Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dancing With the Stars Post-Mortem: Week 8

This week's episode almost cost me my marriage. When Ricki Lake spoke with Jennifer Grey, my husband actually asked me: "Who is that?" That's Jennifer Grey. "And what is she famous for?" She won a couple of seasons ago. "Yeah, but what is she known for?"

To which I answered: Get out of the house. I'm divorcing you.

NO ONE PUTS BABY IN A CORNER! Not even metaphorically!

He's lucky I let him stay and didn't make him sleep in the bath tub, amiright?

Speaking of things that I simply will not brook, what was up with the gay jokes on Dance Center during last night's results show? Usually I love Dance Center. I look forward to it all season long, along with the group dance and the first perfect score of the season. Here is what I emailed to ABC:

Why the gay joke regarding J.R. Martinez and Broadway last night during the results show? That was a cheap shot, and beneath the integrity of the entire network. Jerry Rice's sly little, "Don't ask! Don't tell!" aside made light of an important issue that has affected an enormous amount of our hard-working, self-sacrificing service members. Gay jokes, and making light of DADT, are NOT OK.
I'm more than a little bothered that in 2011 this even happened. 

Sighing and moving on.

Monday night the remaining five contestants did one regular dance and then one "instant" Jive, in which they had rehearsed basic moves but did not know their song until 20 minutes before performing. Which I guess is kind of interesting, and I liked seeing how the different professionals handled the pressure of the instant dance. 

The Jive makes my ankles hurt just watching it. I can't imagine having to do it. I have weak ankles anyway, and my left ankle never healed properly from a fall I took when I was 17, so I feel like if I tried to Jive my entire left leg would just shatter. I'd have to pull a Layla Ali and dance in sneakers or something, and even then my left ankle would collapse under me and I'd fall and Tom would have to cut to commercial and when the show resumed there'd be footage of the ambulance taking me away and Tony - who would obvs be my professional partner - would have to make a statement about how much I love dancing but we just can't continue with the show because the doctors now have to reattach my foot directly to my shin bone.

So maybe it's for the best that I will never be on the show, despite every wish I make when I blow out candles on my birthday cake.

Rob Kardashian - whom, I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of crushing on a little bit and it makes me hate myself - did a bloody wonderful Quickstep to "Take On Me," which makes all us Gen Xers very happy. I like when the couples do Old Timey dances to modern (well, modernish) songs, just like I love modern interpretations of Shakespeare. Keeps things relevant and interesting, you know? 

Raise your hand if you ever thought you'd see anything done by a Kardashian compared to Shakespeare. Right???

His Jive to "Maneater" - another 80s shout-out - was so-so, but you gotta give the boy some credit for doing two dances in one night, with the second one being practically by the seat of his striped pants, which my husband hated. (Me: "Maybe Cheryl's trying to draw extra attention to his butt this week?")

During their backstage confessional, or whatever it's called, Cheryl pointed out that it's been a while since she's come this far in the competition, which reminds me: like Macks, Cheryl excels at taking mediocre dancers and turning them into actual contenders. Personally, she rubs me the wrong way. I feel like we would not be friends in real life. She's just too abrasive for me, and reminds me of one of my husband's law school friend's ex-girlfriends who was always up in everyone's business and kind of a spaz. But she's good at what she does and she brings out the best in her partners, so if Rob actually makes it to the finals it'll be because Cheryl is a brilliant teacher.

Speaking of Maks, he brought Hope Solo home to meet his family last week, and even after seeing Mama Maks and hearing stories about what a whiny little crybaby he used to be, I still think he's a douche. And also, I usually assume he's hooking up with his partners, but with Hope I never really got that vibe, so I couldn't really wrap my brain around the sight of him taking her home to Mom and Dad for a home cooked meal that looked DELICIOUS. However, Maks seems to have gotten it through his head that he catches more flies with honey than with being a petulant, megalomaniac douchebag, because he actually smiled and played nice this week and it didn't seem fake, for once. I absolutely adored Hope's Quickstep to "Valerie," which was fun and breezy and quite sweet. If she can do that again next week it'll be tough deciding whether she or Rob should go home.

Her Jive to "The Best Damn Thing" was also quite good, though I had to laugh when they kept dancing even after the song ended. D'oh! Timing FAIL! I'm glad she scored even just one point higher for her Jive than Rob did, because hers was actually much better.

The only reason I have to root against Ricki Lake is that I feel like the Hough siblings dominate this competition, and quite frankly, I grow weary of their wholesome blond perfection. But that's my personal itch to scratch. Otherwise Ricki is lovely, and her Waltz to "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" was touching and emotional, and I'm surprised Carrie Ann didn't do her usual "I"m trying not to cry!" she does after almost every Waltz. Also, what was up with Ricki's massive pompadour hair?

Ricki had to do her Jive to "Land of a Thousand Dances," which is not a song I would ever choose for DWTS. It's a fun song, and I love Wilson Pickett, but I would think that, ironically, it's a tough song to do a ballroom dance to. Still, if anyone could pull it off it's Mr. "I Can't Fail!" Derek, and their Jive was pretty good. Not great, but a few beats better than average, even despite Ricki being forced to dig her heels into the floor during the turn so that the Lift Nazi Carrie Ann wouldn't dock her a point. 

Oh, Nancy Grace. You're so cute thinking you were going to make it past this week without any of the other four breaking a leg. Kudos for not giving in to what has to be all-consuming jealousy and pulling a Tonya Harding. That's restraint, people. 

Nancy's Tango to "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" was a noble effort, but lackluster. Her footwork was sloppy, and I did not understand the judges gushing over her. Also, WTF is up with that song? It made me feel icky inside.

Nancy's Jive to "Upside Down" was just plain not good. No, worse than that - it was painful to watch. I cringed. And this is why she could never win this competition: she lacks the stamina to do more than one dance per night and can't hold her shit together the way the others can. 

La la la, J.R. Martinez's Waltz to "What the World Needs Now" was perfect and so was his Jive to "Tutti Frutti." We all know he's going to win, so at this point the question is simply, who will be his competition in the finals? Ricki is the obvious choice, but Rob and Hope should not be counted out just yet. 

So, Nancy got sent home to the surprise of no one, except possibly Nancy. Was that all bluff when she talked about being down but not out yet? Or did she really think she had a chance? Either way, she made it farther than I thought she would, so that's something for her to be proud of. I will miss Tristan and his cute little accent and his cute little costumes, though. 

Next week is the semi-finals, and I honestly can't even begin to predict what will happen. J.R. will make it for sure, and odds are Ricki will, too. I think next week will be devoted to Rob vs Hope for the third spot in the finals, and your guess is as good as mine about which one will make it. If Rob can bring the energy and focus he did this week, and if Hope can relax and trust Maks like she did this week, then it will be a very tight race, indeed. Stay tuned!

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