DwtS 3, Week 5: Performance Show

This week’s Performance Show was the best yet for this season of Dancing with the Stars.
Only three points separated all the couples, four teams tied for first
place, and nobody scored lower than an eight from any one of the judges.

Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska – Samba
Joey
liked the Samba in theory more than he liked actually rehearsing it.
“It’s supposed to be sexy, but I feel like a chicken,” he said. “The
Samba should be for ‘sam-body’ else.”

They danced to “Freedom”
by George Michael, and in Michael’s honor, Joey came out in a black
leather jacket. I’m not sure what Edtya’s sheer black turtleneck was an
homage to. Joey was able to pull off his chicken move without looking
like a chicken; it looked more like he was channeling Tony Dovolani.
Audience member Marilu Henner looked impressed. The routine was
entertaining and technically solid, but Joey never really looked
comfortable.

Len appreciated the couple’s “cleanness and
precision. But sometimes it lacks a spontaneity.” When the audience
began to boo, Len chastised them: “Don’t be puerile!”
Turning back to Joey, he said, “Take off the shackles of inhibition.”
Bruno snapped at Len, “You should be shackled to Shady Pines.” Bruno
felt the routine was “modern, great fun.” Carrie Ann said, “You’re
strong performers, but I wasn’t completely impressed this week. You’re
better than that.”
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 25/30

Willa Ford & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Rumba
The
Rumba’s Cuban origins provided a convenient excuse for Willa and Max to
train at the beach. Willa laughed as she spun out of control and fell
on the sand, which was more forgiving than the wood floors she’d grown
used to. Once they got the basics down, Max let loose, taking his
shirt off and throwing seaweed at Willa.

Once I got over the
fact that Willa & Max were performing to “Every Breath You Take” by
The Police (really the only off choice for a song this week), I
realized that there was a lovely dance going on. There were gorgeous
holds, nice kicks, and even some splits. With each performance better
than the last, it’ll be fun to see what next week holds for Willa and
Max — assuming they get the chance, of course.

Regarding the
romance rumors surrounding Willa & Max, Carrie Ann said, “If you
guys aren’t going out, you should. That was amazing.” And on the
technical side, she pointed out, “Those rumba walks are very difficult
to do.” Len told Willa, “You’ve gone from strength to strength.” Bruno
said, “You left me breathless. Your improvement has been incredible.”

Waiting
for their scores backstage, co-host Samantha Harris asked how the
couple’s relationship off of the dance floor helps them perform. Willa
matter-of-factly said, “We have great chemisty no matter what we’re
doing.” She was stunned when the audience let out a collective,
“Ooooh…” Willa blushed. “Why does the audience do that?” she asked,
as Max and everyone else backstage laughed.
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Sara Evans & Tony Dovolani – Samba
Sara
said she would learn to dance like a Samba party girl “if it kills me.”
Perhaps it did, because Sara danced like a zombie. She just doesn’t
have the natural fluidity that her competitors do, so her dancing looks
stilted and jerky. She’s trying very hard, but it appears she’s reached
her ceiling. At least she smiled throughout the routine and had fun
this week.

Keeping her low ceiling in mind, Tony should be
choreographing routines that highlight Sara’s strengths and camouflage
her shortcomings — aiming for humor and showmanship. But he’s not
doing that. Instead, he fills in the gaps with his own flashy moves,
overshadowing his partner as she struggles to keep up.

Bruno
liked Sara’s attitude. “Finally, as sexy Sara, you can shake your ass
when you want to.” Carrie Ann advised Sara, “Everytime you come out on
the dance floor, it must feel good to you.” Len said that Sara &
Tony did a great job interpreting their song. He also said he bought one of Sara’s CDs this week —
albeit second hand.
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30

Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff – Rumba
All
of their rehearsing gave Karina “Mario overload.” So, they relaxed by
Mario’s friend’s pool. Mario rubbed sunscreen on Karina’s back before
tossing her into the water. In regard to their supposed romantic
relationship, Mario said, “I can see us… being friends for a long
time.”

