and Cheryl Burke
kicked off the evening of Dancing With The Stars
with a crazy Lindy hop. Gilles, like many other stars this season, has been dealing with an injury. His shoulder was hurt, but the doctor gave him a cortisone shot and he continued to push through rehearsal. However, the Lindy hop involves difficult lifts. Gilles worked through the pain and pleased the judges, though.
Carrie Ann Inaba
said she was pleased to see a brand new side of Gilles. Bruno Tonioli thought that it was good to see a sense of comedy from the usually sexy, sensual guy. Gilles received a 27
for the first round of dancing.
After being criticized for not showing enough personality last week, Lil Kim
and Derek Hough
made sure to bring out Lil' Kim's sassy side in their paso doble. Bruno proudly proclaimed that the "bitch was back!" He was overly impressed with her attack, artistry and classical, classy paso rendition.
Carrie Ann also agreed that Lil' Kim showed off her flare for the dramatic while dancing. Len Goodman said he was expecting a disappointment, but was pleased with her fire and passion. She received a 28
for her paso doble.
and Julianne Hough
gained some momentum last week with their samba. The cha cha cha had the same Latin flare to keep the drive going. Carrie Ann proclaimed that Chuck was definitely in the game and proving to be a strong competitor.
Len and Bruno didn't share quite the same level of enthusiasm, but were happy with his performance nonetheless. Both male judges agreed that Chuck needed to work on his arm movements, but that his hips and butt seem to enjoy this type of dancing. Chuck earned a 26
for his first dance of the night.
As with Chuck, Shawn Johnson
had the chance to make progress with another Latin routine this week. Last week's cha cha cha earned Shawn her first ten in the competition; this week Shawn had to perfect the samba. She was having some trouble with the fluidity of her arm movements, so Mark Ballas brought in his mother to help teach Shawn the correct way to move her arms so they didn't look like baseball bats.
The training must have paid off since Bruno said she looked effortless and carefree. Carrie Ann commented on her great technique and solid performance. But, Len said that even though she never danced badly, good wouldn't be enough to push her all the way to the finals of the competition. This week Carrie Ann gave Shawn a 10, but Len and Bruno weren't so kind. Shawn received a 27
for her routine.
Injury struck down another victim this week. Melissa Rycroft had a hairline fracture in her ribs that prevented her from performing live. Keeping the precedent the show set for Steve-O
's injury, the judges scored the last filmed rehearsal of Melissa and Tony dancing the jive. Bruno commented that it was a shame to have to judge this performance, because he could tell it wasn't done to the fullest.
Len agreed and acknowledged that Melissa was marking the steps, instead of performing the kicks and flicks with greater enthusiasm. Carrie Ann simply said that she hopes Melissa feels better soon. Based on the video footage, Melissa earned a 21
for her incomplete routine.
and Chelsie Hightower danced the final individual routine of the night. After struggling with Latin dances, Chelsie brought in Dmitry Chaplin to help give Ty a crash course on the salsa. She then also dragged him to get a spray tan to have the staple look of a Latin dancer. Their routine brought the audience and Carrie Ann to their feet. She absolutely loved the routine.
Bruno said Ty went wild with the routine, and while he liked it, it wasn't perfect by any means. Len was the most negative of the bunch. He told Ty that it was time to pack his bags and go home, even though he thought he danced fairly well. All three judges acknowledged how inconsistent Ty has been throughout the entire competition. Inconsistency came from the judges as well, earning Ty a 7, 8 and 9 for a grand total of 24
This week the stars were divided into teams of three to perform either the mambo or the tango. Team Mambo consisted of Shawn, Chuck and Melissa, while Team Tango was comprised of Lil' Kim, Gilles and Ty. Since Melissa was unable to dance, Lacey Schwimmer stepped in for her to keep the routine even.
Team Mambo performed a silly routine inspired by Beyonce Knowles
's 'Single Ladies.' Len called the routine fun and entertaining, especially the part with the men wearing tights. He also commented that the parts done in unison were very tight, and not just because of their costumes.
Bruno really liked the fact that the men's wardrobe resembled women's clothing. He didn't really have too many technical comments to make on the actual dancing. Carrie Ann was the negative Nancy of Team Mambo. She said that the music overpowered the actual dance and that the comedic end was very distracting. Their team earned a score of 25
to add to each individual's score.
Team Tango performed a tantalizing tango to Britney Spears' 'Womanizer.' Bruno claimed that the routine gave him goosebumps. Len pointed out a mistake by Lil' Kim and some muddled footwork by Gilles. However, after the previously harsh criticism of Ty, he said that Ty looked fabulous and nailed the tango.
Carrie Ann thought everyone on Team Tango nailed it and declared them the "winners." They score three points higher than Team Mambo with a 28
added to each individual's score.
The combined scores shifted the leader board, leaving Lil' Kim with the highest combined total of the night. With such strong competitors left, it'll be a shame to send someone home Tuesday night.
Story by Beth Wickman
Starpulse contributing writer