Jive Talkin’ (Episode 2-3)

The judges showed up ready to fight on week three of Dancing with the Stars. Host Tom Bergeron speculated that perhaps the judges had “missed their catered meals” that evening. Maybe they were just sick of Master P’s stale performances.

Tonight’s episode featured the Jive and the Tango. The Jive was born out of rock n’ roll music, and the Tango was originally danced by stinky gauchos and hookers. Hey, I just get my info from the show. The dances weren’t assigned based on gender, although Lisa Rinna was the only female celeb to dance the Jive, and George Hamilton was the only male to Tango.

Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya: Fewer couples dancing meant more time for training footage. Jerry proved his desire to win by actually turning off the NFL playoffs in order to practice. He said that this week they were going to “go for the juggler.” Mimes and magicians, you’ll be next.

The couple didn’t perform up to their usual standards, turning in a sloppy Jive. Len said the slowness of the dance made Jerry look “geriatric.” But Jerry and Anna are beloved by the crowd, so one bad performance shouldn’t cost them.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 6, Bruno – 6. Judges’ Total = 19/30

Giselle Fernandez and Jonathan Roberts: Giselle admitted that she has a smaller fan base than some of her competitors, but she hoped that good performances might win her fans over time.

Unfortunately, she and Jonathan danced a flat, passionless Tango, complete with an illegal lift. Hopefully, ABC will clarify why lifts aren’t allowed in the competition, whether it’s an issue of safety or one of fairness (male celebs wouldn’t be able to perform the lifts as easily as the male pros, earning female celebs higher marks). The judges declared that Giselle’s sexy alter ego, Rosarita, had turned into Robocop.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 8, Bruno – 7. Judges’ Total = 22/30

Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke: Drew’s ultracompetitive nature is tempered by his relationship with Cheryl, who’s more like a sister to him than a coach. His real life sibling, Nick, was back in the audience again. When he wasn’t on hand last week, Drew and Cheryl slipped from first place to second. Coincidence?

Regardless, Drew and Cheryl danced the best Jive of the night, with all the fast footwork and precision that the dance demands. It has to help that Drew is short; long legs surely hampered Jerry, and we can only wonder if it would hurt Stacy in the Jive as well. The judges loved the dance, but Drew and Cheryl were cautioned for performing an illegal lift.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 27/30

George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska: It doesn’t even matter if George can dance. He’s the most entertaining part of the show. Again this week, as the show prepared to go to commercial, Stacy and Edyta hung on George and stared each other down, while a newly mustachioed George mugged for the camera. Instead of training, George went store to store on Rodeo Drive begging for votes. He did the same at an assisted living facility.

When it was finally time to Tango, it was Edyta who stole the show, lunging and high kicking all over the place. She’s one of the most exciting female pros to watch. While the judges loved the entertainment value of the performance, they wanted stronger holds from George.

While waiting backstage for the judges’ scores, George, whose grandfather hailed from Madrid, pleaded for votes in Spanish, in an effort to reach yet another demographic. Co-host Samantha Harris asked if anyone could translate, and Giselle said, “He’s saying, ‘Vote for Giselle.'”
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 7, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 22/30

Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel: Lisa and Louis hadn’t performed as well as they’d hoped to thus far, and the pressure finally got to Lisa. After a little crying, and a hug from Louis, the pair decided to just have fun. This applied to everything, including their outfits. Lisa dressed in a tiny, fringed, hot pink two-piece and puffed up her hair to maximum volume. Meanwhile, Louis borrowed an outfit from Han Solo.

As the only female celeb to dance the Jive, Lisa went wild, delivering an energetic performance that earned her the nickname “Turbo Lisa” from Bruno. She was obviously thrilled, and hubby Harry Hamlin looked like he had tears in his eyes.

Backstage, Lisa attributed her performance to her girls, and reached into her top. Fortunately for the censors, all she pulled out was a picture of her daughters that she’d taped inside her costume.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 9, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 25/30

Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani: The Tango appeared to give Stacy her first real challenge of the competition. Being taller than Tony meant she’d have to bend her knees dramatically during the whole dance. Stacy described the position as looking like she was going to the bathroom with a mean look on her face. When things didn’t go smoothly, Tony became testy in practice, which could wear on Stacy over the long term.

Despite the challenges posed by the dance, Stacy’s performance was very solid, and the judges only criticized her for not projecting enough emotion.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 27/30

Master P and Ashly DelGrosso: Finally, Master P realized that Ashly was the one person he needed to dance for. They played a little basketball to break up their training, and Ashly even donned a baseball cap with a rhinestoned letter “A” to complement P’s hat.

Despite a more enthusiastic effort than in previous weeks (Tom yelled “Holy Crap!” when they finished), P didn’t perform the Jive well at all. It was sloppy, heavy-footed, and he looked lost most of the time. The judges didn’t hold back tonight. Carrie Ann said she expected more by week three, and Bruno said it wasn’t even a Jive. Jaws dropped when Len verbalized what many fans have been thinking: “It’s time that you and this show parted ways.”
Scores: Carrie Ann – 6, Len – 4, Bruno – 4. Judges’ Total = 14/30

Tia Carrere and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: After coming close to elimination during week one, Tia’s still feeling the pressure. It didn’t help that one of her most famous movie moments was dancing the Tango with Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies. Would she be able to relearn in three days what had taken her months to learn for the movie? She gained a lot of confidence from having already lost 20 pounds during training for DWTS. Plus, she had Max to offer supportive shushes whenever she complained during practice.

The result of their effort was my favorite dance of the season, a playful performance that looked how I always imagined a Tango should. From beginning to end, it showcased Max’s skills in choreographing another dance that was perfect for his partner. The judges appreciated it, too, praising both Max and Tia. Carrie Ann even got goosebumps while watching them dance. This strong performance may be just what Tia needed to assert herself as a contender.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 8, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 26/30

1 – Drew and Cheryl, Stacy and Tony (tie)
3 – Tia and Max
4 – Lisa and Louis
5 – Giselle and Jonathan, George and Edyta (tie)
7 – Jerry and Anna
8 – Master P and Ashly

Eliminations will start during the first half of tomorrow night’s results show. Most likely, we’ll learn who the first four safe couples are and save the rest until the end of the show. If this isn’t Master P’s final night, Giselle and George seem the most likely celebs to be sent packing.

Also tomorrow, the professional couples pair up to perform a Paso Doble dance-off, and we will see a breakdancing demo. But if it’s not performed on pieces of cardboard covered in baby powder, it’s not real breakdancing.

My vote tonight: Lisa and Louis. This competition means so much to her. She deserves a vote for putting her heart into it.