During week three, the show focused on old school Hollywood glamour with routines featuring classic screen icons or invoking nostalgic images. I still love the new format which integrates the celebrities into the opening number and allows the eliminated couple to dance before expulsion. Unfortunately, this week, with two stars gone, the producers defaulted to giving Brooke boring filler interviews and stupid twitter analysis where she falsely commiserated with the injured stars and pretended that twitter hashtag keywords were the holy grail.
This week, the pros pushed their celebrities harder than week two's safe routines and returned to week one's quality. Normally, in previous seasons the traditional ballroom dances looked absolutely terrible, maybe because the old school music and steps bored the celebrities. But, this year, the pros provide excellent choreography for the non-Latin dances.
Leah ('King of Queens,' Saved by the Bell') & Tony - Bond Girl Routine (Ruumba)
I'm cheering for Leah primarily because of the scientology fallout. However, her dance talent in the past few weeks greatly impressed me. Unfortunately, her intense insecurity prevents her from selling the performance component. She's one of the more flexible, naturally talented dancers whose entire career surrounded playing "hot girls." But, each week she bewails her limited capability (which isn't true). Although Tony gave her a great routine with numerous splits, levels and turns, her entire face and body screamed "I'm not worthy" and "I can't do this" while doing it. Derek experienced similar problems with Jenny Garth (DWTS semi-finalist) and Jennifer Gray (DWTS winner), where most of his time surrounded emotional cheerleading. I don't understand Hollywood starlets. People pay you bags of money for your looks and fans send you tons of letters because of your face, yet, you're inexplicably insecure? Once/if Leah starts owning it, her dance's awkward spots should disappear.
Best Quote from Bruno: "I'm going straight here."
Corbin ('High School Musical') and Karina - Old school director and film actress Theme (Quick Step)
Evidently, this week's sub-theme surrounded highly talented stars fearing they lack talent. Unlike Leah, I wanted to smack Corbin for his "I don't know if I can handle this" and "I don't know if I can do ballroom" statements. Dude, if you consistently top the leader board, dance at a professional level, and spent years performing in a dance musical series, then um shut up, you can do it. As expected, his foot and leg placement were initially perfect (although they muddled as the dance progressed).
Score: 26 (8 from Len. While they deserved more 9s week 1, this week they deserved more 8s)
Elizabeth B ('Saved by the Bell') and Val - Old school stewardess and pilot theme (Fox Trot)
Val created a very pretty choreography. While Liz is a talented dancer, she needs to work on flourishes and putting more of herself into it. She appeared awkward in the beginning, until the partner steps started. Her underscored week one dance still remains her best performance to date.
Best quote from Tom (to liz for talking in twitter hashtags): "#stop"
Score: 25 (9 from Len)
Brant ('Pretty Little Liars') & Peta - 1920s Flapper theme (Quick Step)
Brant is a natural dancer. Although his feet looked lazy, he maintained excellent posture and performed an impressive cross-step despite his injured foot. His leg and perfectly pointed foot placement improved as the dance continued. He really deserves to stay longer. In fact, his natural expressions and amazing theatrical performance was so good I might actually watch 'Pretty Little Liars' for him.
Carrie Ann (to Brant - echoing my thoughts): "You are not who I thought you were."
Score: 27 (9s across the board)
Valerie ('Valerie,' 'Mary Tyle Moore Show,' 'Rhoda) and Tristan - Grace Kelly meets Freddie Mercury theme (Cha Cha)
Tristan's making Val work harder. He's clearly over his awe of her illness and television background, which also shows he feels more comfortable with her. This week Tristan provided Val with an elegant choreography that fit her capabilities and pace. Unfortunately, she clearly forgot the steps during the dance. The parts she remembered looked smooth, but the parts she forgot Tristan literally dragged her from point a to point b. Her first dance remains the best to date. I love that the judges were also honest with her.
Score: 16 (in a rare moment Bruno underscores with Len)
Bill Engvall (Comedian) and Emma - Lone Ranger theme (Pasa Doble)
Bill is a great natural dancer. His posture, arms and leg placement are great. He does a great job of getting Emma from point a to b and appears to match his partner without seeming overwhelmed by her. This week the judges acknowledged his talent without allowing his age to prejudice their scores. This time, they gave him exactly what he deserved and no less.
