Wow, Mark's in the middle of the pack so rag on Lacey? I don't buy that. She's given some really strong choreography this season, and Mark is dancing like a beginner. That's nothing new. I absolutely hated this girl first season and last season that Salsa was a disaster in many ways, but there's been a surprising growth in what she did with the Cha Cha, and yeah Mark gapped out, that happens, and tripped on his pants in Quickstep, the Rumba wasn't good, but there was Two Step in that dance and he came back having fun.
As far as snippy comments go, Cheryl got the gears last season so it's time to blame someone if a perceived frontrunner doesn't measure up. Mark is a lot more talented than say, a Cristian de la Fuente, and it took some time for Cristian to get his groove. A lot longer than 4 weeks.
When I watched his interview, the guy found out the Friday before the Monday announcement that he was going to be on the show. Apparently he was initially supposed to be on season 10. In season's past there were practices that went on before the announcement. In season 5 for example Helio and Julianne were practising weeks before the August announcement.
Mark's great lines are a result of his martial arts and half a semester of ballet, and he's taken a total of about 3 hours of Ballroom class about 6 years ago with his wife. He's doing this show to please her, and gain new fans so he's taking everything in stride. So the expectations were pretty high for Mark from everyone, not just Lacey.
Having said that, they've been working pretty hard on the Paso, and as Gilles tweeted to Lacey this morning.. "it's crunch time, make him look great..." So we'll see.