You take the high road and I’ll take the low

I’m baaaaaack.

Did you miss me?

Hey! Don’t give me the cold shoulder! Wait — come back here!

Oh, I know. I abandoned you right when things started getting interesting on Dancing With the Stars, including not blogging the finale which my last post promised I would. I KNOW, OK? I suck. I’m a terrible, unreliable blogger.

Please know that I am sorry. And that I love you. And that life was so busy I wasn’t even on the Trash Couch very much and it’s hard sometimes to make time for blog entries about terrible television.

So what brings me back from the ether, you ask? What has caused me to saddle up and climb astride the old blogging horse? I will tell you: KILTS. You win, ABC. Clearly someone at that network has my number. You have my full attention, now.

The Meal: Wonderful dinner provided mostly by Susan! London Broil on the grill, roast potatoes, spinach pie. Brussels sprouts done in 2 ways, cooked by Gar-bear. Cheesecake selection for dessert.

On the couch: Tsarina Deb, Sloman, Neighbor Wendy, Silent Partner Rob, Susan, Prent(!), Gar-de-bear, the blogger.

The Show: The Bachelorette, season 8, ep. 6

Assessment: I actually missed the first 4 episodes of this season, so last week I had a lot of catching up to do with this show. Encouragingly, Emily got rid of dead weight early on in the season, it seems. Including that dumbass Kalon. Also last week they were in LONDON, which made me insanely jealous as it’s one of my favorite cities and it pained me to see Emily saying dumb things about date locations (such as calling the Tower of London “London Tower” and trying to spout out tour guide knowledge about Henry VIII). (Oh and don’t even get me started on the Shakespeare portion of that episode.)

Anyway, this week. They’re in Croatia, which does look pretty and has lots of great architecture and cobblestone streets. Emily’s first one-on-one date is with Travis, and prior to getting the date card, Travis said it was “imperative” that he get a date with Emily or else he would just leave. Whatever, Travis. She’s got 6 other boyfriends, do you not know how this show works? Also, doing some catch up work on the Internet informed me that Travis apparently carried around an egg for the first 3 episodes or some such nonsense. I’m over this dude already.

Emily and Travis go ambling around Dubrovnik, stopping to admire sculptures and purchase, bizarrely, a holy water font. I think Emily or Travis probably just liked the cross, but the second I saw it I was transported back to St. Mary’s grade school and my grandmother’s house. They also take some time to dance condescendingly for local street musicians.

And then there was this whole bit about the local tradition of balancing on this stone and removing either your shirt or jacket, which if achieved will bring luck in love. Travis barely manages to balance and makes no effort to remove his shirt, to Emily’s disappointment. Foreshadowing, Travis!

At dinner Travis is talking about busting out of the friend zone and talking about how he hasn’t dated in 2 years since his engagement broke up. Which makes me feel bad for the guy, but Travis: You carried around an egg for 3 weeks. You’re not busting out of the friend zone. Emily spots this pretty quick too, and decides not to present him with a rose. Which sucks for Travis (who dramatically throws his umbrella, exhibiting more passion and personality than seen on the actual date with Emily), but it’s better she did this now rather than later. Don’t worry buddy, you’ll find someone.

Group date time! So because ABC is a partner with Disney, we get treated to a 10-minute commercial for Brave, which is fine by me, because I adore Pixar and I’m quite excited about this flick with it’s kick-ass female heroine that is not a just princess and appears to do shit for herself and not have the ultimate goal of getting married. I will point out that it was stupid to do this in Croatia, though. You were just in the UK, ya numpties. Why not leave London and go to Glasgow or Edinburgh for this cross-promotion? Clearly this was not planned out very well.

ANYWAY, I’m quibbling over things here, because watching Brave leads to the men donning kilts, sweet Jesus, THANK YOU.

I make no apologies for my adoration of men in kilts. Seriously. Look at them up there! There’s something so dashing about a man in a kilt. Think Liam Neeson in Rob Roy. And paired with those muscle shirts? I love this ensemble. They all look so good. If I were the Bachelorette, do you know how many group dates I would make be like this one? ALL OF THEM.

Anyway, Jef (seriously, that’s how you spell your name? Also, Jason Priestly circa 1992 called and wants his hair back) refers to the kilts as “skirts,” which aggravates me. It’s not a skirt, dude. It’s rugged and awesome, OK? And then the date keeps getting better and better, because they’re going to compete in the Highland games. Please excuse me while I post lots of pictures of the men in kilts competing:

OK, let’s talk for a moment about Chris — everyone was giving him shit (including Sloman from the couch) for not being very good at the Highland games. But this is where Chris really endeared himself to me. Because even though he didn’t do well, he kept trying and had a good attitude about it all. More than that, he tried to challenge himself, too. He was good at laughing at himself and kept putting forth effort. And if I’ve learned anything from my bout of heartbreak in the past year, you want someone that tries, that makes an effort. If I can take a moment to put this in Bachelorette-speak, because heaven forbid we don’t make a ham-handed metaphor about the date event, but: this shows that Chris is going to put the same emphasis and value on making your relationship work. Or whatever.  (I’m actually stunned Emily didn’t make that comparison herself during an interview.)

Emily seemed to agree with me, because she gave Chris the Bravery cup and also the rose that night.

Then we’re shown a nice little montage of Ryan getting ready for his one-on-one date, including talking heads from all the guys about how none of them like him. “He spends 3 hours getting ready for his date, including plucking finger hair. It’s weird,” one of them said. Ha! I have to agree. This guy is… shallow. And smarmy. I get a giant “EW” vibe from him, even more so when I learn that he told Emily in an early episode that he wouldn’t love her if she gained weight. Can we all just marvel for a moment that Emily didn’t kick this dickwad to the curb at that moment. Emily, seriously?

Emily comes to the Man Lair to pick up Ryan, and we get to witness a hilariously awkward moment where Ryan tries to smooth-talk Emily in front of them, all “The world is our oyster and you’re the pearl” or something equally oleaginous. Also in this scene, about 40% of the men are wearing hoodies for some reason, with the hood half-way up on their heads. It looks pretty goofy, and my theory is that there was some mucking around prior to Emily arriving. I wish I’d found a screencap of it. Anyway, after they leave, the remaining men collapse into giggles at how awful Ryan is, which makes me love them all.

