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Week Two – All Together Put ‘Em

Week two. Twelve stars. Two hours. So they’ve got probably about 8 minutes each to tell us about their week, dance, get critiqued, react, and get their scores. And that allows two minutes per star for commercials. I think this is going to be a very busy night. So let’s get to it, shall we?

Steve Guttenberg & Anna Trebunskaya – Mambo – I’ve been
worried all along that Steve would be too wooden, especially when it
comes to the Latin dances. And tonight didn’t do anything to alleviate
my fears. Don’t misunderstand for a minute. I still felt Steve had
the charm and pure fun that I loved last week. But if you watched Anna
and then watched Steve, you could see a real difference between the
two. Frankly, I think most of the men this season will have this
problem, so it’s not just Steve who needs to loosen up those hips. I
was worried that I was being too harsh, but the judges were even
worse. They were right, and Steve took the comments in the spirit they
were intended, to help him get better next week. Although I’m
certainly with Tom Bergeron, I don’t want Len cooking for me any time
soon. That analogy fell as flat as Steve’s dancing.
Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 5 Total – 16 The night’s off to a rough
start. While I would love to see him get something higher, that is
probably a fair score. And it’s only two points fewer then they got
last week.

Tom: “We are making the world a better place one low score at a time.”

Cristian de la Feunta & Cheryl Burke – Quickstep – I
started smiling before they even started dancing because I loved their
costumes. All that sparkly stuff, including on his suit. And the
routine just made me smile more. I noticed a few steps where he
appeared to be off, but for the most part I thought it was a great
dance. All three of the judges did mention the poor footwork, so I
wasn’t seeing things. Still, they did seem mostly positive.
Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 7 Total – 20 Just one point down from
last week. While the comments were more positive then this score might
represent, I do think he has some room for improvement.

Monica Seles & Jonathan Roberts – Mambo – Again, I wasn’t
wowed, but I do feel that Monica has improved. In fact, I’d say she’s
the most improved so far. (Of course, since the other’s scores went
down….) I’d guess the judges will say it was light on content (and it
was), but if Monica survives tomorrow night, I’d say she has the
potential to really grow. Okay, so I was apparently way off. The
judges noticed lots of times where she was off the beat and told her
she has lots of work to do on technique. But Carrie Ann did praise her
for improving her stage presence. I guess that worked on me.
Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 5 Bruno – 5 Total – 15 Well, I was sorted of
correct when I said she was the most improved. Her score stayed the
same instead of going down like the men have done so far.

Penn Jillette & Kym Johnson – Quickstep – Considering
they were already commenting on his huge feet and how his footwork
wasn’t right, this should be interesting. It was fun, but I’m not sure
that it was much better then last week. The men this season seem to be
stiff, and Penn is another example of that. And that sure was close to
a lift there at the end. You’d think they’d know not to do those by
now. The judges really are picking on his feet, but at least Carrie
Ann did mention that he looked like he was having fun, which is
certainly true.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 5
Total – 17 So, we finally have a star who moved up. Penn’s score is
one point higher then last week. I think that surprises me a little.
I thought he was a little worse then last week. Still, we’re arguing
over the one point, so he was pretty much the same.

Priscilla Presley & Louis van Amstel – Mambo – I’m not
sure that’s the hottest Mambo I’ve ever seen, but it was certainly fun
and another strong dance. Priscilla is quickly climbing to the top of
list as far as I am concerned. She could still slip, but it would be a
crime if she went home this week. The judges seemed to mostly like
it. Again, they picked on some technical things, but the praise far
outweighed the criticism.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7
Bruno – 7 Total – 21 The judges are so hard to read. I expected the
score to be closer to her previous week’s score of 24. This is the
highest score of the night so far, however, so that’s something in her

Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough – Quickstep – Looks to me
like we’ve got a second strong pair in a row. This is the quickest
quickstep we’ve had all night. Lots of tight footwork as well. And I
didn’t notice her cardo problems at all. The judges loved it. Len
called it “The best dance of the night so far.” And I do agree with
Carrie Ann that this was beginning to be a rough night so it’s nice to
see a really good dance.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno
– 8 Total – 24 Three points better then last week and the best score
so far. (Priscilla’s record didn’t last long, did it?) Of course,
we’ve got the best dancers from last week still to go, so we’ll see how
long Shannon can hold onto the title.

