Monthly Archives: September 2006

Cook Islands: Episode 3

Much like certain members of the US Senate,
a couple members of the revamped Aitu tribe voted out of fear, rather
than voting for what they felt was right. As a result, Cecilia was
sacrificed in the name of security on Survivor: Cook Islands.

six days as four racially segregated tribes, the Survivors were
summoned in front of Jeff Probst to merge into new tribes. Cecilia,
Parvati, Brad, and Jonathan were randomly selected to start the
schoolyard pick.

Tribes were first selected by gender, with the
stipulation that each successive pick must be from an old tribe not yet
represented on the new team.

Cecilia was given first choice, and she
and Parvati alternated picks until the teams were as follows:

The men chose their teams next. Brad picked first:
 Jonathan….Yul….Ozzy….Cao Boi

four new tribes were then combined randomly to form two new tribes.
Cecilia’s and Jonathan’s teams became the new Aitu, and Brad’s and
Parvati’s teams formed the new Raro.

Cecilia, Jessica, Sundra, Becky, Candice, Jonathan, Yul, Ozzy, Cao Boi

Parvati, Jenny, Cristina, Rebecca, Stephannie, Brad, JP, Nate, Adam

felt like the Fresh Prince as he toured Raro’s camp: “They took us out
of the ghetto and took us to Bel Air.” Parvati was just happy Nate was
around, so that she’d have someone new to flirt with.

Things were just as congenial at Aitu, where Cao Boi told Jessica, “You’re not Asian, but I love you.”

Speaking of love, the merge gave Cecilia the opportunity to ask Candice
about her supposed romance with last week’s evictee, Billy. A stunned
Candice clarified that, when she told Billy, “We love you,” at the last
challenge, “I didn’t mean it like that.”

Becky all but skipped
introductions, quickly getting Jonathan and Candice to agree to an
alliance with her and Yul. Yul cemented his bond with Becky by
disclosing to her that he’d found the hidden Immunity Idol on Exile

When Jonathan tried to pull Jessica into the alliance as
well, she balked, claiming that she wanted to get to know everyone
before joining an alliance. She confessed to the cameras that she
wasn’t completely comfortable around Jonathan and Candice.

Raro, Nate speared an octopus, which wrapped itself around Brad on its
way to the cooking pot. Then a whale swam by Aitu’s beach, and, after
one-upping the other hunters last week, I expected Yul to swim out and
catch it.

Tonight’s Immunity Challenge was a repeat of one of my
favorites from a few seasons ago. The members of each tribe were
clipped, single file, to a rope that created a huge oval track. Tribes
started on opposite sides of the oval, and the object was for your
group to catch up to, and then tackle, a member of the opposing tribe.

make things a little more difficult, the track was situated in
knee-deep water, and each tribe member carried a 15-pound bag.
Contestants could drop out of the race at any time, so long as they
gave their bag to another person to carry. In an endurance race, the
longer a team could spread the weight out amongst its tribe members,
the better.

After only one lap around the track, all of the
female members of Aitu dropped out of the race. The strategy was for
the men to put on an early burst and catch the other tribe. But with the extra baggage, they were unable to do so.

The female members of Raro held out slightly longer, with Rebecca
lasting for several laps. The men of Aitu tired quickly, and Raro soon
caught up with them. The men of Raro were easily able to tackle a
sluggish Cao Boi.

In addition to avoiding Tribal Council, the
winning tribe selected a member from the losing tribe to Exile Island.
They chose Candice, in order to keep anyone else from falling in love
with her.

At Aitu camp, Ozzy promised not to vote for Cao Boi,
and Cao Boi suggested they vote for Becky. So Ozzy recruited Cecilia,
Sundra, and Jessica, who all agreed that Becky should go.

their original alliance in jeopardy, as Candice languished on Exile
Island, Jonathan asked Jessica about her plans. Jessica said she didn’t
have a good vibe about Becky, and she was set on voting for her, and
not for Jonathan’s proposed target, Cecilia. Jonathan told Jessica she
needed to think past the next vote and ultimately do what was best for

Yul worked to persuade Cao Boi that his position in the
game was better if he stuck with Yul, Jonathan, and Becky. Cao Boi
seemed skeptical, though he did decide to talk things over with
Jessica, to see where she was leaning.

