Welcome back to another night of Dancing With the Stars! This is the second night of competition for our eleven pairs and America is, apparently, watching. Host Tom Bergeron tells us that last week was the most-watched premiere in the show’s history: 40 million people watched….35 million of whom tuned in hoping Kate Gosselin would fall on her butt or throw a hissy fit. Sadly, there was no falling, but it looks like we might get that hissy fit tonight. I do love a good hissy fit, I must say. With the first elimination looming, there’s even more pressure and more fighting in rehearsal.
Before we go any further, I have to go all Fashion Police on Brooke. Yes, you have a great body, dear, but that’s no reason to wear a Hefty bag. Get a dress next time. Thank you. We’ve got eleven routines to get through, so let’s get started!
Shannen and Mark
Last week, Len commented about the difficulty of the choreography for their Viennese Waltz and Shannen thinks that means they should simplify things with their Jive this week. Mark wants to increase the difficulty, telling Shannen “No risk, no reward.” Shannen is worried because it’s a lot of routine and she’s having trouble remembering all the choreography.
Dressed like the Blues Brothers (if they wore skirts… in Shannen’s case), Shannen and Mark dance their Jive to “Shake a Tail Feather.” Based on last week’s routine, I wasn’t expecting her to do very well, but it’s not bad. Plus, she actually looks like she’s having fun. It’s a little slow in the middle where Shannen sort of loses steam, but overall, it was pretty good. Lots of energy and good leg movements. Shannen runs over to give her dad a kiss before facing the judges.
Len says the Jive is fun and fast and energetic and Shannen showed that. She needs a little more control and finesse, but it was a great start.
Bruno likes the Heathers/mean girl Jive. Shannen had much better energy than last week. She still needs to keep her weight on her toes, but she really engaged the audience tonight.
Carrie Ann did think they needed to make the routine simpler, but now she knows Mark was right. It was strong, solid and fiery. Shannen should work on her musicality for next week – she was ahead of Mark by a few beats in a few places – but overall, really great.
Carrie Ann: 7
Combined score: 38/60
Aiden and Edyta
Honestly, even if Aiden gets eliminated tomorrow, they need to bring him back and have him flirt with the camera before and after every commercial break. Aiden admits he was sad about their low scores last week and Edyta knows they’re on the block this week unless they get a great score tonight. Doing a dance in four days vs. three weeks is a lot of pressure and it’s getting to Aiden. In rehearsal, there’s a lot of snippiness between the two of them and Aiden finally calmly tells Edyta that she needs to be more patient with him or he’ll leave. Edyta walks out, crying. A guilty Aiden smoothes things over with Edyta and they both admit they’re stressed out.
Edyta and Aiden dance to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” which the ABC site credits to Michael Buble. Screw you, Frank Sinatra! Edyta is wearing a big, pink wedding cake and it’s probably the most clothing we’ll ever see her wearing. They look very elegant and semi-graceful (Aiden is the semi part). It’s not great, but it’s better than last week and they look fantastic together. Edyta looks happy at the end of the routine.
When they face the judges, we learn that Edyta elbowed Aiden in the eye not once, but twice during the routine. Man, talk about passive aggressive….or just aggressive aggressive.
Bruno says there were a lot of sticky moments, but it was better than last week. He urges Aiden to keep his focus: he can do it.
Carrie Ann compliments Aiden with a “Nice job.” Last week, the problem was that he was trying too hard and not letting dance flow through him. The drama in rehearsal paid off. It was a solid dance
Len Aiden was a little economic in his movement, but the footwork very good. There was a definite improvement from last week. Well done.
Carrie Ann: 7
Combined score: 34/60
Evan and Anna
Anna (and I) felt the scores for their Viennese Waltz last week could have been better and thinks they had a great connection on stage. Evan thinks it’ll be easier to show his connection with Anna in the Jive because they’ll be holding hands and facing each other throughout the dance. This week, Evan went back home to Naperville, IL for an event to honor his Olympic achievements. It’s all very flag wavy (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and Evan asks the crowd to vote for them.
