DWTS Week Seven Results Night

November 6, 2009 at 8:50 am Leave a comment

With all the ongoing rule-change experiments and random maimings that occur in the Dancing With the Stars ballroom, I do not think Tom Bergeron gets enough credit for his ability to keep us current. He and his writers (or just his ad-libbing brain, for those more immediate moments of unpredictability) have a consistent ability to explain the newly-altered landscape with concision and wit. Not just anyone could have calmly thrown it to commercial during The Great Osmond Fainting of Ought-Seven.

I know how much I struggle just to explain to you the latest thing they’ve run up the flagpole, and I don’t have to think about how to speak it charmingly. Almost miraculously after nine seasons, there have been very few serious catastrophes during the live broadcast, excepting Osmond and Cristián de la Fuente’s torn bicep muscle. I think about that more frequently as I watch another amateur guy whip an 85-pound woman into a death spiral by one arm, or yet another gymnastic leap off the stairs. The show has shown in detail that it takes care of its own (how much ambulance footage have we watched by now?); but I also have this faith that if we did witness a more serious trauma, Our Host wouldn’t be too dumbstruck to answer America™’s potential panic.

Tonight’s episode launches right into a reprise of the Team Tango, without even spending time on the usual “Judge’s Choice” fluffing by Len. They nearly always pick a group dance if one is available, and I think even Team Paso wanted to see it again.

We get only one song out of MySpace-discovered singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat. She does vulnerable-heart pop with little daubs of country and folk – it’s a charismatic combination and comes off just a smidge more genuine than her more manufactured peers.

Apparently the reason she only gets one number is that the show carves out room for “The Ballas-Hough Band”. I am sure, somewhere deep in his brain, Derek still thinks “The Hough-Ballas Band” sounds better. In their first incarnation they strummed guitars and sang sensitive teen songs about girls and the non-threatening things they want to do with them. Since the Walt Disney Synergtainment Uberbrain is not at all shy about shoving its pretty young things into crossover media, this hobby of theirs got sudden aggressive backing. But their first album charted in Billboard’s top 200 for exactly one week – at 98th. Their two singles (riveting titles: “Do It for You” and “Do You Love Me”) did not chart at all.

So the lads have apparently ditched their instrumentally-inclined un-famous friends, scrubbing their very existence from the official webpage, and re-imagined the “band” as a disco dance duo. And since, judging by their trophy collection, they are among the most popular of the pros, the producers probably didn’t need too much arm-twisting to begrudge them four minutes of show time to try being musical Supahstahs again.

They dance well; they dance very well. But the beats are generic, and their voices are so metallic and vocodored (and the lyrics so repetitive), that they fail the critical test of this version of their dream – is the experience improved by the fact that they are singing live? It clearly is not; in fact, having to hold microphones makes them worse dancers. If they wanted to tour as leaders of a dance troupe, they could do very well – people might even indulge them in a little singing. But they gave it their try, and they ought to stop calling themselves a band. Now.

But even two musical guests is not enough, as Showbiz Legend Rod Stewart makes an appearance. His recent career has focused on croony covers of American and pop standards, and the damned thing is that he actually seems to have worked on his vocal craft now that he can’t just win the ladies with his hair anymore. He performs “It’s the Same Old Song”, first recorded by The Four Tops, and featuring one of my favorite Motown bass lines. And in the opening, when he sings a verse and chorus solo over a piano, he’s shaping the words with a lot of character. But once the band and the backup singer kick in and he’s strutting around the floor, it’s just scratchy and short of breath. At 64, he is a man at war with his hips.

And on the subject of one-more-than-necessary, we get two montages, both vaguely about wanting to get to the end of the competition. The second one is more focused on the Dance-Off, but the first turns without any warning into a Fight Club homage, announcing that the first and second rule are “Don’t Talk About the Trophy”. Come on, tell me you called this show saluting that movie.

As we reduce the contenders to the week’s Bottom Three, Aaron, despite his 29/30 individual score, is among them. He has some serious ground to make up with the viewers at home.

Michael has the overall lowest score. It almost feels unfair, that after unjustly surviving so many half-attempted routines, he should be forced out after his all-around best week during his whole tenure on the show. But we have to leave this broadcast with only five couples, and he just hasn’t proven he belongs on that short a list.

And so, before we can learn whether he had to prepare a second Knockout Dance, the Dance-Off, between Aaron and Mark, begins:


Lacey is mended enough to participate, and that seems to center Mark. With all he has been through this week, he has not asked for any special sympathy or consideration. And if this is his final moment, he will get to hold his head high, because his Knockout cha-cha-cha is muscular, precise, and full of hip-wiggling spirit. It could be the most fun he’s had this entire season, and he hasn’t exactly been mopey up to this point. He did everything he could to save himself, and did it right.


Aaron looks like he thinks of the Dance-Off like one of The Jigsaw Killer’s iron-geared torture traps that tests your will to live. He insults the viewers (not the best time for that) by claiming that in a contest where they have no voting sway, he has the advantage. That’s going to cause him trouble next week, but for this week, he absolutely owns the floor. His jive has fiery pizzazz condensed to thirty seconds of maximum density, but he’s so light on his feat you could swear he’s on wires. The judges can’t even pretend suspense; their decision is unanimous. Mark set the bar as high as he was able, but Aaron cleared it.

Next Week: The five remaining contestants have no time to miss fallen comrades, as they must now learn two full individual routines.


Entry filed under: Reviews. Tags: , , , .

DWTS Week Seven Competition Night! Episode 85 : Cookies are Yummy

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