Both Cao Boi and Jessica agreed that they didn’t trust Jonathan. Cao
Boi told Jessica that they would be outsiders in any group, but that
they might have better luck sticking with the unified front of Yul,
Becky, Jonathan, and Candice. Jessica’s brain hurt, as she realized she
really was going to have to think further ahead than the next
challenge, if she wanted to stay in the game.

The conversation seemed like a classic Survivor red herring, just
thrown in to add a little suspense. Jessica and and Cao Boi had
originally been so adamant about voting for Becky. And they’d been so
resistant when initially confronted by Yul and Jonathan.

members of both sides cast their votes at Tribal Council, everyone said
that tonight’s vote was pure strategy, nothing personal. Everyone
except Ozzy, who resented that Becky didn’t try to get to know him. His
need to make everything personal could get him voted off sooner than he
would, otherwise.

To the surprise of a previously relaxed and
confident Ozzy, Sundra, and Cecilia, (and me) Jonathan’s and Yul’s
pressure worked on Jessica and Cao Boi. Ultimately, they made what they
viewed as the safer vote: sending Cecilia home, even though they liked
her better than Becky.

If I wasn’t sure already, I’m now convinced that Jonathan, Yul, and
Becky are serious players. And I think they’re all going to be around
for a long time.

Next week, the men of Raro take a break from work, and Cao Boi ratchets up his weirdness by knocking a baby bird from its nest.

DwtS 3, Week 3: Results Show

Harry Hamlin said that only a miracle or surgery could loosen up his
stiff frame enough to make him a contender. His miracle never came, and
Harry & Ashly became the next couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars 3.

night, the judges criticized a number of couples for breaking the
rules. Host Tom Bergeron gave Judge Len Goodman a chance to clarify
which rules had been broken. Len cited a general rule barring lifts. He
then defined a lift as follows: “Your partner picks you up off both
your feet, and you do a step you couldn’t do on your own.”

lift rule was broken during a few of the Performance Show Jives. Video
footage showed clearly that Willa & Max and Joey & Edyta had
included lifts in their routines.

For the Tango, the infractions
had to do with time spent in “proper ballroom hold.” Apart from
approximately ten seconds at the start and end of the routine, dancers
needed to be in contact throughout the rest of the dance. A video clip
detailed how Mario & Karina had broken their hold during the Tango.

looking for the best all-around couple,” Len said. “We’re not looking
for a one dance wonder.” Couples are judged on how well they portray
the character of each of the dances, and, ideally, the couple who can
successfully execute the greatest number of dances wins.

announced that Vivica & Max had earned the encore, before the other
judges reminded him that Vivica’s Tango partner was Nick, not Max. The
Shaggy song to which Vivica & Nick danced sounded even weirder the
second time around. All I noticed was the singer periodically grunting,
“Huh…What…Shaggy!” throughout the performance.

retro-rock group Scissor Sisters performed their song, “Take Your
Mama.” The band played on the dance floor — not the raised stage — leaving just
enough room for Cheryl and ousted pro Jesse DeSoto to perform. This was a
smart staging decision, as it meant the cameras were free to film both
the band and the dancers, rather than cutting away for too many
closeups of the band. The dancing was great and made me wish the song
was a bit longer.

While the band cleared the floor, Samantha
asked some of the couples about last night’s performances. Regarding
Emmitt’s low scores from the judges, Samantha asked him, “Were you

“At gunpoint,” Emmitt deadpanned. Samantha said that
when she talked to him after last night’s show, he was fuming mad. “I
still am!” said Emmit.

