How will the judges score injured Melissa's rehearsal tape?
Nine weeks in. Six couples left, one of which (Ty & Chelsie) is obviously the least capable. But wait! Tom informs us that Melissa has suffered an injury and will not be performing tonight. And, of course, he'll explain what that means for the competition a little bit later. In the meantime, here we go:
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke
After weeks and weeks of being the frontrunner, Gilles has floundered a bit recently. And he's also having a lot of trouble with his shoulder (which conveniently results in a shirtless trip to the doctor). The shoulder seems like its going to be fine, but Gilles is totally questioning himself. But with the linde-hop, Gilles proves quickly his insecurity was unwarranted. Dressed in very comic, matching polka dot outfits, he and Cheryl give us a fun, energetic performance that reveals a different side of the usually sexpot-oriented Gilles. While he's still undeniably sexy, its much more goofy that we're used to, and the judges praise his diversity.
Score: 27 (which is actually the same score as last week, but they are celebrating it anyway)
Lil' Kim & Derek Hough
After giving us a toned down, uncharacteristic performance last week that resulted in a fifth place finish (down from first the week prior), Lil' Kim lets us know that the real her is "back with a vengeance." Given the green light by the judges to bring all of her personality to her dance, Kim brings it to her and Derek's casa nova. In a black widow-inspired dress, she is fiery and focused, keeping up a perfect pace with Derek. The crowd (including Lance Bass!) gives a rousing standing ovation, and the judges follow suit. "The bitch is back and she means business," Bruno announces, and Kim tears up as judge after judge serenades her with compliments.
Score: 28 (the 10 is from Bruno)
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough
Chuck and Julianne are ecstatic that after last week's personal high score of 27, they might really be in this competition. They follow it up by continuing their questionable fashion choices (especially Chuck, who is wearing blue suede pants - which I'm sure was a self-conscious move to accent his ass, which he seriously shakes nonstop through the performance - and a blue silk tank top). But also by continuing the energy they finally found last weekend. It seems at this point its truly a five couple race. Carrie Ann has some issues with Chuck's chin (I didn't notice), and the boys both have issues with his arms, but otherwise they agree.
Score: 26 (though a little let down by Bruno's 8, the pair are pretty stoked).
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
Too-cute Shawn and Mark want to "sizzle" this week, and Mark decides to bring in his mom (!?) to show Shawn how. It turns out she's a three time Latin American dance champion, and she has a move or two to send Shawn in the sexy direction. Its clear that Mark has inherited some of his mother's skills during their samba, though Shawn seems to struggle to keep up with his spark. Her attempts at "sizzling" hip moves come across as awkward and forced. It's certainly not a bad performance - but this late in the game its not w . Len agrees, though Bruno and Carrie Ann are much more into it.
Score: 27 (including a erroneously perfect score from Carrie Ann)
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
We learn Melissa's not here because she has a rib injury. And it looks like she'll be able to come back to the performance (she's on the phone with the doctor "right now"). The judges are going to have to base their scores on Melissa's rehearsal tape, which she did in the midst of the injury. Her practice video mostly involves a trip to the doctor after hurting her rib during a "very difficult move." Serious, suspenseful music in the background, we learn "she hope she's can pull it together!" She certainly doesn't for the rehearsal. Dancing the jive to The Go Gos (Belinda Carlise, we hardly knew ye), it feels very unpolished and it is clear Melissa's injury is proving problematic (she makes lots of "I'm in pain" faces). The judges are sympathetic, but unimpressed.
Score: 21 (eee, let's hope those Bachelor-fans bring out the pity votes in full force)