On tonight's "Dancing with the Stars," the parade of injuries continues. Not one but three celebs have been banged up this week with varying degrees of severity. Did somebody on the set open up a mummy's tomb or something?
As the parade of couples starts, the two overwhelming thoughts I have are "Where's Steve-O?" and "Shawn Johnson looks great." As soon as Tom Bergeron is able to talk, he lets us know that Steve-O has injured himself. Rats. And Samantha Harris reads her lines with nary an issue.
1. Holly Madison & Dmitry
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"We Are In Love" by Harry Connick Jr.
Because they don't really know each other, Holly starts out with some questions so they can feel more at ease. She's pretty likable in the clip. For only two weeks of training, she's not bad. Her technique isn't fantastic but her presence is good. Unfortunately she seemed to be playing catch-up through most of the routine – she got off beat a few times.
Judges: Len complimented Holly on her footwork but her posture wasn't great. Bruno remarked that she was a few steps behind and reiterates the frame work. Carrie Ann felt Holly wasn't grounded enough to keep up and looked like a doll being dragged around the floor, but likes her enthusiasm.
Score: 18 (all 6's)
2. David Allen Grier & Kym
Dance/Song: Salsa/I can't remember the name but I know Ricky sang it on "I Love Lucy"
David really wants to kick it up a notch this routine so he gets Kym to up the difficulty level for him. David really controled his facial expressions this time around and didn't go overboard with them. He was fun to watch, I really liked his performance persona, but there wasn't a lot of hip action and his frame seemed to break at times. Which hurts to say because I like him.
Judges: Bruno complimented his character choice but said to work on the timing and footwork. Carrie Ann thought there was a lack of musicality adding that harder isn't necessarily better. Len's problem was that there was too much Kym and not enough David in the dance.
Score: 17 (6-5-6)
3. Denise Richards & Maksim
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"We Go Together" from "Grease"
Congrats to Denise because she improved greatly from last week. As I thought, she's much more suited for the the Ballroom disciplines. Her footwork was good, she held her frame well, and she had an appropriate persona. There was a choreography bobble but I'm impressed overall.
Judges: Carrie Ann also congratulates her on the vast improvement. Len thought it was a great job overall as well. Bruno compliments her leg action and points out her little flub like the other two judges.
Score: 21 (all 7's)
4. Belinda Carlisle & Jonathan
Dance/Song: Salsa/Didn't catch the song
Belinda definitely looked like she was having fun which made it fun to watch. While she really attacked the number, there wasn't enough finesse (which diminished the technique) and she was clompy at times – too much barbarian, not enough ninja. She messed up a bit in there but she played it off fairly well.
Judges: Len loved the fun and exuberance but there wasn't enough hip action, Bruno appreciated her performance but says she needs to work on her timing, and Carrie Ann agreed with me that there was a lack of grace though she loved how Belinda really went for it.
Score: 18 (all 6's)
5. Ty Murray & Chelsie
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"Life is a Highway" by Rascal Faltts
Ty is adorable. He really wanted to improve this week and thank goodness he did. I mean, holy crap he improved. Wow. The hold was good, the technique was solid, and he was actually leading. I'm very impressed.
Judges: Nothing but happy thoughts from the judges with Len adding the tip to make sure the hand on her back is more relaxed.
Score: 20 (7-6-7)
6. Shawn Johnson & Mark
Dance/Song: Salsa/An instrumental song
During rehearsal, Mark realized that Shawn is very visual so he often has to do the girl's part full out – which is hilarously awesome. I thought she did a good job with the steps. She could use a little more hip action but she's the best so far.
Judges: Bruno loved that it was precise and sharp but it wasn't flirtatious enough. Len liked that she always looks so sure in the steps but she needs to let go a bit more. Carrie Ann loved it overall and loves that she can focus in such a short amount of time. But she likes that about halfway through Shawn threw her hips with authority at one point.
Score: 24 (all 8's)
7. Steve Wozniak & Karina
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"Oh, Boy" by Buddy Holly
Steve was feeling some abnormal pain in his left foot and found out he has a fracture. I swear someone put a voodoo curse on this season. The doctor says it's fine to dance on so long as he knows the danger in it (he's basically crushing his foot – ouch!) The Woz is just enjoyable. I want to squeeze him like a teddy bear. The technique was okay but he felled behind the beats at times. But it was still fun to watch.
Judges: The judges all enjoyed watching him though the technique wasn't great. Carrie Ann gives the tips to watch over-gesturing with his hands and to work on the endurance.
