My Butt Is Going Crazy (Episode 2-5)

Billed as the sexiest episode of Dancing with the Stars ever, the real heat came from emotional flare-ups tonights. Fights between judges, fights between pro dancers — Stacy must have felt like she was back at a WWE event.

The big question of the night was who would get the lowest score from the judges now that Master P and Ashly were gone. After narrowly avoiding elimination last week, Tia and Max were awarded the dubious honor, due to tonight’s too-tame Samba. But fan favorites Jerry and Anna only scored one point higher, as the judges more carefully scrutinized the routines.

Traditional ballroom took a backseat to Latin dances this week. Each couple performed a solo Samba, the dance most associated with Brazil and the celebration of Carnivale. After the individual performances, all of the couples performed the same choreographed Salsa routine. Salsa is particularly well suited to group perfomance, as the dance involves less travelling around the floor than other dances.

Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani: In order to help her better understand the dance, Tony took Stacy to a Samba club to observe real Samba dancers. As she watched the dancers, whose outfits were straight out of Frederick’s of Hollywood, Stacy had a revelation: she was going to have to do some serious butt-shaking this week. Back in the practice studio, Stacy gleefully observed, “My butt is going crazy. It tickles!”

As soon as Stacy and Tony took the stage in their day-glo orange outfits, the audience knew it was in for a treat. They danced to the Destiny’s Child song, “Bootylicious.” On top of having mastered hip shaking, Stacy nailed all of her moves, and she and Tony looked more in step with each other than any of the other couples.

Every other performance from them has been slow, which allowed for Stacy to pose, but not to really show if she could dance. She proved tonight that she’s not a fluke, as she and Tony gave the most exciting performance of the season. The judges agreed, and Len commended Stacy for making the dance look easy. Bruno even called Stacy a “weapon of mass seduction.” Carrie Ann added fuel to the heat from the performance, saying that Stacy was starting to look better than some of the professionals. As we would find out later, that wouldn’t be the only inflammatory remark of the evening.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 10, Bruno – 10. Judges’ Total = 30/30

George Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska: Edyta was concerned with George’s progress during practice. She wanted him to move gracefully like a panther, but he strutted more like a flamingo. After a trip to the zoo to study animal movements, George decided to aim for a cross between a condor and a moose.

Their efforts resulted in a slow but accurate Samba, with George dressed as Desi Arnaz and Edyta as Carmen Miranda (complete with the fruit hat). During a slower-than-normal version of Gloria Estefan’s “Conga,” George moved a lot better than he has in the past. During some solo moments, he made some bizarre arm movements that were supposed to look make him like an orchestra conductor, but instead just made him look like a crazy dancing grandpa. Carrie Ann gave him credit for the improved footwork, and Bruno and Len complimented the couple for the joy they brought to their perfomance.
Scores: Carrie Anne – 8, Len – 8, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 24/30

Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel: Dancing two routines in one week requires tremendous endurance, so Lisa and Louis added running on the beach to their workout regime. Lisa said that, because she’s 42 and Drew and Stacy are both in their twenties, she needs to work twice as hard as they do just to stay in shape to dance. Hubby Harry Hamlin said simply, “It’s insanity.”

On the dance floor, Lisa and Louis gave a fun, energetic performance. They’ve got the best chemistry of any couple, and it’s showing through more each week as Lisa builds her confidence. In honor of their song, Chic’s “Le Freak,” they added a few disco moves to their routine. Carrie Ann was disappointed in that choice, criticizing them for making the dance feel more like disco than Samba. Bruno made his opposition known by pounding on the desk and calling Carrie Ann a “kamikaze” — not the most racially sensitive name to call an Asian-American woman. But Len also disagreed with her, noting that the couple included all of the standard Samba moves.
Scores: Carrie Anne – 7, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 25/30

Tia Carrere and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: To help them soar out of the bottom two, Max pretended to ride to practice on a broom. Actually, the broom was a training tool to help Tia with her arm positions. The broom bit wasn’t particularly funny, and things didn’t get much better during their performance. Max’s bizarre outfit included a huge necklace and an absurdly deep v-necked shirt. It was totally distracting, and not in the way Max’s exposed chest should be. Tia began the performance in the middle of the floor, dancing by herself in a leopard print dress with a long black train. After what seemed like minutes, Max walked down the stairs and ripped the train off Tia’s dress. They danced a nice Samba for a while, but they added a bunch of disco moves, and Max even motioned for the studio audience to cheer.

