Denise Richards is gone! Hooray!
But Tuesday brings a ... double elimination? Do the producers want to get rid of Steve Wozniak that badly? Now there will be two new dances, the Argentine tango and the lindy hop. The Argentine tango is about passion; lindy hop is similar to the jitterbug -- it's about fun and kicks, according to judge Len Goodman.
Up first are David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson with a lindy hop. Kym is wearing sneakers; that must feel nice compared to those heels the women are usually in! The dance is a good time. Not my fave, but it was pretty well done. Len says it was energetic and fun, but they occasionally lost a bit of the rhythm. It wasn't their best and wasn't their worst. Judge Bruno Tonioli liked seeing him "go for it," but that David lost a bit of the timing and footwork. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba says he's "not the youngest cookie in the bunch," so, like Len, compliments his energy. Scores: 8/7/7 = 22 David sings: "I'm so happyyyyy, Samantha!"
Lil Kim and Derek Hough try an Argentine tango. Derek isn't too familiar with the dance, so he says he has to learn it along with Kim. I think the work pays off. It is so good. The choreography is great. Here's something I never thought would come out of my mouth: Lil Kim looks classy! Bruno says, "That was the tale of a fatal beauty!" Carrie Ann says Lil Kim is the real deal. She says the drama in her body was wonderful, and that her lines were gorgeous. Len was knocked out with the choreography but wasn't knocked out with the sensuality. Bruno, Carrie and I clearly disagree. Scores: 9/8/10 = 27 (It's the first 10 of the season!)
Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough are doing the lindy hop. He doesn't get over his fear of flipping over his girlfriend, so instead he leapfrogs over her in a waiter/waitress-themed dance. It's just OK for me; I still think Chuck could just, well, DO MORE. Carrie Ann liked it. However, she wants to see him (hey, I called it!) "go" for it a little more. Len says it was "competent," but that competent will only get Chuck so far. Bruno asks, "Can I have it crispier?" Bruno says it's a bit loose around the edges. Scores: 8/7/7 = 22
Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska tango. I don't see much passion; his feet look heavy. Len says it was a difficult dance for someone not from the entertainment world but, hey, he remembered the dance. (Wow, what a compliment, Len!) Bruno totally disagrees. He thought he was menacing and intense, and that the football player portrayed danger. Len says, "He was just walking around." "You need to stalk like a panther!" Len adds. Carrie Ann says they executed the choreography well, but chemistry was lacking. She thinks they did a "good job." Scores: 7/5/7 = 19
Chelsie Hightower and Ty Murray plan to take chances with their lifts. He needs to work on his steps a tad bit, but the couple are so cute. He's gotten way better since his Latin dance in Week 1. Bruno says Ty was skipping and kicking with the "vitality of a young stallion." He says he's improving leaps and bounds (but could make some improvements). Carrie Ann says Chelsie is an incredible teacher. Len says their lindy hop was beyond his expectations. He also said "hot dog" and "darn my britches." Do they come up awkward phrases before the show? Scores: 9/8/8 = 25
Steve "dance for the fans" Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff try the tango. (P.S. I'm typing this on my new aluminum MacBook. Last week, the recap was done on my old iBook. Thanks Steve!) There are two props: a chair and a rose. I think a lot of time is wasted on that chair. Is Steve passionate? No. Awkward? Yes. Menacing? No. Carrie Ann says she loves what he represents, but that the dance felt long. There wasn't much going on. Len says well done for attempting a proper tango, and there was an improvement from last week (but anything over last week would be an improvement). Bruno says the only thing Steve picked up from the slums of Buenos Aires is the "stench." Scores: 4/4/4 = 12 ("We improved 20 percent!" Steve says.)
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani are lindy hopping. Their lifts are strong and fun; she's just flying. The choreography is top notch, too. It's my favorite performance from them so far. Len says they have the potential to go all the way. He says the last lift was a little sticky. Bruno says it was "eye-popping fun." He says they showed the full range of lindy hop steps. Carrie Ann has the two run over and give her high-fives. "Now, I'm impressed!" she says. Scores: 10/9/10 = 29 (The highest score of the competition so far.)
Holly Madison and Dmitry Chaplin don't want to follow that, I'm sure. During rehearsal, she hurts her back and goes to the doctor. She hasn't damaged anything; she's just going to be in pain. Their Argentine tango is lacking. She falls off the stool in the beginning. There is no passion, and her leg flicks are ... well, I'm sure Bruno will come up with a better adjective than me. He says it started bad, and it kept getting worse. He says her partner did all the work. She needs to be more assertive. Carrie Ann gives her credit for hanging in there, but that she needs more strength. Len thought the routine was fantastic, but she was thinking about it too much. Len sort of sees an improvement. They even get a well done from him. Scores: 5/6/5 = 16
Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer try the lindy hop. He dresses as a clown during practice in an effort to loosen up. During the competition, their dance is nowhere near the quality of Melissa and Tony's, but he never gives up. However, he just sort of follows Lacey's lead. Carrie Ann says Steve's had a rough road. He's a little off on his musicality, she says. He's still being led by Lacey. Len says Carrie Ann is right. Bruno says, "This was more hopping mad than lindy hop." He thinks that Steve is overthinking. Scores: 5/5/5 = 15
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke are up next with the Argentine tango. According to my mom, their No. 1 fan is ... my dad. Once again, Gilles puts in a stellar dance. These two finally show off that believable passion that the judges have been looking for all night. I had a feeling this dance would suit Gilles. It's hard and soft, and fast and slow. Len says it was another fantastic performance. He says they showed every element in the dance. Bruno calls him the quintessential Latin lover. Carrie Ann says she can't feel her face. "Am I still here?" she asks. She says she couldn't tell which dancer was the professional and which was the celebrity. Scores: 10/10/10 = 30 (!!!)
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas do the lindy hop in cute little gym outfits. I had a feeling they'd be putting some flips in this routine, but it's almost all tricks. But it's really fun and young, and it's enjoyable to watch. Bruno says it was a spectacular feast of tricks and flips, but that it needed more dancing. Carrie Ann says she's really polished, but that she was a bit heavy on the footwork. She needed to be light on her feet. Len wanted more dancing, too. Score: 8/8/9 = 25
This week, I think Holly and Steve-O are in danger. I'll throw Mr. Wozniak in the mix, too, but we saw what his fans accomplished last week. Sarah will recap the results.