Gonna try (I said try, okay?) to keep this short and sweet, considering I'm two weeks behind on my reviews. Expect choppy writing ahead.We're at the halfway point, and the Wife is calling tonight's costumes "insane, and not in the good way".Ty & Chelsie: He makes me love him by mentioning he hates how the audience boos while he's trying to listen to the judges' advice. They have Jive, and waste half the song with him standing around. A little bounce, some tick, not bad. 5.5/10.0In the Red Room, Melissa and Lil'Kim are nearly the same color. The spray tanner needs to be reined in, stat.Shawn & Mark: She's shy, and now they need to get romantic with Rumba. He stages a mini-prom for the one she's missing. The dance has good chemistry, but she's not nearly as comfortable as usual. Good stretch, a little shaky at the start. 8.5/10.0LT & Edyta: Warren Sapp comes to goof around and psych LT up into actually performing. LT likes the Jive music, so he can groove. He spends most of the time looking down and watching her. He keeps up the speed mostly, and shows some life. 7.0/10.0Melissa & Tony: Also needing to get romantic. A DWTS classic moment is born when Tony advises her to imagine her left hand with a "10 carat diamond ring" on it, to which Melissa deadpans, "instead of my empty ring finger?" Tony, nonplussed, replies, "okay, bad analogy." Their Rumba really tries for emotion and performance, but lacks some punch. She needs to dance more through her center and use her strength. 9.0/10.0Tom compares Bruno's gesticulations to those flailing tube people you see in front of car dealerships (and, incidentally, my old dance studio-- tacky!)Lil' Kim & Derek: She doesn't get the old-fangled Jive, so they hit up a classic car show. Their "Jailhouse Rock" Jive casts her as a cop and him as the con. Huge energy, super fast and great (maybe too many) tricks. Great routine, if short on actual Jive figures. 9.0/10.0We on the West Coast are denied a momentary wardrobe malfunction, but we see the cracking up afterwards.In the audience: Queen Latifah.Steve-O & Lacey: Lacey's so much of a sister to him that he farts all the time. Lovely. He's totally committed to the Rumba, and is really trying-- hitting his marks on time and stretching. I want to see him do well, and there's slow improvement. Lacey's deliberately off-shoulder bedroom look amuses me. 5.0/10.0Gilles & Cheryl: He has trouble with the fast footwork, but they play some soccer to help. They have Jive and try to make it sexy, somehow, and fail. Odd music, and he dances it with an intense, Latin-y face. It's sharp and strong, but frantic and not controlled. 8.5/10.0In the audience: Cristian de la Fuente (who Tom dubs "the Chilean Charmer").Chuck & Julianne: Costumes by Fredrick's of Hollywood, by the looks of all the black lace and skin. They get frustrated practicing, so they go on a date. He's really getting better with this Rumba, stretching more and moving his legs better. Some good lines, and they definitely keep the heat and chemistry. 8.5/10.0Moves I'm sick of, not just from tonight, but from all season: the double-swing-between-the-legs and the ubiquitous drop-to-split (seriously, it's in, like, every routine).Results show."No second chances," says Tom, indicating the continually fluctuating results show format.Encore: Lil'Kim & Derek's Jive. She nails the side-by-side part she flubbed last night.Guest: the cast of the current Broadway revival of West Side Story (well, the Jets girls, at least), performing "America". Great voices, nice staging. The Wife and I agree, though, the movie actually is structured and staged better (adding the Jets boys to this number, for instance).For some reason, all the couples are arrayed on the stairs under a complete RLOD curtain. Two couples walk down to center stage and are given the news. Wait... it's like American Idol, isn't it? I guess the show needed even more padding.Safe: Lil'Kim & Derek, LT & Edyta.Music Guest: Rascal Flatts performing "Here Comes Goodbye". Julianne & Tony (who seems to be the show's go-to guy for Theatre Arts numbers) do a great TA routine which includes a MASSIVE over-head vault. Amazing, beautiful and awesome. Understandably, Tony is winded afterwards.Video package: Costuming. Next week, the stars design the costumes. LT indicates he'll cover up his partner because his mother is watching and "Edyta is allergic to clothes". Nice one, LT.Safe: Shawn & Mark, Melissa & Tony.Stars of Dance: A "cabaret-inspired" number choreographed by "former Pussycat Doll" Lindsey Allen and featuring "dancing" by Camen Electra. Clearly, Allen dates back from the burlesque roots of PCD, rather than the pop dance group days, so the actual dancing is really quite weak and boring, especially with Electra's minimal ability. There is, however, a woman randomly hula hooping.Rascal Flatts returns with a cover of the Beatles' "Revolution" for some reason. Two couples representing, I guess, period American greaser teens (Chelsie & Mark) and Soviet soldiers (Aliona Vilani & Artem Chigvintsev) dance some Jive and dance well but take forever to get to the partner switch.Video package: standard BS body language expert.And suddenly, we're back to the usual elimination format. Oy.Safe: Gilles & Cheryl \o/, Chuck & Julianne, Ty & Chelsie.Eliminated: Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer. They are so very ready for it. He hugs Tom, who never gets hugged and talks about how he "grew as a person" and "learned from mistakes". Tom compares his charm on the audience to Jerry Springer's, appropriately.
I thought Lil Kim deserved all 10s. It was the first time I saw a routine that was choreographed in a way that made me want to watch it again. Just MHO. :)
It was definitely awesome, and easily a 10 for me if I split the score between technical and performance. :)