Jason Taylor & Edyta Silwinska – Mambo – That looked
great and was lots of fun, but it looked to me like Edyta was doing
more dancing then Jason. And I would have called it more fun then
steamy. But I guess I’m being hard since the judges loved it. Heck,
Len said he was a winner.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9
Bruno – 9 Total – 27 Well, the judges saw something in that I sure
didn’t. And we’re now three in a row for setting new records. We’ll
see if that holds up for Marissa. Not that the scores can get too much

Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani – Quickstep – Wow,
she really improved. Still had high energy, but the content was so
much better this week. And the dance definitely matched her
personality. The judges did pick on some missteps. I thought I caught
one myself, but I wasn’t sure. Marissa is my nominee (at least at this
point) for most improved star of the week.
Scores: Carrie Ann
– 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 That’s not as big an improvement over
last week’s scores as I thought she deserved. Still, a 21, especially
in this crowd, is not something to be ashamed of.

Adam Carolla & Julianne Hough – Mambo – After last week,
I pretty much wrote Adam off. Now I’m not prepared to say that Adam is
the most improved or has the potential to win, but he certainly
impressed me with his dancing this week. He looked like he was having
more fun. And he seemed to be doing a decent job. By no means
perfect. This was a great first week dance. And considering how bad
some of this week’s dances have been, that’s actually not an insult.
The only judge who seemed to see the same dance I did was Len. The
other two said it was missing lots of technique.
Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 7 Bruno – 6 Total – 19 So it’s not a barn burner
of a score. It’s still not looking good for Julianne to threepeat.
But this was a better score then I ever thought they’d get after last

Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez – Quickstep – Once again,
she has floored me. That was a better Quickstep with more intricate
footwork then we saw earlier in the evening. I’m not sure how accurate
that demonstration was they gave us during the pre-dance interview, but
if she can at least hear a beat, that certainly helps. Not that I am
diminishing what she is doing in the slightest. She is doing better by
far then many of the stars who can hear everything happening around
them. And in this competition, hearing is a key. The judges picked
most of all on the fact that the routine wasn’t a traditional
Quickstep. Again, I know she’s got a ways to go, but she should go far.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24 Her score improved as well. Two points is two points. Very well deserved score.

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas – Mambo – Last week’s
Foxtrot was closer to her comfort zone then a Latin dance would be, so
I was quite interested in seeing how she would do this week. I don’t
know why I am surprised, but she pulled it off again. Kristi is
quickly proving she is the person to watch out for this season. The
judges had nothing but praise for her as well.
Scores: Carrie
Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27 That’s a tie for the high score
of the night and a tie with her score from last week. You absolutely
can’t complain about that. If Kristi isn’t in the finals I will be
very upset.

Mario & Karina Smirnoff – Quickstep – I tried to watch
his feet. I really did. But since I usually don’t notice the things
the judges do, I decided to watch the dance itself. Once again, Mario
did a great job. What I saw of the feet were wonderful. Lots of fun
and energy. The judges found some things to work on, like the hold.
But he should still be close to the top again this week.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 26 Just shy of the top of the men, but a great score none the less.

So here are the standings based on the judges’ scores for both weeks.

1. Kristi – 54
2. Mario – 50
3. Jason – 49
4. Marlee – 46
5. Priscilla – 45
5. Shannon – 45
7. Cristian – 41
8. Marissa – 39
9. Steve – 34
9. Adam – 34
11. Penn – 33
12. Monica – 30

In case you’ve missed it, we have a double elimination tomorrow
night. So, who do I think will go? The women’s side is fairly
straight forward. Monica is 9 points below Marissa, her closest
competitor, and 15 points below Shannon. My guess is Monica will be
the first woman to go, but Marissa had better hope she gets plenty of

The men are harder to predict. Only one point separates Steve,
Adam, and Penn. While Cristian is only 7 points from them, I’d guess
it comes down to one of those three. My choice would be Penn because
I’d like Steve and Adam to have one more week to develop. I have a
feeling that all three will be leaving soon, so it probably doesn’t
really matter in the long run.