Dancing with the Stars: "The games are over, and the pressure is on"
This week the men do a quickstep and the women a mambo. Pretty much everyone's improved since last week on Dancing with the Stars.

Biggest surprise of the night: Heather Mills' perfect back walkover.  Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was almost speechless with amazement, but eventually managed to say that the level of difficulty of the move was far higher than anyone else's. Also, unlike all the other women on the show, Heather wore pants. So we wouldn't pay attention to her leg? Oh, like anyone's not thinking about that the whole time. Still, as Bruno said, she was "red hot Heather" tonight, scoring 8s from all three judges.
Laila Ali, Joey Fatone, Apolo Ohno and Ian Ziering were once again fantastic. What's amazing is that Heather and Jonathan have almost an equal score now to Ian and Cheryl Burke; of course, that's without the audience votes. The first Dancing with the Stars results show this season will be something to watch.

My vote for most improved since last week: Billy Ray Cyrus. Carrie Ann Inaba agrees, and Judge Bruno says the "difference is amazing." Len doesn't want to give up his swamp metaphor, going this week with "the wild man of wongo doing the Okeefenokee two-step," but admits Billy Ray's improved. Of course, Billy Ray's score last week was so abysmal that he's still in last place, tied with Clyde Drexler, who got nice comments but the lowest score of the night from all three judges.

What about everyone else? Carrie Ann Inaba says Shandi did not improve her "lower half" problem or move her hips at all. Len says she "didn't sell it." I find Shandi pretty boring, and, uh, apparently didn't write anything else down about her.

John Ratzenberger fumbled a move with a pocket watch at the beginning of his routine, jokingly saying later that he did it on purpose. Edyta, who's worried about John's age and fitness, tried to put a karate kick into their performance, but they didn't quite synch up. Bruno says there's "plenty of life in the old wolf." Edyta suggests (unintentionally hilariously) to host Samantha Harris that John is not a dark horse but a "light horse, because aren't horses supposed to be light?" Um, okay.

Leeza Gibbons had a birthday. She's 50. And Tony Dovolani came and mamboed at her party. That's nice. She's not that great a dancer, though. At this point my landlord came to the door and I missed a bit where one of the judges told Leeza she should let her inner tramp out, or something. When I got back Leeza was saying something about how fabulous it is to nourish your soul, or some such thing. Well, she certainly seems to be having a good time.

Paulina claims in practice that she's going to "mambo as hard as a Czech girl can!" and later says that while she really doesn't have an inner Latina, she thinks maybe she channelled her inner American tourist with one mojito too many. She did okay; respectably in the middle of the pack again. She doesn't have a chance to win, but probably won't be the first to go.

My bet for first out? Clyde Drexler. Billy Ray at least showed a big improvement, as did Leeza.  Then again, is that good enough to keep them in the competition for another week?

If you missed the first two performances, catch the recap show tonight before the results show.

Scores so far, this week + last week:

Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 27 + 23 = 50/60
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson: 24 + 24 = 48/60
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough:  26 + 21 = 47/60
Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke: 22 + 21 = 43/60
Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts: 24 + 18 = 42/60
Paulina Porizkova and Alec Mazo: 21 + 19 = 40/60
Shandi Finnessey and Brian Fortuna: 20 + 19 = 39/60
John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska: 21 + 17 = 38/60
Leeza Gibbons and Tony Dovolani: 21 + 15 = 36/60
Clyde Drexler and Elena Grinenko: 18 + 16 = 34/60
Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff: 21 + 13 = 34/60

-Mel, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Photo courtesy of TLT)