Because You Don't Watch It But All The Ladies In Your Office Do And You Want To Fit In

On to Sandy H.'s Week 4 Dancing With The Stars Recap!

“That was a get-a-room-dance!” – Host Tom Bergeron to Florence Henderson.

We said farewell to Margaret Cho last week.  I won’t miss her or her dancing, but I will definitely miss her adorable parents sitting in the front row of the audience every week.  It was always good to see them sitting there looking happy and so obviously proud of their daughter.  Margaret says such mean things about them in her standup act that either they are the most forgiving people in the world or their English skills are limited.

Monday night it was all about Brandy, Audrina, and especially the fabulous Jennifer. You heard it here first: These three girls will be in the finals.  No one else is even close.  Receiving the first 10s of the season and a score of 56, Jennifer was dazzling in a tango that was described by the judges as “incredible,” “precise,” and “amazing.”  Even with a neuroma in her foot and screws in her neck, this girl is a wonder, and it didn’t hurt that her music was an actual tango.  Sometimes DWTS hurts its performers by using music that is a little too hip for the occasion.  Brandy - wearing as little as is legally permissible on television: her underwear and a scarf - looked beautiful, her rumba earning her a 48.  Her partner Maks skipped the spankings this week, thank goodness, and the two seemed more connected in spite of the cheesy “date” the producers cooked up between the two.  Something tells me that when all this is over, Brandy and Maks won’t be getting together braiding each other’s hair, and reminiscing about the good times on DWTS. Audrina’s tango couldn’t quite match the magic of last week’s waltz.  Len said he was “not transported,” and Bruno found her “cool and detached.”  Still, the dance earned her a 46.  Anyway, let’s celebrate Week 4 with 4*s to these girls for pulling away from the rest of the pack.

Just to shake things up, DWTS celebrated an “acoustic” week with the dancers on a small, round, elevated stage inches from the audience.  Dancing rumbas or tangos, each couple received two scores: one for technique, another for performance, with a maximum score of 60. With two sets of marks showing just how far ahead Jennifer, Audrina, and Brandy are from everyone else, maybe we should hold off on doing that again any time soon. (The Situation’s score was exactly half of Jennifer’s.) The night’s theme may have been acoustic but the overall tone was, as judge Carrie Ann said in describing Florence’s dance, “sexy, raunchy, dirty.”  The Sitch finally showed his abs; Bristol’s partner did the whole tear-the-shirt-off thing; and Florence’s passionate rumba embarrassed the judges.  The bottom six are getting a little desperate.

The Sitch’s tango was arguably one of the worst in the history of the show.  Personally I think Kate Gosselin’s paparazzi number holds that honor, but The Situation is very, very close.  Judge Len Goodman described it as “consistent – bad throughout.”  The Sitch’s partner Karina danced around him.  He was just a piece of equipment, unable to manage more than a couple of steps and lifts. With a score of 28 (and that’s out of 60, mind you, NOT 30) Mr. Sorrentino is probably out the door. Bristol’s unfortunate rumba, earning a score of 32, was not much better. She seemed to spend a whole bunch of time lying on the floor, limiting her actual dancing.  And that may have been the plan. Her partner Mark tried to convey the emotion she was lacking with the old shirt removal trick.  Didn’t help. 

Athletes Kurt and Rick were in their usual middle positions, scoring 34 and 39.  Why did it seem this week that several of the stars weren’t holding up their end of the deal, just standing there like poles for the pros to dance around?  We already know the pros can dance. That’s why they’re there.  I think Kurt and Rick have lost interest, and as a consequence we’re losing interest in them.  No interest = no votes.  That’s not the case with Florence though.  She may have only gotten a 35, but when you’re 76 and people describe you as “dirty and raunchy,” you know she’s leaving it all on the dance floor. Doesn’t mean she can dance, of course, but she wasn’t so bad she’ll be gone this week. Kyle wasn’t bad. This may be damning him with faint praise, but he was the best male celebrity dancing last night. He’s 19, enjoys a great cheeseburger more than a great rumba, but at least he looks as if he’s having fun and trying.

Florence and Kyle, Kurt and Rick may be especially lucky that this is the season of The Situation and Bristol. I will be amazed if those two aren’t out this week and next. I keep waiting for them to surprise us and finally grasp the whole concept.  Hasn’t happened though. They just seem to have hit a plateau of bad dancing that isn’t going to change.

As soon as I pushed “Send” on the blog last week, I regretted what I’d written. I hate it when I do that. I’ve been really hard on Bristol and I want to apologize. I realize that for most of her life she was just a Regular Girl, becoming famous suddenly because of a series of events – some of her own doing, some not.  She’s competing against seasoned performers who, if not dancers, are certainly accustomed to crowds and critics and interviews. (For the sake of argument, let’s just agree now that what Audrina and The Situation do on The Hills and Jersey Shore can be described as “performing.”) I have been critical of Bristol’s modest clothing choices on the show, but the person I should have been talking about was the middle school girl I saw get off the school bus on our street this week.  Did her mother actually let her go out of the house like that?  And her school did not send her home to change and/or call Child Protective Services?  Jeez.  So here are 4*s to Bristol and 4*s to all the shy, fashion-challenged, small town Regular Girls who take a chance and step outside their comfort zones.  Not enough of us do that. At 19 I could never have done what Bristol’s doing.  Even for money.*

*Okay, maybe for money.

What everyone wants to be this Halloween:
A Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone.

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