It’s American week! Because… why? Isn’t every week American week, as the show takes place here? Unfortunately, this random theme means our celebrities will be forced to dance to songs that were never, ever meant to be danced to. Like “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Yes, you can stomp out a good parade march to it, but ballroom dance to it? Egads. And look! Our celebs are dressed like they’ve been sucked through a vent at an American flag factory! I’m all for patriotism and the good old American way, don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t see this working out very well.
 
[Full recap of Monday's (April 18) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]
 
 
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff
 
They’re dancing the samba to “Sweet Home Alabama.” Let’s think about this for a moment. Lynyrd Skynyrd as a samba. Yes, “Sweet Home Alabama” is a classic of classic rock, but I’m not even sure you’re legally allowed to dance to that song without consuming a six-pack in the back of a pick-up truck first. Oh, Karate Kid, I feel for you. Karina informs Ralph he must work on his hips, as this will be a sexy dance. Let me tell you, there’s just no way that this will be a sexy dance.  
 
Ralph looks just as uncomfortable as you’d suspect. He’s not a country boy and he’s not a sexy samba dancer, so there you go. But he does give it a good old college try, and thankfully Karina works in some line dancing steps (probably the only way you’re really supposed to dance to this song). But then, oh no, spatula hands!
 
Len isn’t saying it was terrible, but he didn’t see hips or rhythm. Bruno can’t disagree, as it lacked fire down below. Which he demonstrates by grinding his hips. Thanks, Bruno. But Carrie Ann thought it was vivacious! And entertaining! Was Carrie Ann watching the same dance?
 
Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 7 Bruno: 7 for a total of 22 out of 30. Karina suggests Ralph take Bruno out to dinner. Tom points out that Bruno doesn’t just want dinner. Okay, okay, we get it, guys.
 
 
Chris Jericho & Cheryl Burke
 
Chris is determined to get an 8 from Len. Chris then tries to imitate Len’s accent, though Cheryl correctly identifies it as more Ozzy Osbourne than Len. They’ll be dancing the Viennese waltz to “America the Beautiful.” Egads. “America the Beautiful?” Next thing you know we’ll be seeing a foxtrot to the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
This is fine, I guess, but I’m mostly impressed that they’re able to do anything at all to “America the Beautiful.” Chris does have nice lines and is surprisingly light on his feet, but I don’t feel like this dance really gives him much of an opportunity to show off any other skills he might have.
 
Bruno declares it elegant and delicate (which is good). Carrie Ann thinks his lines are amazing. Len thanks Cheryl for showing off her rocky mountain majesties (I think he means purple), then declares it flat-footed. He also tells Chris he’ll get an 8 when he deserves an 8. Yeah, he’ll get an 8. I wish Len would leave all the dirty talk to Bruno, by the way.
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9 for a total of 26 out of 30
 
 
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin
 
They’re dancing a quickstep to Elvis’ “Viva Las Vegas.” Yes, this is a patriotic song. If you like gambling and strippers. Petra didn’t know who Elvis was growing up in the Czech Republic, but she knows who he is now even though she can’t imitate him to save her life. Dmitry declares her too bouncy for the quickstep. Of course she is.
 
Petra is so graceful I’m able to overlook a few missteps here and there, but I doubt the judges are willing to do the same. I just hope Len won’t make any more boob jokes.
 
Carrie Ann feels like she took a step back both because she stumbled and because she and Dmitry fell out of step. Len thought she coped well with the speed of the music but thought her head got a bit wanky. At least I think that’s what he said. Bruno thought she was a golden goddess. Oh, Bruno. Is this man even capable of giving comments while remaining seated?
 
Petra is sad that she didn’t do as well as she hoped, because the song was a thank you to America for being so nice to her. Aw, shucks.
 
Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 8 for a total of 22 out of 30.
 
 
Romeo & Chelsie Hightower
 
Romeo would like to make it clear he isn’t just in the game to outlast and outscore his father, which is a good thing, since a blindfolded, one-legged monkey could probably do that. Master P got 8 on the paso doble, while Romeo got a 23. Yeah, we get it, Master P sucked eggs. Anyway, Romeo wants to add swagger to the foxtrot. Chelsie tells him it has to be ‘60s swagger, as he’ll be dancing to “New York, New York.” So, less gangsta, more Rat Pack.
 
Romeo does have some swagger in this, and it’s a surprisingly good thing. His footwork looks clean and his posture is pretty good. Please tell me this is just a glitch on my computer screen or a weird camera angle, but was Romeo sticking out his tongue?
 
Len thought he was on the right road. Bruno thought it had swagger and was full of flavor. Carrie Ann thought it was cool and sophisticated.
 
