It’s “Dancing with the Stars’” first-ever classical week, complete with a 46-piece orchestra and Celebriquarium hostess Brooke Burke dressed as a Grecian urn. If we’d known we would have dressed.
David Garett, who is apparently a classical rock violinist, opens the show doing Beethoven’s Fifth as Beethoven meant it to be performed – with lots of skin and flames.
Also performing tonight: mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins.
Romeo kicks things off when he dances the paso doble to Bach’s “Theme for a German Car Commercial”. Romeo benefits from a terrific job of choreography that economizes his moves and maximizes his serious face. Plus he gets to toss off the top of his costume at the end. Judge Len Goodman wants him to show more decorum, but judge Bruno Tonioli likes Romeo’s six-pack. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba likes his swagger and they award him a total of 23 points out of a possible 30.
Kendra Wilkinson demonstrates her feelings about the Viennese waltz by sticking her finger down her throat. Until, that is – and you’ll have to follow this chain of thought closely, if we can use the expression “chain of thought” and “Kendra” in the same sentence – she learns the name of the song to which she will perform is (in English) “Time to Say Goodbye.” This, she says, reminds her of the Mafia because it sounds like an Al Capone tune. “This is just the thing I need to get into the Viennese Waltz – it’s Mafia waltz, baby! I’m the Godmother of the Viennese waltz! In Kendra’s Mafia waltz, she is the victim of a hit. It’s a big, sweeping finale, literally: Louis Van Amstel swings her around in circles like she’s one of those heavy, industrial floor waxers. Bruno thinks she did not get into the song.
“If I had more than four days to practice,” complains Kendra, ever the pill.
“You’re afraid of elegance,” Carrie Ann says.
“I just don’t care about it,” Kendra snaps back. For which she is punished with just 18 points.
Sugar Ray Leonard decides to cover his imperfections as an interpreter of classical music by clowning it up, dancing with a big don’t-hurt-me smile on his face, dressed in a cutaway, wedding-rental suit, to the Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers”. It reminds Carrie Ann of a sixth grade performance, while he reminds Len of “the Sugar Plum Fairy.” But Bruno likes his “cartoonish” and “Mickey Rooney” charm. They lavish 21 points on him – his highest score to date, we’re told.
Pro dancer Dmitry Chaplin needs model Petra Nemcova to lose her state of perpetual happy-face in order to play Carmen for their paso doble. So he stages a photo shoot to remind her that supermodels don’t smile. A light goes off in Petra’s head and she stops grinning. She lands 23 points.
Ralph Macchio is wearing an extra’s suit from one of the party scenes in “Dr. Zhivago.” Only he’s supposed to be Romeo – of Juliet fame – from the late 60’s Zeffirelli flick based on Shakespeare’s play, and the source of the music for this number. Shakespeare’s Romeo waltzes with a lot of outstretched arm motions like we’ve seen straphangers pull as subway cars go around a curve, but never so gracefully. The judges grant him 25 points, which is the night’s best so far.
Hines Ward’s paso doble is very Yul Brynner in “The King and I.” But his dance partner, Kym Johnson is total “I Dream of Jeannie.” They dance to Mendelssohn’s “Theme for a Japanese Car Commercial,” which Carrie Ann pronounces a “touchdown. But the guys aren’t so sure, and when Hines’s score hits just 25, the studio crowd boos loud and long.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas waltz to “Hedwig’s Theme” from “Harry Potter,” which Mark emphasizes with a goofy wizard’s hat and by doing plenty of “Shazam!” moves. Best put-down by a judge tonight: Len telling him his job is to help Chelsea interpret the 300-year-old Viennese waltz, “Not to distract her by creeping all over the floor.” But Carrie Ann and Bruno love it, creeping and all, and give her two 9’s, which, added to Len’s 8 makes for a night-high of 26 points.
Chris Jericho is dressed in a vest made from a pleather couch, which we’re pretty sure we saw in a waiting room of a tattoo parlor in Hollywood. He pulls off the night’s best dance move by a celebrity during his paso doble: a deep-knee-bend walk across the stage that’s a little Groucho Marx and a little Body By Jake Hip and Thigh Sculptor Infomercial. Chris also pulls off the night’s best celebrity response to one of Brooke’s “How does it feel!” gags; he thanks his pro dance partner, Cheryl Burke, for helping him go from Charlie Brown last week “to Charlie Sheen tonight.” The judges give him 23 points anyway.
Kirstie Alley is hit by “lightning bolts” of pain in her hip. So now she and her dance partner, Maks Chmerkovskiy are both injured? Stand back, Jennifer Grey, pioneer of the “Dancing with the Stars” weekly injuries cliffhanger last season! Kirstie just doubled down!
And to ice the cake, when she goes down in the performance this time, her shoe pops off. First Maks’s thigh can’t take her weight, then Kirstie’s shoe can’t take her weight. We’re hoping they got the stage bolted reinforced -- just sayin’. Anyway, as with last week, the couple seems to be able to think on their feet, so to speak, and dance their way out of mishaps, as the rest of the performance was okay. But we’re suggesting some a court-ordered defensive dancing class for their safety.
“I’m supposed to be acting like a swan and I’m putting my shoes on!” Kirstie mourns at the end of her number. She gets 22 points in spite of the mishap.