Image credit: ABC
THROW IN THE LOINTOWEL Gilles refuses to give up.
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel: 29 out of 30 Their Cinderella-inspired waltz (since when is a classic Disney staple a guilty pleasure?) was 100% Pure Cheese….and I LOVED it! Cinderella's always been my fave, and whenever the waltz comes up on this show, I honest-to-Lord Mirrorballus sometimes find myself humming the opening "mmmm"s to "So This Is Love." There's a great featurette on the Cinderella DVD about how Walt Disney originally wanted Cinderelly and Prince Charming to waltz in the clouds instead of on land -- a vision that came to fruition nine years later at the very end of Sleeping Beauty. I didn't have to Google any of that. I'm so smart sometimes, but only about the lamest stuff.
ANYWAY, imagine my delight when one of the male singers in the Harold Wheeler Band chimed in on "And now I knowwww…." just like the freaking prince in the movie! The whole Sabrina-Louis scene played out like a live-action cartoon and if you unfocused your eyes a little you couldn't tell the difference. The giant chandelier and clock, Sabrina's overly clunky shoes (why weren't they glass slippers?) and Louis' ridiculously spot-on prince costume all contributed to that uniquely trippy experience. I thought I saw a bunch of cheese curds (left behind by Jacques and Gus the house mice, no doubt), but it turned out those were just the rest of the bright orange contestants up in the skybox.
"I don't think you quite got to vulnerability, but it was elegance personified," Carrie Ann told Sabrina after Bruno had flopped around the judges' table "like a windsock outside a used car lot" (Tom!) -- seemingly in an effort to top Carrie Ann's fall to the floor on Monday. He knows he can just go ahead and fall, right? It's not brain surgery, or whatever creepy experiment Tony was performing on Melissa earlier.
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 27/30 Shawn -- not an actress, let her remind you again -- was having trouble being sensual and pretending she was into Derek like that for the rumba, so Derek very craftily set the entire routine on a circle high above the floor. The whole time, I was mesmerized at the mere fact that they weren't falling off the elevated disc (the balance beam of the ballroom?), so I wonder if that was a deliberate attempt to distract viewers from the fact that Shawn exhibited very little hip action and whipped through the routine trick-by-trick as usual.
It didn't really bother me, though, because as a performance and homage to Shawn (or let's be honest, Derek)'s guilty pleasure, Titanic, this was fabulous. Derek slipping off the disc on his way to a watery death = genius. I'll go ahead and give his smoke-swimming freestyle a 7. Seh-vehhhhhn! And I don't know why Officer Inaba of the Dreaded and Unwarranted Lift Police had to make a fuss over what she called a lift and Derek insisted was a "catch." It was totally a catch. It was also the most thrilling part of the routine -- what if Shawn fell off the beam? Bela Karolyi would have a total cow. So much was at stake in this rumba!
NEXT: How do you solve a problem like Apolo?