Monday night’s performance show on “Dancing with the Stars” is now two weeks away from the finale. It was the Top 5 couples performing two dances. For round one it was strictly ballroom. In a different twist the “Instant Dance” was on for the second round in Latin dances.
Before the couples began dancing head judge, Len Goodman, explained in greater detail the significance of the instant dance. It’s actually part of a professional ballroom competition. I’ve seen these international ballroom competition programs on my local PBS station. All of the competitors go out on the floor and dance to the music for the first time.
At least with the celebrity couples on Monday night they had the benefit to practice with their new music. I wasn’t sure how it would go during the second round. It turned out to be quite entertaining. Don’t be surprised if they have this for subsequent seasons.
Round One – Ballroom Dances
Kyle Massey (Viennese Waltz) – It was good to see Lacey Schwimmer use tough love on Kyle during rehearsals. All they’ve done in the past is goof-off endlessly. Kyle definitely improved from his first waltz when Len said his footwork was atrocious. All the judges agreed he has come a long way. Now Kyle is back to being a serious dancer and crowd-loving performer in one neat package. 27/30
Jennifer Grey (Quickstep) – The rehearsal film was hard to watch when she was in so much pain. I enjoyed seeing her father, Joel Grey (“Cabaret”), come to the studio to visit. Joel Grey has not been in the audience yet. Hopefully he will be there for the finals. Jennifer’s and Derek’s quickstep was like watching an old Hollywood movie musical right down to the music. It simply flowed all the way through. You’d never know all of what Jennifer went through. 27/30
Kurt Warner (Waltz) – Finally someone danced to The Eagles’ “Take It to the Limit.” This was the song Lacey Schwimmer discarded during the Story Telling Week, because she did not know who The Eagles were. Kurt and Anna were simply wonderful. He’s definitely improved in the ballroom dances. Kurt has gotten more charismatic too. I felt they deserved at least one “9” from the judges. 24/30
Bristol Palin (Argentine Tango) – All she did was walk through her tango. The lifts were quite good. Overall the dance was lackluster. I agree when Carrie Ann said Bristol lacked energy in her legs. The judge’s score was much too high. 24/30
Brandy (Waltz) – By far the most elegant, captivating and beautiful ballroom dance of the first round. Brandy and Maks got the highest score with two 10’s. 29/30
Round Two – Instant Dance with a Latin Twist
Kyle Massey (Jive/”Good Golly Miss Molly”) – When Kyle picked this song I knew it would be perfect for his jive and it was. Kyle literally brought the house down with their rousing jive to this old school rock and roll song that’s timeless by Little Richard. It was packed with intense energy from start to finish. Without question the best of the Instant Dances. This jive deserved to get the first perfect score of season 11, but fell short. 29/30
Jennifer Grey (Rumba/”Waiting for a Girl Like You”) – After that fast tempo dance from Kyle and Lacey it was nice to have a mellow song and dance to change things up. Thankfully this dance was better on Jennifer’s knees. I was sitting on the edge when she did the leg split onto Derek’s shoulder and balanced herself for about four bars. It’s about time someone got the first perfect score of the season. 30/30
Kurt Warner (Cha-Cha/”Hella Good”) – I’ll be honest I thought this was going to be a disaster for Team Kurtanna. During the rehearsal film it was adorable to see his children help their dad out with his musicality. That is a dangerous thing for these celebrities to rely on the lyrics of the songs for beat counts. What if you were to have an instrumental song?
Also, he had no idea of the song he chose. Don’t feel bad neither did I. As it turned out Kurt and Anna blazed the dance floor with their cha-cha-cha. It was one of his best dances of the season. The crowd loved it and so did I. Thus far the instant dance has become an instant success. Come on judges, Kurtanna deserved at least one or two “9s.” 24/30
Bristol Palin (Samba/”Mas Que Nada”) – This is one of the most challenging dances. She actually did better in recovering from the missed counts on Monday night then from previous weeks (TV Theme Week anyone?). Bristol confessed to listening to the lyrics for cues instead of counting. Why are these pros giving the celebrities bad habits in learning their dances? Much of their samba was shaking her upper half. It was a dull instant dance. Their score should have been lower. 23/30
Brandy (Cha-Cha/”Teenage Dream’) – Of all the couples I thought Brandy and Maks would truly excel in this format, because of Brandy’s musicality as a singer/songwriter. It’s called instant dance for a reason. The problem was they didn’t start dancing instantly. Instead, it was a lot of freestyle movements. This was not a routine that was as memorable as their ballroom dance.
Carrie Ann was certainly correct in her feedback. In all the seasons I’ve watched of “Dancing with the Stars” I have never seen a pro dancer take so much time with the host backstage by complaining non-stop. Brooke was a bit lost in getting back on track. It was indeed an awkward moment to an otherwise triumphant instant dance for three couples. 28/30
Brandy and Jennifer Grey tied for the lead once again. Bristol Palin had the lowest score. John Legend and The Roots, along with Taio Cruz, are the musical guests for the results show. “Dance Center”, which is a spoof of ESPN’s “Sports Center” will give color commentary on the Top 5 by Kenny Mayne, former NFL Jerry Rice and head judge Len Goodman. Get ready for a barrel of laughs from this trio.
Dancing with the Stars, ABC
Allyssa Lee, “‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Instant Hit!”, Los Angeles Times
Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 11), Wikipedia