I was at first worried about this ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ semi-final round because it started off as a bit of a snoozer! But then a hail storm of 10’s poured down on the dance floor and all was good again.
Before there was dancing, each couple sat and talked about their “Breakthrough Moment” of the season (total bore) but the hometown segments, particularly Gilles’ bio in France where his dad ran a bakery, and a wee Shawn Johnson in Des Moines, taking apart her swing set to make uneven bars when she was three (three!), were cutely entertaining.
Then the Final Four hit the floor and that’s when the real fun began.
Melissa and Tony: Quick Step and Cha Cha Cha
Hats off to M & T for two more-than-solid routines, and some snazzy fedoras, even if the judges were a bit up in their grill this week. “Great musicality,” according to Len, but “for me, it wasn’t as exhilarating and ziggy and crispy,” apparently. Carrie Ann cooed about it being “very nice” and “very pretty” but it was “not connected to your soul.” Um, maybe that’s because her soul was crushed when she was dumped in front of millions of people? Then Melissa lost a few points for a sluggish cha cha, which Len didn’t like as much as he wanted to and which had Bruno yelling to the audience, ‘Shut up!’ so he could explain away his critique.
Total Score: 55
Gilles and Cheryl: Waltz and Salsa
If it’s based on solely dancing, Gilles will be waltzing away with the mirror ball trophy in next week’s grand finale. Cheryl and Gilles received not one but TWO perfect 30s for their routines this week. Len gave them a “sitting down standing ovation.” The Frenchie induced a meltdown of sorts in Carrie Ann, who twirled into the screaming thing she does; it made Len wish he had an ’11’ paddle; and Bruno was so excited he babbled about something being alive and well in his pants. Actually, I’m not even sure whose pants he meant.
Total Score: 60
Shawn and Mark: Argentine Tango and Jive
“You’ve got it coming big time, Honey!” Bruno said Shawn channeled “Catherine Zeta-Shawn” in her Chicago-style tango. Although Mark may have done so even more with all that eyeliner! Shawn’s performance even made Carrie Ann shout: “Precision is your middle name, sister!” and hailed a perfect 30 from the judges. Shawn’s jive, however, took some heat. “It was fast and fun, though too much messing about” as Len likes to say when there’s too much action for the old guy to handle. Bruno was understated with a “I like you when you go wild…you sold it.” But the performance lost some steam, said Carrie Ann, “kind of like going through mud.”
Total Score: 56
Ty and Chelsie: Viennese Waltz and Samba
Ty should at least win this competition…for best one liners of the season, in addition to the MVP title Carrie Ann christened him with Monday night. Like for how he described the samba: “It’s supposed to be a party dance but it’s more like a pain in the ass.” Ty–who knows how to act like a good sport—acknowledged the elephant on the dance floor: “Fans kept me on show over a better skilled dancer…now I have to justify their votes,” said Ty, before going out and giving it his all once more—which incited a war between the judges. Len said, “I know there were a couple little issues, overall I thought it was fabulous.” But Carrie Ann and Bruno erupted in disagreement. “I do understand why America loves you,” said Bruno, “but it wasn’t smooth…your arms, are like chasing flies!” And Carrie Ann claimed that he “wobbled twice.” Big whoop, I say. His Latin dance looked better, scored worse and gave us perhaps the best Ty Murray moment on the dance floor ever when he did a butt-shimmy solo for the gratuitous ‘Dancing’ cam.
Total Score: 48
Next week’s big finale features the highly anticipated freestyle routine, and the three finalists facing off to the same tune.
Going-to-the-Finals Prediction: Gilles, Shawn and Melissa. It’s been a pleasure, Ty!