Dancing With The Stars
Season 12 Performance 8

Episode Report Card
Kim: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Just Add Water

Last week, Romeo somehow totally botched the samba. This week, they have the tango. Romeo manages to get the aggressive nature of the character, but Chelsie claims that she's struggling with the choreography. That's about it for their rehearsals so let's get right to the dance. There is this green laser light that overtakes the dance floor throughout their routine, and it's really distracting. I feel like Chelsie couldn't get inspired for the choreography and is hoping the light hides that fact. Romeo looks good. Definitely better than last week. He's got the attitude down. His feet are not great, though, and the choreography looks far less complicated than what the other men are doing at this point.

Carrie Ann says that when Romeo is in it, he's intense, and this week he's in it, and she thinks it was one of his best routines ever. Len announces that Romeo has upped his game, and the three couples they've seen this week have been amazing. Bruno thinks that Romeo danced like a real man and looked like he was leading the tango. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 9. They look happy but were clearly hoping for at least one 10, in my opinion. So what song do they get for their Instant Dance? "Tequila" by Xavier Cugat. There was something weird going on there. Romeo and Chelsie seemed like they were being sarcastic, like "Oh, we have choices!" and then acting like they loved the song. No one loves that song. Even Paul Reubens hates that song.

Last week, Ralph was on a comeback. And then on Thursday, Ralph was having acute pain in the back of his knee. He got an MRI on Friday and was told there was no permanent damage, and that he had ruptured a cyst so he could still dance. And then on Saturday during rehearsals, Ralph fell and was in acute pain. So due to all this rigmarole, they were only able to do nine hours of rehearsal, when normally they would have forty. So can they pull off this Viennese waltz? I have to say, Ralph doesn't miss a step. He has his usual lurching, but that could either be due to knee pain or due to general awkwardness. But he gets right into character and it's a very dramatic routine.

Len thinks Ralph did great in hold and with his posture, but it lacked polish due to their shortened rehearsal time. Bruno found them fascinating and dangerous, and is amazed by what Ralph did knowing his injury. Carrie Ann thinks Ralph inspired people like he did in The Karate Kid. Carrie Ann admits that, despite that inspiration, there were a few issues due to his injury. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8, and Bruno 9. Those are pretty good scores, given what they were able to put into it, time-wise. They have "Stuck in the Middle" by Stealer's Wheel. So...Ralph is going to cut Karina's ear off while the camera pans away?

Last week, Kirstie got caught up in the acting and forgot to dance. This week, they have the Argentine tango. One of my editors, Mindy, will be really happy to see that Kirstie has her hair up for rehearsal, as we were discussing on Twitter how gross it was that Kirstie always leaves her hair down and she's all sweaty. [Editor's Note: Indeed I am, Kim! We did it! -- Mindy] As they rehearse, Kirstie keeps stumbling and Maks has to tell her that she's not eating enough. She claims to eat 1400 calories per day. With all that activity? That's nuts. No wonder she's so loopy all the time. She's starving!

The first half of their tango is really amazing. They are totally in sync, and Maks puts in a lot of dramatic lifts and hops. Kirstie keeps right up with the footwork. Something happens about halfway through where Kirstie slows down or loses focus or something and you can see Maks whispering in her ear, talking her through it. She finishes just fine, but the end didn't have the polish and the vibrancy that the beginning did. And the end also has a lot of walking around and posing, which isn't really dancing. So that was half of the best routine that Kirstie has done. What did the judges think? Bruno found it sensual and aggressive, and her footwork was brilliant. Carrie Ann thought it was realistic, and maybe her best dance of the season. Len thought they did a great job of creating an atmosphere. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 10. Oooohkay. Their song is "Cobrastyle" and neither of them knows it.

Package on how the couples prepare for the Instant Dance without knowing the song. Chelsea and Mark struggle, because Chelsea admits that she normally keys her movements to the lyrics, and not knowing the song makes that impossible. But it's all a fakey fake setup to bring back Kyle Massey, who is inexplicably wearing a top hat. So Kyle blah blah blah and Chelsea blah blah blah and whatever. They're just killing time so that the couples can rehearse.

Chelsea and Mark are up first, doing the salsa. The producers screw up and the song starts before the announcer finishes announcing them. They're actually probably better off having that happen in this dance than in a more planned routine. Chelsea definitely knows how to shake it, which helps. Mark is wearing his stupid spectator shoes and green socks with highwater pants, which so don't fit this dance. I hate him. And he's overdancing as usual. Can't he trust his partner? Ugh. I miss Derek. There, I said it. Anyway, their routine is really good in that it doesn't seem like they miss a step. It's a little too much shaking and not enough dancing, but I guess that's to be expected. Len thinks it was hot, Bruno thinks they're setting the bar high in difficulty, and Carrie Ann thought the choreography was great but there was no connection to the music. Len and Bruno could not disagree more. Weird to see those two on the same side. Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 9, and Bruno 9.

Hines and Kym have the jive. Hines says he was really looking forward to it, but he's struggling with learning the moves without knowing the music. Kym is nervous about how much Hines is struggling in rehearsals. Their dance starts and this Jerry Lee Lewis version is bullshit. Hines does struggle. He does well in sections, but then other sections kind of fall apart, and the transitions aren't good. It's not his best night. I wish he got to do the jive on a week where he could rehearse, because I think he would do really well with it. Bruno liked the energy, but his kicks and flicks weren't great. Carrie Ann thought it was amazing, because Hines was right on the beat. Len could see that Hines has worked hard this week. All three judges emphasize how the jive is one of the hardest dances and Hines kind of got screwed having to do it as the Instant Dance, and they are impressed. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 8.

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