Our celebrities on week four of “Dancing with the Stars” would be showing us the best years of their lives through dance. This seemed like a twist on the show’s traditional “personal story” week so I was looking forward to many tears being spilled. The stars would also be required to do a brief solo during the dance, which sounded like quite the high wire act on Week 4.
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As they all walked down the stairs, whoops, where was Lisa Vanderpump? It was widely reported that she had fainted earlier in the week in rehearsal, and her partner Gleb Savchenko made a sign indicating the empty space next to him.
Host Tom Bergeron answered all our questions, saying Lisa was getting some rest behind the scenes and might not dance at all. Drama-rama for the “Real Housewives” star! Would she have to follow poor Dorothy Hamill out the ballroom door with a medical release?
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: Viennese Waltz
Peta told Sean she was proud of him for last week’s YMCA dance. To the surprise of no one, Sean said 2012 was his best year because of meeting fiancé Catherine on “The Bachelor.” He said he wanted to have a family just like the one he grew up in, aww. Sean’s solo was going to involve him reaching out to Catherine, which a reporter had guessed beforehand in the media room. We could produce this show ourselves by now! Sean emerged from the “DWTS” fog machine to get ahold of Peta and they were both in a periwinkle color, so flattering on both. The dance was slow, though, and Sean was too careful. He seemed to have a little trouble dragging Peta across the floor. His solo was a snooze as he looked like a frat boy trying to be graceful — but then he did indeed go and kiss Catherine in the audience. The Bachelor really planted one and there were giggles backstage. Oh, the cynical press! Len Goodman called it a pretty good effort while Bruno Tonioli said it was so sweet but slightly hesitant. That’s what I had been feeling, too. Carrie Ann Inaba’s verdict was that he had performed two illicit lifts, shame on you, Sean!
Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold: Paso Doble
Victor chose the year 2011, when he beat a boxer whose name I didn’t catch (sorry, I’m not too savvy on the boxing stars). The match was a big upset, so Victor would be Paso-ing to “We Are the Champions” by Queen, which is getting heavy rotation on the reality front these days (take note, “American Idol” Lazaro fans). The dance started with Victor in his corner boxing in place, then joining Lindsay on the floor in Full Mel B mode in a tough chick outfit. The number was aggressive and Victor got the chance to show off his chest, which looked damn fine. It was a great dance and Victor has been one of the sleeper hits of this season. Bruno had a criticism, though, that it was too much attack with lagging footwork. I didn’t notice that (having been looking at his chest, ha). Carrie Ann then said he had to work on his arms (say what?). Cranky Len admired his spirit and determination. Everyone in the press room really liked it and I thought the judges were way out of line to judge Sean higher.
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: Foxtrot
For Jacoby, the year 2012 was the best of his life because his son was born. He mumbled about the joys about being a dad and someone in the press room suggested subtitles. Jacoby was swearing about the foxtrot; he didn’t like it in practice. I could see why when the dance started; it seemed too structured for the football star and his arms were in the wrong position most of the time. His solo part, which involved a strange little jig, elicited fond laughs in the media area and he jumped in the air and clicked his feet together in front of his baby son in the audience. It ended well with someone (Jacoby’s mom?) bouncing the boy on her lap. According to Carrie Ann, the dance was phenomenal and he had a shot at winning the whole thing. Len was a fan of his foxtrot, too, while Bruno praised his flash and flair. They were right. Although I felt it was his weakest dance so far, there was something so winning about Jacoby on the floor every week.
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: Contemporary
After last week, Aly was on a roll. Of course, of course, she chose summer 2012 and unless you have been living under a rock, you knew she was talking about the Olympics. Aly recalled her huge effort to make the team, blah, blah, blah. Mark told her in rehearsal she wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend; what was going on with these two? She’s not in gymnast boot camp anymore, Mark! So Aly looked like she was doing her Olympic floor routine in the solo part of the dance which opened it up. Mark carried her around a lot and man, this was too much “So You Think You Can Dance.” They were very accomplished, but contemporary for me this season was too hard to judge. It looked like she could do whatever she wanted, so she did cartwheels. Easy for the gymnast, eh? Len called it worthy of an Olympic champion. “You’re going for gold, my darling,” Bruno gushed. Carrie Ann said she was mesmerizing. They all broke out the 9 paddles for this one! It was the highest score of the season thus far and I doubted anyone would do better tonight.
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: Viennese Waltz
The comedian underachieved last week, I felt, so I was hoping for better this time. Andy said this year, 2013, was the best year of his life! He was paying tribute to his daughter Meg, who has been in the audience every week cheering him on. Andy was so sorry he’s put his children through hell with all his personal problems. Uh, oh, Andy was crying again in rehearsal. Okay, so the dance commenced with Andy and Sharna walking slowly towards each other and the comedian bending his dancer this way and that. He showed his good lead in what they call “cuddle” position and although Andy was a bit tentative, not bad at all in the couple part. He twirled around in place in his solo and it was actually graceful, go Andy! Everyone backstage clapped because it seemed Andy had nailed it. Bruno said it was straight from the heart and it had a fragile quality. Wish I’d said that. Carrie Ann was so moved she burst into tears and beckoned Andy to give her a hug. She felt Andy had created poetry with his dance; I had never seen Carrie Ann so emotional on the show, ever. Then Len pretended to cry, too, which was funny, but he called the funnyman a “hero.” Wow. Everyone was rooting for him, but after all that, only 21 points, no competition for Aly.
Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy: Samba
Zendaya chose as her favorite year, 2009, when she really started working in L.A., got discovered, and got on the road to becoming the Disney kid we love. Zendaya would be dancing to Beyonce and this one was sure to be great. She came strutting out of her shiny blazer and looked fierce in her solo and even taller than usual in high-waisted pants. The 16-year-old looked so sophisticated and this was like a cool Studio 54 number with Zendaya as a disco-ing Bianca Jagger. The dance was so fluid and free; I loved it. Carrie Ann waved her arms around in praise but Len quibbled that there wasn’t enough actual samba content. Bruno said she showed star power. Zendaya reminded everyone backstage, again, that she was only 16.
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: Viennese Waltz
According to Ingo, 2009 was his best year because he married his wife Ehiku then. “My life really started when I met her,” he said. “I waited a long time for her.” The “General Hospital” hunk wanted this to be a romantic dance and I was glad the aggressive performer from last week would be gone. So the wedding tribute dance started with Ingo doing his solo and lifting his arms in the air dramatically and staring around like he was looking for someone, presumably his wife. Ingo seemed to be really feeling this dance and I could see why he’d been a soap hunk all these years. He looked handsome in the all-white suit and seemed perfectly in balance with Kym. And no cheesy kissing his wife during the dance! Been there, done that. Len liked it but said he had some arm incidents, which I didn’t see. Ingo looked confused. “Elegant, dashing, and deeply romantic,” Bruno declared. Carrie Ann could tell Ingo had worked on his core all week after her criticism last time. He got a strong score which should keep him safe from elimination.
D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke: Foxtrot
The comedian remembered when he was in 8th or 9th grade it was the sweetest time of his life. What year(s)? He didn’t say. But he joked around in rehearsal “Nothing says Compton like foxtrot,” said the season’s worst dancer so far. The routine started with Cheryl strutting around a nerdy DL sitting on a park bench. So D.L. played up his funny side here and strutted in front of the judge’s table and blew a kiss at his show nemesis, Len. His side-by-side kicks with Cheryl had some spirit and everyone in the audience clapped because he was so much improved. “That worked,” Bruno said. Carrie Ann laughed like a hyena with joy and Len said he admired his spirit but it needed more content. Still, he gave D.L. props for rehearsing more. The funnyman admitted foxtrot was not a hard dance, so good for him for being honest. His co-stars greeted him backstage like he’d won the Oscar. He got the same score as Andy, incredible. The comedians were unstoppable tonight!
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: Rumba
Kellie said getting married to her husband was the best year of her life, 2011. Again? Another significant other? What about the year she appeared on “American Idol”? Oh, yeah, that was that show on another network. Long Kellie story about how she ran away with her hubby Kyle and got married in the ocean (well, not submerged, but close). Her husband surprised us by accompanying her dance on guitar and singing. I felt this dance was Kellie’s weakest because it seemed so herky jerky. But she earned ooohs in the press room for doing a big ole split in the air. She gave her husband a kiss after the dance. Where was Lisa? I was feeling things were getting a little too sentimental in the ballroom tonight. Carrie Ann said she created the prettiest picture of the night but then contradicted herself by saying her movements were clipped. Len also mentioned it wasn’t fluid, however, Bruno just claimed it was beautiful, having run out of time.
Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchencko: Cha Cha Cha
We would finally decide if Lisa would dance tonight. Would it be cha cha cha or na, na, na? I was about ready to faint myself, because this show was so long tonight and full of emotion, maybe only some of it real? Ha. Tom predictably announced Lisa had decided to dance so her rehearsal package ran as scheduled. Lisa said the best year of her life was her daughter’s wedding. Again, that was an event, not a year, producers, but whatever! So many weddings, so much time. Lisa looked really wobbly in practice but that was normal. However, then she told her daughter she wasn’t feeling well and later, she went down like a ton of bricks in rehearsal. Gleb had a delayed reaction, asking if she was okay, and then the Real Housewife came to, bursting into tears. After medical clearance, she went home although she wanted to still rehearse. The number started with Lisa and Gleb getting married but then stripping off their wedding attire and going into brisk cha cha. Was this the honeymoon dance? Finally, we got to see Lisa’s fabulous legs take center stage instead of being swathed in a long ball gown. She looked very stiff and vulnerable in her strutting solo moment, but it wasn’t overly embarrassing. For me, it was her best dance yet, though still shaky. Len said she’d given it her best shots although there were mistakes. Bruno saw mistakes as well and Carrie Ann thought there was potential. Lisa was breathing heavily backstage, which would bear watching. But yay, good for her!
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