Amber ('Glee') and Derek - Great Gatsby theme (Charleston)
First off, who the hell did Amber's makeup? She's naturally pretty, but the lipstick and eye shadow were too dark and looked clown-ish. Second off, when will Amber start wearing make up during rehearsals? I love that she refuses to wear foundation, matte lipstick and the heavy eye makeup of other stars during rehearsals. All the same, couldn't she just put a smidge of light eyeliner on? I'm trying to figure out Derek's relationship with Amber. When working with Jennifer Gray, Jenny Garth and Nicole S, he came across as a castrated ken doll. But, with Kellie Pickler and Amber he's more like a ... man. He shows more directness and assertiveness. With Amber, he's even more hands on and jocular. With previous stars he seemed handsy during judging because they were incredibly insecure and needed the physical connection. With Amber, he gives off that 'this is my woman' vibe whenever he arm hugs her. Plus, he's naughtier in the choreography earlier on with Amber. Maybe it's because he's older, maybe it's the goatee he's sporting and maybe it's because he treats this season as a fun ride, win or lose; either way, I like this new Derek Hough and want to see more. All the same, I'm surprised that Amber didn't smack Derek when he condescendingly explained the Charleston and Charlie Chaplin during rehearsals. Derek, Amber might play a teenager on TV, but she's only a year younger than you.
Finally, on the dance itself, Amber and Derek were ROBBED!!! That was an AMAZING choreography with high speed and energy which pulled in hip hop without any awkward transitions! Although Amber's facial expressions initially appeared off, I loved her knee placement which was always ON. Week 1 they overscored Amber because they had low expectations, but this week they underscored her because they had high. I want to see them in the finals and I hope Derek continues to challenge Amber and not let her 'Glee' popularity to ease him into coasting.
Score: 24 (8s across the bord)
Jack Osbourne (Ozzie's kid) and Cheryl - 70s huggy bear style theme (Cha Cha)
This time Jack seemed really awkward and stiff. Considering he wanted the 70s theme, it's surprising. This time, his natural posture and bearing worked against him. He really needed to let go and just 'take' his partner.
Best Quote from Jack and Cheryl -Cheryl (explaining the dance): "You're playing a pimp and I'm your bitch."
Jack: "Yes you are."
Jack: OK. Now, I feel like I'm making a porno.
Christina (former singer) and Mark B - 1920s sexy flapper/joker theme (Charleston)
Wow. This time Christina really stepped up to the plate. She let go, gave into the character, and flaunted the theme's raunchiness. Her kooky head tilt, naughty facial expressions and body motions all perfectly matched Mark. I was ready to throw in the towel on her last week, but she's finally showing her natural talent (and her decades of professional dance/performance training). FINALLY! During weeks one and two, I hoped they'd eliminate Christina early. She seemed a waste of talent and space. But, now that she's finally owning ALL OF HER CAPABILITIES I can't wait to see what Mark does next.
Snooki ('Jersey Shore') and Sasha - Marilyn Monroe 'Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend' theme (Quick Step)
Snooki continues to impress me. Sasha's ability to suss out her capabilities early on shows his skill as a dance coach. The choreography we received was equal to season finale choreography like Kellie and Derek quality. The dance provided excellent footwork, amazing bounces and great facial expressions from Snooki and Sasha. It even included a simultaneous one handed cartwheel committed while both held hands. In the rehearsal, we saw hints of old Snooki's petulant personlity. Luckily, she laughed it off and rehearsal started. I'm totally and continuously surprised at how much talent she has. If she dropped reality TV star from her resume, she could make it as a pro or a dance teacher.
Best Quote from Snooki: "Is Carrie Ann going to like me after this?"
Score: 25 (9 from Carrie Ann)
Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' and Tyne - Bob Fosse meets robot style (???) [ELIMINATED]
Hilariously, Bill danced both better and worse than he did before. This time his arm placement, posture and timing were better. But, the dance featured terrible parts both in the beginning and in the end where he started to free style. I still don't know what style they were supposed to do, but Tyne did a great job trying to keep Bill in the fight. I'm sorry to see Bill go before he received a swing style. But, I'm not sad that I don't have to watch him hit on a woman half his age.
Score: 16 (Carrie Anne gave the high scoring 6)