DwtS 5, Week 7: Performances

The judges played it safe and kept all of the couples within four points of each other. But the cream has started to rise to the top on Dancing with the Stars, and its becoming easier to tell which couples deserve to stay, and which should go.

Ballroom Round

Helio & Julianne — Tango
Regarding their two dances, Helio said, "The Samba is the home dance of my country, Brazil… The Samba I love. The Tango — that’s a different story." To help motivate her partner, Julianne showed Helio a video of his parents cheering him on from Brazil. They’re as adorable as he is.

Dressed in black velvet, Helio & Julianne danced a Tango to David Bowie’s "Jean Genie." Helio’s at his best when he gets to smile and let loose, and the Tango didn’t seem to be the dance best suited for his personality. It had swagger, and it was fun, but it wasn’t quite on par with some of his previous dances.

Len liked Helio’s passion: "You had drive and you had attack." But he chastised Helio for his arms and footwork. Bruno told the pair, "You two are like thunder and lightning… But, technically, it required more polish." Carrie Ann said, "I liked it. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit younger!"

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 25/30

Marie & Jonathan — Quickstep
To keep her in the competition, Jonathan wanted Marie to "sell her character, her personality." Marie brought her kids to practice, and they climbed all over Jonathan.

Dancing to "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," Marie was dressed and made up to look like a missing Andrews Sister. She and Jonathan performed their most energetic routine of the season. It ended with Marie slobbering a wet kiss on Len. Len quickly wiped the lipstick off his face, saying he was worried it might upset his wife. "Which one?" Tom asked.

Bruno effused, "When you get it right, you do get it right!" Carrie Ann, who was expecting a more gimmicky performance, said, "Nothing campy about that… I thought it was wonderful!" And Len told Marie, "Entertainment runs through your veins like Chianti does through Bruno."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 28/30

Mel & Maks — Fox Trot
Mel’s Spice Girls responsibilities are starting to dominate her schedule, and she’s been forced to squeeze late night practices in wherever she can find the time. Maks said he was worried that he and Mel may be sent home this week.

The couple danced an elegant Fox Trot that didn’t stand out, but it wasn’t bad, either. They spent more time out of hold than I would’ve expected.

Carrie Ann said, "It felt just a hair out of sync." Len agreed: "You have lovely arms during that solo… but every time I was expecting a heel, I was getting a toe." Bruno said much the same as his cohorts: "You performed it very well, but the footwork needed a little bit of finesse."

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

Jane & Tony — Quickstep
Jane was excited to Quickstep to a song by Johnny Cash, with whom she was friends. She wore a pendant that belonged to June Cash, and Tony wore Johnny Cash’s watch.

In slightly countrified outfits, Jane & Tony danced to "Walk the Line." The floats that hung from Jane’s arms made her look as if she’d been TP-ed by a bunch of cheerleaders before the big game. The performance didn’t look any better than anything Jane had done in the first couple weeks of the competition.

Len said, "As always, you’ve got that lovely grace," but he noted two problems: "total lack of body contact…and occasionally poor footwork." Bruno had problems with Jane’s outfit: "Shame about being run through a shredder tonight." Carrie Ann told Jane, "At this point, you have to excite us. You can’t just be good. You have to be outstanding."

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

Jennie & Derek — Viennese Waltz
Jennie said she "can’t help but laugh" when Derek explains the romantic nature of some of their dances. "Dancing the Rumba with Derek is a little weird, but he told me he can dance the Rumba with his sister — which is even weirder.

Jennie’s silvery-blue dress was fab. Jennie and Derek danced a beautiful waltz and executed some lovely spins — except for the one where Derek spun into a cameraman.

Bruno told Jennie, "Sometimes you are so fluid, you are like a water nymph in a magic lake." Carrie Ann said, "You’ve been growing, and it’s really exciting to watch you." Len told Derek, "There was not enough Viennese Waltz in hold." Derek replied, "I understand," and headed backstage, where the other contestants were booing the judges.

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…9 = 25/30

Cameron & Edyta — Quickstep
Cameron said this is his most important week ever, after being in the bottom two.

The most memorable part of this performance was the singer’s shrill impression of The Cure’s Robert Smith. Cameron worked hard to sell the dance, but he seemed a bit heavy-footed and imprecise. The couple lost their steps near the end. It was still fun — it’s Edyta — but it was not their best.

