Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Dancing With The Stars, Week Four

We're down to eight dancers this week. I still can't believe they got rid of Harry Hamlin, but viewers just had to see Jerry Springer do the waltz. This had better be some kind of super-waltz. Did the dancers follow the rules last night? Read on to find out.

Monique Coleman: Charged with the waltz, Monique and Louis work hard to incorporate some signature chest-shaking into their routine. No dice, I'm afraid. Monique traded in her Tina-Turner-nightmare outfit for a feminine, flowing dress that seems well-suited to this dance. The waltz itself is lovely, graceful, and (mercifully) jiggle-free. The couple perform a cool floor-sliding move that is pretty impressive, and Monique ends the dance in tears. Again, I think Monique has this competition confused with some sort of pageant. She should just concentrate on having fun and dancing well. The judges' remarks are average, except Bruno calls Monique "The Little Mermaid" for some reason known only to him. The scores are lower than expected, but that may be the price of going first. Score: 24

Emmitt Smith: In his intro, Emmitt refreshingly admits that "it truly sucked" getting such a low score last week. Finally, some honesty! Watch the Olympics if you want to see a good sport--show me some tantrums, please. Emmitt and Cheryl are trying out the Paso Doble, which sends Emmitt stumbling to the floor during practice. I know that football players are used to falling in public, but wow. Embarrassing! The pair visit an unfortunate State Fair bull to get the tone of their matador-inspired dance. Their live performance is fine, but Emmitt's attitude sells it. I like Emmitt better when he's having fun, but he does angry pretty convincingly, too. Backstage, Samantha Harris calls him "Red Bull"--because he's wearing a red shirt, get it? Shut up, Samantha. Score: 24

Willa Ford: We learn that Willa's grandmother is in the audience, so Willa has chosen to wear clothes that actually leave something to the imagination. The result is stunning. Willa has dramatic hair and an elegant dress that is appropriate to her waltz. Classic beauty works for her, and I wish her grandmother would hang around for a while. Willa and Maksim's dance is romantic and classy; I feel like I'm watching an old movie. The camera shows Shannon Elizabeth (I think?) cheering Willa on in the audience. Stick with nana, Willa; family totally earns you sympathy votes. Ask Jerry. The judges are "swept away," and Len states that Willa was a "gnat's scrotum" away from getting kicked off last week, but is in no danger now. Dude, don't say such disgusting things in front of that gorgeous dress. I found it interesting that the closed captioning folks didn't catch that gem of a phrase. Score: 28

Sara Evans: Sara and Tony attempt the Paso Doble, and the anger that the dance requires is difficult for Sara to channel. Southern women don't understand facial expressions of anger, you see; when provoked, they just display more teeth. Who's idea was it to use music from Phantom of the Opera? They should be fired along with the singers, because the music was completely distracting. A better song selection would have masked the blah-ness of the dance, instead of emphasizing it. The judges once again test Sara's threshold for criticism, and the duo receives a 20.

Jerry Springer: The big payoff is finally here, and it doesn't disappoint. The daddy-daughter subplot is played up to the highest possible degree. Lil' Springer Bride is in the audience, and music in the style of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition plays throughout the intro segment. Even Kym, Jerry's partner, gets choked up during rehearsals. Anyone who didn't have Kleenex on hand during this dance was in serious trouble, because it was sweet. Playing up the father-daughter angle, Kym chose to wear a girlish, yellow party dress. It works. Jerry wisely avoids doing any schtick tonight, bringing his A-game to the technical aspects of his waltz. The "thing de resistance" (Homer Simpson) involves Jerry walking over to his daughter and hugging her after the dance. Tom acknowledges that nobody cares what the judges think, but they give their glowing feedback anyway. Score: a sentimental 22

Vivica A. Fox: After a bunch of nonsense about celebrity showgirls and breast cancer awareness, Vivica tells us that her Paso Doble will be based on Catherine Zeta-Jones' gripping performance in the Zorro movies. God help us. In another questionable song selection, the couple dances to Bon Jovi's "It's My Life." (Shudder). Vivica's costume is clunky, and she's wearing a full skirt that looks big enough to fit Michael Douglas' near-corpse in its folds. The judges inform Vivica that the dance was good, but not great, which is completely fair. Later, Samantha Harris tells Vivica that "Bon Jovi would be proud," and leaves to recharge her fembot batteries. I'm going to include that statement in my next greeting card, and see what kind of reponse I get. Seriously, what does that mean? Score: 24

Joey Lawrence: Joey, whose batteries are always fully charged, inexplicably chooses to do the waltz. His biggest challenge is obviously the lack of rapid-fire movement involved in this type of dance. Joey's intro segment involves a visit with the family. Only one of the forgotten Lawrence brothers showed up, unfortunately. I was hoping for a Brotherly Love reunion! Joey and Edyta's waltz is beautiful, if a bit fast. They do an incredible dip move that completely wows the judges and the audience, although Joey spent most of the dance with a weird smile on his face. Creepy. The judges find Joey's waltz to be elegant, and reward his performance with a 27. Joey's head veins are thrilled.

Mario Lopez: Mario, in preparation for his Paso Doble, plays the family visit card as well, and he totally Mexes it up. A typical party at the Lopez house is portrayed as a swinging evening of mariachi music, loud displays of emotion, and fattening food. It's like they made a film of my childhood and left out the tequila. Mario and Karina's dance is excellent, and entirely within the rules this time. To their credit, they chose an appropriate song that helped to set the intense tone for their performance. Eva Longoria is in the audience cheering Mario on, and I sincerely hope she didn't leave Tony Parker for him. The dance was fiery and dramatic, just as it should have been. Final score: 29

Will there be another shocking elimination tonight? Wait and see.