Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars: Performance Week 2 (Sep 30)

Previously, on Dancing with the Stars: Five hours of programming in one week! Jeffrey Ross and Ted McGinley were sent home. Cloris Leachman got censored, and anarchy reigned! Oh, there were also Jonas Brothers.

This recap is dedicated to my friend Brad who just now discovered that there are half-naked ladies on this show. Hi Brad!

Hey, Tom Bergeron! If it isn’t Memorex, what is it? Oh yeah, Liiiiiiiivvvvveee!

The multi-night extravaganza last week means they’ve only had four days to learn their dances this time out, and we’re looking at the Paso Doble and the Rumba. I am on record as liking the Paso, because it involves capes.

Tom leads with a joke about today’s failed financial bailout, and his point is accurate – they are not wearing much in the way of clothes tonight. I’m actually a little bit flustered just sitting here.

Len takes a moment to tell the stars that he’s not expecting much, but he’s hoping to be surprised. Hee. Len is so adorably crusty.

First up are Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo. We’re reminded that she was left waiting until the end of Wednesday’s results show. Toni takes to Alec to a Karaoke bar, and he freaking slaughters “Unbreak My Heart”. Edyta’s reaction is hilarious. She’s rather be voted off again than watch her husband dork it up like this. Their rehearsal seems to go pretty well, with no hilarious mishaps.

They have the rumba, and Alec is wearing leftover wardrobe from Swingtown. The whole dance is really sensual, with some fantastic holds. To me, there’s not a lot in the way of footwork, but there’s some really gorgeous posing. If this were a male star, Carrie Ann would be fanning herself with the comment cards. Tom gives Alec a “2” for his singing, which is pretty funny. Also, I’ve never seen the “2” paddle before.

Len liked the performance but thought it needed more dancing. Bruno agrees with Len, but seems happier about it. Carrie Ann busts Alec for including two lifts, and then gets lost in what she’s saying. I kind of want to see Samantha Harris interview Carrie Ann sometime. That would be awesome.

Speaking of Samantha, she’s waiting with an interview, only she doesn’t really get to a question. Toni just agrees with a string of words. Carrie Ann gives her a 7, and the men give her 8’s, for a total of 22. Samantha reminds us for the 10th time tonight that Toni wasn’t necessarily in the Bottom Two, even though they kept her waiting until the end of the show. I believed Tom when he said it last week.

Up next are Brooke Burke and Derek Hough, the first pair to score a 9 this season. In rehearsal footage, Derek is frustrated that Brooke can’t embrace “her dark side”. Doesn’t she understand? Together, they could rule the universe! Derek takes Brooke to a dojo to learn about aggression. Sadly, Fred Simmons is nowhere to be found. She breaks a board, in a shot that might or might not be faked. If it’s real, that’s pretty awesome. Just don’t cross Chuck the Truck!

Their Paso begins with no cape to be seen. There’s something about it that’s very theatrical – it’s like a Broadway production of a dance. It’s all big movements and snappy turns, which is cool but I’m not sure if it’s what the judges want. It’s a performance of a dance, rather than a dance. At the end, Derek finds a cape to wave around, which earns an extra point with me. Still, you really should wear it at some point. I liked it a lot, but I don’t often get subtlety.

Carrie Ann was mesmerized, but thought she was off-balance. Len liked the aggression, but not the “messing about”. Bruno called it “breathtaking artistry”, and says that Brooke is “born to dance”. You know, I think she’s doing a good job, but they may be overselling her this early on. In three weeks, they’ll be complaining about her wasted potential.

Tom tells us that tomorrow’s results show will feature “a Pussycat Doll, a star of Step Up, and a performance by Jessica Simpson.” Hear that, Myndi? It’ll be a delight! (I’m considering drinking during the show–Myndi)

Brooke tells Samantha that she appreciates the judge’s feedback, and the word “awesome” is bandied about so much that for a moment, I think they’re making fun of me. Brooke gets 8’s across the board for a 24.

Rocco DiSpirito and Karina are up next – we’re reminded that he improved greatly between Monday and Tuesday last week. In his video, Rocco reminds us that he’s a chef. He really should just wear the hat all the time and save himself some effort. Oh God, now he takes Karina to the kitchen to cook for her and talk about how he’s cooking for her. I’m so bored with Rocco. Wouldn’t it be much better if Gordon Ramsay were on the show?

