As John mentioned, last week I was out of town. In fact, I spent all last week at DisneyWorld. It was my first trip there. I am exhausted, but it was completely worth it.
But now it’s back to the real world, and part of that means getting to recap/share my thoughts on Dancing with the Stars with you. I did get to watch part of last week. (My stupid DVR decided not to record Tuesday for whatever reason. And that was a Quickstep night, one of my favorites!) So I have a little idea what happened then.
I do want to comment on the over exposed memo that has been floating around. (I’ve seen it several places today.) Every season when the show starts, they take up the majority of a week. The last two seasons have started with one round of dancing Monday, a continuation of that round of dancing Tuesday, and results on Wednesday. The only reason people are harping on it this time is because of Ted McGinley. And seriously, if you are going to announce that any show he is in is on the way out automatically, then I can’t take you seriously either. (Not that I am too familiar with his work. But still.)
So, on to this week’s performances. (And remember, I am still on East Coast time even though I am back in California. I’m just saying.)
Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo – Rumba – And things are off to a hot and steamy start. Toni seems like one of the stars to watch so far, and she proves it tonight. The dance was smooth and sexy at the same time. The only flaw I saw was a lift. Granted, it wasn’t supposed to be there, but Alex lifted Toni too far off the ground and her feet couldn’t reach. Len says he was pleasantly surprised, could have used a bit more basic dancing, but it was basically good. Bruno agreed, but Carrie Ann (aka the Lift Police) noticed two lifts to my one.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 23 Those lifts killed their chances to get a 24. But this looks like a solid score to start out the night.
Brooke Burke & Derek Hough – Paso Doble – So I was reminded that Brooke was the leader on both nights last week. This should be another good performance. And it is. They have the passion down. The steps look precise. I certainly didn’t notice anything wrong with it. Carrie Ann felt she was slightly off balance, but overall mesmerizing. Len praised it except for the beginning and ending (too much messing around), and Bruno thought it was dramatic but not over the top.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24 A little lower than last week’s scores, but higher than Toni’s. I really did expect a 9 from Bruno. I thought it was a better dance than these scores.
Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff – Rumba – A decent routine. There were moments that sizzled, but I thought it fizzled as it continued. Bruno really attacked it, saying it was a step down from Tuesday’s dance. Carrie Ann agreed, saying the musicality wasn’t there. And Len said the ingredients weren’t combined correctly.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 6 Bruno – 5 Total – 16 Len was actually nicer than the other two. The audience booed, but I agree with the judges. This was really only an average routine.
Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer – Paso Doble – So they are going to try to use the traditional moves without going through the traditional bull fighting story. Seriously, why are you doing a ballroom dance competition if you want to do your own thing? I mean, it what other sport would you consider doing your own thing? (Man, I must be more tired than I thought. I’m sounding like Len!) Now that I got that out of my system, it was a fun routine. Not sure it really qualified as a Paso, however. And Len agrees. Carrie Ann liked it, and Bruno basically agreed with Len saying it had too much hip hop and not enough Paso.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 7 Total – 20 Len’s score was higher than I thought it would be. But if these two want to stick around past the half way point, they need to save their self expression of something outside the dance floor.
Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas – Rumba – Okay, before we begin, I’ve got another mini rant for you. We’ve got stars here that are famous for just being famous? Couldn’t we find a real star? Okay, moving on. The chemistry could have been much, much better, but the steps look pretty good to me. I did notice a few spots where it looked like she missed something, but I couldn’t quite tell for sure. Bruno agreed that the chemistry was poor. Len was disappointed because he thinks she can do much better. In fact, Carrie Ann suggested Kim watch tapes of herself to see if she could find ways to improve.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 5 Total – 17 Again, I agree with the judges – a good dance, but nothing more.
Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Paso Doble – Misty was one of my early favorites going in. I routed for her for both of the last two Olympics, so routing for her here is a naturally extension. Having said that, there was something about her costume tonight that scared me. Not quite sure what it was, but it was a distraction. When I was able to concentrate on the dance, it was good, however. Carrie Ann basically liked it, just commenting on her shoulders. Bruno had a few technical comments, but thought it was good. Len said it was a good attempt at a Paso but it needed more emotion on her part to make the whole things really work. I’ve got to admit I had noticed the lack of emotion. Maybe that was more of what was bothering me about the dance than the costume.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 I really expected at least one six after the judges’ comments. But this score puts her in the upper half of the couples so far. (No ties yet, but everyone is bunch pretty closely together. Wonder how much longer the ties will last.)
Maurice Green & Cheryl Burke – Rumba – Well, he may have worked on hips this week, but I didn’t see it. The steps that were supposed to be about the hips looked fine, but the rest of the time they were stiff. And again, the chemistry was missing. Len is right, it lacked finesse. Carrie Ann and Bruno said basically the same thing. Bruno went so far to say it was robotic.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 Total – 19 That was a bit higher than I would have given it. It should have been a couple points lower.
Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas – Paso Doble – I have a love/hate relationship with Cloris. At times, I find her great and funny (I love her in the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Reruns, okay.) But sometimes she can be too far over the top, and from what I saw last week, she went too far trying to be funny. And the dancing was as painful as I feared it might be. I was rooting for her, but I don’t think she has what it takes to keep up with those half to a third her age (or younger in the case of Cody.) She decided to start taking it seriously, fortunately. When I first heard the music start, I wasn’t sure about the dance, but as they got going, things got better. Mark did the majority of the dancing, but I’d say this was Cloris’ best dance to date. I don’t think it’s enough to keep her around for too long, but at least I feel like she is trying. I couldn’t interpret Bruno’s comments, but Len liked the traditional feel of it. Carrie Ann praised Cloris as a person but didn’t comment on the dance because she wanted to end on a happy note. But she did go on to say that she missed Cloris’ wit.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 5 Bruno – 5 Total – 15 I could tell the judges were trying to be nice, so this doesn’t surprise me.
Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani – Rumba – There was a bit of a problem with those last few moments, but was basically good. Not sure the chemistry was quite there, but this was one of the stronger Rumbas we’ve seen tonight. Carrie Ann praised it for taking her away, Bruno said it was a bit too safe, and Len complained about Tony managing to get his shirt off, or at least opened. Len did go on to say that Susan acted the dance very well.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 Our first tie score of the night. And it does back up my first impression that this was one of the better Rumbas of the night.
Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson – Paso Doble – Between being tired and never loving the Paso, I am finding these dances hard to judge tonight. Again, the costumes did nothing for me. And that opening where they looked like there were swimming looked weird. But as they got going, things really did get better. Not sure it was great, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Len liked the start and the entire dance. Carrie Ann and Bruno praised it as well.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24 Tied for the lead. If Warren can keep this up, he’ll be someone to watch out for as the weeks go by.
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough – Rumba – They started and ended with the best dances. That was another hot, sexy Rumba. Looked great to me. Bruno thought it wasn’t quite focused enough, Len said it wasn’t quite polished but basically good, and Carrie Ann found it an age appropriate, innocent but attractive Rumba.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 I thought it should have been a little higher. But it does keep them in the upper half tonight.
Here are the standings for the week:
1. Brooke – 24
1. Warren – 24
3. Toni – 23
4. Misty – 21
4. Susan – 21
4. Cody – 21
7. Lance – 20
8. Maurice – 19
9. Kim – 17
10. Rocco – 16
11. Cloris – 15
Encore: I didn’t pay attention to who had encores last week (or if they even did them), but I am going to say Warren will be asked to do the encore since the judges seemed to like his dance better than Brooke’s
Bottom Two: Assuming they tell us who the bottom two are (which they didn’t last week), here goes my guess. I’m going to say it’s Rocco and Cloris with Rocco going home. Of course, only one point separate the bottom three, so it really could be any of those. And all 11 dancers are with in 9 points, so it could still be anybody’s game at this point.