It was fun and all, but what was the point of the Cha-Cha-Cha Challenge if both teams were given the same score? The Dancing With the Stars judges shouldn’t be allowed to do that. No more ties!
After the Season 12, Week 7 Performance Show, two couples were tied at the top of the judges’ leaderboard and two were tied at the bottom. There were only two more to share the middle. How are we supposed to know who’s dancing the best when everyone is basically getting the same reaction from the judges? What is this, American Idol?
Speaking of things that should not be allowed — no more fourth judges. The kids never behave when it’s just three of them and with four packed at the same table, Len Goodman is right — “it’s a nightmare.”
However, at the end of a night devoted to “Ballroom Greats,” Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff Quickstepped to a comeback after their fall last week, getting a two-dance score of 66 out of 80. Joining them atop the leaderboard were Hines “The Silent Assassin” Ward & Kym Johnson.
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard for the first time, with a total two-dance score of 60 out of 80. Oh, but wait, so did Romeo Miller & Chelsie Hightower after a scoring snafu with our guest judge. See what happens when we add more people to the mix?
Read on for a full recap of Week 7:
Guest judge: Donnie Burns is called “the ballroom god” and “our Tiger Woods.” So he’s a living legend and he’s basically undefeated and he’s the fourth judge this week. He started by complimenting America, saying no one does showbiz like us. Very safe thing to do this week. Someone should’ve replied that they’re pretty good at weddings across the pond.
Team Chelsea Cha-Cha-Cha — “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga — Hines Ward and Chelsea Kane were the team captains and Chelsea’s team looked sooooo much better. Edgy black pleather trumps tacky pink and bronze any day. Chelsea & Mark Ballas had Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnof and Romeo Miller & Chelsie Hightower. They were up first. Ralph had never done the Cha-Cha before and he’s the oldest in his group, so Chelsea and Romeo took Ralph aside to help him. It’s easy to see Mark’s choreography in some of the moves. Len Goodman said they did a terrific job. Bruno Tonioli said because they went full-throttle they went off a little bit. Carrie Ann Inaba (looking gorgeous!) disagreed with Bruno, saying they were all in time. Donnie Burns said they did a great job — and even though Ralph fluffed a bit of the footwork, it didn’t hurt the team formation. Scores: 8, 8, 7, 7 = 30 out of 40.
Team Hines Cha-Cha-Cha — "We R Who We R" by Kesha — Hines & Kym Johnson had Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kendra Wilkinson & Louis van Amstel. Shame on this team for not putting Maks back in black pleather. What were they thinking? They are the booty-shakers. Kirstie & Maks were struggling to keep up. Hines & Kym said whichever team loses usually has someone from that team go home. Bruno liked how they used their butts. He liked their transition between patterns. Carrie Ann said in the group part, Kirstie’s arms were a bit late but in the solo she was great. Hines had a little boo boo. Donnie said the spacing between the couples wasn’t right. He made an Osama joke and Len followed up with a boob joke. So it may be time to send them both back to the U.K. Scores: 7, 7, 8, 8 = 30 out of 40.
Masters in da house: When the pros need direction, they go to ballroom masters like former Latin World Champion Shirley Ballas (Mark Ballas’s “fearless” mama!) and Luca Baricchi, former Ballroom World Champ. So Shirley and Luca will be training the celebs this week.
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas — Paso Doble to “Ghosts N Stuff" by Deadmau5 — Mark’s mom, Shirley, came to give advice. It’s hard for Chelsea to stop smiling. Shirley wants Chelsea to grab her son’s hair with passion. Shirley gets in Chelsea’s face. She’s intense. Go Shirley! No wonder Mark is so intense. Mark’s dancing dad, Corky Ballas, is also awesome. Remember him from being Cloris Leachman and Florence Henderson’s partner? After the dance, Len said he was confused. He liked parts of it, but not others. He said it was too in-your-face but it lacked refinement. Bruno called Chelsea “Lady Lace,” “the ball breaker.” She danced with almost violent intensity. Carrie Ann said she usually loves tradition, but tonight she says “out with the old and in with the new.” Donnie said last week Mark did the best number, but this week he was a little bit confused. He got a biker chick this week and he wasn’t into it. Scores: 8, 9, 8, 9 = 34 out of 40. Total of 64 out of 80 from the two dances.