So Ryan and Emily go oystering and blah blah blah…. all I took away from this date is that Ryan is really really full of himself and cannot read women at all. The word “douche” was liberally used on the Trash Couch to describe Ryan, and I have to agree: He’s a Summer’s Eve with feet, basically. His overuse of the term “trophy wife” did nothing to endear him to myself or Emily. In fact, she even called him on his use of the term, and he was so fucking thick to still think that it’s a compliment — because in Ryan-logic, trophies are good, right? So a woman must want to be a trophy for her man. Christ, what a misogynistic piece of work. He literally says to her, “You’ll make someone a great trophy wife,” right after she points out how she doesn’t want to be a trophy wife.

And really, Emily, I have no sympathy for you, because you allowed this sexist pig to remain on the show. You’ve enabled this chauvinistic buttnut. At dinner, Ryan pulls out an actual list of qualities his wife will have. I am not even fucking kidding you when I say one of the items on the list is “be a servant.” I SHIT YOU NOT. Ryan goes on to explain that means putting family first, but seriously? You just told a woman that your ideal partner is a servant.

Emily looks more and more uncomfortable as the list goes on and on… and she tells Ryan that the top of her list would be “a loving family,” which doesn’t even feature on his list. Emily, this is what you focus on? I would have told him “Top of my list is someone who thinks of me as a human being instead of a goddamned knickknack to be displayed and perhaps understands the meaning of the word ‘feminism.'”  In any event, Emily doesn’t give Ryan the rose, and the entire Trash Couch cheered.

Ryan is stunned.

Ryan continues to try and sell himself to Emily after she rejects him, because he’s a winner right? Winners don’t loose out on their trophies! He argues that they have so much potential together! And then Emily waffles, because apparently she has the memory of a goldfish. Do you not remember that moment 90 seconds ago where he told you he wanted you to be a FUCKING SERVANT?

Emily voice-overs that this is the first time she isn’t 100% sure of her decision, and are you kidding me Emily? REALLY? I just shaved 50 points off of your IQ if you’re unsure about this self-centered dicksmack.

Ryan tells her to “trust herself,” which initially I thought was the smartest and nicest thing he’d said to her all night, but then I realized he was telling her to trust her doubts about letting him go. Regardless, no rose for Ryan. We are then treated to an adorable moment back at the Man Lair where the remaining dudes full-on hug each other in jubilation when they see Ryan’s suitcase being wheeled out; they hate him that much. Deliciously, this is contrasted by Ryan voice-overing how “shocked” the other guys will be when he doesn’t come home.

There’s also a great moment when Jef says Ryan is the type of guy who will now think he’ll be the next Bachelor, to which Arie replies, “If Ryan’s the next Bachelor, then the next bachelorette is a mirror.” FULL MARKS TO ARIE FOR THAT LINE. Bravo.

Then there’s a whole bit where Arie sneaks off to visit Emily, which the commercials and previews made out to be dramatic, but it’s mostly just sweet.

Cocktail party! I’m not going through a whole recap of this thing, except to say: Gar-bear posits that Emily needed a better bra for that dress to give her some “lift.” Also, Emily makes the “shocking” decision to not send anyone home at the Rose Ceremony and keep both Doug and John so she can get to know them better. And now they’re all headed to Prague.

Overall, I think Emily has an OK crop of men remaining now. No one is outwardly offensive and all seem like really nice, sweet guys. They also seem to get along well with one another, so that’s refreshing. Although next week there’s apparently some “drama” because Arie used to date a producer from the show. My predictions, based off of watching exactly 2 episodes of this show: Final 3 will be Sean, Arie, and Chris. I think Doug and John aren’t long for this world, with Jef close behind.

One more photo of guys in kilts, riding donkeys, just because:

LOVE. IT.

Mulligan!

Ok, trashers and trashettes. I am just taking a mulligan on the past 2 weeks. Unfortunately they won’t be recapped here (which is a shame, because the “Gary’s Trashed Night” would have been hilarious) because I am just too freaking busy. Hell, I still — STILL! — haven’t watched all the dances from last week. I know. Crazy times.

I love you though. And recaps will restart with tonight’s episode and continue through the finale and the advent of the squeaky Bachelorette.

Unexpected hiatus and EXCITEMENT

Trashers, I must express my deepest apologies for the lack of updates — life has gotten in the way quite unexpectedly and I’ve fallen so far behind. I owe you last week’s recap AND I was off the couch this week so I’ve got some homework ahead of me.

But! Before you start throwing all of Slomans’ portions of vegetables at me, please let me show you THIS LITTLE GEM:

Hi Tristan, HIIIIIIIIIIIII! Since you haven’t been calling me like I keep asking you to, I resorted to submitting questions on Pure DWTS and I am SO THRILLED you answered one of my questions. They even said my name!

PARDON ME EVERYONE, WHILE I SQUEE REALLY HARD OVER HERE.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

(Also, the fact this was posted on my birthday I am taking as a PERSONAL SHOUT OUT.)

Tristan, I don’t know how to feel about you liking Michael Flatley, whom I admire as a dancer but think on a personal level is a big old ponce. BUT I DON’T REALLY CARE BECAUSE, HI.

Tristan! I’ve been to Wicklow! I loved it there! I wanna go back and have good craic. Tristan! I can joke around with you like your mates in Dublin. I know all Dublin slang! We’ll go around to the Tart in the Cart and grab a pint at a pub before Grafton street.

WE’LL HAVE TO TALK AGAIN SOON, OK? EVEN IF IT’S THROUGH A THIRD (TIRD?) PARTY.

LOVE YOU BYYYYYYEEEEEEE.

(Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.)

All-Star Speculation and Scoring Notes

Just wanted to let everyone know that they are still in the running for the “winner” and “final 3″ bonus question.  Stunningly going into week 7…everyone picked by the trash team in those categories are still in the game.  Me thinks this will not be the case after week 7 though!

