Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 30/30 quickstep + 4/5 cha cha relay + 30/30 freestyle = 64/65 The judges were looking for more body contact in the quickstep, so Len Goodman, the mean old horny principal of Sparkle School, dropped by rehearsal to teach Kellie about sex and dancing: "He's got a knobbly bit here...Your knobbly bit should be just to this side of his knobbly bit." Len was so hot and bothered following their perfect-30 liiiiiiive performance that he almost flatulated. Only Bruno and Carrie Ann know if that "almost" part was a lie.
This quickstep was seriously loaded with content and I was so glad these first-round dances got to be so long. The Big Band music made it seem even faster and more exciting. You gotta hand it to Derek for his expert orchestration of routines like this, when it's like he's conducting the band along with the dance, and doing it all through the showcasing of his partner's strengths. "Like a stamp on a lettah!" cried Len, clearly impressed with Kellie and Derek's magnetic knobbly bit connection.
Derek's decision to go with a stripped-down production on a "supersize freestyle" was a game-changer -- the gimmick was that there was no gimmick. Damnit, Derek! How do you do that? Focusing on "the power of the dance" for what's considered the most important routine of the season naturally elevated Kellie's emotional engagement with it, and that's what her DWTS Journey has been all about. Genius!
This dance had everything: crazy fast spins, super extensions, a "climb," and an improvisation on the classic Kate-Leo forward-lean from Titanic that had Kellie perched at nearly a 180-degree angle from Derek as he held only her feet! Oh dear God, her abs, was all I could think as her core strength worked overtime. They looked like a set mousetrap.
I cried! Kellie's husband Kyle cried! Carrie Ann, as usual, had been crying since the show began! "One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen," she raved through the tears. #Sparklebarf. "A contemporary work of art," agreed Bruno. "Good dancing engages the brain. Great dancing engages the heart," said Len, who must have appreciated this far cry from the hazy red paso doble trio he'd hated from Derek earlier this season.
"If [Len] gives you a seven tonight, I'm killing myself," announced Tom. Whoa! Suicide by seh-vehhhhhhhn! What a way to go.
NEXT: Mark makes Aly's pole-dancing debut about his own fake fear of heights