Carla here, recapping Dancing with the Stars for Sarah. It's Week 2 of the competition, but no one has been eliminated yet (there will be a dance-off on this week's recap show; votes and scores from last week carry over).
We are first told that Steve-O has been injured, which many people already knew. Lacey Schwimmer comes out by herself (in costume) during the introductions, and we'll be learning more later. I'm intrigued! (I haven't kept up with the gossip.)
First up are second-to-last-minute replacement Holly Madison and partner Dmitry Chaplin. The judges were optimistic after seeing her cha cha last week, but I didn't think it was that great. This week's quickstep is much improved. Holly doesn't look as ... wobbly. Judge Len Goodman says the quickstep is a really difficult dance. He says her posture was lacking, but her feet looked pretty good. Bruno Tonlioni says it looked like she was just trying to catch up. He tells her to work on her core. Carrie Ann Inaba says she was like a doll that he was dragging along the floor. Score: 18 (added to their 18 points from last week, their total is 36 out of 60 possible points).
Next up are David Alan Grier and partner Kym Johnson with the salsa. It's an enjoyable performance, but I think that's due to Kym. She is on fire, as always. David's form is sloppy. Bruno says his character was right, his timing was off and his hip action was poor. Carrie Ann says a harder dance isn't always better. She wishes they were driven by the musicality. Len complements the turns, but says there was far too much of Kym and not enough of David. "It wasn't a good dance," he says. David says he has two words for the judges: hope and change. He hopes he dances better, and that the judges change their minds. Hee! Score: 17 Total: 36
Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy are up next with a quickstep to "We Go Together" from Grease. I cannot stand Denise Richards. That said, she does a nice job. Her form is more elegant, and she looks more confident. Carrie Ann says that she's much improved over last week. She says her hold was, for the most part, great. Len gives them a "well done" and mentions a little stumble, but is happy. Bruno says there is a good dancer inside Denise just waiting to come out. Score: 21 Total: 39
Belinda "Our Lips are Sealed" Carlisle and Jonathan Roberts dance a salsa. I think it's awful. There's no chemistry between them, and they spend more time apart than together. I didn't see her dance last week (DVR glitch), so maybe she has improved. The judges are certainly nicer than I would have been. Len says they were exuberant and fun, but that her hip action was lacking. Bruno starts dancing his in chair to emphasize timing and rhythm. "You've got to go for it!" he repeats, and Len leans away and host Tom Bergeron takes the Number 1 to Belinda for her to "score" him. Carrie says she found it a bit lacking in grace. Score: 18 Total: 35
Ty Murray (Jewel's husband) and Chelsie Hightower quickstep to Tom Cochrane's "Life is a Highway." I like it! I think he is so cute when he dances. And his posture is stellar. Carrie Ann says she is so proud of him. It was smooth, she says. "You were in charge!" Bruno says. Len says, "Last week a caterpillar; this week a butterfly." He says Ty's rodeo work has helped him strengthen his core, which, in turn, strengthens his dance. Score: 20 Total: 34
Gymnast Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas are doing a salsa. She's a bit stiff but, still, a fabulous dancer. I love the splits she does at the end. Bruno says she's one of the cutest little things he's ever seen. He calls it precise and sharp, but he wants her to be "naughty." Len says it was clean and precise, but he wants her "throw caution to the wind" a bit more. Carrie Ann says she has nothing more to say ... then goes on to say an awful lot. Shawn's my favorite so far this season. Score: 24 Total: 47
Apple's Steve Wozniak (for more about his stint on DWTS, visit The Sun's Apple a Day blog) and Karina Smirnoff dance the quickstep. His foot is injured, which can't make something like the quickstep easy. There's little positive to say about Steve's technique. Len gives Steve a bonus point for choosing a Buddy Holly track (and he has taped glasses!). He likes watching him, but says the dance quality isn't there. Carrie Ann enjoys the performance, too, but tells him to work on his fluidity and endurance. Bruno says Steve is like WALL-E: a bit rusty, but resilient and charming. Score: 17 Total: 30
