In the first group dance of the season, Tom lets us know we are in store for "the most INTENSE night of dancing to date." He also reminds us of the ratings-stunt-of-the-week: the "stars" have designed the professional designers outfits. Though I question how capable a football star or "cowboy king" are at designing a full-on dress in a matter of seven days, here they come... And on first glance, everyone seems pretty covered up, particularly Edyta, for which Lawrence did the NFL proud by "designing" a full-length coat with fur on the collar and cuffs. It's a Dr. Zhivago nightmare.

 

Full recap of Monday (April 20) night's "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani

Taking on the Argentine tango, Melissa apparently needs her network-sister Teri Hatcher to teach her a trick or two. The two head to the set of Desperate Housewives and sit in Teri's "house" and talk about being a maneater. It's short, lame and unnecessary (and, seriously, where is Nicolette Sheridan when you need her?) that doubtfully actually helps Melissa. But she pulls off a intensely sexy actual performance anyway, showing off that Dallas Cowboy cheerleader prowess with some very impressive splits. The judges go nuts (save for Len's typical criticism-from-nowhere), and Melissa sets quite the bar for the evening.

Score: 29 (up 2 from last week).

 

Lawrence Taylor & Edyta Silwinska

Poor Lawrence has to learn two dances and host a golf event this week, and he's showing us his whiny side (and his surprisingly decent comic side, giving us a respectable Bruno impression). Anyway, once again Lawrence's big problem this week is his lack of grace, and Edyta tries to bring him into form. It makes for little improvement, as Lawrence clumsily - but earnestly - follows Edyta around (and Edyta takes off that fur coat to reveal a rather beautiful flowing blue dress). The judges apppreciate it, but as per usual wish it was a bit more open (and Carrie Ann gives him brownie points for the dress).

Score: 21 (a one point drop)

 

Lil' Kim & Derek Hough

After leading the judges' scores last week for the first time, Kim tries to tone down her sexiness this week around, wearing a very girlish, pink flowing dress that covers more of her body than perhaps any outfit I've ever seen her wear in public. Her & Derek's rumba seriously makes up for this toned down-ness, bringing some serious sexual energy complete with grinding and a big leg lift that gives some serious Lil' crotch. Its definitely weaker than last week, though... fittingly for this week a bit too much style/not enough substance. The judges agree (except Len, who's continuing to go against the grain whenever he can, saying he actually liked it better than last week).

Score: 26 (2 down from last week - and Kim is "pleasantly surprised" by the scores).

 

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough

Chuck really wants a 9. And I - despite finally finding him & real-life-partner Julianne mildly appealing last week - still don't really care. But I immediately change my tune when they hit the dance floor - despite Chuck's ridiculous pajamas-esque outfit. Chuck is more loose than I've ever seen him, and he looks like he's having a lot of fun. The choreography occasionally comes across a bit unstructured, but the crowd is all over this.. as are the judges (Bruno shouts out Chuck's butt, as expected).

Score: 27 (Chuck got 3 of those 9s, and is beyond thrilled. I almost care.)

 

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower

Mr. Jewel is bummed out he's been doing so poorly lately. He's definitely Lawrence's big competition to get voted off this week, and this is heightened by his issue with the waltz. He's awkward about getting romantic with Chelsie... leading a surprise (!) appearance by Jewel to help him be more romantic. Jewel goes on about how Ty's such a stand up man. Ty dedicates his waltz to her, which is kind of embarrasing considering it ends up kinda looking like a creepy father-daughter dance. Chelsie really seems like she's doing all the work, which is maybe the nature of the waltz (I'll admit I know little about it). The judges seem to actually quite like it (Carrie Ann said the dance "was made for him," and I wonder if she means because the guy doesn't really do anything in it).

Score: 24 (not looking good for Lawrence)

 

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas

Shawn has had a crazy week. She won some gymnast award in New York City, and then another one in Iowa, so she had to try and learn her dances while on the road (with Mark in tow) It seems to actually do her and Mark good, though. Its a great song choice ("Pretty Young Thing") and the two of them are totally in sync (Shawn also shows off some seriously built thighs). The judges flip out, with Bruno comparing Shawn to a "young Debbie Reynolds" (I'm very curious whether Shawn knows who this is). And while I don't quite think it was deserved, Bruno also hands them their first 10.

Score: 28

 

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke

Last week was the first time Gilles didn't at least tie for first, and he doesn't want it to happen again (which means he needs a 29). He helps his cause in rehearsal (at least from the home voters), taking lessons from a synchronized swimmer to help him be more graceful. This involves an old-timey one piece bathing suit and you get a really nice crotch outline. But he makes the odd choice of the Venice Waltz for the actual dance (slow dances aren't always a crowd pleaser). Its very smooth and romantic, but its not entirely the showstopper we're used to from him. The judges are generally impressed but it's clear he's not getting Melissa marks.

Score: 27

 

The group dance!

Oh god, the dance is a"Tribute to the 60's". This is going to be a nightmare. In rehearsals, Ty walks out dressed like a hippy but they tell him it's the wrong era (thank god). It's going to be like Hairspray 60s (mashed potato, monkey, twist, etc) They are going to be dancing without their partners for some parts. People are scared. They are going to have to come up with a signature move with their partners. Ty's signature move looks like he is going to be riding on Chelsea's back. It's seriously creepy.

Anyway, we learn the dance is not going to be scored by the judges but it's just to influence the voters at home. The stage is very mod, and its shot in black and white. All the women come out looking like extras from Austin Powers. The men come out in sweaters and ties. The screen turns to color but the costumes are all black and white. Ty looks super lost and Chuck has a horrible blonde wig, but there aren't any particular stand outs. The women as a whole certainly show up the men, and Shawn seems like the biggest crowd pleaser. The whole thing - in true "Dancing" style - comes across as incredibly cheesy, thogh Len attests that it was "just like when he would go clubbing in London in '64." I'm unaware of that comparison personally, but if its true, I'd rather never know.

So who do you think is going home?

 

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