Sara said that the country flavor of last
night’s “hat, boots, and choreography were more my style.” She’d better
be careful, lest she confuse this with Fox’s new show, Boot Scootin’ with Celebs.

it was back out to Tom on the dance floor, where he introduced a clip
package of feedback from the Performance Show’s studio audience. The
crowd was evenly mixed on whether following the rules was more
important than going outside the lines to please the crowd. One man told Len to
“lighten up on the Geritol,” while a female audience member said, “If I
want to see cartwheels and handstands, I’ll watch a cheerleading
competition.” One patriot said that “America is based on rules!” I
wonder where he stands on the Geneva Convention’s definition of torture.

that, it was time to announce the first safe couples of the night, in
no particular order. To their delight, Willa & Max were announced
first — surprising them more than the previous night, when Samantha
had told them they were falling in love. Sara & Tony were also
announced as safe, as were Monique & Louis. As the show faded to
commercial, Sara walked over to hug Willa, who was gleefully running in

To prepare audiences for one of next week’s dances, the Paso Doble, the pros performed it, in the biggest spectacle in DwtS history. Italian tenor Vittorio, wearing a black cloak, lead a choir singing “O Fortuna,” from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
The pros performed the dance of the bullfighter, with the women
clad in flowing black dresses, which mimicked capes. Behind it all, video
screens burned with virtual flames.

The whole thing seemed like some sort of dark ritual. It was Dancing with the Stars, as reinterpreted by Roman Polanski.

the singers and dancers cleared the stage and returned to their crypts,
Tom gave credit to Louis for the routine’s choreography.

was backstage interviewing the three celebrities safe for next week.
Sara planned on taking her country-theme to new heights next week.
Perhaps she would ride out on a horse, and Tony could lift the horse.
Tony ran backstage in time to remind her of the rule: “No Lifts!”

then put Willa on the spot, asking her who she thought would be
eliminated tonight, now that she and Max were safe. Max jumped in and
said he hoped for a four-way tie, and that no one would go home. Willa

During an update of DwtS viewer Tysonia’s
progress in the Slim Fast challenge, she Waltzed in front of her
coworkers. She pulled off the dance, knowing that if she didn’t, she’d
never hear the end of it at work. Next week, she has to wear a skimpy
dress for the Samba.

Scissor Sisters came back out to perform “I
Don’t Feel Like Dancing,” or as Tom called it, “The Tucker Carlson
Story.” The judges danced in their seats during the song. Scissor
Sisters is my kind of band. I’m sure I would’ve heard of them before
tonight, if it was seven years ago and I was still cool.

Another prerecorded segment featured the judges
discussing what they expected from performers throughout the
competition. Len said he looks for technique and hold, and how they
sell the performance. “You must feel good about your routine,” he said.
“If you haven’t got confidence, you won’t perfom well.”

Ann said that she accounts for each celebrity’s individuality. “Joey
Lawrence’s best performance won’t look like Emmitt Smith’s best

Carrie Ann and Len then pointed out some of each
celebrity’s strengths, giving special attention to Sara. I think
Carrie Ann was trying to be figurative when she said, “Each week, Sara
unbuttons another button of her top, and she lets more and more of
herself come out.”

After the judges’ segment, two more couples were announced as safe: Vivica & Nick and Joey & Edyta.

the fate of four couples still uncertain, a final prerecorded interview
segment prolonged the tension. Harry said that this competition would
be a piece of cake for him, if he were up against the contestants from
Season One. We learned that practicing has become a full time obsession
for Joey and Willa, prompting Jerry to ask, “What are they, nuts? Don’t
they have anything else to do?”

Mario & Karina and Emmitt
& Cheryl were revealed as the next two safe couples. This left
Jerry & Kym and Harry & Ashly in the bottom two.

wanting to prolong the agony, Tom quickly told Harry & Ashly that
they’d been eliminated. Tom expressed his shock, and some of the crowd
booed the results, as Harry & Ashly made their way over to the

Harry tried to be stoic, saying the experience has given
him an “extreme body makeover” and the chance to dance with “a
goddess.” Samantha foolishly tried to ask a sobbing Ashly about Harry’s
dedication. Ashly was far too overcome to answer. Ironically, Ashly had
survived more weeks last season, when she was partnered with the
disinterested Master P, than she’d been able to with a committed
partner like Harry.

As the show ended, Ashly danced with Harry
to “All By Myself.” And last season’s crying queen, Lisa Rinna, sat in
the audience, watching her husband’s final dance.

Next week, the celebrities perform either the Waltz or the Paso Doble.

