DwtS 5, Week 9: Performances

On this week’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show, the judges awarded perfect scores to five of the eight dances, and even the worst performance got a 27. As host Tom Bergeron said in the closing minutes, "Just a quick shout out to paddles one through eight: no camera time. Sorry about that."

Ballroom Round

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Quickstep
In her rehearsal footage, Marie joked, "I think what I have that the other three competitors don’t have is age."

Marie and Jonathan danced to "Good Morning," from Singing in the Rain. Marie smiled throughout the performance, even taking some time to point playfully at the judges. It was one of Marie’s best performances to date, coming when she most needed it.

Len told her, "You bring so much joy and entertainment to this show. You are the most entertaining of all the celebrities. I thought that was perfect." Bruno felt the dance had "plenty of content." And Carrie Ann said, "That was wonderful. It was a completely different approach."

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

When Bruno announced his score, Marie said, "All the boos are coming from my brothers."

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Viennese Waltz
Mel and Maks danced to Queen’s "Somebody to love." It was a great song choice, and Maks occasionally mouthed the words as he danced. It was a beautiful dance that showed off Mel at her best. The performance managed to be cute, romantic, dynamic, and athletic — what with Mel’s cool splits near the end.

Bruno called it "fast, precise, and sexy. I’ve never seen a sexy Viennese Waltz before." Carrie Ann said, "I know I’ve been tough to win over, but you just keep surprising me." Len liked the routine’s "clever choreography. I love Queen, and you’re gonna be Queen B from now on!"

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

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Tango
Jennie said she’s been torn between the show and spending time with her kids. So she took the kids to Disneyland and danced with Mickey in front of Cinderella Castle.

Derek choreographed a dense dance, with a lot of content and plenty of moves to remember. It was hard to tell if Jennie’s serious face was her Tango look or her concentration look. She gave a solid performance with what seemed a tough dance.

Carrie Ann had mixed feelings: "You were so focused and so powerful. I didn’t really feel the chemistry." Len disagreed, saying, "It had passion and it had energy." Bruno was impressed by the "very, very intricate choreography."

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

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Fox Trot
Wearing a forest green tux, Helio danced a Fox Trot to "Ain’t That a Kick in the Head." It’s always a pleasant surprise when the music choices make sense for the dance, and this was a great song for a very good, very enjoyable performance. Except for one little stutter-step in the middle, Helio nailed it — even with Julianne’s sleeve hitting him in the face once or twice.

Len the Inscrutable said, "Last week you were the banana, this week you’re the gherkin. It was beautiful." Bruno threatened that "if you don’t make the final, I’m going to eat my boot." Carrie Ann congratulated Julianne, telling her, "You did such a great job with his technique."

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

Before the next round of dances, we were treated to some footage from "Len’s Masterclass" with each of the couples. He arrived at the rehearsal studio in the official Dancing with the Stars helicopter:

With Marie, Len worked on hip action. With Helio, his feet. With Jennie, her arms. And with Mel, Len worked on her sharpness. Len briefly scared Mel when he commanded her to "Look into my eyes!"

Latin Round

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Mambo
This dance wasn’t as good as their first of the night. It was more camp than content, which is often a sign that the choreographer is trying to cover up his partner’s deficiencies. With Marie, it’s sometimes hard to tell, though, since she treads the line between competent and campy so easily. At the end of the performance, Marie vaulted into brothers’ arms.

Bruno called it a "Madcap Mambo. You lost your foot about five times, though." Carrie Ann said, "I was waiting for the confetti cannons and the pyro." Len told Marie, "Your hips were working. Hook you up to the national grid and you could light up Hollywood."

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

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Paso Doble
For her Paso, Mel sported a dark red catsuit with a half-skirt on the back. Oh, and she was also brandishing a whip for the first several seconds of the dance. Dancing to the Rolling Stones’ classic bullfighting anthem, "(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction," Mel performed a pretty fierce Paso.

Carrie Ann asked herself, "How do you top perfection? Well, you just did!" Len sang, "You can whip me if I misbehave." And Bruno proclaimed, "Mel B: Satisfaction guaranteed!"

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

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Cha Cha Cha
Jennie wore a cute, short dress, as she and Derek danced to "Mustang Sally." It looked to me like she was still making some of the minor mistakes with her arms that Len had warned her about in his Masterclass. But other than that, she did a great job. She had more of a connection with Derek. There were some nice spins and back bend at the end. And, best of all, she looked relaxed and confident for the first time in weeks.

Len told Jennie, "What I thought was great was to see how you’ve developed as a dancer." Bruno said, "You’ve done it. You’ve got the star power!" And Carrie Ann thought "it finally all came together. That was fantastic!"

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

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Cha Cha Cha
Dressed all in red, Helio and Julianne danced to "Love Rollercoaster." Their mimickry of a rollercoaster at the beginning of the performance was a a little hokey; luckily, they’re cute enough to get away with cheesy stuff like that. It was a good performance, but in the middle section of the routine, it looked to me like Julianne was doing most of the dancing.

Bruno said, "That was eye-popping vibrance, full of razzmatazz" Carrie Ann praised both dancers: "You are a star. And Julianne…you are fantastic out there." And Len made some inept analogies about the Super Bowl before saying, "The standard has been fantastic. You are the standout couple for me tonight."

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


Leaderboard:

60 — Helio & Julianne and Mel & Maks
58 — Jennie & Derek
56 — Marie & Jonathan

My votes went to Mel and Jennie tonight. Marie is undoubtedly a good dancer, but she’s just not up to the same speed as the other celebrities. Helio’s dancing is good enough to qualify him for the finals, but Julianne has dominated most of their rehearsal and interview segments (and sometimes their dances, too). Though he seems really nice and likable, I don’t feel as though I know Helio as well as I know Mel, Jennie, or Marie, so I’m not as invested in seeing him win.

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