Yes, the recapper with two left feet is back, dance fans! I’ll be with you for this week’s performance & results shows, featuring what’s left of our small-s stars and their dance champ partners. Last week, we lost the girl with the shortest IMDB bio, Shanna Moakler, so we’re down to nine couples and mercifully, ABC has decided that 90 minutes is a sufficient time allotment for this week’s tangos and jives. And yes, I’m as shocked as you are to hear that the “jive” is actually a dance, not just hipster jargon.
First up tonight is Emmitt Smith and partner Cheryl Burke. Emmitt kvetches a bit about how much travelling he’s having to do for the show. He tells us he had to travel all the way to Virginia this week because his wife is hosting the Miss Virginia beauty pageant, and he wants to be supportive. I have no doubt that my husband would also be standing supportively by my side if I were hosting an event that features pretty young girls in bathing suits. But Emmitt isn’t in need of any extra eye candy, because his wife, in keeping with the sports-heroes-get-the-hot-chicks stereotype, is a knockout. Emmitt does a little dancing for the Miss Virginia crowd, who enthusiastically applaud his efforts. Will he impress tonight’s audience as well? He & Cheryl are performing the tango (who would have thought you could tango to a song by Robert Palmer?) and frankly, Emmitt seems a little off his game. Head judge Len is disappointed, and scolds the pair for doing a lift, which is apparently against the rules of the tango. Pay attention here, because we'll see throughout the course of the evening that the tango is less about fun and more about rules, rules, rules. Bruno comments sadly that Emmitt didn’t shine tonight, and Carrie Ann says that although it wasn’t Emm’s best dance, there was “good hold” – another tango rule. The scores are accordingly lackluster – a 7 from Carrie Ann along with 6’s from Len and Bruno gives Emmitt & Cheryl a paltry 19 out of 30.
Little Miss Sunshine turns on the heat
Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel are up next, and Monique’s all aflutter because her mom is coming from South Carolina to watch her this week. Monique’s mom appears at rehearsal and you can tell she loves Monique more than Mario’s mom loves him, because she took the trouble to go to Wal-Mart and get a t-shirt plastered with photos of Monique. Take that, Team Harry! Monique & Louis will continue the songs of the ‘80’s theme night, and are dancing the jive to Glenn Frey’s hack effort, The Heat Is On. And as it turns out, Monique’s fear that the judges might be mean to her in front of mom is for naught – Len lauds it as her best dance, Bruno enthuses that “Little Miss Sunshine” has raised the bar tonight, and Carrie Ann calls the performance fantastic. The pair is rewarded with 9’s from each judge, giving them a more-than-respectable 27 out of 30.
Lisa will be getting her hands on that passion later
Ashly Delgrosso is such a sweet, girl-next-door type, that it just makes it OK for her to take Harry Hamlin on dates to sketchy-looking Argentinean restaurants to learn the tango. Though I’m pretty sure Lisa Rinna was lurking in the shadows behind all the while, and cursing her decreasing face time in front of the cameras the competition wears on. Anyway, Harry is all about the passion this week, and vows that with his tango, he’ll be more passionate than he’s ever been. What Lisa must think of that will have to be left to the imagination. Does Harry bring the passion? Well, notwithstanding the fact that Harry resembles a giant stick insect and dances about as fluidly as one, it’s not a bad performance. They dance to a Spanish-language song, and with Ashly in ruffles and roses and Harry in a black tux, it looks and sounds to me like a tango should. Bruno notes that Harry missed some footwork, but digs the dark and dangerous aspect, and Carrie Ann appreciates his hard work but feels he’s still awkward on the dance floor. Yes, but did he break any of those tango rules? Apparently not, because Len happily proclaims the performance a “proper tango” and awards the duo with a score of 8. Carrie Ann and Bruno bestow a pair of 7’s, and Harry & Ashly manage a 22 out of 30. The judges may not have seen Harry’s passion, but Ashly avows that she actually felt it while they were dancing, and for once I would have really liked to have seen Lisa Rinna’s face after that little comment.
