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''Dancing With the Stars'': Samba-night smackdown

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Dancing with the Stars: Adam Larkey

Dancing With the Stars

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
20
run date:
03/21/11
performer:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Reality TV

”Dancing With the Stars”: Samba-night smackdown

News flash: Stacy Keibler is hot! Judge Bruno Tonioli didn’t think this was obvious enough, so he nicknamed her ”a weapon of mass seduction.” He also said, ”When it comes to saucy, nobody can beat Stacy,” called her ”a lesson in sex appeal,” and told her, ”You’ve got the legs, love, don’t worry.” Funny, I could have sworn she wasn’t his type.

Despite her lack of a sizable booty, Stacy apparently was ready for that jelly. She just needed a faster song and better choreography than she’d received in previous weeks to prove it. Stacy’s samba to ”Bootylicious” won her and partner Tony Dovolani the very first perfect score of this season. ”Where do you go from this?” boomed host Tom Bergeron after seeing the three 10s. I’m gonna go with ”down,” but what do I know? I used to watch The O.C. on Thursday nights.

The Stacy love train is certainly justifiable, considering the fancy footwork, willingness to stand under a spotlight while draped in shreddy orange spandex material, and general smokingness she displayed tonight. But I personally don’t find her as fun and spicy as some of the other stars — most notably Drew Lachey. He’s like a Tostito with a Hint of Lime and she’s just the original chip. Perfect in her own right, definitely, but not as delicious as the one who leaves little green specks of pleasure in his dancing wake. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba even went so far as to say Stacy was ”getting better than some of our professional dancers.” Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Please.

Speaking of possibly inflated scoring, George Hamilton had a pretty lucky night. He probably didn’t deserve to get higher marks than Tia Carrere or Jerry Rice, even if the spectacle he passed off as a dance routine was really entertaining. I got a kick out of Bruno’s comparison of George to a fruit cocktail, because that’s exactly what Edyta chose to dress up as for their dance. Nearly nothing about their segment made any sense, from Edyta’s motivational field trip (”Let’s go to zoo, look at some animals, get some movements!”) to her inexplicable cartwheel and split at the end. She could have prefaced it with ”George can’t dance, but I can do a cartwheel and a split! I’m also Polish. Vote for us.”

As if all of that were way too normal, after the scoring, George said, ”I’m out of the prop business,” and then whipped out a banana. I wanted him to call himself Curious George at this point, but I think he was just extending the general fruit theme. It was almost as off-putting as Tom Bergeron’s second ill-advised outburst of the evening: ”We’ve got dancing, we’ve got stars. Duh!

George does keep things light, though, and it was cute that the producers (or whoever the hell is in charge of the usually awful music) chose a cover of Gloria Estefan’s ”Conga” for his performance. One of its lines — ”Don’t you worry if you can’t dance/Let the music move your feet” — seemed especially aimed at poor George. But the man with the tan still managed to shock everyone by pulling off three 8s and the title of Giver of Joy from Bruno.

I’m probably in the minority here, but I loved Lisa Rinna’s outfit and dance. I could have lived without the ”I’m in my 40s, pity me” (paraphrased) spiel and her ”I’m gonna barf” (not paraphrased) warning while she trained with partner Louis at the beach, but their routine was really fun, and Lisa’s legs looked amazing. I’m going to try to focus my attention on them next week, because looking at her face always makes me scared her lips are going to explode and I just don’t need that in my life right now.

Whereas Lisa couldn’t stop screaming after her performance, Jerry Rice was somewhat subdued after his. I loved how his partner, Anna, who totally doesn’t care that he won the Super Bowl, pleaded with the judges and audience. ”Oh, admit you like him,” she said, before screeching out an unapologetic ”Cahhhhm ahhhn!” for good measure. The crowd, in response, literally roared. Oh, Anna. I think she’s actually my favorite one out there and she’s not even a ”Star.”

I was disappointed in Tia Carrere’s performance, partly because I can tell she tries so hard and partly (okay, heavily) because of her affiliation with Wayne’s World. You just can’t live up to that, even with a perfect 30. Cassandra looked great with the cornrows and slinky leopard-print frock (every woman’s favorite postpartum look), but she swayed around by herself way too much at the beginning of her dance and forgot some of her moves toward the end. She then felt the need to explain the plot of her dance: ”It’s about a woman ripping off her skirt and her babushka.” Oh, now I get it. Because you did that in the dance! In the words of Tom Bergeron, ”Duh!.” Anyway, Tia can do much better, so I hope America votes to keep her around.

Then there was Drew. I must first point out that I’ve appreciated the show’s tradition of calling attention to Drew’s height just before commercial breaks. (He’s short. Get it?) Tonight he stood on a side table backstage in order to tower over Jerry Rice. That was a good one, guys! Drew’s dancing was even better. I want to say he made the dance floor come alive. But I can’t. Oh, wait, I’m writing a TV Watch for Dancing With the Stars. Drew Lachey made that dance floor come alive tonight! Partner Cheryl Burke helped.

No, really. Cheryl (whose name and general existence I find really funny) and Drew have great chemistry together as performers. Did anyone else notice some moves straight out of a late-1990s boy-band music video in the middle of their number? Loved that, and loved the commanding presence of Drew’s beefy arms and tattoo in this dance. What an amazing use of detachable sleeves. And all of this just days after Cheryl socked him in the nose while practicing for the group salsa. Oh, that was cool, by the way. Just not new-paragraph-worthy cool. Maybe next week.

What do you think? Will the judges’ current Stacy obsession eventually backfire? Who’s the sassiest: Anna, Stacy, Tia, or Max’s butt? And who should be booted on Friday night?