Four weeks already? Yes. And this week finally delivered what we’ve all been waiting for: high caliber dances from top to bottom! First the dances, then the wine!
Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Charleston (Judges’ Score: 30)
The Rib: Once again this week, “Big Sexy” brought the Big Fun with this cute Charleston. She looked sweet and sassy in peach satin, and her footwork was about as good as it gets for Kirstie. However, the overall stellar quality of dance from other celebrities this week leaves Kirstie at the bottom of the leader board. Whether she stays or goes will depend on whether the readership of Fifty Shades of Grey put down their Kindles long enough to cast their nine votes for Kirstie. Charleston may be her last stop on the journey to the mirror ball trophy.
Stub: I’m hoping The Rib gets me a cake similar to the one Kirstie emerged from for my next birthday. Kirstie did an amazing job—she was light on her feet, entertaining, and as The Rib said, brought the “Big Fun” with a Charleston we could chew on for a while… Forget the other dancers in the competition—I’m pretty sure Diane Chambers couldn’t do this dance nearly as well. In my humble opinion, Kirstie was a bit underscored this week and I fear she will be in the bottom three tonight. Let’s just hope she will make it through to guilty pleasures week, ’cause this sultry cougar is quickly becoming one of my guilty pleasures. I would have given her all nine of my votes, but I was too busy watching The Graduate on the Blu-Ray.
Bristol Palin/Mark Ballas
Rock and Roll (Judges’ Score: 32)
The Rib: There was a lack of precision and content in this comparatively weak dance. Bristol looked cute, but there certainly was no “wow” factor, particularly when scored against the other dances of the night. I personally thought she deserved little better than a participant ribbon for this “Rock and Roll” routine. And while she may be doing her personal best, the 8s she and Mark received seemed a little generous. It will be a toss up as to whether she or Kirstie goes home tonight. Whether this week or next, Bristol should be gone before Halloween!
Stub: Oh boy. The good: Bristol did look adorable. That’s it for the good. She didn’t even make it down the stairs without missing two dance steps. I’m wondering if she has a busy schedule coming up, because she looked like she was trying to do what she accused Mark of doing last week: half-assing her way to an early exit. It’s like she wasn’t even trying. I’m not sure what steps Bruno thought she was hitting; in fact, I’m fairly certain ABC aired a different dance for viewers than the one the judges and ballroom audience saw. I’m no hater and I don’t mind giving credit where credit is due, but this dance was horrible. It was nowhere near as good as Kirstie’s Charleston, which scored two whole points lower. Boo! She will join Kirstie in the bottom three tonight if there is any justice in the ballroom.
Sabrina Bryan/Louis van Amstel
Disco (Judges’ Score: 35.5)
The Rib: Finally, the evening got started with some quality dancing! Ah, Disco! The 70s must have been a wonderful time to be an adult…before casual sex and drugs were ruined! Although Sabrina started the dance looking like she had stolen the bottom half of a sexy Cookie Monster costume—everyone say “thank you, Mr. Romney” for creating a new line of Halloween costumes that encourages the slut in many adult women to come out on October 31—I really enjoyed this dance. It had big tricks, high energy, and lots of fun! Sabrina should certainly be safe, but her brush with the bottom three last week concerns me. I hope she doesn’t fall victim to the same phenomenon that led to her early exit in Season 5. In the name of polyester, you have to vote, people!
Stub: Sabrina and Louis did a nice little Disco number. But the idea that they were going for more of Studio 54 than Saturday Night Fever was a bit odd, being that they danced to a song from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Maybe they were trying to be ironic. I enjoyed the dance a good bit, but I felt like Louis was on the floor with Donna Pescow (who was a fine enough dancer)—not Karen Lynn Gorney (who ruled the disco floor). This wasn’t Sabrina’s best effort, but it should be enough to keep her in the competition until next week. That said, I fear Sabrina and Louis will be the meat in tonight’s bottom three sandwich and are in real danger of leaving the ballroom. As for adult women being encouraged to dress up for the Halloween, I’m all for it. In fact, if you got it, flaunt it and make ’em look twice with “envy” year-round with one of these, I say!
Emmitt Smith/Cheryl Burke
Bolero (Judges’ Score: 36)
The Rib: Dang! Emmitt brought the sexy this week! Very sensual and great hip action; the Bolero is very Rumba-y; it was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it! Emmitt may be the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, but he made the ladies swoon like he was Usher—see what I did there? Emmitt has no need to worry this week.
