In the second week of “Dancing with the Stars,” many of the celebtestants struggled while other stepped it up a notch. We’ve also already got two injuries (Debi Mazar and Tom Delay) and the first celeb/pro fight of the season.
My thoughts during the Introductory Descent of Doom: Karina’s skirt is ridiculous tonight – it’s all feathery and huge…not unlike Kym’s hair; What is that on the side of Chuck Liddell’s head?; Kathy Ireland’s dress reminds me of a Barbie I used to have; and I’m still not feeling Joanna Krupa.
Cranky-pants, Brit judge Len Goodman is not around tonight. Instead we have awesome Aussie director Baz Luhrmann (“Strictly Ballroom,” “Moulin Rouge,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “Australia”). Host Tom Bergeron, after stating Baz’s mother was a professional Ballroom judge, asks what he’s looking for tonight and Baz says that the important thing is that they don’t want to see the work, they want to see the joy and performance. Score are listed in Carrie Ann/Baz/Bruno order.
1. Joanna Krupa & Derek
Dance/Song: Jive/”What I Like About You”
I’m just not picking up what her personality is putting down so their rehearsal segments kind of make me zone out. Her legs were weak this time around but she did perform well. The choreography came off a little blah but it’s most likely due to the technical deficiencies on her part.
Judges: Carrie Ann loves her “gusto” but found her feet to be “spastic” at times. Bruno likes that she doesn’t hold back but she lost her precision often. Baz thinks they’re a great couple but wants to see a better connection between the two.
Score: 20 (6-7-7)
2. Natalie Coughlin & Alec Mazo
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”I Want You Back” a la The Jackson 5
Natalie has a habit of holding her breath, which Alex is trying to break since it’s making her appear stiff during practice. The kick sequence was nice and I can tell she’s trying to breath more. There was still a bit of stiffness but I attribute it to her concentrating, which I could see she was doing based on her facial expressions. She wasn’t mean mugging but it certainly wasn’t as consistently cheery as Alec. Still, I think she’s going to excel as the weeks go by.
Judges: Bruno wants her to relax a little more because she can be amazing. Baz says she was really lived in the moment in the second half. Carrie Ann says she’s one of her favorites so far and gives the tip to think of Alec as an extension of herself as opposed to a separate person.
Score: 21 (all 7’s)
3. Chuck Liddell & Anna T.
Dance/Song: Tango/A quicker “7 Nation Army” a la The White Stripes
Anna’s strategy is to incorporate Chuck’s natural aggression and some fighting moves into the choreography. He still looks a bit awkward at times, there’s a bulkiness to his movements…like he’s not quite dancing big enough or he hasn’t quite shifted his center of gravity correctly. There was definitely improvement but he’s got a bigger hill to climb. Anna did do a really good job with the choreography though and he totally worked the agression angle.
Judges: Baz says “Uncle Lenny” would’ve probably ripped him to shreds but he thought the way he embraced the dance was fantastic. Carrie Ann thought it had impact and loved that he fully committed to it, adding that it was sexy but kind of scary and she digged it. Bruno called it “savage and primeval but always a Tango,” adding that he could see the work and tells the people at home to vote for him.
Score: 19 (6-7-6)
4. Melissa Joan Hart & Mark
Dance/Song: Jive/”Long Tall Sally” a la Little Richard
Melissa performed much better this week, she didn’t seem nervous despite some hesitancy at certain transitions. I think those were more because she hasn’t learned how to connect the 8-counts consistently. The farther it went, the better she got. Her leg work was a little shaky to start out but she was totally rocking it by the end.
Judges: Carrie Ann loved the energy and was excited she did well. Bruno wants her to balance the crazy energy with keeping her technique on point. Baz says it’s a big improvement from last week and loved the Debbie Reynolds-energy of it all but agrees she needs to watch the footwork.
Score: 19 (7-6-6)
5. Michael Irvin & Anna D.
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”It’s Too Darn Hot”
They’re practicing from before dawn until when it’s dark. That, my friends, is why atheletes tend to excel on the show. Because they’re used to putting in an obscene amount of work to accomplish what they want. It’s a big improvement over last week. Michael needed to take bigger steps but there was an ease to the movements. The kick sequence seemed a smidge slow but the choreography was very good and he performed very well.
Judges: Bruno applauded the content and said he definitely improved. Baz called him a “natural performer” and loved it. Carrie Ann thought it was much better a loved that they stuck together after a tough week.
Score: 20 (7-7-6)
6. Debi Mazar & Maks
Dance/Song: Tango/The “Moulin Rouge” version of “Roxanne”
The inevitable “Fight With Maks” happened this week (which may be a record) because, though Debi likes having a tough teacher, he was raising his voice in frustration which in turn frustrated and angered her. But it was quickly resolved. Debi’s rocking the character and performed great. The technique was solid though it looked like she lost her balance a smidge at the very beginning and once in the middle. She’s also improved from last week.
[Just for the record, the singer in the house band did a really good job with the song…even if he did sort of sound like a Muppet.]
Judges: Baz thinks they played out the story of the song fantastically, Carrie Ann called Debi the “Drama Queen” and that her form and posture was gorgeous, and Bruno loves the “fiesty ball breaker” persona but she needs to make sure she works both the big and small moments. Debi revealed she had a neck injury of undetermined nature during the judging.
Score: 21 (all 7’s)
7. Louie Vito & Chelsie
Dance/Song: Jive/”Crash” a la Shebang
I don’t think I said this last week so let me state that Louie is adorable. Also, Chelsie is using his skills to her choreographic advantage but having him do some crazy windmill flip over her head to start the number. He wasn’t as polished as last week but he still looks so natural doing the moves, even during lulls in energy when he’s concentrating a bit too hard. Honestly, I really think he could win.
