Our stars are getting rad for '80s week. That gag-o-licious statement is not of my own creation, mind you, but how ABC is plugging tonight's episode of "Dancing with the Stars." I'm fine with '80s week and suspect this might actually be fun, but if I'm going to have to listen to retro lingo all night, count me out.
But so much for the lingo -- we kick things off with a performance from the Bangles! Susanna Hoffs! She looks good. Although, admittedly, I thought she was a back-up singer at first. But this is a nice touch of '80s flair.
AACK! As the stars descend the stairs, I see Rob Kardashian
is wearing neon green, one of the most unfortunate fashion colors of the decade. However, everyone looks ridiculous, so I'm sure he doesn't mind. At least his outfit is just a shirt and not a cheerleading uniform.
Oh, goody. Before each dance, the judges will natter on uselessly about each dance and what they need to do in this performance. Carrie Ann discusses how Hope and Maks can become contenders. Hope's not as feminine as she could be. But the tango could be her breakthrough! And Hope and Maks have to work together better.
Hope and Maks
The tango is about a love-hate relationship, so perfect for Hope and Maks. Maks says it's really a love-love relationship. It's just rehearsal that gets in the way. Oh, Maks, you card, you.
Hey, maybe the tango is Hope's dance after all. She's actually emoting a bit -- and I actually buy her as the icy bitch, which is a far cry from last week's sweet doll routine. This doesn't look bad.
Len tells Maks he did a good job, but Hope was too willowy and limp. Really? But he liked the aggression and the attack. Bruno thought Hope got the '80s super bitch down to a T. He thought it was strong, sexy and powerful. Carrie Ann thought she was strong but her lines were too awkward.
We see baby pictures of Hope and Maks, who were adorable children. Aw, shucks.
Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 8 Bruno - 8
Bruno's advice for Carson and Anna is for Carson to work on his technique. If he can combine personality with technique, he'll be a winner!
Carson and Anna
Oh, he wants so badly for this to be a good dance. But it isn't. He seems to have forgotten huge amounts of the routine. This is just grinning, jumping and flailing, honestly.
Bruno thought it was loopier than a Looney Tune. He says it was a crowning achievement in madness. Carrie Ann thought it was definitely fun, but she didn't see much technique anywhere. Len likes Carson but feels it wasn't good enough. I think Carson's days might be numbered, unfortunately.
Carrie Ann - 6 Len - 6 Bruno - 7
Len tells us Nancy and Tristan are hard workers, and he loved Nancy's quickstep. But her rumba needs to be pitch perfect and he doesn't want to see an older lady acting like a young floozy. Well, that's nice, Len.
Nancy and Tristan
was a cheerleader. These days, she likes to boss poor Tristan around, so that makes her a tiny tyrant. I guess that's progress.
This was actually, well, kind of sweet. Still, I'm not sure sweet is going to be enough. She has some pretty good moves, but the routine itself is very slow. I feel like Nancy thinks she's dancing in a senior citizens' edition of "DWTS."
Carrie Ann thought it was nice, but she wanted to see real passion. Len thought it was simple but effective. Bruno thought the pitch was exactly right.
Carrie Ann - 7 Len - 7 Bruno - 8
Nancy gets emotional because she got one eight. Nancy gets emotional far more often than is entirely necessary, to be honest.
Bruno thinks J.R. exudes magic. He thinks he could be back on top with the samba. Ricki can't be perfect forever, after all.
J.R. and Karina
He always danced with his mom, so he thinks he'll be able to nail the samba. He and Karina take a field trip to the Conga Room to see Sheila E. and he feels he's gotten in touch with his Latin roots.
Hey, if all it takes is a visit to the Conga Room to dance like this, sign me up. He moves like a professional in this routine. Great, great job.
Len thinks he's the bar for how men should dance the samba. Bruno thought he was a sex machine. Carrie Ann thought it was muy caliente. I think this will land J.R. and Katrina at, if not the top of the leader board (Ricki hasn't performed yet), at least close to it.
Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 9 Bruno - 10
Len feels Rob is growing and he wants to see Rob take control of the dance floor. Oh, and he has to be sexy. Ugh.
Rob and Cheryl
Cheryl admits she didn't think he'd make it this far. Me, neither. Romeo drops by to show Rob how to be sexy. Doesn't work. Rob looks like he's sleepwalking through this routine. His moves are fine, but he's just a big, boring lump.
Bruno thought we saw Rob the heartthrob. What? Carrie Ann thought he was sturdy on his feet and sexy as heck. Len thought he pulled it off. What were these judges watching? An old video of "Dirty Dancing"? It certainly couldn't have been this lummox.
Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 8 Bruno - 8
Carrie Ann thinks Chaz came out strong, then got injured, then lost his confidence. Still, when he gets it right, it's remarkable. She wants to see more movement and less walking.
Chaz and Lacey
Lacey invites her dad Buddy to show Chaz that big boys can dance, too. It's like watching two Buddy Abbotts shake their groove things, which is surprisingly charming.
Go, Ewok! Let's face it -- Chaz is never going to be a great dancer, and his only hope is to squeak by on personality, tenacity and viewer votes. That being said, he's fun to watch. And props to him for really shaking it.
Carrie Ann thought he did a good job. Len thought it was a gallant effort and he liked that he gave it a go. Bruno liked that he delivered the hip wiggle. The judges are kind, I suppose, because there's just no point in trying to tear him apart. He's doing the best he can with limited resources.
Carrie Ann - 7 Len - 7 Bruno - 7
Carrie Ann thinks David is a leading man and doesn't know it. She thinks his problem is he thinks too much and doesn't believe he's sexy.
David and Kym
David's goal is to show the judges he can really dance. He's so dedicated I'd like to see him show the judges, too. I'm never quite sure, given how hard he seems to work in rehearsal, why his performances are always a little disappointing.
This seemed kind of fierce. Nice! The movement is still off, though. It doesn't feel like he and Kym are in synch.
Len thought it had a great '80s feel and he thought it was fantastic. Bruno thought it was a tango with a rebel yell. Carrie Ann thinks he needs to work on his musicality.
Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 9 Bruno - 8
Um, no judge advice for Ricki. I guess, seeing how well she's done for the last few weeks, no one thought she needed it. Or, more likely, the show was running long.
Ricki and Derek
Some whining from Ricki. I can't do it! She has to stop that before every member of the audience decides that, no matter how well she dances, she's too annoying to be voted for. She shows Derek that she still knows the Roger Rabbit. He thinks they should add this to their... foxtrot? Is he on crack? John Waters drops by to tell her she's doing great.
Aack, back fat! Bad prom dress! What the hell was that? It wasn't really a dance, but kind of a spastic combination of disparate ideas. What a mess. She should have never shown Derek her Roger Rabbit.
Bruno says she went off rhythm with the Running Man and the Roger Rabbit. Carrie Ann thought it was a bad move to toss those in, but she thinks Rick and Derek are a great team. Len doesn't want funk in his foxtrot. Still, it wasn't her worst dance.
Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 8 Bruno - 8
So, yes, Ricki blew it. I'm not sure if it's enough to get her sent home, but given that Chynna was cut, anything is possible. At the top we have J.R. and Karina and at the bottom we have Carson and Anna. I'm wondering if we're going to see some of the weaker dancers start to get the boot now that we're so far into the competition -- usually voters start to lean toward the best dancers over personality at some point. But I'll still be a little sorry if Carson or Chaz get the boot. Nancy? Not so much. She'd probably be happier dancing at a retirement village anyway.
Do you think Ricki made a mistake in showing Derek her Roger Rabbit? Which couple should get the boot? And do you think voters are motivated by dance or personality?