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It’s that time again! The celebrities of Dancing with the Stars will once again demonstrate their mastery of the art…or as close to mastery and art as they can get with only four days of rehearsal.
Happy? Scared? Sad? Help me out, here.
After the heartbreaking loss last week of what’s-her-name, The Super Model, the remaining eleven couples have been working hard, and are prepared to show us either a mambo or a quickstep.
In the first three columns I devoted considerable time to expressing my distaste for The Little Man filling in for Samantha Harris. For this particular review, I will vow to avoid further comment, allowing me to escape those pesky bleeding ears by fast forwarding through his segments.
I’m sorry, were you saying something?
Tonight, they waste no time getting into the actual contest. First out of the gate, Old Spice and her partner, Maxsim. Their lead-in video tells us they’ll be doing the quickstep, and also reveals Maks is having trouble making Mel B. look like a lady…so he brings in an etiquette expert, and Mel decrees she will now be known as Lady Spice. I can only presume that’s the name of a new product from Proctor and Gamble, and wonder vaguely why she would want to name herself after a deodorant.
They take to the floor and begin to move to the band’s manglization of A-Ha’s Take On Me. It’s not very quick, though, and Maks gives the appearance of dragging his little Sow’s Ear through the performance. The judges like it, with Bruno likening Mel to Lena Horne…causing, I’m sure, Miss Horne to weep from embarrassment. Mel and Maks receive a generous 23 points.
If I had Lena’s number I’d send her some flowers and a Shoebox Greeting right now.
Next up, Mark Cuban and Kym’s breasts, which I believe this week need their own billing. Mark has been taking fashion tips from the male “beauty” on the CW’s Beauty and the Geek, and is sporting a sleeveless shirt stolen from Bruce Springsteen…in 1987.
Mark and Kym will be doing the mambo…and it should be quite a challenge, as her breasts and his face appear to move independently of everything else. In another bit of “irony,” the pair dances to Must Be the Money. The result looks like what you’d see in a dance bar, after six Long Island Iced Teas, just before last call. Desperate flailing by someone who thinks he’s much more attractive than he actually is.
Merry Christmas! I got you a case of lock jaw. Please don’t return it.
Somehow, Kym’s front stays covered, thanks to an entire roll of double-face tape. Hopefully they will use the adhesive on Mark’s face next week so he stops making those awful expressions. Carrie Ann even mentions the man’s face seemed to be working twice as hard as the rest of him. The review from Len is cowardly, however, as he struggles not to offend Cuban…a courtesy he only extends to people who have more money than the entire nation of Guam. Bruno is more to the point, describing the dance as a bulldog chasing a squirrel. 18 points for Mark and Kym.
Wayne Newton and Cheryl are third, and they’ve spent the week prepping a quick-step, working their rehearsals around his concerts. During the video, Cheryl tells Wayne to “give us some Elvis hips.” He does, but unfortunately it’s Elvis’s hips after August 16th, 1977.
Trust me, this hurts us more than it hurts you.
Wayne’s face, unlike Mark Cuban’s, never moves, and Newton and Cheryl dance about to Viva Lost Wages…but it’s more moderate-mosey than quick-step. Tom Bergeron praises Wayne for still breathing, then goes to the judges for their assessment. Bruno, too, cites the absence of speed as a problem, and Len, not fearing retribution from a lowly singer no matter how famous, goes for the jugular, telling Wayne there was no improvement from last week. Carrie Ann can’t bring herself to be mean to the legend, and merely thanks Wayne for being there. Only 15 points is awarded.
Marie Osmond and her partner Jonathon have decided to mambo, and the video shows Marie admitting she’s out of shape. Points to her for honesty. I still can’t bring myself to dislike her, but watching their mambo, I couldn’t help thinking of her old T.V. show. Then the cameraman got a shot of Donnie in the audience and that sealed it. I was suddenly watching Nick At Night. There was another Osmond brother there, too…it doesn’t really matter which one, though. I always found the brothers interchangeable, with the exceptions of Donnie and Jimmy.
The judges loved it…I’m not sure exactly what Bruno said, but it was delivered with shoulder shaking and a leer, so I’m betting it was positive. Len called her fabulous…and Carrie Ann termed her “one hot cougar.” Johnnie and Marie grab 24 points for their effort.
Chita Rivera wants her eyebrows back.
Model Albert Reed and Anna have chosen the quick-step, and instead of going for a comic bit in his video, Albert explains how important ballroom dancing was to his grandparents, who were married for over fifty years, and how he’s dedicating this week to his grandfather who passed away recently. It’s impossible to make fun of that kind of naked, sincere sentimentality, but I can certainly ridicule one of the hats Albert was wearing during rehearsal…a chapeau I believe he stole from Rocky Balboa.
Fozzie Bear, you get every story!
Anna and Albert give it a mighty try, but his messy footwork can’t be covered by his exuberance and charm this week, and it comes off as something you’d see at a bar mitzvah. The judges, too, were moved by Albert’s ode to Grandpa, and find it hard to be critical, so they put the best construction on it, concentrating on his potential…which is the nice way of saying “you sucked this week, but we think you may improve if you start practicing 16 hours a day for, oh, say…the next 8 years.” The score? A middle of the pack 21.