Karina’s wearing a trenchcoat when their rumba begins, and Rocco’s wearing, sigh, an apron. And carrying a serving tray covered in confetti. Karina sheds her trenchcoat to reveal a dress that’s filmy, but by this show’s standards, practically a turtleneck. It might be that I’m just done with Rocco, but I’m not wowed. Karina pretty well drives the dance, and when they’re not in a hold, he’s hardly dancing at all. He doesn’t really bend his knees, either, so he takes Frankenstein steps. Then at the end he feeds her confetti from the serving tray. Crap on a cracker…

Bruno did not like it, saying he was standing there “like the Thing”, making this the first time in history that somebody else got to a superhero reference before I did. He didn’t like the way that Rocco walked. High-five Bruno! Carrie Ann says he lacks musicality, but appreciated the effort. Len uses a cooking metaphor which doesn’t go anywhere but earns him boos from the cast. Before tossing it to commercial, Tom points out how many alliterative couples they have this season and, well, he’s right.

Carrie Ann and Bruno give them 5’s and Len tosses a 6, for a Leachman-esque 16. Samantha suggests that he should have spend more time rehearsing and less time cooking, which comes out much meaner and funnier than she meant it to.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer are up next, with their Paso. Lacey suggests that they do something very traditional for the judges. These two are adorable together – they’re total BFF’s already. She tries to make him not laugh, and he farts. Hee. They were up rehearsing until 2 am, apparently. Way to commit, Bass!

Again, no cape, and Lacey is wearing a goofy lipstick-print dress. Oh, they’re dancing to that “I Kissed a Girl” song. I guess that’s popular now, right? Would you believe this is the first time I’ve actually heard this song? That’s right, I am your grandfather. They have nice footwork and energy, but it doesn’t really look like a Paso Doble. Granted, I require either a cape or somebody acting like a bull to sell me on the performance, but if I just clicked over, I’m not sure I could tell you what dance they were doing. Anyway, at the end of the dance, they make out.

Len is not happy. After all their talk of being traditional, there wasn’t much Paso Doble in the dance. I am inordinately proud of myself whenever any judge agrees with me. Len actually seems kind of mad. Carrie Ann compliments their song choice, even though the contestants have nothing to do with the song choice. So if that’s what she leads with, ouch. Bruno liked their effort but also thinks that they didn’t stick to the style. Len mimics Lance’s arm motions, and Bruno gets bleeped for saying “piss”. We’re going off the rails early tonight!

The other dancers are getting rowdy during Samantha’s interview, and it pretty well loses track. Carrie Ann and Bruno give them 7’s, and Len lays down a 6. That’s 20, which really isn’t bad this early on.

Tom tells us Kim Kardashian’s mambo was one of the most viewed clips on the Internet last week, and I attribute a lot of that to Brad. Personally, I think Sarah Silverman’s “The Great Schlep” should have been number one, but there you go.

Anyway, she and Mark Ballas are described as “competent” by Tom, which is pretty funny. Kim assures us that she loves Mark “like a brother”, and it’s hard to turn up the sexual tension for the Rumba. There’s a shot of Kim hosting a Pussycat Dolls performance, and now my TV has Chlamydia. Robin Antin, creator of the Pussycat Dolls, shows up to teach Kim how to be sexy. Something about this is creeping me out.

Their Rumba is probably an improvement over last week, but Mark’s doing the classic DWTS maneuver of dancing around his partner as often as possible so that she doesn’t have to move as much. In one of the dips, he seems to be motorboating, but that’s neither here nor there. She doesn’t really make very many independent moves during the dance, and it just seems kind of flat to me. (Plus, they danced to a song I adore, “You Give Me Something” by James Morrison, and between the singer’s awful voice and Kim’s involvement, I’m angry. Here’s the actual song. It kicks ass. -Myndi)

Bruno calls her “colder and more distant than Siberia” and says “I understand you don’t move very well”. He wants her to learn to act, which, good luck. Len thinks she has potential, but she keeps disappointing him, and mentions her “gear in the rear”. Carrie Ann says she’s doing the same dance every time, and Kim should watch her own performances. On this show, I assume. Not that…tape.

