Dancing with the Stars 4, April 16: Raise Your Game or Face Your Shame!by Sandy Lamparello -- 04/17/2007
Hello dance fans! Welcome to another exciting week of fancy footwork! Jill’s off celebrating her birthday (Happy Birthday, Jill!) so I’m taking a break from my usual judging to bring you this week’s action. Last week saw the end of the road for Leeza & Tony, but the rest of our stars and their professional partners are raring to go. And so is my faithful sidekick, my dog Ally!
Tom recaps last week for us, and reminds us that there are only two women remaining, Laila and Heather. Samantha promises the sexiest dances ever. Tom and Samantha introduce the remaining couples. We’re at the halfway point of the competition and all six men still remain. The judges have demanded more training, more polish, and (clearly, Tom says) more skin.
Tonight’s dances are the “scintilling” (I think Samantha means “scintillating” but who am I to say) samba or the romantic rumba. But first, Len gives us some tips to what we should be looking for.
Known as the party dance, the roots of the samba lie in the Brazilian carinvale. Look for sizzling hip movements, rhythmical forward walks, and samba rolls.
Called the dance of romance, in the rumba the woman entices and withdraws from her partner. Look for slow seductive movements, rope spins, and sensual rumba walks.
There apparently was a technical difficulty with the phone numbers when the couples walked down the stairs, so Tom introduces a list of the correct numbers. That may be the fastest catch of a technical error in the history of reality TV!
Up first this week are Ian & Cheryl, dancing the samba. They work hard in rehearsal but Ian has some trouble with the arm shimmy. He feels some of the moves are too feminine for him but Cheryl tells him it’s all dancing and interpreting the music before they take a break. Cheryl walks out, frustrated. When she returns they decide they are a team and they will get through this.
I have no idea what the name of this song is, but Ian & Cheryl look great. Their moves are so fluid and clean. Wow Ian’s got some hip motion going! He seems to have come to terms with the arm movements. These two look great together and they end with Cheryl bent in half like a pretzel.
Tom gives the band a shout out and Harold Wheeler looks quite happy tonight as Tom turns to the judges. Len says since week one they have come up with competent performances and he’s looking for the next level. Their technique, footwork, and excitement need work.
Bruno says this week Ian went for the hip action and looked like a power tool sometimes. It was an improvement but now he has to put all of the elements together and come out and just hit us and have a good time. Carrie Ann liked the shimmy but she thinks Ian tends to underestimate himself. He thinks too much and needs to project more confidence.
Backstage, Samantha says Ian wanted to be the first to get a 10 this season, but last week Joey got a 10, and then things got a little tense at rehearsal this week. Is that why? What kind of question is that? Ian says that every couple throughout history has argued—Fred & Ginger, Ricky & Lucy, Tom & Jerry—but it just means they care. If they didn’t squabble they wouldn’t care. They’re both very passionate and they both want to win, so they come together and hammer it out.
Carrie Ann gives them an eight, as does Len, and Bruno too! Ian & Cheryl have a total of 24.
Clyde & Elena are dancing the rumba this week. They made a trip to China this week and Tom asks whether Clyde returned with a yen for the rumba. Clyde & Elena stood out in China and managed to fit in time to rehearse between public appearances. Wow!
Elena has some kind of feather tail this week. I’m not a fan, sorry. Clyde moves very slowly and though Elena is trying, it’s hard to call this a dance at all really. He’s pretty much just walking all over the stage as Cheryl dances around him.
Bruno starts by saying, “Oh my God!” which about sums it all up. He knows Clyde is a gentleman, but it was so polite and sanitized it was like a rumba under an anesthetic. And then at the end they did a lift! He finishes by saying, as Len would say; the footwork was not his best. Carrie Ann apologizes as she says she is going to be very frank. She declares Clyde the worst dancer in the competition to a chorus of boos. Tonight was really bad and he’s so charming, but there wasn’t anything to the routine. She also chastises him about breaking the “no lifts” rule.
