It’s a Halloween version of “Dancing with the Stars,” which is different from a regular version of “Dancing with the Stars” because this show has pumpkins and green lighting. Oh, and zombie back-up singers. Really, an added Halloween slant to "DWTS" is barely noticeable, as everyone dresses up in costume every week. But this does give Tom Bergeron ample opportunity to pun his way through his opening. This seems to give him great joy, so far be it from me to begrudge him.
It's a "short" night (only an hour and a half of dancing and ghoul jokes), so we get right to the dancing. Fine by me!
David and Kym
Kym thinks David needs to be hypnotized so he can calm down. Illusionist Todd Karr also drops in to help him with his illusions. It seems neither of these attempts at aiding David with his dancing is particularly successful in forcing out his inner dork. Don't get me wrong, I like David, but he really does seem like a 10-year-old who would benefit from Ritalin.
Still, this is… kinda good. There’s some spastic hip wiggling and stiff arms, but the footwork is not half bad. Maybe that attempt at hypnosis helped. Well, probably not, as it was just Kym waggling a finger in his face, but whatever she did, this is a notable improvement for David.
Len thinks David has turned himself into a dancer. He would have liked more rhythm, but thought it was well done. Bruno thinks he’s a natural turning tricks. Bruno then calls Carrie Ann, I think, a naughty little pussy. Because she’s dressed like a cat, people. Still, Bruno is bleeped. Carrie Ann thought he did a great job, though he still needs to work on his hold.
Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8
J.R. and Karina
They'll be tangoing to... “Ghostbusters”? During rehearsal, Karina yells at J.R., so he’s forced to hug her. Wow, not used to seeing these two tangle. But who wouldn't? They're dancing a tango to friggin' "Ghostbusters." That would make anyone grumpy.
Good job, but hate this dance. No one should have to tango to this horrible song. J.R. seems to be struggling, though just a little. What a disaster. Whoever thought this song-dance pairing was a good idea should be forced to perform the same routine on hot coals.
Bruno thought it was very solid but notes he lost his timing a few times. Still, he blames that on the music. No kidding! Carrie Ann thought they captured the tone of the piece perfectly. Len thought the performance was substandard to what he expects from J.R.
Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 8
J.R. just shrugs it off, but still, this seemed like a no-win situation.
Nancy and Tristan
During rehearsal, Nancy accuses Tristan of saying she’s not fun. I feel sorry for Tristan, because Nancy doesn’t seem like much fun to me.
Okay, she seems to be having fun here – but she’s also forgetting her steps. This isn't quite Chynna Phillips bad, but it's really, really not good.
Carrie Ann thinks this was a not so good day. Len thinks the dance didn’t suit her. Bruno thinks her shoes were too small.
Tom tells us Carson Kressley will be returning tomorrow night. If Carson plays his cards right, he could get a permanent gig out of this, it seems.
Nancy tells Brooke that she stays in shape by chasing the twins. Maybe she needs more kids, because she doesn't seem to be moving that quickly to me.
Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7
Rob and Cheryl
Rob whines about his sore butt and sore muscles. Cheryl is not sympathetic. She shouldn’t be. He's twenty-friggin'-four. I guess your muscles start to atrophy when your main responsibility in life is moving from one sofa to another.
Still, though I hate to admit it, this was a pretty good performance. Cheryl made the right decision in casting the two of them as Morticia and Gomez Addams, as Rob can wander stoney-faced through the whole thing. But still, his footwork is good.
Len thought it was terrific. Bruno thought has manly and in control, but his butt keeps sticking out. Carrie Ann thought it was Rob’s best dance so far.
Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 8
Ricki and Derek
Ricki's ribs hurt. But she isn't just whining per usual, she actually has intercostal neuritis. She needs to rest. She can’t rest! Derek knows from pain, having worked with Jennifer Grey, but yeah, he knows Ricki needs to tough it out.
In pain or not, I have to say, good job. She always seems confident and in character, and combined with having the steps down, she’s tough to beat.
Bruno thought it was a blizzard of passion and fear. Another incredible performance. Carrie thought her shaping was flawless, but her shoulders came up. Len thought her shapes were lovely and her footwork was great.
Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9
Hope and Maks
Because Maks broke one of his toes, he recruits Teddy from the troupe to help Hope learn the dance. Not surprisingly, Hope has more fun, learns faster and generally seems more relaxed. I think this annoys Maks to no end, as he criticizes both of them for giggling and playing around, then has to slap on a wolf costume to show he’s fun, too.
Hope is not a natural dancer, but this isn’t too bad. Her arms seem floppy and her form is a little off, but at least she’s having fun this time. Maybe she can work with Teddy next week, too.
Carrie Ann thinks all of Hope came out and felt it was better than the “Toy Story” dance. Len thought she coped well with a difficult dance. Bruno thought she had better timing, placement and finish.
Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8
Time for the group dance. First up, Team Tango. There's some silliness with choosing teams, but let's just skip over that. It’s J.R. and Karina, David and Kym and Tristan and Nancy.
And then, crap, the Slingbox futzes out. It comes back on toward the end of the routine so I can't say for sure if this was a good or bad dance, but the ending seems... okay. The dancers seem a little out of sync and the choreography isn't wowing me.
Len thought that when they danced as a group it was excellent, but each individual dance was a disaster. Bruno has to agree with Len. Carrie Ann thought it was a great team, but she agrees with Len and Bruno.
Brooke asks J.R. if he regrets who he has on his team. No, he doesn’t. My God, what does she think he's going to say? Yeah, we would have been great if not for Nancy?
Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 7 Bruno - 8
Not the best scores, but smiles all around. How can people not be happy with J.R. is the team leader? Big group hug.
On to Team Paso Doble. We'll be watching Ricki and Derek, Hope and Maks and Rob and Cheryl.
During rehearsal, everyone is quietly appalled by Hope and Maks’ dysfunctional relationship. This is like watching a married couple fight at a party and having to pretend you're still having a good time. Derek has to step in to help Hope learn her steps. Thank God someone does. I'm starting to feel worse and worse for Hope each week.
Even with the whole Maks-Hope dynamic spoiling everyone's good time during rehearsal, this looked pretty great. It's fierce, the dancing is solid, I can mostly overlook the fact Rob is a big lump compared to the pros and Ricki and Hope are giving their all. I suspect this performance kicks the ass of what Team Tango did, though (of course) I can't be sure.
But the judges can be. Bruno thought it was powerful, dramatic and moving. Carrie Ann thought it was amazing. Len thought their individual parts were fantastic and gives Rob credit for keeping up with the guys.
Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 9
Thus concludes our night of Halloween-themed fun. I’ve thought this before, but I suspect Nancy (with the lowest scores of the night) will get dumped tomorrow night. But really, who knows? It's also entirely possible that no one will vote for Hope in the hopes that she'll finally be able to get away from her dysfunctional relationship with Maks. I just wouldn't rule it out.
Do you think Nancy will go home? Do you think Maks is too rough on Hope? Do you think J.R. got a bum deal with his tango?