CLASSICAL WEEK is the name of the game in week 7.  Expect a lot of strings, harps the works playing in the orchestra.  We’ll see who has the “right stuff” starting this week!!  1 dance, 1 team dance AND still the prep for the “dance off.”

  • Donald and Peta will be dancing the Viennese Waltz
  • Jaleel and Kym will be dancing the Viennese Waltz
  • William and Cheryl will be dancing the Viennese Waltz
  • Roshon and Chelsie will be dancing the Argentine Tango
  • Melissa and Maks will be dancing the Foxtrot
  • Maria and Derek will be dancing the Paso Doble.
  • Katherine and Mark will be dancing the Rumba
TEAM PASO DOBLE
  • Donald and Peta
  • Melissa and Max
  • William and Cheryl
TEAM TANGO
  • Roshon and Chelsie
  • Katherine and Mark
  • Maria and Derek

ALSO…lots of blogging about the DWTS Season 15 possible ALL STAR reunion.  Here is one’s blogger’s wish list.  I personally like my picks better….

  • Kenny Mayne (10th place, season 2): Because he’s just awesome.
  • Master P (7th place, season 2): The record-holder for lowest score ever (8 points) needs a chance to redeem himself.
  • Jason Taylor (2nd place, season 6): We need a good football player.
  • Kim Kardashian (11th place, season 7): Because it’s fun to make fun of Kim Kardashian.
  • Cloris Leachman (7th place, season 7): Cloris Leachman is one of the awesomest people ever.
  • Gilles Marini (2nd place, season 8): How many DWTS stars get bigger after the show? It would be cool to welcome one of these rarities back.
  • Louie Vito (8th place, season 9): He and Chelsie Hightower were just so cute!
  • Kelly Osbourne (3rd place, season 9): A surprisingly strong dancer, she hasn’t been up to enough lately.
  • Mya (2nd place, season 9): She was robbed.
  • Kate Gosselin (8th place, season 10): Everybody loves a train wreck.
  • Niecy Nash (5th place, season 10): We need a funny lady, and she was one of DWTS‘ best.
  • Carson Kressley (8th place, season 13): Carson Kressley should always be on Dancing with the Stars. Always.

FINALLY…Kathy is bringing “classy” stinky cheese from Paris for us…the Tsarina will do Beef Stroganoff and other “classy” food assignments will be dispersed!  Sounds like another killer menu this week!!

Let me know who WILL NOT BE ON THE TRASH SOFA!!!

Oh what a night!

Amazingly our highest scores of the night came from those NOT on the trash sofa: Kathy who is in Paris, who boosted her score by 10, and Tammika with an amazing 11!!  The rest of us lingered around the 4,5 and 6 point placement except that little rib maker Gar-De-Bear. So much for watching the dances.  Next week I suggest we just throw darts at a score board and see if we do any better!!!

Bonus points were all over the map with only two achieving the “hat” bonus question (Tsarina and Tammika)..and the more interesting “song” bonus points went to Susan, Tsarina, Blogger, Kathy, and Tammika all gaining many of those points.  Then most of the troop got “Mad Maks” bonus points for snapping in rehearsal.  That was almost a given bonus question, having watched Maks for so many seasons.

Moving into first place (barely) Tsarina who scored 6 points on the sofa and another 20 bonus points for a total score of 137

Dropping one place…Gar-de-bear scoring 8 points on the sofa and 8 bonus points for a total score of 135

Holding a firm grip on 3rd place, Neighbor Wendy and the silent one, scoring 6 points on the sofa and 8 bonus points for a total score of 123. The Blogger sits at 4th place, scoring 6 points on the sofa and 8 bonus points for a total score of 110

Pulling into 5th place…Sloman, scoring 5 points on the sofa and 3 bonus points for a total score of 108

The true scoring winner of the week…Tammika  who moved into 6th place with 11 points scored (off the sofa) and an amazing 22 bonus points for a total score of 106!!!  Just think where she would be if she hadn’t forgotten to turn in one score sheet for the season!

Susan also having missed turning in a score sheet is hanging in there with 7th place with 4 points on the sofa, but a whopping 21 bonus points for a total score of 100

Finally coming in 8th place Ms. Paris…(Kathy) who again would be in a much better position if she turned in her score sheets.  Look what happens when you actually score!  10 actual dancing points and another 5 bonus points for a total score of 40.

Until more info comes in for next week..I remain yours in tv trash..

The  Tsarina…   “WINNING”…. 

Neither One of Us…

…Wants to be the first to say goodbye.

Oh friends. MOTOWN WEEK. So so many feelings this week. FEELINGS.

The Meal: A Motown Soul Food Flavor Explosion! Gar-Bear’s famous ribs, mac and cheese, cornbread, and amazing collard greens. Peach cobbler for dessert. This food was so good, I took crappy cell phone photos just so those not on the couch would be jealous:

Oh baby baby. 

On the couch: Tsarina Deb, Sloman, Neighbor Wendy, Silent Partner Rob, Rib Master Gar-Bear, Susan and the blogger.

The Show: Dancing With The Stars, season 14, ep. 10

Assessment: First of all the FOOD. Below, I’ve transcribed the following conversation that took place after we all began eating:

Gar-bear: [Coming in from the grill] How are the ribs?

Everyone: *moan*

Next the show — How kickass was it that the stars got to dance to the actual singers? Yes, most of the Temptations were replacements (Otis Williams being the only original still alive) and Smokey Robinson might have looked like he had arrived to the ballroom via Madame Tussauds — but still! They all sounded great.

Hi Tristan! Tristan, do me a favor — don’t get rid of those sexy geeky specs. You all know I love me a good nerd and seeing Tristan in those glasses literally made me squeal with delight. I feel like this was Tristan and the costume department’s way of giving me a personal shout-out. Thank you.

Also, while we’re talking about outfits, look at the vision Gladys is! She looks great in that color and her hair and makeup is flawless! She looks about 40. Well played, costume and makeup team.

Oh right, the dancing. So, I know I’m biased towards the team my boyfriend is on, but: I really loved this rumba. I thought it was so cute. I totally got that they were trying to put signature Motown moves into it. And sure, it wasn’t the most difficult or perfectly executed dance, but man — I grinned the entire time I watched it.