Carrie Ann said, "I love the exuberance. It was a little wild." Len channeled Bruno with this bizarre comment: "Superman, you’ve gotta calm down. I’d put a bit of Kryptonite down your trousers. That might calm it down a bit." Bruno agreed, "It was Mr. Flash in a mad dash. It was such a dash, you forgot the steps."

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

Latin Round

Helio & Julianne — Samba
The Samba definitely suited Helio more than the Tango. He smiled and writhed his way through a performance that was a big improvement on his first dance of the night. Julianne’s outfit looked like someone had shot a pheasant, tie-dyed it, and taped it to her chest.

Bruno shouted, "That’s what I like to see!" and said of Julianne’s outfit, "Thank God you’re not allergic to feathers." Carrie Ann said, "Way to go!" Len started with a joke, "Just because you come from Brazil doesn’t mean you’re necessarily going to be good at the Samba, in the same way [that] just because you come from Texas doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good president." As the crowd laughed, Bruno interrupted, "Len! They’re going to throw us out of the country!" Len continued, "It was fantastic."

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

Marie & Jonathan — Cha Cha Cha
Dancing to "Venus," Marie tried to channel the character of a seductress. She didn’t really pull it off, but then again, she’s been seductive enough to spawn eight kids, so who am I to judge? Even though the routine wasn’t as speedy as their Quickstep, Marie sounded very out of breath, afterward.

Carrie Ann said, "You always tone the performances perfectly. But I do have to say that there wasn’t quite enough content." Len agreed: "There was a little bit too much messin’ about going on." Bruno said, "I liked the character: the flamboyant harlot working the Latin Quarter. But you peaked earlier on."

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

Mel & Maks — Paso Doble
Wearing something from Lover’s Lane, Mel & Maks did a Paso that was the complete antithesis of their cute, sparkly Fox Trot. As is always important in the Paso, they really sold the performance. It looked like the first time in bullfighting history that the matador had more to fear from his own cape than he did from the bull.

Len stuttered through some positive comments before ultimately just pointing at Mel & Maks.
Bruno gushed, "That was an adrenaline charged dominatrix. My jaw was on the desk. Top that!" Carrie Ann shouted, "I think you just kicked some serious booty!"

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

Jane & Tony — Cha Cha Cha
If it weren’t for Jane’s skimpy outfit, I would’ve had a hard time telling this from her first dance. It was another middle-of-the-road performance from Jane. Not bad. Not spectacular.

Bruno said, "That was a very well executed Cha Cha." Carrie Ann told Jane, "You’re such a dainty and delicate dancer." Len made mention of Guy Fawkes Day in his advice to fellow Brit Jane, "You’ve got to come out and give us a few fireworks, and that’s what’s lacking for me." Tom said, "Coming up, Len will go through more English holidays that mean nothing to us."

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

Jennie & Derek — Rumba
Despite her tendency to giggle through their rehearsals, Jennie was able to pull off a romantic Rumba with Derek. The routine was full of content, and they executed it very well. And it was the first time in a few weeks that she didn’t look nervous while dancing.

Carrie Ann said, "You had beautiful lines, Jennie. Way to come back." Len told Jennie, "The only person who’s not convinced you’re a really good dancer is you." Bruno gushed, "Housewives are sexy! It was the best dance you’ve done."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 28/30

Cameron & Edyta — Jive
Cameron & Edyta executed a good Jive with a few nice leaps. It was Cameron’s most polished performance yet. But can somebody explain to me what look they were going for with those outfits?

Len told Cameron, "You did that fantastic!" Bruno said the routine had "more kicks than a rodeo!" Carrie Ann told Cameron, "You started out [the season] as the good looking guy who kinda could move, but you’ve become a really fine dancer."

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

Leaderboard (out of 60 possible points):
54 — Mel & Maks
53 — Jennie & Derek
52 Helio & Julianne, Marie & Jonathan
51— Cameron & Edyta
— Jane & Tony

This leaderboard could be the template for the rest of the eliminations this season. Barring some radical improvement by one of the middle couples, Mel & Maks should win. Jane & Tony are lagging behind the pack and haven’t shown the kind of improvement that the others have, so it’s time for them to go.

Regardless of who’s eliminated Tuesday night, the Results Show should be a good one; DanceCenter with Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice is back!