Dancing with the Stars Season 12 Episode 12 and 13 “Week 7”

First, a note about last week’s Dancing with the Stars elimination show. Chris Jericho got the boot and honestly, I thought I’d be a little more upset about it than I was. He took the news like a champ and I appreciate that. I love this guy. He has a new fan in me. Also on the results show, we got an excellent performance from American Idol cast off, Pia Toscano. I absolutely loved it and am thrilled to hear she starts work on her album on Monday. Okay – on to this week’s Dancing with the Stars performances and elimination.

Donnie, Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno.

Part One: The Performances

This week’s Dancing with the Stars theme was Ballroom Greats. This meant a special guest judge, two guest coaches and also the first team dances of the season. The guest judge joining Len, Bruno and Carrie Ann was none other than ballroom legend, Donnie Burns. We’re told Donnie’s credentials right off the top of the show – 16 World Professional Latin Championships, 11 International Latin American Championships, and an undefeated streak in any professional dance that stretched almost twenty years. So yeah – the guy knows what he’s talking about.

Tom and Brooke talk about what the night will hold.

From meeting the special guest judge, the show got right to the action with the first group performance of the night. A quick note about how the group dances work. Basically, the two contestants who’ve earned the most points overall are given the chance to pick their teams. Each team has to perform the same style of dance (the cha-cha this week), must perform in formation for at lest part of the dance and then each couple must perform a solo. In the end, they are critiqued by the judges and given a score. That judge’s score is then added to the individual scores contestants get later on.

Chelsea's Team

Chelsea and Mark chose Ralph and Karina and Romeo and Chelsea for their team. Dressed all in black, they danced to Born this Way by Lady Gaga. It was high energy and intense. I really liked it. There were a couple spots when they almost seemed to go a bit out of sync on the formations, but overall, they looked pretty tight.

Professional Opinion: The judges disagreed slightly on how much they liked it and the scores reflected that.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 8
  • Carrie Ann: 8
  • Len: 7
  • Bruno: 7
  • Total: 30
Hines' Group

Next up was Hines and Kym’s group. Hines chose (somewhat surprisingly) Kirstie and Maks for their first team members followed by Kendra and Louis. They danced to We R Who We R by Ke$ha. Kirstie and Maks came up with their solo later than everybody else, but in all honesty, I thought it was the only time they did really well throughout the entire dance. Kirstie was just a bit out of sync with the rest. With that said, I really enjoyed the dance. The pink costumes were cute too,

Professional Opinion: There wasn’t a lot of criticism although it was pointed out that Kirstie was a bit off her mark.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 7
  • Carrie Ann: 7
  • Len: 8
  • Bruno: 8
  • Total: 30
Corky Ballas and Pia Toscano are in the house.

After the group performances, we were introduces to the special guest coaches that would be helping the contestants. Luca Baricchi (three time British Open and International Champion, two time World Professional Ballroom Dance Champion) and Shirley Ballas (three time British Open Latin American Champion, nine time United States Latin Champion, Mark’s Mom) really seemed to help each of the contestants they coached, even if some of the contestants didn’t turn in their strongest dance. Pia Toscano was also in the audience to take in the performance, sitting with Corky Ballas, sometimes Dancing with the Stars pro, Mark’s father and Shirley’s husband.

Chelsea and Mark: Week Seven

Chelsea and Mark: Paso Doble to Ghosts ‘N Stuff by Deadmau5

Deadmau5!! On Dancing with the Stars (sort of). I love Chelsea and Mark and I loved seeing Shirley trying to bring out the passion and intensity in Chelsea. Shirley is a fiery woman and she definitely brought that out in Chelsea.

The Dance: I loved it. It was passionate, intense, dramatic but modern. I have a pretty good feeling the judges (Len at least) aren’t going to love it, but Mark and Chelsea take risks and I love them for it. I’d give this a 9 for sure.

Professional Opinion: So Len sort of liked it and sort of didn’t, saying he felt confused by the whole thing. He seemed to be alone on that with the rest of the judges praising the performance.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 8
  • Carrie Ann: 9
  • Len: 8
  • Bruno: 9
  • Total: 34
Kendra and Louis: Week Seven

Kendra and Louis: Tango to Jealousy by Billy Fury

Kendra seems to be feeling good after last week, but it takes Luca coming in to help to get her to really connect with the dance and with Louis. Can I just say I would have twenty kids with Luca. That man is all kinds of sexy.

The Dance: It seemed like Kendra was struggling to keep up with Louis at times, but I really felt like she did a tremendous job with very difficult choreography. I’m still not entirely sure I like her again, but I’m getting there. She was much more poised and elegant, but it was still a bit off. I’d give it a 7.

