Dancing with the Stars calls in the pros — or more of them — for Len's side-by-side challenge. Can the celebrities hold their own against three pros? Are you ready for Maks' return to the ballroom? Plus: Who got the first 10s of the season?
Tom and Brooke somberly open the show with some nice remarks about the Boston Marathon shooting (Tom also has family there), adding that they hope the show can bring some entertainment. "Our thoughts are with everyone in Boston tonight," he says. "My heart is with you."
So this side-by-side dancing... who's confused? It's basically a ploy to get Maks back on the show. Duh! Ostensible reason: raise the standards for the celebrity. Here's how it will work: The pro couple will dance first, then both couples will dance the same choreography for 15 seconds, and then the celebrity couple will finish the routine.
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: cha-ca (Pros: Tony and Emma)
This is Ingo's first Latin dance and he's stressing over the hip action. "I'm hoping that we'll just skate by and I'll get to next week," he admits. Well, going first definitely helps. Speaking of that, Ingo has gone early in the show four out of the five weeks. Guess we know how TPTB feel about him. Ingo's trying, but he's very gawky and his hips aren't sharp enough. He does pick up steam once Tony and Emma are gone, but starts to go off-beat. Peanut's waving hi to us all. Give your dad a 3, little guy! Len compliments his stamina, but tells him to show more care. Bruno says he disguises his shortcomings well. Carrie Ann likes that he wasn't intimidated and tells him to "watch below the belt." I'm doing another show in my head," Tom quips.
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: jive (Pros: Maks and Anna)
Maks and Karina dancing together. Water finally under the bridge? They even greet each other with kisses! Karina wants to get 9s, and Jacoby wants to get the encore this week and wants to do the skip, a dance style in New Orleans similar to the jive. Jacoby matches Maks kick for kick, but he's flatfooted and needs more bounce in his step. But he's still owning the number, naturally. It's dynamic, loose and he jumps over Karina with no help at all. Bruno is more or less turned on, but wants him to point his feet. Carrie Ann loves him. Len won't give him a 9 with that footwork. "Len, I love you man, but with these feet, I went 108 [yards] in 11 seconds," Jacoby says.
Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold: Viennese waltz (Pros: Tristan and Emma)
Victor's mind is elsewhere: His girl is cheating on him! Aww, let's get some ice cream and talk about it. "I looked at the whole picture and said, 'Take that pain and put it in the dance,'" he says. Did they recycle the glow-in-the-dark bars from Derek and Kellie's jazz number? This is one of Victor's better routines. He is clearly more comfortable with ballroom and "softer" numbers. Go figure. But he's fluid and graceful and has some nice lines here and there. Lindsay's choreography still leaves a lot to be desired. There's something very simple about it, but not in a "smart" way like Sharna's dance for Andy last week. Carrie Ann docks them for a lift, but says it's a victory. How long have you been saving that one? Len says it's better than last week. Bruno says he was erect. Not like that. Keep giggling, Carrie Ann.
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: samba (Pros: Tony and Witney)
Witney teaches Aly the most important move: hair-flipping. But Aly adds: "Mark's a good girl too because he's good at being sassy." More than her dancing, the best part of Aly this season is her affinity for calling out Mark. Because all I can do is think about Olympians, this is the opposite of Shawn's first samba. Aly has some technical flaws (she flubs a move in front of the judges' table), but she's totally working the performance factor. It's flirty, cheeky, and she's shimmying and booty-popping like mad. "Your bottom is the tops," Len says, but points out the mistake. Bruno wants her to "roll it." Carrie Ann thinks she lost her sexiness once Witney went away and made the mistake. In the skybox, Aly sends love to her Boston hometown.
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: quickstep (Pros: Tristan and Chelsie)
Oh, I see what you did there. Assign the pro who last had a Bachelor to the Bachelor couple. In order to be identical to Tristan, Sean literally copies his every move. "He's not only a beautiful dancer, but a beautiful man," he says. Amen. Sean's not up to par to Tristan (who is?), but this is probably his best dance. He's still robotic, corny as hell and can't quite keep up with the pace at the end, but he's light on his feet and smoother. Bruno says he turned into a swan. Carrie Ann says it was bold and beautiful. Len calls him a pigeon. Apparently that's a good thing. Bruno already took the good avian metaphor, I guess.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: foxtrot (Pros: Henry and Anna)
Derek's nervous because this is their first ballroom routine and he has to teach Kellie the technique before they can get to choreography. I feel you. Maybe I've been watching this for too long, but I think everyone should do a ballroom and a Latin dance in the first two weeks. Save the contemporary and jazz brouhaha for later. As usual with Derek's worries, it's much ado about nothing. It's a gorgeous old Hollywood throwback routine, and Kellie's graceful, refined and effortless. Carrie Ann calls it fabulous. Len calls it a hottrot. "You put the 'oo' in 'smooth,'" he says. "You dance like that and you're in the final." Bruno compares it to The Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann's, of course.
D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke: tango (Pros: Sasha and Chelsie)
"[Cheryl] says, 'Connect by the hips,' and there's only one way I know how to do that," D.L. says. The rumba is the bedroom dance, dude. Oh, D.L. Two steps forward and 10 back. The good news: He's focused and into the dance. The bad news: It's completely underwhelming. He's stomping like the Tin Man: too rigid, and there's no spark to it. Len likens it to decaf coffee. Bruno says he overdid it on the aggression. Carrie Ann likes his intensity, but says he was too bouncy.
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: Argentine tango (Pros: Maks and Anna)
Val's never danced Argentine tango in his life. What?! Zendaya's worried because she's never been in love and doesn't want to grab Val's face. Her lines are beautiful and her footwork is clean and crisp. I could go for a little more chemistry between them though. Bruno says she was as good and as strong as Anna. (Way to throw shade at Anna!) Carrie Ann says every move she makes has a story behind it. Len compares her to a lemon tart. He's obviously moved on to the food metaphors now. They get the first 10s of the season. Val dedicates the 10s to Boston.
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: paso doble (Pros: Sasha and Emma)
"When you think of paso doble, you don't think of Andy Dick," he says. "But you will after this dance." Well, cartoon Zorro at least. Andy ziplines in and that's probably the highlight. It's a fun number, if you like watching a skinny guy skip in a mask and hat. There's not much paso in it and the cape almost eats him alive, but there's something endearing about it (what else is new?) so I can't help but like it. Carrie Ann loves the entrance, but says it was off. "It was more Pasadena than paso doble," Len says. Bruno calls it the Attack of the Killer Cape. "The only thing missing was Cloris Leachman," he says. It wasn't that bad, man.
Zendaya and Val are on top with a 29, and D.L. and Cheryl, and Andy and Sharna are last with 18.
What do you think? Did you like the side-by-side challenge? Will Ingo skate by? Do you see Andy when you think of the paso now? Is being a pigeon a good thing? Could Sean ever be Tristan? (The correct answer is no.) Who do you think will leave tomorrow?
View original Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Monday, April 15, 2013 at TVGuide.com
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