DwtS 5, Week 8: Performances

As we inch closer to the Dancing with the Stars 5 finale, only two couples proved they belong there.

Round 1

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Jive
Richard Simmons came to cheer Jennie on, and he made her cry during his pep talk: "You’re a show girl, so shine." Why hasn’t Richard been cast for this show yet?

Jennie didn’t have complete control of her upper body, and she missed a hand hold with Derek early on. Derek kept the choreography challenging, and Jennie looked like she was giving it her all. In reference to Jennie’s green, beaded dress, Tom Bergeron said, "I’m craving frozen vegetables, for some reason."

Len said, "I’ve gotta be honest, I’m not sure if that Jive tonight is deserving of getting into the semi-finals." Bruno told Jennie, "You were limp. It wasn’t sharp, and it should’ve been, at this point in the competition." Carrie Ann agreed: "You’ve gotta watch your posture. This is the second week I’ve mentioned it. You crumble a little bit."

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

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Viennese Waltz
The ABC-sponsored Super Soap weekend at Disneyland gave Cameron a chance to rally the support of his fans. And even in this elegant dance, they managed to give Cameron’s fans what they want by keeping his shirt open. It was a very nice performance to the theme from Harry Potter.

Bruno gave Cameron the bizarre compliment that he looked "like a great big grey albatross." Carrie Ann said, "I really loved it. You’re really good in hold." Len protested Cameron’s outfit choice: "Why haven’t you got a bow (tie) on? Why’ve you got all your chest there in a ballroom dance?" But he said of the performance, "I grew to love it more and more."

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

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Rumba
Marie felt uncomfortable dancing something so romantic without getting permission from Jonathan’s wife, Anna Trebunskaya, first. Anna arrived at the couple’s practice and told Marie, "Even if you accidentally kiss him during the dance, it’ll be okay."

Apart from a few bends that showcased Marie’s flexibility, the dance felt slow even for a Rumba. Worse, the couple danced at arms length, ruining any chance for romance.

Carrie Ann told Jonathan, "I think you could be a little more aggressive, throwing in more moves. I know this woman can handle it." Len quipped to Marie, "I know the writers have gone on strike, but I think your hips have come out in sympathy with them." Bruno called Marie "Mrs. Robinson."

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

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Paso Doble
Julianne assembled a ballroom Pit Crew for Helio, comprising Tony Dovolani, Corky Ballas (Mark’s dad), and Heather Smith. In their dance, Helio & Julianne sported cool black and gold costumes complete with capes. The performance was close to great, but not quite, as it’s always hard to believe Helio in the more serious dances.

Len said, "Normally, I don’t like capes…but the cape worked tonight." Bruno told Helio, "Good Spanish line, incredible presence." Carrie Ann said, "What I really liked about this is your attention to detail…and that’s what’s going to take somebody to the top."

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

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Tango
Mel’s hubby, Stefan, stopped by practice to help make her angry and aggressive for the Tango. While they danced, he shouted out annoying things that he does around the house. The technique worked, as Mel & Maks used their sharp movements to give the first dynamic performance of the night. It was just too bad Mel was forced to Tango to Depeche Mode’s "Personal Jesus" — and in pants again, instead of a dress.

Bruno called it "a menacing Tango." Carrie Ann said, "I loved the stalking at the beginning," but noted, "It looked like you were concentrating on the steps." Len gave a detailed explanation of his experience going through puberty, finishing with, "I’ve become a foot man. Your feet were great this time!"

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

Round 2

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Fox Trot
This performance was dreadfully slow. Jennie’s arms were more graceful and controlled than during the Jive, but the Fox Trot lacked comparable enthusiasm.

Carrie Ann told Jennie, "You have a tendency to push it out a little and lead with your chin." Len said, "One of the secrets with this show is, if you get a criticism, not to let it get you down. Come back stronger." Bruno told Jennie, "You look like Veronica Lake. You have everything within you to unleash star power. For me, it still doesn’t happen."

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

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Cha Cha Cha
Like the super-slow version of The Rolling Stones’ "Brown Sugar" that they danced to, Cameron & Edyta’s performance lacked fire. Cameron’s arm movements look mechanical, and his tan pants were a bit too, um, form-fitting in the front.

Len said, "I didn’t find it terrible. It was a bit like painting by numbers." Bruno agreed: "It’s too hard and stiff for a Cha Cha Cha." Carrie Ann told Cameron, "What you need to work on…how you move from form to form, all the in between movements."

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

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Jive
Dressed in cowboy outfits, Jonathan looked like the missing Village Person. Marie looked cute and moved well, and she sold the performance better than Jennie did during her Jive.

Bruno said the performance looked like "a rerun of Sara Evans. It was cute, it was fun, a lot of line dancing. But I didn’t think there was enough Jive step for me." Carrie Ann agreed: "What you did was wonderful, but there was not a lot of Jive." Len said, "You came out and gave us fun, and I think these two are being a bit harsh."

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

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Quickstep
For some reason, Helio was dressed as The Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George. Their very bouncy Quickstep ended with Helio planting a kiss on Julianne’s lips and then dropping her to the ground for comedic effect.

Carrie Ann shouted, "Yea!" Len told Helio, "You look like a great, big dancing banana. That band is fantastic. The singers are fantastic. And that was fantastic." Bruno enthused, "That was an explosive lift off for Helio. You’ve got the finishing line in sight!"

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

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Mambo
Mel & Maks’ Mambo was fun and energetic, and featured some cool drops.

Len said "That was so hot, I’m surprised you didn’t set the smoke alarms off. Your hips? I was hypnotized." Bruno said the routine was "full on, unashamed, flirtatious fun." Carrie Ann complimented Melanie: "Maks looks like he’s really having a great time, and that’s a testament to how well you’re doing."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 29/30

57 — Helio & Julianne
56 — Mel & Maks
51 — Cameron & Edyta
50 — Jennie & Derek
49 — Marie & Jonathan

My votes are going to Helio & Julianne and Mel & Maks, as they gave the only finale-worthy performances of the night. Marie is likely to receive some sympathy votes, so she should be safe, putting Cameron and Jennie in danger. Based on some recent interviews and blog posts, Jennie seems like she might be ready to go home.

Tomorrow night, Gloria Estefan gives the performance she was scheduled to give a few weeks ago. Couples who make it past the elimination will receive a private lesson with Len, whom Tom called "the Yoda of the Ballroom."