Their Jive routine, danced to Avril Lavigne’s “Best Damn Thing” is actually terrific. Evan looks very rockabilly in a leather jacket and black Chucks and, although it lagged a bit in the middle, I thought Evan did great. His leg movements were much sharper than I expected from someone so tall and lanky.
Carrie Ann praises their energy. Jive is hard for someone with long limbs and Evan stayed in control. He also worked on the connection with audience and with Anna.
Len is happy. Normally, he says, Jive suits short, compact people. Evan you overcame that and did a really good Jove. Still, there’s something strange going on with Evan’s feet. Maybe it was just the shoes, but it’s something he may need to work on.
Bruno crows “Greased lightning!” The partner work was spot-on. They had a great connection. Evan still needs to work on pointing his feet and on not going too “wobbly,” whatever that means.
Carrie Ann: 8
Combined score: 47/60
Niecy and Louis
While working on their Fox Trot this week, Niecy starts worrying about the way she and Louis are communicating…or rather how they’re NOT communicating. It’s like she doesn’t understand half of what he’s saying. Finally, Louis catches on and starts using food metaphors and all is well. He tells us – to Niecy’s objections – that he thought she might only be a Latin dancer, but she’s surprising him this week.
Niecy and Louis dance their Fox Trot to “Love You I Do” from Dreamgirls. She’s clad in hot pink, while Louis wears a maroon suit. It’s like one of those atrocious prom pictures from the 70’s. All Louis needs is a ruffled shirt and his old haircut. The dance itself if actually pretty good – much more graceful than I expected.
Len says the routine showed musicality, ease, sophistication and a sassy twist. She was a revelation compared with last week. Niecy runs up and kisses Len.
Bruno says it was nicely done: light and frothy, like strawberry milkshake.
Carrie Ann thought there might have been a lift in there, but there wasn’t: Niecy’s feet were on the ground. Niecy is spectacular in a really wonderful way. Because the dancers this season are so good, Niecy’s going to need to do a little more to ensure she sticks around.
Carrie Ann: 7
Combined score: 39/60
You know, I never thought someone would make me miss Samantha Harris. Thanks, Brooke. At least Sam didn’t interrupt and speak over people. I’m not even going to bring up the inane discussion of cheesecake with Evan…oops, I guess I just mentioned it.
Jake and Chelsie
Last week, Jake did a pretty serviceable Viennese Waltz but, this week, he’s totally intimidated by the Jive and is having trouble learning the choreography. The spins are getting the best of Jake and he honestly looks like he may drop Chelsie. After trying one move over and over again, Jake tells Chelsie they should drop the move – he just can’t do it. Chelsie refuses, saying she knows he can do it.
With Jake clad in a plaid jacket and high-water pants, they take the stage to “Hip to be Square” by Huey Lewis and the News. Jake’s leg movements are actually sharper than I thought they would be and he moves pretty well. There are still some rough patches, but it’s a ton better than I expected. I think Chelsie’s proving herself to be a pretty good choreographer with respect to showing off her partner’s strengths.
Bruno thinks Jakes energy and determination are great. It’s obvious Jake really wants this. He still needs to work on his precision and technique. If he combines the two, he’ll be amazing, says Bruno.
Carrie Ann thinks there was a lift in there and cautions them both to be careful there. Great start to the routine. She loved the energy and the way Jake attacked the routine.
Len says the Jive is tough dance for guys and thinks Jake coped well. He needed to be a bit lighter on his feet, but Len hopes he sticks around: he thinks Jake has a lot of potential.
Carrie Ann: 6
Combined score: 40/60
Buzz and Ashley
This week, Buzz and Ashley will be doing the Fox Trot. This is good for me because I spent all last week worrying that Buzz was going to have a heart attack or something. Not that he isn’t in great shape for a man 10 years younger, but he’s still 80 and stuff like that happens. Buzz asks Ashley to draw out the steps for the Fox Trot so he can study them. You know, they clearly put Ashley with Buzz because she’s the least likely to get frustrated with him. She’s so sweet and incredibly patient as he learns the steps.