Len says he thought it was better than either of the other two judges. He knows Clyde had a tough week, and his footwork wasn’t good, but he thinks Clyde came out this time and really tried to show us a proper rumba. Len appreciates that. Tom plugs the results show tomorrow night.
Samantha says they just got back from China and asks how difficult it was to find the time to train. Clyde says it was very difficult but everyone has their challenges and has to travel. It wasn’t their best but they gave it their all. Elena says the move at the end wasn’t supposed to be a lift, it was supposed to be a pose but due to the length of Clyde’s legs it turned into a lift, and she’s sorry. She has a great point!
Carrie Ann gives them a four, Len gives them a five, and Bruno gives them a four. Clyde & Elena have a total of 13.
Tom welcomes us back and says there is something oddly disturbing about what our next couple did this week. This is supposed to be a family show so he warns anyone with a more delicate constitution to look away. Up next we have Heather & Jonathan. Heather uses a lint roller on Jonathan’s chest. OK then.
During rehearsal Jonathan tells Heather and the samba is one of the faster Latin dances. There is lots of wiggling, lots of bum shaking, and lots of energy changes. It’s really quick. Heather loves the Latin dances. She puts her hand on his chest and realizes that it is very hairy. He’s the only dancer with a hairy chest and she feels that in order to compete they will have to get rid of the hair. She drags him into the bathroom where there is someone waiting to wax his chest. Wow. I get my eyebrows waxed once every three months and that’s enough pain for me. Jonathan is brave! When they hand Jonathan a mirror, there is a big “H” in the middle of his chest. Ha!
Heather & Jonathan’s outfits are very nicely coordinated and Heather plays up the lack of chest hair by stroking his chest several times. She certainly shakes her hips around but I’m not wowed by the performance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that Heather can get up there and do what she does, but it doesn’t do much for me. At the end of the dance she tries standing on her fake leg with her other leg on Jonathan’s chest and falls down. But it’s a very graceful fall.
Carrie Ann says there is a lot going through her mind. The fact that Heather fell at the end reminds her how wonderful it is that she can compete as well as she has. Carrie Ann says she does have to take off a point for the fall, and she recommends that Heather take ballet lessons to build up her strength. Len says he wouldn’t take any points off for anything Heather did tonight. She came out and really sold it, great hip work, a great performance. Bruno says Heather was in “disco diva” mode tonight. He says she was having fun and agrees with Carrie Ann that she should take ballet lessons to work on her upper body and frame.
Carrie Ann gives them a seven, and Len and Bruno do the same, for a total of 21. Samantha (darn, I thought we were going to be spared one of these interviews) says that Clyde is not the only international traveler this week, Heather & Jonathan are about to get on a plane for England. If they make it to next week they are going to be traveling and dealing with jet lag every week, and trying to learn two dances. Heather says if Virgin Airways would let them dance in the aisles it would be a big help and they’d spend more time rehearsing.
Joey & Kym are up next. Last week, Joey scored the first 10 by keeping his butt tucked in. Joey says they are going to keep looking forward. They are dancing the rumba and it’s the first romantic dance they’ve done. Joey is a clown during rehearsal, so Kym has Lance Bass and Alfonso Ribeiro come in to offer him some advice. Lance tells him to keep a straight face because the judges will be looking for the story in his face. Alfonso gives him basically the same advice. They all dance until Joey tells them they have to leave so he and Kym can rehearse. Ha! Kym says it was fun and they really helped a lot.
Joey & Kym start out flanking Lance in the audience. They are dancing to “Besame Mucho,” thankfully not the Sanjaya version. Their dance is hot from the get-go. I swear if Joey doesn’t win this competition it will be a crime. And I used to be a Public Defender, I know crime! Their footwork and movements are very fluid and the performance gives me chills! Ally has taken notice of the performance for the first time tonight! They end back in the audience as Kym puts her arm around Lance. Cute!
