After booting funny-men Jeffrey Ross and Ted McGinley
from Dancing With The Stars
, the remaining eleven stars only had four days to prepare this week's routine. Stars were asked to dance either the Rumba or the Pasodoble, the two most "theatrical" dances in the competition. Guess that's the consequence to suffer when you have a long, drawn-out three-night premiere event.
First up to dance was singer Toni Braxton
and partner Alec Mazo
. During practice this week, Alec decided to show Toni how dedicated he was to her by singing an awful rendition of her song, "Un-break My Heart." But the duo definitely didn't break Judge Len Goodman's heart; he was "surprised at how good [their rumba] was." The other two judges, Carrie Ann Inaba
and Bruno Tonioli
, both thought Toni's rumba needed some more basic dance skill because her transitions were "rough." Overall they thought that Toni could "move like she sings" and gave her a 7 and two 8's (with deductions for a lift) resulting in a 23 for the night, which ended up being the second highest score.
After Toni, last week's score leader Brooke Burke
took the stage with partner Derek Hough
. Despite the great feedback from last week, Derek felt this week Brooke's bar would be set high. The pasodoble isn't, however, like the other two dances she performed last week. This dance is much more aggressive and Brooke had a hard time practicing that emotion. Derek fixed that problem by taking her to a karate class to help hone in her feelings. The judges thought she portrayed the aggression very well, even though she was a little off balance the whole time; some of that could be due to the very quick tempo of the song (as pointed out by Bruno). Brooke received three 8's and tied for the highest score of the night with a 24.
Next to dance was Chef Rocco DiSpirito
and partner Karina Smirnoff
. They were charged to dance the rumba. The only passion Rocco knows well is his cooking skill. Their dance had a play on his passion and romance about food but it didn't please the judges. They summed up Rocco as a "stallion that ran out of juice." He couldn't move his hips and he lacked any and all musicality. Len described his dance as "not tasty," quite the insult for a Chef. Rocco received the second lowest score of the evening, a 16.
Anyone who's watched 'Dancing' for a few seasons knows that Len likes his ballroom dances to be traditional. That's how competitors please him. Lance Bass
and Lacey Schwimmer
apparently don't feel they need to do that to any extreme. Lance described himself and Lacey as "entertainers" putting a modern twist on these dances. The two were given Katy Perry's
hit song 'I Kissed A Girl' and felt they needed to make a performance out of it. It was definitely a play on Lance's homosexuality, especially with the full lip lock he gave Lacey at the end of the routine (hope his boyfriend don't mind it)! I'm sure for her, being a huge fan of his, it was a dream come true…but as expected, not for Len. The big risk paid off, somewhat, with Carrie Ann and Bruno, but Len said dances like this would not work. Lance walked away with two 7's and a 6 from Len to give him an overall score of 20 for the evening.
Reality TV star Kim Kardashian
needed "to bring sexy back" since last week's performance showed that baby had no back. Her and partner Mark Ballas
tried to perfect a romantic rumba, but it seemed in practice that Kim couldn't take it seriously. She thought it was silly to act romantic. That emotion played out on the dance floor and left the judges unsatisfied. Bruno said she was "colder than Siberia." They all feel that Kim has the potential to do well in this competition, but it just isn't coming across on the dance floor. She got her lowest score of the competition, lower than both her dances last week, a 17.
My personal favorite came next, Misty May-Treanor
with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy
. Maks definitely loaded Misty May down with very hard pasodoble choreography for only the second week of competition. He said he "had no time to be nice" and acted as a drill sergeant. But, being used to a regimented workout, Misty said it helped to have Maks be hard on her. The judges felt that it was a good attempt and referred to her as 'Xena the Warrior Princess.' The judges like her intensity but feel that she's a little too intense still. She'll need to lighten up slightly, especially when it comes to dances like the jive. But, for now, the judges seemed pleased to put her in the middle of the pack with a 21.
Olympic sprinter Maurice Greene
and Cheryl Burke
had to slow things down with the rumba. Maurice, like others, was having trouble with the hip action so Cheryl took him to watch belly dancers. Maurice said they truly inspired his performance, but the judges were not inspired. They claimed he was "robotic, rough and lacked finesse." Carrie Ann even commented to Cheryl that the choreography was holding him back - yikes! His rough, robotic rumba left him stunned with only a 19.
Up next, Cloris Leachman
and Corky Ballas
. Cloris probably got a talk from someone at the network telling her she needed to be more serious about the competition if she planned to make it past this week. So, given that fact, she tried very hard to act out the traditional pasodoble. The truth of the matter is, though, that she's 82 years old and moving like that can't be that easy. But, she overshadows everything potentially good with her reluctance to let anyone other than her talk or ask questions. She received the lowest score of the evening, but at least she didn't cuss out the judges after they gave her a 15 this time. This might be the last we see of her.
Like most other soap stars that appear on Dancing With The Stars, Susan Lucci's
time had to be split between east coast filming and west coast dancing. According to the judges, the rumba is an actor's dance and Susan and partner Tony Dovolani definitely acted the part. Bruno said she "went for it like a cougar!" Perhaps that's a play on her age, but who knows. Either way, the soap star was slightly better than mediocre and received a score of 21, like many other stars this time around.
Super Bowl Champ Warren Sapp
had a hard time not smiling while performing the pasodoble. Warren and partner Kym Johnson
performed a Matrix-esque dance complete with pleather and sequins. The judges thought his performance was intense and an excellent rendition of the pasodoble. He tied Brooke Burke at the top of the leader board with a score of 24.
Last, but not least, the pretty pair of Cody Linley and Julianne Hough performed their own "innocent, age appropriate" version of the rumba. Cody claimed that he didn't have enough life experience to know "how to be sexy." I'm sure pre-teen fans of Hannah Montana would beg to differ. The judges were relatively pleased, but his youth is going to get him in trouble. Bruno called Cody a "kid in a candy store," obviously referring to his lack of focus, but then again, even I'll admit he's got one good looking partner for an 18 year old boy. I'm sure it is hard to focus, but he needs to figure out how, otherwise the judges might stop scoring him in the middle (yet another 21) and he'll be on his way out for sure.
Give us your thoughts of DWTS and check back for recaps after each performance.
Story by Beth Wickman
Starpulse contributing writer