TV Recap: Dancing With The Stars

Holy high scores, Batman. Even more 10s were given out, and you know what that means... new leaders. What is going on in this competition? It's crazy, you never know what to expect. This week the stars took on the opposite dance from previous weeks. Sabrina switched her cha cha for Helio's fox trot, Mel and Cameron traded samba for rumba (and vice versa), and the others simply tried something new. There was no quickstep, Viennese waltz or tango present on the floor last night. Following each individual dance last night was a group dance created by world-renowned choreographer, Christian Perry.

With twice as many women as men left, poor Cameron and Helio have really got to stand their ground if they have any chance of beating out the four remaining ladies. And it ain't gonna be easy. It's going to be a battle to the very end. Each week could mean a new upset, there is no telling which way the cards will fall.

The competition is starting to get to Sabrina Bryan. She is human after all. Her fox trot last night was definitely not her best dance thus far, especially considering her scores the last two weeks (and the weeks before those). I was disappointed to say the least. This dance was utterly forgettable. While it wasn’t as fun as all their pasts performances, Sabrina and Mark’s fox trot was graceful and sharp, I thought. Len thought it was too powerful, Bruno agreed and said Sabrina needed to work on blending her moves. Carrie Ann trumped them both, saying Sabrina was smooth when she needed to be smooth and feisty when she needed to be feisty. As we’ve learned from some of the other stars, one bad performance doesn’t equal dismissal, but it could spell red light for Sabrina for the first time ever.

Jennie Garth FINALLY came out of her shell (and landed in the top three)! Yay! She is so hard on herself every week, and it shows in her dancing. She’s been unsure of her dancing, her sexuality, her confidence, everything. Even the last couple of weeks when her scores were pretty high-you could still tell she wasn’t totally feeling it. This week Derek tried to get Jennie’s mind off of her nerves so she could focus on their dance. Whatever he did worked, because this mambo was one of their best dances. Jennie had fun, she was confident, they were spunky and creative and a blast to watch. Derek’s choreography was impeccable. I loved all the arms in and out of each other, it was like watching the Hindu Goddess, Lakshmi (or what I imagine she would look like if she were a real person). Jennie seemed to be focused on something throughout the dance, though, which caused her to step off half-a-beat here and there. Was it the camera? Her husband? Whatever, she kicked butt (and scored one point ahead of Sabrina).

Not every dance is meant for everyone. Okay. Not every competitor is meant to win. Absolutely. Jane Seymour falls into both of these categories. Her kicks last night were off, the pony tail with bangs look wasn’t working and she didn’t seem to be keeping up with Tony. Have I not said in the past that she can’t get away with being a prissy ballerina all the time? Len said she danced the jive last night ... wait for it ... like a ballerina, that it wasn’t down and dirty enough (didn’t he say something along those lines about her mambo?). It’s the jive, not the waltz, honey. Bruno agreed with Len (again, what’s up with that?), saying she didn’t seem very comfortable. Carrie Ann said the dance wasn’t up to Jane’s level. What does that even mean? I think what she meant to say was that this was the worst Jane and Tony have done, which coincidentally left them holding the lowest score of the night. Which is poor timing considering they were caught in the crimson glow of the bottom two last week. Can Jane’s fans pull her out of her slump?

I liked Cameron Mathison’s samba. He and Edyta definitely had the Captain Smith/Pocahontas thing going on. She really knows how to work that look (and why shouldn’t she, she’s breathtakingly, ridiculously smokin’ hot and if I looked more like her, I’d never get dressed). Their dance was not as fiery as last week (I don’t think any dance ever again will be that steamy), but I still thought Edyta’s choreography showed off their talents as a pair. It wasn’t as lively as Mel’s version last week, and Len said he didn’t think it captured the spirit of the samba. Bruno said it was a bit tribal and open to interpretation, which Carrie Ann interpreted as passionate, primal and fun. Seriously, Bruno and Len versus Carrie Ann, what is going on? Can Cameron’s rippling muscles hang on to this competition just a wee bit longer, or will Helio be crowned last man standing?

Melanie Brown, in turn, took on Cameron’s rumba. After last week, I wasn’t sure anyone could dance it better. Mel’s version this week was definitely different than Cameron’s, but I didn’t necessarily think it was better (I was wrong because it got her a perfect score). Cameron’s was more obviously sexy, while Mel’s was more subdued, more sensual. Mel looked stunning in that white dress and moved like water beside Maksim. I’m glad they got the chance to dance the rumba-a dance of love and hate. In a nutshell, that is Mel and Maksim’s relationship. Tumultuous, extreme, aggravating. They channeled their emotions into their dance last night and it paid off. I think we have ourselves a new leader.

Marie Osmond looked very pretty last night. Her red skirt was flowy like a cape, perfect for the paso doble, a.k.a. the bullfighter’s dance. You could see the determination in her face-she wanted to do well after the debacle of last week’s fainting spell. I thought the lack of smile was perfect for the role of bull/cape, but Bruno thought she looked more Catherine Zeta-Cranky than Jones by the end (I don’t know how I feel about that misnomer). Anyway, like last week, I thought it was a little slow and could have been sharper. Carrie Ann said she thought Marie was playing it safe and not quite up to par after last week. Can you blame the poor woman? (However, she showed us in the group dance at the end of the show that she is rip roarin’ and ready to get it on).

Helio Castroneves is back. Thank goodness, because this competition is getting close and there’s no room for mediocrity. His cha cha was fun, frisky and entertaining, just like he used to be. (And did anyone else think he had a little John Travolta thing going on?) All of the judges agreed that last night’s dance was just the ticket (he even got a 10 out of Len). His Brazilian bum was shaking like a salt shaker, his hair was spiked and his smile was blinding. Julianne really got Helio back on track and back in the race. Vroom, vroom, speed racer.

Shots of rehearsals throughout the show for the group dance looked crazy. The stars only got one chance to rehearse together (and critique each other firsthand). I couldn’t wait to see it with all the throwing around, flipping over each other’s heads, potential crotch shots. Sabrina was right: the group dance sure opened up a lot of opportunities for disaster. But did anyone really think disaster would strike? When the dance opened, I thought it was cute, a 50's style rock and roll number circa Happy Days days. The greasers versus the jocks was a fun theme, and who better than Helio and Cameron to lead each respective group? Before the dance even ended, I wanted to cry. It was so good. The group danced together for a bit, then one couple got to show off, then they all danced some more, then another couple hit the spotlight, and so on.

Marie cartwheeled across Jonathan, Edyta spun around Cameron completely in the air (and was the only one with a belly-baring top ... didn’t see that one coming), Julianne twisted all over Helio then jumped over his head, Sabrina flipped Mark over her shoulder, and Maksim held Mel in the air kicking her feet for a dangerously long time while turning round and round. Jane and Jennie were also fun to watch, but their tricks weren’t as memorable (not to mention Jane’s wig was not good). Christian Perry is a genius. Only the audience will judge this dance, but if they need any encouragement, the official three, and myself, thought it was fantastic.

Tomorrow we say “Adieu” to someone. Who will it be? We get to listen to Barry Manilow and watch a dance put together by Carrie Ann and Bruno while we wait on the edges of our seats to find out.

And also ... to answer a question from last week, you can watch the show online. Just go to

abc.com

and click on “full episodes.” You may have to install a media player to view the shows online, but they are there. I hope that helps!

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