This was their worst performance. Their previous routines have been carefully crafted to show off Tia in the most beautiful way possible. But there was no connection between them in this routine, and it seemed like a pandering attempt to appeal to the audience. Len noticed that Tia seemed more comfortable with traditional ballroom than the Latin style dances. It’s as if Tia’s not sure of what to do with her post-pregnancy body, and can only let go within the structure of the traditional ballroom dances.
Scores: Carrie Anne – 7, Len – 7, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 22/30

Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya: Jerry’s been criticized for being too stiff before, and there’s no room for stiffness in the Samba. When a hula hoop didn’t help loosen up Jerry’s hips, Anna resorted to a cruel but effective training technique: trying not to look stupid in front of your kids. Jerry’s 9-year-old daughter, Jada, came to watch them practice, giving her dad pointers and teasing him for not being as good a dancer as she is.

Jerry loosened up enough to give a fun performance, and his footwork continued to improve. He’s still struggling to match Anna’s energy level, although she’s hyper enough that it would be a challenge for anyone. Carrie Ann actually noticed Jerry counting his steps during the performance, and told him to stop being so self-conscious. Anna leapt to her partner’s defense, yelling at Carrie Ann, “Come on, admit you liked it!” Len commended Jerry for nailing all of the basic steps, and Bruno encouraged him to keep up the good work.

Jerry and Anna weren’t done after receiving the judges’ scores. Speaking with Samantha Harris backstage, Jerry admitted that he was unhappy with their scores. Anna wasn’t nearly so tactful. She took a shot at George, saying they were going to start taking lessons from him, since he scored higher than they did. Anna’s crazy enough that I love to watch her, but I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.
Scores: Carrie Anne – 7, Len – 8, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 23/30

Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke: Drew and Cheryl took a break from training to have dinner with Drew’s family and friends. For some reason, Cheryl kept her winter coat on during the meal.

As usual, the pair gave a great performance. It was unfortunate that their song wasn’t something as fun as “Bootylicious.” Apart from reminding Drew to watch his shoulder position, the judges unanimously praised the performance.
Scores: Carrie Anne – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 27/30

After the individual performances ended, the audience was treated to footage from the rehearsal for the group Salsa. All the couples danced the same routine, choreographed by Gustavo Vargas. George spent much of rehearsal clowning around, and Drew got a bloody nose from one of Cheryl’s errant elbows. But the bloody nose wasn’t the most painful part of the rehearsal. Anna argued with Max, accusing him of taking up too much space. When he told her to get off his back, she responded, “I’ll walk all over your face.” All of the other couples stood around nervously, trying to ignore the shouting match.

The altercation lead to an amusing bit as the show went to commercial. Backstage, Anna had Max in a chokehold as he knelt in front of her, and everyone else tried to pull them apart. Just as the bump music came to an end, Max hugged Anna around the waist and snuggled his cheek into her stomach.

Another Gloria Estefan tune provided the soundtrack for the group salsa, as couples danced to “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You.” Each couple took a turn to show off a solo move. During their moment in the spotlight, Tia and Max executed a move Len described as “a mechanic checking for an oil leak.” Max played the role of the mechanic. Lisa, Stacy, and Drew all earned praise from the judges, although the dance was not scored. Next week, the group will dance a Viennese Waltz, a more continental version of the Tennessee Waltz.

Tomorrow night’s results show will feature a showdown between the professional dancers. They’ll dance to a live performance of “Copacabana” (not to be confused with the Neil Sedaka hit, “Chupacabra”) by the man himself, Barry Manilow. How will I ever be able to fall asleep tonight?

1 – Stacy and Tony
2 – Drew and Cheryl
3 – Lisa and Louis
4 – George and Edyta
5 – Jerry and Anna
6 – Tia and Max

My vote this week: Tia and Max. He’ll probably dance shirtless next week if he thinks it’ll get them votes, and I’m going to make sure he has that chance.