Last week: Sugar Ray Leonard was punnily knocked out of the competition. This week's dances will "pledge allegiance to the mirror ball" (did I really just hear that?) with American-themed numbers, and it's anyone's guess who will shoot to the top in this schlockfest. As the eight remaining stars -- and stripes, har hars Tom -- parade down the red and blue stairs, the costumes are predictably spangled, striped, cowboy- and military-themed... and gay dance club? Thanks, Maks! You always keep it interesting. I'm sure there's a patriotic pun for Kirstie Alley falling on her ass somewhere in there. Brooke tells us tonight is also the occasion of the 1,000th competitive dance. Please let it be, Kirstie, please let it be Kirstie!
Without further ado, the competition kicks off with Ralph and Karina's cowboy chic samba. I never thought I'd write those three words in a sentence together. Perhaps they're going for gaucho couture? But first, last week, they wowed the judges with their waltz, earning a solid 25 points to land in third place. Ralph says the lack of a clear frontrunner makes him that much more focused, which he'll have to be doing a samba to "Sweet Home Alabama." Hopefully there will be a My Cousin Vinny shout-out. I'm sure Karina's a huge Joe Pesci fan. Ralph's biggest challenge is mastering the dreaded hip action, so Karina brings in a hula hoop for practice. Ralph hopes he can stay on top this week even though he's better at ballroom.
And now for the song that haunted this Birmingham native at every junior high dance. Ralph starts out pretty stiff, definitely not professional looking, but he gets the swing of things by the middle of the dance, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Bonus points for not knocking off his hat! At the end, he even does a double pirouette into a leap turn and lands on his knees. I just love me some Daniel Larusso. Len starts the judging, saying that some weeks Ralph is a contender, some weeks he's a pretender. This week was somewhere in between, but Ralph will be plagued by inconsistency and lack of natural rhythm. Boos from the crowd. Bruno thought the American elements like the line dance and two step were good, but the samba parts didn't set a "fire down below." Bruno thinks the element required in Latin dance is sex, then screams, "Give me sex, man!" Carrie Ann thought this crazy melting pot of a dance was appropriately American and calls it Ralph's most vivacious performance yet. On cue, he swivels his hips proudly. They head over for the scores. Carrie Ann awards them an 8, Len gives a 7, and Bruno scores them a 7 for a grand total of 22. Ralph admits that Latin dances are a challenge for him but promises to continue working and learning and maybe taking Bruno to dinner. Tom tells us that "Bruno doesn't just want dinner" as he throws to commercial.