This week's "Dancing with the Stars" brings both physical and mental anguish thanks to rehearsal frustration, more injuries, and way low scores. It's Pain-A-Palooza!
During the Parade of Stars, Gilles almost ate it coming down the steps. Given the rampant injuries this season, can't they just come in from off-stage or something? Also, I couldn't help but notice the giant yellow area in one the opening band shots. Oh yes…that's our girl. Later, we get a shot of The Singer and see she's time-traveled to 1783, stolen the Queen's necklace, and put it on her head.
1. Denise Richards & Maksim
Dance/Song: Samba/"Take A Picture" by Filter – Really?
She was being entirely too serious in rehearsal so Maks comes in dressed as Carmen Miranda, completely with head dress and maracas. I predict no less than 13,000 gifs of that by Tuesday morning. After improving so much with the Ballroom number last week, I'm wondering if Denise will backslide since it's back to Latin. The answer: yes. I can't tell if it's just the terrible song or Denise or a combo of both but regardless this was probably the most boring Samba I've ever seen. The technique was shaky and she wasn't giving enough face to make up for it. Poor thing never had a chance. I like her outfit though – it's tres punk rock ballerina.
Judges: Len thought she coped well with what he believes is the hardest Latin dance. Bruno thought it was flat and that she regressed. Carrie Ann agrees and gives her the tips to work on her hands and giving better performance face.
Score: 16 (5-6-5) – Ouch
2. Chuck Wicks & Julianne
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/"All I Want To Do" by Sugarland
After last week's "Dirty Dancing"-esque routine, Chuck wants to step his game up (woo!) and be more in the spotlight. It's definitely an improvement. Chuck has much more to do in the number…oh, was that a lift? Uh-oh. At any rate, the technique was solid but he needs to be more aware of his feet – they do funny things sometimes. Overall, it was good and I liked the Old Hollywood vibe to the choreography.
Judges: Bruno dug it and likes that he's starting to dance with Julianne and get a balance to the performance. Carrie Ann compliments him in hold but says when dancing separately, he needs to work on his posture. Len thought it was good but not great yet, giving the tip to straighten his knees more for a better rise and fall.
Score: 23 (8-7-8)
3. Holly Madison & Dmitry
Dance/Song: Samba/"Bananza (Belly Dancer)" by Akon – BOOOOOO!
Have I mentioned Dmitry's a good looking dude? Because yes. Holly had a rough rehearsal week which in turn made Dmitry's week rough too. I can see that she's concentrating very hard at times but the dancing isn't so very bad. Her hip action is decent but the arms and footwork are inconsistent. I'd say she did better than Denise based solely on stage presence and hip action.
Judges: Carrie Ann thought she was disjointed and says she needs to work on dancing herself instead of having Dmitry drag her around. Len says she needs to work on her footwork. Bruno agrees.
Score: 17 (5-6-6)
4. Steve-O & Lacey
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/"I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz
After the hospital visit, Steve had to take it easy for 48-hours, so Lacey starts him off slow despite his intense desire to redeem himself from last week. Steve needs to work on his stage presence, though it could be nerves from being hurt. He looked a little lost at times and…well, reminded me a bit of Pee Wee Herman. There were some good technique moments at times but he was inconsistent. Also, he missed the top step at the end to sit and hit his back again. Stop it with the people hurting themselves. He was really hard on himself at the end for messing up. Poor thing.
Judges: Len congratulates him on attempting a proper Foxtrot despite getting lost in the middle, Bruno reiterates the "you started good but fell apart" sentiment but encourages him nonetheless, and Carrie Ann says she respects his efforts to learn from his mistakes and is sorry he had a rough night.
Score: 15 (all 5's)
5. Lawrence Taylor & Edyta
Dance/Song: Samba/"I Can't Get Next To You" by The Temptations
What's awesome is in the rehearsal package Lawrence says he's given up golf in order to do the Samba justice – and he doesn't give up golf for "nobody." It's definitely the best so far. The song choice helps I'm sure. The technique isn't fantastic but he more than makes up for it with stage presence. I had fun watching it.
Judges: Bruno compliments his rhythm and that he's so light on his feet. Carrie Ann likes his confidence and says he could handle harder steps. Len loves his worth ethic and gives the tip to put a bit more hip in it.
Score: 20 (7-6-7)
6. Shawn Johnson & Mark
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/"More Than This" by Roxy Music
The emphasis in rehearsal this week was fluidity, something Shawn isn't entirely used to. Mark did a great job with the choreography and Shawn definitely improved on her fluidty. Her arms/hands are still slightly "Stick the landing" at times but really that's nitpicking. She was fab. And she worked that dress.
Judges: Carrie Ann called her a "beautiful, delicate princess" and gushed, Len's slight note was that she was a little hunched in hold but loved it, and Bruno likened her to a "bejeweled hummingbird" and loved that she corrected her arms and hand.
