Flatulating Around (Episode 2-6)

Two couples earned perfect scores in week six of Dancing with the Stars. With all of these 10s being given out, host Tom Bergeron suggested the show take a cue from the movie This Is Spinal Tap and reset the judges’ paddles to 11 for next week. Let’s just hope no one has to dance around a miniature model of Stonehenge.

As the number of couples remaining in the competition dwindles, the show’s intros have gotten progressively longer. The audience didn’t see the first competitive routine until 15 minutes into the program. It will be interesting to see how the show fills 90 minutes next week, with only four couples competing. Too much filler may drive viewers to Survivor, Everybody Hates Chris, or, if they’re really desperate, the Olympics.

There was one spectacular moment during the show’s intro: Max was back! All 10 of the pros demonstrated the dances that would be performed this evening. Ashly & Louis danced the Jive, Jonathan & Anna danced the Tango, Tony & Cheryl danced the Paso Doble, Nick & Andrea danced the Quickstep, and Max & Edyta performed the Rumba. It was a lovely Rumba, despite the fact that they danced to the theme from Titanic.

Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya: The first celeb to perform this evening, Jerry had to muster up some acting skills for the Paso Doble. But he and Anna had some unusual interruptions to their normal training schedule. Anna accompanied Jerry to Detroit for the Super Bowl, where he was honored alongside other past Super Bowl MVPs. As many fans congratulated Jerry on his dancing as on his football accomplishments.

In order to achieve the strong posture required for the dance, Anna handed Jerry a quarter and told him to “hold it between [his] butt cheeks.” Tom quipped that Jerry has become so adept with the quarter that he now dispenses change.

Their performance was solid technically, but felt a little slow. Len said that, while the basics were there, the routine wasn’t exciting. Carrie Ann disagreed, and enjoyed the energy Jerry showed. Bruno thought the routine was simple, but effective.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 7, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 23/30

Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke: Tango practice was interrupted when Drew’s wife and his brother, Nick, attempted to hijack him to watch the Super Bowl. Cheryl refused to let Drew leave until he’d learned his part, a feat made more difficult as Nick sat on the side making cracks like, “Our family name is ruined.”

The final product was a near-perfect routine that showcased great technique in an engaging presentation. Except for the “Thriller” zombie bit that Drew employed during the Michael Jackson song, this is the closest he has come to looking like he’s having a good time dancing, at least in facial expression. It was nice to see. Even if it takes all of his concentration to execute the routine, it shouldn’t look that way to the audience. Compare Drew’s and Jerry’s expressions while dancing to Tony’s and Louis’s, and you’ll see some of what separates the amateurs from the pros.

Len said it was their best dance to date, and Carrie Ann and Bruno enthusiastically agreed.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 10, Bruno – 10. Judges’ Total = 30/30

George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska: George was concerned about the Rumba, because a man who rumbas poorly looks effeminate. To prevent that, Edyta brought in her professional partner, Alec Mazo. Alec, looking better than he ever did dancing with Kelly Monaco last season, taught George all of the tricks to making a wrist flick seem manly.

As usual, George and Edyta relied on props to tell their story, including a cigarette holder for the elegant lady and a tray for her waiter. At the end of the routine, Edyta slipped waiter George a hundred dollar bill. Carrie Ann complimented George for executing the Rumba’s hip action, and Bruno described the routine as Dynasty: The Musical. Len was less impressed, criticizing George for not moving enough: “Edyta was flatulating around you.” That may be the case, but Gentleman George never let on that he smelled anything.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 7, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 23/30

Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel: More tears from Lisa as she struggled to master the Quickstep in practice. After succeeding with the Latin dances, she was nervous about performing a traditional ballroom dance. To correct Lisa’s posture and help her feel more sophisticated, Louis took Lisa for etiquette lessons. She’s lucky they aren’t required to dance with books on their heads.

Fancy costumes helped create the elegant feeling the Quickstep embodies; Lisa’s dress sported a collar of lavender feathers, and Louis looked like Thurston Howell III from Gilligan’s Island. Their performance was fast and energetic, and it ended with them running up the stairs on the stage. When Len told Lisa she danced with great control, posture, and speed, she shrieked happily, “I did?” Bruno declared that “the emancipation of Lisa is complete.”
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Scores = 27/30

Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani: Because the Jive was spread throughout the world by American soldiers during World War II, Tony thought it would be nice to practice their routine in front of some Marines. The soldiers at Camp Pendleton were more than happy to meet Stacy, who forced Tony to do push ups as the Marines counted for him. A sign at the camp read “Dancing with the Stars Is Patriotic,” and I swear I saw few of the military Jeeps with “Support Stacy & Tony” ribbon magnets.

Their fun performance built upon last week’s perfect Samba. The Jive allowed Stacy to show a lot of personality, and credit goes to Tony for finding the best ways to make her the belle of the ball. Early in the competition, Tony had Stacy do a lot of high kicks, as if her legs were all she had going for her. As she’s improved, his choreography has relied less on her legs for wow factor, and has used more difficult footwork and figures to show off her dancing skills.

Len admitted he was nervous about Stacy doing the Jive. If she didn’t execute her kicks quickly enough, her long legs would look silly, but he was impressed with her sharp leg flicks. Bruno was as enthusiastic as ever for his inamorata, Stacy, and Carrie Ann described the performance as “pretty much perfect.”
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 10, Bruno – 10. Judges’ Total = 30/30

Tonight’s group dance was the Viennese Waltz. Because couples turn almost constantly during the dance, there are plenty of opportunities for dance floor collisions. Rehearsal didn’t go smoothly, as Louis struggled to keep everyone on task, which was made all the more difficult when George’s pants fell down. When Louis and Tony danced together to demonstrate Waltz technique, Lisa and Stacy giggled like schoolgirls.

During the live performance, couples took turns soloing in the middle of the floor. Because the group dance isn’t subject to the same restrictions as the judged performances, lifts were permissible. Nearly every pair executed some kind of lift, although Lisa and Louis went for a floor spin move. Since there was no way George could lift Edyta, he did the chicken dance. Really.

According to Len, Stacy & Tony had the best Viennese Waltz technique, but he preferred Drew’s & Cheryl’s solo. Carrie Ann liked the risk Lisa & Louis took for their solo. As one would expect, Bruno liked Stacy’s & Tony’s lift the best.

1 – Drew & Cheryl, Stacy & Tony (tie)
3 – Lisa & Louis
4 – Jerry & Anna, George & Edyta (tie)

Jerry may have more harsh words for the judges tomorrow night after placing at the bottom of the leaderboard two weeks in a row. Also, the results show will feature a recreation of the final dance from Dirty Dancing, performed by Tony and Cheryl. Bill Medley himself will provide the accompaniment, as he sings “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” Couldn’t they get Jennifer Warnes, too?

My vote this week: I can’t vote for Max anymore, so what’s the point?