Showmance is in the air
I must formally apologize to the ousted Shanna Moakler, because as it turns out, Willa Ford’s IMDB credits are even skimpier than hers. And the bios of both of them put together are still shorter than the one for the guy who did the voice of Morris The Cat for those cat food commercials in the ‘70’s. I’m starting to think that I can get a spot for next season, and I admit that if I did, I’d pick Maksim Chmerkovskiy for my partner too. In spite of their supposed smoldering passion for each other underneath the petty bickering in the rehearsal studio, Willa & Max have landed in the bottom 2 both weeks. Can they jive their way out of the basement? First off, someone must tell Willa that DWTS viewers are probably not the same people who watched her in the 2006 Lingerie Bowl and dress accordingly. Anyone remember the Arnold’s Drive-In carhops from early Happy Days episodes? (Speaking of, who wouldn’t love to see Scott Baio tango’ing across the DWTS stage for season 4? Hmmmmm?) Anyway, it looks like Willa’s raided those old costume trunks, and updated a carhop uniform with a fresh coat of candy-pink paint and a Bedazzler, then added a pair of sparkly fishnets. The result is something out of a Ralph Malph wet dream, but distracting costume aside, Willa & Max deliver a bouncy, entertaining jive performance. Carrie Ann praises Willa, calling her the best natural dancer in the competition, Len complains that there’s too much bonding (between Willa & Max) and not enough dancing, and Bruno loves Willa’s brand of American cheesecake. OK, so maybe he did watch the Lingerie Bowl, because he awards the pair an 8, and Carrie Ann and Len give up a couple of 7’s for another middling score of 22 out of 30. Backstage, there’s some uncomfortable squirming when it’s suggested that Maksim & Willa may be falling for each other, and Tom makes us feel just a little more icky by plugging the new season of his bread & butter hosting gig, America’s Funniest Home Videos – back for the 17th season of groin injuries, piñata accidents, and cats falling off TVs. You know, come to think of it, I’m fairly certain Jerry Springer is also celebrating year 17 of his talk show. Coincidence?
Jerry 007 – or, what James Bond would look like if he aged naturally
Jerry tugs on our heartstrings once again as he wistfully admits that he’d like to hang around the show long enough to get to the waltz, because daughter Katie wants to waltz with her dad at her upcoming wedding. Partner Kym Johnson is determined to help grant Jerry his wish, so she’s going for style rather than substance and turning Jerry into a tango-dancing James Bond of sorts. The pair hit the stage to the strains of Hernando’s Hideaway, and turn in a fairly silly but entertaining performance. The judges go easy on Jerry this week – you just know they want the old guy to make it to the waltz, too. Bruno exclaims that it was great fun, Carrie Ann gives them a thumbs-up for playing up the entertainment aspect, and Len evasively says it’s an unusual interpretation but good nonetheless. They (generously) dole out 7’s all around, and Jerry & Kym are rewarded with a 21 out of 30. Think of it this way – Jerry can’t possibly waltz worse than he tangos.
These boots were made for jiving
Is it just me, or does it seem that Sara Evans seems slightly bewildered to find herself on this show? She sounds like a busy gal, what with her young family and her touring, so why is she wasting weeks of her life learning to ballroom dance? Seeing as how DWTS fans have thus far refused to put her out of her misery, partner Tony Dovolani has decided to let Sara have a little fun and go country with their jive, which involves donning cowboy boots and hats and sticking their thumbs in the waist of their pants. I guess you can’t really jive to country music, so the pair goes with Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Were Made for Walkin’. Looks like Sara is game to go at least one more week after all, and they turn in a spirited performance. Carrie Ann loves it, Len calls Sara a “rough diamond” that just needed polishing, and Bruno likes the new, improved Sara. Len is impressed enough to bestow a score of 9, and with 8’s from Carrie Ann and Bruno, Sara & Tony manage a 25 out of 30.
