Dancing with the Stars Recap: The Top 4... Drama, Injuries and Dancing

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They're all pretty good and/or charming, so a enjoyable time was had by all last night.

Last night, each couple in the Top Four had to dance two dances and then do a brand-new "Winner Takes All Cha Cha." Is it just me, or have they been especially into the Cha Cha this year?

On the one hand, you can see how each of the stars has improved significantly over the season. On the other hand, they do seem to be tired. There were tears and tribulations last night, and not-quite-Joe-Theisman-level-injury-footage that we had to watch one time too many.

So, let's dig in:

1. Ralph and Karina

a. Argentine Tango

He seemed to be gritting his teeth in pain, not in suppressed lust, and sometimes he fell behind the beat, but the choreography was very intricate and interesting, which made it compelling.

b. Salsa

Well, he did shake his enhanced booty. And it was kind of sleazy, but that was what they were going for, wasn't it? As Len would say, wasn't really my cuppa tea.

Bottom line: Do I think Ralph deserved to go instead of Romeo last week? Why yes, yes, I really do. But he has perhaps a more accessible charm...i mean, did you watch the package with his family? Talk about family values. (Although didn't his daughter look like she could be the love child of Ralph and Karina!?) Has time run out for Ralph? It's possible now.

2. Kirstie and Maks

a. Viennese Waltz

It was nice and fluid, but it did lack chemistry. I didn't feel him longing for her, and she seemed very focused and serious, but not swept away. I think the judges are going a bit overboard on their praise for Kirstie. I mean, she is doing a nice technical job (and it's especially impressive when you remember she's 60), but she's not doing incredibly difficult stuff.

b. Paso Doble

Frankly, this seemed kind of perfunctory. I love the Paso Doble, but this didn't do it for me. Again, judges gushing and high scores not making sense to me...except I do know (from having been in the ballroom a couple of weeks ago) that Kirstie is a big personality, and she is working that audience (including, I'm sure, the judges) from the moment she hits the room. It has its effect.

Bottom line: I've been impressed with Kirstie, but that doesn't mean I think she's better than a few other folks on the roster. She's a bit the Marie Osmond of this season. Admirable, and overstaying by a week or two.

3. Chelsea and Mark

a. Argentine Tango

I can understand where the judges were coming from...she seemed a little unsteady on her feet. Shaky in the way Kendra used to regularly be. This possible fatigue also may have been why her feet movement, especially the quick kicks, just weren't as snappy as they should have been. But. Wow, she made beautiful pictures and poses and lines. And she was doing amazingly tough stuff...unlike the male stars, who get to let the female pros dance circles around them!

b. Rumba

This was great. As my S.O. said: I didn't see anything wrong with that. Again, she has such lovely lines, and her feet and ankles have gotten so much better than they were early on. Lovely and passionate.

Bottom line: She is the best dancer left, doing the most difficult stuff. She should obviously be safe. And I think the judges know that too...hence the results of the Winner Takes All Cha Cha!

4. Hines and Kym

OK, so here's the point where you see the injury. While trying to flip Kym through his legs, Hines first dropped her right on the back of her head and neck and fell himself, right on her...more than doubling the power of the impact on her neck, I'm sure. It looked both scary and painful. And he felt really REALLY bad about it. That supposedly happened on Friday, but there she was Monday, looking good as new. (Well, as far as we could see anyway.) And thank goodness for that!

a. Argentine Tango

This was both very nice and very hot. And a little scary, given the injury. I could have been imagining it, given that, but at times I thought saw a little tentativeness. I have to point out that Hines himself didn't do a lot of fancy moves, but Carrie Ann was absolutely right that he lifted and supported Kym though a large number of lifts and other airborne moves, so great job partnering!

b. Salsa

Hines was a little too low-key throughout, especially with his hips. As BlogHer's research wonk likes to say: "Directionally" it was fine, but he didn't take it far enough.

Bottom line: Hines is charming. Again, not sure he's a better dancer than Romeo, but way more of a charmer, for sure. He'll be safe.

Winner takes all Cha Cha winners: Chelsea and Mark

I could talk more about this, but the Cha Cha kind of bores me.And they did it a lot. To Lady Gaga, who I have yet to see the light about. So, what did you think of this new feature?

Bottom Line for the Bottom Two:

To me, it's obvious: The Bottom Two should and will be Kirstie and Ralph, although I think Kirstie probably should go home, but Ralph might instead.

But what did you think?

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