Aaaack! It’s the last step before the semi-finals! Tom is talking about Armageddon and falling stars and I’m going to start hyperventilating from the excitement and drama and there is SO MUCH TO LOSE! Okay, maybe they’re playing it up a bit. But they really need to stop dragging this out to two hours, as even with the celebrities dancing twice there’s still a lot of dead time during the show. Brooke can only ask so many pointless questions no one wants to answer, you know?
 
Full recap of Monday's (May 9) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...
 
Oh, oh no. Please never put Ralph Macchio in a turtleneck while wearing eyeliner again. He looks like he recently escaped a commingled “Star Trek”/Flock of Seagulls convention.  And Kirstie Alley really does look better every week – unless she gets stuck in a red lace bodystocking. Not cute, costume designers, not cute.
 
 
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas
I did really like that paso doble last week, even if the judges didn’t. Mark was mad, but Chelsea was happy. But then she was frustrated with Mark. She doesn’t want to be seen as cocky! She isn’t owed perfect scores! She’s going to do an emotionally connected waltz. Mark wants to be the frame while letting her be the art. Okay, okay, let’s dance already.
 
Interesting! In a few spots her feet seem a little flat, but really, the girl floats. Chelsea clearly digs the dance (or is a stupendous actress). In short, beautiful. Tom said so. But seriously, I agree, it was elegant and graceful and very, very easy to watch.
 
Len has an observation. He thinks they put too much emphasis on the story and not the dance. Boo! But he thought it was musical, lyrical and she had good posture. Look, a Jonas brother! Bruno thinks Chelsea danced like a precious jewel. Fabulous, he says! Carrie Ann says she was mature and sophisticated and she earned perfection.
 
Brooke asks them about communication. Mark wants Chelsea to shine and be beautiful! He’s proud of her! There’s hugging. It’s all a big, warm fuzzy.
 
Carrie Ann: 10 Len: 9 Bruno: 10. Holy crap, 29 out of 30! Awesome! Chelsea is over the moon. I think she deserves this score, because it really was a strong, graceful dance.
 
Oh yay, the judges weigh in on the instant dance. This happened last season, but in case you missed it the dancers don’t know what their song is until minutes before they hit the floor. I like this challenge, but I’d like to see it instead of hear about it. They have to trust their instincts, they have to have fun, they can’t lose their timing, blah blah blah. Just dance already!
 
But no dancing. First, Chelsea and Mark must pick a song: “Get Busy” by Sean Paul. Time to rehearse! Which we won’t see! Because it’s time for commercials!
 
 
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson
Kym is making Hines propose to her in the dance. Hines is going to analyze Ralph’s foxtrot to apply his secrets to his own foxtrot. Basically, he needs to smile like a big goofball, or at least that’s the message Hines takes from Ralph. I wonder how Ralph feels about this.
 
I don’t think Kym played to Hines’ strengths in this dance. Besides the fumbling with the stupid ring (um, maybe that wasn’t necessary), I can see him thinking. Halfway through the dance, though, he loosens up and starts getting into it. Throughout, I will give him credit for good posture and not-terrible footwork.
 
Bruno thought it was beaming with happiness. Bruno, you’re easily amused. Carrie Ann thought Gene Kelly. She liked the cheesy moment. Len thought Hines’ personality radiated. Okay, the judges loved it. Oh, but Len thought the feet weren’t all that. But he loved the cheese.
 
Brooke tries to squeeze some gossip out of them so “Life & Style” will write about them. Give it up, Brooke.
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 10 for 28 out of 30. A little more love than I think it warranted, but it was alright.
 
They pick their instant dance: “Chantilly Lace” by Jerry Lee Lewis. Hines doesn’t know the song. He probably does, but doesn’t know he knows it.
 
Before we can continue, we have to watch Chelsea and Mark practice. No, not even that, because Brooke has to annoy them with questions. Brooke, isn’t there something else for you to do? Please?
 
 
Romeo & Chelsie Hightower
Romeo is at the bottom of the leader board. Chelsie wants Romeo to tango with intensity.
 
And she gets the intensity… sort of. There’s a funble with the hands followed by a footwork fumble. His feet seem flat and I really don’t know what’s going on with Romeo from the waist down. He’s walking through the dance. But his posture is good and he’s connected to Chelsie. It’s okay, but it’s not great.
 
Carrie Ann says it was amazing and thought he had intensity. One of his best routines ever. Seriously? Len said he upped his game. Bruno thought he danced like a real man.
 
Brooke asks dumb questions. Romeo is grateful to be there and tried really hard. Chelsie wanted to give it her best. There may have been more to this, but I dozed off.
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9 for a total of 27 out of 30.
 
