Kirstie Alley gets another chance to prove she's a pro who understands the meaning of "the show must go on," Mark Ballas pushes the choreography envelope again, and both Hines Ward and Ralph Macchio show that they are in it to win it! But first, kudos goes out to the producers of "Dancing with the Stars" for coming up with new and creative themes for season 12.
Last week we saw "story night," this week, it's all about classical music. The real hero of the evening has to be Harold Wheeler for pulling together a 46 piece orchestra (twice the normal size) and teaching the talented musicians nine new pieces of music in a week's time. The supersized band really added to the ambiance this week. The nine remaining couples performed one of three dances: the waltz, the Viennese waltz, or the paso doble. Scores below are listed from highest, to lowest. Warning, spoilers ahead!
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas - 26 out of 30
The Disney Channel star was determined to break out of the pack this week and she did. Mark Ballas choreographed a completely unique Viennese waltz to the "Harry Potter" theme song that made what can sometimes be an old fashioned dance a very contemporary and fun spin around the dance floor.
Of course, head judge Len Goodman was not pleased. He praised both Chelsea and Mark's talent, but said he was jarred by the modern interpretation of this 300 year old dance. And to that, Bruno Tonioli called Len "Voldemort!" Bruno called it magical and bewitching. That left Carrie Ann Inaba with the tie-breaking vote and this time around she sides with Bruno, telling Chelsea she has hit her stride.
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson - 25 out of 30
If you've watched this show for 12 seasons, like I have, you know the paso doble is a dance that a guy like Hines will attack with gusto. And boy did he! He said he felt more challenged this week because he had a busy travel schedule and lost a day of rehearsal.
Hines also wasn't too keen on the classical music because that meant no lyrics; he shared that he uses the lyrics to help him keep the beat. And to top that off, Kym Johnson is pushing him with tough choreography. And then they dance and: psych! No worries! He's great. Carrie Ann said he was in the zone and Bruno told Hines he has a killer instinct.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff - 25 out of 30
Ralph and Karina Smirnoff do a romantic and elegant waltz to the theme from the movie version of "Romeo and Juliet" and it's a dance I will watch over and over. Love the song - love Karina's choreography! Ralph really seems to take what the judges say to him to heart. No more paddle hands!
Carrie Ann said he brings an honest connection to the dance floor and Bruno Tonioli called it heartfelt storytelling through dance.
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower - 23 out of 30
Len Goodman's comments last week that Romeo had taken two steps back motivated this season's youngest dancer. He had to learn the fierce and passionate paso doble this week... a dance that is not for the timid. His partner Chelsie Hightower (and really, who are we kidding, the producers) decided a field trip to the basketball court would let Romeo show how he can "bring it" when he's in his element. Now if he can bring that same intensity on the dance floor, we're in business.
He did! Len called the dance full of passion and full of attack. But, oops, there was a little lift, so Carrie Ann had to mark them down for that. Bruno had the best line, telling Romeo the paso doble was both action packed and "six packed," referring to the shirtless ending of the routine.
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin - 23 out of 30
Well if Romeo can go to the basketball court to identify with his "passion," then why not send Petra to a photo shoot? The supermodel's having a real issue with getting tough for the paso doble. Petra cracks up every time her partner Dmitry Chaplin wants her to be stern and serious. So he takes her to a fake magazine shoot where she's used to getting into character, etc.
The dance was fine and the judges seemed to like it more than I did - Carrie Ann called it gorgeous, and Len said overall he was more impressed than depressed. I guess that's good?
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke - 23 out of 30
Just like we saw with Hines Ward this week, you would also expect the fiery paso doble to be a strong dance for Chris. And it was. He was able to bring some of his WWE persona to the dance as an aggressive, arrogant and dominant bullfighter.
Bruno praised how he related to the music and Carrie Ann loved his connection to the song and his partner. But Len threw cold water on the festivities and said it "wasn't bad."
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - 21 out of 30
Once again Kirstie gives us the water cooler moment of the evening! Have we ever seen someone's shoe fall off during their dance? I don't think so. And coming off their fall in last week's dance, Kirstie and Maks are definitely winning the good sportsmanship award.
Kirstie really pushed herself during rehearsal, with the 60-year old actress with a bad hip telling Maks she did not want to do a "Grandma dance. " Even with the shoe mishap, the duo got through a lovely waltz, which ended with not one but two "dips," like the one that sent them tumbling to the floor last week.
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya - 21 out of 30
The champ puts on ballet tights and goes to a ballet class! Oh wacky reality television show! Sugar Ray learned the Viennese waltz performed to "The Nutcracker's" Waltz of the Flowers. I was really worried about this one by what they showed in the pre-tape piece but Sugar Ray decided to have fun with it.
He probably hasn't heard people call what he does "cute" or "sparkly" very often! And while Bruno usually has the kitschy lines, it was Len who said, "Sugar Ray turns into the Sugar Plum fairy."
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel - 18 out of 30
Louis van Amstel teaches Kendra a Viennese waltz, performed to a beautiful Italian opera song. Kendra's having trouble getting into the song and finding her character, until she connects the dots that Italian means mafia. Really? Seriously?
The judges generally try to be nice, telling Kendra she's trying hard, she's pushing herself, she's just a beginner etc. etc. But when they give their scores that's when the real truth comes out and each of the three experts give Kendra a 6.
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