Dancing with the Stars – 8.2 Dancing and Elimination

So, I am back from Palm Springs. Great weekend, but now it’s back to Dancing. And from the little bits I’ve heard, sounds like we are in for a wild ride. This may be a bit shorter than normal just because I have lots to get in before I got back to work tomorrow.

Holly Madison & Dmitry Chaplin – Quickstep – Can she stop that fake giggling already? Please? Once she started dancing, all was forgiven, however. She looked good. Len picked on her posture, Bruno thought she was a bit behind and always trying to catch up, and Carrie Ann called her a doll that Dmitry was dragging around the floor.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 Total – 18 Two Week total – 36

David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson – Salsa – David said he wanted to actually be doing more dancing this week, and I’d say he got his wish. Yes, there were still times that Kym got all the flash, but the female generally does. Bruno said he stuck to one character, but his timing was off. Carrie Ann said his routine was harder, but it wasn’t better because it was too hard for him at this point. Len said it had too much Kym and not enough hip action.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 6 Total – 17 Two Week total – 36

Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Quickstep – I must admit, there are so many dances I don’t remember hers in particular from last week, but this was a pretty good dance. I loved those jumps at the end. Carrie Ann praised it except for two mess ups. Len and Bruno called it much improved.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 21 Two Week Total – 39

Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts – Salsa – When she started on the chairs in the audience, I thought she might spend too long doing that, but it was actually a fun start. However, she’s doing too much dancing all alone for me. It wasn’t looking like a partner dance. But I have to give her credit for that handstand at the end. She admitted she messed up. Len said the performance was there, but her hip action wasn’t. Bruno praised the progress, but said she needed to use the beat. (At which point Tom took the “1” paddle for Belinda to hold up.) Carrie Ann said it was a bit lacking in grace.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 Total – 18 Two Week Total – 35

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower – Quickstep – Ty’s looking for redemption this week and admits he froze under the lights. We’ll see how he does this week. They started out with a missed high five. But the dance was better. He actually looked like he was dancing this week, and all those tight kicks looked good. His smile was a bit pained, but I don’t think we can count him out yet. Carrie Ann was proud of the improvement and how smooth he was. Bruno said he was still a bit stiff at times. Len called it a complete metamorphosis although he still has a ways to go.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 7 Total – 20 Two Week Total – 34

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas – Salsa – She had trouble during practice with the hip movements. And, frankly, it was still a bit stiff except when the focus was all on the hips, then she did okay. The rest of the dance looked great; it was fun and high energy. Bruno called it precise and charming but not naughty and flirtation enough. Len said she needs to let it go a bit more. Carrie Ann thought it was fantastic and praised her ability to do tight turns so soon in the season.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 8 Bruno – 8 Total – 24 Two Week Total – 47

Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff – Quickstep – Steve discovered this last week that he has a fracture in his left foot but is going to keep dancing. The dance started off slowly, like a half speed Quickstep, but it did speed up and include the kicks I love so much. I’m not quite sure what happened there at the end, but I’ve got to give him credit. That was a decent dance, especially with a hurt foot. I do think there are other dancers who are better, but I think Steve is beginning to show real promise. Len gave him an extra mark for the Buddy Holly track. He did say the technique wasn’t there, but it was fun. Carrie Ann also praised the fun, but did give him lots of technical advice. Bruno compared him to Wall-E, an appropriate comparison if this were Steve Jobs.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 6 Total – 17 Two Week Total – 30 (That 5 was an extra step high because of the song? Yikes?)

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough – Salsa – Chuck is tackling this dance Derek style. I can’t wait to see how Derek reacts to that video (if we ever get to see it). Okay, so he wasn’t quite doing it Derek style, but his hips seemed to be in line with the other stars we’ve seen do the Salsa so far tonight. Could have used a bit more content, but it was fun. Bruno said Julianne did all the work and Chuck didn’t do enough. Len agreed, and Carrie Ann called it a mishmash of a bunch of Latin dances. I agree with Bruno and Len. It wasn’t what it should have been.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 7 Bruno – 7 Total – 20 Two Week Total – 40 (I thought a 6 would be a high score after those comments. I’m left scratching my head.)

