So how is the routine? Well, they get a great song, "Mercy" by Duffy. That helps a lot. The solo at the beginning features Jennifer dancing around the judges at their table, and I kind of hate that, because it's not really dancing. A solo is a person standing out on the dance floor, alone, doing choreographed movements. This felt improvised and didn't require a whole lot of rhythm. It felt like they were hiding something, perhaps her injuries? When she finally does start dancing with Derek, it's good, but I expected something flashier from them. It's kind of pedestrian. Great hip action, quick feet, and beautiful arms, but the solo in the middle, again, is just them doing pelvic thrusts towards the judges' table. I don't know. It didn't grab me.
Bruno calls it luminous, vibrant, and sexy, and compliments Jennifer's technique as well. Carrie Ann says she's been waiting for this all season, except she wasn't disappointed. Len loved the technique and the performance, and thought it was fun and entertaining. No one is going to mention that her solo was a copout? Just me? Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 10, and Bruno 10. So I guess it was just me.
When introducing Bristol, Tom emphasizes that she's only in the competition still because of the voting public. In rehearsals, Bristol and Mark talk about how people think she's only staying in it due to her mom and the Tea Party, but they think it's because she's relatable. She's a non-performer who never danced before and that's what the show is about. Eh. I don't know about that. I'm sure there are some people who vote for her for that reason, some who vote because of who her mom is, some who vote as a gag, and who knows why else? I don't think you can characterize people's voting fanbases that way. It takes a lot of different types of people voting for you to keep you on the show. And I kind of hope that the people who WERE voting for her because of her mother stop now, since she disavowed them and all. Also, Bristol mentions how she's real, not like those fake Hollywood types. She doesn't mention names, but you know she's talking about Brandy and Jennifer, at least. ME-OW! Anyway, Bristol is really worried about learning two routines this week, and from the looks of things, she's right to be worried.
Their paso doble is first. Here's the thing: every nervous celebrity has Kate Gosselin to thank. No paso doble could be worse than her abortion of a routine last season. And you know what? It's actually...good. Like not good for Bristol, but good. Her solo is about a thousand percent better than I expected. It helps that she has a dramatic cape to swirl around, but she does it well, and gracefully. And she doesn't seem to forget any steps, which is kind of damning with faint praise, but there you have it. She keeps a level of intensity throughout. There's one spot where Mark is dancing and she has to pick up her cape and she kind of fumbles, but other than that, it's not bad. Way better than I was expecting, anyway.