Instant dance: “Tequila” by Xavier Cugat. Oh, great. All I can think of is PeeWee Herman.
 
 
Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff
Ralph’s comeback might be short-lived. He’s doing a Viennesse waltz on a bad hamstring. Karina wants to call the doctor. He gets an MRI. That SAG insurance must be pretty decent! Good news! He has a cyst behind the knee and has no ligament damage. So, he rehearses and falls to the floor squealing. Okay, not squealing, but making a bad noise. That doctor he saw just lost business.  
 
This isn’t bad, except Ralph looks pretty grim. You can tell there hasn’t been a lot of practice, as some of the moves are off and there are missed connections here and there, but all things considered, it’s amazing it looks as good as it does.
 
Len said it was good, given the limited practice time. Bruno thought they were fascinating and mesmerizing. He said it was astonishing given the injury. Carrie Ann said he was inspiring, but she can’t give him mondo points.
 
Brooke asks Ralph about the amount of pain he’s in. In short, a lot.
 
Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 9 for a total of 25 out of 30. He needs viewer votes to stay in this. I like Ralph, but I’m not sure if he can make it to the finals on that knee.  
 
Instant dance: “Stuck in the Middle” by Stealers Wheel. Ralph tries to make a Stealers joke, which I’m guessing would lead to Hines, but Brooke talks over him. Come on, Brooke! Take a save when you can get it!
 
Another visit with our instant dancers. Brooke has to interrupt Himes and Kym. They’re going to wing it! Leave ‘em alone, Brooke.
 
 
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkosvskiy
It’s the Argentine tango. Maks wants Kirstie to move her ass. And by her ass, he means her feet. Kirstie falls on her ass, by which I mean her ass. And then falls again. She admits she isn’t eating enough. I just heard Kirstie’s endorsement deal go poof. Maks wants to put a lid on her dieting. She’s eating 1,400 calories a day. Poof, poof!
 
Some really nice moves here. She’s surprisingly sinewy and her framing is very polished. Footwork is dead on, per usual. And Maks carries her down the stairs. Pretty good for someone who’s passing out in rehearsal from hypoglycemic meltdown!
 
Bruno says her footwork was brilliant. Agreed. Carrie Ann loved that the passion and thought chemistry was real. Len thought she created a mood and it was hot.
 
Tom plugs tomorrow’s two hour endless retread. It’s the best performances from the series for the first hour! And then lots of other stuff, followed by five minutes pertaining to the actual elimination!
 
Kirstie says she wasn’t intentionally not eating! Kirstie, it’s too late now. Somewhere, someone is flushing your organic whatever supplements down the john. Sorry.
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 10 for 28 out of 30. Their first ten, whoot!
 
Instant dance: “Cobrastyle” by Teddybears featuring Mad Cobra. Kirstie looks confused and frightened. It’s okay, Kirstie, Maks will help you.
 
Oh goody, let’s look at Chelsea and Mark practice for the instant dance before they know the song. She’s scared to death! Kyle Massey comes by to cheer her up. He wears a top hat. What is it, Lincoln’s birthday? I love him, but really, this is no John Travolta visit.  
 
Wait, we can’t watch Chelsea and Mark dance, because it’s time to bother Romeo and Chelsie! They are practicing, Brooke, stop it.
 
 
Chelsea Kane & Mark Ballas
They’ll be doing an instant salsa, which sounds like something you’d find in the packaged food section. What the hell happened with the music? Anyway, Chelsea and Mark recover quickly but there’s still something a little off – maybe that missed cue threw them off more than we realized. Still, it’s a cute dance and Chelsea works it.
 
Len thought the salsa was hot. Bruno thought they put so many steps in an instant dance that they set the bar high. Carrie Ann didn’t feel a connection to the music.
 
Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 9 Bruno: 9 for a total of 26 out of 30.
 
Brooke bothers Ralph and Karina. They’re working, Brooke! Everyone looks breathless and slightly annoyed with Brooke, who’s only doing what she’s been ordered to do, but yeah, I’d be annoyed with her, too.
 
 
Hines Ward & Kym Johnson
Hines rubs his little bald head and says he’s nervous about the instant dance. Kym is nervous because she’s never done an instant dance before. It’s do or die! They’re nervous, dammit! The sameness of these little behind the scenes moments is getting old. Everyone’s worried, everyone’s exhausted, everyone’s working very hard. We get it. Let’s show some dancing!
 