Judges: Carrie Ann loves that he has some much joy when he dances though there were a few times where he lost touch with the music. Bruno thought there wasn’t enough content which ticked him off because he has the ability to do more. Baz thought the giant hooded coat worked a little against him but loves them as a couple and loved their exuberance.
Score: 19 (6-7-6)
8. Aaron Carter & Karina
Dance/Song: Quickstep/The Theme from “The Muppet Show”
Okay. So now Aaron’s green suit and Karina’s gi-nourmous, fluffy, pink skirt make some sense. Fantastic choreography from Karina this week. It was performed really well, was a lot of fun and came complete with Animal on the drums on the beginning and Gonzo on the trumpet at the end (right next to Bruno no less). I love the Muppets so much. That totally made my day.
Judges: Bruno called it “spectacular” and called him a “mini Fred Astaire,” acknowledging that it’s going to be tough because they have high expectations for him. Baz called it clever, inventive, and a great show. Carrie Ann said it was “truly a pleasure” and that the contact in hold was stellar.
Score: 27 (all 9’s)
9. Kelly Osbourne & Louie
Dance/Song: Tango/”Take Me On the Floor” a la The Veronicas
Despite being a bit shaky in the intro turn, shed did quite well. She had great intensity most of the time but broke character a few times by smiling/laughing a bit which was the only indicator that she was either messing up or narrowly avoided doing so. It was solid for sure but she had a two noticeable stumbles.
Judges: Baz loves her story more than anybody else’s on the show. While he knows there were mistakes, he appreciates that she fought through them and was encouraging. Carrie Ann agrees that she’s got great potential and sees that she’s got a great technical foundation. Bruno echoes the sentiments saying she could be amazing and that, when she was focused, she could see Eva Peron.
Score: 19 (6-7-6)
10. Kathy Ireland & Tony
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”Shall We Dance” from “The King and I”
Yet another instance in which the song explains the costumes. Seriously, I don’t know which Barbie it was but I swear I had one with a dress very similar to that. There’s a very sweet quality to the number but there was also a lack of character depth. The technique was solid and she danced it well, it just lacked a greater emotional connection I think.
Judges: Carrie Ann thought the presentation suited her but she still seems reserved, Bruno says she’s beautiful but she needs to be more engaging, and Baz agrees with both of them, reiterating Len’s advice last week that she needs to attack the dances.
Score: 18 (all 6’s)
11. Mark Dacascos & Lacey
Dance/Song: Quickstep/”King of Swing” a la Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Mark’s movements were definitely sharp and quick and he recovered extremely well from almost slipping while in hold. His stage presence is still excellent but he need s to make sure he doesn’t over-exaggerate his facial expressions. The choreography was great, definitely one of the best of the night.
Judges: Bruno says he’s a great performer but his footwork was off at times. Baz thought it was an incredible comeback after nearly falling and that he could be a great dancer. Carrie Ann appreciates that he’s clean and explosive and agrees he recovered really well. Also, she says that, like Natalie, he needs to learn to breathe.
Score: 21 (all 7’s)
12. Mya & Dmitry
Dance/Song: Jive/”Would You..?” a la Touch and Go
The choreography is awesome, especially with the Dmitry as Nerd/Mya as Vamp combo. And it was performed fantastically. Really. She was fab. There’s really no need to say anything else.
Judges: Baz called it “the real deal” and said she claimed the dance and made it her own. Carrie Ann loved it and that she “disappears into the dance.” Bruno said it was like watching “Josephine Baker and Clark Kent doing it like I’ve never seen before.” I’m sure he meant dancing.
Score: 27 (all 9’s)
13. Tom Delay & Cheryl
Dance/Song: Tango/A familiar instrumental piece I can’t identify at the moment
During rehearsal week, Tom discovered he’d developed a pre-stress fracture in his toe. Not the worst injury ever on the show, but certainly not a convenient or painless one. The technique was solid but from the shoulders up it looked a little awkward. There was focus but not a lot of fire in the performance. Also, he lost his footing and nearly dropped Cheryl in the ending pose. Hopefully that doesn’t mean his injury upgraded to an actual fracture.
Judges: Carrie Ann called them an “oddly well-matched couple” and that it was a very appropriate Tango. Bruno said he nearly pulled it off but they approached it in the right way. Baz said “Uncle Lenny” would be pleased with his hold and said he was distinguished.
Score: 18 (all 6’s)
14. Donny Osmond & Kym
Dance/Song: Jive/”Secret Agent Man” a la Johnny Rivers
Kym’s giant hair and his velor suit equals win. Certainly one of the best Jives of the night, both because of the performance and the choreography. The thing that Donny has that is lacking in some of the other contestants is that he totally lives the moves and connects them together effortlessly.
Judges: Bruno thought it was well-executed with a “touch of John Travolta, but not too much.” Baz agrees adding that dance knows no age. Carrie Ann said it was an amazing performance, pausing for a moment to compliment Kym’s outfit.
Score: 25 (8-9-8)
Bottom Three: It’s kind of hard to say since all the scores are sort of clumped up in the middle but I’d definitely say Kathy’s in trouble and probably Joanna, possibly Tom.
Who’s Out: She seems like a lovely woman but it’s most likely Kathy’s turn to go. There’s an outside chance it’ll be Joanna because I think Derek is getting more votes than she is, if you know what I mean.
Your thought on tonight? Were you surprised so many celebs struggled tonight? Who did you think was most improved? Which number was your fave? And how’d you like Baz as a judge? Is he the Adam Shankman of DwtS?