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''Dancing With the Stars'': The joint isn't jumping

On ”Dancing With the Stars,” Joey Lawrence scores some 10s, but Shanna Moakler loses after trying to mambo to ”Jump”

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Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

”Dancing With the Stars”: The joint isn’t jumping

There she goes…Miss USA. What a letdown! I for one think Shanna Moakler’s elimination this week was wiggity wiggity wiggity wack.

Well, not really — it was pretty much her time to leave, anyway. (What does that even mean, on the second week of a show like this? ”Her time?” What am I talking about?) Here’s what was really wack: Shanna and partner Jesse had to dance the mambo to a slowed-down, slightly classed-up version of Kris Kross’ ”Jump.” The mambo. To that song. And the worst part was we couldn’t even see who was doing the sketchy job of performing the vocals. A woman? A man? A High School Musical extra? He/she kept promising ”Kris Kross’ll make ya jump, jump,” but the thing is, the dancers never did jump, and the singer wasn’t Kris Kross. This was crucial. No wonder no one voted for Shanna — we spent the whole time gaping at the song instead of her fairly well-executed (I went back and watched it on mute) dance.

Yesterday, my editor came over to my desk and started ranting that something has to be done about the music on DWTS. If the star is performing a traditional Latin dance, he said, the orchestra should play a traditional Latin song — or at least something Latin-inspired. This makes sense, as gross injustices like ”Jump” would be avoided.

But maybe the ”orchestrators” are onto something with the blatant mismatching. They should hire someone whose only responsibility is to come up with dances and songs that clash horribly, just to amuse and infuriate us. Harry Hamlin quickstepping it to ”Lust for Life” was a good start. I want to see jives set to the Eagles and waltzes set to Metallica. No one would be exempt from this challenge — except Mario Lopez, who would have to dance to the same song each week. I don’t know, something by the Bee Gees, or the Indigo Girls, or ”Take Me Home Tonight,” by Eddie Money. People would want to murder him! This would really kick the competition level up a notch.

Or such duties could be left to the dancers. Costumed as a shiny-scalped but still very convincing leprechaun, Joey Lawrence rocked it so hard during his quickstep and tap combination routine that he happened upon a pot of gold: the first two 10s of the season, as hosts Samantha Harris and Tom Bergeron kept telling us. We’d been waiting for a perfect 10 for so long this season, and there it was! Monique Coleman also scored big, and all it took was a clever makeover that made her 3000 percent more of a hoochie than last week. Look, Mom, it worked! Vivica A. Fox and Emmitt Smith tied each other for third, even though the judges’ responses to their performances were night and day. They called Emmitt ”Captain Consistent” and ”Twinkle Toes” but then said Vivica was a pizza: ”hot and spicy” on top, but ”doughy” in the leg action. Whoever thought of that ridiculous metaphor for Len Goodman should have realized that Americans, and especially the ones watching this show, adore pizza. I was actually eating a slice at the time (no, really) and thought to myself, Mmm. Vote Viv.

The biggest surprise this week, other than Tom Bergeron’s impolite eagerness to latch on to the nickname Tin Man Harry, was Mario Lopez’s ”controversial quickstep.” After awarding him a first-place finish last week, the judges pounded Mario for abandoning the required footwork in order to better entertain the audience. You know, he’s been getting a lot of bad press for hiding his past dance training, but if he wants to get back in our good graces, maybe he should try to act more like a student and less like a stage kid showing off stuff he already knew. I remember that drop-it-down, sliiiiide-it-back-up floor move from when A.C. Slater did it at the Max.

Willa Ford can’t seem to buy a vote, not even with an embellished interest in ultimate fighting and an outfit best described as Rainbow Boobs. Jerry Springer, on the other hand, seems to be fighting the votes off. ”No, no,” he kept moaning while making the ”get out of here” hand gesture to the camera during prime mugging-for-votes time. He’d probably appreciate a permanent break from this charade, but his fans just won’t let him — probably in part because of partner Kim’s positive attitude and strong resemblance to Xtina.

Jerry’s Final Thought: ”You don’t need to vote for me! Take care of yourselves and each other.”

What do you think? How did that ”laughing yoga” session not throw Harry over the edge into full-on depression? Is it wrong that I played back the part where Mario knocks his skull against the wall during practice over and over and over? And who do you want to be the surprise star next week?