Dancing with the Stars 7: Top 11 Performance Live Thoughts
Dancing with the Stars 7: Top 11 Performance Live Thoughts
Last week on Dancing with the Stars, 13 new stars made their dancing debut on the dance floor.  Some, such as Brooke Burke and Lance Bass, surprised us all with entertaining and technically proficient routines. Others, such as Cloris Leachman and Kim Kardashian, escaped elimination by the skin of their teeth.

But as you know, things could all turn around tonight.  Who will end up on top?  Who will wind up in the bottom of the pack and will be at the mercy of the audience votes?  Whatever happens tonight, I'll be here to record it in my live thoughts.  Stay with me!

Live!  From Hollywood!  This is Dancing with the Stars!

The second week of competition begins with a night of paso doble or rumba, two of the most theatrical styles.  It's the first time in Dancing with the Stars history to have these two challenging dances so early in the competition, and the teams have only had four days to learn their new routines.

First up on the dance floor are Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo.  After their success last week, Toni made Alec sing "Unbreak My Heart" at karaoke.  Oh my golly, he's a terrible singer.  They have the rumba tonight.  Just as I predicted, Toni rocks this slow, sexy style.  Oops, they just did two lifts.  Are they still illegal?  Len deems it "a very good job."  Carrie Ann, the lift commissioner, points out the illegal lifts, but she liked the performance otherwise.  Ha!  Backstage, Alec makes a William Hung joke.  The scores: Carrie Ann gives 7, Len gives 8 and Bruno gives 8, for a 23 out of 30.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough have the paso doble next.  This week in rehearsal, Derek brought Brooke to a karate dojo to work on her controlled aggression, and it toally worked.  Brooke looked fierce out there.  I think the only thing that she might have lacked was making her face more expressive.  Carrie Ann says that Brooke was amazing, but she just needs to work on her balance a little bit.  Len also has mostly good things to say, other than his usual nitpicking about Derek's choreography.  Their scores: Carrie Ann gives 8, Len gives 8 and Bruno gives 8, for a 24 out of 30.

Rocco DiSpirito and Karina Smirnoff have the rumba tonight.  In their rehearsal this week, Chef Rocco cooked a romantic risotto, which I guess is like the foodie equivalent to the rumba.  They start out their routine wearing aprons, and it's pretty cute actually.  I feel that while they do a good job at creating hot chemistry, the dancing is mostly done by Karina, while Rocco just kind of stands there.  The judges agree with me too.  The scores: Carrie Ann gives 5, Len gives 6 and Bruno gives 5, for a 16 out of 30.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer have the paso doble tonight, and they have decided to make it a teensy bit more traditional, to appease fuddy-duddy Len Goodman, but they are still going to insert their own flavor in it.  But watching it, though, there really isn't a whole lot of traditional paso stuff going on.  Funny - they dance to "I Kissed a Girl" and ended with a big smack on the lips.  Len pretty much hates it because of all the trendy steps they put into it.  Carrie Ann appreciates their big risks, and Bruno tells them that they've got to keep the matador posture.  Their scores: Carrie Ann gives 7, Len gives 6 and Bruno gives 7, for a 20 out of 30.

The next couple to take the stage are Kim Kardashian and Mark Ballas.  Tom Bergeron awkwardly makes jokes about Kim's booty during their intro.  They have the rumba tonight.  Uh oh, they visit Pussycat Dolls Robin Antin for lessons on how to be sexy.  Oh my gosh, Robin looks so mannish, doesn't she?  I'm not feeling their rumba tonight, though.  Just like Rocco's performance, I feel that Mark is doing all the work and Kim isn't pulling her weight.  Bruno says that she is "Pussycat Dead," not "Pussycat Doll."  Len is also disappointed.  Carrie Ann advises her to watch herself on tape to see what's missing from her performances.  And their scores: Carrie Ann gives 6, Len gives 6 and Bruno gives 5, for a 17 out of 30.

