‘Dancing With the Stars’: ‘Guilty Pleasures’ Night, with Hanson

By | April 25, 2011

Wall Street Journal

This week on “Dancing with the Stars,” it’s “Guilty Pleasures” night.

Before we have a chance to register what’s happening, Hanson (Hanson?!) opens the show, playing that one song of theirs. (What? Ok.)

But we’ll cut them a little slack: the brothers are still cute after all these years, and better dressed, especially the one in the blue suit. (We still don’t know their names.) The Hanson brothers grow on us over the night, after gamely (ironically?) playing songs like Lionel Ritchie’s “Hello,” as the show eased out of commercials. It seems like Twitter thought the same, sending “MMMBop” and “Hanson” into the Twitter trends less than an hour after show time.

Surprisingly, Hanson didn’t provide the music for the dancers, which would have been fun to watch. A wasted opportunity, we think.

Who: Kirstie Alley

What she danced: Samba, to Britney’s “Hit Me, Baby, One More Time”

How she did: Very nice hip action, tight turns even if her hands are occasionally a little misplaced. Her basic step is very tight, and she’s precisely in position after each turn and break.

What the judges said: “Great job, very good basic step,” “It’s very hard to make this dance look easy,” “This is the way I want to see you dance each week.”

Score: 26

Who: Chris Jericho

What he danced: Tango to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

How he did: There’s something still staccato about Chris. His steps are little too heavy, the kicks are too high. He does well when he’s required to carry or lead his his partner but steps that requires finesse still elude him. He put the steps together well, but he lacks elegance.

What the judges said: “You lost timing so many times,” “It was cold and …a bit lumpy,” “It was technically sound but it was cold,” “You had good posture, but it did lack a bit of intensity. Overall, I thought you did an excellent job.”

Score: 22

Who: Romeo

What he danced: Waltz to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.”

How he did: Not enough of the lift and dip that characterizes the waltz, and overall, just not enough of the lightness. The dance should look as light as his partner’s pretty lilac dress but Romeo, for all his effort, never achieves lift-off. We stand by our assessment, even as the judges proceed to go rapturous.

What the judges said: “That was magical,” “You dance with great maturity,” “Your footwork was very good and I commend you,” “You achieved a new level of poise.”

Score: 28 (Including the first 10 of the season)

Who: Chelsea

What she danced: Quickstep to Katrina and the Wave’s “Walking on Sunshine”

How she did: Endearing! She shows really great musicality, easily shifting tempo and staying right on top of the beat. Chelsea’s completely synced with her partner without ever looking like she needs needs to check where her feet are. A very confident poised performance.

What the judges said: “Full on and great fun, well done,” “That was light and luminous, you have so much zest,” “You were so in sync.”

Score: 28 (Including another 10)

Who: Kendra

What she danced: Samba to Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ the Vida Loca”

How she did: So she’s a former stripper, right? She should be able to master the samba like no one else. Well, then! Whew, girl… First, we have to nitpick her technique. Kendra still can’t spin to save her life and can barely give the semblance of following a partner. However, her partner sets her loose to shimmy and shake and Kendra, to her immense credit, does that and then some. She closes the dance with a Flashdance-style solo on the judges’ table that nearly gives Len a heart attack and has Bruno waving a dollar bill.

What the judges said: “You could shimmy like no other,” “Work a little more on the technique” “The more you gyrated, the more I palpitated” “Revenge of the stripper, part one.” (Bruno then proceeded to jump on the table and ask for a lap dance.)

Score: 25

Who: Hines Ward

What he danced: Viennese waltz to Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road”

How he did: Hines was graceful where Romeo wasn’t. Hines has mastered the fluid up and down dips of the waltz, as well as the suggestion of lightness and fluidity. Easily the best male performance, and in contrast to his peers, he shows how far behind Chris and Romeo in their own efforts.

What the judges said: “Every dance you do is just great,” “As a performance and a dancer, you’re second to none,” “Like two birds in love… you couldn’t be more fluid,” “It felt like you were thinking too much.”

Score: 27

Who: Ralph Macchio

What he danced: Pose doble to C+C Music Factory’s “Everybody Dance Now.”

How he did: He started off rocky, and lost his timing a few times. His partner, Karina, trips on Ralph’s long coat and falls hard. Ralph’s shaken until she visibly gets him back on beat. But then! He throws himself into the dance and ends with a very commanding presence.

What the judges said: “Once you got back on, there was no stopping you, “ “That was tough. It’s about being inspiring and getting back up,” “I’m going to congratulate you. You pulled Karina up. You had fire and passion.”

Score: 24