”Dancing With the Stars”: Celebs turned swingers
Yikes. I’m trying to settle down and actually write about the scored dances, but I cannot get that group swing out of my head, particularly the last few lingering moves. Only on Dancing With the Stars, folks: The country singer and the Olympic speed skater executed a wheelbarrow, while the boy bander, Her Legscellence, and Steve Sanders waddled in some sort of glued-together clump. All I see when I close my eyes is Crazy Legz Heathah, wiggling her gams and doing a spookier, more daunting version of jazz hands as the trio floats offstage. Won’t you leave me, Argentina?
She won’t. But it’s okay, because I rewound my recording so it’s paused at Tom Bergeron perched V-like on a chair. Way to show off your strong core, Tom! You may become a dancer yet.
Last night, Laila Ali, the strongest man in the room, and Apolo Anton Ohno, who played one of Laila’s free weights during the group swing, tied for first place. Laila and Maks put some much-needed ”funk” into their cha-cha, which might have been a little more effective if they hadn’t mentioned it so often during rehearsal footage. I mean, I enjoyed the concept, but it felt weird to sit around semiscrutinizing their dance, waiting for Laila to break out the butterfly. And she did, in full, unflappable form, while Maks proved that he not only looks like he’d make a great stripper but can dance like one, too. Solid week for them — Bruno called Laila a ”magnificent obsession,” Len thought the dance was ”pure gold,” and Carrie Ann said, ”Love you wild,” I think in reference to Laila’s hair. Then Samantha did her part by calling Laila the reincarnation of Tina Turner, who is still alive. Oh, plus she told millions of people their score before the judges had held up their paddles.
Julianne’s tasty brother Derek helped Apolo and Julianne combat the apparently crippling brother-sister relationship that’s been shoved down our throats. Can’t we just watch them dance without a breakdown of their lack of sexual tension? These two were, as usual, technically on point during their rumba, which included a chair that Len hated, Apolo lifting Julianne up from a split while she was still split, and some cute head jerks at the ”Ah, ah” part of the Harold Wheeler Ensemble’s rousing rendition of Gwen Stefani’s ”Cool.”
After a brief stripping session with a maraca-wielding Jerry Springer, Joey Fatone focused on what was really important for his samba: ”I’m a man!” hip thrusts and making sure everyone watching was aware that he knew the words to Erasure’s ”A Little Respect.” I thought this was an uncharacteristically good song choice for his and Kym’s samba, considering that Joey took an undeserved beating for looking too ”feminine” last week and that all the ”to-o-o-o me-e-e-e”s in the song lent themselves to some truly wacky samba rolls. He scored straight 9s and a revision from Len: Joey is now a ”big swashbuckling guy” instead of a lady. Carrie Ann delivered the Big Picture line of the night to Joey: ”You’re insane, and that reads so well in this competition.” Ah, the voice of reason.
Whipping boy Ian Ziering still can’t catch a break from the judges because he refuses to pack his knapsack for the really fun 90-second camping trip everyone else goes on. I’d say it’s not going to happen for the dude — I mean, after Carrie Ann told Ian to consider channeling Billy Ray, is there really any hope? Even Cheryl hung her head at that point. Ian does the steps, but that’s kind of it. His paso doble was anticlimactic and slow, and I’m not sure how much longer we can blame the music choice. Okay, a little longer: ”Waiting for Tonight”? For a paso doble? Give me a breaky!
Heather Mills came in fifth. I’ve had it with her. [Begin rant.] I just don’t find her amusing, endearing, or even coordinated. I kind of cringe whenever she’s on screen, and I don’t really understand why we have to look at her anymore. If she’s going to complain about her 16,000-mile commute every week, why doesn’t she just stay overseas? I’m not sure she brings anything to the show at this point other than discomfort and confusion. [End rant that I’ll probably regret because it makes me seem bitchy. But I’m really not. Regretting it already.]
This week’s bottom two were Billy Ray Cyrus and John Ratzenberger. BRC and Karina deliberately abandoned any notion of doing the jive properly and instead did Billy Ray’s ”thing,” which involved a move called ”who’s your daddy?” that I truly hope he never performs in the presence of Hannah Montana. The judges loved this, er, show for its entertainment value, which isn’t really surprising. But it’s always jarring when Len tells one contestant (BRC), ”Whatever you lack in dance ability, it’s always entertaining — I love your work,” and then slams another (Apolo) for lingering on a prop: ”This is a ballroom, not a theater!”
John and Edyta’s mambo earned them the lowest score, as well as (yet again) the most backhanded compliment of the week. Carrie Ann told him, ”It was cute. You looked like a little dancing teddy bear.” To be fair, who wouldn’t want one of those? Apparently, Len and Bruno. I hope John won’t leave this week, just because I’m not done staring at Edyta’s leg warmers and mesmerizing aerial footage of her practicing back walkovers. John’s cute, too.
Also: Andrea Zuckerman!
JC Chasez and Leeza Gibbons get their own non-crazed, non-italicized Random Audience Sightings paragraph. That is all.
What do you think? Should there be a ban on mouthing the words of a song while dancing to it? Did anyone besides Laila and Apolo deserve a 10? And which stars could you deal with never seeing again, until they show up as audience members at the finals?