The Final Countdown for Lisa and Louis? (Episode 2-7)

Despite giving two of her best performances in one night, this may be be Lisa’s last week on Dancing with the Stars. Although Stacy and Drew tied for first place, the studio audience’s chants of “Jerry!” show who the real favorite is.

Tonight’s semifinal competition took on a different format from the last couple of weeks. The group dance was replaced by a second solo dance from each couple. Both dances were scored by the judges, with a total of 60 points possible for each couple. The first round consisted of ballroom dances, and the second of Latin dances.

Round 1

Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani: Learning two new dances in four days would be stressful for anyone, but Stacy’s limited acting background made it hard for her to transition between classy ballroom dancer and sexy Latin seductress. To ease the tension and boost Stacy’s confidence, Tony brought in actress Lisa Ann Walter from the film Shall We Dance to give Stacy some pointers.

The couple’s Quickstep was hampered by a distracting song, “You Can’t Hurry Love,” which Tony dealt with by choreographing in some 50s dance moves. The effect was cheesy and kept them from getting quickly into the Quickstep. During this semifinal round, Len expected all of the couples to earn their place in the finals, and said that Stacy and Tony did. Carrie Ann complemented Stacy on her fast footwork, but criticized her for not taking risks. As always, Bruno drooled over Stacy, calling her perfomance “a symphony of beauty.”
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 27/30

Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya: The extra workload this week left Jerry confused and frustrated. In sporting terms, that’s called “gripping.” It didn’t help to have Anna’s husband, ousted pro Jonathan, and her mom, Irina, pressuring the couple during practice.

In an effort to stick it to the judges for giving George Hamilton consistently high marks, Anna worked props into both of their routines tonight. Jerry played a broom-wielding janitor in their Tango, while Anna played a drunk socialite. It worked as well as a janitor tangoing with a drunk would. Bruno said the effort wasn’t good enough, and Len said it wasn’t even a proper Tango. Anna defended her choreography, citing the song they were assigned: “It was Blondie, for God’s sake!” Carrie Ann appreciated that Jerry took a risk, but reminded him to work on his footwork.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 7, Bruno – 6. Judges’ Total = 20/30

Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel: To relax during their busy week, the couple visited Lisa’s parents in Medford, Oregon, former home of Ginger Rogers. They practiced on the stage of the Ginger Rogers Theater, and the theater’s marquee read “Good Luck Lisa and Louis.”

“Fever” was the perfect song for their sexy and stylish Fox Trot. Unlike the two previous couples, they avoided gimmicks and stuck with classic ballroom sophistication. Carrie Ann noticed that Lisa’s personality always comes through in her dancing, and Len said the performance was “a joy to behold.” Bruno summed it up in one word: delicious.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 26/30

Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke: During their week of practice, Drew and Cheryl went to Disneyland to perform in front of several thousand people. This seemed a little suspicious, considering that ABC is owned by Disney. It came off as a ploy to help Drew into the finals.

A classy Fox Trot suited the song “It Had to Be You” perfectly. Carrie Ann and Len both enjoyed the performance, but Bruno was disappointed in some arm movements in the middle that looked too Paso Doble. Drew cautioned Bruno to be nice, as the pregnant Mrs. Lachey might react violently, due to her fluctuating hormone levels.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 8. Judges’ Total = 26/30

With the first round completed, Stacy was in the lead, with Lisa and Drew tied for second place, and Jerry in a distant fourth. As the second round began, the camera paused on Lorenzo Lamas in the audience. A potential celebrity for season 3?

Round 2

Stacy Keibler and Tony Dovolani: Another inappropriate song made for a technically good, but rather unenjoyable, Cha Cha Cha. In an effort to interpret Kelly Clarkson’s angry break-up ode, “Since U Been Gone,” Stacy and Tony spent the performance fake-scowling at each other. When Carrie Ann said she didn’t believe the hostility they tried to portray, Stacy defensively asked, “Didn’t you listen to the song?” Len noticed that Stacy’s arms were a bit stiff, but he said that it was otherwise well done. Bruno remained as objective as he could, calling the dance “a visual feast.”
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 10. Judges’ Total = 28/30

Jerry Rice and Anna Trebunskaya: Giving a nod to Drew’s removable sleeves, Jerry and Anna used a suit jacket as a dance prop. As he feared, Jerry wasn’t able to move his hips the way he needed to for their Rumba. Carrie Ann said that Anna did a great job, and Bruno complimented Jerry for staying in character during the dance. But Len spoke for all of the judges when he said that, while Jerry’s efforts are admirable, “against the others, you’re the worst.” Jerry disagreed with Len’s assessment, but said he already felt like a winner.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7, Len – 7, Bruno – 7. Judges’ Total = 21/30

Lisa Rinna and Louis van Amstel: Lisa and Louis danced a fun Cha Cha Cha to the song, “Material Girl.” Lisa’s devoted hubby Harry Hamlin cheered at the end, whipping a towel over his head like a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Bruno appreciated Louis’s clever choreography, and Len enjoyed the couples’ wonderful chemistry.

A compliment that Carrie Ann gave to Lisa highlighted the major difference between her and Jerry. Carrie Ann said that, through sheer determination, Lisa has been able to nail her routines every week. Despite having the same level of determination, Jerry just can’t execute the moves. Lisa said that, if eliminated tomorrow, she’d feel like her job wasn’t finished.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. Judges’ Total = 27/30

Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke: Drew’s distaste for the hip action of the Rumba didn’t stop him from earning the highest scores of the night. His hips have a way to go before they meet professional standards, but Bruno and Carrie Ann called the performance powerful and sexy. Len congratulated Cheryl on designing a wonderful routine, but he criticized Drew for appearing too aggressive. Instead of conveying desire, Len said Drew’s mannerisms looked more like, “I’ll knock your bloody head off!”
Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 9, Bruno – 10. Judges’ Total = 29/30

Leaderboard (combined scores from both rounds)
1 – Stacy & Tony, Drew & Cheryl (tie)
3 – Lisa & Louis
4 – Jerry & Anna

Unless Jerry and Lisa come in first and second (respectively) in audience votes, one of the two of them is going home. If the studio audience’s response is indicative of the at-home audience’s, Lisa will be eliminated.

Were the show based on effort and improvement, it would be easier to argue for Jerry to make the finals. But as it is, his ability just doesn’t warrant it.

My vote this week: Lisa. She deserves a chance to compete for that tacky trophy.