrie Ann says that's her dance. Len says she mastered the three Es of the Charleston: energy, excitement and entertainment. I wouldn't have given her a 10, but she was deserving of a high score.
Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo: Bolero
So this is our "fight" of the week. Alec warns Nat he's going to push her and come up more difficult choregraphy because he wants to maintain their high score. Nat's having trouble and won't answer Alec when he asks if she wants him to change a move. This is what passes as drama here. Sigh. I don't think I've ever seen a bolero before, but it looks like a rumba, or at least this one does. The routine is gorgeous, just like their rumba was. They are again showing off Natalie's superior flexibility and thus, her sumptuous lines. Still, there is something missing, like there is leftover tension from their argument and it's simmering to the surface. Carrie Ann loves it, but noticed a struggle in the movement. Len loves the beautiful movement. Wan Bruno is glad she found her Basic Instinct — as in Sharon Stone — but wants her to watch her failing arms and suggests she call up Sharon to get advice on how to take care of a dude.
Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff: Lambada
Michael Irvin gave Aaron a man-hug and pep talk after his "disappointing" 21 last week. Lest we forget, Mike got a 14. Aaron wants to incorporate gymnastics, so he meets up with Olympian Chris Waller. Was Shawn Johnson not available? Aaron — waxed chest and all — nails the flips right off the bat and then goes into a kaledioscopic spin cycle for the remainder of the dance. It's hard-core spin after spin, turn after turn, jump after jump. There is nothing forbidden about this dance — not even taboo. It's all flashy moves and no passion. Aaron is trying way too hard here, which is sad on a lot of levels. Len loves the enthusiasm, but thinks he should've spent more time on the raunchiness. Yes, Len wants the raunchy in the lambada only. Bruno says he's no Gilles Marini and gives him foreplay lessons. Carrie Ann wants him to chill out because it turns people off. Backstage, Aaron says he's not going to cry. All grown up, are we?
Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer: Two-Step
Mark thinks he needs to lighten up and enjoy dancing with Lacey, so he brings in his adorable three kiddies to relax him. Way to get the free votes, Marky! This may just be Mark's dance because for once, he seems totally at home and is not busting out with martial arts-esque moves. He's following through and seems to even have chemistry with Lacey. The only issue is a small flub (why does he always do this?) in the middle. He doesn't move all that much here, so you can't really gauge how drastically he's improved. Bruno wants him to roll in the hay more often because he loves the improved energy. However, he points out the flubbed steps. Carrie Ann loves the connection between the two. Len loves the choreography and the fact that Mark helps her in the spins.
Kelly Osbourne and Louis van Amstel: Charleston
Louis choreographed their routine to Broadway, which Kelly loves because it'll be her redemption after losing the lead (Roxie) in Chicago because she couldn't dance. But she can now. Kelly's no Liza (at least not yet), but she's got sass and flair to spare. After her second-week choke, it's safe to say Kelly's back. She's attacking all the moves, and the quick turns and kicks aren't giving her much trouble. It's a nice, zippy, frolicky number that's definitely worthy of Broadway. Carrie Ann loves the performance, and Louis' Joel Grey look. (By the way, don't Kelly and Louis look like twins in that get-up?) Len adores it as well, but wants more swivel. Bruno loves the tribute and calls it great. Kelly reminds us backstage that Sam played Roxie. Wait, Sam can dance?
Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough: Lambada
America, covet Derek's job because there's a lot of thrusting. In between the thrusting and grinding, J and D hit up a pet adoption center to do some good. (Joanna's a huge animal activist.) Now can she be the top dog again? If you start with Derek stripping and Joanna kissing Len, then there's a good chance. Aaron and Karina, take note: This is a forbidden dance. There's a carnal lust and longing that was totally M.I.A. in Aaron and Karina's. Joanna and Derek thrust and bump-and-grind, like, 42 times with her straddling his thighs, which is appropriate for the dance. But how about all those families watching at home, ABC? Joanna keeps her flailing legs in check here and shows off her shimmying skills. My only hang-up with this is that Derek is more "boy next door" than "sexy man beast" for me. Len knows what he wants for Tuesday's encore and gives Derek props for the choreography. He nitpicks some repitition, but loves it overall. Bruno calls it "when animals get physical." Carrie Ann loves it because it was "fueled by the crotch area" and she hopes the children were in bed. "I bet some of the adults are now," The Berge quips.
Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson: Charleston
The Charleston is a "Donny-type of dance" because of the high energy. As he told me, he's determined to ham it up this time because the number is all about the performance aspect. Sure enough, Donny's not holding back at all with the theatricality, but it all works. He's totally in his element, and what's more impressive is how in-step Donny is with Kym. His arms aren't so airy-fairy anymore, as he's obviously worked on holding his extensions. But then again, there aren't a lot of extensions in the eclectic Charleston. Bruno loves the showmanship, but wants him to be sharper with the kicks. Carrie Ann loves the synchronicity and thus, noticed when he stumbled a little. Len loves watching him. Voyeur?
Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova: Bolero
Anna brings in bolero champ Tony to help Mike out. What's the matter, Anna? Can't teach anymore? Where's your checklist? The routine is romantic, and you can sense some chemistry between the two, but, um, where's the dancing? I guess Anna really is done teaching. The whole thing is basically her twirling around Mike as he turns and steps every 10 seconds. I just feel bad for him at this point because it's clear he's determined to try and improve, but she hasn't done anything to bring out the best in him. Carrie Ann sees the romance, but doesn't see the dancing. Len agrees with the lack of movement, but notes that his is probably the hardest dance of the four. Bruno says his dancing's like the economy: Every week it's supposed to be getting better, but it's not happening.
Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower: Two-Step
Chelsie calls Louie a girl, so she brings him to Ty's ranch to make him a man. Ty dresses him up in matching chaps, a blue button-down and cowboy hat. And makes him finish his chores! If Ty helped Louie get into the character, it's not really translating onto the floor. This thing is crawling. And Louie is basically walking Chelsie around as she grooves and kicks. Chelsie is verging on Julianne territory here where she dances around her partner to cover it up, but no amount of kicks and spins hide the fact that Louie is seriously just taking a stroll across the floor. Sad to say, but all of the two-steps have been pretty disappointing. Len wants more going on. Bruno calls it dazed and confused. Carrie Ann didn't feel any of the energy coming through.
Mya and Dmitry Chaplin: Lambada
Mya wants Dmitry to simplify the routine to please Len, but Dmitry doesn't want to, so they compromise and co-choreograph. After the last two routines, it's nice to finally see both partners dance. It's naughty number with titillating hip action from Mya. There are a ton of high-energy flips and spins. It's clear it's going to take a lot to trip up Mya at this point, but I'm not totally feeling her yet. I still don't see chemistry between her and Dmitry. It seems like they're both just getting through the dance knowing they're going to rock it. Bruno calls it an erotic, exotic roller coaster that "you want to ride over and over and over again." The roller coaster, people! Carrie Ann says Mya's on fi-yah. Len doesn't think she can go wrong, but tells her he has high expectations for her and wanted more from the routine.
What do you think? Do you like the new dances? Did Melissa deserve a 28? Who underwhelmed and who impressed? Does Len have it out for Mya and Dmitry? Should Derek keep his shirt on or off? Did you like seeing Ty again? Who do you think will get the boot Tuesday?
The 11 couples take on four new dances on Dancing with the Stars: the bolero, Charleston, lambada or the country two-step. How will everyone fare? Let's find out.