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Dancing with the Stars recap: Game On

Brooke continues to dominate, but this week Cloris decides she actually does want to compete

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Cloris Leachman
Craig Sjodin/ABC

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’ recap: Don’t call it a comeback

Whoa — major twist alert! Not only did Cloris Leachman get a leg up (so to speak…such a sundial, that one) on Rocco DiSpirito from the judges, but we found out all the couples will engage in one of four new dances on Monday night. The hustle, the jitterbug, salsa, and West Coast swing are all up for grabs. Oh, there will be grabbing.

The fact that some of those new dances might therefore cross the line into ”novelty” makes me a bit weary. I must have missed the part of the series when the original dances became boring. Or was it week 4 of the lackluster season 7 of Dancing With the Stars? You can weigh in on that in the comments section below; meanwhile, let’s get goin’ on the ”judges’ leaderboard.” Keep in mind the dancers are ranked by a composite of last week‘s and this week’s scores. Let’s do this. Oh, and in honor of Bruno Tonioli — one of the 15 Reasons I’m a ‘Dancing’ Fool, who must surely be on his fourth pack of post-recital smokes by now — let’s make our Tuesday morning ”raunchy with a capital rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr,” shall we?

Brooke Burke and Derek: 54 out of possible 60 (26 out of possible 30 this week) Like DANCMSTR, I’d have preferred if Derek had ditched the nerd glasses sooner, and when I say ”sooner,” I mean ”initially.” Other than that, Brooke and Derek’s samba ruled the night. The spoken-word song — ”Hip Hip Chin Chin,” incidentally the same song Lacey danced the samba to on So You Think You Can Dance — made the performance almost seem cinematic. For some creepy reason, I’m picturing Brooke busting out the sparkly yellow fringe in the middle of Audrey Hepburn’s oddball dance in the beatnik lounge in Funny Face. It’s more than a little horrifying. I do wonder if the judges consistently rank Brooke as the best in part because they know she’s getting very few popular votes. Then again, Brooke is the best, and so hot that Bruno needed a smoke. (Though I’m pretty sure every commercial break prompts the same reaction out of that guy.)

Lance Bass and Lacey: 48/60 (26) Immediate and also most important reaction to their segment: Lance was wearing more eyeliner than Carrie Ann this week. Their tango was nowhere near as tough to accomplish as that! Lance wanted to add some of his personal ”flavor” to the tango, which evidently resulted in the aping of the lifeless-puppet motif of ‘N Sync’s ”No Strings Attached” tour. I actually found this stunt pretty effective and by no means overkill — as Bruno put it, ”quirky with a gothic twist and yet always a tango.” If they’d just reeled in their wagging tongues a bit more (ewwww.com), I might have loved it. But we all know the best part of Lance’s segment was when Bruno called Carrie Ann ”Paula Abdul.” Heavens to Misty, that’s like the sequin calling the fringe tacky. The only thing more hypocritical would be if Carrie Ann scored Cloris Leachman two points higher than Rocco DiSpirito. Keep reading.

NEXT: The return of Erica Kane