Their performance was beautiful — a perfect present for
Mario on his birthday. He makes dancing look so easy, it’s almost
unfair.

Len told Mario, “You’re the dead opposite to Joey. You
go out there with everything. You’re like a tightrope walker.” Bruno
called the performance “intense, throbbing, and masterful. You two make
such a package.” Carrie Ann looked at the camera and said, “He’s an
amazing dancer, everyone can see that.” Then she turned to Mario and
said, “It’s a stylistic choice — you clip some of your movements.” She
would like to see Mario add some breadth to his movements.
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson – Samba
“This
week, I’m gonna have to go crazy,” Jerry said. Kym was concerned about
their performance: “The Samba is everything Jerry isn’t.” To get Jerry
in the mood to party like they were in Rio, Kym made Jerry get a
spray-on tan. “Eat your heart out, Mario,” said the newly bronzed talk
show host.

Jerry & Kym stole the show with their outfits: a
black, ruffled, satin shirt with a deep-V for him (my husband called it
“The Evil Puffy Shirt”), and a glitzy showgirl number with a tail and
headdress for her. Their routine truly was a party, almost a variety
show skit set to music. But Jerry and Kym actually managed to work a
lot of Samba moves into it. The dance earned big laughs from the
audience, especially Lisa Rinna and Tia Carrere, who sat together.

When
Carrie Ann stopped laughing, she said, “That was hysterical. You tap
into what dance is all about: communication. And you did a good little
basic in there.” Len told Jerry, “I relate to you. I know what your
body must be going through. I look forward to you coming on more than
any other star. But, that’s Len the Person. As a judge, I’m going to
give you the highest mark I’ve ever given you.” Bruno called the
routine “worthy of Lucille Ball. This should be a sketch. You should
make this a character.”
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30

Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel – Rumba
Louis
used several metaphors to explain the woman’s role in the Rumba.
Monique would need to be a hunter, a whip, a washing machine? Monique
warned viewers at home that the routine was so hot, “it might fog up
your television.”

Monique’s legs are the fastest in the
competition. Louis really took advantage of her talent and included a
lot of moves that you’d never expect an amateur to be able to do. But
Monique nailed everything, including a cool monkey-bar-flip move at the
end of the routine.

Bruno said Monique was “like a forbidden
fruit. Everybody wants you, but nobody can touch you.” Carrie Ann
praised Monique’s technique, calling it “grounded” and “sensuous.” But,
Carrie Ann said, “Something about your performance always leaves me a
little lost. You’re too internal.” Len said the performance was
“courageous, outrageous, contagious.”
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – Samba
A
week of serious “hip action” sent Emmitt to the chiropractor for some
painful-looking adjustments. But you’d never know he was in pain by his
performance. It was a fun routine, heavy on the Samba moves and light
on the gimmickry (apart from when Cheryl playfully mimed grabbing Emmitt’s butt at
one point). Emmitt was beaming by the end of the performance, as was
audience member and former NBA player, John Salley.

Len gushed,
“That is what I wanted to see — the carnival dance! That was was the
best Samba of the night.” Bruno told Emmitt, “You are a party legend.
You can shake that pelvis.” Carrie Ann responded by standing up and
doing a little shimmy, herself. Then she told Emmitt, “Don’t leave it
between Joey and Mario. Get in there!”
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Leaderboard
1 – (tie) Willa & Max, Mario & Karina, Monique & Louis, Emmitt & Cheryl
5 – Joey & Edyta
6 – (tie) Sara & Tony, Jerry & Kym

My
vote this week went to Willa & Max. Their performances are really
starting to grab me, and Willa’s improved so much that I can’t wait to
see what else she’s capable of. Plus, we’ve had two weeks in a row of
footage of Max without a shirt. I’m all for three!

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