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Dancing with the Stars Week Three – Turbulent Tangos and Leg Pumping Jives

Yes, I stole that title from Samantha’s introduction. But it seems to fit as the dancers take the floor for round three.

This was also a turbulent night for the scores. I’ve blogged this live, so you can see how my thoughts change as the night goes on. Tomorrow is going to be a highly unpredictable night.

Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez – Jive – Considering how fast and intricate this dance can be, this will be an interesting performance to watch. Not that I doubt she can do it. I’m completely expecting to be blown away. And I was. It wasn’t as fast and frenzied as the Jives I normally love are, but it was still fun. And the fact that she never misses a beat, even when they are dancing apart, completely amazes me. Bruno said she lost the timing a few times, but I sure didn’t notice. And Carrie Ann picked on hands. I’ll let you in on a secret, if the judges are nitpicking on week three, you’re in pretty good shape.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 I expected at least one 8. Rather hard to predict how that will stand up at this point in the night, but based on the last two weeks, that should but her in the top half for the night.

Steve Guttenberg & Anna Trebunskaya – Tango – Now this should be interesting. Since Anna was sick, she had her husband, the fortunately for Steve eliminated Jonathan Roberts, rehearse in her place all week. Who knows how much time the two of them have had to actually practice together. I’d say it didn’t hurt their performance any. In fact, Steve seemed looser than he’s been before. And then, after the dance, Steve announces he needs a minute to prepare before the judges launch in and then puts on a hard hat (or at least a bowl) and safety glasses. I thought the judges would die laughing. Of course, the judges then proceeded to say that this was indeed his best dance yet with sharp lines and good footwork.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 Two scores and we already have a tie. Maybe Marlee does have more to worry about score wise then I thought she did.

Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke – Jive – Now that’s the high energy Jive I look for. The footsteps were fast and frenzied. And it looked like they were having fun. I think they got off to the side a little too much at the end, but they didn’t let that show at all. The judges thought it was his best dance to date by quite a bit, although they did pick on his legs being loose and his arms not being perfect.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 25 The scores are definitely getting higher this week. The dancers are getting better. Which means the competition is getting fierce. And these scores are showing it.

Mario & Karina Smirnoff – Tango – You know, I can understand the stars who have commitments later in the season, but if I were doing this show, I would plan nothing else for the first month at least to make sure I had enough time to rehearse. It just seems too early to be hearing about how busy the stars are outside the competition. Anyway, that was an interesting Tango. It belongs in the non-traditional category. My least favorite dance of the night so far. Normally, when I hate a dance, the judges love it, but Carrie Ann and Len didn’t like it either and said it was a mess. Only Bruno seemed to actually even like it.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 8 Total – 21 That’s the most variety in the scores we’ve seen all season. I was surprised that Carrie Ann was that high, and I’m disappointed he got a 21. I didn’t expect him to be low enough to be in danger of going (Adam still has to go after all). But I thought that Steve and Marlee’s dances were better than this one.

Shannon Elizabeth & Derek Hough – Jive – To my untrained eye, her legs looked great. As did her arms. Another high energy Jive that made me smile all the way through. After the last two dances, the fact that Bruno was the one to offer criticism and Len and Carrie Ann offered praise was a bit surprising.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24 A great score that places them in the top half of the group so far. I’ll admit, that was a little higher then I thought it would be after Bruno’s comments. I’m just glad we don’t have another 21. We’ve got enough dancers there already this week.

Adam Carolla & Julianne Hough – Tango – Is there a more appropriate song for Adam? “I can’t tell a Waltz from a Tango.” Absolutely made me laugh. Of course, I’d have to say that was the best dance we’ve seen from him all season. Maybe it was my expectations, but I truly was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. He still has a ways to go, but maybe I need to rethink all those negative comments I’ve been making all night. The judges basically said what I was thinking. Still not up to the level of the others, but certainly a step up from his first two performances.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 Well, the judges didn’t listen to me. We’ve got another 21. And that’s the bottom of the barrel this week so far, too. This is going to be an interesting elimination round tomorrow night. We’ll have to see how the last four do because I have no idea what to expect at this point.

Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani – Jive – I hadn’t thought about how perfect she could be at this dance until they started talking about it. And then they take it down a step or two. This was definitely slower than the last two we’ve seen. Heck, it felt like the slowest Jive of the night. But she did look like she was having fun and it looked technically fine to me. The judges were absolutely hard on her, however. They are right, she can do better then that. Maybe that’s why I was disappointed with it.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 7 Bruno – 6 Total – 19 We have a new low. Frankly, that was hard to watch with how obviously emotional Marissa was at those comments. She definitely wears her heart on her sleeve. She went from up and bubbly to down in the dumps before our eyes.

Priscilla Presley & Louis van Amstel – Tango – For my money, that was the hottest dance of the night. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Heck, I never knew the Tango could be so sexy. I loved their mid-air leg crosses, too. And the footwork sure looked fine to me. The judges loved it as well with the only comment being on her neckline.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 26 As Samantha was quick to point out, this is the best score of the night so far. And very well deserved. I loved that dance.

Jason Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska – Jive – It’s funny how perspectives change. Last week, I might have been praising this dance. But it seemed lack luster to me. It was full to crowd pleasing tricks, which I loved, but it was light on content overall. It is a bit disconcerting to me to be agreeing with Len and only Len, however. The other two had basically nothing but praise.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 8 Total – 23 While I am happy that this isn’t another 21, I truly think that’s what he earned.

Kristi Yamaguchi & Mark Ballas – Tango – After that backstage piece, I kept expecting Kristi to break into a smile at any moment. I will say she seemed to have a frozen expression, so I’m not sure it was much better than if she had started smiling. But at least she wasn’t opening her mouth every other beat like Mark was. I have no clue what he was supposed to be doing, but he looked like a fish. Aside from their facial expressions, the rest of the dance looked good. This time I am agreeing with Carrie Ann and Bruno. Technique was fine, but she really needs to work on the emotional aspect of the dances.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27 Even with those comments, she still got the highest score of the night. Again. And well deserved. She’s got some competition, but assuming the voters are there, she’s still a top pick to make the finals.

So here’s the standings for this week.
1. Kristi – 27
2. Priscilla – 26
3. Cristian – 25
4. Shannon – 24
5. Jason – 23
6. Marlee – 21
6. Steve – 21
6. Mario – 21
6. Adam – 21
10. Marissa – 19

Let’s get the easy prediction out of the way first. The encore goes to Priscilla and Louis no question. That was the best dance of the night even if Carrie Ann gave it an 8.

Now, the bottom two. I hate to say this, but I think it will be Marlee and Steve. I think Mario has too many fans to go home at this point, as does Adam. Marissa would be a safe bet, but she’ll get the sympathy vote, at least this week. Based solely on fan vote or lack there of, I’m going to predict that Marlee is the one to leave. Pretty amazing since I thought she would be safe this week when the show started isn’t it?