In a continuation of the cheese of last week, there’s an American flag planted on the stage, as well as a shot of the moon on the screen behind. They dance to – and I’m totally not making this up - “Fly Me To The Moon.” Good grief. What’s next, a Tango to ”Rocket Man”? The dance is not great. Buzz walks around a bit and it basically looks like a girl dancing with her grandfather at the country club. It’s very sweet, but it’s not going to do much with the scores
Again, the judges can’t really criticize Buzz.
Carrie Ann says it was a very tender, very charming Fox Trot. The dance tugged at her heartstrings. Dancing part was a little trepidacious: for being such a courageous man, Buzz looked like He was worried he’d step on Ashley’s toes. Hey, score one for Carrie Ann with the vocab there.
Len sums it up for all of the judges: it’s really difficult to criticize a legend. Buzz is inspiring people and showing them that anyone can dance. Well done.
Bruno says the man on the moon looked stuck in the Fox Trot. It looked like Buzz was avoiding craters. This, of course, earns Bruno boos from the audience. It’s like he just dissed their grandfather.
Carrie Ann: 4
Combined score: 26/60
Nicole and Derek
To her credit, Nicole was really hoping to do a very traditional Jive this week. Then the producers gave her and Derek a more contemporary song, so they had to change their dance style. Nicole is worried that Len won’t think it’s traditional enough. She admits she’s very scared of Len.
For the record, I don’t recognize the “contemporary” song. It’s “S.O.S” by Rhianna, which explains why I‘ve never heard it. The routine starts with Derek chatting up Pam in the
Celebriquarium and then running on stage when the music starts. I really hate that gimmicky stuff. You’ve got less than two minutes to perform. Just dance, please. Nicole is so obviously better than the others that there’s no way to say that this is a fair competition. She can pretty much phone it in and make the top 3.
Len is left feeling a little ambivalent. Parts of it were fantastic: the traditional part of the Jive was really good. Nicole is obviously a talented dancer, but they need to do some stuff that satisfies Len’s taste.
Bruno calls it “phenomenal.” He’s never seen a Jive that good in week two.
CA says it was perfection. She loved it
I sort of get annoyed when these ringers act all shocked and humbled by the judges’ praise. As if they didn’t expect it.
Combined score: 53/60
Erin and Maks
In rehearsal, Maks tells Erin to channel her inner princess. Erin admits she’s a big tomboy, but she’s excited to be a princess. The belching is probably just her way of showing just how excited she is. It’s hard work being magical, she explains. Maks tells us he’s working hard to be the calm one in the relationship.
These two really do look so lovely and elegant together. I suspect Maks could dance with Len and I’d love it, but that’s neither here nor there. Overall, Erin’s got good extension and the Fox Trot looks great with her long lines. There’s a little bit of awkwardness with her arms and the routine is a bit halting in areas, but it’s a nice routine. Erin spends some time dancing solo and does some nice turns. It’s a definite improvement from last week.
Bruno thinks Erin is a natural and cites her ease of movement. Her arms are stunning, he says. Now she just needs to learn how to finish her movements.
Carrie Ann calls Erin a beautiful and lyrical dancer. Great use of Erin’s flexibility in the routine, but she needs to watch that death grip on holds. She tells Erin to work on not showing that tension in her hands and arms.
Len says that, although Erin’s footwork was not great, her posture was generally good. He then scolds all the celebs about arguing with their teachers, telling them to turn up, keep up and shut up…and get on the with the dancing and trust their pro.
Erin agrees that she needs to trust Maks more and stop arguing with him.
Carrie Ann: 8
Combined score: 44/60
Pam and Damian
After last week’s over-sexed performance, I can only imagine what Pam’s going to roll out for the Fox Trot. She and Damian decide to make this week’s routine all about old Hollywood glamour. This involves making Pam look like a slutty version of Marilyn Monroe. In rehearsal, Pam wonders if she could do the entire dance while holding a glass of champagne. This explains a lot.
Pam and Damian dance to the Marilyn Monroe classic “I Wanna Be Loved by You.” Pam’s hair is up and mostly off of her face, but it’s still huge. She’s wearing white satin and is more covered up than I’ve probably ever seen her. This is not saying much. Overall, the dance is not bad and it’s definitely more graceful than I expected, although I don’t think Marilyn Monroe ever had a barbed wire tattoo. When they finish, Tom makes a lame joke about a busload of Kennedy’s pulling up outside.
