Len says that he thinks these four are the couples that deserve to be in the finals, but doesn’t give any indication which way he’ll score. Bruno says to Zendaya that she’s “working every angle like he’s seen nobody doing.” See? That’s what I was trying to say. He calls Aly cheeky and praises Jacobyfor hanging tough with the female pros.

Carrie Ann calls Kellie “tight, tight, tight” and compliments her almost “military precision.” To Zendaya she says, “You ARE a cha cha.” She tells Aly that she’s fun and calls Jacobya wild ride.

The judges put Jacoby & Karina in 4th, Aly & Mark in 3rd, Kellie & Derek in 2nd, and Zendaya & Val in 1st. I would’ve put Jacoby ahead of Aly, but otherwise I’m OK with that ranking.

Round Three
“Super Sized” Free Style

Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff

As they show Karina and Jacoby backstage before their performance, Jacoby has pulled on giant red underpants and a cape over his tuxedo pants. He’s making a goofy face and doing subtle pelvic thrusts and it’s got me giggling  A LOT.

The producer of the show comes into their rehearsal studio andtells them they can get creative with staging, extra dancers, etc. Karina explains they’re bringing New Orleans and Mardi Gras to the routine, with a ton of street dancers showing up to join them. It looks like they’ve got an extra choreographer in helping them out, but they don’t introduce her. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I bet it’ll be fun.

It starts with six steppers in two lines followed by two drummers and then Karina and Jacobydoing the “Seven Nation Army” chant heard at Ravens games in recent years. The extra dancers then form two lines on the side of the dance floor and then work their way upstage and are backing them up on the stairs from then on. There’s a rare slip up from the camera crew as we see two of the crew pass right in front of Jacoby & Karina. Then a couple of tap-dancing kids come out and dance in in between Jacoby & Karina and it’s the four of them in sync. At the end, Jacoby lifts the young girl dancer on to his shoulders to end the routine.

That was great – it was tough and street but fun and something we haven’t seen the likes of in the ballroom before.

Len said it had great energy and says it was a good job. Bruno said he loved the feel of it, but did see Jacoby lose the beat a couple of times. This apparently makes Jacoby’s mom mad enough to yell. Carrie Ann says it was the right feel for him, but that the dance outshone him. I don’t get that at all.

Scores:  Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9

Coming back to the show from commercial, it’s silent in the ballroom. Tom explains that because they are a live show, it seems right to acknowledge when big events are happening in the world. He extends sympathy to those affected by the tornadoes in Oklahoma and then asks the audience to applaud the first responders. Class act, that Bergeron. Exactly the right way to handle a show with so many sequins on a night so many people have lost so much.

Alexandra Reisman & Mark Ballas

I’m going to be seriously disappointed if this is essentially a gymnastics routine. Oh, look, it’s going to be a pole dance. Sigh. I know, I know, this can be really artistic and athletic. But it’s still kind-of a stripper thing, right? I don’t care if Mark IS calling it a “vertical bar.” Mark explains that this is going to take a tremendous amount of strength and Aly is one of the few people he would ask to attempt it.

It starts with both of them lying on the floor and everything, from the colors to the music to the choreography, is pretty much Cirque de Gay Disco in 1982, except for the horrible synthesizer pan flute. That’s just WRONG.

Bruno is so excited he starts out in Italian. He praises their sync on the poles, except I feel like I saw them out of sync up there more than once. Carrie Ann admits to working a pole in her day, hey-o!, and says it’s one of the best performances she’s ever seen on the show. Disagree!  Len loved the concept and calls her “Alexandra the Great.”

Scores:  Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 10, Bruno: 10


Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough

Derek talks about a swing or a hanging silk. I love aerial dance, including silks, but I’m pleased with Derek’s ultimate decision to strip the production down and just push the dance technique to its limit. Kellie says they’re going to sell this dance by the power of the dance, not the production. So, basically, the exact opposite of what Aly & Mark just did.