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Sliwinska – Quickstep – He started off rather stiff, but he seemed to get the hang of it after a few seconds. It still could have been more fluid, but it looked good. Of course, I have a feeling that the spin at the end will constitute a lift since I think her feet were off the flood. Carrie Ann said she liked it, calling it smooth and powerful. Bruno said he came out and performed. Len praised how well he tackled the difficult performance.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 6 Bruno – 7 Total – 20 Two Week Total – 36

Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer – Salsa – After teasing us all night long, they finally tell us what happened to Steve-O. He fell during dress rehearsal and made his back problem even worse. We and the judges get to judge a tape of his rehearsal. Okay, this is the Steve-O I was expecting last week. When he was doing the Salsa, it was okay. It did seem to lack passion, although part of that could be rehearsal versus live TV. However, the dance was filled with too many tricks for me to really get into it. Len said there was no Salsa and he didn’t get it. Bruno agrees, saying it was a series of unfortunate events with no coherent story. Carrie Ann doesn’t think it was in the right vein for Salsa.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 4 Bruno – 5 Total – 14 Two Week Total – 31 The official word after Monday night was that he hadn’t broken his back and is hoping to be back. We’ll see what happens in a few hours.

Lil’ Kim & Derek Hough – Quickstep – Kim said she was going for elegant, and I’d say she hit it. Fast and fun but smooth at the same time. I was a little worried that she’s be a Latin queen but not do well in the Ballroom dances, but I think she could go far. Bruno called it vivacious. Carrie Ann said everything was working together well, and the choreography was excellent, but their holds were off. Len said the quantity was there, but the quality wasn’t. The other two judges sure didn’t get that comment. I think he was saying the same things they were, it just focused more on the problems while they praised it.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Bruno – 8 Total – 23 Two Week Total – 44

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – Salsa – They are admitting this week that she has a ballet background and was a cheerleader. So she has more dance background than some of the others (which has been the controversy of the week.) But I certainly want to see how she does with a week to rehearse. Wow. I don’t care about her background. This woman can dance. I hope controversy doesn’t get her kicked out early. She deserves to go far. Carrie Ann was thrilled to finally see a Salsa. Len called it the Salsa of the night. Bruno called it juicy.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Bruno – 9 Total – 26 Two Week Total – 49

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke – Quickstep – Another injured dancer, this time a separated shoulder. That costume makes him look like Clark Kent, Dean Cain style. Okay, now that the song gets going, I get it. I wish I had recognized “Kryptonite” right away. As far as the dance itself goes, it was great. Started slow but built in intensity and speed. And the ending, sliding across the floor and ripping off his shirt to reveal the green G was perfect. Len said any worry about Gilles being a one week wonder are now gone. Bruno said there were sparks. Carrie Ann says they are becoming the fan favorites. I think they should stick around for a while.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9 Total – 27 Two Week Total – 51

So that takes care of Monday night. Let’s move on to tonight’s elimination show, shall we?

We started with an update/interview with Steve-O. He still looks like he’s in a bunch of pain. He’s taking responsibility for the flip that landed him in the hospital this week. (Tom’s line about Lacey being the voice of reason was priceless.) Nothing about his future in the competition. I guess he’s going to try to keep going. We’ll see if he’s safe keeping in mind that they’ve added the twist of the dance off this season.

Because of that dance off, they’ve started giving us the results much earlier. We found out 8 of the safe couples in the first 20 minutes tonight. And just about the half way point we found out the bottom two.

Bottom Two:
Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts
Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff

I’m not surprised that Steve is in the bottom two, but I figured it would be Ty or Steve-O who would be joining him there.

Both couples will redance a routine we’ve already seen. The judges will score them from scratch, and those scores will be combined with the viewer votes already recorded to determine who goes home.

Up first, Belinda & Jonathan did their Salsa again. The judges praised her increased hip movement but she really lost her footwork. They were almost apologizing for how poorly they are about to score them, too. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them sound so sorry.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 5 Len – 6 Bruno – 6 Total – 17 One less than last night, not that last night matters any more.

Next is Steve & Karina’s Quickstep. This time around, Bruno praised him for being entertaining if not a good dancer. Carrie Ann thought it was better except for the mistake in the middle. Len praised him for working hard at it even though he didn’t see any improvement.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6 Len – 5 Bruno – 6 Total – 17 Tied with last night, even though Carrie Ann said it was better.

So the two are tied. It will all come down to viewer votes. I’d feel so powerful. If I had voted.

And the first couple going home is Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan Roberts. I guess the geek factor (as we saw last week right here) was stronger than the nostalgia factor from Belinda’s fans.

I’ll be back next Monday to cover the Fox Trots and the Sambas. Meanwhile, come join me at my blog where I’ll be rambling about my time in Palm Springs and whatever else crosses my mind.