Do you love French-Canadians who wear lots of eye makeup, put their feet behind their head and dress up like walking playing cards or awkward birds? Then you probably loved this week's edition of Dancing with the Stars, which incorporated the magical world of Cirque Du Soleil into the couples' dances. If only Rick Perry was still on the show and we had the opportunity to see him wear a two-foot long beak and fall into a firedancer in a massive explosion.
Len wasn't here this week because he was too busy with his other show, Strictly Come Dancing, so automatically everyone was in a better mood. And Tom deemed Bruno should be in charge, which can only mean that the night should end with mud wrestling and Jell-O shots, right?
Let's review the dances and all the wackiness of the Cirque!
The dance: When I think Megatron, I definitely think "that guy is totally into Steampunk." That's how he and Lindsay suited up for this fun dance that he once again nailed, even lifting Lindsay upside down at one point without breaking her neck. Calvin somehow doesn't have lead feet and glided around like was dancing on marbles. But as the dance wore on, the jazziness went out of Calvin's hands, so he'll probably lose points there. Also, a guy rode around on a bicycle in the air.
What the judges say: OMG Carrie Ann was totally cool with lifts because of the theme! I guess now that Len is out the mice shall play. Maybe Bruno will eat his tie!
Score: 23/30 (remember, Len is OUT!)
The dance: This dance lacked the energy of the opening Charleston, so at one point all I could do was watch the anthropomorphic parrot jumping around and doing flips in the background. That's one thing about Cirque week, there are so many distractions in the background that it's more like an infomercial for Cirque. And though I wouldn't be caught dead at a Cirque show, I do know that they are physical wonders with superpowers, and when they're anywhere on stage it's like, "Excuse me dancers, move out of the way and let me watch this feathered human in the ridiculous get up do a headspin and backflip onto their butt." In a competition, it's probably more entertaining if the competitors are the most interesting thing out there? Anyway, the Argentine Tango isn't about pizazz, it's so form specific and Maureen was solid up there. But Maureen is about to lose it and I worry about her safety. Does she have the mental makeup to go far?
What the judges say: Bruno said Maureen had "great lines" and I agree. (I don't know what that means.)
Score: 24/30, Maureen's best score by far!
The dance: Jana and Gleb started out a little rough and out of synch, but as things went longer they found their rhythm and at some point Gleb pulled off a WWE move, and flipped Jana over by her neck into his lap and then they hugged and MY GOD when are these two going to get engaged? But it was a well-choreographed routine to one of the best songs of all time. Still, there's something missing from their partnership that keeps their fluidity from really coming together. Just get together and express your love, you two. America demands it!
What the judges say: Both Carrie Ann and Julianne pointed out some stiffness in Jana's shoulders and neck during some passes. Hmmm... maybe a hot oil sensual massage from Gleb will work those kinks out.
Score: 23/40, and Jana squealed at her first 8. 8s for everyone! Len isn't here! Let the love flow!
The dance: Ha ha! Derek! This guy just goes for it and he was decked out like the Lone Ranger in Wonderland as put together by Baz Luhrmann redoing Ziggy Stardust. And boy was he fabulous in this routine! And with the fire jets and flag dancers all over the stage, I couldn't even see how Marilu did. Everything else was too powerful around her. And at the end she shot a flag like an arrow and killed Derek? I don't know what the story behind this dance was, but I dug it. Still not ever going to see a Cirque Du Soleil show, though.
What the judges say: Julianne loved the whole use of the stage, and true, they danced a few miles in this routine. Carrie Ann thinks Marilu needs to drop some intensity and let Derek in so they can dance together.
Score: 21/30, and the typical boos from the crowd who want everyone to get a perfect score. Can it, audience! You aren't professional reality dancing competition show judges!
The dance: This was supposed to be a "risque" dance that explored human sexuality but I didn't see it. Maks and Amber rolled around on a table, but I don't know if I found it sexy even though Amber was dressed... let's say "casually." I'm still looking for that chemistry between Maks and Amber. However, it was so much better than last week's booty dance and we're on the right track here for what works for Amber. More of this, less day-glo graffiti, short shorts and awful wigs.
What the judges say: Bruno sounded like he wanted to lick the table!
