This is the week where shit gets real because the couples only have a week to prepare their routine, as they will for the rest of the season. Previously, they had a few weeks to learn two routines, but now the pressure is on and we'll see who can actually dance and who just benefited from the extra rehearsal time. So that's exciting. What I don't love is the "personal story" week, because it's always a story about someone who died or some sort of triumph or whatever and it just feels manipulative. Can't they just dance?
Tom and Brooke welcome us and the couples walk down the stairs. Every season, I wait for someone to take a huge spill on those stairs, and it never happens. There have been brief stumbles, but I want someone to go ass over teakettle. Not to get hurt, but just for the LOLs.
Jack Wagner and Anna are up first. In rehearsals, Jack says that his most memorable year was last year, 2011, because some random woman showed up backstage at one of his concerts and revealed that she was his daughter. What? Are we going to find out why he didn't know he had a daughter? Or did he know but not know where she was? Who is the mother? There is so much information missing from this story. Instead, it's just like "random young woman shows up, tells me she's my daughter, so now she's part of my family." Is she a grifter? Is Angelica Houston involved? Anyway, as a result, Jack wants to dance to one of his own songs (ugh) from last year (ugh twice).
They are doing the samba, and Jack starts out standing on the judges' desk with a guitar. Yuck. Anyway, he has good hip action but he is still overdancing in sections, and he seems too much up in his head. And he's also not connecting the moves together, and he's got bad posture. This is a mediocre routine. It's not terrible but it's not great, and I fear it might be the best that he can do.
Judges? Len liked the rhythm in his hips although his posture wasn't great. All in all, he thinks it was Jack's best dance so far. Bruno thought Jack's timing was much better, although he has to be careful with the placement. Carrie Ann thinks his moves are clean and neat, and she wants to see more. Clean and neat? I thought it was kind of sloppy, but what do I know? Scores: Carrie Ann 8, Len 8 and Bruno 8. Overscored by about three points total.
Maria and Derek are up next. Maria says that her most memorable year was 1988, when she was 10. Her parents were immigrants who worked as janitors in nightclubs, and she admires how hard her parents worked. When she went to work with her parents (because they couldn't afford a sitter), she would always play "Material Girl" on the jukebox, so that's what they're dancing to. Except it's a rumba (really?) and she's having trouble getting into the sexy role.