Here’s our special ode to Harry. You may not have been great on the dance floor, my friend. But nobody can say you don’t know how to have a good time…

DwtS 3, Week 3: Performance Show

The judges were the biggest story of tonight’s episode of Dancing with the Stars 3,
and that’s never a good sign. Emmitt took a beating, while Sara and
Vivica received effusive praise. But none of that compared to the
tongue lashings Len directed at Mario and Joey.

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – Tango
getting worn out from traveling between Dallas, where he lives, and
Los Angeles, where the show is filmed. This week, he and Cheryl also
flew to Virginia, to support Emmitt’s wife as she hosted the Miss
Virginia pageant. They snuck in an extra practice session by performing
for the pageant crowd.

Someone, somewhere must’ve thought it
would be funny to make Emmitt and Cheryl Tango to Robert Palmer’s
“Simply Irresistible.” Cheryl looked fabulous tonight, sporting some
sweet hair extensions, and Emmitt had no problem maintaining the
intense expression expected in the Tango. It was just too bad that, by
its nature, the dance didn’t allow him to show his fun-loving side. He
also didn’t seem as comfortable with the steps as he had in his
previous dances, perhaps because practice time was at a premium this week.

said that, for the Tango, he was looking for the couples to keep a
hold throughout the middle of the song. They could only be apart for a
few seconds at the beginning and end. (Remember that point; it comes up
again later.) Len said the couple kept their hold, but he was
disappointed in Emmitt’s overall performance. He also criticized Cheryl
for including an illegal lift. Bruno told Emmitt, “The rock is starting
to crumble. You didn’t shine as you usually do.” Carrie Ann said that,
while there were some technical problems, the dance “wasn’t all as bad
as these guys [Len and Bruno] say.”
Judges’ Scores… Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 6, Bruno: 6 = 19/30

Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel – Jive
mom flew from South Carolina to watch Monique perform. While seeing her
mom was enough to make Monique happy, she also hoped Mom’s presence in
the audience might make the judges think twice before saying anything
too critical.

Monique started the routine with a crazy backward
leap off of the stage into Louis’ arms. It almost looked like a stunt
from Miami Vice — appropriate, since they danced to “The Heat Is On,”
by Glenn Frey. The extra long fringe on Monique’s outfit made all of
her moves look quick and exaggerated, which probably helped in a fast
dance like the Jive. The fringe also weighed down her skirt, pulling it
down a bit at one point. But Monique maintained her sense of humor,
telling Tom Bergeron after the dance that the daring leap at the
beginning scared the clothes right off of her.

Apparently, Len
is a big fan of the Eagles. He said he liked the song, and he told
Monique the routine had “vitality and fun.” Bruno, in reference to her
bright yellow outfit, dubbed Monique “Little Miss Sunshine.” Carrie
loved the risky jump and said Monique’s moves were “strong and sharp.”
She then warned the other contestants to take note of Monique.
Judges’ Scores… Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9 = 27/30

Harry Hamlin & Ashly DelGrosso – Tango
inspiration, Ashly and Harry watched couples Tango at an Argentine
restaurant. Harry’s modus operandi for this week? “Passion, passion,

This was not one of the evening’s best performances,
in part because the band used some strange, high-pitched effect during
the song that sounded like chatty sparrows squeegeeing windshields. The
dancing itself was competent, if not memorable. Harry’s expression was
inscrutable, but if he says that’s his passionate face, then I guess
it’s his passionate face. He showed the most personality after the
routine, when he took a rose from his lapel, walked up to Carrie Ann,
and then spun around and handed the rose to Bruno.

Bruno said,
“the performance was good, but the footwork was messy at times.” Carrie
joked that she rescinded the 10 that she planned to give Harry, because
he gave his rose to Bruno. She said she appreciates his hard work, but
he’s “still a little awkward.” Len jumped to Harry’s defense: “These
two should go to Lenscrafters, because they’re giving two-for-one. That
was great!”
Judges’ Scores… Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 8, Bruno: 7 = 22/30

Willa Ford & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Jive
broke into tears after last week’s trip to the bottom two. Knowing that she
needed a perfect routine this week, Willa told Max she’d do everything
he said without arguing. Of course that didn’t last long, and Max
walked out of the rehearsal studio at one point, as Willa had last
week. Max said that Willa’s frustrations stem from the constant
pressure she puts on herself to overachieve. Willa told us this
competition means so much to her because, unlike some of her
competitors, “I don’t have Super Bowl rings. I don’t have an Oscar. I
don’t have a Country Music Award.”

