DwtS 5, Week 3: Performances

It was Ladies’ Night again on Dancing with the Stars, as the women dominated the dance floor.

Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas — Jive
Sabrina made high kicks in high heels look easy. Mark’s choreography was youthful, but sophisticated — even if he did do the Worm. He’s wisely recognized that Sabrina can pull off difficult moves, and he definitely pushes her.

Len said, "For me, that was your best dance so far." Bruno told Sabrina, "You’re like a seismic event. You get aftershocks after your performance." Carrie Ann agreed: "This dance completely suits you. It’s youthful. It’s vibrant. It’s all you."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Tango
It’s hard to be sexy while dancing to Sonny & Cher’s "The Beat Goes On." But Cameron owned the dance in a way that he hasn’t so far. Looking confident is almost as important as nailing the moves, and Cameron did both.

Carrie Ann called their Tango "G-rated," but said, "I definitely saw an improvement." Len told a You have got great posture and you’ve got a great hold. For me, it lacked a character of the Tango." But Bruno called him a "lady-killer."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…7, Bruno…8 = 23/30

Mark Cuban & Kym Johnson — Jive
Mark’s hip was in a ton of pain, and it was obvious in his performance. Kym gave Mark’s hip a break by having him do the Twist for measures at a time, which gave the whole routine a slow feel. Then Mark lost his timing early into the performance. It’s obvious that he’s trying very hard, but this wasn’t Mark’s dance.

Bruno told Mark, "You were more in control. You were cleaner. Your started well, but you lost it." Carrie Ann said, "You get a little…almost like your kind of imitating somebody dancing. You’re the one dancing. Full out! Believe it a little more." Len complimented Kym for doing "a great job with the choreography," and told Mark, "I can see a development."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 20/30

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Tango
Last week’s slip was the best thing that could have happened to Jennie. She lost all of her hesitancy this week, embracing the dramatic character of the dance. And Derek didn’t let Jennie off the hook by choreographing a safe routine; she executed some powerful kicks and a gorgeous leg sweep. After their performance, Jennie jumped for joy.

Len said the performance was "sharp and tangy like a pickle." Carrie Ann gave Jennie a standing ovation and a high five. Bruno told Jennie, "You took on this tango and you won. You should be so proud. Don’t cry for me, Argentina."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Jive
Maks showed off by wearing an open vest with no shirt. But he didn’t do any moves that would outshine Mel: a problem he’s had with his previous partners. Mel’s great synchronization and timing allowed her to hold her own with Maks, and she executed a cool split moves and some complicated-looking turns. She and Sabrina had the best Jives of the night.

Bruno called Melanie "the bouncing bombshell. Excitement on legs." Len agreed that Mel B’s "B is for Bounce. That was your best dance." Carrie Ann just said, "All of the things they said, I agree with."

As they waited for their scores backstage, Drew told Maks, "The stage managers wanted me to tell you they’re looking for your shirt," which was all the invitation Maks needed to take off his vest and show off his glittery suspenders.

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Wayne Newton & Cheryl Burke — Tango
Cheryl tried to get Wayne to focus on his strong point: performance. Wayne took the floor wearing a funny fake moustache and ponytail, but then gave a serious performance. Cheryl had to dance around Wayne, who barely moved at all.

Carrie Ann said, "It felt, at times, that Cheryl was leading you." Bruno called Wayne’s look "something between Errol Flynn and Captain Hook, even Steven Seagal in between." Len said, "The mood of it was great. Unfortunately, you spent so much time on the character the dance somehow disappeared."

Drew asked Cheryl backstage what viewers could expect to see Wayne dressed as next week, should they get enough votes to continue. Cheryl’s response was a farewell speech (or cry for mercy): "Well, not only is Wayne a great dancer or a great entertainer, but he’s a great guy. I’ve enjoyed working with him this season. It’s been a pleasure."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…6 = 18/30

Floyd Mayweather & Karina Smirnoff — Jive
Floyd started the routine by jumping rope, dropping the jumprope near the stage where it lay as a tripping hazard. Indeed, at the end of the routine, Karina snagged the rope on her shoe. Floyd’s arms were all over the place during the performance, and his pelvic thrusts were, um, overly enthusiastic. However, his footwork was better.

Len was concerned that Floyd has been training in gym shoes: "I think you should practice more in the proper dance shoes so you get used to pointing your toes." Carrie Ann appreciated Floyd’s energy, but said, "You’ve gotta work on the structure of the dance. Just a little more detail please." Bruno told Floyd, "You can do anything you want, you really can. Just, please, do it."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani — Tango
Jane looked as stylish as ever in her beautiful dress. She had no trouble keeping in character, giving a dramatic performance that ended with an equally dramatic finishing move.

Bruno enthused, "Drama. Pathos. Passion. Great technique." Len: "You came out haughty, proud. I’ll tell you what — that could’ve been on pay-per-view." A teary Carrie Ann said, "That was just beautiful to see you put your heart and soul and transform your emotions into one of the most gorgeous dances I’ve seen. Every moment was a beautiful picture."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Jive
Julianne looked like disco Pocahontas in this very youthful routine. Helio gave another great performance, culminating in a slide across the floor that ripped a hole in the knees of his pants. Julianne helped him limp over to the judges’ table for their remarks.

Carrie Ann told Helio, "Your fun is contagious." Bruno said, "Technically you were not as clean as precise as you usually are." Len agreed: "you messed up a bit on these kick-ball-changes. But as always, you come out, turn it on. Well done."

Drew applauded Helio backstage, "I see you trying to work the sympathy vote with the little limp off stage. Well played, well played."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Tango
In past seasons, men have had the market cornered on humorous routines. This season, Marie is the comedian, and she’s terrific at it. She’s getting the steps down, and Jonathan is capitalizing on Marie’s charm to great effect.

Len said, "Marvelous musical interpretation. You’ve gotta lift your ribcage a little more when you dance." Marie gasped in reply, "Too many babies!" Carrie Ann told Marie, "You brought Lucille Ball to the dance floor." Bruno said, "It could’ve become a bit of slapstick. It never did. The Meryl Streep of dance."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Leaderboard:
27 — Sabrina & Mark, Melanie & Maksim, Jane & Tony
26 — Jennie & Derek, Marie & Jonathan
24 — Helio & Julianne
23 — Cameron & Edyta
21 — Floyd & Karina
20 — Mark & Kym
18 — Wayne & Cheryl

Sabrina and Melanie performed my favorite Jives of the night, and Jennie gave my favorite Tango. Just to make sure they’re safe, I might have to throw votes to Cameron, Helio, Marie, and Jane.

The three lowest scoring couples are all fair game tomorrow night, but Mark & Kym and Wayne & Cheryl seem the most likely to wind up in the Bottom Two. I’m hoping that it’s Wayne & Cheryl’s turn to head home, as Wayne doesn’t seem to have any room for improvement and Cheryl seems to want out.

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