Okay, I don’t understand what the Dancing with the Stars judges are smoking. They scored Leeza and Tony higher than Apolo and Julianne? Other surprises of the night: Ian Ziering missteps (but still scores as high as anyone) and Laila Ali “breaks the rules” and not in a good way.
Shandi & Brian – 21
Shandi says “I don’t wanna be the reason why we leave.” Well, does she think the pro is going to be? (Laila Ali might disagree with me here.) Man, I just find Shandi so boring. She doesn’t do too badly in the jive, though Carrie Ann Inaba says she was “flailing” a bit, and Bruno says they were slightly under the beat at times. However, all the judges give them sevens, with Len saying they’re an “All-American couple.”
John & Edyta – 20
While rehearsing, Edyta takes John to see some tango movies and advises him on the drama of it all, which John interprets as “make a squinty face.” In their performance, Len says John’s perfectly “in character” for the tango though his technique’s not so good. Carrie Ann says the tango is always harder on men. Bruno says it was a “Mafioso tango, spot-on,” not technically perfect but a great interpretation. Really? I thought it seemed mostly like he was just squinting and letting Edyta dance around him.
Clyde & Elena – 16
In rehearsals, Clyde’s mom, who’s a zydeco dancer, comes in to “help” them. Her diplomatic comment: “Elena is a great dancer, and Clyde…is coming along.” When they jive, he doesn’t particularly shine. Bruno says he’s “fuzzy and blurred.” (Oh, maybe Bruno’s drunk. That would explain a lot.) Carrie says she finds Clyde’s dancing “so endearing” because he’s so big but his moves are so small. Len says Clyde’s done a U-turn since last week, and “as a dancer, it didn’t happen.”
Laila & Maks – 21
Laila’s short on rehearsal time this week, and she looks really tired. In rehearsal she snaps at Maks “Don’t get a attitude!” They’re still pretty great in their tango to Goldfinger, but then lose points when they separate in the middle of the dance, which is technically against the rules of the tango. Probably won’t cost them anything in the audience vote, though; even the judges say they’re fabulous and have the “power of fascination.” Laila pouts when the judges critique them on the choreography. You can bet she’ll be having a “talk” with Maks on this subject.
Apolo & Julianne – 23
Apolo’s also really busy this week, as he’s training in Salt Lake City for some speed-skating thing. He tries to teach Julianne to speed-skate. She falls down a lot. Their jive is great, and you really can hardly tell which of them is the Dancing with the Stars pro here; Carrie Ann says they had “sloppy footwork” though “great energy and chemistry.” They love Apolo though.
Joey & Kym – 24
Okay, when Kym first came out at the beginning of the episode I said “what the heck is she wearing? She looks like Princess Leia from Star Wars.” And that’s exactly what they’re going for. Joey the geek says their tango is going to be the “Return of the Joe-I” and it turns out he owns a working R2-D2. It’s all a bit weird and gimmicky, but awesome. Joey is allowed to be silly and use his lightsaber in their routine, and while the judges say his “bum sticks out” they still give him eights all round anyway. Bruno says “the force is still with you.” Clearly. This is not the elimination you’re looking for; move along.
Ian & Cheryl – 24
Cheryl takes Ian to see some strippers or something to improve his “hip action.” When they jive, it’s clear that it worked, and would have won them all nines, except that Ian missteps briefly at the end. Of course, we’re not sure what it was, as there’s some sort of camera accident at the end of their routine – what’s up with that?
Leeza & Tony – 24
They tango. I’m bored. How can the judges give them all sevens? They even say it’s very “basic” but apparently it’s technically correct or something. Or maybe they score Leeza high because she practically flashes the judges to show them a (hopefully fake) tattoo on her breast that says “Tramp.”
Heather & Jonathan – 24
To my delight, they focus on Heather’s leg this week. She just cannot perform the moves necessary for the jive on her wooden foot – so they go get her a new leg with a “bouncy foot.” Despite only nine hours of practise with the new leg, in performance they shine again, and Heather does another flip – a front walkover this time. Great but not nearly as surprising the second time. Still, the judges love them.
Billy Ray & Karina – 21
Billy Ray has trouble learning the tango, and says he’s “left-footed, left-handed, and I think that means I use a different side of my brain.” He does okay in performance, though he’s quite visibly counting out loud, which the judges call him on. Carrie Ann says “that took – can I say ‘balls’?” Apparently they give points for effort today, giving them sevens because they “look like you’re trying even when you can’t carry it off.” Billy Ray says Dancing with the Stars leaves him with an “Achy Breaky Butt.”
Results show tonight! Don’t forget to go vote at the ABC website, and leave your predictions here! I’m rather hoping they’ll lose Leeza or Shandi.
-Mel, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Photo courtesy of ABC