I wasn't quite sure what to expect on "Dancing with the Stars" this week. I had heard the judges were going to give two scores: technical and performance. And everyone who watched last week knew that judge Len Goodman was not pleased with Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough's quickstep (he thought they were "taking the mickey" out of the judges by breaking their hold—whatever that means). But, even knowing all that, I couldn't have guessed that this week would be so focused on the couples' technique. I'd like to call last night's show LEN'S REVENGE! (insert evil laugh here).
The show's theme was passion, and each of the couples danced either the rumba or the tango. Both of these dances are a little slower, which gave the evening a calmer tone. But there were still some standouts:
Somehow, Pamela Anderson has become the best part of this season! Also curious, she was more "covered up" than most of the other lady dancing stars (even Kate Gosselin was showing more decolletage than the former Baywatch babe). Anywho, Pam danced the rumba with her partner, Damian Whitewood. She looked sultry, but not sleazy. And her dancing was fluid and easy without seeming out of control. The judges agreed—Carrie Ann said there was "magic happening" on the floor—and gave the couple a 23 for technique and 24 for performance, one of the highest overall scores of the night!
Niecy Nash and Louis van Amstel's rumba was another favorite. Louis had Niecy dedicate the dance to her brother Michael, who passed away 17 years ago and that seemed to help Niecy make an emotional connection with the movement. She seemed truly in the moment while she was dancing. And even if she wasn't technically perfect (the judges' technical and performance scores were each a mere 18), we thought it was a beautiful, serene performance.
There were a lot of couples who were on top of their game, but seemed to sparkle a little less this week. Perhaps it was because they were channeling most of their energy into their footwork and technique? Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya danced a beautiful tango, but where was the sizzle? Evan is usually a captivating performer, but there were moments when you could see him thinking about his posture and feet—which certainly paid off, because he danced with grace and ease. The judges really loved this couple (they got the highest scores of the night: a 26 each for both technique and performance) but we thought the number could have used a little punch and pizzazz.
We also enjoyed Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke's rumba. In the rehearsal footage, Chad and Cheryl focused on loosening up Chad's hips—and boy, did they ever! Their rumba was probably the steamiest of the night, so who cares if Chad's hands were occasionally overcome with giant-claw-syndrome? The judges also liked this performance, especially Chad's posture (which they've criticized in past weeks) and gave the couple a 21 for technique and a 23 for performance.
Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced the tango and while we applaud her effort to get into the mood of this passionate dance, Erin needed to change her facial expression (an intense smile-with-your-eyes glare) every so often. But that red dress with the deep, open back was killer! The judges felt Erin started off well and lost her performance midway through; they gave the couple an 18 for technique and a 21 for performance.
Alright, we get that Kate Gosselin looked slightly less like a donkey being dragged through a dance routine (with her ever-patient partner, Tony Dovolani). But seriously judges? So much praise for such a stiff tango? (Carrie Ann said, "You have determination and that goes so far. I have so much respect for you. I'm truly impressed with you.") Yes, Kate seemed to be enjoying herself a little bit more on the dance floor, we will grant her that. But there's still a lot of walking/dancing and watching her rehearsal antics (this week, there were tears) is getting tiresome. While the judges applauded Kate's progress, the couple's scores more closely reflected the performance: a 14 for technique and an 18 for performance.
BONUS: Tom Bergeron line of the night: "Welcome to the world of fabric remnants!"
So what did you think of last night's "passion" show? Do you think we're spot on or off the mark? Share your "DWTS" thoughts! And check back tomorrow for a recap of tonight's results show (featuring choreography by Travis Wall and a performance by NYCB principal Tiler Peck!)