Despite the season's first 10, the performances don't get demonstrably better, and we lose a favorite couple
Misty May Treanor
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Steps and misteps

I trust you’re all wearing black today (pleather: optional) to effectively mourn the loss of both Misty May-Treanor’s healthy left Achilles tendon and the presence of ”Maksim…Chi-may-uh-kovskiy!” on our TVs — the latter of which I’ve long considered a free, twice-weekly hot oil treatment for us all. Bah! Misty and Maks, the dream team composed of two of my favorite people ever, heard their mirrorball dreams shatter with a resounding pop. Thanks, DWTS post-production audio specialists, for amping up the volume of the pop for extra horror! God, I never want to hear that sound again. And, sickeningly, I know I’m not the only one who rewound it. M&M 2.0 are officially out of the competition, which will leave Misty plenty of time to eat carbs and chill with her hubby…and should present Maks with ample free time which he is strongly encouraged to waste by talking to me! HINT.

After another generally lackluster performance show, I have to go with Misty’s flip-flop as my MVP pick for week 3. But let’s not neglect the nine other contestants who received actual scores. Here they are…drumroll please….no, drummer, stop — I’m crying and the only thing that’ll make me feel better is if the singer lady with the Disney forehead jewels does the drumroll instead. YES! That’s more like it. Here we go…

Brooke Burke and Derek: 28 out of possible 30 Whoa alert: DANCMSTR awarded Brooke the first 10 of the season! Their Viennese waltz was indeed lovely, but the perfect score shocked me a little. My eyes kind of glazed over during the dance and it just seemed like all pretty twirls and dips and smiles — but with no detectable emotion involved. Maybe DANCMSTR wanted one really bright spot in a night full of misses, or maybe Brooke was also getting scored on her ability to tolerate smarmy pro partners who tell people things like ”Your mind’s lazy” and ”I’m not actually gonna hear you, because I know what I’m doing.” Yikes. (Real, three-dimensional people say stuff like this all the time, but Derek should know that you can’t do that on television!)

Warren Sapp and Kym: 26/30 The self-proclaimed ”softer side of Sapp” came out in full maroon-and-pink force with a Viennese waltz that DANCMSTR said was ”giving those skinny people a real run for their money.” I almost thought Warren looked a little thinner myself, but that could be because the sausage casing he was costumed in could easily be marketed as a macho-man alternative to Spanx. Bruno’s comment on Warren’s uncanny ability to ”get the character of the dance” makes sense to me, but as in the case with Brooke, it’s almost like the judges are grasping at straws for big, juicy compliments to hand out, even though no one is really that good this season — yet, at least. Am I nuts here? The fact that I’m in mourning doesn’t help. Pass the chocolate.

NEXT: Waltzing away

Maurice Greene and Cheryl: 24/30 First: that jacket. That electric blue, entirely sequined jacket with the clock on the back. I can’t for the life of me figure out if it’s really the tackiest (and therefore most awesome) jacket in DWTS history, or if I’m missing something obvious, like Jerry Springer’s pirate costume if that had been entirely sequined. Either way, all the spangly spirit from Mo’s hideous/excellent jacket definitely boosted his performance in the jive. Cheryl’s choreography showcased his strength (fast footwork) and didn’t overshoot expectations. I even liked the useless antics at the end, with Mo pointing at his watch, then flailing around with a hanky before collapsing on Cheryl’s heaving abs. The judges raved, but you could sort of tell they didn’t expect him to be this great at any other of the dances. Prove ’em wrong, sporto!