Over on his interview with EW.com, my boyfriend says he got in a “fierce bad mood” at Bruno criticizing the dance for not being steamy enough.

“I thought that was stupid. It wasn’t about being steamy and hot, and no one wants to see me steamy with Gladys. I don’t think it was appropriate. They said, well maybe you’re not the best dancer, and things needed to be more steamy. Being steamy doesn’t make anyone a better dance either, does it? That’s just a gimmick.”

Those glasses aren’t just for show, friends. My boyfriend is smart.

Still, I get what the judges were getting at. The best parts of this dance were when they were out of hold and Gladys could give it some of her delightful sass. And I think what Bruno was not articulating well is that the rumba seems to be about connection as well as passion. And if Gladys isn’t comfortable in hold… you get where I’m going with this.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7

Maria and Derek had a foxtrot to Martha Reeves singing “Jimmy Mack.” I should point out something kind of hilarious about this night — which was that Gar-bear pretty much had no clue what any of these songs were. He had never heard them. Unless John Williams composed it, you can pretty much guarantee that Gar-bear doesn’t know it. He doesn’t listen to music… and pretty much never has. So when we were all couch dancing Monday night, Gar-bear would be all, “I’m sorry, what song is this?” This left him clueless for the bonus question of trying to guess what songs would be danced to. He kept asking if it was on the list or not.

Anyway. Another point in the costume department — I loved Maria’s mirror ball dress. So swishy and sparkly!

Aside from Maria almost biting it on the stairs and thus getting out of sync during their little interlude, I thought this was pretty good. Not Maria’s best dance (I think I liked their quickstep better) but it was fairly solid. I think Derek’s choreography was delightful and fun, too. Over the past couple seasons, I’ve really come to admire his style as well. Think back to when he was with Ricki last season — dude’s got a really good handle on both his partner and their needs as well as what the judges want to see.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 9 Bruno: 9

Roshon and Chelsie had a rumba, danced to Smokey singing “Cruisin’.”

First of all, Gar-Bear referred to Roshon as “Ferrero Rocher,” which I found pretty hilarious. What with his name and the hazelnut-colored shirt, Roshon, you are a luxurious bon-bon. From henceforth I shall refer to you on this blog as “Ferrero.” Hat tip to Gar-bear.

The prepackage was once again all about Ferrero trying to be sensual and sexy… I don’t know why this bugs me. I’m sure some of it has to do with the fact that Ferrero looks so young. I get he’s 21 and capable of being steamy, or whatever. But something about these clips just bug me.

As for the dance, I thought it was a little frantic at spots, and apparently there was a LIFT, OMG, which I totally missed, but could see when I watched it again. (That lift was totally accidental, but eagle-eyed Carrie Ann was not having it.) Ferrero’s background as a freestyle/hip-hop dancer is both a blessing and a curse, I think. Either that, or he’s watched Legally Blond a few times, because he’s got the “bend and snap!” movement down.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 8 Bruno: 8

Katherine and Mark did a samba to “Can’t get next to you” sung by the Temptations.

Costume people did another awesome job with Katherine’s outfit and hair. Doesn’t she look fab. So fun and kicky! I’m less thrilled with Mark’s hat, damnit, because I lost bonus points on it. (It’s my own fault, really — I should have known better.)

As for the dance, I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I feel like it was well-executed and had great content. It was also fun to watch. But I could not get past that this was a weird song to samba to. I mean, it’s Motown. Samba isn’t exactly what one thinks of when you’re listening to these songs. It was just an odd choice for my tastes, and as such I felt it lacked some traditional samba moves.

Another problem I had: the return Mark “Look At Me” Ballas. More ham than in a butcher shop. For the most part, he’s been pretty good this season. I think it all went to hell in this dance though, and the inner jumping bean had to come out for a good mug.

I will say that I enjoyed this dance more on rewatching it for this recap. It’s a fun number. Just simmer it down, Ballas.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 10 Len: 9 Bruno: 10

Donald and Peta had a foxtrot to “The Way You Do The Things You Do.”

Whoa. First of all, that color. Across the couch, most people hated that suit Donald had to wear.  Tsarina emphatically proclaimed, “THAT SUIT MAKES ME WANT TO VOMIT.”  I actually just think it’s not a horrible color, there’s just a lot of it going on. Oy. Also, those feathers on the bottom of Peta’s dress crack me up for some reason.

As for this foxtrot, I agree with Len. I think Donald can handle more content. But it was a perfectly fun foxtrot and solidly performed. High-fives and chest bumps, Driver.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9

Melissa and Maks danced a Viennese Waltz to Smokey’s “Ooh Baby Baby.”

Melissa is my Romeo of the season. I keep marking her down as the one to be voted off and she keeps sticking around, defying the odds. Must be some big Little House fans out there.

I have to say, though, this is the dance I enjoyed Melissa in the most. She was I think the most relaxed and seemed to enjoy this dance more than others. It’s like she’s (finally) getting comfortable on the dance floor. Or maybe the Viennese Waltz is just well-suited to her. I feel like this dance is where she should have been two weeks ago. So improvement has been noted, Half-Pint. Keep it up.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8

Speaking of improvements…. wow, Jaleel. Way to recapture the magic. Jaleel and Kym danced a cha cha to “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.”

I don’t know if it was the music or what, but Jaleel looked like he was just having a blast. And Kym’s choreography was fabulous and perfect with this song. Very fun to watch. This is the Jaleel we were rooting for in week 1!

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 10 Len: 9 Bruno: 10

And to wrap up the night, William and Cheryl rumbaed to “Being With You.”

A lot was made in the prepackage about how this would be the hottest rumba ever.

Yeah, not so much. I guess I’m in the minority here, but I just didn’t find it sexy at all. It was completely blah to me. I know a million fan girls (and Bruno) scream each time William moves his hips. But I saw absolutely no connection between him and Cheryl. Zero chemistry.  I just rewatched it, just to make sure it wasn’t just the mac and cheese making me sleepy on Monday night — nope. Still not doing it for me. Len went as far as calling it “raunchy” (which Neighbor Wendy predicted). Aside from Cheryl making the O-face a lot, I didn’t even see that.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 10

Bruno, stop judging with what’s in your pants, man.