Willa sported a sexy diner
waitress (or space stewardess) outfit for their Jive, a dance that
really seemed to suit her style. Her footwork was great, though she
didn’t move as quickly as the dance demanded.

Carrie called
Willa “the best natural dancer,” but she was critical of the lifts the
couple included. Len, said, “I liked some of it, and some of it I
wasn’t too keen on.” Bruno retorted, “Len, you’re so grumpy tonight.
That was pure Betty Grable. I loved the American cheesecake.”
Backstage, Samantha told Willa & Max, “You two are really falling for
each other!” The couple was too stunned by the comment to respond.
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 8= 22/30

Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson – Tango
plan was to have Jerry emulate James Bond during their Tango. “It
doesn’t appear she’s been drinking,” said Jerry. “But she’s not playing
with a full deck.”

Jerry wore a Sean Connery-era Bond white tux
and pantomimed holding a gun. He gave a solid performance, having
worked on his technique as the judges requested. The dance was fun, and
afterward, Kym ran to give him a hug as the crowd chanted, “Jerry!” Tom
joked that Jerry looked like James Bond, but as played by George

Bruno said the routine was “more like the Pink Panther
— a technical massacre.” Carrie agreed that the dancing wasn’t great,
but said that it was Jerry’s best so far. Len said, “It was a very
unusual Tango, but the footwork was good, and it was fun.”

for his scores backstage, Jerry said he wasn’t interested in winning
the whole competition, but prefered instead to win “Miss Congeniality.”
He said that he wanted to stick around until the Waltz, so he could do that dance
with his daughter at her wedding. But after he Waltzes, “America should come
to its senses” and eliminate him, because “everything hurts.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 = 21/30

Sara Evans & Tony Dovolani – Jive
order to make Sara feel more comfortable, she and Tony worked some
country line dancing into their Jive. In fact, they all but replaced
their Jive with a line dance, complete with cowboy boots. Sara looked
at home in her cowgirl gear, as she stepped to “These Boots Are Made
For Walking.” But Albanian Tony made the least convincing cowboy ever.

Ann shouted, “I loved it! You might want to keep those cowboy boots on
for a few more numbers.” Len liked it as well. Bruno told Sara she was
“glowing and radiant. Use those assets.” Watch the video if you’d like
to know which two assets Bruno is refering to.
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 9, Bruno: 8 = 25/30

Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff – Tango
To get in the mood for a sexy Tango, Mario kissed Karina on the cheek and smelled her hair during practice.

and Karina worked in some exciting drops and lifts, breaking holds to
do so — despite the judges’ warnings against such tricks last week.
They’re a great pair of dancers, but Mario needs to believe that the
audience will still appreciate him if he does what he’s supposed to. He
insisted that he’s bending the rules to make things exciting for the
fans, but such statements make it seem as if fans aren’t sophisticated
enough to appreciate ballroom dancing without stunts.

Len asked
the couple point blank, “Whose idea was it to break the hold in the
middle of the dance?” When they didn’t answer (though Karina did hide
behind Tom), Len shouted, “I would’ve given you a 10!” Bruno told the
couple that by including illegal moves, “you make us mark you down.”
Carrie told them, “Respect the rules. You might go further in this
competition.” Still incensed, Len said, “Karina, you’re the jockey,
he’s the horse. You need to get a tighter hold of the reins.” Carrie
Ann and Bruno both agreed that, like Len, they would’ve awarded Mario
and Karina 10s if they’d followed the rules.
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 6, Bruno: 8 = 22/30

Vivica A. Fox & Nick Kosovich – Tango
a cathartic performance last week, Vivica found herself sobbing. “No
one can be as hard as nails all the time,” Nick said of her. But Vivica
recovered quickly, putting on a tutu and taking ballet lessons this
week, at Carrie Ann’s suggestion.

