Dancing With The StarsAfter Misty May's painful farewell, no one was eliminated last week on Dancing With The Stars. However, the competition wasn't going to take last week's votes and scores lightly. Everything carried over from last week, making people like Rocco DiSpirito work even harder for a chance to dance another day.

This week the stars were assigned to dance either the tango or the samba and were judged accordingly. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was cracking down this week claiming that by week four of the competition, people needed to start taking critiques and the dances seriously.

Up first, Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke. Maurice has had a tendency in rehearsal to take all the dancing too seriously. In order to lighten the mood, Cheryl arranged for his daughter to come visit. The mood of his dance turned out to be rather fun. Last week Maurice channeled a 50's rock around the clock jive and he transported to the 70's this week with a giant afro and a jump suit for the samba. Judge Len Goodman said Maurice got the fun element down, but "needs to refine everything else." Bruno Tonioli agreed saying he needed more precision. Carrie Ann delivered perhaps the worst news saying he wasn't growing as a dancer; he was remaining stagnant in the competition. He received two 7's and a 6 from Carrie Ann leaving him with a mundane 20.

Hannah Montana star Cody Linley was up next and charged with the tango. His partner, Julianne Hough had a hard time keeping him focused this week. Julianne called in his high school principal to tell him to "straighten up." And boy did he. Bruno said he was "starting to find his mojo on the dance floor." The judges all agreed it was a proper tango and they were very happy…except crabby Carrie Ann who pointed out that Julianne's costume tripped up Cody a few times. Len called him a boy wonder and he received his highest score yet for his best dance yet, a 23.

Toni Braxton had good news from her doctor, her heart is well and the dancing seems to actually be lowering her blood pressure. Toni said that the samba was good for her soul, too. Her partner, Alec Mazo decided that Toni was good enough to put some fancy samba rolls into the routine. The judges must have agreed because Carrie Ann said that "sensuality oozes from her on the dance floor." Bruno said she was "a tasty morsel and the perfect combination of sugar and spice." These great comments didn't produce the greatest score; however, she landed in the middle of the pack with a 22 for the evening.

Len said it best when he described Cloris Leachman's routine as such: "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes." Cloris was determined to actually dance this week - gasp! She had her family come visit her and she really seemed to be trying hard at perfecting the tango. It wasn't all fun and games this week. I think the only real complaint on her effort this week was that she blocked Carrie Ann's camera shot. She received her highest score, a 22, but still managed to insult the judges for not giving her anything higher. I still don't think she's in this for the long haul, but maybe she realized she was making a fool of herself and decided to shape up.

Then there's poor Rocco. He would have been eliminated last week had Misty May-Treanor not been forced to leave the competition. With this second chance, he wanted to make Misty proud and work extra hard since he had to make up the most ground. It must have been "bring your family to DWTS" week because Rocco's mom also came to visit to lighten up his mood for the samba. But, as fun and playful as his mood was, the judges still weren't pleased with his actual dancing. Bruno, always his toughest critic, claimed Rocco has no musical bone in his body. Carrie Ann acknowledged that he definitely still lacked dancing skill. But, at least Len said he was glad Rocco came out and had fun. He received the lowest score of the night…almost guaranteeing him elimination…an 18. If you want to save him, all your votes need to go to him; he needs them, badly!

Susan Lucci channeled her All My Children character Erica Kane for inspiration on the tango. It worked well enough to impress the judges. Her dance was very traditional and Carrie Ann called it "moving art." Len went so far as to say that the tango was Susan's best dance so far. She got, I believe, her highest score yet in the competition, a 24.




Front-runner Brooke Burke and Derek Hough were coming off a high from getting the first ten last week from Len. The bar had been raised, however. The pair was set on having fun with the samba. Brooke said that she had never seen Derek act so "goofy and freaky" during their practices. All the fun paid off, for almost everyone. Len felt the dance was "too erotic," but he always is one to be a prude. Bruno said that "a sex bomb had just hit the building" and that "he needed a smoke!" Carrie Ann bluntly said that Brooke has the potential to go all the way. No tens this week, but she received two 9's and an 8 making her tied for first place, as usual.

Lance Bass wanted to find a way to separate him from the middle of the pack, but being too edgy wasn't working…and neither was being too proper. He and partner Lacey Schwimmer needed to figure out what was just right for them. Their tango was an interesting rendition of Rihanna's song Disturbia. Their dance and costuming, no offense to Lacey's choreography, looked a lot like a rip off from not only the Rihanna video, but also from her live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. It was an interesting routine to watch as a tango, though. Bruno told Lance he should always be this assured when dancing and it will help him go a long way. Len coined the phrase that Lance had turned into "Sir-Dance-A lot," and Carrie Ann had an 'American Idol' moment channeling Paula Abdul in her incorrigible attempt at saying the word "shine." Lance tied Brooke with a high score of 26 this week.

Last up for the evening was Warren Sapp with partner Kym Johnson. He has also been a front runner the past few weeks, but this week he seemed to fall slightly from his good graces. Len said while Warren is always fun to watch there was too much "gyrating" for his liking. Both Bruno and Carrie Ann agreed that his routine lacked content compared to his other performances. He was told to not take it too easy again; the comments would only get harsher as the weeks continue. Warren received a dull 22 for his "too fun" samba.

Beth Wickman
Story by Beth Wickman

Starpulse contributing writer


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