Stub: First, I must apologize for The Rib’s play on words. I mean, Emmitt gave us highlight reels that will be enjoyed by football fans two generations from now; Usher, well, he fathered The Biebs. There was nothing rushed about Emmitt’s Bolero, that’s for sure! He really took his time and got us into the right frame of mind with the character of this dance—The Rib and I had to hit pause and take a short “dessert” break after this performance…I’ll leave it to your imagination as to whether Bolero or Boléro was on the menu…
Gilles Marini/Peta Murgatroyd
Bollywood (Judges’ Score: 39.5)
The Rib: G-eta “curried” favor with the judges for a 39.5—’til that point, there had been “naan” better! Seriously, I could do this all night! This was one of the two best dances of the evening and one of the two most challenging styles. All dance styles for G-eta should be determined by whether Gilles can keep a 5 o’clock shadow and a bare chest, and the amount of clothing Peta has to wear. In the words of the immortal Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, “Please and Thank you!”
Stub: How many bad word plays can you use in a row? I have to be honest: I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the actual dancing the first time around (yes, we watched this dance twice); I was distracted by a lot of pretty “sexy bits” moving around the dance floor. Despite having one of the hardest dance assignments this week, Gilles and Peta did a nice job. That said, I didn’t think the actual dancing was near as good as everyone else seemed to. In fact, I’m certain that this dance wasn’t a mere half point from perfect. That said, I loves me some Gilles and Peta, who will be back next week. I love The Rib’s idea of this couple choosing dances based solely on tiny outfits—that’s a pleasure we can all enjoy guilt-free!
Melissa Rycroft/Tony Dovolani
Jitterbug (Judges’ Score: 37)
The Rib: Just what Melissa needed: the Jitterbug—another dance that lets her dress up in a short, puffy skirt, wear tennis shoes, and do tricks! Although the tricks were big and plentiful, I felt that some of them actually interrupted the energy flow of the routine, which was fast and fun. Just the same, she is an excellent dancer and will be around through the top five for sure.
Stub: Melissa definitely puts the boom-boom into my heart, but my soul didn’t get quite sky-high when the dancing started; and the Jitterbug she put in my brain didn’t quite bang, bang, bang my feet to do the same. In short, something was bugging me, something was not right. While the tricks did interrupt the flow a bit, tricks, spins, and lifts are a lot of what the Jitterbug is about, so for me, this high-energy routine really pleased, but didn’t quite get there. Even though this Jitterbug didn’t live up to its full potential, Melissa will not be go-going anywhere this week. Yeah, that just happened!
Shawn Johnson/Derek Hough
Mambo (Judges’ Score: 39.5)
The Rib: WOW!!! This Mambo was ah-mah-zing. I cannot understand how the little chipmunk—who actually looked like an adult woman shaking her naughty bits—did not get a perfect score! Really Len, what else do you want? It was sexy, fast, precise, and synchronized to the point of insanity. Now, this may be the best dance ever on the show.
Stub: That dance was just full-on hot! And while everyone raved about that Bollywood number Gilles and Peta performed, this Mambo was at least 3 points better. If Shawn keeps dancing like this, anyone who failed to pick her as winner in the preseason office pool will be losing his or her shirt like so many Chmerkovskiy’s. I’m not sure this is the best dance ever on the show, but it immediately joins the top 5. This Mambo was, however, easily and by far the best dance of the night and the season.
Apolo Ohno/Karina Smirnoff
Hip-Hop (Judges’ Score: 34.5)
The Rib: The pre-dance video package suggested Karina had some real problems with this one, which usually means the couple is going to kill it; in this case, it foreshadowed a rough performance. While there were some great individual moves—and Apolo definitely excels in this genre—the dance lacked connectedness throughout the routine, and the transitions between the moves were terrible. Karina falling was really the least of the problems here. Still, Karina looked smokin’ hot in fishnets and hot pants—that alone deserved 8.5s!
Stub: I’m not sure anything about this deserved 8.5s. Apolo did a decent move here and there, but this dance was rough from the get-go. I actually feel sorry for him this week—Karina seemed to complain more about the dance assignment than work past her insecurities about it. That energy couldn’t have been good in rehearsal, and it showed during this performance. I’m not sure Apolo deserves to go home on this one, but he surely didn’t deserve a higher score than Kirstie on this night. Apolo and Karina should make it through to next week and get their shot at redemption, but the ballroom is a fickle mistress. They have a real chance of leaving tonight.
