"Dancing with the Stars" Recap: Season 11, Week 7

Last night marked a milestone for “Dancing with the Stars”: During the broadcast, they showed their millionth commercial!

I kid (or maybe not). But the real occasion was the series’ 200th episode. Yay! Confetti! Balloons! Stars from previous seasons!

So, here’s how things went.

The show opened with pros from all the seasons performing to the very first song from the very first show: Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love.” Watching them dance, I come up with a fantastic new reality show idea: a ballroom dance competition featuring professionals. Only.

Olympians Kristi Yamaguchi, the Season 6 champ, and Apolo Ohno, the Season 4 champ, each captained a team of couples. Team Kristi included Rick and Cheryl, Bristol and Mark and Kyle and Lacey. Apolo led Kurt and Anna, Brandy and Maks and Jennifer and Derek. Each team performed a group number. The score for the group was then added to their individual couple scores. And then multiplied by a factor of sequins and tanning lotion squared.

Team Kristi, cha cha to MJ’s “Working Day and Night”
Thoughts: Whoa, team underdog is in it to win it! Kyle’s got some serious ‘tude, Rick is tall but quick, and Bristol is...wait a second, Bristol is dancing? Her feet are moving in a rhythmic pattern that (mostly) relates to the beat. She’s smiling and shaking her hips. She’s dancing, folks!
Total score: 24

Team Apolo, cha cha to “Bust a move”

Thoughts: I’m going to leave it to Bruno to describe what this was. “Cha cha with the flavor of the ‘hood.” Aside from the muzak version of a classic rap song, the audience knew the dance was “hood” because each performer tied a bandana somewhere on their body. Oh, and Kurt did a wonky version of the butterfly—remember that move where you scoop your arms and knees in and out together. 'Nuff said.
Total score: 27

Suggestion for the "DWTS" producers: More team dances, please. The contestants have much more energy and sizzle when they share the spotlight. And if the stars stumble, there are plenty of pros on the floor to keep your attention.

But last night, the rest of the show went back to the standard format—sort of.

Dim the lights, cue the smoke columns, echo-y audio clip and booming stadium music. ARE YOU READY TO RUMBLE! Or, rather, welcome a star from a previous season who will introduce a routine he or she originally danced that will now be performed by a star from the current season. Got that? After the WWE-glitterfied entrance, each former star takes a seat at the judges' table to score the Season 11 version of his or her routine.

Original routine: Mel B’s paso doble
Re-creators: Kyle and Lacey
Thoughts: Why even try to sum it up, when I’ve got this assessment from Bruno. “Kyle, you had the attack and energy of an untamed young bull. Testosterone everywhere!”
Total score: 35

Original routine: Emmitt Smith’s tango
Re-creators: Kurt and Anna
Thoughts: Kurt has solid footwork and command of the choreography. However, I think he’s trying to look dashing, but to me, he looks worried. The judges roundly disagree.
Total score: 34

Original routine: Kelly Osbourne”s Viennese waltz
Re-creators: Bristol and Mark.
Thoughts: Who cares about Bristol when Kelly Osbourne's around! After Bristol’s not-so-awful performance, Kelly tells her she did an amazing job, especially because Bristol had big shoes to fill. You know, Kelly's. Kelly then says that her own performance brought her parents, who were in the audience that night, to tears. “I’ve never made anyone cry—in a good way.” Can we just make Kelly a permanent judge on the show?
Total score: 33

Original routine: Helio Castroneves’ quick step
Re-creators: Rick and Cheryl
Thoughts: I don’t know what to say about the dancing because I was so distracted by Rick’s head-to-toe emerald green suit.
Total score: 37

Original routine: Gilles Marini’s foxtrot
Re-creators: Brandy and Maks
Thoughts: The judges looove Brandy, but I just don’t get it. Her shoulders and upper body are stiff and you can tell she’s trying really, really hard.
Total score: 37—Len, a 10?! Seriously, what are you seeing that we aren’t?

Original routine: Drew Lachey’s tango
Re-creators: Jennifer and Derek
Thoughts: During the team dance rehearsal footage, we learned that Jennifer’s doctor has told her she needs to take it easy on her body and rest periodically during rehearsals. Obviously, she’s frustrated by this. Which leads to tears. During her tango—which she danced with precision—I thought she still looked on the verge of crying. The judges, as usual, disagreed. Len said she had “tension, passion and attack.”
Total score: 37

With the combined team and individual scores, Brandy, Jennifer and Rick are in first, second and third, respectively. I think Kyle deserves a higher ranking (he came in second to last). He's continues to improve each week, and even though he's a big goof, he seems to have a dedicated work ethic.

Overall, it felt like the judges gave everyone a pass last night to keep up the 200th episode celebratory vibe. What do you think?

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