Our 'Dancing with the Stars' correspondents Chuck Small and Lenni G will be back on the job for us with recaps throughout Season 12. Lenni G gives us her thoughts on last night's show.
It was a busy, busy semi-finals night with each couple doing two individual dances plus a "winner takes all" cha cha elimination complete with brackets. It's March Madness in May, DWTS style.
Round 1 began with an Argentine tango from Ralph and Karina. Unfortunately, the "prosthetic butt" Karina had Ralph wear did nothing for his dancing, with all three judges in agreement that the routine lacked emotion and technique. Looks like Ralph is starting "from behind." Judges' scores - 8's from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 9 from Len for a total of 25.
Next up, Kirstie and Maks with a Viennese waltz. Bruno thought Kirstie danced like she was on the crest of a wave. Carrie Ann thought the holds were amazing and the technique was fantastic. Len thought Kirstie's posture was beautiful. I thought Kirstie looked like she was 50 or 60 pounds lighter. Judges' scores - 9's from all three for a total of 27.
Chelsea and Mark's Argentine tango put Carrie Ann in the PMS zone. She felt Chelsea was "not up to par," that her legs "looked bad," and that she "did not finish." Len agreed with CA on the legs but said the dancing was clean and precise and it was mostly a first class performance. Bruno, playing the anti-Carrie Ann, found Chelsea "fascinating, intriguing and teasing." I'm with Bruno. Judges' scores - 9's from Carrie Ann and Len, 10 from Bruno for a total of 28.
Last first round dance is another Argentine tango from Hines and his injured partner, Kym. Have to say the replay of Kym's fall was just plain scary. Also have to say their tango was just plain scary good. Judges were unanimous in their praise of both Hines and Kym, giving them a standing "O" at the end of their routine. Judges' scores - 10's from all three for the first perfect total of 30 for the season.
Starting Round 2, Ralph and Karina did a salsa that was just OK. Len felt it was too harsh and too wild. Bruno felt Ralph was too rough with his "- - - - -" (bleeped reference to Karina) which was totally classless on Bruno's part. Carrie Ann liked it and thought Ralph had the most fun he's had this season. Judges' scores - 8's from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 7 from Len for a total of 23 and a grand total of 48 for the night.
The paso doble from Kirstie and Maks was pretty much right on in terms of the emotion of the dance. Carrie Ann called Kirstie the "Queen of paso" and Bruno, with a return to civility, said it looked like, "Dance Trek 12, The Wrath of Kirstie." Judges' scores - 9's from all three for a total of 27 and a grand total of 54 for the night.
The rumba from Chelsea and Mark was just fan-freaking-tastic! Carrie Ann said, "That's what I'm talkin' about," Len said she fulfilled her potential, and Bruno felt it was "perfectly pitched." Judges' scores - 10's from all three for a total of 30 and a grand total of 58 for the night.
Finishing up Round 2, Hines and Kym did a really, really good salsa. As Bruno said, "It was just beautiful, man." And yes, Carrie Ann, Hines' joy is totally infectious. Judges' scores - 10's from all three for a total of 30 and a grand total of 60 for the night.
On to the cha cha elimination where 15 points will be given to the last couple standing. First out, Ralph and Karina versus Hines and Kym, and Kirstie and Maks versus Chelsea and Mark. No brainers here with Hines and Kym, and Chelsea and Maks moving on.
We now add another element with "Instant Music" ("Just Dance" from Lady Gaga). And we have a coin toss, conducted by Brooke Burke who obviously has never conducted a coin toss before. Hines calls heads, the coin comes up tails and Brooke declares Hines has won and has the choice of going first or second. Ever gracious Hines points out to coin-toss challenged Brooke that Chelsea has won the choice. After both dance again, the judges declare Chelsea the winner, adding 15 points to her scores resulting in a total of 73 for the evening.
Tune in tonight for results - Ralph is going, going - gone?