Tonight's semifinals will feature a tribute to the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson's "Bad" album, which seems like a fairly random thing to celebrate. I mean, yes, great dancer and great album, but there have been multiple tributes to him on this show over the seasons. I smell Mark Ballas in this decision. Anyway, we're opening with a routine to a medley of Jackson's songs: "Smooth Criminal" and "The Way You Make Me Feel". Is it a medley if it's only two songs? And did the troupe get bigger? Oh, Tom says that there were guest dancers in there as well.
The semifinalists are introduced and then Melissa and Tony are up first, dancing a caveman hustle. I don't have any clue what this will entail. Melissa is the only person left who didn't win her original season. Tony and Melissa work on their dance, and worry that it's just going to be stupid, like every routine on this show makes a ton of sense. I mean, remember when Mark and Bristol dressed up like gorillas. And then when they were doing camera blocking on Saturday, something happened with Tony's back and he collapsed in kind of a scary way. Yikes. Anyway, here's their caveman hustle. First a terrible CGI dinosaur comes out. I mean, I could make one on my iPad that would look more realistic. And then, I don't even know what to say about this dance. Given the assignment of caveman hustle (danced to "Walk the Dinosaur" by Was (Not Was)), I guess it was as good as it could be? But it was fucking ridiculous. They did look like cavemen? And there was some hustle moves in there? And they didn't make any mistakes? And yet, I was still looking at my TV in shock and awe and disbelief, like what is happening right now?
Maybe the judges can make sense of that mess. Len thought they captured the flavor of the caveman (Tom jokes, "Does that come up much in dance?") and he enjoyed watching it. Bruno thought some of the turns were unsteady, but it was a sexy performance. Carrie Ann thought it was the perfect way to bring two random dances, although she liked the caveman sections better. I wonder if going barefoot screwed up Melissa's turns, like her feet stuck to the floor or something. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9.5, and Bruno 9. I think Melissa and Tony are fine with those scores, given the weirdo nature of their assigned routine.
Shawn and Derek have Knight Rider Bhangara. They don't know much about either part of their assigned dance. The Bhangara is an Indian celebration dance, so Derek brings in an outside choreographer to help them out. Shawn has a lot of trouble just getting the basic moves down, because it's totally different from her gymnastics training or anything they've done in ballroom so far. Holy crap, this dance looks insanely hard. It's all bouncing down on your knees. My knees would give out in like five seconds. And the stamina! I have no idea if this was a good version of a bhangara or not, but they certainly put their all into it. Derek even looked a little awkward at times, like he didn't quite have the moves. I don't even know how to judge something like this, but it was certainly interesting to watch.