Kelly Monaco/ Val Chmerkovskiy
Contemporary (Judges’ Score: 37.5)
The Rib: As faithful readers know, Kelly is not my favorite, and her smoldering sexy/sad face looks more like fear or constipation than sensual “come hither-i-ness.” That said, and while I was not as impressed as Stub (or the judges for that matter), Kelly has an unbelievable body and hit some incredible poses. I really liked the concept of this dance, as well as the emotions evoked by the song and dance pairing. However, there were some really awkward moves as Kelly transitioned from one movement to the next, and I think it was WAY overscored with 9.5s. Good effort on a tough assignment—just not that good.
Stub: I hate disagreeing with The Rib—’cause you know, “happy wife, happy life” and all—but this dance was great. Kelly is not my favorite, either, but she is the celebrity dancer that has most impressed me, if for no other reason than changing my mind about her dancing prowess. This contemporary dance had that whole “light and shade” thing going on that Len likes, and it definitely served its purpose here. It was sexy, violent, and emotional. I think Kelly and Val deserved every bit of the 37.5 score they received.
2010 Ferrari-Carano Sienna, Sonoma County, California
This wine made the cut tonight for several reasons: 1) it’s a go-to bottle here at Chateau CorkEnvy; 2) it’s widely available; 3) it’s a Sangiovese-based red blend that I figured would pair well with dinner; and 4) it’s not a cost-prohibitive bottle o’ vino.
This red blend is 74% Sangiovese, 14% Malbec, 8% Syrah, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Rib and I have enjoyed several vintages of the Siena blend at least as far back as 2006 (if memory serves). It is consistently a pleasant, easy drinking wine that pairs well with a variety of meals and will not only please the casual wine drinker, but won’t offend a serious wine geek; it’s a good bottle to have on hand for gatherings. This was our first taste of a 2010 Siena.
On the nose, black cherry, cola, and oak prevailed.
The palate brought the cherry, the cola, and the wood—the Siena tasted like we were drinking a cherry coke out of a cigar box, with a half shot of vanilla thrown in for good measure. Tobacco lingered on the finish. This wine reminded me of cherry or cherry/vanilla pipe tobacco. I got a little blackberry in there, too. As it sat in the bottle, actual grape notes began to emerge.
We paired the 2010 Siena with chili that I had simmered in the slow cooker all afternoon. I specifically picked a Sangiovese blend to complement the tomatoes and beef. It not only complemented the tomatoes, but held up to the chili spices, too. Nice pairing, if I do say so myself!
Overall, this is a fun little wine. At $17 or so retail, the 2010 Siena is less expensive than its predecessors, and rightfully so—The Rib and I have enjoyed more complex vintages of the Siena blend. That said, the 2010 vintage is still a nice little bottle to have around, given the quality and price. Don’t hesitate to give this wine a go, especially with tomato-based sauces, pasta, or even pizza.
The Rib: This was absolutely the best show of the season! Truly awesome dancing—celebrity, pro, I don’t care who you are! Another plus was the fact that, despite Brooke Burke-Charvet’s turn as a space leprechaun, she was not the most annoying person in the ballroom—that prize goes to Paula Abdul. She must be getting an A+ in group therapy, because she can really spew the self-help lines about doing one’s “personal best” and “challenging yourself.” Upside, her biceps and shoulders looked great. I am most excited about next week’s show—Guilty Pleasure Songs! My mind is racing: The Divinyls, “I Touch Myself?” George Michael, “I Want Your Sex?” I see a theme developing—oh, the possibilities are endless!
Stub: I can’t agree with The Rib more on this: last night’s show was definitely the best of the season. The only dance that didn’t deliver in some way was Bristol’s “Rock and Roll” number—she should be in the bottom three, along with some combination of Kirstie, Sabrina, or Apolo. While Kirstie isn’t much longer for the ballroom, I think she will deservedly escape elimination tonight; my fear is that Bristol will somehow stay on, as well—leaving Sabrina or Apolo to make a sad, earlier-than-expected exit from the ballroom.
On a “looking ahead” note, I, too am excited about Guilty Pleasure Songs! And The Rib will love our weekend plans: after “She Bop” her way through the work week, we’re going to pop the cork on a couple bottles of wine Saturday evening and do “research” for a “guilty pleasure” song list to be published on CorkEnvy.com before Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars performance show! We’ll try to cap our respective lists at a reasonable number, but if you have any “guilty pleasure” song recommendations, feel free to send some suggestions our way.
Until next week…
Cheers from the Ballroom at CorkEnvy,
Stub & The Rib