I guess I also should address the cha cha marathon — which was fine. I know these dance marathons are done in all the time in ballroom competitions, but I don’t think it translates as well to TV. There’s just too much going on at once. I will say that I think Katherine and Mark rightly won (and holy lime green outfit, Batman!). But I call absolute bullshit on William and Cheryl making it to second place when all he was doing was sliding across the floor with his shirt open. I’ve embedded it below so you can watch it again, and perhaps catch something you missed the first time around (complete with victory hamming from Mark, of course).

I have to say, everyone present on the couch did very poorly with their personal scoring — Not including bonus points, I think the high score was 6. This week it helped to be in Paris or house-sitting, apparently, as the absent trashers were the ones who did best. As the Tsarina said during the inconsistency of the paddle waving, “Fuck you, asshole judges!” (We were all a bit frustrated looking at our score sheets, ok?)

But now the Empress of Soul has left the ballroom. I am obviously bummed — not just because it means also the exit of my boyfriend from the dance floor, but because Gladys was a joy to watch. I know it was time — she couldn’t keep up with the demands (especially, as the dance duel showed, there’s just no way to go head to head with someone who’s 21 and not currently on a concert tour). But you guys! On Motown Week? Feels wrong to me. Still, she was the picture of poise and joy as she made her farewells and both she and Tristan seemed to be at peace with it. Way to be Gladys. Keep on being fierce and sassy.

P.S. –  Tristan, call me!

Race relations

I know we’re all in the throes of enjoying the spangles and shimmies of Dancing With The Stars right now, but Jezebel has an article up right now about The Bachelor that I’d like to draw your attention to.

So remember how back in the Women Tell All special I made note of how it’s all polished white people on this show? This criticism of the show is nothing new, but I’m bringing it up because now a class-action law suit has been filed against the show for racial discrimination. According to the suit, two African-American men claim they weren’t given the same consideration as white applicants. The article goes on to include this quote from their lawyer, “… We’re not saying that these two men should definitely have been selected. This is saying that they should have been given the same level of consideration as white applicants.”

The Bachelor/Bachelorette has been slammed in the past for not including diversity within their contestants, to which Warner Horizon has given the response that minorities have not “come forward” to be on the show.

The Jezebel article talks about how currently the show is in the final round of talks with Oregon sportscaster Lamar Hurd (who is African-American) to be the contestant for the next season. Which… feels a little convenient, for my tastes. (You can’t tell me Warner Horizon didn’t know this lawsuit was coming.) But the article posits this possible reason for the show’s lack of diversity:

Americans’ lingering discomfort with interracial relationships, and specifically, relationships between black men and non-black women. Whether or not the show itself is racist, exclusion of racial minorities from the title role shows that at the very least, the people behind The Bachelor have an extremely low opinion of their viewing audience’s ability to deal with watching people of different races kiss each other.

Which, to be honest… never crossed my mind. As like, an actual issue. But apparently it is, because the article then lists this stunning figure:

A poll taken last year showed that only 40% of Mississippi Republicans believe that interracial marriage should be legal.

WHAT. I literally gasped out loud at that figure.

I don’t mean to sound all Mary-Sue over here about racial problems in pop culture (because there are many — all the recent bullshit with The Hunger Games comes immediately to mind), but seriously, what the fuck?

ABC’s got a real chance to take a stupid show and use it as a tool to help normalize interracial relationships for the few people still stuck in the 1950’s. Let’s hope they make the right choice.

I encourage you all to read the Jezebel article. What are your thoughts, Trashers and Trashettes?

 

Current standings

Well…that was certainly an interesting evening on the trash sofa.  The spring/summer weather had most trashers and trashettes really feeling their oats! Trash talk and smack downs abounded and sarcasm was the game of the evening.  Boy, this is becoming the “heated” season of all seasons!  Susan and Kathy: you missed a great night!

However…here is what really counts….

Going into Tuesday’s elimination….

Kathy honey…I EVEN SENT YOU the score sheet….remains at 25!!!

Tammika finding her way BACK to the trash sofa (I hope we didn’t freak you out last night) gained an extra 5 bonus points for “feathers” and sits with 73 points.

Susan who missed her first scoring opportunity for the season still holds her own with 75 points.  Susan come back to the trash sofa soon!

The Blogger, who clearly spends her Mondays “researching” the DWTS blogs for tidbits of helpful hints to go into Monday scoring with, gained 6 bonus points for the Top and the Bottom of the leader board sending her into the elimination night with 96 points.

Sloman in the middle of the pack with 100 points continues to score his best ever season.

The Tsarina (after listening to sweet whispers of injuries in her ear) dropped one spot with 106 points. [Blogger's note: Cry me a river, 'Rina]

Ms. Winning…not winning..winning…Neighbor Wendy jumped to 2nd place with a total score of 109.

“WINNING” GAR-BEAR still gloating sits in first place gaining 6 bonus points for the top and the bottom of the leader board entering tonight’s final scoring with 119 points.

The drama continues….

Following Tuesday’s Elimination, no change in the scoring with the exception of the Tsarina who was the only one who correctly picked the booted dancer (Gavin), thus putting her in 2nd place over Neighbor Wendy and the silent one with …with 111 points.  No one correctly picked the two teams in the dance off (Gavin and Jaleel).

On to next week…Motown Monday!!

Muy Caliente!

Latin Week, you guys! Apparently the warm weather (87°!) and the theme evening left us all feeling a little saucy because the couch goers got a bit… spicy with one anther. The blogger may have referred to Sloman as a, “vodka-sozzled, doily-loving, flocked wallpaper-having wanker” at one point. But it was all in love! At another point in the evening, the Tsarina threatened to dock points because a certain color issue keeps getting rehashed. And even Neighbor Wendy and Silent Partner Rob threw some well-placed zingers into the mix.

The meal: Thanks to the glorious spring weather, a cookout! Hamburgers, hotdogs, bratwurst, potato salad and beans. Cake and Klondike bars for dessert.

