SAN ANTONIO -

This week, the top twelve take on a fast dance – either the jive or the quick step. Thankfully, no messing around tonight. It’s right to the dancing!

COUPLE: Melissa & Tony
DANCE: Jive

Melissa didn’t get to do a jive during the live show in Season 8 because she was hurt. Once they got going, Melissa kicked really well. And often. This had a lot of energy. I wanted more. That’s not Melissa’s fault. Too many contestants = less dance time.

Len said Melissa set the bar high. He said it was full of energy, great technique. Bruno said Melissa is the fastest gal in town. He said it was one of the fastest jives he’s ever seen. He spotted a couple of moments of bad footwork. Len told him to shut up. There was talk of donuts and holes. I’m confused. Carrie Ann said Melissa was made to jive.

SCORE: 23.5

COUPLE: Bristol & Mark
DANCE: Quick Step

Bristol is excited to show off her redneck side. She shot guns. She’s dancing in cowboy boots. What part of ballroom is this? Not the booty shorts and line dancing. Oh, wait. They’re in hold. That’s a quick step. More line dancing and some grinding. Wait. They’re back hold. Oh, shenanigans. Bristol ended the dance by smashing a bottle on Mark’s head. Entertaining? Yes. Quick step? Not so much. I do give Bristol credit for having fun. She didn’t do much of that when she was on the show last time.

Bruno said it was different – like watching the quick step goes Gangnam style in the wild west. He said they were not in hold enough. She had missteps and her hold wasn’t good enough. Carrie Ann said Bristol has come so far. She said Bristol sold herself short by not following the rules. Len liked the fun and enthusiasm, but he didn’t like the break in the middle. He said he liked the hoe-down but thought the technique was low down.

SCORE: 18

COUPLE: Helio & Chelsie
DANCE: Jive

As far as I could tell, Helio had the footwork down. I was so focused on the rest of his performance. He knows how to sell a dance! So much fun!

Carrie Ann said Helio’s body caught up to his feet. Len said Helio has style with a smile. He said Helio had lovely sharp kicks and flicks – sometimes over-enthusiastic. Bruno said it was a delicious treat of a jive. He said Helio landed on the wrong foot off the steps, but he said it doesn’t take away from the fun of the dance.

SCORE: 23

COUPLE: Apolo & Karina
DANCE: Quick Step

If a speed skater can’t make it through a quick step without incident, I don’t know who can. Oh. My. Hold. Now THIS is a quick step! This was absolutely incredible! The footwork was impeccable! Thank you, ABC, for having a camera on their feet through most of this dance. WOW! Best dance so far!

Len said, “gold medal.” He said Apolo combined speed with control. Bruno said Apolo’s footwork was incredible. Carrie Ann said “someone put on his competition pants tonight.” She said Apolo was striving the dance.

SCORE: 24.5

COUPLE: Sabrina & Louis
DANCE: Quick Step

Sabrina hurt her arm during rehearsal. She didn’t lose it, so I think she’ll be OK. Oh, gimmick. They were back stage when their names were called. They rushed to the stage then, started dancing. I’m wearing my Len face of disappointment. After watching them skip around, I have lost my Len face. They managed to run up the stairs without falling (and re-injuring Sabrina’s arm). I liked it. I think I need a nap after watching that!

Bruno said Sabrina was a true dazzler. Carrie Ann gave it a “woo hoo!” She said she’s never seen a top line like Sabrina’s. She said it was awesome. Len said Sabrina kept her upper body calm and under control and her legs were working fast. He said it was a great quick step.

SCORE: 26 (Carrie Ann gave them the first 9 of the season)

COUPLE: Kirstie & Maks
DANCE: Jive

Maks was not so gentle with 61-year-old Kirstie – reminding her about the 20-something Olympians in the competition (he called her grandma). I wanted to really like this. It wasn’t awful. I just felt like Maks out-danced Kirstie. She was working real hard on keeping up. Maybe kissing Len at the end of the dance will get her a little bit of a higher score than last week?

Carrie Ann said Kirstie is working it and age is just a number. She said Kirstie needs to match her movement in her partnership. Len called her flirty, dirty Kirstie. He said it was neat, precise and had a lot of recognizable jive. He said it was a great improvement from last week. Bruno said “experience counts.” He said Kirstie played it beautifully. He also called her a raunchy mama.

SCORE: 21

COUPLE: Emmitt & Cheryl
DANCE: Quick Step

Emmitt said the other contestants were good, but he wasn’t going to be intimidated by any of them. Emmitt has a head problem – apparently his leans one way from his football days. Emmitt might be the best at selling a dance! It didn’t look like he was working hard here. It was good, but maybe he made it look too easy?