Dancing With The Stars
Season 11 Performance 8

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Instant Dance: Just Add Music
a full split at 50 that I could barely do at 14. She must do a lot of yoga. Derek actually seems a little tentative at points, and their ending seems a little rushed. It's good; the technique is great, but I could see the seams more on this one than on Lacey's routine. Bruno thought it was superb and flawless. Carrie Ann noted how well their routine fit to the music. Len thought the variations were what made the dance: fast and slow, soft and hard, and suchlike. And the routine was great for that. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 10, and Bruno 10. Wow. I did not think that was a perfect routine. Derek even seems shocked.

Kurt and Anna are up next, and they have the cha cha cha. Anna's strategy is to choreograph everything to counts instead of to lyrics, and that's not how Kurt works. He feels like he's floating in space and untethered. So he busts out the surefire vote-getter, his cute kids. And they are CUTE.

Okay, so the dance starts, and I think this is the best I've seen Kurt. He's relaxed, his technique is pretty good, especially for him, and he's performing the hell out of it. His facial expressions are cracking me up and he hits a couple of poses that make him look like a real dancer. I don't think it was quite as good as the previous two dances, but like them, it was better than I was expecting. Carrie Ann is impressed with Kurt's musicality and charisma. Len thinks Kurt focused more without knowing the music. Bruno loved that Kurt let it loose and went for it, and while the foot placement wasn't perfect, the performance was good. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8, and Bruno 8. Hmm. I thought they deserved a few 9s, and Kurt admits that he's a little disappointed. So is the crowd.

Mark and Bristol are worried about their samba, because Bristol always listens to the words of the song to know the routine. Maybe that's been part of her problem all along. Bristol is really worried about getting off the beat. I think Mark should have rehearsed how she could get off beat and then get back into it, because if that's her biggest fear, then she needs to face it before having it happen live. I'll say this for Bristol, she really gets into the character at the beginning and she keeps a happy face on the whole time, even when she seems to be floundering a bit. Their ending is horrible, and there are a few points where she seems lost, but it's better than I thought it was going to be. It wasn't a trainwreck. Len thought she coped well with the time changes, but she needed a little more hip action. Bruno loved how she shook it, but he thought she got lost a bit. Mark takes credit for losing it, though. Carrie Ann didn't see the connection to the music throughout, but she thought Bristol's personality came through. A few people boo, but not many, because it's true. Scores: Carrie Ann 7, Len 8, and Bruno 8. Man, she deserved three 7s, and should be way lower than Kurt. I do not get the overscoring of Bristol and the underscoring of Kurt this season. I really don't.

Maks and Brandy have the cha cha, and their strategy is to put together a short segment and then repeat it, and add the flourishes once they know their song. And then they have an ass-shaking competition during rehearsals. So how does it all pan out? Well, the best thing they have going for them is that the "story" of their dance is two people who just decide to dance together, and it really does have the feel of two awesome dancers who happened to find one another in a club and are kind of showing off for one another. The beginning is really sharp and fits the music well (although the band murders the song, which is one of my favorite pop songs).

About halfway through, Brandy's arms get a bit out of control, and they end with a stupid "run around the floor and get the audience to clap" thing which is a cheap waste of potential dancing time. I thought it was good, but of all the routines, showed that they just thought it up moments ago the most.

Bruno calls it fabulous, Carrie Ann thought they took too long to get into the dance and thus had less content. Maks tells her to relax and not worry about it. Whoa. Don't argue with the judges. MEOW! Len loved the flair and rhythm and manages to calm everyone down. Tom has to intercede and ask what Len thinks of Carrie Ann's judgment and Len admits that he thinks she's right. I agree; I understand that you have to try to fit your pre-existing moves into the song, which can be tough, but they wasted a good eight bars at the opening and another four at the end, whereas someone like Kyle danced from start to finish, and it was a jive no less.

Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 10. And then Maks has to open his big trap and talk about how overlooked the pros are and how they don't get enough credit, and he's probably right but WAAAAAAAAAHHH! He's got a national television audience that he never would have had without this show, and it's called Dancing With the Stars, so we know where the focus is. Do your job and shut your trap. That little diatribe would have a lot more weight if it were coming on a week where he got better scores; instead it just comes off as sour grapes.

Here are the final scores:

Jennifer and Derek: 27 + 30 = 57

Brandy and Maks: 29 + 28 = 57

Kyle and Lacey: 27 + 29 = 56

Kurt and Anna: 24 + 24 = 48

Bristol and Mark: 24 + 23 = 47

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