On the couch: Tsarina Deb, Sloman, Gar-bear, QK, Neighbor Wendy, Silent Partner Rob, Tammika (!) and the blogger.

The Show: Dancing With the Stars, season 14, ep. 8

Assessment: Well, I’ll say this — Carlos Santana is a marked improvement on KISS, and as such I enjoyed Latin Week much more than Rock Week. Also, the house band was back in good form this week after last week’s frustrating and lackluster performances, which really helped.

Jaleel and Kym give us the first samba. It’s certainly an energetic samba and Jaleel was shaking it, for sure. But truthfully, I remember very little about this dance, aside from HOLYCRAPWHATISKYMWEARING.

You’ve all seen Labyrinth, right? (If you haven’t, do yourself a favor and Netflix it. Because seriously: David Bowie in tights. A young Jennifer Connelly. Jim Henson creations. What more could you want?) All I could think of the entire time Kym and Jaleel were dancing was of the Labyrinth fireys. I kept waiting for Kym to pop her own eyeballs out and roll them on the ground and go “Snake eyes!”

Costume people: You made me think that the lovely Kym Johnson looked like a hedonistic Muppet capable of detaching limbs. You are on notice.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8

Melissa and Maks have a salsa. The judges thought that this salsa lacked control. I’m going to chime in and say that I thought this dance had, wow, so much content. I didn’t quite understand the whole fruit-selling thing at the beginning (and color me amazed that we’ve gotten to the midway point of the season and Len hasn’t chided anyone for “faffing about”), but the second Melissa and Maks got to the middle of the floor it was go, go, go. I don’t disagree that Melissa needs a bit more control, but that’s not what bothered me so much. I know I say it every week, but… Melissa just looks so tense and uncomfortable. And I know so much of it probably stems from her back injury. But each time it takes me out of the dance. I want Melissa’s shoulders to relax and her knees to bend a bit more.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7

Maria and Derek have a salsa, too. Maria also gave us the answer to the bonus question, “Who will be the first to wear feathers?” although I am disappointed she didn’t keep that totally outrageous headdress thing on the entire time. (Admit it — you wanted to see her do the dance in it, too.)

Well the good things about this dance were that Maria didn’t fall on her chin like in rehearsal (holy shit, that was terrifying) and Derek took his shirt off. Other than that, I feel like this was a lot of tricks and not much dancing, as, say, compared to all the content in Melissa’s salsa. Granted, the dancing that was in this performance was done really well. I just would have liked to have seen more of it. Also, I agree with Carrie Ann that the kiss was overdone and simply fan service. Still: Hips ahoy, you guys. Both Derek and Maria were shaking it like crazy.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9

Katherine and Mark have the Argentine tango. I am really surprised they’re busting out the Argentine tango this early in the season. Doesn’t it feel early to you, considering all the crazy lifts they’re allowed to do in this dance?

Anyway, this was pretty spectacular all around. I have to give crazy props to Mark for choreographing this (although the one part that bugged me was him keeping the bottle in his hand for so long… I felt like it was stealing focus not just from Katherine but from his dancing as well. I mean, I get, story-wise why you had it, but… never mind I’m going to end this parenthetical statement now). And Katherine seriously looks like a pro.

I think that Katherine and Mark are very well paired this season. Seriously. Watch it again and notice how precise their timing is together. Add on to that the choreography, story, costumes… damn you guys.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 10 Len: 9 Bruno: 10

Gavin and Karina have a samba. Oh Gavin. Oh Gavin, Gavin, Gavin. Dude, this was not the most precise or technically well-done dance. BUT. I still just sort of loved it anyway. Carrie Ann was right in that he was totally joyful — so good on you DeGraw, with your hats and big smile. You were having fun out there and I smiled the whole time I watched you dance. So there. You’re a peach, sir.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 6 Len: 6 Bruno: 7

All right. Before I get into William and Cheryl’s Argentine tango, let’s talk about something. Monday afternoon, right before heading to Mount Weadly, I saw the following on my Twitter feed:

Hmmm… I thought, that could affect the way people fill out their score sheets. But what to do with such information? I could keep it to myself and have an advantage over everyone else that doesn’t keep an eye on Twitter. Or I could display good sportsman-like conduct and tell the other Trashers about it at dinner, so we’d all be on even footing. I decided on the latter. I let everyone know that William was suffering from an ankle injury. I didn’t tell them how to fill out their score sheets, I just informed them William had a bum ankle.

But it seems that some people (Tsarina) would like to blame me (Tsarina) for the fact that they changed their answers (Tsarina) for the bonus questions (Tsarina) and thus feel like they lost out and second guessed themselves because of me (TSARINA). Look, (Tsarina) it’s not like I held a gun to your head and made you change your answer, OK? I just passed along information. I’m an informer, OK? After all, Maria up there has cracked ribs and a broken foot and now a bruised chin and is still scoring 9s. How you fill out your score sheet is totally up to you. So quit your whinging (Tsarina).

ANYWAY, this dance. So despite his torn ligament, William did really well with this dance. I thought the drag he did with Cheryl looked a bit awkward (probably due to his injury), but other than that it was pretty great. I will say that of the two tangos, I preferred Mark and Katherine’s to this one. But then as I stated up there, I think that Mark and Katherine have a better partner connection than William and Cheryl. And I think if you look at the two dances one after the other you can really see that. As the recapper on TWOP said, “there was intensity, but not passion.” Whereas with Katherine and Mark I think there was both.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 10 Len: 9 Bruno: 10

Hi Tristan, Hi! Tristan… Why are you being pouty with me? Is it because I said that I liked that Derek took his shirt off? Oh, Tristan. Don’t be jealous. You’re still my number 1 pro, OK? First of all, you look simply delicious in that green shirt, with that chest hair peeking out. Second of all, Derek is all pretty-boy and waxed and tanned… but I prefer my men like you: roguish grins and boy-next-door tousled hair.  Besides, you have yet to really take your shirt off on this show. If you ever did, you know I’d swoon a thousand times. Please don’t be upset. You’re still the handsomest. We cool? Oh good.

