Melissa Rycroft and Tony: 23/30 We missed out on this couple’s rehearsal package, while Melissa and Tony missed out on, oh, multiple weeks of intense training. Turns out they didn’t need it! Conveniently, Melissa’s so good at dancing already that Tony just had to take ballet and ”throw some waltz around it.” That was funny, and so were Tom and Bruno as they ruthlessly ripped on Bachelor star/highly functioning chimpanzee Jason Mesnick for dumping Melissa on national TV. (Hooray! ABC! You can’t fight synergy, Lemon; it’s bigger than all of us.) But I think my favorite part of this entire slapped-together segment was the ridiculous turquoise-spangled decal used to cover up Melissa’s classy lower back tattoo. Keep that creativity up, for real, costume designers. I want flames for the samba, a curlicue mustache for the tango, and a giant bull’s head for the paso doble. Fringe = optional.
Lil’ Kim and Derek: 21/30 Sure, discussing one’s jail time in the first episode seems a bit shocking, but Dancing with the Stars is ultimately a better television program for having featured Lil’ Kim dedicating a cha cha cha set to Janet Jackson’s ”Nasty Girls” to all her girls in the Federal Detention Center. It simply does not get better than this. Actually, it did a little when Kim artfully and somewhat seductively brushed a sticky strand of hair from her mouth, mid-arm move. Bruno’s right; she can ”work wonders with that tooshie,” especially when it’s swathed in silver fringe. I liked how Lil’ Kim blatantly acknowledged her increasingly plasticine appearance with that ”I’m gonna look like Black Barbie and this is my Ken” remark. Someone had to say it. Loved her. She better not go home soon.
Chuck Wicks and Julianne: 20/30 I wouldn’t mind if this guy left, though. I barely remember him except that he was cheesily attractive and a perfect visual complement to Julianne. Oh, and I wanted them to stop arguing during rehearsals, whether it was for the cameras or in spite of them. That’s going to get old pretty fast. DANCMSTR called their waltz ”a bit hectic,” and Bruno claimed ”At times it felt to me like you were chasing a whirlwind…then you were going to strangle her.” A logical progression; thanks, Bruno. It’s hard to tell whether Chuck’s fan base watches this show, whether Julianne’s fans will keep them safe, or whether enough unaffiliated voters will keep the couple in because they happen to be exceedingly attractive and currently dating. Actually, if the judges keep scoring Chuck highly, the voting element might not matter for a while. Hmmm. Just realized the whole time I was writing that paragraph, I was picturing Jonathan Roberts instead of Chuck. Close enough.
David Alan Grier and Kym: 19/30 I’m not sure DAG’s highly evolved sense of humor went over too well with the audience, but it didn’t seem to go over smoothly with Kym. (That ”I came on the show for the free dance shoes and sexual favors” line he delivered last night won’t help.) The judges really scrutinized the technical parts of his performance, which to me suggests that it was generally pretty good. Bruno’s relatively uncharacteristic snippiness (usually DANCMSTR’s the crankier one) shone through in his critique of DAG’s various performance faces: ”I know you’re a multifaceted character. One will suffice.” Like he should talk! The biggest takeaway from the judges’ critique: Kym needs to rein in her partner’s errant ass.
NEXT: Don’t be a jackass