DwtS 5, Week 4: Performances

On this week’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show, the season’s first perfect score was lost amid a lifting controversy.

Samantha Harris was back, and looking slim as ever. You’d never know she gave birth less than a month ago. Mercifully, she made it through her return without any major slip-ups.

Mark Cuban & Kym Johnson — Viennese Waltz
I think the song "Mr. Bojangles" is creepy, so maybe that colored my feelings about this performance. Or maybe it was Mark’s weird softshoe break early in the routine, as if he was channeling Joey Lawrence. The performance wasn’t great, but it’s the best that Mark’s done so far.

Len agreed with me, telling Mark is was his "best dance." Bruno said the routine "started very well," before Mark turned into "Bigfoot in a suit." Carrie Ann, who’d criticized Mark before for singing along with the music, said, "I’m very proud of you. The mouth was not moving."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…8, Bruno…7 = 22/30

Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas — Paso Doble
The DwtS Band’s remixed version of Dead or Alive’s "You Spin Me Round" didn’t work, but Sabrina & Mark managed to distract with some stellar dancing. Sabrina not only executed the moves, but she stayed in character. And the Paso gave Mark a chance to show off.

Bruno gushed, "Power, attack, stealth…a little lynx on the prowl." Carrie Ann said, "I get the sense that you want this really bad. I thought that was perfection." Len agreed: "I’m always looking for things I can find wrong with you, and tonight, I couldn’t find any."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30

Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani — Viennese Waltz
Jane looked like a princess, giving a very lovely performance with speedy turns. If Mark Cuban got an 8 for his Waltz, then Jane deserved an 11.

Jane & Tony were the first couple that Carrie Ann called out for executing a lift, which she defined as a move that could not be executed by one person alone in which both feet leave the floor at the same time. "We do have a rule about lifts," Carrie Ann said, "and you guys pushed it." Tony proceeded to argue with Carrie Ann about whether Jane’s feet both left the floor, and it was uncomfortable to watch.

Len declared tonight "a lift free zone" — or more accurately a "free lift zone" — and promised not to penalize any of the couples for questionable moves. He said Jane & Tony’s dance had "all the romance of old Vienna." Bruno told Jane she looked like "the queen of the fairies."

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

Floyd Mayweather & Karina Smirnoff — Paso Doble
Unlike Sabrina, Floyd hasn’t been able to shed his hip-hop tendencies, stomping into the floor with too much force even for the aggressive Paso. When he wasn’t stomping, he danced on tiptoes. The performance ended with Floyd swinging a limp Karina around in an ugly lift that made it look as though she were unconscious.

Len said, "Bloody good job." Bruno said Floyd "went from a bulldozer to a bull fighter." Carrie Ann asked, "Was that a lift?" but continued, "That was the most improvement I’ve seen from you."

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

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Viennese Waltz
Mel & Maks gave a pretty, dramatic performance that felt too brief. Mel’s arm extensions were very nice, although she didn’t look completely at ease with the exaggerated neck posture of the Viennese Waltz.

Bruno said, "Melanie, sweet dreams are made of this. I was swept away to Wonderland." Carrie Ann said, "You bring together this sensual elegance. Your shoulders were just a hair up." Len said, "Well, done to you, Maks," and then to Melanie, "You’re a revelation."

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

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Paso Doble
Edyta had trouble choreographing a routine to the Superman theme song, and who can blame her? But Cameron attacked the dance enthusiastically. The performance ended in a very cool pose, and their superhero outfits were great.

Carrie Ann asked, "Cameron? Who are you? That was incredible!" She then scolded them for being the latest couple to execute a lift. Len told Cameron, "You and Paso Doble go together like fish and chips." Bruno said, "You took it like a hero. Well done."

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

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Viennese Waltz
The tempo of Elvis Presley’s "Can’t Help Falling in Love" made a Viennese Waltz challenging, and Jonathan compensated by creating a routine that was a little more casual and less elegant than some of the other Waltzes. More distracting than the song were Marie’s weird head whips that Carrie Ann described as "stripperish."

Len told Marie, "You put the feel-good factor into every dance." Bruno said, "For me it was a bit like Sleeping Beauty, but still asleep." Carrie Ann said, "I actually thought it was a nice choice. I like the new-found tenderness."

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

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Paso Doble
Jennie & Derek’s dance was fast and fun, and full of character. Ian Ziering gave it a standing ovation, and I would have, too.

Bruno said, "You’ve improved so much, and you’re getting better every week. The choreography was superb." Carrie Ann told Jennie, "You dug deep this week," although she said she would take a point off for — wait for it — their lift. Len started his comments by saying, "I am a grumpy old devil, and if I do start to see lifts creeping in, I can be far worse than these two." Then he turned to Jennie and said, "Listen to Lennie: That… bloomin’ fantastic."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…10, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Viennese Waltz
Helio can’t stop smiling long enough to create a serious character. The performance was very good, but it didn’t seem to come as naturally for Helio as some of his previous dances. Julianne learned from the other couples’ experience and was careful to drag her toe in what was very close to being yet another lift.

Carrie Ann said, "Julianne, thank you for keeping your toes on the ground. Helio, you know, when you dance, you make me happy to be alive." Len said, "I loved it." Bruno said, "You really are the glittering combo. You’re like sunlight: you can never have enough." Bruno should be expecting a call from the Skin Cancer Foundation sometime soon.

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

As Tom cued a recap of tonight’s performances, he scooped up some of the feathers shed from Julianne’s dress and said, "It’s a shame Julianne’s only 19; she’s already molting."

30 — Sabrina & Mark
27 — Cameron & Edyta, Jennie & Derek, Helio & Julianne
26 — Jane & Tony, Mel & Maks, Marie & Jonathan
23 — Floyd & Karina
22 — Mark & Kym

Sabrina & Mark were the best couple of the night, but I’d have to rank Jennie & Derek a close second for sheer entertainment value. Both couples will be sharing my votes (with one vote thrown to Helio & Julianne for giving the night’s best Viennese Waltz).

The judges’ leaderboard reveals one truth they can’t deny, no matter how nice they are in their comments: Mark and Floyd aren’t in the same league as the other celebrities. Expect to see them in tomorrow night’s Bottom Two.