Carrie Ann says that part of doing well on this show involves being versatile and Pam is definitely doing that. Overall, it was good, but Pam needs to work on keeping her shoulders down.
Len thinks the routine had elegance and a cheeky charm. Pam needs to work on her posture and keeping her bust away from Damian. Work on your center, not your bust. Has he met Pam?
Bruno says the routine was a well-executed, delicious tribute to the original blonde bombshell. He then rambles on about waves of sensuality enveloping him and the nation.
While they stand awaiting their scores, Pam looks like she’s high….or channeling Marilyn Monroe, which is kind of the same thing.
Combined score: 43/60
Chad and Cheryl
This week’s rehearsal is The Chad Show. See Chad’s shirt – the front says something like “If you don’t vote for me…” and the back “girl you trippin’” Yay for proper English! See Chad flirt relentlessly with Cheryl! It’s so appealing. Really. The Fox Trot requires elegance and grace and all Chad wants to do is flirt with Cheryl and get his way. The flirting may actually be working. Cheryl keeps telling Chad to stop sticking his butt out when he’s dancing. She even resorts to promising kisses if he dances the whole routine with good posture. Ever confident, Chad tells us the Fox Trot is going to put them on top.
Chad and Cheryl dance to Five For Fighting’s “100 Years,” which is probably the best thing about the routine. Cheryl looks lovely in light blue and Chad looks like a caricature of a ballroom dancer. It’s not elegant and it’s not graceful. He’s clearly much better at the Latin dances. I really thought he’d be better at this based on his performance last week.
Len says there’s little he can say to give Chad encouragement. Chad’s posture was terrible. The whole routine was sort of like the snow – you’re just glad when it’s over.
Bruno thinks Chad looked uncomfortable. Compared to last week, he’s going backward. He looked ungainly and there was no musicality. It’s time for a re-boot.
Carrie Ann thinks Chad has great potential: there’s something about him that draws people in, but he has to start understanding movement and let it go.
Chad’s clearly upset and doesn’t say a word when he and Cheryl go to talk to Brooke.
Carrie Ann: 6
Combined score: 34/60
Kate and Tony
So much for saving the best for last. Because they’ve been teasing us with clips from this rehearsal all night, we know it’s not going to be good. To say that Tony is having trouble teaching Kate would be an understatement. She keeps questioning everything he says and Tony is completely baffled: he’s never been questioned by anyone like this. Finally, a frustrated Tony takes off his mic and announces, “I quit” and walks out, leaving a bewildered Kate, crying crocodile tears for the camera. After a dramatic pause at the commercial break, Tony returns and apologizes to Kate. She then whines about how people always quit on her. She admits she’s difficult and wouldn’t want to teach herself. Kate thinks their performance will be better than ever. Let’s not set the bar high there.
Tony dances the Jive to “I’m Still Standing.” I don’t know what the hell Kate was doing, but it wasn’t dancing. It. Was. Bad. I can’t say too much about it, because I could barely watch. Kate forgot about half the routine and then sleep-walked through the rest of it. Poor Tony. The best part about the whole routine (other than Tony, of course)? The singers….and that it ended.
Bruno says the song brought back memories of dancing in the video and being on the French Riviera and she turned all of that into a nightmare. She’s not a dancer or a performer, but she looked like a Stepford Wife there. She still needs to learn how to portray a character.
Carrie Ann finds one positive thing to say: Kate made it through the whole routine. She stayed standing and just bounced around when she didn’t know what to do.
Len says it’s clear that nerves are breaking Kate down. She needs to come out there and go for it. If she’s going to go down (from your lips, Len), she need to go down fighting.
Carrie Ann: 5
Combined score: 31/60
Well, I’m exhausted. That last bit just about did me in. Who’s going home tomorrow night? I’ll bet it won’t be someone at the bottom of the leader board, which means I’ll have at least another week to make fun of Kate. To find out who gets the boot, join MFWalkoff, who’ll be bringing you all the details from Tuesday night’s elimination show.