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'Dancing With the Stars' Latin Night recap: Just add heat

April 30, 2013|By Allyssa Lee
  • Will Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman and her pro partner Mark Ballas sidestep elimination this week?
Will Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman and her pro partner Mark Ballas… (Adam Taylor / ABC )

What has sparkles, lots of bare skin and emits more heat than a bedazzled chili pepper? Latin Night on “Dancing With the Stars” of course! And Week 7 came in two parts. First, each of the remaining seven couples danced a Latin dance to a Latin song. Then, the couple with the highest score in that round received immunity (a first in the “DWTS” glitterverse), while the remaining six couples had to dance it out in either a rumba, cha-cha, or jive dance-off.  To the victor: Three more points to their total!

In case there was any question as to the theme of the night, Colombian pop star and memoirist Juanes lent his Spanish-speaking stylings to the two-hour performance event, playing during commercial breaks and performing “La Camisa Negra” while some of our pros and the Troupe hoofed it to Louis Van Amstel’s choreography.

Who felt the beat to the Latin rhythm of the night, and who failed their Latin course?  Who ended up getting a 5 from a particularly harsh judge? And who ended up with the highest first-round judges point total and ended up winning the immunity idol for the week?

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That would be Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough. Because in the event of a tie, immunity is awarded to the couple with the highest number of cumulative points. The country singer had a tough rehearsal week, with three concerts and rehearsing four dances for the week.

But Derek Hough refused to dial back the choreography. He still wants to make sure they have a three 10-worthy samba. And they got pretty darn close with this Ricky Martinized routine, with Kellie shaking her bon bon like a pro and doing a very cool leg-up twist that betrayed none of the rehearsal’s hesitation.

No wonder it got that shower of confetti at the end. Carrie Ann, however, gave Kellie a similar critique to last week. “When I watch you dance, I see perfection in every single move you do … BUT I don’t feel you when you dance,” she said. “I feel like it’s so pristine that it lacks emotional content.”

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Usually stoic Len, however, thought the whole thing “was crisp and clean and hot and spicy,” he said. “You got the how of the technique and the wow of the performance.” Bruno said Kellie shook his bon bon. “That was a perfect balance of technique and performance,” he crowed. “Everything you could want from a samba was in there.”

Derek issued an apology for grandma and grandpa in the audience for showing too much skin. But now that they’ve been awarded immunity, Derek can keep his shirt on and he and Kellie can relax all through Tuesday night’s results show knowing they’ll move on to next week. Total: 29 out of 30.

Which was the same score Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas had achieved. Aly and Mark wanted to spice up their salsa a bit to avoid competing in the immunity challenge. But they shook things up a little too much and almost put Mark out of commission.

Dr. Goldstein at Cedars-Sinai Spinal Center said Mark either sprained his back or injured his lower disks. So Aly had to practice with the taller Henry Byalikov (I keep wanting to spell it “Bialykov,” maybe only to make him even more delicious, like a bialy) in case her pro partner wasn’t fit to play come game time.

Mark recovered enough to perform on Monday night, and he and Aly whipped up a tasty fruit salad of a salsa with a lot of maracas shaking. Bruno called it a “tutti-fruity delicious cocktail of tropical flavors, perfectly shaken,” he exulted. “More of those please!”

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Carrie Ann said this was the Aly she always knew was in there: “You nailed it.” Len said it was like “a tequila sunrise: It was sharp and fruity, it was tasty and refreshing.” The head judge, however, wanted “a little more recognizable salsa” with that shake. Aly and Mark got their first two 10s of the season for a total of 29. And then they all but stole their extra three points when they chose to dance-off cha-cha against Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess. Total: 32.

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