Len is going to rename Joey “Have a Go Joe,” because he always comes out and really has a go. Unfortunately he was a bit feminine during this dance, but during the rumba he’s supposed to be a really masculine guy. Lance laughs as Bruno loudly and vehemently disagrees. Wow, Bruno even attacks Len! Bruno says Len has it totally wrong, Joey was strong and soft at the same time and there was no doubt about it. Carrie Ann says he was a little feminine and he overperformed it. Joey says he was trying to show his soft side.
Tom once again plugs the results show (and Samantha’s pregnancy) as Samantha says Joey & Kym have taken the top spot the last three weeks. But it’s only halfway through the competition, are they afraid they peaked too soon? Short answer: Kym is a great teacher, and they are going to keep stepping it up.
Carrie Ann gives them an eight. Len gives them an eight. Bruno gives them a nine. Joey & Kym have a total of 25.
Our next couple is John & Edyta, who will dance the samba. John is having some trouble telling his feet what to do during rehearsal. He shows up in a kilt with his drum. Elena dresses him up in some bizarre costume and they rehearse.
For tonight’s performance they are dressed in normal dance clothes and the drum is once again there. Once John steps out from behind the drum, it’s an interesting performance. At times his footwork seems really good, at other times, not so much. He gives it a great effort though, and ends with Elena laying atop the drum as John beats on her tummy. It was a lot of fun!
Bruno says he messed up the footwork and it was one of the best worst sambas he’s ever seen. Carrie Ann says she doesn’t know how long he’s going to last in the competition, but she gives him a standing ovation. She loves that he finally had fun and that he brought something different to his performance tonight. Len says he captured the carnivale spirit.
Next week, Tom tells us, our remaining couples will learn their own dance and a “swinging group number.” We’ll get to see them dance side-by-side for the first time. I think Tom gets paid for every time he mentions a future show.
Samantha says John & Edyta were having fun and asks if having a great time is part of their strategy. John says it is, and adds that he made up some steps while he was out there. Edyta says it didn’t throw anything off. Carrie Ann gives them a six, as does Len, and Bruno follows suit. They have a total of 18. John says he felt like he was 18 out there.
Next up we have Laila & Maks. Laila wants the judges to feel her energy. She’s used to being number one and that’s where she wants to be. Laila plans to make the rumba her own. She and Make practice some sexy moves and she lets her hair down. Curtis Conway, Laila’s fiancé, comes to rehearsal so he can see what kind of moves they are doing and won’t be surprised during their performance.
Maks explains that the rumba is all about passion and sexiness. Curtis doesn’t look happy so Maks tells him it’s all business. As they rehearse, Maks places his hands on Laila’s hips, but Curtis moves them to her waist. Heh! More shots of Laila & Maks getting close, and Curtis looking on disapprovingly.
Laila & Maks look awesome together and their moves are HOT. Their footwork is very crisp and clean and when they get close the practically set the stage on fire. If Laila wasn’t engaged to someone else I’d think there was something going on here!
Carrie Ann says the rumba is a tough dance for the woman because all the focus is on her and tonight Laila is the comeback kid. Len says he is a fan of her dancing and he gets so disappointed when she doesn’t live up to her expectations, but tonight was her best performance. Bruno calls her “Luscious Laila” and says it was smoldering and so sexy.
Tom reminds us that there is a results show tomorrow night, which will feature Macy Gray, Jimmy Kimmel, and one of our former stars returning with an exclusive preview of a Broadway routine.
Samantha says Laila brought so much passion and energy to the dance. Did she need the harsh words from the judges last week to kick it up a notch. Samantha asks if Maks is afraid to face Curtis and Maks says he had Laila sign a waiver saying that no Maks’s would be hurt in the making of this dance. Ha! Curtis sneaks up behind him and they hug. Curtis kisses Laila and says he is very happy.