Carrie Ann and Len give her 6, and Bruno scores a 5. Total of 17, which is not great. She hopes her fans (meaning “Brad”) vote for her. Mark keeps assuring us that she’s trying her best. Well, great. I tried my best at tennis, but I still suck at it.

Next it’s Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Tschmerhardtospellsky. As a friend of mine said last week, “Misty is so cute until they put makeup on her. Then she looks like a drag queen.” This week, Misty had some volleyball to play, so Maks follows her on tour, and gets some advice from her coach. Of course, her coach’s advice is basically “She’s good enough that she doesn’t really have to practice”, which doesn’t help at all. They have a hard week training, and Misty just about falls on her ass at one point. She seems upbeat at the end of the montage.

For their Paso, Misty is wearing a pleather bustier, and Maks has a vest with no shirt. Try to control your surprise. It’s a pretty good dance, with lots of aggression and nice holds. They get out of sync a little when they break hold, but Misty does a flip over Maks, which is pretty cool. Nice energy, and a lot of moves we don’t see every week. But no cape! Gah!

Carrie Ann thanks Misty for not sucking like than Kim Kardashian. No, I’m not kidding. She loved the routine and only criticizes Misty’s weird shoulders. Bruno calls her “Xena, Warrior Princess”, and loves her power but thinks she needs to work on subtlety. Len liked it but thinks they lost their connection and mentions “The Home for the Bewildered”. Hee.

Maks pats Tom’s butt as they leave, but Tom liked it better when Mel B. used to do it. Ha! OK, I like Maks. Fine. Samantha asks Misty about being frustrated, and Misty seems kind of intense when she answers. Girl’s kind of high strung. Maks apologizes for being too hard on her. The judges give her 7’s down the line, for 21.

Now it’s Maurice Green and Cheryl Burke. Maurice quotes the theme from The Jeffersons. Well, sure. Just ‘cause it’s a theme song don’t make it not true. He is excited about the Rumba, the “Dance of Love”. What are the other dances the dance of? The Viennese Waltz – the Dance of Timely Mortgage Payments. Anyway, Cheryl has to work on Maurice’s hips. Cheryl takes him to see belly dancers so he can watch their hips. Hilariously, Maurice hoots like he’s at a strip joint.

Their dance opens with Maurice writhing. On the whole, it’s a nice display. Maurice has really good, crisp footwork, and Cheryl knows how to play to that. Sometimes his arms are a little weird, but not consistently. There’s not really much to say – Cheryl knows how to set up a dance, people.

Len thought it was “all right, but a bit rough”.  Carrie Ann thinks his energy is all bottled up, and he needs to project. She also calls him “groovy”. Bruno calls him “robotic”. Huh, I liked this much better than the judges did. They’re probably right, I guess.

The men give Maurice 6’s, and Carrie Ann scores a 7. A total of 19 – not great, but it’s the middle of the pack so far. Samantha wonders what Maurice needs to do to move on, and the answer is “dance better”. Cheryl makes it sound nicer than that, of course.

Uh oh. Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas. Cloris says she got “carried away” last week, but was going to focus this week. That may not be the best idea, since the crazy lady act is what brought in the votes. We see a montage of Cloris trying really hard, and only clowning around a little. It looks like this dance has a cape!

Cloris opens with some skirt twirls, and some footwork that’s probably better than Kim Kardashian’s. It’s clunky, but it you saw your 82-year-old grandmother dance like this at a wedding, you’d be amazed. I can’t really say much – it’s hard to criticize somebody who’s coming at this from such a unique place. Also, no cape. Part of her skirt detaches, but that’s as close as we get.

Bruno calls it “surreal” and drops a Young Frankenstein reference. Len liked that it was traditional and compliments her solo spins. Carrie Ann compliments her on being elderly, and says she’s not going to comment on the dance. Well, way to judge, lady.

Awesomely, they get a horse whinny when Tom mentions Frau Bluchner. Hee. She get’s 5’s across the board for a 15. Cloris makes fun of Samantha for not being able to do math again, and claims she’ll keep her “15” card forever. Samantha totally can’t handle Cloris. She can barely handle a cooperative interview, and Cloris just has no interest in letting her get anywhere.