Brooke asks Romeo if he thinks the judges are too hard on him. Now, come on, how is he supposed to answer that? He says the judges are hard, but that’s what he likes about them. Then he dedicates his dance to someone who’s in the hospital for cancer treatment. If I were completely cynical, I’d think Romeo was trying to convince viewers to vote for him because he’s such a great guy, but I’m just going to assume he just wants to give a shout out to a fan.   
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9 for a total of 26 out of 30. Romeo says God works in mysterious ways, and he’s dancing for America. Really, Romeo? God works in mysterious ways? By giving you a 26 out of 30? I’m kind of hoping that God is busy working on more important stuff, honestly.  
 
 
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson
 
They’ll need to rumba to “Proud to be an American.” Or, as Hines calls it, the ramba. Whatever you call it, though, it shouldn’t be danced to “Proud to be an American.” That song’s best at selling cars or inspiring people at Fourth of July celebrations, not getting them to wiggle their hips in a rumba. Bad, “Dancing with the Stars,” bad!
 
Although I’m having a hard time getting past how AWFUL the music/dance pairings are for this week, Hines looks very smooth and relaxed. Which is impressive, given that he’s trying to make this number sexy and “Proud to be an American” is about as sexy as a panty girdle and a warm glass of milk.
 
Bruno thought it had ease and musicality. Carrie Ann thought he made it look easy and felt he has the best hip action she’s seen in a long time. Len felt it was natural and was Hines’ best dance.
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9 for a total of 27 out of 30. Highest score of the night! Go figure. I will say Hines is growing on me, but I wasn’t as wowed by this as the judges were.
 
 
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkosvskiy
 
Kirstie wants to be the frontrunner. Maks tells her she’s his frontrunner. Has anyone else noticed that Maks seems to be having the most fun with Kirstie of any of his celebrity partners? He hasn’t made her cry by yelling at her once this season!
 
Kirstie recruits a dance doctor. And it is… John Travolta! He, of course, gives silly advice about wearing sneakers and how Maks and Kirstie need to get it on to dispel the romantic tension, but I was hoping to see him bust a “Saturday Night Fever” move. Oh well.
 
Kirstie and Maks foxtrot to “American Woman.” Maks wears nothing more than a pair of leather pants and some love beads. Oh, and a fake flag tattoo. Maks looks good. Kirstie, however, has been stuck in some low-waisted flamenco pants. This is not kind, costume designers. But hey, no one’s looking at Kirstie in this dance, honestly.
 
Carrie Ann thought it was a little borderline crazy, but it was magical. Len thought it had attitude but the overall feel of it wasn’t his cup of tea. Why, Len, because you can’t make a dirty old man joke? Bruno loved it and wants to hire Maks as his Russian gigolo.
 
Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 7 Bruno: 8 for 23 out of 30.
 
 
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel
 
Kendra felt attacked when Carrie Ann criticized her lack of elegance last week. She isn’t afraid of BLEEPING elegance! Wow, I can tell, Kendra. You’re all class and elegance. I’m assuming you’ll be at the royal wedding, giving the happy couple a BLEEPING toaster oven or some other delightful gift. Anyway, Kendra and Louis will be performing a foxtrot to “Yankee Doodle.” And they will be performing the landmark 1,000th competitive dance on the show. Which gives the producers a reason to shoot off a confetti cannon. Yay.
 
Really, I’d rather watch James Cagney do a soft shoe in blackface than watch this, which doesn’t look like much of a foxtrot in any case. Kendra seems to enjoy it, though, because she can stomp around and, on occasion, shake her butt. In an elegant way, of course.  
 
Len declares it much better than last week. Bruno thought it was as sweet as apple pie but wants her to stop thinking so much. Carrie Ann thought she seemed confident.
 
Kendra blames her anger toward Carrie Ann on her period. Oh, you elegant, classy Kendra!
 
Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 7 Bruno: 7 for a total of 22 out of 30.
 
 
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
 
They’ll be dancing a samba to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. Chelsea loves this song! And Miley Cyrus! And America!
 
Why couldn’t this have been the 1000th dance? This is so fun to watch and Chelsea has really nailed her steps. I’m thinking Chelsea is definitely going to make the final three if she keeps this up.  
 
Bruno says she has all the positivity of America and the sizzle of Brazil. Carrie Ann thought it was fantastic. Len says yum, yum what a bum. Ew, Len, thanks for making it creepy all of a sudden. But he thought it was real good fun.
 
Brooke asks them if being at the top of the leader board has played a mind game on them. Um, no. Brooke needs to just stand quietly in a corner, I think.
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9 for a total of 26 out of 30. I liked this dance so much more than Hines’, but maybe Hines got points for not pulling his face off dancing to “Proud to be an American.” Honestly, I think some of the couples should get do-overs so they can perform to music that isn’t likely to be played before or during a baseball game.

So, Hines is at the top and Ralph, Petra and Kendra are tied for the bottom. The leader board gets switched up yet again, and I have to say this might be one of the best seasons for unpredictability. With no real ringers emerging, it’s anyone’s game. Okay, not anyone’s, but there are at least a few contenders for the mirror ball.
 
Who do you think is going home? Was “American Week” the worst idea in “DWTS” history? And do you think Kendra is bleeping elegant?