Craig Sjodin/ABC
Annie Barrett
November 10, 2009 AT 05:00 PM EST

Two major plot points marked Week 8 of season 9 of Dancing With the Stars. First: The triumphant return of the giant disco ball lined with red velvet that gives it the illusion (or not) of actually being a cake! If this prop didn’t exist, how would we be deceived into believing the dance-drawings were ”totally random”? It’d feel like a completely different show. And second: a dance-through-the-decades Latin round that was truly totally random and one of the best ideas ever exhibited on DWTS. The Latin round was an especially rich frosting, considering how DANCMSTR has been complaining about Mya and Dmitry’s use of gimmicks throughout the season. Oh, well. Some questions are better left unanswered, like ”Who are the nameless pros dancing with Tony and Mark in the red-fringed Latin demo?” I was particularly interested in Mullet Man, though my favorite was the girl with the ribbon in her hair and full torso coverage — she was giving off a strong ”Canned Heat” in Center Stage vibe. Click on that, trust me.

Did you really think I wouldn’t discuss the most important segment of the season before beginning with the rankings? You must be new here. The five remaining couples took time out of their busy schedules to show the viewing public the different ways in which they could vote. Kelly went online; Mya and Joanna casually texted; Aaron poked at an AT&T-networked smartphone. Of course, Donny demonstrated how to use a land line. Hilarious.

Mya and Dmitry Chaplin 59 out of possible 60 Thank god/Lord Mirrorballus that Mya and Dmitry took a ridiculous field trip to escape the redundancy of the ”smelly feet aromas” back in the dance studio by riding ranch horsies past random patches of manure on a trail. Were they really that relaxed?! Something must have clicked, though, because Mya and Dmitry finally got the high scores they’ve been gunning for all season. DANCMSTR set them up with some line about how he was disappointed…that there was nothing to criticize!, in the same way that Mya and Dmitry tricked us by discussing the importance of the ‘wow factor’ over technical safeness for the quickstep but then not delivering any gimmicks whatsoever. After their samba — which greatly amused Sabrina Bryan; oh, good — Dmitry ”proposed” to Mya with a gaudy ’10’ ring. I need that ring. Ideally I’d like to wear 10 of them as I type my recaps.

For the couple’s perfect-30 ’70s samba, bestowed upon us after a zoom-in of a giant SOLID GOLD disco ball, Mya donned a hot-pink catsuit with fringed leg openings, of course, while Dmitry went with a horribly clashing red print shirt and authentic ’70s mustache. This will sound weird, but I actually think Dmitry’s ‘stache made Mya’s excellent performance stand out to me more because it made him seem so nonchalant towards the dance, the scene, everything. They truly struck me as a couple who would just roll into a nightclub and start samba-rolling the hell out of it, like, ”Oh, hey, far out to see you, we’re just gonna take over the dance floor, can you dig it?” Or something. The point is, they succeeded at the assignment. Bruno did not succeed at imitating Diana Ross.

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough: 52/60 For the standard round, Joanna’s quickstep truly was too much ”runnin’ about” like DANCMSTR said. Bruno thought it looked like Derek and Joanna were running away from the scene of a crime. Maybe Derek tripped one of the camera men for not framing him correctly during the dress rehearsal? Carrie Ann called the usually higher-scoring Joanna out for not pointing her toes — perhaps she should have paid more attention to the helpful how-to video Derek played for her of Mya and Dmitry. Nothing says ”Look at the pro dancer, Mya” than a tutorial video session. Very subtle! I thought Joanna deserved an extra point from all three judges for the fringe dangling from her full-length gloves.

NEXT: Karina gives Aaron good face

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