I hate to say it, but I’m almost relieved that this season of “DWTS” is about over. I still can’t believe an enjoyably silly little dance competition reality show has somehow become a flashpoint for American politics, the 2012 presidential race and a debate over why middle America hates the West Coast, but it has, sucking the fun out of what should be prime time fluff. Of course, this has also resulted in big ratings and even bigger buzz, so we might as well prepare ourselves for “DWTS: The Awkward Politico Spawn Edition.” Yay.
[Full recap of Monday's "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]
First up, the redemption dances, in which each couple is assigned a genre of dance they’ve previously sucked at.
Kyle and Lacey
Kyle is more determined than ever to nail his steps. Luckily, Len comes in to coach him, and he’s so impressed he gives Kyle a little kiss on the head. But I can hardly blame him, as Kyle looks like a little African-American Pillsbury doughboy. We should just be happy Len didn’t take a bite out of him, as I’m guessing he doesn’t taste like a crescent roll on the inside or anything.
This is a good dance, once you can look past Kyle’s eye-gougingly unattractive gold jacket, but it’s not a great one. Kyle seems a little more reserved than usual, probably because the foxtrot isn’t fun for anyone. But this is definitely a huge step up for him.
Len thought he was vastly improved, except for some flubs. Bruno thought it was slinky (ergo, good). Carrie Ann thought he was thinking too much.
Tom urges the audience to vote and not shoot their television. Sadly, I think someone actually needed to say that.
Scores: 9, 9 and 9. Solid scores for a solid performance.
Bristol and Mark
They will be doing the jive, but this time without a gorilla suit, thank God. Bristol thinks it sucks that people thinks she doesn’t deserve to stay in the competition. Really? Because you’re so talented, Bristol? Because you’re better than Brandy? Really? Bristol isn’t having a humble and shy day and seems to be buying her own press instead. Thanks, “DWTS,” you’ve created another monster. Oh, wait, Kate Gosselin was already a monster when she got to the show, never mind.
Bruno comes to coach Bristol on how to come out of her shell. She’s thrown by his big personality, because she’s just the opposite. Yes, we’ve noticed, She Who Thinks Flexing Her Tongue Is Acting.
This is actually pretty good for Bristol, but watching her next to Mark just proves she’s comparatively low energy and out of her league. She can’t seem to get her feet off the ground for some reason, but at least she has an expression this week.
Bruno thinks she had a good time, which is a kind way of saying it wasn’t great. Carrie Ann was amazed, but thought her toes weren’t pointed. Len thought she went from gorilla to thriller.
Scores: 9, 9 and 9. Really? This definitely was not as polished or entertaining as Kyle’s performance. Bristol acted as if she couldn’t be bothered to move around the dance floor, which for a jive is pretty weak.
Jennifer and Derek
They’ll be tackling the paso doble. Carrie Ann drops by to fine tune Jennifer’s moves, but really, she’s only tweaking, because Jennifer actually knows what she’s doing.
Why exactly is Jennifer dressed like an elderly Italian woman in mourning? It’s like she’s channeling Sofia on “The Golden Girls,” just without the purse and with a shoestring holding the back of her dress together. Not that it matters. This is a beautiful performance, and Jennifer, once again, nails it.
Apparently, the judges agree. Carrie Ann hugs Jennifer, Len gives her a standing ovation and Bruno yells a lot.
Scores: 10, 10 and 10. Jennifer’s so excited she starts kissing Brooke’s upper arm. Yeah, I don’t get it either, but I guess she’s happy.
On to the freestyle! Former contestants appear to explain why the freestyle is SO important. Um, because it’s one of your last dances? Really, they didn’t need to bother Apolo Ohno to explain this. I’m sure he has other things to do.
Kyle and Lacey
Kyle picked “Tootsie Roll” for his music, because it’s his favorite song. Unfortunately, he can’t do the Coffee Grind. Or any other hip-hop moves. Eh, Lacey will figure something out.
And she does! This is a fun, high energy routine, and Kyle just seems to be having so much fun, you can’t help but enjoy watching him. If Kyle won this, it wouldn’t be a surprise and it wouldn’t be undeserved, either.
Len isn’t a lover of the boogaloo dancing (oh my, isn’t that kind of a racist comment? Not intentional, I know, but egads, Len, please enter the 21st century), but he thoroughly enjoyed it. Bruno thought it was truly explosive entertainment. Carrie Ann dubs him the Fresh Prince of “DWTS.”
Kyle is so out of breath, he can’t even do the post-dance interview with Brooke. No big deal, as these interviews are less than pointless anyway.
Scores: 10, 9 and 10. I’m a little disappointed in Len, as the actual Fly Girl at the table (who knows from boogaloo music) gave him a 10, but whatever. Still, a high score.
Then, we get a first look at “Skating with the Stars,” which suggests that 1) this might be the first primetime reality show with a fatality 2) Vince Neil doesn’t look all that different from the homeless guy who picks up cans on my block and 3) Sean Young is already letting her diva hang out by wearing a big, plush scarf over her big, plush robe.
Bristol and Mark
Bristol hasn’t seen “Chicago” and doesn’t really know what it is. She feels defeated, but she’s determined to prove the haters wrong.
Which she doesn’t. Bristol looks thoroughly uncomfortable in this dance, and all that Fosse snap looks like it’s being done underwater. This is like a bad high school dance rehearsal. Why Bristol thinks she deserves to be in this competition is beyond me.
Bruno gives her credit for aiming high, but says she didn’t deliver up to the level of the song. Carrie Ann also gives her credit for dancing in a cage, but agrees with Bruno. Len thought it was fantastic. Sarah Palin must be holding Len’s small fluffy dog hostage or something.
Bristol admits to Brooke that the hardest part of the dance was bringing the sexy, as she’s not sexy.
Scores: 8, 9 and 8
Jennifer and Derek
Jennifer doesn’t want to screw up her neck, so Derek does the responsible thing, which is to spring complicated dance moves on her one at a time, sort of the way you can boil a frog to death. Nice going, Derek!
Hey, it’s a song from “Dirty Dancing.” Usually I’d say this is a cheesy play for votes, but given the current crazy direction of this finale, I encourage her to take any advantage she can. This isn’t my favorite dance of theirs, but I’ll say this much – she’s pulling off moves Bristol couldn’t even attempt. And she’s got, egads, more than thirty years on Bristol.
Carrie Ann thought it was amazing. Len thinks she’s a juggernaut. Bruno thought she was brilliant. Hmm, I smell straight tens, don’t you?
Jennifer pats Tom’s ass, and he feels like he went through airport security.
Scores: 10, 10 and 10. Two perfect scores for Jennifer! Not that that will get her the mirror ball, as Brandy has found out the hard way.
So, more dancing tomorrow, but voting begins tonight – and we can only hope even crazed Tea Party loyalists realize this is a dance competition and vote for the most deserving candidate. Isn’t that what voting’s supposed to be about anyway?
Do you think Jennifer deserved perfect tens? Do you think Kyle might take the mirror ball? And do you think Bristol deserves to be in the final?