Ooh, we're down to the wire with this semifinal results show. By the end, we will know which three couples will dance for the glittering mirror ball in next week's finale, and we will be wiser for it. Come, let's learn.
Tom is still Tom and Brooke is still a straight key, per their intros. Chelsea and Mark's rumba is the judges' selection for the re-dance. Chelsea once again starts with a giant chiffon veil, like she's a kid playing wedding with her mom's curtains. Once that's off, we're treated to two scantily clad, extremely good-looking, physically fit people intertwining. They are living sculptures and we're watching moving art. As usual!
Hines and Kym's night is recapped. Hines cried even more than we knew after the first performance. After the across-the-board 10's, Kym said, "I would jump in the air, but I shouldn't," which is almost as hilarious as actually jumping in the air (and jumping in the air is hilarious).
First safe couple
Hines and Kym
Brooke talks to Ralph about his rough week — his fans root for him no matter what, he tells her. The only explanation for how assured he sounds is that he's hypnotized said fans. The remaining interviews are of little consequence, though Kirstie looks phenomenal. And isn't that what this is all about anyway?
Tom announces Stevie Nicks' performance by calling it "a real treat for me." He says that with such conviction that you can tell he's a fan, and I can't help but imagine him swathed in scarves dancing to "Stand Back" at some Night of 1,000 Stevies party. Stevie's song, "Secret Love," not so secretly resembles the Pretenders' "Brass in Pocket." Also, her bleating is a little lower than it used to be and much less heavy on the vibrato. I guess it's really true: time makes you older and less like a sheep. But whatever, she's a living legend and she's wearing fingerless gloves with fishnets underneath. Win/win (with win underneath).
Then: another performance, this time from Pitbull with Ne-Yo and Nayer doing "Give Me Everything." Ne-Yo dances in front of a blue light, giving him a very "Rock With You" effect. Pitbull says the same thing he's been saying for the past five or so years. But at least it's working and since he's once again in the club (per his lyrics), you can tell he's having the best time. Nayer is curvy and if she goes on to have a career and loses her voluptuousness, I'll know to feel bad for her for the terrible things anti-woman handlers are putting in her head. By the end of the song, I love it. Ne-Yo's emotion sells it! I really get that he wants you to give him everything tonight and how fun the club is. It really does sound like the best time!
We see Chelsea and Mark's recap package. It's fraught with ups and downs.
Next safe couple
Chelsea and Mark
Backstage, Brooke asks the teams what style of dance they'll be doing for the judges pick. Hines reveals he's going to be doing the quickstep and Chelsea reveals the samba, though she did want to wear her American flag fringe pants again, so it's unfortunate that it's a whole new dance and song. Unfortunate or face-saving? Eh, same thing on reality TV.
Then it's time for tonight's inspirational story about how dance makes a big impact on the lives of remarkable young people. There is no shortage of these stories, it turns out. Dance is giving laughter a run for its money as the best medicine, if you believe Dancing with the Stars feature packages (and who doesn't?). This week, a 13-year-old named Tayla Kelly, who dances ballet from sun up to sun down has primary immunodeficiency disease. Well, she's had it all her life, but this week we're hearing about it. It's sad. Sick kids tug the heartstrings like nothing else. Tayla has a 60 percent chance of making it to 18 and I have a 0 percent chance of making it through this package without falling to pieces. Tayla seeks solace in dance. It takes her mind off of things like doctors and blood treatments. It's also emblematic of her fighting spirit — Tayla's mom says Tayla resolved never to be "that sick kid" and she is winning. Charlie Sheen, eat your heart out — that is how you do winning. Onstage, Tayla performs a routine with Chelsie and Lacey to "Bulletproof" in the style of La Roux. It's a great song, but maybe a song about invincibility wasn't the best choice for a kid with a 60 percent chance of making it to 18. Then again, the best possible outcome would be for Tayla to beat the odds. Go on and be bulletproof, girl! After the performance, Brooke babbles like an auctioneer about what an honor it is to host Tayla living out her dream, and Tayla barely acknowledges her with a polite half smile. Haha, Tayla is even more awesome than I previously expected.
Then, a package on sacrifice and struggles. This show really kicks people's asses! But you know, they've all overcome injuries and flying shoes. Right before our eyes is a set of real American heroes.
And then, Stevie Nicks performs "Landslide," confirming the fact that time makes you older and less sheep-like. She motions with a sparkly chain that's attached to the mic while Tony and Cheryl do a dramatic interpretive dance to this acoustic ballad. No one sees their reflection in a snow-covered hill, but Cheryl's outfit is sparkly enough to almost be a mirror!
We get Kirstie's and Ralph's recap packages. Ralph says he's played the underdog for years. He adds that if they vote for the underdog in the final, he has some surprises in store. Are they surprises in the form of those hand drums they had at the end of The Karate Kid, Part II? Er, I guess we have to provide them as the audience.
The time has come to find out which couple will be dancing for the trophy next week. Hand drum roll please! Ralph and Karina are going home! You should have drummed harder. Ralph gives a long list of thanks to his supporters, family and Karina. He's a sweetheart. I don't care if it's trite, I'm just gonna say it: stay gold, Ponyboy (even though your character wasn't Ponyboy but in fact Johnny in The Outsiders)!
Anyway, this means that the three couples headed to the finale are Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas, and Hines Ward and Kym Johnson. Who's got this thing?
Ooh, we're down to the wire with this semifinal results show. By the end, we will know which three couples will dance for the glittering mirror ball in next week's finale, and we will be wiser for it. Come, let's learn...