Misty May-Treanor and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have the paso doble next.  Misty was near tears in rehearsal this week, but I think that if there's anyone who can take some tough coaching, it's Misty May-Treanor.  Their outfits tonight are exactly why I love the paso doble; they are both dressed to the nines in biker-style leather.  Misty has on knee-high screw-me boots and a lace-up leather corset - HOT!  I think their performance is a solid, respectable routine.  It's not very graceful, but it has aggression and power in spades.  The judges are mostly positive about the routine.  Len points out that Misty gets concentration-face and that she should look in her partner's eyes occasionally.  Their scores: Carrie Ann gives 7, Len gives 7 and Bruno gives 7, for a 21 out of 30.

The next performance is by Maurice Greene and Cheryl Burke.  They've got the rumba, the dance of love, this week.  Cheryl took him to watch some belly dancing this week to learn about hip motion.  Cheryl's dress looks like a square of fabric wrapped around her on the bias.  It's interesting.  I'm not feeling the chemistry or Maurice's hip action tonight, though.  Len says that Maurice needs more finesse.  Carrie Ann also thought that he was too stiff, and Bruno thought it was too rough and clunky.  The scores: Carrie Ann gives 7, Len gives 6 and Bruno gives 6, for a 19 out of 30.

Yay, the next star is Cloris Leachman!  I just saw Young Frankenstein this weekend in which Cloris played Frau Blucher (horses whinny!).  So funny, she is!  Cloris and Corky Ballas have the paso doble tonight, and I'm actually impressed.  I mean, it's still leagues behind some of the other competitors who have danced tonight, but compared to her comedy routine from last week, she's really stepped it up.  For an old lady, it was actually pretty good.  Haha!  Bruno makes a Frau Blucher reference - yay!  Len is pleased that it was a traditional dance to traditional music.  Carrie Ann says that she misses crazy Cloris and doesn't say very much more.  Backstage, Samantha Harris says "Frau Blucher," and a trumpet player makes a horse whinnying noise.  Hee!  Here are their scores: Carrie Ann gives 5, Len gives 5 and Bruno gives 5, for a 15 out of 30.

Susan Lucci and Tony Dovolani have the rumba next.  She had a tough week because she had to jet set around to film All My Children, just like Cameron Mathison had to do last year.  Susani and Toni are dressed like hippie-dippies, which I kind of love.  They dance to "Waiting on the World to Change," which gives me bad flashbacks to that one episode of So You Think You Can Dance when I had to hear this song, like, 20 bazillion times.  I didn't care for Susan's rumba because it was so tame, but Carrie Ann thought it was nice.  Bruno thinks that Susan was a bit too careful again, and Len thinks she did a good job in acting her part.  The scores: Carrie Ann gives 7, Len gives 7 and Bruno gives 7, for a 21 out of 30.

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson dance the paso doble next.  This should be perfect dance for Warren because he has a lot of aggression from the football field.  They are dressed head-to-toe in pleather as well.  I love Kym's long leather duster and sparkly black bra.  I sooo need one of those for Halloween this year.  Oops, Warren gets a little bit off beat, but he's so intense and controlled otherwise.  Haha, their costumes get stuck together at the very end.  Len loves the dark, menacing feel.  Carrie Ann calls Warren the paso doble killer, and Bruno is impressed with Warren's footwork.  The scores are: 8 from Carrie Ann, 8 from Len and 8 from Bruno, for a 24 out of 30.

The final performance of the evening is from Cody Linley and Julianne Hough.  They've got the rumba tonight.  While Cody looks a bit dopey in his white on white suit, he really impresses me with his performance.  There are a few pars when he looks a little bit awkward and gangly, but still, bravo, young man.  Bruno advises him to have more control and more focus.  Len is funny and tells Carrie Ann to avert her eyes.  Carrie Ann loves how innocent the rumba was ("It was an age-appropriate rumba," she says), but Cody has to learn how to loosen his hips.  And the scores: Carrie Ann gives 7, Len gives 7 and Bruno gives 7, for the third 21 out of 30 for the night.

-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of ABC)