Tom jumps up off the floor when they come back, as if they woke him from a nap. We’re all in agreement as to our love for Tom, right? (The man is a genius.–Myndi)

Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani are next. I seriously don’t remember either of her dances from last week at all. She’s pulling a Kelly Monaco and dancing during breaks from her real job of acting on a soap opera. Susan goes to Cameron Mathison, her costar, for advice. Cameron is likeable and I miss him.

It’s Rumba time! The dance begins with Susan pulling Tony’s shirt open. Who’s surprised? There’s nothing wrong with their dance, but it seems really familiar. I don’t really see anything that I haven’t seen in a hundred Rumbas from past seasons.

Carrie Ann really enjoyed it, and was “transported to another world”. Bruno says it was “very good”, but he says it without passion. He really wants Susan to be sluttier. Len doesn’t like Tony’s chest, but enjoyed Susan’s acting.

Samantha talks about how hard it must be to learn to dance on the set of a soap opera, which we’ve heard from Kelly and Cameron already. But it breaks out of Samantha’s standard three questions, so points there. Three 7’s make 21, and Tony quotes Maurice’s “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.”

We’re headed into the home stretch with Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson. Kym tells Warren he can draw on his football-style aggression. He has a hard time not smiling, which is pretty endearing. Warren apparently doesn’t get to go on a field trip like most of the others this week. Poor Warren.

It’s the Paso Doble, and Warren is covered in leather. Kym is, well, partially covered in leather. I love Kym, but she looks like a hooker from The Matrix right now. They have real Paso Doble music, and they have a very cool routine. It’s got the “I’m walking while my partner clings to my leg” move, which is really not difficult for Warren. At one point, they bend over backwards and flail around, so apparently the Matrix theme is intentional, making my earlier joke less funny. It’s fun – they’re doing a lot of standard Paso moves, but the costuming makes it look cooler. I think Warren loses track of the steps near the end, though. Kym seems to expect him to be in places where he isn’t, but all in all, it’s quite good.

Len liked the “dark, menacing feel” – he’s really pleased. Carrie Ann is babbling really fast. She seems to be very excited. Hey, Marlee Matlin is in the audience! Hi, Marlee! Bruno is similarly effusive in his praise, including some scat into his critique. Samantha asks why he connected with the Paso Doble, and he says it’s because it’s “all man”. Well, except for Kym. He is also happy that he got his sequins this time out. He pulls three 8’s for a total of 24. Yay, Warren!

One dancer left to go, and they still have twenty minutes! Man, they programmed some serious Cloris time, didn’t they? The cast of Samantha Who? must have been told that they weren’t going back to work until Cloris left the show and freed up some space on the schedule.

Finally, it’s Cody Linley and Julianne Hough. In the training video, Cody is clearly very excited that he gets to rub his hands all over Julianne. Julianne thinks they’re suffering because Cody has no attention span. He does seem to fart around a lot. He promises to sweep America off their feet.

They have a really good Rumba. It’s a little bit on the pose-y side, and Julianne is clearly doing most of the work, but Cody keeps up when he needs to. They have some really nice holds and dips. It’s good. It actually comes off as a really technical, choreographed piece. Down the line, his lack of spontaneity may be a problem, but for now, it’s pretty impressive. (Except for the part where I felt like I was watching Julianne dance with Ellen Degeneres.  Just me?–Myndi)

Bruno thinks he needs to focus more, making me sound like an idiot. Len liked it, but gets distracted by Cody’s crotch. No, I didn’t make that up. Carrie Ann thought it was “age appropriate”. There have been some weird comments tonight. I know, like that’s unusual…

Commercials. “Hey, EJ! There’s a movie about the guy who invented the intermittent windshield wiper.” “I’m not so sure…” “Did we mention Lauren Graham is in it?” “Sold!”

The judges bust out those 7 paddles once again, for another 21. In the interview, we find out that Cody’s idea of romance is “a woman bringing him food”. Hee. But then Cody talks forever. He’s totally in love with Julianne, and pretending like it’s all a joke, by the way.

And there we are: Brooke and Warren are tied at the top with 24. Kim, Rocco, and Cloris are bringing up the rear. Hee. Rear.

See you tomorrow when Myndi recaps the tragic elimination. Unless it’s Kim or Rocco, then it’ll just be amusing.

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