OK, so Gladys and my boyfriend have the samba. I love Gladys. She’s touring like crazy (earning me some bonus points from the first score sheet, I believe!) and they’re on the road and she’s rehearsing at insane hours. That said, I feel like she was… restrained in this samba, which should not be the case. Gladys! Remember your first cha cha! That’s the way you need to shake it. Hit it with that attitude every time.

And hey, makeup people: WTF did you do to Gladys’ face? I don’t know if it was the dark eye shadow or what, but man, I thought she looked so much older in this dance than ever before. Stop that. Gladys is a sassy 67, OK? Not Grey Gardens Octogenarian.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 8

Roshon and Chelsie have the salsa. A big deal was made in the prepackage about Roshon getting into his masculinity for this dance. I didn’t really see that in this dance, but I don’t mean that as a dis. Roshon is 20. He’s a baby. I don’t think he needs to try to be William Levy. In any event, he was really good during this dance. Really great timing and footwork — all of which I think comes from his youth.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9

Holy Argentine tango. So Donald and Peta were the anchor for the night (I always wonder how they come up with the dance order for the evening) and it didn’t disappoint with this dance. This was very tightly choreographed and very controlled tango. The lifts were breathtaking, especially during that crazy spin where Peta was like bent in half holding her own ankles. I still liked Mark and Katherine’s tango the best out of them all, but this was great to look at. Lots and lots of swagger.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 10 Len: 8 Bruno: 9

This was the first week that the Dance Duel occurred. It ended up being Jaleel and Gavin in the dance off and poor sweet Gavin seemed pretty resigned to going home. Which he did. Gavin, what a good sport you are! I’m very sorry we didn’t get to see what other crazy hats you have in your arsenal (Beret! Turban! BEANIE WITH PROPELLER!) but you were fun to have along on this ride. Way to go out smiling.

Next week is Motown week, and I am SO GLAD that Gladys is still in the running for this week because seriously, think of the stories she is going to tell.

RAWK

Sometimes I really hate theme weeks. I especially hate them when I’m not on the couch with you all to scream vehemently at sheer lunacy on the screen.

The Meal: Easter leftovers.

On the couch: Super light week, to the detriment of all of those not present. Tsarina Deb, Sloman, Gar-Bear.

Assessment: So… it’s Rock Week, for some reason. Mainly so KISS can promote their upcoming tour with Motley Crüe, I guess. Is KISS really still a thing? I never quite got them. I must be too young. They always just seemed weird to me, like creepy clowns. And don’t you kind of think that coming on DWTS diminishes your hard rocker street cred? Because when I think of heavy metal, I think “ballroom dancing.”

One of the benefits of having Rock Week be the theme, though, is TOTALLY CRACKED OUT COSTUMES. Everyone is wearing something demented, starting out with the pro troupe that danced to KISS.

FAMILY SHOW. Glad you were able to swing on by after your shift at the BDSM club, ladies.

Man, with one or two exceptions, this entire night was really ill-conceived. It is ass-hard trying to tango, or paso, or whatever to a heavy metal song. Especially one that’s not being played at the proper tempo. So I get it, stars, why this is the week you all fucked up. So much of this week sucked, and I’m blaming it on the producers.

Sherri and Val had the tango. To Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel the Noize.” Which I believe Val called “Quiet Noise.” Sigh.

Aside from Sherri shaking it on the desk, I feel like she spent most of this dance walking. Not that I blame her — First of all those boots. How are you even vertical? Look, I wore boots like that, circa 2001, and I know. Basically all you can do is stand in one spot, pose, and look like a badass. When it comes to actual movement, it’s mostly teetering. So already my hat’s off to you for not falling down. But then the music was SO SLOW. And lacked a lot of oomf. No wonder your dancing did, too.

This was the first dance where even Sherri didn’t look like she was having fun dancing it. I don’t know if she was nervous, or what. But she looked pretty disenchanted the entire time she was dancing it.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7

Katherine and Mark had the paso doble to Muse’s “Time is Running Out,” and once again I have to cite the band with doing a pretty terrible rendition of that song. I hate ragging on the band, but this is 2 for 2 that were awful.

I don’t know what to think about this dance. On one hand, I like the idea of it. But the execution was lacking. Like, it was OK. But it didn’t wow me.

I know I joke about Mark Ballas being annoying and mugging on the dance floor,  stealing focus from his partner. I want to clarify that all gossip sites report and word leaking from the studio is that Mark is a really, really nice guy. It’s just on the dance floor he gets kind of… douchey. Maybe this is leftover from his competitive days? I dunno. Anyway, what’s impressed me most about this season so far is that Mark has remarkably not been doing that.

Until tonight.

Witness first of all, how much bigger his name is on the floor spot:

OK, I know. It’s not Mark’s fault (after all, his name is only 4 letters and Katherine’s is 9) and he’s not the one that made some wonky typography choices. But to me, this just seemed TOO HILARIOUS and set the tone for Mark’s ego showing off.  Which it did. Quite often.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8

Jaleel and Kym had the tango to the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” Just like with Mark and Katherine, I was solidly “Meh” on this. Or maybe I’m just becoming more “meh” on Jaleel after more not-so-nice allegations have been made against him. I agree that there needed to be more… force in this tango. I also feel like Jaleel bends his knees weird, or something. Somehow it manages to look like he’s slouching when his back is straight and his frame is good. How does one manage that? Maybe he’s trying to do a rise-and-fall thing?

Can we talk about Kym’s outfit? The dress part was OK, but that weird leopard scrunchy scarf thing that was haphazardly tacked on? DREADFUL.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 7 Bruno: 7

Melissa and Maks have a paso doble to “Conquest,” which is not really a rock song at all and whoever picked this song barely gets a pass because The White Stripes covered it. Actually, I take that back — It’s a straight up cheat. Saying “Conquest” is a rock song is like saying “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails is a country song simply because Johnny Cash (beautifully, hauntingly) covered it.

Anyway, this dance. Aside from Melissa still looking very uncomfortable and unsure, it was almost good. I feel like Maks makes his choreography outside her limits, though, and that’s part of her problem.

