Sarah Palin shows up, Maks and Brandy clash, and Michael Bolton winds up in the doghouse

By Annie Barrett
Updated September 28, 2010 at 06:57 AM EDT
Bob D'Amico/ABC

Last night’s intergalactic voyage to Planet Mirrorballus was all about the judges’ crazy scoring. Michael Bolton got a 3, Bristol Palin got an 8, and a few seconds too long after Jennifer Grey’s generous scores were announced, the audience randomly started booing. “There’s booing in the ballroom; we don’t know why,” Brooke confirmed. You sillies! The booing was either a late reaction to Jennifer and Derek’s scores or an early reaction to a scintillating front-row interview with Sarah Palin. Tom Bergeron asked which was her favorite dancer and she responded “They’re all amazing!” It’s the same way she feels about all those media publications. She just loves ’em. All of ’em!

I don’t much care what someone’s mom has to say about season 11, but the booing was rude. Then again, these people boo constantly, so we’re all used to it. I happen to think there was a much bigger story in the ballroom last night: Tony promised to wax his legs if he and Audrina didn’t score three 8s tonight, and now he has to do it. Someone tell Brooke! She thinks it’s the other way around. She will get to see his sexy legs. Anyhow, onward…

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann In-ahhh-ber!

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough: 24/30 For the second week in a row, the dirty dancer and Derek (EW.com correspondent, ballroom division) claimed the top spot on the JUDGES’ LEADERBOARD with a kicky jive. This, despite an alarming struggle with stamina. Jennifer basically collapsed after the dance, panting on the floor like a gold-fringed judges’ pet in search of a bone. Tom and Derek gamely joined her on the floor. “Now everyone sit. Stay!” She didn’t seem that tired during the dance — Carrie Ann (channeling Bruno) even called her a “bionic bunny.” Maybe the exhaustion was primarily due to trying to keep up with Derek’s level of facial enthusiasm? Anyway, it’s all okay because Jamie Lee Curtis thought the whole thing was fabulous. Gotta say, I didn’t know about Jennifer’s cancer, and I had absolutely no idea that Tom could do yoga positions. Sometimes Dancing With the Stars is so educational I can’t stand it. So I just help myself to a seat on my apartment’s “ballroom floor” (somewhere between the toilet and the sink). It’s easy!

Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani: 23/30 Sporting a darker blue version of Melissa Rycroft’s puzzling Spiderwoman gown from season 8, Audrina the show pony turned into The Secretariat during her lively quickstep. Bruno got in his Disney movie mention of the week, and somewhere, somehow, a bejeweled hummingbird angel got its wings. Everyone wins, except Audrina’s personal life. Her boyfriend, in particular, isn’t used to her having somewhere to be all day. Now look, I don’t like to see people cry, but I do find it funny that most of the “contestant’s crazy schedule” stories result from kids, illness, injury, extreme loss, other professional work as a celebrity, etc., while Audrina’s plight seems to be that she simply hasn’t been as available lately to jus’ chill. (I don’t know what goes on in her personal life, so sorry if this sounds insensitive. I’m just picturing her boyfriend suddenly having to order their usual sushi or Mexican takeout all by himself. Mine would be thrown off, too!)

NEXT: A part of Maks’ anatomy is going tick-tick-tick-tick.

Teen Activist Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: 22/30 Bristol seems shy, which actually makes sense for someone not naturally prone to attention-mongering who’d been sacked with the nickname Bristol the Pistol her whole life. Their quickstep was competent but a little restrained, and it didn’t help that Bristol’s pink tiered gown made her look like Miss Piggy (gloves — Mark’s favorite fetish — completed the look). Bristol and Mark had a lot of rehearsal time to make up for, due to a completely unnecessary trip home to Alaska to exchange awkward pleasantries with Bristol’s famous mom. Remember, Mama said you can’t hurry love. You just have to wait until you’re back in Los Angeles…where her eventual presence will dictate a spotlight interview. Enough already with the mother/chastity-themed songs!

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer: 22/30 From now on I’ll think of Kyle as the Fast Food Guy. It’s funny, he doesn’t seem heavy to me at all because the kid is unbelievably light on his feet. How does he do it? Ugh, I keep forgetting he’s that mysterious strain of human known as a “teenager.” Anyway, before their quickstep, Kyle promised Lacey he’d stop eating burgers, not counting the two living in his stomach. Kyle on DWTS is like the exact antithesis to anyone on The Biggest Loser — cool guy, effortless dancer, not a care in the world, and his reward will be pizza. Props to Lacey for quickstepping in a fluffy tulle cloud much grander and more earnest in scope and concept than Erin Andrews’ memorable feather duster costume in season 10. Remember that gem?

Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21/30 Jives don’t usually open with a look of danger and a tinge of dread, but Brandy looked so pissed off at “a–holish” Maks at the beginning of theirs that it seemed like she was about to dance the hell out of that thing just to spite him. Whatever works! Except this didn’t, really. Brandy pulled off the steps, but she looked crazy and angry the whole time. Then to add insult to injury, after Carrie Ann questioned her choice of footwear and ability to point her toes (foot fetish much tonight, CA?) Brandy squeaked out a near-unforgivable “I sowwy.” I can’t. I can’t with this! No baby talk in the ballroom! Also, “blaming” her solo routine as Maks’ idea was unnecessary. We all know the pro’s in charge of choreography. Maks looks like he could blow a fuse at any moment. Come to think of it, the “vibrating butt” move he consistently employs this season could represent the ticking time bomb of his patience with Brandy.

