It was a cavalcade of special guests stars, past contestants, and big surprises as ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars‘ celebrated its 200th episode this Monday night, kicking off Week 7 of this the 11th season.
So, who exactly showed up for the shiny shindig? There were too many familiar faces to list (50 to be exact), but the most exciting stand-outs included alumni Jane Seymour, Lance Bass, Kelly Osbourne, Gilles Marini, Drew Lachey, ‘Bachelor’ Jake Pavelka and, of course, Donny Osmond (who will show up anywhere).
Kicking off this crazily over-produced but oh-so-joyous party was a group dance populated by the pros and to the first song from the first episode of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ Beyonce‘s “Crazy in Love.” The silver sparkly steamers at the end were a nice touch.
Streamers and brouhaha aside, the crux of the show is the competition between the six remaining contestants and oh, what a competition it was. Each of the six couples served up an iconic dance performed by one of the past contestants on hand (Helio Castroneves, Mel B, Emmitt Smith, Osbourne, Lachey and Marini), with that alumnus acting as a fourth judge.
The remaining contenders also divided up into two teams – Team Apolo Anton Ono (featuring Jennifer/Derek, Brandy/Maksim and Kurt/Anna) and Team Kristi Yamaguchi (Kyle/Lacey, Rick/Cheryl and Bristol/Mark) – to compete against each other.
Here’s how it all went down…
TEAM DANCES – Cha Cha Cha
Team Kristi Yamaguchi (Kyle and Lacey, Rick and Cheryl, Bristol and Mark)
All the girl power in the world isn’t going to help Bristol break out of her shy-girl ways, but Cheryl gave it a college try when she gave the Alaskan mom these words of encouragement when she felt uncomfortable shaking her hips: “It’s not embarrassing! It’s hot!” From the get-go, Palin seemed to forget her steps, leading one backstager to sigh, “Oh, Bristol.” “I loved the three boys with the Michael Jackson section,” said Bruno Tonioli before scolding Bristol for losing her steps. “I think you guys were so in sync,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. “Rick, I’ve never seen you on fire like that!”
Team Apolo Anton Ono (Jennifer and Derek, Brandy and Maks, Kurt and Anna)
Two leaderboard toppers on one team? How did that happen? I did not like the cheese factor of the song (Tone Loc’s “Busta Move”) or Kurt’s ‘Karate Kid’ bandana, but it was a laugh-out-loud funny routine, and the audience (both backstage and in the audience) absolutely loved it. “Wow!” said co-host Tom Bergeron to screaming children in the crowd. “You got it!” squealed Bruno. “Your hips don’t lie Brandy,” he added before calling Jennifer “slinky” and “back on top.” Len Goodman added, “I thought individually you all upped your game.”
Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Gilles Marini’s Fox Trot to “Fever”
Being on top for two weeks in a row puts a lot of pressure on little Miss Brandy, but the nerves didn’t show one bit when her toes touched that dance floor. Hot and steamy is what they were going for, and hot and steamy is what they delivered. “That was a fox trot seasoned with sex!” said Bruno, who called it “relentless eroticism” before calling out a mistake. Gilles said he “felt goose bumps all over my body.” Len cited the one “slight mistake” but raved about how fantastic it was. (Len overlooking a mistake? Wow. Was history just made?)
Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough: Drew Lachey’s Tango to the Black Eyed Peas’s “Shut Up”
It would’ve been much more fun to watch Drew’s freestyle to “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” but hey, this was just as good. First, though, the latest Jennifer medical report: Doctor says to slow it down and take a break every two hours. But can we please ask Derek to stop saying, “I keep forgetting she’s 50!” It’s not her age, folks, it’s the fact that she’s had several neck surgeries. Anyhoo…. Carrie Ann said Jen came back and blew the doors down. Len said it was “really well done.” Drew said her lines were beautiful, and Bruno called her a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke: Helio Castroneves’s Quickstep to “Hey Pachuco”
Wow. When Rick’s girlfriend, Eliza Dushku, showed up to show viewers how they rehearse at home, no one was expecting that. She jumped on him, wrapped her legs around his waist and… well… kind of rode him around the dance floor. It was a bit TMI if you ask me. Len called it “slick, quick and Rick.” Bruno likened it to the Indy 500. Helio called it “incredible” and gave it a 10. Carrie Ann said, “Rick, by far your best.”
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer: Mel B.’s Paso Doble to En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind”
Did Kyle muster up the same aggression and fierce attitude that Mel B. delivered in this iconic dance? You betcha! But first we must give it up for Lacey, who was on freakin’ fire tonight. She stood out in the opening number, put everyone to shame in the team dance, and now she is channeling something supernaturally cool in this Paso Doble. “That was your best dance,” Len told Kyle. “That was amazing,” added Mel B. Bruno loved it, too, going on about testosterone and comparing him to an untamed bull. Mel gave Kyle his first 10 of the season, while the other judges were more in-line with 8s and 9s.
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya: Emmitt Smith’s Tango to Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible”
Last week he was called awkward, and this week he’s awesome. Dancing to an iconic dance by the only football player to win ‘DWTS,’ the pressure was on for this retired NFL star. “Secret Agent Warner, you went from last week mission impossible to this week mission accomplished. Stronger, more confident, very suave,” said Bruno. Carrie Ann thought he’s grown. Emmitt loved his suit and thought is technique was excellent. Len joined in on the love fest saying, “You’ve come back. It was sharp. It had drama.” Seems the guest judges are generous with their scoring paddles as Emmitt gave Kurt his first 10 of the season for this dance.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: Kelly Osbourne’s Viennese Waltz to Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble”
I’d like to say she’ll be in trouble come results night, but someone is keeping this lackluster performer around, week after week, and the judges’ near-delusional praise isn’t helping matters much. Carrie Ann said Bristol has the power to touch our hearts and called her movements “poetic,” but said she was also slightly detached. (Detached is the right word here!) Then Carrie called her special. What? Kelly O. said she did “unbelievable” (in a good way) and gave her goose bumps. It pains me to even type these words of praise, but Len also said it was “Well done” and, ugh, Bruno called her “pretty in pink.” (Quote of the night! Tom Bergeron joking to a very slimmed down Kelly saying, “It’s a shame how you’ve let yourself go.” Kelly laughed.) Three 8s from the real judges and the obligatory inflated score from the guest judge (Kelly’s ridiculous 9).
What was your favorite part of the 200th episode? Be a critic in the Comments below.