Monday, November 4, 2013

"Dancing With the Stars" recap: Sequins, Cher and a tango-dancing pimp

As if "Dancing With the Stars" needed more fabulous tackiness ... tonight, Cher was a guest-judge, as well as a performer. AND the stars danced to Cher songs! WHAT COULD BE BETTER THAN THAT?

Anyway, it was a night of glitter and craziness, which is every night for Cher.

  • Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff danced an Argentine tango to "Welcome to Burlesque." The dance worked really well, even though it wasn't a traditional Argentine tango dance. Corbin had a tough week with a lot of distractions, but he didn't show the difficulties of the week in the dance. He was passionate, and showed his strong, sexy side. Carrie Ann thought Corbin brought his A-game to the dance, but that his footwork was a little weird. Bruno thought the performance was wonderful, with great depth, even though he agreed that the footwork wasn't super clean. Cher thought it was amazing. Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Cher: 9; Bruno: 9. Total: 27.
  • Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani were up next with a Viennese waltz to "I Got You Babe," telling the story of Sonny & Cher meeting at a coffee shop. Leah did a great job, once again, with her acting. She is a real storyteller, and I think the dance really told a sweet little dance. Her footwork was good, and I felt like she could really feel the music this week, but what really sets Leah apart for me each week is her charm and acting ability. Bruno thought it was a sweet, innocent dance, and he really loved the side-by-side dancing. However, he said she needs to keep the body contact in hold. Carrie Ann thought Leah looked like she was having fun, but she thought Leah was having difficultly getting behind the music at times. Cher was enthralled that Leah could interpret something that she went through that day at the coffeeshop. She thought it was sweet and great. Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Cher: 9; Bruno: 8. Total: 25. 
  • Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd danced a foxtrot to "It's In His Kiss." Brant kind of looked like a dork this week, but that actually worked well for the fotrot, which is a slightly corny dance. Still, I felt like Brant kind of looked like he was in a bad Vegas show. And, yeah, I guess it was kind of in the spirit of Cher Week, but, still, it was a little stiff and really goofy. He's cute, but something felt kind of fake this week. Cher really liked Brant's star quality, and Carrie Ann agreed. She has also seen Brant grow a lot, but she does not like that his knees go in too much when he dances. Bruno told Brant that he puts a lot in his routine and that he has a lot to offer, but to go to the next level, Bruno urged him to refine his dancing. Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Cher: 9; Bruno: 9. Total: 27.
  • Elizabeth Berkeley & Val Chmerkovskiy were up next with a jazz dance to "Bang Bang." I was inclined to love the dance because Val was shirtless, and when a Chmerkovskiy gets shirtless, life is good. But outside of that, I have to say that I enjoyed Elizabeth and Val dancing. It was a very hip dance, and there was a lot of passion in it, especially from Elizabeth. I could tell that she really wanted to dance that dance, and that she was really into it. However, I felt that she got messy at several points, and that it wasn't the best dance I've seen from her. Cher liked that it was rough, and enjoyed the dance immensely. Bruno liked the rage and aggression in the dance, but he said she missed the rhythms and musical cues. Carrie Ann thought Elizabeth was one-dimensional in her dance. Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Cher: 9; Bruno: 8. Total: 25.
  • Bill Engvall & Emma Slater danced a disco to "Strong Enough." And, umm, OMG. Bill was back to spazzy, hilarious uncle at a wedding dancing again. He did have a few fantastic moves, especially some lifts, but he kept kind of forgetting all of the crazy arm movements he was supposed to be doing. But Bill has such a joy for dancing and just has so much fun dancing that I can't help but absolutely, unreservedly love all of his dances! Bruno was "gagging from laughter," but praised Bill's spirit. Carrie Ann said that Bill made her day better, even though he was off the beat sometimes. She just loved it. Cher was impressed with the lifts (or, as she said, "the way you could get her up like that!"). Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Cher: 8; Bruno: 8. Total: 24.
  • Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke (who was named for Cher!) were up next with a tango to "The Beat Goes On." This was one of the first times I've felt like Jack had the intensity he needed for a passionate dance without looking slightly constipated. He does much better with the more charming, silly dancing, but this was a really very good dances in a lot of places. Yes, he still looked a little nervous, but I can tell that Jack is really getting into dancing, and it was a really lovely, passionate, cool little dance to a great song. Carrie Ann liked Jack's confidence and smoothness, and she thought his dance looked refined. Cher thought it was "great," and that he looked like a "tango-dancing pimp." (She totally meant it as a compliment.) Bruno thought it was a great dance, too. Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Cher: 9; Bruno: 9. Total: 27. 
  • Amber Riley & Derek then danced a rhumba to "Turn Back Time," despite a tough week dealing with a tear in Amber's knee. Derek danced in a sailor suit, with his shirt quickly torn off by Amber. It was kind of hot. Their dance was super energetic and super sexy. They were great at the fast-and-slow moves that need to go together just perfectly to make a really great, sensual rhumba. It was a very sexy dance that I absoultely loved. Cher thought it was very sexy, and she loved the dance and thought it was fabulous. Bruno loved that Amber was leading the dance, and he thought it was great. Carrie Ann felt like it was not Amber's best dance, though, and she thought that they could have pushed themselves a little bit more. Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Cher: 9; Bruno: 10. Total: 28. 

