Touting "their most watched season premiere ever," Tom Bergeron & Samantha Harris usher in the second week of the "Dancing With The Stars "second season, and my second attempt at recapping it for you.
Immediately, drama is suspected as Steve-O is not present on the stairs, with partner Lacey Schwimmer shrugging her soldiers and walking down solo. We also get my beloved Denise Richards, looking slightly less whorish this week with her middrift bearing country girl get up (and about a pound of blue eye shadow).
We quickly learn of the mystery of Steve-O: He's been injured. They'll tell us more about that later, of course.
On to Monday (March 16) night's actual dancing with the "stars" after the break...
Holly Madison & Dmitry Chaplin
Holly's going for "most improved" with the quick step. She also feels her and Dmitry don't quite know each other well enough (as, we are reminded once again, Holly replaced Jewel late in the game). So they play 20 questions. Interesting facts about Holly? Her motto: Every day's a "Holly-day." Get it? Dmitry doesn't.
Holly looks like a vegas showgirl in her purple gown as she takes the dance floor. Their quick step seems pretty sloppy as Holly struggles to keep up with her partner. The judges generally agree, with Len questioning Holly's posture and Carrie Ann thinking she's "dragged along the floor."
Score: 18 (+ last week's score, which counts toward a double score this week as there was no results show = 36).
David Alan Grier & Kym Johnson
Tom reminds us that the judges criticized "David's face" last week (calling it overly animated), and as they hit the dance floor, David keeps a blank stare for the first few moves. But then he falls back into old habits. But at least he seems to be limited his facial gestures to a few expressions. The judges concur, instead criticizing that there was "far too much Kim," and "not enough David" and generally lacked rhythm. "Last week they didn't like you're face, this week they didn't like your dancing," as Samantha Harris summarizes.
Score: 17 (+ last week's 19 = 36).
Denise Richards & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Her "sex kitten act failed to purr," Tom summarizes Denise's "DWTS" debut. She's giving it another go, though in the pre-video seems to be flirting with Maksim more than doing any actual dance practicing. "Stop wrestling with me," Maksim says at one point. At least she's not crying.
They hit the floor with the two-step, and Denise does a lot of lifting her legs to expose them through her sheer, slitted skirt. But she does look like she's having fun, and her feet seem to be moving at a comparable pace to Maksim. All the judges rather overwhelmingly find her to be much improved, and I agree. Carrie Ann goes a bit too far, announcing she founds "her elegance." I question whether such a thing exists.
Score: 21 (+ last week's 18 = 39)
Belinda Carlise & Jonathan Roberts
Jonathan saying he deliberately tried to put GoGo moves in Belinda's act to maker her feel more comfortable. She's certainly comfortable when she hits the dance floor, but that doesn't mean I am. Shaking her breasts at any possible occasion, Belinda aggressively attempts a cougary sexpot act, ending with a back flip that exposes her panties as she places her legs into Jonathan's arms. Good dancing? I don't know. I was blinded by the rest.
The judges fill me in. The key to the salsa - as Len lets me know - is hip action. And that was lacking.
Score: 18 (+ last week's 17 = 35)
Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower
Injured would-be contestant Jewel's hick husband Ty -- who had the second lowest score last week -- is up. He says its "time for redemption," and he makes good on it. He is considerably more smooth and energetic, and is smiling from ear to ear, throughout the performance. The audience (including Jewel!) is all over it. Cue Carrie Ann announcing she's "so, so proud of him" and Len using a caterpillar/butterfly metaphor.
Score: 20 (+ last week's 14 = 34; the lowest score so far)
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas
One of last week's favorites is going with the salsa this week, and she's having some issues being so fluid with her hips ("It's so embarrassing!"). It's evident she's made some progress when it comes to the performance, as Shawn (wearing a hideous floral dress) shakes it with an enthusiasm that can't quite match her shirtless ball of energy partner, but I suspect will please the judges.
This generally ends up the truth (though Bruno wants her -- 17 years old -- to be more "flirtatous"), with Carrie Ann cheering on her hips ability to go, and I quote, "bam-bam."