Toni Braxton and Alec: 22/30 All that time and gratuitous crotch shots spent on one potential handstand, and then said handstand pops up nowhere in the most confusing Viennese waltz of all time? Weak! When Toni misspoke and called the dance the ”Vietnamese waltz,” Alec assured her they weren’t going to ”wear straw hats.” Someone please explain to me how those hideous Marie Antoinette period costumes and a half-orchestral, half-(hardly)-rock and roll version of Beethoven’s ”Für Elise” was any better. Excluding Carrie Ann (a concept that should be applied as often as possible), the judges disapproved of Toni and Alec’s gimmick, suggesting she ”just dance” instead because she has the talent. On the bright side, Toni’s been wearing legwarmers during rehearsals. Someone has to. :(

Lance Bass and Lacey: 22/30 These two edgy young people visited a senior living center in preparation for the Viennese waltz, because doubling up on two non-edgy elements in the same day automatically makes the entire situation…edgy. Lacey’s careless jab at Cloris — when asked where Cloris was, Lacey told a resident of the center, ”I’m sure after the show, she’ll be coming here” — could stick with her all season, even though the remark was clearly unplanned and later regretted. Ha, those old people hated Lance and Lacey, for real. I kept pausing on some of their not even slightly amused expressions to really take it all in. As for their waltz, again, Carrie Ann loved it, while Bruno and DANCMSTR found faults. Though DANCMSTR did say this waltz was the best dance he’d seen Lance perform.

Cody Linley and Julianne: 21/30 Their jive reminded me of the Disneyland parade Cody and Julianne rode in during their rehearsal segment: It was frantic, way too showy, and you could sense that tweens everywhere were screaming even when they weren’t. (Shout-out to fans of The Soup: ”It’s Miley!!!!”) Julianne sure does love choreographing jives to spotlight herself while her partner plays second fiddle — or in this case, her leg as a guitar. I’m gonna go ahead and give her a free pass for the week due to an excessive amount of black fringe and inexplicable wig, the combination of which almost completely distracted from Cody’s non-dancing.

NEXT: Cloris does it again

Susan Lucci and Tony: 21/30 Let’s all take a pause to mark down in our DWTS season 7 scrapbooks that week 3 was the week Tony officially started calling Susan ”Baby” all the time during practice. Ew? Or cute? You decide. Or I will: Ew. I liked Susan and Tony’s jive, but it just seemed so dainty and cautious to me. She was completing all the steps, but maybe Susan’s just not a large enough person to really sell her moves. Still, I smile when I watch these two, and this week it was mostly because I could not stop watching Tony’s sparkly black vest as if it was a separate TV show itself. You never knew which sequins were going to catch the spotlight! Mesmerizing.

Rocco DiSpirito and Karina: 20/30 Just when I assumed nothing could get worse than Rocco’s fluttery white puffy shirt, their Viennese waltz accompaniment began. I can’t even call that rendition of ”What’s New, Pussycat” a song. That’d be giving it way too much extra credit considering it failed to complete the basic assignment. I honestly couldn’t tell if Rocco’s dancing was horrible or if it was just the ”music.” And then Bruno complained saying, ”You don’t keep the musicality going”! How the hell could he have? It was all too much. ”Blue Danube” played throughout their rehearsal segment. Why couldn’t they have used that? Because then DANCMSTR wouldn’t have gotten to look all cute in a pussycat mask, that’s why. Sidenote/FYI: I feel Rocco and I are in some small way aligned in the universe, because right when he complained about being ”out of juice,” I was taking a sip of Jamba Juice myself. Of course, I hadn’t bothered to cover up the logo with hardcore electrical tape like he did. This is just one of many reasons why I am not Dancing With the Stars material. Speaking of which…

Cloris Leachman and Corky: 16/30 Nooooooo! Make it stop. All I wanted to do was weep during Cloris and Corky’s ”performance” (again, to avoid extra credit, I cannot call it an actual jive). The wig malfunction, the hooked-fish move, the ass-smacking, the bleepin’ wheelbarrow…this was a s—show that rivaled Marie Osmond’s freestyle ”Doll Dance” from season 5 in terms of misguided choreography, obscene amounts of pink material, and general WTF-ness. I was almost embarrassed for the ol’ gal. Couldn’t Corky have attempted a few more basic steps, even slowed-down ones, in lieu of a hyper-sexualized romp through The Land of No-One-Wants-to-See-That?

What do you think, dancemasters? Are you as depressed about M&M’s departure as I am? Will Toni Braxton’s next project be an 18th-century-inspired rock album? And does anyone really believe they’ll eliminate someone night? Because they totally won’t!

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