The contestants dance the quickstep or the jive in a revealing week 2

By Annie Barrett
Updated September 27, 2011 at 09:35 AM EDT
Credit: ABC
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I’m obsessed with this throwaway line by Carson Kressley. “Someone left a sequin on the floor” is not only a great excuse for why he bungled a Dancing With the Stars move during rehearsal — it’s a perfect understatement for the entire series. Let’s all start using it whenever we mess up…at anything.

I can’t decide which was my favorite moment from last night’s telecast — Tom’s “Liiiiiiiiiiive!” abruptly booming out right after Chaz Bono promised “I am literally going to blow out my knees,” or the utterly insane shot of Tom surrounded by teens while introducing Rob Kardashian. Not buyin’ it! Were they told they were contest winners and would get to see Demi Lovato? Oh, god — were there even more of them who tragically got sucked into Brooke Burke Charvet’s soggy beehive bun moments before airtime?

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

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: 23/30 Well now! This was a sexier jive than we’re used to. When Ricki lured Derek back up to sea level by his belt — having just been thrust upwards by his crotch from the pair’s joint backbend — I was sure this must have been a misplaced Latin-y sex number. Nope, just your run-of-the-mill pink-fringed jive in heat. Derek must have really been savin’ himself up all last season for a full release upon week 2 of his return. At this rate, we may see another one of his signature Derek Hough Crotch-Bobs (™) even sooner than this season’s dance marathon. Why wait? Carrie Ann declared this the “best jive of the night,” prompting Len to slump in his chair and wait patiently for death. What a grump!

NEXT: The Lift Police hands out her first citation Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas: 22/30 I’m all for playing up the whole Hollywood glamour and Marilyn Monroe themes on Dancing With the Stars, but trying to blow the diamonds out of the box for a week 2 Kristin Cavallari quickstep seems a bit…premature? Wasteful? We must ration these diamonds! Oh, who am I kidding; they’re everywhere. Once again I remember Mark’s moves more than Kristin’s — he’s certainly makes it easy — and agreed with Grumpy that the quickstep “wasn’t as good as [Kristin] looked.” Still, the pair earned an 8 from Carrie Ann, who didn’t care that they broke hold (that’s Len’s no-no) and admired Kristin’s “complete transformation” from last week’s nervousness.

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: 22/30 I think I have a new favorite couple — mostly because Carson Kressley truly can’t dance, but still. I rekindled my love affair with J.R. as an ultimate DWTS contestant right away, as his very first practice kicks during rehearsal footage were astoundingly high. Also, is that teal/glass practice studio…in his house? There are all sorts of random trophies everywhere. They were not in the shape of mirrorballs, so I’m surprised I even recognized them as valid awards.

Anyway, J.R. and Karina’s “Jump, Jive, An’ Wail” jive was the stuff of magic, as evidenced by the early shift from sepia tones to color. He even went for a split jump off the stairs! Upon a first viewing, I was so busy trying to predict when Karina would rip that pesky white shirt off (in a shocking twist: never) that I almost didn’t notice J.R.’s perfectly timed suspender snaps, impeccable sense of rhythm, and complete engagement with his partner. At the end of the dance, they generously delivered a stack of “THE DWTS TIMES” newspapers to the judges so that they, too, could be up on the happenings of “Monday, September 26, 1931.” Ha! Carrie Ann called them out for a lift, but so what?

Also, I loved the way J.R. and Karina flung each other up onto Brookebot Mountain near the new art deco mirrorball entrance posts. Best duo of the night.

NEXT: Nancy Grace slips a nip Elisabetta Canalis and Val Chmerkovskiy: 21/30 I can’t believe they’re ranked so high on this list after that quickstep — not to mention the fact that this really, really, incredibly good-looking pair of people kind of hate each other. Her “one pant leg rolled half-up” look during rehearsals said it all. Also: all of her facial expressions. Bruno used a bunch of car imagery to have an excuse to mention a familiar word, Lamborghini, but none of the judges remarked that during the quickstep — particularly the dual head-roll — Elisabetta actually resembled one of those dancing balloon guys used to entice people to visit auto dealerships (but with less fluid movements). I did love the movement of her electric-blue skirt, but pretty soon into the quickstep, Val’s errant cummerbund intercepted my attention instead. Reader Angela confirms: “It totally broke mid-dance. My mother freaked out about it.”

Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus: 21/30 I have to hand it to Nancy for enduring perhaps the biggest DWTS Nip Slip of all time. I may even need two hands to do that. (For the record, Nancy said after the show that there was no nip slip, to which my long-suffering DVR and pause button say bish please!) What was so thrilling about this particular wardrobe malfunction was that during the east coast feed, editors had to cut to a shot of part of the audience sitting stoically at a time when no one was applauding for anyone. Ouch! “On the European version, that would have been fine,” quipped Tom. As for Nancy and Tristan’s quickstep, I was honestly expecting more, given all of her “I am bringing that confidence and more this week” talk, but she did well. I still can’t tell if her terrified-little-girl on-screen persona is an act. Sure, she’s out of her element, but she’s behaving like she’s never been on TV before and refuses to respond to normal social cues. It’s a little weird, right? Anyway, I think Nancy and Tristan’s relatively painless conflict/resolution this week could endear them to voters.

Rehearsal footage hidden gem/side note: A forehead-kiss and a declaration of “Sup-ehhhrb!” upon lifting her tired little head would really give a girl a reason to get up in the morning, huh?

