A run-down on last night’s Dancing With The Stars [SPOILER ALERTS]

Dancing With The Stars LogoYou’re not imagining it — I skipped last week’s Dancing With The Stars.  I had a project and never got to the TV. I’m back in business, though, so here’s the quick run-down, with my impressions of last night’s events, which was all about Latin dancing. Indeed, the guest judge was my favorite rapper, Pit Bull. As long as I ignore his lyrics, I love what he does musically. But on to the dancing. . . .

Amber Rose and Maks danced a cha cha. It was well-done, but lifeless. Amber Rose cried a lot, walked off the rehearsal floor, and brought nothing to the dance. I continue to dislike her. She’s a whiner and a professional victim.

Calvin Johnson, Jr. and Lindsay danced the tango. I truly think this was Calvin’s best dance yet. He didn’t smolder but, as Bruno noticed, he was utterly manly in the dance, and that was good enough. His movements were tight (which is hard for such a big man), and his lifts were spectacular. Overall, an excellent showing.

Jana Kramer and Gleb also did the tango. They substituted steaminess for power. It was certainly competently done, but I admit that I have no idea why the judges went so crazy over it. Perhaps it’s that, when I’m watching dancing, I prefer romance and subdued sexiness to in your face . . . whatever it was. See what you think:

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna danced the rumba. Normally, I hate rumbas because they’re always so gosh-darned sleazy. James’s rumba, though, was lovely, with only the underlying hint of raw sex that separates the good rumbas from the “sex sells” rumbas.

James is a true performer. Every move was complete and he was immersed in the drama of the dance. Julianne Hough said that she thinks James may be the best male dancer ever on the show.

Talking about it later, my sister and I agreed that, while Laurie is incredibly fast and precise, James is the best dancer on the show. It’s just a pleasure to watch him — and he has a delightful sense of humor. I thought the judges gave him a ridiculously low score considering the well-deserved praise they were pouring on him.

Oh, one more thing: Last week’s show revealed something that really stunned me. James had mentioned that he was in a bad car accident last year. What he didn’t say was that a rod from his race car penetrated his right hip, angled upwards, and came out his left abdomen. His heart stopped in the hospital and ended up have the blood in his body replaced three times during surgery because he was bleeding so much. Watching his smooth, strong, fluid moves you would never guess that just a year ago he came so close to dying from a horrific injury:

Laurie Hernandez and Val danced the salsa. Val had a difficult job because the salsa is a very sexy (but, if done right, not sordid) dance, and he couldn’t cross any lines with Laurie. The choreography was therefore a little too careful. Laurie, as always, moved with the speed and precision that characterize her, and she was cheerful and upbeat, but it was just lacking something.

The judges agreed with my take. Julianne pointed out that part of the problem was that Laurie’s hip movements were mechanical back-and-forths, rather than the deep “umph” that is a salsa wiggle.

Marilu Henner and Derek danced a cha cha. Apparently Marilu suddenly relaxed last week and did one of her best dances. She was relaxed and smiling this week too — and I cannot figure out why her dance just didn’t do it for me. Marilu is lovely, has enviable legs by any standards (and especially for her age), and is a hard worker, but this dance just left me feeling meh.

Maureen McCormick and Artem did a samba. Because Maureen has a very stiff body, it was so wholesome a samba it would have passed muster in a Disney movie. Heck, in The Three Amigos the samba dancers had more wiggle. The dance was competent, and even somewhat enjoyable, but nothing special.

During rehearsals Maureen cried too, but I forgave her, while I won’t forgive Amber. As I said, Amber is a whining victim. Maureen, however, is a very fragile ex-drug addict who is working hard to be normal, something I admire.

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl danced a salsa. Ryan has definitely improved, both as a person (less sulky, less brittle) and as a dancer. But he’s still no dancer. My sister, however, did admire his swimmer’s body:

Terra Jolé and Sasha did a paso doble. Terra did what she does every week danced her heart out. The problem for me was that, instead of looking ferocious, she once again looked grimly determined. I admire her determination, I really do, but it detracts from her performance when it’s all you see on her face.

The costume designers, though, really hit the jackpot this week. Terra looked like a perfect doll when she was dancing. She’s lost most of her baby weight and was in a costume that really flattered her.

Sasha, once again, created a lovely choreography that showed his beautiful dancing without ever letting him overshadow Terra.

And who got knocked off? Well, if you really want to know . . . SPOILER AHEAD.




Amber Rose left. Yay! I didn’t like her and will be happy not to see her again.

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