Score: 17 (6-5-6)
8. Chuck Wicks & Julianne
Dance/Song: Salsa/Not sure of the title
The coupley stuff was way downplayed in the package this week, which was very smart of the producers because now I think they're both cute instead of the making me want to vomit. His hip action was tres Patrick Swayze. In fact, the whole routine was very "Nobody puts baby in the corner." He performed well but there wasn't a whole lot of content on his side.
Judges: Bruno thought there was too much Julianne, not enough Chuck. Len also though Chuck underperformed. Carrie Ann agrees adding that it felt like a mish-mosh of Latin dances as opposed to a real Salsa.
Score: 20 (6-7-7)
9. Lawrence Taylor & Edyta
Dance/Song: Quickstep/Totally missed the song
He's much lighter on his feet than I thought he'd be based on the rehearsal package. I liked his personality, the number was well choreographed, and his technique was good. Lawrence covered the floor very well and it never looked like the dance was getting away from him.
Judges: Carrie Ann complimented the smooth, graceful and powerful performance. Bruno liked that he took their comments from last week and applied them. Len dug the choreography and gave the note to don't think about it but just perform, like in golf which Lawrence also plays.
Score: 20 (7-6-7)
10. Steve-O & Lacey
Dance/Song: Salsa/"Cobrastyle" by Teddybears feat. Mad Cobra
Steve-O injured himself during dress rehearsal just two hours before (he fell on his back on his mic pack) and went to the hospital just in case. They played the rehearsal package and Steve's back had been hurting anyway. Based on the rules, Steve will be judged based on the dress rehearsal which they taped. I liked the spirit of the dance but you could tell he wasn't dancing full out. There were moments where his technique was quite good but it wasn't sustained the whole way through.
Judges: Though Len starts by saying it's unfortunate they have to judge based on a rehearsal tape that lacks the energy of the actual live performances, none of the judges were picking up what they were putting down. They applaud Lacey's creativity but there wasn't enough Salsa content for them.
Score: 14 (5-4-5)
In her interview with Samantha, Lacey says that there are thankfully no broken bones but sadly there are other things that can go wrong.
11. Lil' Kim & Derek
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend"
Dude, what is up with Derek trying to grow a mustache/goatee? Veto. Kim has very good leg action and glides around the floor well. Her character was spot on for the number. It was charming – great choreography from Derek.
Judges: Bruno called it an "uplifting performance" but the hold was a little too far apart, Carrie Ann also loved it and agreed about the hold, and Len enjoyed it as a performance but the technique wasn't refined enough.
Score: 23 (8-7-8)
12. Melissa Rycroft & Tony
Dance/Song: Salsa/"La Copa de la Vida" by Ricky Martin
In Melissa's first rehearsal package of the season, we get to see what a detriment her cheerleader training is. One of the bigger concerns is that she used to performing very big which has to be scaled back for this. She did scale it back appropriately – she's really high energy and commands attention, the right kind. Tony did great choreography and she danced the heck out of it. There were some times that she was bring too…cheerleader but I think it was more in facial expression than actual movement. Her arms were a little out of control at times though.
Judges: Carrie Ann loved the choreography and is ecstatic to get a real Salsa. Len called it "the Salsa of the night." Bruno loved the flavor and content.
Score: 26 (9-8-9)
13. Gilles Marini & Cheryl
Dance/Song: Quickstep/"Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down
We learned in their rehearsal package that Gilles separated his shoulder last week. Cuuuuuuuurse! I kind of hate this song but I love the Clark Kent/Green Kryptonite theme to their outfits. The arrangement of the song was weird and seemingly too slow but if you mute it, it won't distract from how good the number was. Good technique, he covered the floor well, and looked like he was leading.
Judges: Happy thoughts from the judges with Carrie Ann saying they're quickly becoming a fan favorite.
Score: 27 (all 9's)
Overall Thoughts: Denise and Ty get the votes for Most Improved for sure. I'm glad that Gilles and Shawn keep their performances at a high level. As for Melissa, I still like her but I think she was a tad over-scored. Her arms had issues.
The Bottom Two: I'm going with Holly and Denise since their technique isn't enough to make up for what I'm assuming is a relatively small fanbase (like Gilles). There's a chance David might be in the bottom but I'm hoping it's not the case.
Who's Out: It's a toss up. And since they're doing that whole dance off thing, I'm not sure I can accurately guess. But, if forced to pick, I'd say Holly.
Are you as impressed by Ty's rapid improvement as I am? Do you think Melissa was over-scored? Have a favorite number? Think you know who's going home? Any other thoughts?