Tom reminds us that Maurice went home last week, and now the stars will have to perform twice tonight if they want a shot at making it to the finals. And we'll see it all LIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!
Samantha's hair looks much better this week. I know you were wondering. There are four competitors left, and only three get to go to the finals. There are some questionable fashion choices tonight, but I'll save my commentary until we get to the individual dances. Julianne is back, though! Tom reminds us that we started the season nine weeks ago, and this may be the most competitive final four we've ever had. I might agree with that. Not the most competitive final two, and not the best dancers ever, but possibly the most equal in terms of talent and possibility of winning. Brooke's obviously the most talented dancer left, but when you factor in fanbase, the others have got to be nearly her equal. Samantha explains that each couple will do the two dances tonight, and Tom adds that each couple got a visit from Len Goodman to get some final dancing tips. Tom can't resist making a crack about Len's age.
Brooke and Derek are up first. Last week, she got really high scores and praise for her technical expertise. Derek says that this week, they are dancing the jive and the salsa. Derek puts a lot of pressure on himself to come up with great choreography, and doesn't want to waste rehearsal time coming up with the moves. Meanwhile, Brooke wants to come up with ways to connect more to the audience. She reminds Derek that he and Julianne got everyone fired up with their routine last week, so now she needs Derek to teach her how to do that. He gives pointers on making eye contact with various people in the audience but laughs and has to remind Brooke not to scare them.
Their jive begins and it looks a little herky jerky. Not in the way the jive usually does, with kicks and fast footwork and whatnot -- it looks disjointed, and the moves don't flow into each other. They have a blatant lift in the middle, where Derek picks Brooke up and spins her around, so I guess the lift restriction is gone for the semifinals? Brooke is doing better with acting the part and facial expressions, but I still don't see her looking at the audience much. She seems to be glued to Derek, and maybe that's because she's unsure of the moves. I say this because, near the end, something goes horribly wrong -- there was clearly supposed to be a lift or something and it gets screwed up. Derek tries to cover, but it affects the whole rest of the dance as Brooke gets kind of a panicked look on her face and even their ending, where they collapse in front of the judges' table, had poor timing. Overall, this was probably their worst routine, and this is not the week to have your worst routine.