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: 21/30 Plagued by man-boobs, Rob admitted to having confidence issues, which was a little jarring to hear from someone who is not only a Kardashian but who wears cut-off jean shorts all the time. “If you wanted to, you could be great,” urged Cheryl, which is such good advice no matter what the situation. To test out his newfound greatness, Rob Kardashian promptly kicked a giant hole in the wall. That wall had it coming. How dare it just stand there and do its job. Rob proudly tucked his moobs into a white tank top — along with pink shoes and a sequined Hawaiian shirt — for their “Surfin’ Safari” jive and gave a lot of nice smiles during his diagonal footwork across the floor with Cheryl. He’s accepted that he’ll have to execute the requisite “Look! At! Me!” DWTS face, and he’s actually not bad at it. I loved the startling whiplash-drop at the end. Cheryl is fearless. The second-best move of this segment was the fist pump of sheer glee given by the athlete formerly known as Bruce Jenner after Carrie Ann announced that Rob Kardashian was officially a better dancer than Kim Kardashian. It’s already week 2, so that remark was a long time coming.

NEXT: But what if Jesus likes Fudgesicles? Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani: 21/30 “Sorry, Jesus. I have to curse,” Chynna apologized during jive practice. Silly Chynna. We all know Jesus’ top priorities for 2011 are (A) meta world peace (just not the proper noun); (B) Fudgesicles; (C) the jive. You’re in great shape. Chynna and Tony’s partnership is so strong, and it’s always so rewarding as a viewer when you can tell how well they get along during the dance as much as at any other time. Tony in particular seems to be lovin’ it this season, ripping off those seven-seconds-’til-heaven geek glasses with a saucy flair we haven’t seen in years. The judges didn’t think Chynna quite “attacked” her moves, but for a week 2 effort, I thought this was just about as good as it gets. She’s so skinny — maybe a bit more muscle will lend her some power? Loved her fringe-tucked-in-at-the-waist dress, by the way. She was like a sparkly onion, or a malleable birdcage. Yeah, definitely one of those two totally similar things.

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 19/30 I loved the shot of Maks internally chomping at the bit to get Hope out of that soccer stadium and into the dance studio as he waited up in his little skybox for her to be honored for her 100th game with the U.S. Soccer Team. She’d be free and ready to commit all her time to soccer practice by week 3, he teased her, ‘”cause that’s when we get eliminated.” Challenge extended! Time to strap those sparkly high-heeled cleats on. After their jive — double thumbs up to Hope’s butt! — Bruno stressed that Hope needed to learn the difference between a kick and a flick. Having “thighs that could crack a walnut” was just not enough for this activity. (Bruno’s standards shoot way up when the activity in question is ballroom dancing.) Overall, though, their jive was a win for me because Hope’s kiss on the top of Len’s head prompted the very first DANCMSTR gang sign hand gestures of season 13! Always a milestone.

David Arquette and Kym Johnson: 18/30 Kym provided “silly and complicated” David with some tough love during their jive practice. They tried to get through the tough times by wearing matching polka-dot rehearsal uniforms, but nothing could save the pair from a chaotic-looking, seemingly very difficult routine. I did have mad respect for David’s back somersault on a hardwood floor. Those can hurt! I just wish he didn’t “wanna blow people’s minds” so much with his dancing alone. That’s just probably not going to happen. But if he tries to stay calm and maybe wears less Pee-Wee’s Pot of Gold suits for his performances, anything could happen. Well, the staying calm part he should definitely try. I do want him to keep challenging Carson for most-crazily-dressed. David and Kym were well-supported this week by nearly every Arquette who was ever born. (Come on in, stragglers!) David and Courteney Cox’s daughter Coco, in particular, is becoming quite a hit in my living room. We should keep a running count of how many times she looks directly at the camera. So far: 0. What are the chances? She’s like my favorite child ever.

NEXT: The audience feels Chaz Bono’s pain

Carson Kressley and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya: 18/30 Speaking of children with their own priorities, Carson shared his tragicomic story of teachers telling his parents, “Your child lacks coordination.” It’s a setback, sure, but Carson’s got nothing but time and is very serious about this competition, along with shimmery purple headbands. You could see the dedication in his eyes, through sparkly green-colored glasses, as Carson splayed himself face-up across the judges table at the end of their quickstep. But the judges didn’t bite. “If I held my knife and fork like you held Anna, I’d starve to death,” harped the DANCMSTR. “The trouble is, the worst dancers on this show are the most fun to watch.” Oh girl, you know that is usually not the case, but whatever. It’s unfortunately true right now. On a brighter note, I seriously want to hang up Anna’s spotted yellow Necco Wafer dress in my office, as priceless wall art.

I’d write more here, but someone left a sequin on the floor.

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer: 17/30 “My biggest fear is the quickstep,” worried Chaz, and right away I loved how well-versed he was in DWTS that he would even have conviction about that. Lacey had to remove some of the flashier stuff from their choreography due to Chaz’ swelling joints, so what we saw onstage — during a not-at-all-appropriate rendition of the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme song — was a lot of mild trotting around and a few nice little jumps, but mostly PAIN PAIN AGGGGGGHH, THE PAIN. Watching people dance in pain is terrible! I don’t know how we do it. Let’s all give ourselves a hearty whack on the back with an ice pack for our heroic efforts. Len, who takes breaks that involve ice, too, put things in perspective: “I’ve moved faster through the car wash.”

What happens tonight, DANCMSTRs? Can the popular vote get Chaz through another week? Whose glasses were hotter: Val’s or Carson’s? Ridiculous, ridiculous question.

Nominate your Hidden Gems of the Week before 2 p.m. ET on PopWatch, and I’ll see you later!

Oh, also, new thing: Ask me anything about THE BALLROOM (or whatever else) in the video player below. To see my answers to previous questions, click on the text links below the picture.


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