Okay, whoever’s singing deserves a good, hard punch in the face. That cute little pause? Totally threw off the beginning of the routine. And I don’t care if that’s how Jerry Lee Lewis does it, it’s not with the rhythm of the music and there’s a live orchestra for a reason – just sing on the beat, you jerk! Oh my God, the singer CONTINUES to blow. Seriously, just sing the damn song and stop being cute. Hines seems to be having a great time and mostly recovers, but any missed connections are not his fault.
 
Bruno thinks Hines is Mr. Happy Feet, in that he was flat-footed like a penguin. Because he was trying not to fall over thanks to the lousy singing. But Bruno still thought it was brilliant. Carrie Ann thought it was fantastic and felt he relaxed into the moment. Len thought he did a fantastic job.
 
Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 8 for a total of 26 out of 30. I almost think the guy deserves a do-over, but that’s still a very decent score.
 
Brooke interrupts Maks and Kirstie’s instant salsa. They have almost nothing to say, but Kirstie seems relieved to get a break. At least someone doesn’t want to smack Brooke.
 
 
Romeo & Chelsie Hightower
Chelsie takes Romeo to a real salsa club. He asks a girl to dance and she looks honestly freaked out by the cameras. Okay, “DWTS,” let’s not scare innocent bystanders.
 
I’m not loving this. The upper body shimmy isn’t Romeo’s thing. He seems to be fighting the onset of a slow groove here and there. I don’t feel a connection to the music and I think he’s dancing to whatever is playing on his internal MP3 player.
 
Carrie Ann said it was very casual but something was off. Len thinks they got it right because it’s a club dance and it felt like a club dance. Yes, there were screw ups and his feet were heavy, but he loved it. Bruno thought it wasn’t fluid enough.
 
Romeo is celebrating! Because his movie came out! Plug, plug, plug! I wonder if Romeo wants to get voted off at this point, as he’s already promoted the crap out of his movie and he’s tired of wearing heels on national television.
 
Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 9 Bruno: 8 for a total of 25 out of 30.
 
 
Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff
Ralph is freaking out. Karina is freaking out. It’s instant cha cha cha and he can’t really practice. I will say, Ralph’s injury is a pretty good reason to freak out.
 
They fell off the beat at the very end and it looked sluggish, which is undoubtedly due to the lack of practice. Cute choreography referencing the injury, but that doesn’t save it. I give Ralph credit for sucking it up and doing his best, though.
 
Len admires Ralph’s dedication. But it wasn’t great. Bruno says there was no impaction. What is it, a wisdom tooth? Carrie Ann said there was no hip action. But she admires him.
 
Brooke points out the respectful standing O from the judges. Ralph loves everyone. He doesn’t want to go home. He’s going to heal in a few days, people!
 
Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7 for 21 out of 30. Ouch.
 
 
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkosvskiy
Maks tells her she has the biggest hips in the show, so she should showcase it. Oh, that’s not nice, Maks. Maks rips off his microphone and throws it in frustration. He’s fiery and angry and Kirstie giggles because he’s still pretty hot, even when he’s all mean and glower-y.
 
This isn’t terrible, but Kirstie seems a little tentative. When she’s connected to Maks, she’s much more comfortable. If she’s really new to the song, which is hard to believe as it’s been everywhere but inside her breakfast cereal for ages, I’m not surprised she’s a little unsure of herself when she’s separated from Maks. And whoops, she’s still moving when the music ends. It’s only okay, but she does bring some sexy to it.
 
Bruno thinks she’s a vixen and thought it was a smooth, slow salsa, but she lost synch. And he swears but good luck figuring out what he said. Those censors and their button! Carrie Ann thought they were totally in synch when they were together. She thinks there’s a dangerous amount of chemistry. Len thought it was rhythmic and thought her hips were working. He also calls it oily. This is a compliment, I swear.
 
Chit-chat with Brooke. Kirstie says it was a perfect night for her. Maks is proud of her. I’m glad Maks finally found a partner who doesn’t seem to be fazed by his crankiness.
 
Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 9 Bruno: 8 for a score of 25 out of 30.
 
Chelsea and Mark are at the top, while Ralph and Karina languish at the bottom. Ralph could end up going home, but I’m not sure how I feel about that. Yes, he has an injury, but should that save him? I’d like to see more from him, but keeping him around on the chance he recovers completely is a risk. But if Karina can choreography for crutches or a scooter, this could be fascinating!
 
Tomorrow, we can look forward to seeing lots of stuff we’ve seen before! Yay?
 
Do you think Ralph deserves to stick around? Are you getting tired of Romeo’s self-plugging? And what do you think about Kirstie’s lightheadedness?