DwtS 6, Week 9: Performances

In the DwtS 6 semifinals, each couple tackled two dance styles they’d performed previously.

Ballroom Round
Before the dances began, Judge Len Goodman said that, after last week’s suspension of the rules, the couples were not allowed to do lifts this week.

Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska — Fox Trot
Jason got a pep talk by Miami Dolphin legend Dan Marino: "You’re not gonna let two actors and an ice skater beat you, are ya?"

The routine was cute, and Jason had plenty of opportunities to show off his impressive wingspan. But Edyta did a lot more posing — which usually serves to cover a partner’s deficiencies — than I would’ve expected at this point in the season.

Len said, "It was fantastic. I loved every part of it." Bruno said, "This had plenty of movement. You actually gave showmanship to the dance." Carrie Ann said this routine had "a lot more content, a lot more charisma" than their previous Fox Trot.

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

Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani — Quickstep
Stacy Keibler stopped by to teach Marissa how she was able to pretend to find Tony sexy during the Rumba, despite considering Tony an "older, meaner brother."

This classic routine showed off what a strong dancer Marissa’s become, as they spent most of the performance moving in hold.

Bruno pointed out a move that Marissa missed, saying, "It’s the semifinal." Carrie Ann called Marissa "the unlikely contender." Len said, "For a dance so technical and so fast, I thought you did a great job."

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

Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke — Viennese Waltz
The duo spent some of their rehearsal time walking around town wearing sandwich boards that read "Will Dance For Votes."

Cristian’s looked much happier on the dance floor since he busted his arm. The romance of the performance transcended the fact that Cheryl was dressed like Sputnik, as they danced to Dave Matthews Band’s "Satellite."

Carrie Ann said, "The movement was great." Len felt this Viennese Waltz had "better content, better mix of steps." Bruno called the routine "a Viennese Waltz with a wow factor."

Tom Bergeron then complimented Cheryl’s silver dress before asking the crowd, "Is anyone missing a weather balloon?" Cheryl yelled, "Stop it!" and slapped him in the chest.

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

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas — Tango
As part of their rehearsal, the pair went to an advanced Tango class to ask for tips on improving Kristi’s emotional expression.

The connection between Kristi & Mark was better in this Tango, although sometimes I wasn’t sure exactly what emotion Kristi was trying to portray. Technically, the dancing was as good as ever.

Len said, "Sometimes for me, it was a bit hectic." Bruno disagreed: "You squeezed every single drop of drama out of the Tango." Carrie Ann said, "Welcome," paused and as she adjusted her dress, which was stuck on her chair, and continued, "Welcome back to the dance floor! You are the Queen of the Dance Floor!"

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

Latin Round

Len’s Masterclass: The Man with the Golden 10
Len’s traditional visit to the couples during semifinal week was introduced like a James Bond film. He gave all of the couples a move to include in their Latin routines, before hopping back in his black stretch limo, where a "Bond Girl" — played by Kym Johnson — was waiting for him. Too bad it wasn’t Jane Seymour, who really was a Bond Girl in Live and Let Die.

Jason & Edyta — Paso Doble
Jason stayed in character, but his moves were clumsy. Halfway through the routine, they did an obvious lift, but the judges didn’t dock them for it or even mention it.

Bruno compared Jason to Iron Man (surprising, since Bruno typically only references Disney-produced movies). Carrie Ann said, "Great job, nice execution." Len told Jason, "You’re a bit like the price of gas: you’re going up."

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

Marissa & Tony — Rumba
Marissa overcame any squeamishness she had about snuggling up to Tony, so much so that her dress got stuck to the sequins on Tony’s pants at the end of the routine.

Carrie Ann said, "I wasn’t excited by that. I really don’t feel like that was a semifinal dance." Len disagreed: "I thought you did a very, very good job." Bruno told Marissa, "You went for it, and you sold it well." Carrie Ann jumped in, "It’s the semifinals! It’s not exciting enough!"

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

Cristian & Cheryl — Samba
Just in case his other arm gave out, Cristian showed a little skin and shook his bum. It was nice to see them complete the dance that almost took them out of the competition a few weeks ago.

Len said, "That was hotter than a chili pepper, my Chilean friend. Occasionally for me, it was a little flat footed." Bruno said, "Everyone was partying, me included." Carrie Ann said, "That was fantastic, Cristian."

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

Kristi & Mark — Jive
Dancing to a quirky song like Ike & Tina Turner’s "Nutbush City Limits" kept them from matching the perfect score they got for their first Jive. But it was still a strong performance.

Bruno called the performance a "sweet, sweet delicious Jive." Carrie Ann said, "That was an extremely difficult routine. Tonight you were just a hair out of sync." Len said, "I liked the basic steps you put in. But I’ve gotta say, sometimes you were a little bit stiff."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard:
57 — Kristi & Mark
56 — Cristian & Cheryl
55 — Jason & Edyta
52 — Marissa & Tony

Kristi & Mark deserved their spot atop the leaderboard, and Cristian & Cheryl merited their second place finish. But I would’ve swapped Jason & Edyta’s position with Marissa & Tony’s. It will take an amazing upset in order for Marissa to make it to next week’s finale.