Professional Opinion: While no one really went crazy over her performance, everyone praised her for tackling such difficult choreography and doing a good job of it.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 8
  • Carrie Ann: 8
  • Len: 7
  • Bruno: 8
  • Total: 31
Kirstie and Maks: Week Seven

Kirstie and Maks: Jive to La Bamba by Ritchie Valens

Yes, evil Maks has reared his head and made poor Kirstie cry. Maks is a passionate guy and he wants to help Kirstie win. He’s pushing her hard to try to help her realize her full potential. Is he pushing her too hard? Kirstie doesn’t seem to think so even if she does get emotional. I think Shirley did a great job with Kirstie, even if it did lead Maks to gloat a little bit.

The Dance: Well, it was kind of a mess, wasn’t it? Kirstie has done better but to be honest, she was having so much fun out there it was hard not to have fun watching her. I liked it a lot. I’d probably give it a 7.

Professional Opinion: All of the judges praised Kirstie’s ability to get into the character of the dance, but no one really raved about the dance. Len found “little to commend about it”. Donnie, on the other hand, seemed to love it, telling Kirstie real talent in dancing lies between the steps.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 9
  • Carrie Ann: 7
  • Len: 6
  • Bruno: 8
  • Total: 30
Ralph and Karina: Week Seven

Ralph and Karina: Quickstep to Pencil Full of Lead by Paolo Nutini

Ralph is grating on me a bit with the complaining about his body. I imagine he’s in a huge amount of pain, but I had the same problem with Jennifer Gray last season. It just seems like he doesn’t want to be there anymore and that’s sad to me. Luca showed up. He tried to tell Ralph he needs to stop thinking so much. Agreed.

The Dance: Wow. This is the first time in a few weeks that I’ve really loved one of Ralph’s dances. He seemed to have a fantastic time with it and in turn, the audience did as well. This was a lot of fun all around. I’d give it a 9.

Professional Opinion: Carrie Ann declared Ralph is back. Will he stay ‘back’? I have no idea. The judges loved it though. Anticipating good scores for this one.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 10
  • Carrie Ann: 9
  • Len: 8
  • Bruno: 9
  • Total: 36
Hines and Kym: Week Seven

Hines and Kym: Tango to La lección de Tango by Fred Frith and Sally Potter

Hines and Kym have a decent shot at winning this whole thing. Luca taking on the ‘lady role’ and dancing with Hines really seems to have helped him. I loved that some of Hines friends came in to check out the performance. I think it helped motivate Hines to do his best.

The Dance: I can’t find anything to speak negatively about with this one. I would give it a ten. Hines is incredible.

Professional Opinion: Heaps of praise and a few little pointers on what he can do better but generally, I expect good scores for this one.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 9
  • Carrie Ann: 9
  • Len: 8
  • Bruno: 10
  • Total: 36
Romeo and Chelsie: Week Seven

Romeo and Chelsie: Samba to Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti and Spearhead

I loved Shirley coaching Romeo. Did he get a little too excited? Perhaps – which I thought was pretty awesome. Romeo has such a great attitude and he’s so much fun whether in rehearsal or on the dance floor. I really like Chelsie and Romeo. I think you’ll see them in the finals. Maybe.

The Dance: I loved it. It was fun. Romeo looked great. I can’t find a whole lot to criticize here. I far prefer Romeo in his slower dances, but he’s always great to watch regardless of the style of dance. He seemed a bit off at times, but overall, it was fun. I’d give it an 8… maybe a 9.

Professional Opinion: The judges didn’t seem as gung-ho as I expected about this one, but there really wasn’t any super negative criticism. Romeo needs to work on his technique if he wants to make it back to the top of the leader board.

Scores:

  • Donnie: 7 (changed from an 8 for some reason)
  • Carrie Ann: 8
  • Len: 7
  • Bruno: 8
  • Total: 30
Who will head home?

Summary and Predictions

When everything is said and done, all of the remaining dancers are talented and each one has earned their spot. Do I think Kirstie will win? No, but I also don’t think she’s going home yet. She’s lovable, fun and she’s a great dancer. This wasn’t her strongest performance but I feel the audience has faith in her. Who do I think is going home? I’m going to say Kendra. Let’s take a look at the leader board (including the group scores:

  • Ralph and Karina – 30 (g) + 36 = 66
  • Hines and Kym – 30 (g) + 36 = 66
  • Chelsea and Mark – 30 (g) + 34 = 64
  • Kendra and Louis – 30 (g) + 31 = 61
  • Kirstie and Maks – 30 (g) + 30 = 60
  • Romeo and Chelsea – 30  (g) + 30 = 60

I think this week it’s going to come down to who has been the most consistent contestant overall and that just isn’t Kendra. She had a very shaky start and although she’s been strong the last few weeks, I don’t think she did enough to earn her spot in the top five. Is it Kirstie’s time to go home? I really don’t think so. She has a lot left to prove and I think people want to see her prove it. I think we’ve seen the best we’re going to get out of Kendra and honestly – that best is a lot better than I thought she could do.

 

Part Two: The Results

 

I was pretty nervous going into the results show. As always, I looked at the comments of other views online and the general consensus seemed to be that it was Kirstie’s time to go home. At the same time, there were a lot of other folks rallying to support her. I think Kirstie’s a special kind of lady and I really want to see her get another chance. I guess we’ll find out.