Score: 24 (+ last week's 23 = 47; by far the highest score so far)
Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff
Having the lowest score last week, we learn Apple Co-Founder Wozniak has also been informed by his doctor that there is quite a bit of risk if he continues dancing. His foot is injured, and he has to wear a foot brace in between dance moves.
Injured foot and all, Steve brings it as best he can in a Buddy Holly getup, tapping his feet and trying to keep up with Karina. You can't help but root for the man as he smiles through the missteps. The judges all agree he's got great energy, but the dance quality just isn't there.
Score: 17 (+ last week's 13 = 30)
Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough
It's the real-life couple, and again the pre-video plays on that as if I care. I'm still confused as to which one is the star. Chuck, the alleged "country sensation," announces that "the salsa goes against every masuculine bone" in his body, but he's gonna try it anyway. You're so brave, Chuck...
On the dance floor, Chuck affirms his masculinity by grinding up against his wife and constantly grabbing her ass. Meanwhile, she does all the work. The judges see right through it, all agreeing it was showy and "not quite the salsa." Either way, Julianne "thinks [he] did great, babe."
Score: 20 (+ last week's 20 = 40)
Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Silwinska
Lawrence Taylor is scared. "He can either give up, or take a challenge," Edyta says of his apprehension, and he chooses the latter. On the dance floor, this is clear. Lawrence works hard to keep up the pace, looking intensely confident and passionate as twirls around his partner. The judges are all over it, unanimously calling it a massive improvement through various football metaphors.
Score: 20 (+ last week's 16 = 36)
Steve-O & Lacey Schwimmer
Well, he's not out. He hopes to back next week. The video shows him "doing the salsa Steve-O style." He immediately starts complaining about his back as he takes on elaborate dance moves, but continues to say "they're gonna make television history" Monday night. But it seems just two hours ago, he totally put out his back.
But, according to "DWTS" rules, the judges will base their scores on the dress rehearsal, which we'll also get to see: His injury isn't necessarily apparent here, but its obviously not the polished performance you'd expect from a typical performance. It hurts him with the judges, with all of them saying Steve's over-the-top moves (which actually led to the injury), really harmed the overall performance.
Score: 14 (+ last week's 17 = 31)
Lil' Kim & Derek Hough
Makeup-free and devoted to taking on the quick step, Lil' Kim refrains from referencing her prison sentence in this week's pre-video. The resulting performance -- to "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" -- is he opposite of her practice aesthetics: very glam, with Kim channeling Marilyn Monroe with an inspired, vivacious number.
Wide-eyed and - honestly - pretty darn adorable awaiting the judge's responses, Lil' Kim finds Bruno and Carrie Ann adamantly disagreeing with Len's criticism that the performance wasn't refined
Though overall, they seem to be pretty impressed.
Score: 23 (+ last week's 21 = 44)
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
ABC's smart attempt at bringing its "Bachelor" fans to its other reality sensation (which seems to have worked, judging from the ratings), very last minute replacement (and "Bachelor" dumpee) Melissa Rycroft announces her goal is "to show America she deserves to be here." Consider that proved. Their salsa is a huge crowd pleaser, as a barely dressed Melissa puts herself admirably in sync with her partner in a dynamic, tireless number.
The judges totally flip out. "Finally a real salsa," Carrie Ann screams, with Len and Bruno offering similar sound bites. I'm guessing this will be the highest score of the night.
Score: 26! (+ last week's 23 = 49; the leader thus far).
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke
The leaders from last week have a bit of a problem. "Sex and the City" sexpot Gilles has separated his shoulder. No one cares though, because Gilles is shirtless (you can hear the audience screaming throughout).
But his injury is nowhere to be seen on the dance floor, and his sex appeal is again severe in he and Cheryl's two step. You truly can't quite tell who's the dancer and who's the star as they fly through their number, culminating with Gilles ripping off his shirt to expose a Superman leotard.
The judges have nothing bad to say, though Carrie Ann doesn't quite comment on the dancing, instead going on about how hot Gilles is.
Score: 27!! (+24 = 51)
Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke are obviously the favorites at this point, with the two Steves and their partners the judge's choices for the bottom two. Tomorrow night we find out if the audience votes change that, and thus who will face a "dance off" (or a Steve-off?) to decide who has to go.
What'd you think? Who stood out, for better or for worse?
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