Amber & Derek had the highest score of the night, and therefore were automatically safe for this week and didn't have to do the dance-off. I haven't loved Amber & Derek every week, but this week they definitely deserved to be safe after their super sexy rhumba. 

After a song from Cher, wearing a very Cher-like headpiece (she is just plain FABULOUS!), it was time for the dance-off!

They had to dance against another couple and learn a cha-cha, disco and rhumba. The top dancers got to pick who they danced against, and the bottom dancers got to pick the dance. The winners each got 3 extra points.

  • Corbin & Karina chose to dance against Val & Elizabeth, and Val & Elizabeth chose to dance cha-cha. Corbin is a really great dancer who knows how to move, but so is Elizabeth. Corbin probably had a slightly better dance, but Elizabeth was dancing with an open-shirted Val so that was a definite plus. Carrie Ann said they both nailed the routine. Bruno loved both dances as well. Cher liked seeing how both groups interpreted the dance, but said they were both sexy. Winner: Unanimously Corbin & Karina.
  • Brant & Peta chose to dance against Leah & Tony, who chose to dance rhumba. (Good choice, since Leah's strength is her sex appeal.) Brant & Peta had a nice little dance, but Leah just knows how to move her body in a very sexy way. For me, I thought it was clear that Leah was the winner. Bruno thought both dances were wonderful and praised both stars' sex appeal. Carrie Ann thought Leah nailed the love, but Brant was a leading man. Cher was enthralled with both dances and felt the emotion from everyone. Winner: Leah & Tony, though Bruno voted for Brant & Peta.
  • Jack & Cheryl and Bill & Emma danced a disco against each other. Jack had some issues with timing, but he was having a lot of fun, which is what disco is really all about. He also did a very cool spin at the end. Bill & Emma also had some timing issues, but he was also having fun and he did a great spin at the end, too! Can we just keep both of them in forever? They are seriously my favorite ever. Carrie Ann was surprised that Jack could pull it off. Cher thought it was funny and was amazed at the moves. Bruno loved it too. The whole thing was super silly. Winner: Unanimously Jack & Cheryl.

Bill & Emma were immediately declared safe, though, despite his rocky yet entertaining night of disco. After a quick commercial break, Elizabeth & Val, Corbin & Karina and Leah & Tony were also declared to be safe. That meant that Jack & Cheryl and Brant & Peta were in jeopardy. Aaaaaaaand ... Brant & Peta got eliminated. Not bad for the guy I thought was cannon-fodder the first week. He charmed me and did a really great job, and so I think overall his time on "Dancing With the Stars" was a success!

It's getting really tough to eliminate someone every week. I'm probably the least emotionally attached to Elizabeth & Val and Amber & Derek, so I'd be the least crushed if they went home, but they are great dancers. I have a feeling I'll be very sad with whoever gets eliminated next week. *sigh* It's the tough part of the season! 

Next week is an individual dance and a trio dance with an eliminated pro or troupe member. (I'm crossing my fingers for an appearance by Maksim - maybe Elizabeth could be in a Chmerkovskiy sandwich! Mmmm, Chmerkovskiy sandwich!!!!!!) Stay tuned!

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