For her dance, Vivica sported
a short hairdo reminiscent of Dorothy Dandridge. But Dorothy never had
to Tango to a song by Shaggy. Vivica put forth a strong effort, looking
tough and elegant throughout.

Bruno called her “the drama queen
of the night.” Carrie said, “You’re a diva!” Vivica ran up to the
judge’s table and kissed Carrie Ann, finally having won over her
harshest critic. Len gave suggestions as to what he thought Vivica’s
middle initial “A” stands for: “Animal, Attack, Aggression, Atmosphere.
I enjoyed it.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9 = 27/30

Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska – Jive
honor of their Elvis song, Edyta helped Joey find a pair of “Blue Suede
Shoes.” Edyta’s pseudo-poodle skirt fit right in. Their dancing was
great, although Joey did a handstand, and then flipped Edyta over. It
was a appealing routine, but — after what had transpired earlier in the
show — one that was sure to draw the ire of the judges.

reminded “Joey the Dynamo” that lifts aren’t allowed. Carrie told the
couple, “Once again, you were fabulous.” Len, still grumpy after
Mario’s performance, took special offense at Joey’s handstand. “This
isn’t Cirque de Soliel. It isn’t clever. It’s terrible. Don’t do it.”
In reponse to Len’s rant, Tom cracked, “So, you didn’t manage to get
through the whole cigarette during the commercial break.” Joey
apologized for the illegal lifts and promised to do better next week.
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 6, Bruno: 8 = 22/30


1 (tie) – Monique & Louis, Vivica & Nick
3 – Sara & Tony
4 (tie) – Willa & Max, Harry & Ashly, Mario & Karina, Joey & Edyta
8 – Jerry & Kym
9 – Emmitt & Cheryl

Even though their elimination looks inevitable, I voted for Willa and Max. I like watching them dance more than a few of the other couples, so I’m not ready to give up on them just yet.

TAR 10: Episode 2

This week’s episode of The Amazing Race taught us that
quarrelsome teams with decent navigational skills almost always have an
edge over the directionally clueless — no matter how positive their
attitudes. But if I had to pick a team as travel guides for my next
vacation, I’d take eliminated cheerleaders Jamie & Kellie over bickerers like Peter & Sarah or Rob & Kimberly every time.

This week, teams
left the Great Wall of China and headed to Outer Mongolia. Two buses,
leaving two hours apart, carried teams on the first leg of their

1st bus:
Tyler & James, Duke & Lauren, Peter & Sarah, Dustin & Kandice, Rob & Kimberly

2nd bus:
Jamie & Kellie, Erwin & Godwin, Tom & Terry, Lyn & Karlyn, Mary & David

two-hour delay gave teams on the second bus time to clown around
together at the bus station. Kentucky coalminer David was even cajoled
into dancing. The Race has been especially eye-opening for David’s
wife, Mary, who’d never met any Asian or gay people before. Her
assessment? “Damn, I like ’em!”

Both buses arrived at a train
station, where all of the teams were forced to wait for a train to
Ulaanbaatar. Because everyone was on the same train, the first-bus
advantage was rendered completely moot.

While the locals outside
the station were amazed by Sarah’s prosthetic leg and her ability to
run on it, they weren’t impressed enough to pay for her demonstration,
although Peter did ask.

In rainy Ulaanbaatar, teams cheered as
their reckless cab drivers made dangerous attempts to pass cars on the
muddy streets. Some of the cabbies were better than others at finding a
temple, where teams observed a traditional religious dance. Teams
entered in groups, as the dance was only performed every ten minutes.

Jamie & Kellie had a passenger on the train write directions (in Mongolian) to the
temple. They handed the directions to their cabbie, who sped them to the temple in first place.

The temple
dancers, wearing oversized masks, performed a short skit before handing
teams their next clue. The clue directed teams to drive to
Terelj National Park in old Russian military jeeps.

