Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 aired Monday night, and featured the nine remaining celebrities participating in the hit reality show’s first-ever Acoustic Night. In addition to dancing on a raised, smaller, round stage in front of a closer-knit audience, the contestants were also scruntizined more acutely by the judging panel, earning scores for both Performance and Technique for their Rumbas and Argentine Tangos. By night’s close, Jennifer Grey had re-claimed her spot atop the judges’ leaderboard, and one contestant had been likened to Megatron. Here’s the play by play. .
Up first with a Rumba on Dancing with the Stars week 4 were NFL star Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya. As a Christian, Kurt struggled with the steamy nature of the routine during rehearsals until his wife gave her blessing and told him to dance it “the way it was meant to be danced”. I giggled a little as he first sauntered onto the stage, but developed a quick admiration for his surprisingly good hip action. I think Bruno will once again note Kurt’s pancake hands, but once again, the football player exceeded my (this week, admittedly low) expectations. Go Kurt!
Head judge Len Goodman praised Kurt’s hip action, but didn’t care for his posture. Performance-wise, he called the romantic aspect “just right”. As predicted, Bruno Tonioli immediately jumped on the hand motion, and told him that “movement isn’t… like giving a punch”. He called the performance akin to “brothers and sisters” and not “raunchy”. Carrie Ann Inaba said “I really loved the performance” and noted their “trust and intimacy”, but also echoed the comments about his arm movement. Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya’s Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 5, 5, 5 = 15; Performance – 7, 6, 6 = 19; Total = 34/60. (Ouch! Either Kurt got the First Up Screw, or these scores or going to be brutal!)
DWTS season 11’s perhaps most contentious couple, R&B singer Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, were up next with a Rumba of their own. During rehearsals, Maks called Brandy’s moves “mechanical”, so he took her out so she could practice being romantic. (It didn’t go so well.) I’m no fan of the diva’s, but it was a very pretty dance from start to finish, and she struck some truly lovely lines throughout. Her best dance of the season so far.
Bruno loved the “soft sensuality” and likened the dance to two lovers having a moment in “a moonlit garden”, but told her to watch her hand motion. Carrie Ann exclaimed “there you are!” and called it her “comeback night”. She agreed with Bruno that she needs more strength in her legs. Len called the technique “very good” and called the performance “a little bit hot and spicy for my taste”. Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 7, 8, 7 = 22; Performance – 9, 8, 9 = 26; Total = 48/60.
The evening’s first Argentine Tango belonged to NBA star Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke. Rick looked forward to “finally” being able to execute lifts, but stressed once he saw the smaller stage in person. I guess Rick had a nice ‘take charge’ kind of face, but to me, he still looked like a big dude who just stood around a lot while his partner kicked butt.
Carrie Ann called it “one dimensional” and noted that the “passion” wasn’t “steaming out of you”. Len called the lifts “excellent” but noted that his legs could be more “crisp”. Bruno likened him to Clark Gable from the start, but noted that he didn’t carry the persona throughout, and likened him to “Megatron” at times. (Haha. The Transformers are awesome. But only the original. None of that ridiculous Shia LeBouf/Megan Fox garbage.) Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke’s Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 6, 7, 6 = 19; Performance – 6, 7, 7 = 20; Total = 39/60. (Finally, Rick gets scores that make sense!)
Dancing with the Stars week 4 continued with actor Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer’s Rumba. (Methinks Kyle’s “nonexistent” footwork may have spurred the evening’s double score showdown. Oooh.) As with the previous three weeks, he offered up a fun, enjoyable dance complete with great facial expressions. The technical stuff… I’ll leave that to Len and crew.
Len called the footwork “much better” but said it “didn’t flow”. He deemed the performance “excellent”. Bruno said “you’re a natural” at “playing it well” but also noted a lack of flow. Carrie Ann liked the “innocence” of the performance, but agreed with the men that the technique though improved in some ways, was “unbalanced”. Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer’s Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 6, 6, 6 = 18; Performance – 8, 7, 7 = 22; Total = 40/60.
Jersey Shore star Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Karina Smirnoff kept things moving with their Argentine Tango. The Situation really struggled with learning the dance (and it truly impresses me that he seems to try so hard!), so Karina promised that they’d go for the performance aspect via lifts. They did indeed open with a pretty darn impressive lift, though I worried for a moment that he was going to drop her. The rest of the dance consisted of Mike looking awkward and occasionally tossing Karina into the air in spectacular fashion.