And you thought Mr. Belding’s rules at Bayside High were tough
Fan favorite and Latin lover Mario Lopez, along with sultry Russian dance champ Karina Smirnoff, are going to give us a tango so sexy Karina says it will give everyone goosebumps. I think she means that as a good thing. The two will tango to Gwen Stefani’s What Are You Waiting For, which doesn’t strike me as particularly sexy…but hold the phone here! Now I see where that goosebumps reference is coming from, because Karina’s dress is showing so much skin the poor girl can’t help but feel cold. It looks like Mario & Karina turn in their usual great performance, but the judges are in a detention-giving kind of mood, because the pair have broken tango rules that should apparently be held sacred. Len blasts them – something about a hold, again – and says he would have given them a 10 . Bruno sorrowfully asks the two why they’re fighting the rules, and Carrie Ann grumbles that the rules must be respected. Predictably, the grades for these rebels without a cause are on the low side – 8’s from Carrie Ann and Bruno (who sniffily comment that they would also have given out 10s had it not been for the blatant disregard of the tango rules) and Len zings them with a piddly 6. A 22 out of 30 is still a passing grade, but looks like Mario & Karina are teachers’ pets no more.
A red tutu never looks good on anybody
Vivica A. Fox is a damn good actress after all, because she’s got partner Nick Kosovich thinking she’s got a soft, emotional side to her. So that driven, man-eating diva thing is all an act, right? I notice he didn’t have the guts to make fun of her when she showed up in ballet class in a red tulle tutu. And red is Vivica’s grrrrl power color this week, as she shows up to tango in a red gown and the most enormous set of false eyelashes as yet seen on this show, so you know that’s one big-ass set of falsies she’s got on. Honestly, I don’t see anything that special about the performance, but the judges are in ecstasies over it, or maybe they’re just pleased that Vivica didn’t break any tango rules. Bruno calls her a drama queen (note that Vivica takes this as an actual compliment), Carrie Ann tells her that the tango is “her” dance, and Len is just very, very happy. In fact, Vivica & Nick’s tango have sent all the judges to their happy place, as they bestow 9’s all around and tie Vivica & Nick with Monique & Louis for the lead with a 27 out of 30. In true drama queen form, Vivica gets all misty-eyed over the judges’ compliments, and tells Samantha backstage that her dance tonight was a salute to Dorothy Dandridge. I think Halle Berry had that Dorothy Dandridge tribute thing sewed up when she won her Academy Award, but I guess a televised tango on a reality show runs a pretty close second.
Knock me down, step in my face, slander my name all over the place
You have to love a guy who enjoys shoe shopping, and Joey Lawrence continues to show us that he didn’t just play an amiable goofball on TV, but is one in real life as well. Partner Edyta Sliwinska has an Elvis theme in mind, and you can’t do Elvis – the younger, slimmer, Elvis, at any rate – without some blue suede shoes. See, I say to my husband, purchasing footwear can be fun, and not just another symptom of my supposed shopping addiction. Like shopping can be an addiction. Phhhhffffft. As if I can’t quit anytime I want. Where were we? Oh, yes, Joey & Edyta’s Elvis jive. This is actually my favorite dance of the night – classic rock n’roll, a little air guitar, and after Harry’s scarecrow moves and watching Jerry breathlessly lumber to his feet after his performances, this pair makes the dance look fun and effortless. But uh-oh – turns out there’s rules to be broken whilst jiving as well. Bruno calls Joey a dynamo – but no lifts allowed! Carrie Ann thinks they’re fabulous – but no lifts! Len has again reverted to being a pissy old man and simply growls that they mustn’t do lifts! Joey anxiously promises to behave next week, but Len punishes them regardless with a score of 6, and 8’s from Carrie Ann and Bruno only net them a 22 out of 30.
So who does that leave us in the top spot with the judges’ scores? **Slams yardstick on desk** Not paying attention, eh? When a show runs 90 minutes, the recap is bound to be a little long - must I remind you people to take notes? Just this once, I’ll give you a break…but next time, there will be a test afterwards.
Tied for top spot: Monique and Louis, Vivica and Nick
Bottom spot: Emmitt and Cheryl
Tomorrow, the Scissor Sisters take the stage (well, if you can manage a ballroom dance set to a Gwen Stefani song, I guess anything is possible), and far more importantly, Samantha reminds us that the Bachelor starts next week. Willa Ford, take note – if that thing with Maksim doesn’t work out, there’s always a chance for a Bachelorette spot maybe next season. Think about it.
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