A shocking send-off: This season’s golden girl, Sabrina Bryan, finally got a dose of tough-love from the judges Monday night, but no one imagined it would soon be over for the pint-sized powerhouse. In a fox-trot riddled with flubs, Bruno Tonioli pointed out a problem with “spatial flow,” while Len Goodman pegged it as just “too powerful.” They were both scrambling for a nice way to say, “Turn it down a notch or ten!” Despite the criticism, they expected Sabrina and Mark Ballas to go all the way. The judges stood slack-jawed as Tom Bergeron announced that Sabrina was out of the competition. The normally neutral host even added, “I had you so pegged for the finale.”
Still on her feet: After Marie Osmond’s dramatic drop last week, she and Jonathan Roberts attempted a comeback with the paso doble. Unfortunately for the pair, while they surpassed their samba, the dance failed to dazzle. Len characterized Marie’s paso persona as “a gypsy around a campfire cooking (her) sausages,” which is a far cry from the bullfighter’s cape she intended to convey. Lacking support from the judges, Johnny and Marie relied on viewer votes to save the day. And, inexplicably, they did. Wonder what the shelf life on sympathy votes is anyway?
Splendid Spice: The hot and cold relationship between Mel B and Maksim Chmerkovskiy finally found the ideal outlet in the rumba. The dance of mixed emotions allowed the couple to show off their unique chemistry, while Maks’ streamlined choreography highlighted their technical proficiency. The nearly flawless dance earned them a completely flawless score, making it the second perfect-30 routine this season.
Alive despite jive: Jane Seymour’s lithe form and ballet background mesh perfectly with graceful, sweeping numbers like the fox-trot, tango or waltz, but the same can’t be said of bounce-‘n’-groove moves such as the jive. Bruno put it lightly when he said, “(The jive) wasn’t your most comfortable dance.” Still, Jane deserved some credit for working a ponytail and miniskirt at 56 better than most 26-year-olds could. While a suspected case of food poisoning prevented her from attending Tuesday’s results show, her luck improved when she somehow escaped the bottom two.
Back in the race: With the competition down to just two male celebrities, Helio Castroneves knew he needed to make up for last week’s robotic rumba if he wanted to stay in the game. The playful cha-cha he and Julianne Hough delivered Monday night was just the trick. Dropping any effort at acting, Helio allowed his goofy grin to remain in place, and instead focused on his footwork — which appeared impeccable, when it wasn’t obscured by his enormous beige flairs. The judges loved the dance and awarded them 28 points. Len was more interested in the flairs. “When you’re done with your trousers, I’d look gorgeous in them!”
No one’s safe: Cameron Matheson and Edyta Sliwinska stood next to Sabrina and Mark to round out the most shocking bottom two of the season. Bruno called it “the most consistent versus the most improved,” but now that “consistent” has left the building, “improved” better keep improving. It’s the battle of the fan bases now.