This season of Dancing with the Stars has already moved and grooved its way through theme nights molded to party anthems and Disney theme songs, but arguably the most popular — at least according to Tom Bergeron — is coming up Monday night. Yes, esta verdad (that's probably the wrong ser/estar choice): it's LATIN NIGHT at DWTS and a chance for everyone to get spicy, or spicier, than they have to date. Will any of our contestants actually conceive on the dance floor tonight? It's very, very possible!
9:55pm: Who's going home?
Between James and Peta and NeNe and Tony? NeNe and Tony, duh. Says Tom Bergeron: "NeNe and Tony." She made it much farther than I think any of us would have expected. "I am proud of NeNe" says NeNe, and she should be!
Video reflections and we're out. Hope Sling is better next week.
9:45pm: Meryl's team tackles a Latin freestyle
...also to a Ricky Martin number, in this case "La Vida Loca". It's sexy, even when the band intentionally slows down the song to accommodate some of the moves. Candace actually dances amazingly here, maybe her best performance yet.
One thing: what we're watching here is actually taken from the dress rehearsal, since Amy was injured tonight and unable to participate. WAY better than the blue team, though it's not a competition (it is definitely a competition).
9:29pm: Team dances are here!
Score for Meryl and Maks: 39/40 (Len being the only one to offer less than a 10)
And then — team practice for the first-ever group dance, to the tune of "La Copa de Vida" (Ricky Martin's song from the 1998 World Cup). Charlie's team heads out first, full of life and people-tossing. Everyone is exceedingly happy to throw each other around the stage.
9:20pm: Meryl and Maks throw themselves into a sexy salsa
"I highly doubt that Meryl doesn't know how to get down and dirty" says Maks in a probably very true assessment of Meryl. He knows her so well!
Not quite as clothing-less as James and Peta, but very close. And the dancing — dynamite. Sexy, energetic, fun. All of the adjectives you could want, as you would expect from both of them.
From what I can make out from scattered frames and hiccupy sound, Len didn't love the dance and people are booing. Bruno stands up, but he always stands up.
9:11pm: Mark tries to help Candace regain her confidence
Candace has been in her head all season long, primarily worried about the sexuality she's giving off (or not). Their dance...I guess does a little bit to offset that. It's hard to truly say because Sling is the biggest piece of shit device on the planet and I can barely see or hear what's going on.
Score: 35/40, which is higher than at least two of their competitors' scores tonight. We've all thought at least 3-4 times that Candace would be going home, right? So it's sort of remarkable that she's still here.
8:54pm: Charlie wants those 10s, baby
Checking in with Amy, who tells us she cracked her back and finds herself in a good amount of pain. She's off to the hospital now, actually.
Charlie goes to interview his gold-medal winning Olympic partner, Meryl, to ask what she did to land those 10s. She doesn't have a ton to say on the subject.
Which doesn't matter so much, as Charlie and Sharna kill it out on the dance floor with a unique pasa doble rendition of that song "Sail". Shirtless! (Charlie, that is!)
Len suggests the dance was not special, though. And Carrie Ann says that edges that could have been sharpened were in fact softened. Ricky was "living in the moment and flying with you guys." Throughout ALL of these assessments, Charlie looks on them with the intensity of a thousand suns. Kid WANTS THOSE TENS.
8:42pm: Shirtless Tony and gold-dressed NeNe take the floor for an Argentine tango
Amy injured herself during her dance tonight! What that means no one's totally sure, but it sucks — that much we know.
(Side note: Slingbox, you're an absolutely abysmal web-streaming service that survives only because, for whatever reason, no one else has figured out how to properly replicate your algorithms. Unreliable connections, skipped frames, and an overall weak interface combine for an infinitely frustrating viewing experience. You're like the Time Warner Cable of web-streaming, which is doubly awful because you are of course piggybacking on their services. You owe your customers better. Be better.)
Ninety percent of America has tweeted that they'd like to see NeNe's partner Tony take his shirt off for their Latin number, which he does.
The dance itself? Eh? Slow — too slow — especially when compared to a more lively performance from NeNe during last week's party anthems. Carrie Ann: "the movements weren't sharp enough." Yup! Everyone else talks to NeNe like they're just so happy she's having a good time.
8:27pm: Danica breaks a rib to get this dance right
Score for Peta and James: 35/40 Not the best score they've ever compiled, which does suggest that the judging is getting stricter as the weeks wear on. I'm okay with that!
Hot outfit for Danica; Val doesn't go shirtless like our BFF James Maslow but he's got infinitely better moves, so that's gotta count for something. Of course with her rib injury, Danica definitely seems a little off. The judges judge accordingly.
(UGH BRUNO YOU DRIVE ME F**KING CRAZY THIS SHOW ISN'T ABOUT YOU HOLY HELL)
8:15pm: Peta and James samba to "Gasolina"
Hahahaha — the return of that awful "Gasolina" song that you couldn't escape in late 2004. DWTS, where you can't escape the past no matter how hard you try to out-dance it.
The dance itself is, as you'd expect, muy sexy. Bruno can barely keep it in his pants he's so excited by what he's seen from the shirtless and sweating James.
8:00pm: Derek and Amy RHUMBA
Very, very, very nice! I'm continually impressed by just what Amy can do with her body — specifically, you know, her legs — but beyond that, she and Derek have a great elegance to their moves. She's markedly improved over the course of this show. Says Ricky Martin: "you were making me feel a lot of things."