Team Chelsea hits the floor for their encore.

The judges asked to see Chelsea’s group dance again and I liked it just as much the second time. It seemed like they went out of sync a little more often than they did the first time around, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. It was a good way to kick off the evening.

Results: Round One

The first round of results really seemed to validate what the public seemed to be saying. Hines and Kirstie were called to the stage and, following a recap of the previous night’s performances and a few behind-the-scenes clips, Hines was sent to safety while Kirstie remained in jeopardy. Yikes!

Nicki Minaj Performs.

I love Nicki Minaj. Her Pink Friday album is one of my absolute favorites. Her performance of Moment 4 Life was incredible and Nicki looked fabulous. Great performance – one of my favorites so far this season. With that said, I was still more excited to see James Blunt.

A beautiful performance from Patricia Zhou and Priscilla Ahn.

I won’t deny this story and the performance that accompanied it really moved me. Patricia Zhou is an incredible inspiration. This ballet prodigy has accomplished more in four years of ballet than most ballerinas accompany in their whole lives. It was beautiful to watch her perform and Priscilla Ahn? I’ve never heard of her, but her performance of Dream was not only lovely but perfectly fit the performance. I loved it.

Results: Round Two

Wow… Mark was pretty angry at Len for the ‘8’ Len gave him. I completely understand why. I don’t really know much about required moves and everything, but as a viewer, it looked like a slightly more modern Paso to me. Regardless, Len fired back before Ralph and Karina were sent to safety and Chelsea and Mark were left to wait out their fate, still in jeopardy.

Wayne Brady Performs

I didn’t really know what to expect of Wayne Brady. I know him as an comedian, so the performance he turned in last night of a medley of James Brown songs genuinely shocked me. He was great. I absolutely loved this performance. Great job, Mr. Brady!

The Q&A Session

With only six contestants remaining, the competition is really getting intense. It’s anyone’s game at this point although my money’s on Hines Ward to take the whole thing home. Regardless, upsets happen all the time on Dancing with the Stars so the pros sat down for an intense Q & A session with their celebrity partners. It was interesting to watch but really, it was filler. Come on. Get on with the results already.

James Blunt Performs

Holy Lord love a duck, I love James Blunt. I was thrilled to see he was going to be on Dancing with the Stars and he didn’t disappoint at all. Wonderful. Excellent. I loved it more than I love puppies. While some critics had a hard time with his third album Some Kind of Trouble (from which the song he performed on the show, I’ll Be Your Man, was taken) I loved it and highly recommend it to anyone that likes good music.

Results: Round Three

At this point in the show, I was beginning to get even more concerned about where the show was headed. Romeo looked absolutely convinced he was going home, and I started to think he might be right. I’d think it was a ridiculous idea had Chris Jericho not gone home last week. Romeo and I were wrong. Romeo and Chelsie were sent to safety while Kendra and Louis remained in danger. Could I have been right in my predictions last night?

Results: Round Four

Well, I’m going to be honest – at this point there was no outcome I would’ve been entirely happy with. With Chelsea, Kirstie and Kendra standing on that stage with the knowledge that one of them was going home, I was hoping it would be Kendra but still a little sad at the prospect of seeing her go. I had a hard time with Kendra, but she was starting to win me over. I’m still scared for Kirstie and much as I’d like to think Chelsea won’t go anywhere, stranger things have happened on that stage (Brandy over Bristol anyone?)

Kendra goes home.

Kirstie is sent to safety and we’re left with Chelsea, Mark, Kendra and Louis on the stage. I would just like to state for the record, if Chelsea would’ve gone home over Kendra, that may have been the end of Dancing with the Stars for me. Is Kendra a more talented dancer than Kirstie? Sure, that argument could be made, but Kirstie is always so much fun to watch. It’s really hard not to root for her and I’m glad she’s still in it. My favorite Kendra dance is still the samba shown below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVlsj38oasg&feature=related

With that said, I’m not really feeling this season of Dancing with the Stars as much as I’m feeling last season. Last season there were some amazing performances and I’m yet to be completely blown away this season. Hopefully all the contestants start stepping it up now that we’re in the homestretch.

 

Summary and Predictions

 

Next week is the ‘instant dance’ which should be interesting. How will Kirstie and Maks fair? Who knows. I honestly don’t think, barring some for of incredible comeback, Kirstie will make it through next week but I’m so proud of her for making it as far as she did. I’ve love to see her win, but right now, this competition is Hines’ to lose. I can see Hines and Chelsea will be the last two standing. Your top five and my  predictions:

  • Hines and Kym will win.
  • Chelsea and Mark will be runners up.
  • Romeo and Chelsie will be third.
  • Ralph and Karina will come in fourth.
  • Kirstie and Maks go home next.

What did you all think of the performances? Did the right contestant go home? Who are you rooting for? Let me know in the comments section below!

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