'Dancing With the Stars': The Fugitive Rises
Who knew a one-armed man could move so well?
Talk about upsetting expectations. Cristian has been on the edge of departure for weeks at this point; last week, he got carried by the sympathy vote -- straight out of even the bottom two -- but it seemed unlikely he could last much longer at this point.
Then he comes in and trounces the leader board. As he puts it, "We should have started dancing with one arm before!"
In the ballroom, he manages the lift with one arm, and all three judges rave about seeing no indication in the choreography that anything is wrong. In the Latin round, with Cristian wearing practically no shirt and a sparkle arm brace (and please, Tom Bergeron, for the benefit the parents of arm-injured adolescent girls everywhere, give viewers the toll-free number for ordering that puppy next time out), his left armless-ness seems more pronounced, but he manages yet another lift and a hot enough mambo to earn his second Carrie Ann '10' of the night (three total; Len was giving up nothing tonight). Two dance score: a 57 that had him two points ahead of Kristi.
Kristi wasn't bad -- never will be, natch -- but she had another off round ("off" in her vocabulary involves eight spins into a drop that leaves Bruno drooling). After owning the leader board for the first half of the competition, she gets bested for the second straight week. Relatively sure it's not based on that combo McDonald's/Big Bird outfit (think red and yellow -- and feathers) she wears for the Latin round, but who knows? Carrie Ann, who just last week declared that Kristi is pretty much a 9 no matter what, rolled out an 8 for the Latin round and was the lone holdout in the ballroom competition keeping Kristi from a second 10. That said, even with two 10s from the boys in the first dance, she's down again.
Mario continues to work it, and even shows great sportsmanship (no negative words, just a horror face) when Len -- who is in a world-class bad mood this episode -- compares his ballroom dancing with "Britney Spears getting out of a car. Not very elegant." Ouch, ouch. That, though, is clearly a canned comment he thought up, cause his real evaluation of Mario's ballroom is that it's elegant this time around. Mario, by the way, wins the punching bag of the week award, because Len also feels compelled to analyze his Latin dance with a reference to his feet as a "bloody big mess." Still, he clocks in at third.
Jason doesn't disappoint with the lifts -- Edyta is flying -- but he doesn't thrill, either, and it seems as if he needs to up his star a bit at this point. His ballroom is great (two 10s, with a discount from Len), but he gets crushed on the samba (nobody is doing well in samba-land right now). Maybe it's that awfully distracting spray-tan he was given ("with my complexion, you just should not be spray-tanned" he astutely points out) but not even the lift of the night at the end can save him. Len rolls out a 7 -- a 7! -- the week before the semis, and Jason gets a 23 in total, which is ominous.
But the one worrying overnight has to be Bubbles Jaret Winokur, who has worked hard, and has improved, and has nice hair tonight (big once, bun once, lovely all around), but is rapidly cruising to the end of her outing. Her mediocre ballroom outing starts her at the bottom of the pack, and then she does a mambo that -- gasp! -- Len bemoans because of it's lack of raunch. If Len thinks you're too chaste, that's trouble.
Elimination round coming up is a double-hour in honor of the show's 100th episode, with some returning stars, etc. Which sucks for Marissa, who is going to spend two hours waiting around to see if her inevitable plop into the bottom two spells the end.
-- JENNIFER FREY
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