Dancing With The Stars
Season 11 Performance 9

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Kim: B | Grade It Now!
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Begging You for Mercy (And Votes)

They have the samba first. As always, Kyle performs the hell out of it, even if his technique isn't the best. His technique actually seems a bit sloppier than usual this week, although he's absolutely committed to the routine. And his hip action is on point. He kind of looks like Rerun though.

Len tells Kyle that he has "more bounce to the ounce" and, while there were a few wobbly points, Kyle attacked it. Bruno loves Kyle's bounce too. Are they calling him fat? Carrie Ann compliments Kyle's pelvic action, and likes his blend of entertainment and technique. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 9, and Bruno 10. I guess.

We've reached the point of the competition where we get each contestant's backstory. Brandy started singing at a young age, and has always been a perfectionist. She became a popular singer as a teen, but eventually her popularity waned and it hurt her confidence. Then she was involved in a fatal car accident, and although she was eventually cleared of any fault or wrong-doing, people called her a murderer. I can vouch for that; people were doing that on the forums earlier this season. So, I feel like she should now dance to "Survivor" by Destiny's Child.

But no, she is doing an Argentine tango, and that wouldn't be appropriate. They start with some pretty intricate and kind of amazing work on the stairs, although her final exit from the stairs is a bit awkward. The middle part kind of loses me but then Brandy goes from the judges' table onto Maks's shoulders and does a complete backbend without putting her hands down. That was impressive. I don't think they'll get a perfect score for that one, because it lacked some of the intensity and character of their first routine, but it was well done.

Len loved her ease and her lines in her back, but especially praises her ability to create an atmosphere. Bruno flails all over the desk to demonstrate how well Brandy extended herself. Carrie Ann tells her that her troubles are gone now, and she was dynamic and powerful. Sometimes I feel like we lose something watching on the screen instead of in person, because I didn't feel all of that at all. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 10, and Bruno 10. Hmm. I feel like they had already decided to give them a perfect score before the routine started, just to even things up with her and Jennifer and give them a storyline.

Let's find out about Jennifer's journey. She wanted to be an actress from a young age, largely influenced by her father, Joel Grey. So Jennifer grew up and made Dirty Dancing, obviously, but right before it premiered, she and her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick got in a car accident in Ireland. The other car's passengers were killed, Matthew was injured, and Jennifer hurt her neck. I can't believe that they are showing all of these old pictures of Jennifer and they're not going to address her botched plastic surgery on her nose. Because, seriously. She has a schnozz. Not that I think it needed fixing, because she was beautiful before, but that's what ruined her career, not a neck injury. Her husband, Clark Gregg, talks about how Jennifer always had neck problems, and Jennifer says that when she wanted to do DWTS, she knew she had to get it fixed. Didn't she also find out she had cancer? I don't know if they had to cut some elements for time, but this biography has a lot of plotholes. Anyway, her friends and husband are proud, and Jennifer has realized how much she always wanted to dance. So that happened.

Now she's dancing the waltz. They do a beautiful spin at both the beginning and the end, and the dancing in between is nice. But I wanted it to be bigger and more dramatic. Maybe that's just a function of the type of dance, but it seemed too sedate and really short.

Bruno calls it a gem, and tells Jennifer that she's a great dancer. Carrie Ann goes off on some tangent about how dancing reveals our souls and tells Jennifer that she has a beautiful soul or something. And Len says he loved how simple it was. I guess that's where we differ. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 10, and Bruno 10. Look, I like Jennifer and probably my favorite routines of the season are hers. I just think she was overscored tonight.

Let's find out more about Bristol! You may have heard of her mom. Her parents think she is strong-minded. So then she got pregnant, right before her mom was tapped to be the VP candidate. And seriously, that must have been incredibly hard. I can't even imagine. Bristol talks about how she knew people were calling her a sleaze and a slut, when she had only slept with one guy in her life. And really, how many people have unprotected sex as a teen? Or use protection that fails? I know adults who have made worse choices than Bristol did. I don't fault her for that. I do have an issue with her becoming an abstinence advocate, but that's more about the message of abstinence and denying healthy sexuality than Bristol herself. I think I'm kind of talking myself into being a Bristol fan. Except that she is not the best dancer this season, and she outlasted better dancers, and that bugs me. Let's just call it a grudging respect.

Their final dance of the night is a waltz. This is the slowest waltz music ever. The music is really making this routine worse because it makes you focus on the technique, which is not great. Bristol has that blank look on her face. She is pretty graceful with her arms, at least, and there is a dramatic moment where she lunges into Mark's arms and he drags her across the floor. It's not exactly dancing, but at least it's entertaining. Overall, I found the routine quite dull, but not a trainwreck.

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