Tonight is the night that five become four. Will Ralph Macchio's injury be the end of him or is someone else headed for a fate worse than him? Come, let's discover!
We open to some talk about Ralph Macchio's fluctuating scores. Over three performance nights he went from last to first to last again. He is a human yo-yo or maybe Dancing with the Stars' answer to Lindsay Lohan. Sexy-vampire photo shoots, here he comes!
At Len's request, Kirstie and Max do their Argentine tango again. Is what makes it Argentine the hat-throwing?
It's time for the first couples recap. Kym compliments the way Hines' butt looks in his pants. To be fair, Hines' butt always looks good. It's a job requirement for football players. Football pants are notoriously unforgiving and everyone knows that 60 percent of viewers are drawn in by the butts alone. After watching highlights of their dances, Kym tells Hines that if they get the mirror-ball trophy, she wants a ring on her finger. So that counts as a proposal, I guess. What a special moment to share. As for Kirstie's package, we see Maksim kick her across the room at one point during rehearsal. He tries to help her up and she smacks his hand away. She's losing weight and gaining self-sufficiency! What an amazing arc for Kirstie. Special moments abound.
First safe couples:
Hines and Kym
Kirstie and Maks
It's time for Dancecenter. Tom announces that Jerry Rice is back ... and in rhinestones! But how tight are his pants, I wonder? Anyway, he's joining Len Goodman and Kenny Mayne on the panel once again. It will be hard (and most of all: needless) to recap the recapping, so bear with me. When we finally see Jerry Rice's controversial rhinestones, they are on his face and sort of in the pattern of Mike Tyson's around-the-eye tattoo, but he's mostly serving Xerxes. Kenny's vest has zippers all down the front, evoking both Madonna and Michael Jackson and, what the hell, Prince. Covering that many pop icons on one vest is no small feat. Kenny can't pronounce "Chmerkovskiy." They show the intro to Maksim's turn starring in the Ukraine's version of The Bachelor and Jerry says that he reminds him of him. Whatever that means, don't expect to find the answer here. We revisit Maksim's sex on a stick comment, which you'll be happy to hear has become no less ridiculous over time. It leads Jerry to stir a picture of himself attached to a stick in honey that's sitting in what he refers to as his "sex pot." Yuck. He then licks that picture of himself. Double yuck. It's supposed to be funny, but it's actually a very overt commentary on narcissism. And if there's one thing reality TV doesn't have enough of, it's overt narcissism commentary. It's mostly just oblique and/or implied. Romeo's up next. We see a montage of him saying, "I want to show kids..." repeatedly, regarding his motivation for doing the show. It's funny because repetition is awesome. Also, Romeo is really in it for the kids, so it's funny 'cause it's true. The panel mocks his perfect physique by calling it fat. You can't do that on television, oh wait, yes you can because this has been one big opposite sketch.
Michael Bolton and Delta Goodrem perform "I'm Not Ready," from his upcoming duets album. She plays the piano and sings beautifully. More importantly, she looks like a composite of equal parts Jennifer Lopez, Celine Dion and Kristen Wiig. Michael Bolton bellows as you'd expect. Dancers dance.
Time for more couple interviews. Ralph is in a brown turtleneck and blazer with horizontally pointy shoulders. It's very sci-fi chic. He should be manning some bay and saying words I can't quite make out and won't remember anyway because I'm not really into sci-fi. Cheryl asks Romeo something or other that allows him to state, "This competition is very completive." That is definitely a fact. Perhaps Chelsea can fill us in on Dancing with the Stars featuring both dancing and stars. In actuality, Chelsea talks about her lack of confidence. She doesn't want to go home or see anyone leave. She's in a no-win situation. Poor famous thing!
Ooh, another inspirational example of how dance changes lives! This time, we see Karley Tuita and her three fresh-faced sons. Her husband and their father was a huge fan/benefactor of the sons' dancing and he had a major stroke. This happened when the kids were at a dance competition and he told them to stay. It's implied that he died before they could see him, but that could just be the editing. In any case: tragedy. Jefa, the oldest son, began to support the family by dancing with superstars like Jennifer Lopez, Janet Jackson and Chris Brown. Great work if you can find it. Anyway, all three kids are dancers and we watch them dance and flip in white pants and vests. Their solid shirts are all different colors and their respective Keds match. But don't judge them by their footwear: this familial talent is way beyond any pep squad.
And then: more tragedy. Adele, who was supposed to perform at this point, is sick! She was going to do "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," but she's having problems with her upper register, and so Celennisten (aka Delta Goodrem) is stepping in. This could be star-making! She could overtake RuPaul's Drag Race's Delta Work as the most important Delta of 2011! She's working on less than an hour's worth of rehearsal and singing a song she's never sung before. Like, not even when it was on the radio? That's a little dramatic. It can't possibly be right. But then again, she does sound a little uncertain of how much power she should put behind her performance. It's a decent rendition, with Celennisten accompanied only by a solo electric guitar. Very sparse and understated for a song that typically relies on bombast. Cheryl and Louis dance.
Then: more Dancecenter. "Wax on / Wax off" is written football-style over a montage of Ralph Macchio dancing . Corny jokes ensue, meaning Len stares into the camera and shakes his head, as he did much of last segment. If he had his way, this exercise would be called Angstcenter. He plays an adequate straight man to Jerry and Kenny's goofiness, I guess. That's the idea, at least. Kenny goes through Chelsea's outfits, critiquing them but he stops on the "naughty teacher" with faux-befuddlement. "Oh, she's a naughty girl," breathes Jerry. It's creepy enough to put the family orientation of this show in jeopardy. Anyway, it's over quickly and therefore is more merciful than the last segment.
Adele hits the stage, performing a song that doesn't disturb her upper register, I suppose. Brooke says this is her "prime-time debut" of her hit "Rolling in the Deep," which sounds crazy but it basically just means that she hadn't performed it on this show or American Idol before tonight. Big whoop. She sounds great, though — smokier than usual. Just for the sake of variety, it's nice to hear a slight bit of grit on her voice, which is generally pristine.
Elimination continues. After a flashback to last night, Ralph and Karina are told they are in jeopardy and Karina says, "S---!" (It's silenced, damn delays.) Well, that'll do nothing to help your case, missy! You're s---ting on thin ice as it is!
Next safe couple
Chelsea and Mark
After a punishing commercial break, we return to find that Romeo and Chelsie are the couple who will not be making the semi-finals. Brooke says, "This is so, so hard at this point in the competition," with the emotion of a straight key. Literally, she could have transmitted it in Morse code and it would have been just as resonant. Romeo notes, as he did earlier, that it's at the point of the competition where anyone can go home. And tonight, he is anyone. But this show helped him overcome his fear of dancing, and so maybe he won't have to turn down movie roles he previously did because of what's starting to sound like dancing phobia. Yay! More Romeo for everyone! "I think I showed kids anything is possible if you try," he says, apparently unaware of how hilarious it is for him to mention "the kids" again after just being mocked for it in an entire montage. Aw, Mario, never change! (Not that you would anyway, clearly.)
What do you think about Mario's dismissal? Is it even worth keeping an ailing Ralph around?