Julianne Hough and real-life boyfriend Chuck Wicks try to do the salsa "Derek" Hough style, according to Chuck. I feel as if Julianne, in her fringe, Muppet-pelt outfit, is stealing the show and just dancing circles (literally) around Chuck. (FYI: Totally stole the "Muppet pelt" from Sarah on Twitter -- @realityck.) He hardly moves his feet! Bruno says it was a wasted opportunity. "She did all the work!" he says. "We want more dancing," he adds. Len says he's young and energetic, and he didn't perform. Carrie Ann agrees -- he has potential, but it wasn't a true salsa. The judges and I finally agree completely. And ... I can't stop staring at her ugly fringe pants. Score: 20 (Wow. The comments don't reflect the score. I guess the judges and I don't agree!) Total: 40
Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska do the quickstep. I think it's a bit bland but, technically, it's way better than last week's performance. They use the stairs nicely, running up them toward the band without missing a beat (sometimes, the use of the stairs, audience, etc. breaks up the flow of the routine). Carrie Ann sings, "That's the way, uh-uh, uh-uh, I like it!" Much improved, she says. Bruno says they covered the floor beautifully. Len says it was difficult choreography and that it was well done. Score: 20 Total: 36
(Side note: Ty and Chelsie; Lawrence and Edyta; and Julianne and Chuck ALL get the SAME score? Really?)
Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer are in a tough spot. (Here's the story: He injured his back while doing a front flip at the end of dress rehearsal and landing on his mic pack. He can't take the floor tonight, so we'll be seeing that exact routine -- apparently, that's what the rules stipulate). So, the rehearsal "salsa" is very Steve-O and Lacey. If you watched DWTS last season, you'll know exactly what that means. If you didn't, it means that Lacey choreographed pretty much whatever she wanted and ignored, well, the salsa. Len says he feels bad because the adrenaline pumping during a live performance would have helped. He said he "didn't get it," and he didn't enjoy it. Bruno says Steve-O is appealing, but that this was a "series of unfortunate events." Carrie Ann says it wasn't in the right vein for the the dance, and that she saw promise in Steve-O last week. Score: 14 Total: 31
Lil' Kim, who doesn't even look like Lil' Kim anymore, and Derek Hough do the quickstep. I also missed Kim's routine last week, so I'm excited to see this one. I never thought I'd see her look so classy. It's a fun, well-choreographed dance. Bruno says she "blings" so well; he calls the dance "vivacious." Carrie Ann tells her that she loves how "every ounce of your body is doing the exactly the same thing." Both say she has to work on her hold. The rapper mentions that she didn't want her, um, top revealing anything. Len says there was a lot of quantity, but not a lot of quality (boos ensue). Len says there was virtually no body contact. Score: 23 Total: 44
Last-minute replacement Melissa "way better than Jason Mesnick" Rycroft and Tony Dolovani do the salsa. She smiles so much; she's clearly just so excited to be out there. It's a real salsa, with lots of hip action, so I think the judges are going to love it. (Costume-wise, I can't stand Tony's tank top!) Carrie Ann says, "Finally! A real salsa!" She says it was "slamming." Len says he was "gyrating on the seat." He says it the salsa of the night. Bruno says it was a juicy salsa. He says there was flavor and content. Score: 26 (the first two 9s of the season). Total: 49
Last on the floor are Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke. Their quickstep is danced to "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down, and naturally, we have a green dress and lots of green lighting. I can't complain. They look really good. Precise dancing. Good choreography. I like when a couple uses a nontraditional song without deviating from the dance style. Len says, "This is great." Bruno says there were sparks. Carrie Ann says they are becoming the fan favorite (really?). Score: 27 Total: 51!!!
Who do you think will go home? My money is on Belinda or Steve. Here's hoping for better costumes and a bit more personality from our stars next Monday.