Several of the
teams were lucky enough to find native English speakers in town, and
asked them for directions. David & Mary just grabbed a cool local
guy smoking a cigarette and had him ride with them to Terelj.

the drive, the old jeeps started to break down. Tyler & James, who
were in seventh, got a flat tire, only to discover that their jack was
also broken. Rob & Kimberly stopped to help the models, but Lyn & Karlyn passed right by. “It’s not like we’re
being mean,” Karlyn said. “We just want to win.”

Rob &
Kimberly couldn’t remove their jack from its compartment, so they left the models and drove on
ahead. Fortunately for Tyler & James, a couple of locals lent them
a jack and helped them with the tire.

Jamie & Kellie, who’d left the temple first, had
trouble navigating, and then stalled their jeep. By the time Jamie was
able to help Kellie restart their vehicle, they’d fallen into last

When teams arrived at the national park, they had to ride
horses, following a guide to a meadow where their next clue was
waiting. Peter & Sarah were the first team to arrive, followed by
the Miss USA contestants, Dustin & Kandice. So that Sarah’s
prosthesis didn’t get caught in the stirrup, she put a fake foot and
shoe on the end of her leg. Kandice donned the required protective (and
furry) Mongolian helmet and yelled, “I’m a Mongolian, baby. Get me some

Within eyesight of the park, David drove his jeep
into a mud pit. Unable to get the vehicle out, he and Mary were forced
to wait for a replacement. The smoking guy took it as his cue to leave.
And several teams arrived in the meantime, including Rob and Kimberly.

As Kimberly mounted her horse, she asked Rob, “Can horses smell fear?”

He replied, “No, that’s bees and dogs, I think.”

Kimberly might have been on to something. Minutes later, her horse rode
under a low hanging branch, clotheslining Kimberly and knocking her to
the ground. Their guide had to chase down the horse as Kimberly sat and
cried. Instead of asking if she was okay, Rob told Kimberly she was okay.

Kimberly’s fall wasn’t even the most dramatic of the day.
Kandice fell off her horse, caught her foot in the stirrup, and was
dragged for several yards, before the horse broke free. She was fine,
though she lost her Mongolian helmet in the process.

Just when
teams thought their animal ordeals were over, they reached the next
cluebox. A Detour forced teams to “Take It Down or Fill It Up.”

Take It Down, teams disassembled a traditional tent shelter used by
nomads. They then packed the tent components in a specific manner, so
that the tent could be strapped onto a camels back. The task was more
complicated than it was physically demanding.

In Fill It Up,
teams drove an ox-cart to a stream, filled up jugs of water, then drove
the cart back to a large barrel and emptied their pails into it. It
took at least two trips to the stream to collect enough water to fill
the barrel, and success was entirely dependent on the mood of the ox.

& Sarah attempted to pack up the tent, but couldn’t figure out how
to do it properly. So they switched tasks, only to be given the most
temperamental ox this side of Manila. The ox ran away, sending empty pails falling off of the back of their cart.

frustration boiled over, and she started to cry. Peter then stopped
everything to lecture Sarah on why things were going to be okay. She
told him to keep driving the ox-cart, but Peter refused to budge. He
projected his own frustrations onto Sarah and scolded her for “losing

Sarah replied, “I’m just getting teary. I’m not losing it.”
Eventually, she convinced Peter that her crying didn’t mean she was
giving up, and they continued with the task.

When Peter tried to
drive the cart again, the ox ran away a second time. The couple
switched Detours again, returning to Take It Down. There, Duke &
Lauren were already loading items onto their camel’s back.

teams had more success with their oxen, though the rides weren’t
smooth. Rob, seated on the back of the bumpy cart and holding the water
pails, blamed the uncomfortable ride on his driver, Kimberly. He
shouted orders at her as she led their ox.

Kimberly could only listen to Rob complain for so long before she yelled, “Shut up!”

Rob thought for a split-second before replying, “You shut up!”

