The women come back, taking the top five spots, while the men give some of their worst performances yet

By Annie Barrett
Updated October 09, 2007 at 04:00 PM EDT
Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

”Dancing With the Stars”: Women’s comeback night

Last night, the women dominated the judges’ basically meaningless leader board, placing in all the top five spots. With Dr. Quinn’s family tragedy, Kelly Taylor’s triumphant comeback, and Marie Osmond’s willingness to do back bends all in the mix, the women’s big night was a slam dunk. Yes! Girl power! This totally makes me want to get up and dance! Or sit here and eat Cheetos. I’m still deciding. (Update: Decision made. Yum.)

Jane Seymour: 27 out of 30 points Jane probably had the least to prove last night. She dedicated her tango to her mother, who passed away last Tuesday. I’m surprised she even performed this week, let alone learned a complete dance. But this was Mom’s favorite show, and dancing had always been little Jane’s dream, etc. Aside from the drag-ish wig and way too much makeup, Jane and Tony’s tango was elegant and precise. Bruno called her performance ”worthy of a silent-movie queen,” and DANCMSTR was so moved he said, ”That could have been on pay-per-view.” Ha. Eat it, Floyd!

Mel B.: 27/30 Scary Spice and Maksim performed the jive, which somehow necessitated a rehearsal on a platform in the middle of a huge fountain in Vegas. Whether Mel knows it or not, her impression of Arrested Development‘s Gob crying, ”Come on!” was right on the money. As for the jive, I’m glad Scary got some big scores, but I think she could have danced a lot better. She seems to crank out the high energy on the moves she really likes, but gets a bit lazy for a lot of the others, like she’s just dragging herself through to the next big beat. Mel seemed slightly more interested in grinding up on Tom Bergeron, post-jive, than on her partner. But considering Tom’s off-the-cuff quip about Maks’ ego being safe and sound after the half-nude Russian stallion pretended to hunt for his missing shirt, I’m not sure I can blame her.

Sabrina Bryan: 27/30 The Cheetah Girl kept questioning her partner’s choreography during their rehearsal footage for the jive. It seemed pretty bitchy and presumptuous at the time, but then they performed and it turned out Mark’s choreography involved Mark leaping over a person’s head, Mark doing a back flip, and Mark doing…wait for it…the worm. Why? Why he gotta put his worm all up in their jive? Seriously, there were too many tricks here. If they’d stuck to the super-fast footwork they’re good at, I’d have enjoyed the jive much more. We don’t really need to see Sabrina do a back walkover, do we? Show of hands….Okay, now, show of hands: Who else loved it when Sabrina screeched something at Drew backstage and he quite matter-of-factly responded, ”That just killed my ear”? Tell it, Drew!

Jennie Garth: 26/30 Yay, Jennie did well! Party on, Garth. One more week of her petrified, clammy dance face and I was going to start watching SpongeBob via picture-in-picture, just for some levity. (Imagine Jennie dancing with Patrick! Aww. They’d be horrible!) I was so glad she and Derek used traditional tango music featuring none of the distracting wailing some other couples had to deal with. Jennie really got into character and at least acted confident, and it worked. Carrie Ann gave Jennie her first standing ovation of the season, and Bruno said, ”Don’t cry for me, Argentina,” because obviously someone had to, and obviously it was going to be Bruno.

Marie Osmond: 26/30 Waaayyy too much Donny. Really, producers, we’re happy enough with just Jonny. I’m liking Marie way more than I thought I would, and I think keeping her camera-happy family members out of her general vicinity will be crucial in maintaining my affection for her. I thought her tango was great tonight, and I am the queen of hating excessive facial expressions on this show. Carrie Ann was right — despite playing up the character of the dance, Marie didn’t quite cross the line into hamminess. Yet.

NEXT: The boys aren’t back!

Helio Castroneves: 24/30 They’re the ”Kids in America.” Get it? Because Julianne is only 19? Ewww. Speaking of ham, Helio and Julianne’s jive seemed a bit heavy on the happy-go-lucky faces (as usual) but not entirely impressive in terms of skill (which was unusual). Maybe Julianne was trying to cram too many tricks in, or maybe Helio’s ”weak foot” bothered him more than he let on, but their highly scored dance left a lot to be desired. Oh, and somehow he was bleeding through his pants by the end. It was like the slasher-movie version of Jennie’s fall. As Helio said, ”I need fuel.” And a Band-Aid. And maybe a driver.

Cameron Mathison: 23/30 Edyta loves a gimmick, and the Cameron-as-Clark Kent one for their tango was pretty cute. She ripped his geek glasses off right before the dance, then he carried her toward Tom and the judges Superman-style when it was all over. Their tango seemed too fast paced, probably because of their awful song choice of Sonny and Cher’s ”The Beat Goes On.” Carrie Ann called their performance ”G-rated,” but she must have been looking at Edyta’s G-strung gown from the wrong angle. Not that Carrie Ann was wrong — Cameron’s tango was definitely not dramatic enough. For one thing, his mouth was open the entire time, less in a ”my tango is awesome” way than in an ”I can’t believe I’m dancing; OMG, watch Edyta’s next trick” way. Superman isn’t supposed to look shocked all the time. Although to be fair, perhaps he was using his X-ray vision to peer at the pair of cartoon legwarmers emblazoned onto Edyta’s heart.

Floyd Mayweather: 21/30 Floyd truly was a new person this week — once he realized the jive could be somehow related to jumping rope, he was all about it. But then the ”jive” part started, and he barely left his feet! The energy was all there; it just wasn’t channeled into the right attitude and steps. Karina needs to stop letting this kid hop around the studio in his sneaks, shouting about how great he’s gonna dance. The judges want Floyd to control his power, harness his potential, and focus on the details and structure of the dance. So he could do that — or he could keep plugging his pay-per-view fight on December 8.

Mark Cuban: 20/30 This billionaire had recent hip-replacement surgery. Remind me again why he’s here? Ugh. After all the rehearsal footage concerning Mark’s about-to-dislocate new hip, I couldn’t help wincing while calling out all the moments in Mark and Kym’s jive at which one’s hip would really kill. (”There. There. There. There.”) And he wasn’t even really moving! This was not fun. As earnest as Mark is about remaining in the competition, Kym’s choreography and therefore our enjoyment of his ”gifts” will be severely limited from here on out, if he makes it through.

Wayne Newton: 18/30 Wayne capitalized on his ”still alive” status by showing off his wealth in the form of 75 Arabian horses, one of whom was partially shorn to create Wayne’s hairstyle for the ballroom. According to Mr. Vegas, ”The tango is the perfect marriage between the cowboy and Wayne.” Too bad the tango he and Cheryl actually performed turned out to be a perfect marriage between Cheryl’s overwhelming desire to go home and Cheryl. For real: She can’t wait to get out of there.

Okay, I take it back. There’s no way that rat tail of Wayne’s came from a decent-looking horse. But what do you think? Were any of the women possibly overscored? Didn’t any of the guys deserve to finish in the top half? And who’ll be heading home after tonight’s elimination?

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