Bruno said it was “like watching somebody putting together a puzzle” and being unable to do so, and called it “really terrible”. He noted that as a result, even the performance aspect suffered. Carrie Ann welcomed “his abs to the show”, and said there was improvement in his performance. She noted that oddly enough, “the walking” was the hardest part for him. Len called it “consistent — bad throughout”. (I’d say ‘wow, that was harsh’, but it wasn’t.) The Situation and Karina Smirnoff’s Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 4, 4, 4 = 12; Performance – 6, 5, 5 = 16; Total = 28/60.
Dancing with the Stars week 4 continued with one of the dances I’d most looked forward to seeing: Actress Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas’ near-geriatric Rumba. Florence promised to deliver a “racy” routine. The best part of their dance was the music: Yesterday. The rest? Well, I giggled. A lot. And a Rumba shouldn’t be funny. It’s like Margaret Cho came back in Flo’s body for the week. Either Margaret or Cloris Leachman.
Carrie Ann, with her hands to her face, exclaimed “what just happened? You’re Mrs. Brady!” and said “it went just a little too far”. Len called it “much better than I expected”. Bruno noted that she’d lost timing “many, many times”, and that “I’ve seen better”. Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas’ Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 6, 6, 5 = 17; Performance – 6, 6, 6 = 18; Total = 35/60. (Really? This Rumba got a higher score than Kurt’s? What the heck is wrong with the judges?!)
Early DWTS season 11 leader actress Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough kept Acoustic Night rolling with their Argentine Tango. Jennifer struggled with her foot and back during rehearsals, but Derek pushed her to do better and better. And it’s a good thing he did! That persistence paid off. They really are a super couple. Jennifer impressed me with her flexibility (I hope I’m that bendy when I’m 50!) and their lifts. It was substantially better than the other Argentine Tangos we’ve seen. At times, I even forgot she was a celebrity contestant and not a pro.
Len called it “a dance that combined excellent technique” with performance. Bruno called it “primetime delight!” and praised the “intricacy” and “musicality”. Carrie Ann called it “ah-may-zing!” (Yeah, it was goooooood. I smell the first 10s of the season.) Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough’s Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 9, 9, 9 = 27; Performance – 10, 9, 10 = 29; Total = 56/60.
In the unenviable position of following JGrey were teen activist Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas with a Rumba. Mark noted during rehearsals that The Rumba and Bristol have nothing in common. Uh-oh. I had low expectations for this performance, but there were definitely some steamy moments sprinkled in. It wasn’t perfect, no, but hey, it was pretty good at times.
Bruno said she was technically “clean” and noted that she’ll “do a thing and then go vacant”. Carrie Ann called the “pictures that she creates really beautiful” but that she needs to do more. Len called Mark’s shirt removal “a distraction” but noted that “the technique is there”. (Ouch. I don’t know that it was any worse than Florence’s Rumba.) Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas’ Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 6, 6, 6 = 18; Performance – 4, 5, 5 = 14; Total = 32/60. (Ouch. Again, huh?)
Acoustic Night came to a close with an Argentine Tango by week three leaderboard topper and reality star Audrina Patridge and partner Tony Dovolani. Audrina worked on her acting technique during rehearsals to help their performance scores. They had some gorgeous lifts (which shouldn’t be a surprise since Audrina is itty bitty), but she didn’t look as natural as Jennifer did overall.
Carrie Ann “enjoyed” it but told her to “work on extending your foot” past the ankle. Len called it “clean” and “clear” but “didn’t get transported to a seedy club in Buenos Aires”. (Whoa.) Bruno called it “effective in a way” but said she performed like “the ice queen type”. Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani’s Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4 scores: Technical – 8, 8, 8 = 24; Performance – 8, 7, 7 = 22; Total = 46/60.
Aside from puzzling over the oddity of Florence scoring higher than Kurt (and maybe Bristol, have to think on that one some more), there was little surprising about Dancing with the Stars week 4. I do think the judges were a bit too harsh with Bristol; after all, week after week they chide Kyle for his horrible footwork, yet her precise stepping is never really appreciated. But that’s neither here nor there.
Who goes home? I’d like to say The Situation, but I’m honestly not sure. Tune in to tomorrow night’s results show to see for yourself. Or you can just check in with me. You know I’ll be watching.
Dancing with the Stars 2010 week 4, ABC, October 11, 2010