I always liked Shannen Doherty's attitude and pluck, and she showed both in her comeback opening Monday dancing the jive with partner Mark Ballas.
She struggled last week, but brought a lot of energy to the opening -- even if it was a little ragged. I also liked the rehearsal video with Mark working through and past Doherty's pouty funk.
The duo opened with 20 points -- not bad. Nice outfits: Beverly Hills Bad Girl does "Guys 'n' Dolls."
Aiden Turner and Edyta up next with a fox-trot, and the news is not so good. They did better than last week, but that's not saying much. More rehearsal room angst. Boo-hoo.
My, my, but some of these stars do get weepy. And don't they handle stress well? I'm being sarcastic, but I think I am hooked on this screwy, postmodern mash-up of American pop and dreck culture.
UPDATING: I am writing after each couple, so please keep coming back. You definitely want to hear about Kate Gosselin driving Tony Davolani over the edge, don't you?
Poor Aiden can't concentrate when Edyta is mean to him. I don't think Aiden has a lot to concentrate with period. Only 19 points.
Evan Lysachek and Anna: Now that's a jive. Even Bruno called the gold medal winner "greased lightning." He was referencing "Grease," in case anyone didn't get that. But even Len, the lowest-rent Brit judge on reality TV, was nice.
Yes, 24 points. That's very good for them. Spare me the lame celebrity tidbits: "Evan likes cheesecake."
Niecy Nash and Louis light it up with Len calling her a "revelation," while Bruno describes the comedienne as being "light and frothy like a strawberry milkshake." Good for Niecy. Twenty-one points is OK, but not great.
Can I just say I hate Jake Pavelka with his phony Mr. Romance persona? Jake and Chelsie received some praise for their "energy," but I liked Evan's jive a lot more than Jake's. So did the judges -- only 20 points.
Boo-hoo, Mr. Romance, maybe you can give the judges a rose or a glass a champagne to woo them next time.
What a classy partner Ashly has been these past two weeks for 80-year-old Buzz Aldrin. I loved the moon-like stage setting and the "Fly Me to the Moon" music tonight for their fox-trot.
The former astronaut, who last week talked about going to hops at West Point, promised to give his performance the "Aldrin Oomph," but he and Ashly got only 12 points. Twelve points!
Still, all praise for Buzz and Ashly -- a little bit of class amid some trash.
Now, you want some real dancing? Nicole Scherzinger and Derek, the dance boy, blow the lid off the show with a 28 for their jive. Wow, wow and wow.
Bruno calls their performance: "a jive for the 21st Century," and I'm nodding like he just said something wise. I cheer when Bruno holds up his score of 10. I think I need to quit watching this show before I lose what's left of my mind. But I have to wait for Pam, Erin and Kate -- the blond triumvirate.
And here comes Erin all shimmery for her fox-trot. The judges praise Andrews "natural elegance" and call her a "lyrical dancer." But the ESPN sportscaster and her partner, Maks, get only 23 points.
Pamela Anderson doing Marilyn Monroe doing a fox-trot. Oh lord, they will be writing Ph.D. dissertations in pop culture about this one.
Carrie Ann praises Anderson for developing "characters" in each of her routines. Bruno is using words like "delicious" and "oozing" to communicate his over-the-top adoration of Anderson's performance. But only 21 points -- not much at all. Still, she will be back.
Chad Ochocino and Cheryl stink up the place. Len absolutely rips Ochocinco saying he's just glad the dance is over. Only 16 points. Mr. Ochocinco is definitely going backward.
The video of Kate driving Tony over the edge seems priceless. She's telling him how to teach. She's taking passive-aggressive to a new level. She's doing prima donna like none of the real prima donnas on the show. Can you say drama queen, boys and girls?
And does it not seem perfection when he says, "I quit," and she says, "I don't get it."
Kate doesn't get how she just drove the nicest dance partner on the show to madness?
"He can't quit," she says. And, of course, she is right.
So, poor Tony comes crawling back. And she forgives him and says, "A lot of people quit on me in life."
At this point, I'm thinking was this real or staged? Looking back, it seems almost too reality-TV perfect.
But in the end who cares? I say that, because the one thing for certain is that KATE GOSSELIN CANNOT DANCE A STEP.
Bruno uses the word "nightmare" to describe her performance -- and says she moves like a "Stepford wife." Len tells her not to go down "like a wimp."
But that's what she did -- wimped out on the dance.
Afterward, Kate says she learned that neither she nor Tony are "quitters." But, in fact, they went backward with only 15 points.
That's terrible, and let's just be honest about this: Kate Gosselin does not belong on this show. She is now officially embarrassing herself.
And didn't I suggest this possibility weeks ago this when she was talking crazy about winning the competition? Didn't I say she can get all the right rehearsal outfits and prance around like a real dancer in her leg warmers in her home studio -- and talk all the crazy talk she wants. But in the end, you can either dance or you can't dance. And at some point, she is going to have to go out on that floor and show what she can or cannot do.
But, hey, at least, ABC didn't trot out the kids. And that tells me maybe the network really will let her be righteously voted off the island.
So, I'll be right here Tuesday night hoping for the best -- but fearing the worst of eight little faces looking into the ABC cameras with sad eyes, begging us to give mommy just one more week. I can't wait.