I’ve often carped about the phoniness of some judges’ scores on Dancing With the Stars. In fact, I still do. (We’ll get to that later.) But with one vote on Monday’s show I’m in total agreement: Melissa Rycroft and Tony’s saucy, sexy and ever so stylish tango definitely earned top marks for the night, which they got, with a 29. If you had any doubts that Melissa will make the finals (meaning, the final two contestants–but you never know on TV, where some shows fudge and group three or more contestants in their “finals”), then this should dispel it. She’s in it for the distance and the long haul. And don’t mess with Texas!
But in other scores, what a bore. I mean, Shawn Johnson was so far out of her league in a trite routine where partner Mark did all the dazzle, yet they got a 28? Puhleeze. And Chuck/Julianne matched Gilles/Cheryl with a 27? I guess all you have to do is demand a score (as Chuck did, insisting on a “nine”) and you’ll get it–from every judge, in fact. But if they truly think the Chuckster was as good as Gilles, these judges are sipping the wrong Kool-Aid.
On another note, the music choices again were superb, with a glaring exception in the “what was that?” song they chose to represent the 1960s in the largely leaden group dance. Regardless of when it was composed (and I’m not so sure it was the ’60s), this song sounded about as ’60s as today’s generic dance music. And the routine itself seemed less inspired by the ’60s — the true ’60s — than by Austin Powers movies, which are really the ’60s once removed and also distanced by parody. News flash: The absolute biggest dance craze of the ’60s was the Twist, and there wasn’t one sign of it. There was a lot of Pulp Fictiony dancing (again, the ’60s once removed), but no twisting. Pathetic.
But the ’60s did supply one grand musical moment: When Gilles and Cheryl performed to the little known gem by Ray Davies of the Kinks called I Go to Sleep. What a beautiful song. Cher also sang this back in the day, the Kinks also recorded it (of course) and the Pretenders also covered it. Great song, and not a cliched choice. Kudos.
So there you have it: a two-person race between Melissa and Gilles. Phony judging aside, you can bank on it. You can count on it. When the finals come, it’s gonna happen. Now where are those Chubby Checker records? I feel a Twist coming on.