NEXT: One lucky star gets the DNCMSTR “Seh-vehhhn!”

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke: 21/30 Rick spent the first part of their jive lookin’ for some tush. Silly NBA star, why don’t you look under her skirt? It will obviously say “TUSH” in sparkly black letters! I was so distracted by Rick’s ridiculously hot leather costume that I couldn’t really tell his foot was hurting. He has a tricky tendon, you know. You absolutely know because we were treated to a very unsettling close-up of his scars! Take it from Larry Bird: “Kid, pros play hurt.” Wow, I had no idea Larry Bird was angling to become one of Our Pros. Note: Rick got the first and I believe only DNCMSTR “Seh-vehhhn!” of the night.

Kurt Warner and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya: 21/30 Kurt is getting a sweet edit — his family-man, fish-out-of-water-but-totally-into-it story arc will be wildly appealing to viewers. The anecdote about throwing dance terms around at the kitchen table was a genius touch. I’m really enjoying this partnership. Anna is always a dream, Kurt’s hands are the size of frying pans, and both sported lightly sequined shirt pockets! What could go wrong? Nothing, yet. My favorite part of their army jive was when Anna kicked so high I thought she might knock her own eye out with her heel. That’s Our Pro. Carrie Ann said Kurt reminded her of “everyone’s favorite uncle at a wedding who has had too much to drink,” which is kind of an oxymoron. “A little bit hurtful, wasn’t it, that comment?” said some old guy from England. Bring on the 7s, DNCMSTR.

Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas: 19/30 Florence wants to be thought of as the 76-year-old contender, not the 76-year-old who can actually walk. And if you don’t like that, she will wail like George of the Jungle, flip you the bird, and then lift one leg even higher than said bird. Suddenly, you see. Florence’s crush, DNCMSTR, assured her she’ll be around next week based on this week’s quickstep. Soon after that, they had to rush upstairs so Brooke could tell Florence that “Everyone is impressed with your beautiful age.” I’m still trying to figure out what was going on with Corky’s extended-remix handkerchief move. Way to leave your beautifully aged map of the world, map of the world hanging, Corky. (Oh my god, his name is Corky. Sometimes I can’t believe it! The shock of it all seriously delights me to no end. Keep in mind that it’s after 2 a.m. as I write this!)

Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel: 18/30 Their jive was underscored with three 6s. She has a natural flow about her and much better legs than I’d thought. I’m not ashamed to say that I was more mesmerized by the pair’s perfectly flattering, complementary pink, white, and black costumes than the dance itself. I did like when she looked at him expectantly toward the beginning of the jive, as if waiting for him to giggle with her about how what a gas this all was, but he was all 100 Percent Pure Van Intensité as usual. Bruno was able to hone in on the heart of the matter: “You gotta keep it tight in your buttocks. Engage us here.” And she can, because she’s decided she can truly dance. “I’m actually a dancer,” Margaret insisted during rehearsal footage. What?! On just Week 2? Love it. As Bruno says, “Ease into it, my darling.”

NEXT: Big feet keep on turnin’…Proud Carrie keep on flirtin’…

Situation, The and Karina Smirnoff: 18/30 The Situation was trying. He put a lot more effort into quickstep training than I thought he would, even though the Brian Setzer Orchestra does not fall within his recognized dance-music spectrum between “club, pop, hip-hop” and “smushing.” (Jersey Shore reference; I sincerely apologize.) It’d be hilarious if this guy really did succumb to a complete ballroom brainwashing for however long he is around. The Situation will look like Mary Poppins while performing a ballroom standard and The Situation will realize this is a point of pride. I didn’t know there was a connection between shoe size and being pigeon-toed. Even if there is, why ask about the actual size? Was Carrie Ann expecting a clever sex joke in response? Was the insinuation that he had large feet an attempt to make up for calling him pigeon-toed? I may need to sit down again and do yoga with my apartment’s version of Tom Bergeron (a benign, fiercely loved stuffed snowman).

Michael Bolton and Chelsie Hightower: 12/30 “I’ve got only one way to go,” Michael said during rehearsal footage. “Up.” WRONG. Michael remains light as a feather, stiff as a board, minus the part about the feather. At the beginning of what Bruno called the worst jive in 11 seasons (whoa, that was way harsh, Tai) a friendly old dog named Bolt crawled out of an actual doghouse to yawn and stretch and face the day. Except this wasn’t a Disney movie about a dog, and the dog was MICHAEL BOLTON on Dancing With the Stars! How could Chelsie, or whatever trippin’ producer came up with this gimmick, possibly think this was a good idea? The only lower DWTS score was when Master P got two 2s in season 2, and he didn’t even bother to wear the right shoes. A couple of notes here: 1) I’m just gonna go on believing that the sparkly design on his shirt was perhaps an homage to the soaring eagle in his exquisite video for “Said I Loved You But I Lied.” And 2) Michael — if you already have an infected throat, why would you put that filthy plastic doggie bone prop anywhere near your mouth? Give the bone back, Bolt. Good Bolt. “Woof.”

Would you rescue Michael Bolton from a doghouse? Do you want to see a Tom Bergeron-Florence Henderson reality show? Why is there booing? Discuss the week 2 performances in the comments, and nominate your Hidden Gems of the Week before 3 p.m. ET over at PopWatch!

Read more:

Derek Hough on week 2…and those shirtless paparazzi snaps

‘DWTS’: Your Hidden Gems of Week 1!

EW.com’s ‘DWTS’ results show recap: While My Lifeguard Gently Weeps

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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