Mel & Maks topped the Dancing with the Stars leaderboard for a second week in a row.
Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas — Fox Trot
Sabrina’s high energy and sharp moves were present even in this more traditional dance, but they felt appropriate, given the music to which they danced. And even though Sabrina still can’t totally mask her hip-hop background, she did execute some softer hand gestures.
Len said, "Although the performance was excellent, it was all too hard. It was too aggressive." Bruno agreed: "Now you have to work on the finesse." Carrie Ann told Sabrina, "Don’t listen to them. You were feisty when you needed to be feisty, and you were smooth when you needed to be smooth."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 25/30
Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Mambo
Jennie’s still struggling with some performance anxiety issues, and her sexy cut-out dress couldn’t have made her feel too comfortable. But she looked more confident than she did last week, and Derek’s fun choreography seemed to help Jennie cut loose.
Bruno raved, "You’ve got steam heat tonight, Jennie! That’s dirty dancing!" Carrie Ann told Jennie, "Finally, you totally unveiled yourself." Len said, "To progress, you’ve gotta come out with an exceptional performance. You did that."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30
Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani — Jive
Everything about this performance was awkward: Jane’s too skimpy outfit, her ballerina arms, her lack of bounce, and the super slow version of David Bowie’s "Modern Love." Jane & Tony’s Jive was as cool as my old Junior High science teacher trying to use contemporary slang: "Boy, that Jane is a fine-looking shorty. She can really get jiggy with it."
Carrie Ann told Jane, "You brought the energy to the floor. Some dances don’t bring the best out in people. I think that you’re better than this dance." Len said, "It was a little bit like a ballerina Jive. It wasn’t down and dirty." Bruno agreed, "It wasn’t your most comfortable dance."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 22/30
Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Samba
Edyta’s fondness for Pocahontas surfaced again as she and Cameron dressed in a Native American theme that required an explanation. Their dancing didn’t offer one, and neither did their song’s Portuguese lyrics (as far as I could tell), so the costumes just distracted from a slow but otherwise solid Samba.
Len said, "It was good in parts… but for me, for some reason, you didn’t do what you set out to do." Bruno said, "I’ve never seen Captain Smith and Pocahontas doing a Samba." Carrie Ann appreciated the thematic choice: "I felt that it was really primal. I got it, and I loved it."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 25/30
Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Rumba
Mel said she liked the love-hate nature of the Rumba, as it seemed to describe her relationship with Maks. On the floor, it seemed like more love than hate, and both of them grinned through most of the dance. The romantic performance ended with Mel sitting on Bruno’s lap, Maks whispering in Carrie Ann ear, and Len left alone in the middle shrugging his shoulders.
Bruno said, "That wasn’t a dance; that was a cliffhanger. Excellent." Carrie Ann said, "Mel, I was mesmerized.That’s the Rumba I’ve been waiting to see all season." Len said, "That routine was perfected, inspected, dissected, and, as far as I’m concerned, it won’t be rejected. It was fantastic."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30
Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Paso Doble
In case you’d forgotten that Marie fainted on last week’s show, Jonathan choreographed a number of moves that required Marie to lay motionless on the floor. As a joke, it wasn’t that clever, nor did it make for an exciting performance. When she was upright and mobile, Marie did a good job embracing the spirit of the Paso.
Carrie Ann confessed, "It was a little uncomfortable to see you down again. But it was still a nice performance." Len said, "It was a very dramatic start. Then there was a pause, like you were a gypsy around a camp fire, cooking your sausages." Bruno told Marie, "You started out like Catherine Zeta Jones, and you ended up like Catherine Zeta Cranky."
Tom Bergeron told Bruno, "Catherine Zeta Cranky? I’ve never seen you reach that far."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…7 = 23/30
Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Cha Cha Cha
After last week’s attempt at drama, Fun Helio was back, dancing to James Brown’s infectious "Get Up Offa That Thing." Helio & Julianne’s routine was pure entertainment, and in their ’70s-inspired outfits, it bordered on goofy. But this is the realm in which Julianne does some of her best choreography — and in which Helio is most comfortable performing.
Len told Helio, "Last week, you tried to be something you’re not. This week, you’ve come back as the Helio we all love." Bruno said, "You’re back in the race." Carrie Ann told Helio, "The Latin booty was working overtime."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…10, Bruno…9 = 28/30
Group Rock N’ Roll
Christian Perry choreographed what he called a "Rug Cutters Rumble," in which the Greasers (Helio & Julianne, Mel & Maks, Jane & Tony, and Sabrina & Mark) faced off against the Jocks (Cameron & Edyta, Marie & Jonathan, Jennie & Derek) in a good, old-fashioned dance fight. Too bad most of the blood that was shed in rehearsal came from the dance partners injuring one another, and not from members of the opposing clique.
Dressed like extras from Grease, the couples danced to "Rockin’ Robin." Helio & Julianne executed the best trick, which I guess means the Greasers won the dance fight. The routine ended in a weird position with the girls hanging from the guys’ waists, staring up at their butts.
30 — Mel & Maks
28 — Helio & Julianne
27 — Jennie & Derek
25 — Sabrina & Mark, Cameron & Edyta
23 — Marie & Jonathon
22 — Jane & Tony
I agree with the judges that Mel & Maks had the best performance of the night, although I’m willing to toss a couple of votes to Helio for returning to his old self. Marie & Jonathan and Jane & Tony will probably wind up in the Bottom Two, and it’s a toss up which pair will be eliminated.