And then there was the fall. What in the hell, Maks? Oh, and the head bump. Look, I watched that footage like 4 times and for the life of me I cannot figure out how she hit her head during that spin when she was MILES from the floor. Something is not adding up with this. I’m not saying there’s not something wrong that she had to go to the hospital, I just don’t think it was a concussion. Seriously. Watch it again. The only time her head gets close to the floor is when Maks lays her down at the :46 second mark. It didn’t seem hard enough to warrant a hospital trip. During the results show, they seemed to indicate that she hit her head during the spin at the 1:30 mark. It defies the laws of physics since her head was NOWHERE near the floor. Did she hit her head on Maks’ leg? Even that hardly seems like it would cause a concussion. I’m so confused about all of this.

However, I wish wish wish I had screencaps of Gene Simmons, in full KISS regalia,  watching over a dizzy Melissa Gilbert. It was the most surreal looking thing ever.

I also wish I had a screencap of Gavin carrying Melissa to the ambulance, simply because it was very sweet. Gavin, what a gent you are!

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 8 Bruno: 7

Donald and Peta have a paso doble to Jimmy Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” FINALLY. One that was done really well. Also, finally, one where I feel like the dance fit both the music and the theme of the night. Donald kicked ass during this dance. I don’t know if it was because he’s an athlete and it fit right in with his hyped-up testosterone football persona or what. But he did so great.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9

Hi, Tristan!

Hi. Hi. Um… Hi. Can I just keep saying hi to you because I don’t want to discuss this dance?

All right, fine. Where to begin? I know that Tristan was the one who picked Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as their song to tango to. First of all — that is a song that really shouldn’t be covered by anyone. Because no one will come close to doing it properly, and unfortunately the DWTS house band proves me right.  Second of all — that is a song that was really ambitious, even for someone with experience dancing the tango. I like that Len gave Tristan’s choreography a shout-out for being well done, because it was… it just wasn’t right for him and Gladys, I don’t think. I think if he were dancing with a younger partner, perhaps Katherine, it might be different. And that’s not a slam on Gladys at all, because girlfriend gave it some gusto. But you could tell that she wasn’t her usual vibrant self during that dance. And you could also tell she knew it hadn’t gone the way they envisioned it by the way she approached the judging table.

Look, it wasn’t terrible, like Nancy Grace’s jive. But it really wasn’t my favorite. And I think it all stems from a poor song choice.

Sorry, Tristan. I still love you lots. Come on over; we’ll hug it out, OK?

(P.S. – Nice upper arms, babe.)

(P.P.S. – Hello, chest hair.)

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 6 Bruno: 7

William and Cheryl do a jive to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”  Ugh. This jive I was not a fan of. And I don’t think that it was all the fault of Cheryl getting twisted up in his legs (we should all be so lucky), although that certainly didn’t help and knocked everything off time, for sure. Once again I want to blame really crappy music choices and the fact that William just doesn’t shine quite as much in the non-Latin dances.

ALSO… I was remiss for not mentioning this last week, but: WTF is up with throwing bandanas around William’s head? It looks so stupid. Most especially this one which I swear is BEDAZZLED, you guys. But seriously: No. Don’t do that.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 8

Roshon and Chelsie are dancing the Viennese Waltz. For Rock Week.

OK then.

They’re also dancing to David Cook’s “Time of my Life,” which is not a rock song. But then again what the hell rock song would you do a Viennese Waltz to? Why in the name of Mirror Balls and Jazz Hands would you do the Viennese Waltz for Rock Week?

Anyway, the dance looked, with the exception of that awkward part when Chelsie did that split thing hanging onto Roshon’s neck, very nice.

But you guys, I’m just over Roshon. He’s a great dancer, but he annoys the crap out me. Proof positive I’m becoming a cantankerous spinster that’s sick of The Kids These Days. The whole getting Len to say “Dawg” thing just reminds me of Sean Connery and that dumb scene in Finding Forrester.  Getting old dudes from the UK to speak hip wasn’t entertaining in 2000 and it’s not now.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9

Maria and Derek had the tango. Well, Maria knows how to soldier through. Broken ribs and a broken foot? Take some notes, Melissa. And overall, I liked their dance. Maria gave it her all, despite her injuries and it looks like she was having fun.

But. Once again I have to shake my fist at song choices and poor performance from the band. I just wanted to watch the entire thing on mute. Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” is not one I would ever think to tango to, and (not to slam Derek here) I didn’t feel like the dance fit the music.

I think I just hate Rock Week, you guys.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9

Resident Knight In Shining Armor Gavin and Karina have a tango to The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it, Black.” I have to say, I liked this way more than the judges did, and that was before I knew he had carried Melissa out to the ambulance like a prince. First of all, I approve of the song choice and of the choreography — just like Donald and Peta’s paso, I think it fit the music and the theme of the night nicely. I do feel like Gavin was taking too many baby steps instead of big strides and will also agree that his posture needed work. But overall, I enjoyed the more than most of the dances of the night.

Judges’ scores — Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 7

As far as theme weeks go, clearly this one was not may favorite. I would like to point out two funny random screencaps though:

Yeah, I never really got hair bands either, William. But nice skin-tight leopard print pants there, buddy. (And STOP with the bandanas.)

I guess this was just a random gag, but it really confused me because I thought someone was going to be doing a Spinal Tap-inspired dance and was so disappointed. That would have been awesome, you guys.

Because I follow DWTS Twitter feeds now (I BLAME YOU ENTIRELY, TSARINA) I was clued into the following on Tuesday afternoon:

Oh DAYUM. I was actually kind of worried that it would be Donald, of all people, and I kissed my bonus points goodbye knowing that this meant it wouldn’t be Melissa or Gavin leaving us.

Turns out that Roshon and Sherri were in the bottom two (I guess I’m not the only one who is annoyed by that kid) with Sherri being the one to go home. Does anyone else feel like this is the viewers’ way of giving the producers and judges a bit of a smackdown for instituting the new Dance Off Elimination? (Which, confusingly, doesn’t start until next week?)

Sigh.

Raising a margarita in the hopes that Latin Week will be better than Rock Week.