On Week 8, “Dancing with the Stars” was down to five celebrities – Brandy, Jennifer Grey, Kurt Warner, Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin, the biggest surprise of the season. The couples had to do two dances, including an instance dance – the first for the series. All dancers would not receive their song until 45 minutes before getting on stage. This challenge tested musicality and ability to follow the lead. Before the show started, I expected Bristol Palin to be the worst at this challenge because, of all the remaining contestants, she has the hardest time keeping5rhythm. However, I was open-minded. Who would have thought she would be in the top five?
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, with a 27, were on top again this week. Of course, Jennifer was in pain again and the tears streamed down her face. To inspire her, her father Joel Grey — a dancer, singer and Academy Award-winning actor — came to practice and gave her some inspiring words. She pulled off two good performances. Jennifer and Derek’s instant dance, the rumba, received perfect 10s. At times, it reminded me of the final scene of “Dirty Dancing.” I was surprised they didn’t know “Waiting for a Girl Like You” by Foreigner. That’s one of the greatest power ballads of all time and in Jennifer Grey’s era.
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy tied for first place with their waltz and their instant cha cha cha to “Teenage Dream.” The waltz was elegant, and the white outfits made it look as if they were dancing on air. Though Carrie Ann said she wanted the dancing to start sooner, Brandy and Maksim still received high scores. Brandy looked like a genie in her blue dance outfit.
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer also did well this week for their Viennese waltz and their instant jive to “Good Golly Miss Molly.” Kyle and Lacey earned high scores for both dances, 56 out of 60. They even received two 10s for their jive. The jive was energetic and fun, even though it wasn’t as pristine as Brandy and Jennifer. I thought the antics by Steve O during their practice sessions were pointless, just a way for him to be an exhibitionist.
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya had respectable scores, getting a 24 for both of their dances. Kurt, who has shown marked improvement every week, performed a sweet waltz. Their cha cha cha to Gwen Stefani’s “Hella Good” was fun, and as usual, Kurt’s smile was bright as ever. Some of his footwork though was a little off.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas, again, claimed the bottom of the pack, getting 47 out of 60. When I saw their Argentine tango, I thought that Bristol finally danced like she belonged in the top five. It almost erased the gorilla suit debacle. Momma and Daddy Palin showed up to the practice session, bringing Bristol’s son with him. She actually looked like she was having fun and her footwork was good. It was her best dance. Of course, Bristol and Mark’s instant samba to “Mas Que Nada” pointed out her lack of musicality. Whenever she made a mistake, her face showed it. I thought the judges were a little too generous when they scored their instant dance. The couple was off a lot. There is no way their samba was almost as good as their Argentine tango.
I was impressed at how well the instant dance went. To say they had less than 45 minutes to practice, all of them did better than I expected. I thought we’d even see some fives or sixes. Bristol and Mark are at the bottom again, but they seem to get the votes they need every week. I’ve been wrong every week, but I expect her or Kurt to go home. The result show airs on ABC on Tuesday, November 8. John Legend and The Roots are scheduled to perform.
Combined Scores and Rankings:
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough = 57 out of 60
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy = 57 out of 60
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer = 56 out of 60
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya = 48 out of 60
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas = 47 out of 60