Helio Castroneves and Julianne are shown practicing their mambo, and we learn that, unlike Albert, Helio does not possess warp-drive crotch action…which I think should be the criteria by which they choose all male contestants in future seasons. They take to the floor, and in a disconcerting moment, Helio makes a face reminiscent of Pepe’ Le Pew, but the resulting dance is fantastic. The crowd loves it. The judges love it. And, most importantly, I love it. Still my favorite couple. Bruno points out what I said last week: Helio is actually leading, like a man is supposed to in ballroom. He then begins gesticulating wildly in what appears to be the start of a game of charades. Carrie Ann agrees with the verbal portion of Bruno’s commentary, calling the pair the “real deal.” And Len pulls out more clichÃ©s: overdrive, pit stop, etc….but ultimately, it’s all good. Before the scores, there is some cheap hype with the respective casts of ABCs soon-to-be-cancelled sitcoms Cavemen and Carpoolers. Look quickly, ’cause that may be the only time you see these actors, as even exposure on this top rated show isn’t gonna help the tripe the network executive types are attempting to pass off as entertainment. The Brazilian and his partner’s score is revealed: a well-earned 27.
Life is beautiful!!!
Jennie Garth and Julianne’s brother, Derek are doing the quickstep this week. In the video, Jennie confirms my suspicions that she has all the personality of a Styrofoam cup and the intelligence of a strawberry. Or should I say, strawberry blonde. It’s a bit muddled with Jennie struggling to keep up, but they’re gliding across the floor, and…HEY! There’s a move we’ve never seen in the actual performances before! Jennie is flat on her ass, and she took her partner down with her! Oh! Let’s see that again! Now in slow-motion! Oooooo…that’s gotta hurt…both her toucas and her pride. Isn’t live television fun?
She said she was sorry. No need to kick her in the head.
The woman looks mortified, and has an expression as though she swallowed a rotting fish, as they approach the judges. Len is actually kind, only passingly referring to the “bum incident,” but Bruno is more to the point, invoking the movie Titanic as part of his description. Carrie Ann calls the fall a “little mistake.” You know, like being a little pregnant. They ultimately reward her with a 21. You’re kidding, right? The same score for Albert and Anna, who stayed on their feet the whole time. Yeah, this system is fair. They go to Jennie to ask what happens, and the actress has the most convenient case of laryngitis ever recorded. Play that sympathy card, Jennie.
Cameron Mathison and Edyta are on deck next for a mambo. It’s telling that Edyta has so little confidence in Mathison’s abilities, she’s now barely dressed for the rehearsal footage, as well as the performance, for which she wears only a feather boa. Cameron is also sporting fewer clothes, having borrowed Albert’s half shirt from last week. Surprisingly, their routine, though not fantastic, isn’t as horrible as it could have been. How’s that for damning with faint praise? Carrie Ann is more generous, describing the man’s appearance as that of a Greek god. Len tells him he needs to be less stiff and more “shake and bake.” Perhaps Kraft is a new sponsor. Bruno tells Cam he looks like Superman but moves like Clark Kent. I can’t improve on that. Another 21. How random.
Why is the women’s restroom always out of toilet paper?
Floyd Mayweather and Karina had a rough time of it the first week, taking it on the chin (see? I can do cheap sports metaphors, too) for their footwork and overly forceful approach. This time the two plan to work that energy into a quickstep, but for the second time in a row, the video shows the boxer and his teacher butting heads. Will it be reflected in what they bring to the stage? As they begin their dance, Floyd reminds me a bit of Gingy from Shrek…all stiff-legged and smiley. He’s making an obvious effort, and is more controlled than the first time out. Bruno is cautiously complimentary, as are Len and Carrie Ann. All agree Floyd has improved, and that’s one of the things the judges look for…not necessarily who’s the best. (That, of course, bodes well for Jennie, who will be improved next week just by not ending up on her lower cheeks.) And then… 21 points again. Oh. Come. On. Four couples whose scores say they performed equally mediocre. Or is that mediocrely?
How bout we settle on kinda not awesome?
Okay. Moving on…Jane Seymore and Tony will do the mambo. As I watch the video, I think to myself, “Boy…I hope I look that good when I’m her age”…knowing full well that my fondness for all things Cadbury renders that possibility nearly impossible, but I digress. As a visual aid for the concept of slinking, Tony brings in a fellow reptile. Jane seems to find the Albino boa constrictor inspiring, but it just gives me the willies. Although Jane looks lovely, she’s a bit tentative. Len calls the dance an “English mambo,” devoid of the sizzle the dance requires. Bruno agrees, but Carrie Ann says she liked the elegance. Here’s a shocker. Jane and Tony score 21 points. What this says to me as a viewer is the judges are ambivalent about who stays and who goes.
That floor’s never looked so clean! Thanks, Jane!
Finally, we’re to the last dance of the night. Since my first column I learned that apparently a “Cheetah Girl” is some kind of professional dancer, albeit not a ballroom specialist…which might make Sabrina Bryan more of a Cheater Girl. She and her partner, Mark, are going for a quick-step, and the recap video tries to position Sabrina as more of an underdog who’s having trouble with the moves. It isn’t very convincing, and I feel slightly manipulated. Sure enough, the two turn in a pro-worthy presentation, and I have strong feelings of resentment over having a ringer in the competition. Carrie Ann declares the dancers were amazing and vibrant. Len tries to reign in Sabrina a little, and in the process gets into a squabble with Bruno during which Len christens his associate a smart ass. Bruno says Sabrina looks like a professional dancer. Could that be because SHE IS??? 26 points for this pair.
OMG that house fell on the witch! YAY!
And that’s it for the week two performances. With the judges practically abdicating their responsibility, it’s anybody’s guess who will sent home. I’m betting it will be the cast of Cavemen.