Score: 27 (all 9's) – totally deserved
7. Gilles Marini & Cheryl
Dance/Song: Samba/"El Matador"
Gilles realizes that he really has to perform since he's not as famous as everyone else. During rehearsal week, his mother comes to visit from France. She's so cute. Boy, there was a whole lot of shaking going on. It was fun but didn't seem entirely like a Samba to me for some reason. Despite that, there were plenty of good moments, I couldn't see anything deficient in his technique, and dancing to an appropriate song certainly helped.
Judges: Len thought it lacked some rhythm in the opening moments but he made a hard dance look easy. Bruno loved it in pervy, nondescript fashion. Carrie Ann loves how he's brought out some spice in Cheryl, adding Gilles shook stuff she didn't know guys could shake.
Score: 27 (all 9's)
8. David Allen Grier & Kym
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/The standard "Come Rain Or Come Shine"
After a rough week, DAG is on a mission to show how much fun he's having. Kym really wants to showcase him this week for a breakthrough performance. His solo moments are solid and he's got nice kicks. I like the Old Broadway feel the number had. David seemed more like himself and less like a character, which is great. I liked it.
Judges: Bruno likened him to Ben Vereen and complimented his kicks and extensions. Carrie Ann gave him two snaps up and loved the technique and intricate choreography. Len says it's his best dance so far.
Score: 24 (all 8's)
9. Steve Wozniak & Karina
Dance/Song: Samba/"Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora) by Harry Belafonte
On top of having a "crushed" foot and escaping elimination, The Woz pulled his hamstring on the third day of rehearsal. It's hard for him to even put weight on his leg. Cuuuuuurse!!! Someone give that amulet back to the mummy. Despite this, Steve is determined to go on. He's already lost some weight and he's moving better, even with the pulled hammie. Of course the technique wasn't great but man, was it entertaining. He even tried to do The Worm! Wow.
Judges: Carrie Ann called him adorable and loves him but says eventually the novelty wears off. Len said it was consistently terrible. Bruno called it the worst Samba he's ever seen (which I don't know I'd agree with).
Score: 10 (4-3-3) – Cue copious boos though The Woz & Karina take it pretty well
10. Melissa Rycroft & Tony
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/"Recipe For Love" by Harry Connick, Jr.
At the beginning of the number, I could see the legs of two guys walking across the top of the stairs behind the band. They're so in trouble. I like Melissa's costume, it goes very well with the Old Hollywood feel of the number. The neck position on the hold isn't always perfect but the technique was as great as you'd expect.
Judges: Len gave a small correction to her footwork, Bruno loves her musicality, and Carrie Ann says she's very good but there's something missing that she can't quite put her finger on.
Score: 27 (all 9's)
11. Lil' Kim & Derek
Dance/Song: Samba/Honestly, I was too distracted by Kim's shimmies to catch the song
Kim's clearly got the best hip action of all the Samba celebs tonight (well, Gilles is up there). Unfortunately, there was a choreography hiccup in there but her technique was really good. Her kicks impress me. It was fun, lively, and I don't think I watched Derek for even a second which is unheard of. The only time I noticed him really was on the side-by-side part where she messed up a little. Great job.
Judges: Bruno called her a "pocket-sized Venus" and, though it wasn't perfect, she sold it. Carrie Ann loved it. Len said she must have a "bionic booty" and gave Derek the note to include a little more of the basics to make Len happy.
Score: 25 (8-8-9)
12. Ty Murray & Chelsie
Dance/Song: Foxtrot/"Come Dance With Me" by Frank Sinatra
Ty is so, so, so cute. I can totally see why Jewel married him. On top of being incredibly adorable, he did great in helping Chelsie recover from slipping on her dress. They didn't really miss a step. They even recovered great at the end after another dress related stumble. His technique was good, he definitely looked like he was leading, and he had a really comfortable air about him while dancing. He continues to impress me.
Judges: Carrie Ann called him most improved and compliments him on how great he helped Chelsie recover from the fall. Though it was a bit stiff and lacked some musicality, Len loved it and was very please, complimenting her on a great routine. Bruno says Chelsie's carving Fred Astaire out of a piece of stiff wood.
Score: 23 (8-8-7) – The crowd booed Bruno
Overall Thoughts: Lots of overall improvement but the show started out reeeeaaaaallly shaky. I hated the music Denise and Holly had to dance to. Simply terrible. In retrospect, I definitely blame the song for Denise's lackluster showing. It was like a Samba Dirge. Blek. Steve-O won't be in the bottom because I think people are pulling for him since he's had such bad luck recently. I don't think the other Steve will be so lucky…
The Bottom Two: The Woz will most assuredly be in the bottom thanks to the low judges score. Either Denise or Holly will join her.
Who's Out: Hmmm…it could be either of the three. It all depends on who's in the bottom. Plus the dance off makes it a bit more unpredictable.
Your thoughts? What made Denise's performance so bleh? Who were you most impressed by tonight? Did you notice Derek during Lil' Kim's Samba Espectacular?