Latin night is always my favorite night on Dancing With The Stars. The alternating sambas and rumbas, flashy outfits, and sexy hip-shaking always make me want to jump up and dance right along with them. I couldn't believe my ears though when Tom Bergeron said at the beginning of the show that we're already at the halfway point in the competition. Really?
There were many great routines this week. Mario & Karina's samba, which kicked off the show, was a lively and classic version. The judges thought it was a very clean routine and said only that Mario needed to continue to work on his footwork. Mario & Karina scored a 27 with three triple nines. Only one other couple scored triple nines and they were the ones that closed out the show. Jason & Edyta's rumba was a very smooth and sensual number and his hip action was muy bueno. It was an almost perfect dance to end the night.
The couple that came the closest to perfection last night though was Kristi & Mark. Mark explained to Kristi in practice that the rumba is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire and after a little practice she began to loosen up. She worked hard to shed her inhibition on the dance floor and she definitely did that last night. Their dance was very hot and she looked gorgeous in her purple dress. They were just one point shy of a perfect score of 30 thanks to Carrie only rewarding them with a nine. But they were thrilled with their 29 and ready to take on next week.
Priscilla & Louis' rumba didn't have the same luck as Mark & Kristi's. I felt that their routine was extremely sexy and very sensual but the judges said they felt it lacked spontaneity and was a little too technically advanced at this stage in the game. They were disappointed in only receiving triple sevens but did a good job of keeping their head up. Cristian & Cheryl's rumba was very pretty but it was also very boring. The judges thought their walks in the dance were awkward and that it was just an OK performance. Then why did they give them a seven, eight, and eight for a 23? I really don't get their scoring on this one because I felt that Priscilla & Louis' rumba was much better than Cristian & Cheryl's.
After showing a clip of Marlee & Fabian flying down to Guadalajara, Mexico to watch kids be fitted with hearing aids and hear for the first time (yes, it made me cry), it was time for their samba. Marlee had a really hard time of it this week because of her deafness. She stumbled a couple of times, missed several hand holds, and it was kind of sloppy overall. I couldn't begin to imagine how difficult this dance had to have been for her but I thought their scores were over inflated. A seven, seven, and eight? Seriously, that was a triple six dance.
Now let's get to a set of under inflated scores with Derek & Shannon's samba. Shannon needed to have shaken her booty a bit more but I felt their routine was wonderful, fun to watch, and had a great song behind it. Bruno was the judge least impressed, which shocked me, and he only gave them a seven with the others' eights. Bruno, where was your nine? But thankfully, at least Derek was able to dance because he'd been in the hospital that morning with a bout of food poisoning. Combine that with his neck injury from last week and that young man is having a real tough time of it this season.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to the makeup crew on the show. They didn't make Marissa look like a clown last night and I was able to concentrate on her and Tony's dance instead of her face. Marissa let her puppies fly in their samba last night and was shaking 'em all over that dance floor. This was the perfect dance for her bubbly personality and it was, by far, their best performance of the season. I was disappointed after all of the praise the judges gave them that they only received eights from the judges. They are not my favorite couple this season but I feel they deserved more than just a 24. I really hope they're around for next week.
Next week, the stars will perform twice! They'll perform their usual routine with their partners and as well as mixing it up on the dance floor in what Tom Bergeron called a "country number." I can only imagine what that will look like. Tonight, on the results show, James Blunt will be performing his new single "Carry You Home" and there will be more dancing from the little tykes! It should be a great show. Who do you think will be going home?
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