Monday, April 23, 2012

Dancing With the Stars: Mo-town Marathon

It was Motown night on "Dancing With the Stars," and that automatically means that Gladys Knight wins right? RIGHT!?

At the very least, it meant that the singing was decent, because instead of the normal singers who sound like cats being strangled, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and The Temptations sang the songs.

It was also "dance marathon" night. Don't expect to read much about it, though, because it's stupid.

Also, don't expect any striking commentary from Kel, because she's protesting the fact that Gavin DeGraw was eliminated and, therefore, refused to watch.

First off the bat on Motown Night was Tristan McManus and Gladys Knight, with a Rhumba to "My Girl." I loved it, because SHE'S GLADYS KNIGHT! DANCING TO MOTOWN! It was a smooth dance, and it was great to see Gladys out there, in her element. The judges enjoyed it, but they claim she forgot some steps (I didn't see it!) and just wasn't terribly polished. They gave them a score of 21, but Len also said, "If I were at home, I'd be on the phone right now." He should probably vote after the show!

Derek Hough and Maria Menounos danced a foxtrot to "Jimmy Mac." It was a super cute, light little dance, but what really made it shine was not their dance steps, but their personalities and chemistry. They really dance well together. Maria did have a little slip on the train of her dress - she's not used to long ballroom gowns! - but it was one of my favorite dances of the night. The judges really enjoyed the fun and the joy, but honed in on their slip-up. They gave them a score of 26.

Chelsie Hightower and Roshon Fagen danced a rhumba to "Cruisin'". Roshon was really trying to be sensual this week, and when he hit it, he really hit it. Unfortunately, he didn't hit it very often, but I was kind of afraid he was going to hit Chelsie in the face with his over-the-top movements. He really flung his arms around. The judges didn't like his overexaggerated movements, and Len thought it didn't flow well. Their score was a 23.

Mark Ballas and Katherine Jenkins danced a samba to "I Can't Get Next to You," and I was really impressed. She seems to really understand dancing, and she had a great little hippy, bouncy happiness that worked well with the samba. I could quibble about her arms, which I found to be a little wishy-washy, but overall I loved watching this dance! So did the judges - Len called her "the midwife," because she keeps delivering week after week; Bruno called her dance "exhilarating;" and Bruno said it was "amazing." She received a 29, just one point off a perfect score. (Thanks a lot, Len!)

Peta Murgatroyd and Donald Driver danced a foxtrot to "The Way You Do The Things You Do." It was just a touch cheesy at times, but overall it was a great dance. Donald is so smooth and light on his feet - something that still surprises me when I see how big and buff he is! Also, his hip action? FAN. TAS. TIC. Oooh, baby. The judges drooled all over themselves, panting to tell him how great he had done. "You came out and exploded!" Len exclaimed. His total score was 27.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy (whose last name I spelled correctly without looking! Nice!) and Melissa Gilbert danced a Viennese Waltz to "Ooo Baby Baby." FINALLY, Melissa didn't look like she was about to shit herself as Maks whirled her around the dance floor. She really started to look comfortable on the floor, and although she didn't look perfect, she looked happy. This was, by far, the best I'd seen her. The judges were very complimentary too, praising her extended lines, control, connection and the poetry in her movement. Her score was a 24.

Kym Johnson and Jaleel White danced a chacha to "Ain't Too Proud to Beg." It had a great feel, and I really enjoyed his sharp movement and the way he really got into the dance. The judges all loved it too, and urged him to continue to bring his A-game to the competition. He also was just one point off the elusive perfect score, with a 29, again thanks to Len!

Cheryl Burke and William Levy danced a rhumba to "Being With You." I liked him the best I have this season, even though he's not my favorite because I just don't understand why everyone loves him so damn much! He had a better connection with Cheryl this time, and really looked like he was working hard instead of phoning it in. They still focused just a teeny bit too much on him acting sexy instead of actually dancing, but because rhumba is a sexy-sex dance, it worked. Bruno said the dance was "filth! And I loved every minute of it!" The other judges liked it, but didn't love it. William received 27 points, which included a perfect 10 from Bruno, who I think was scoring with his "Little Bruno," if you know what I'm saying.

After a little intermission, it was time for the Dance Marathon! They had to dance for SEVERAL MINUTES, which Kel would tell you is no big deal if you're at a real ballroom competition instead of a silly celebrity dance competition. They all had to dance a chacha, and after Gladys was eliminated first, I really kind of stopped watching because Gladys should have won ... because it's Motown week and she's GLADYS EFFIN' KNIGHT! Katherine and Mark won, which was probably well-deserved, but, dammit, GLADYS KNIGHT!

Speaking of Gladys, I fear for her. I hope her sweetness and celebrity keep getting her through, but one of these weeks it's going to be over for her, and I will be even sadder than I was when Gavin DeGraw was eliminated last week. I think Roshon is also probably in jeopardy - he didn't dance great, and he doesn't seem to have a great following.

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