Carrie Ann gives them a nine, Len gives them a 10, and Bruno gives them a nine. Laila & Maks have a total of 28!<.p>
Apolo & Julianne are dancing the samba tonight. They’re shooting for 10s this week. Julianne loves the samba and rehearsal is hard on Apolo because she pushes him for perfection. He’s seven years older than him but she yells at him to be a man, to be sexy, and to be the tiger. She’s really hung up on this tiger thing. Apolo says they are going for a hot, sexy samba, so they will no longer be known as the “cute couple.”
Julianne is dressed as a tiger tonight. OK then. Stripes it is. Wow they move FAST around the dance floor! Their footwork is very fluid and the dance is very hot. Not quite Laila & Maks hot, but hot nonetheless. It is a very sexy performance but it has more of a cute edge to it than an erotic edge, if that makes any sense. Of course it’s the samba so that’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s awesome, and the audience gives them a standing ovation
Len congratulates the band and singers for a great job tonight. He continues that sometimes the music, the choreography, and the performance all come together and they get a really great show. Bruno says they were possessed tonight, t hey were like two bewitching devils. It was incredible. Carrie Ann says, “Perfection. That’s it, perfection.”
Hey, did you know there is a results show tomorrow?
Samantha says they were really working it out on the dance floor, and Apolo shows us his samba hips. They worked really, really hard this week and they hope to end up at the top of the leaderboard tonight. Carrie Ann gives them a 10, Len also gives them a 10, and Bruno—guess what—gives them a 10. It’s our first perfect 30 of the season! Ally doesn’t think anything resembling a cat could be perfect, so she has left the room.
In our anchor spot this week are Billy Ray & Karina. They are dancing the rumba. Billy Ray is having a busy week and his brain is fried. Karina gets fed up with him and says she needs to feel that she is dancing with a man. She is going to try to bring out his romantic side because the rumba is the dance of love. Billy Ray says it’s a sensual dance that you would want to do in the dark. If they shut all the lights off and nobody could see him, it would be his best dance.
Karina definitely has the sexy going on this week. Billy Ray seems very uncomfortable though. He still appears to be counting at all times. His movements are just too stiff for what is supposed to be a hot, erotic, sexy dance. I didn’t like it.
Bruno says he knows that Karina is very hot but at times she turned into a pillar of salt and Billy Ray was holding her very stiffly. He makes a terrified face that perfectly describes Billy Ray’s appearance during this dance. He says Billy Ray needed to respond to her sex appeal and it didn’t happen. Carrie Ann says she wants to say something positive, and his arms looked great. He gave an amazing effort and his focus was very good but this one just didn’t make it.
Len says the rumba is supposed to be a love story but this was more like “a couple having a bit of hanky panky in the back of a Chevy.” Ha! It lacked romance, but Billy Ray came out and gave it his all. From the TMI department, Billy Ray says he’s had some of his most romantic nights in the back of a Chevy, as I cover Ally’s ears.
Carrie Ann gives them a six, Len gives them a six, and Bruno gives them a five. They have a total of 17 as Karina pouts. Samantha asks Billy Ray how he is coping with his work outside the show ramping up just as the work on the show is starting to double up. He says he is going to work on his new record tonight and get everything else done, taking it one day at a time. He says they worked hard on the rumba but times like this are a little depressing so he doesn’t want to comment any further.
At the end of our fifth week of performances, the standings are as follows:
Wow, what a great week! I agree with the judges’ rankings. I think Billy Ray and Clyde are going to find themselves standing under the heat lamps tomorrow (in case you hadn’t heard, there is a results show tomorrow night) and Clyde will sadly be going home. I like him but Carrie Ann is right, he is the worst dancer left in the competition.
Jill will be back tomorrow to bring you the results show, and I’ll be back next week to judge our seven remaining competitors. I hope you’ll join me!
Sandy Lamparello is an Assistant Editor for Reality News Online and a Legal Editor/Correspondent for a publishing company in Washington, DC. She was somewhat shocked to learn that the rumba is not a little robotic vacuum. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ciao!