Kendra Wilkinson & Louis van Amstel — Tango to "Jealousy" by Billy Fury — Kendra was feeling insecure again. Luca Baricchi came in to help. He touched her and it got kind of … sexy. “Find the body.” Hmmm. Bruno said Kendra has never looked more elegant and ladylike but still sexy. But she still needs to get her frame right. (He grabbed Len for an example and poor Len cringed.) Carrie Ann said she was so proud of Kendra for being sophisticated, despite her little mess up. Donnie said she did a bloody good job with touch choreography even professionals would’ve found difficult. Len agreed, but he wanted her to be a bit more crisp. Len said Bruno was right (Bruno pretended to faint) about Kendra needing to work on her frame. Scores: 8, 8, 7, 8 = 31 out of 40. Total of 61 out of 80 from the two dances.
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Jive to "La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens — Maks and his brother Val have both trained with Shirley Ballas. DWTS is one big happy family. Shirley’s hot! Maks is tough. He pushed Kirstie to move her butt. She wanted a break. She beat up a plant in his name. He told her to stop talking. She started crying. They are both frustrated and under pressure. It’s about time they had a blow-out. Nice car on the set! It was a goofy, but fun routine. Carrie Ann said she brought so much entertainment to the dance, but it didn’t have enough Jive. When they were side-by-side they were out of sync. Donnie said he really liked it and he bought it. She has a talent between the steps that she filled with who she is, which is an actress (who forgot to dance). Len said it was fun and high energy, but as a Jive it was most uneventful. Bruno loved the entertainment value. Scores: 9, 7, 6, 8 = 30 out of 40. Total of 60 out of 80.
Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff — Quickstep to "Pencil Full of Lead" by Paolo Nutini — Luca helped Ralph find his confidence. Ralph only looks like a 20-year-old, but his body is really 49. The Quickstep is unrelenting on his knees. He feels like this dance is a torture chamber. Their outfits are very green and their dance waits a few bars to start, but then it goes into the audience and all over the place. Very creative! Donnie said his footwork was fabulous. “I thought you two rocked.” Len liked the energy and movement. He loved Ralph’s footwork but his upper body was loose. Bruno said it was more than a Quickstep, it was how to grab a quick one at a speakeasy. Carrie Ann said “Boo yah! You’re back!” He attacked the dance with fun, passion and joy. Scores: 10, 9, 8, 9 = 36 out of 40. Total of 66 out of 80.
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson — Tango — During rehearsals, Luca danced with Hines and seemed to make him uncomfortable but it appeared to work. Kym said Hines was dancing like a pro. The Silent Assassin wants a 10. His former teammate Jerome “The Bus” Bettis stopped by to laugh at him. They danced to a song without lyrics, which seems to help couples who Tango. Len said it was a mixture. Some of it was full of drama, like a tiger stalking his prey till it was sharp … like a pickle? But then it got too dainty in fairy mode. Bruno said he likes light and shade and liked how Hines played it. “That was a killer Tango.” Carrie Ann said Hines took command of the dance. Tonight, though, he was a little off balance. Donnie said he was taught to dance with his heart but to use his head and he thinks Hines does that. But he kept raising his shoulders like he wanted to fly. Scores: 9, 9, 8, 10 = 36 out of 40. Total of 66 out of 80.
Romeo & Chelsie Hightower — Samba to "Say Hey" by Michael Franti — Shirley helped Romeo shake it in rehearsals and he was a little too responsive to her. “Romeo you are a naughty boy.” He played a GI in the dance and Chelsie was a girl in a dance hall. Bruno said Romeo can definitely get down and shake it, but now he has to get the bounce in his leg correctly. Carrie Ann said his bounce was the wrong kind of bounce but it might send a message to the ladies out there. (What did she mean?) Donnie said he may have a party in his pants but he has an earthquake in his shoes. Len said the hottest thing about the dance was the fire on the stage. He thought they didn’t dance the dance. Scores: 7, 8, 7, 8 = 30 out of 40. Total of 60 out of 80.
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