Tom tells us that it's the last step before the semifinals. So that would be...the quarterfinals? I don't know why he can't just say that. Quarterfinals are exciting. The word finals is right in there.
So tonight, the couples will perform a routine that they had a chance to practice, and then in the second round, will have to do an "Instant Dance" that they will only have thirty minutes to rehearse. They did this last season, and the instant dances were actually better than some of the rehearsed routines.
Last week, Mark and Chelsea didn't get top scores, even though Mark was sure they were deserved. He cursed and said that the scoring was inconsistent. Really, Mark? You're just now noticing that the scoring is inconsistent? Interesting that he didn't have a problem with it when he was the benefactor of said scoring. He wasn't calling Len out saying, "We really didn't deserve that 10" in previous seasons. In rehearsals, Mark is rubbing Chelsea's shoulders in a creepy manner where he kind of has his hands around her throat. She tells him (more tactfully) that when he acts like a juicebox, it reflects poorly on her, because she's not a juicebox, and she doesn't want to be on the juicebox team. As she talks, Mark takes his hands off her. Woo, body language. He looks pissed. But then they cut and he's hugging her and apologizing and talking about how he's going to showcase his partner now and let her shine. We'll see. They have the waltz this week, and Mark wants to tell a story.
So they start out on the floor with a video projected on the floor of ocean waves coming in. Were they shipwrecked? Is she a mermaid? And then Mark brings Chelsea to life with a kiss, which is appropriate since she is a Disney product. The waltz itself is quite pretty although, as usual, I don't see a ton of waltz in there. Very little of the dance seems to be in hold; I don't know how important that is in this particular type of dance. Chelsea looks great although I don't know why she's wearing near-flat shoes. Because Mark is short? Mark does a better job than usual of not out-dancing her. So overall, better than before, but I don't know enough about the slow waltz to know how well they adhered to the requirements.
Len says he's not critiquing because sometimes Mark puts too much emphasis on the story over the dance. But he thought it was lyrical and beautiful and he liked it overall. Bruno tells Mark that he finally found the setting for Chelsea to shine, and he thought the contemporary touches were nice. Carrie Ann thinks that Chelsea was mature and sophisticated and earned top scores. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 9, and Bruno 10. See, Mark? When you don't try to be a rebel, you can let Chelsea dance like we all knew she could.