Score: 24/30, tied for the high score! Really, a 24? OK!
The dance: "My game plan for this week is to just go out there and crush it," said Ryan. Yeah, bro! Personally, I've been a little disappointed that we haven't seen the Ryan of old while he tries to repair his image. Sigh. Anywho, of all the performers in this thing, Ryan seems like the one who has improved the least. It's the same thing each week. He looks stiff out there, like he's not a dancer. Which he's not! Can't we just accept that?
What the judges say: Carrie Ann disagreed with me and thought Ryan made a huge improvement. Well excuse me! It's like today is EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY day.
Score: 22/30, Bruno gave an 8.
The dance: This was a good use of the Cirque theme! Definitely the coolest idea of the night, as the couple moved from spotlight to spotlight on an otherwise pitch-black stage, making it all about the dance and them instead of clowns and frilly clothes. But because of the spotlights, you could see where they missed their marks and it started to fluster Babyface to the point where he forgot some steps and lost it. But to his credit, he owned up to it and recognized it with a smile on his face. That's a shame, because the concept was really, really cool.
What the judges say: Ehhh, basically, "Sorry, bud."
Score: 18/30, low for the night and a potential death sentence for their survival. These two don't deserve to go home tomorrow, but with TWO couples being eliminated, it could very well happen. Especially with all the soft scores going up tonight.
The dance: Hey background firedancer, we know that wasn't real fire! That ruins the whole point of firedancing. Just stop. But the dance! Terra is week in week out the most fun to watch along with from Laurie, isn't she? Terra gets into it, and the Samba is the perfect dance for her personality. I mean, she's great and Sasha choreographs her perfectly, using her height to an advantage rather than a crutch. One of the best dances of the season so far. Will she get a 9? And that hair and zebra print outfit, girl? Rock it. If you're not rooting for her, go jump in a dumpster.
What the judges say: They said Terra was sexy.
Score: 25/30! Carrie Ann hands out the first 9 of the season, and it was deserved. Terra and Sasha isn't going anywhere.
The dance: Laurie and Michael Jackson isn't even fair, man. The thing about Laurie is that she is having the most fun out there, and it shows. She pops, she flows, she struts, she steps, and every thing is punctuated with natural ability and flair. You watch Maureen out there and she's about to have an aneurysm, and Laurie is out there just dancing. And dancing well! There was even a whole portion of the dance that was just her dancing while the guys let her do her thing. You don't do that unless the "star" can handle it, and Laurie is the only one out there who can do that. Put her on the DWTS live show tour!
What the judges say: Julianne was speechless, but did mange to say Michael Jackson was the King of Pop but Laurie is the Queen of the Ballroom. Bruno pulled out an ultimate compliment and said she was a combination of Debbie Allen, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. So I think they liked it.
Score: 30/30, perfect score. Surprised? She's safe. It's everyone else who isn't.
The dance: Sure, Dancing with the Stars is our ENTIRE LIFE and we study it seven days a week, but these stars also have day jobs (well, some of them). And Vanilla Ice had FIVE shows in FIVE cities last week, meaning the rehearsal time was limited. So no, it wasn't the best, but he wore a white top hat and tore up an old couch and made a suit out of it with really long coattails. He and Lochte have similar problems out there, though Ice has less stiffness, and I'm impressed with what he pulled off out there considering his schedule. It was his best performance. If all is fair, it should be enough to keep him around one more week and avoid tomorrow's double elimination.
What the judges say: Carrie Ann noticed some more elegance in Vanilla's performance and Julianne thought the theme fit the night.
Score: 23/30! Impressive!
The dance: James has fantastic feet! And dancing looks pretty effortless for him, especially in this Broadway-inspired 1920s piece that doubled as a fun skit. He had a few down weeks after a great premiere week, but I think this is the real James and he's a legitimate competitor for the crown. Well, second place after Laurie. A great way to finish the episode.
What the judges say: Julianne is so surprised by James, and we are all too. "I sit for a living," said James.
Score: 28/30, with a 10 from Bruno!
Do you agree with the scores? Who do you think is getting eliminated tomorrow?
Dancing with the Stars returns tomorrow with a double elimination at 8/7c on ABC.