Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dancing With The Stars, Week Three

The hosts are pushing a dramatic theme for this week's show, stating that many of the stars have been "pushed to the edge" this week. I think that The Edge from U2 should start copyrighting phrases that contain his name. He could be even richer than he is now! Anyway, Shanna Moakler is, thankfully, gone. The show has also been trimmed down to a more reasonable 90 minutes. Here's the recap for this week.

Emmitt Smith: This performance produced the first of many judicial bitch-slaps of the night. The practice clip shows a travel-weary Emmitt flying to Virginia to perform in the Miss Virginia pageant, which his wife is hosting. All I could find out about his wife is that she used to be married to Martin Lawrence. Thank God she traded up. Emmitt and Cheryl attempt to dance the Tango, and the results are less than astounding. The couple is good, but not great, and their mediocrity is met with harsh words from the judges. Apparently they broke some stringent no-lifts rule that is normally punishable by death in the ballroom dancing world. The judges give Emmitt the lowest score of the episode, a brutal 19. I agree with the criticism, but there's no way he deserved a lower score than Jerry Springer. Boo.

Monique Coleman: Monique courts the audience by playing the mother card. Incidentally, her mom looks exactly like Aretha Franklin before her second breakfast. Louis and Monique try the Jive out for size, and they take some names: a big catch, fast footwork, and the always popular chest-shaking. For some reason Monique chose an outfit from Big Bird's fall collection, which I found a bit distracting. The judges ignore this and focus on the actual dancing instead. The pair receives a 27, one of the highest scores of the night. Then Monique ruins it all by saying that the show is one of the best things that ever happened to her. Lame.

Harry Hamlin: To prepare for their Tango, Harry and Ashly go to an Argentinian restaurant run by the sweatiest people north of the equator. Harry goes all method actor on Ashly, telling her he's imagining that he's in "a dirty streetcorner in Buenos Aires," and his passion must reflect that setting. The intensity pays off, because the finished product is far less forced than Harry's earlier dances. He also does a funny fake-out with a rose, first pretending to give it to Carrie Ann, then giving it to Bruno. And they say he's too serious. This pisses them both off; only Len gives the couple a decent score. Final score: 22.

Willa Ford: The producers should have titled her practice sequence "Waiting Out The Inevitable," because that's all that Willa is doing. Mario Lopez could flip off the audience during his dance, and Willa would still be sent packing. Willa got a 2-for-1 deal at the store that sold her last week's costume, because tonight she's got some kind of Malt Shoppe Skank thing going on. Am I the only one who still believes that less is more? She and Maksim do a great Jive, and continue to be one of the best performers out there. It won't save them from the judges, though, because they have also violated the No Lifts Commandment of Jive. All this talk about Jive reminds me of the part in Airplane when Barbara Billingsley claims to be fluent in Jive. Memories. Score: 22

Jerry Springer: The train of buffoonery makes its weekly stop. This time, Jerry is imitating James Bond, right down to the dapper tuxedo. Kym does all of the real dancing, as usual, but Jerry throws in some decent footwork to earn his keep. Bruno scores off Jerry by saying that his Tango was more Pink Panther than James Bond. Ha. Backstage, Jerry is feeling guilty about being the Jerry Rice of this season, and begs the audience to "come to its senses." Whatever. The man is smart enough to know that self-deprecation kills. He'll be around for a while. Score: 21.

Sara Evans: Sara incorporates some of her country roots in order to be more at ease with her Jive. The result is half country line dance, half Jive, but I don't hate it. She's definitely a lot less tense, and appears to genuinely have fun on the dance floor. It wasn't all perfect, though. Her skirt either needed to be a few inches longer or on someone a few years younger. I know that dancing allows for more revealing attire, but I don't think a little extra fabric would have gotten in the way. I'm just saying. The judges are far kinder to Sara than in the past, which I'm glad about. Sara's progress combined with her fan votes will keep her in cowboy boots for quite a while. Score: 25.

Mario Lopez: Of all the judicial bitch-slaps, this was the most gratifying. Mario's rule-breaking Tango was met with a brutal scolding by the judges. The man panders to the audience way too much, and the judges want some traditional technique to assess. I'd like to think that Mario was also being scored based on the ridiculous headband that he wore during practices. Score: 22

Vivica A. Fox: At the suggestion of Carrie Ann, Vivica takes ballet lessons, but insists on wearing a tutu "in the right color." I can see the logic behind this. Vivica is very athletic (see Kill Bill, Vol.1 if you don't agree), but not graceful. The jailhouse tats, which are visible no matter what she wears, are also a little scary. Her Tango is very good, and I think the ballet helped. The judges are very generous to Vivica and Nick, and Vivica starts crying. I'm amazed at how seriously some of the contestants take this show. It's almost sweet. Score: 27

Joey Lawrence: Yet another controversial dance! Joey's open-shirt look proves that he can't grow hair on his chest either (or he has a very rich waxer). The Elvis-inspired Jive was a crowd-pleaser, but included a lift and a handstand. Both are apparently not allowed, and Joey faces the wrath of the judges for the first time. I thought the judges were a little harsh this time around. Come on, it's Joey Lawrence--cut him some slack. The guy seems genuinely sorry, and looks like my dog after I've caught him trying to get into the garbage can (again). Score: an unfair 22.

Willa Ford must go home tonight for my faith in humanity to be restored. If Emmitt leaves, I will wash my hands of this show. For real.