& Kandice finished Fill It Up around the same time Duke &
Lauren finished Take it Down. Both teams were excited to receive their
clue, which directed them to drive to the Hotel Mongolia.

the clue specified that teams needed to ride their horses back to their
jeeps, wearing all of the safety gear they’d worn to the Detour.
Kandice had lost her helmet when she fell off of her horse, and she and
Dustin couldn’t remember exactly where that had happened.

guide thought he remembered where Kandice’s helmet had fallen, and he
went to retrieve it, as they waited. In the meantime, several other
teams completed the Detour, and last place team Jamie & Kellie had
arrived. When they noticed Dustin & Kandice standing around, Kellie
told Jamie, “I think they’re done and they’re just, like, chillin’ or

Like Peter & Sarah, single moms Lyn & Karlyn
started on the tent task, only to give up and switch to the ox-cart.
While they were switching tasks, Jamie & Kellie started Take It

Both teams finished their respective detours at the same
time, and were now in a race to avoid last place. They rode to their
jeeps…only to find both vehicles stalled.

Jamie & Kellie
found some men who explained that they needed to take a bar from under
the hood, insert it in a hole in the jeep’s grill, and actually crank
their car to start it. After Lyn & Karlyn tried and failed to crank
their own car, they got some help, too, and were on the road soon after
the cheerleaders.

Once teams were on the road, they were able to
relax and make up. Sort of. Peter attributed his team’s problems to
Sarah’s meltdown, not acknowledging that he’d been pretty molten,

And, in their jeep, Rob clarified his surly behavior to
Kimberly. “I wasn’t yelling at you. I just… didn’t know how else to say

At the Hotel Mongolia, teams encountered a Roadblock:
“Who’s ready to aim high?” One team member needed to complete a
traditional Mongolian training exercise, by shooting a flaming arrow
and igniting a target 160 feet away.

Peter ignited his target
first, and he and Sarah ran to the nearby Pit Stop. For finishing in
first place, the couple won trip to a Mexican resort. While
interviewing them at the mat, Phil asked Sarah, “Did you ever expect, in two legs, to be in first place?” To her credit, Sarah took Phil’s awkward choice of words in stride.

& James finished in second, followed by Lauren & Duke, Tom
& Terry, Dustin & Kandice, and Rob & Kimberly. David
completed the Roadblock next, and on his way to the Pit Stop with Mary,
she twisted her ankle. They still finished in seventh, followed by
the Cho brothers, Erwin & Godwin.

On their drive to the hotel, Jamie &
Kellie became convinced that they were driving the wrong way. They
asked some locals, who told them to turn around. They did, soon passing
Lyn & Karlyn going the other direction.

When the
cheerleaders pulled over to ask for directions again, they realized
they’d made a mistake in doubling back. “Today is our stupid day,”
said Jamie. They turned around again. But, by this point, they were too
far behind Lyn and Karlyn, who finished ninth.

At the Roadblock,
Kellie tried to finish strong, but she never got the hang of using the
bow. After several hours, her arm was too tired to shoot another arrow,
and the team walked to the Pit Stop for a mercy elimination.

Next week:
Duke & Lauren don’t have the money to pay a cabbie. And Tom &
Terry fight with Dustin & Kandice, after the Beauty Queens cut in

DwtS In-Season Update: 9-22-06

After a couple of days reflecting upon this week’s performances and results, it’s time to update the Dancing with the Stars 3
Power Rankings. (The rankings don’t represent how I personally feel
about the contestants, just where I feel they stand in the competition
right now.)

9. Willa Ford & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Last Week’s Ranking – 9
made it out of her first two trips to the bottom, but it’s going to
take a near perfect performance next week to survive. Last season, Tia
Carrere was in a similarly precarious position, when Max choreographed
an amazing Tango that bought them another week in the competition.
That could be good news for Willa, if she’s one of the contestants performing the Tango this week.

8. Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson
Last Week’s Ranking – 6
certainly popular enough to stick around for a long time, and his
dancing is improving. But if Kym’s knee is aggravated again, Jerry’s
more likely to pull out of the competition than put her in danger of a
career-threatening injury. And switching to a new partner at this point
would certainly be problematic. However, if Kym’s knee is okay, Jerry’s
stock could rise.

7. Harry Hamlin & Ashly DelGrosso
Last Week’s Ranking – 8
made some strides on the dance floor, but he’s still way behind Joey,
Mario, and Emmitt. He also made some comments aired during the Results
Show about how he didn’t feel that he needed to change, because he wasn’t in
any danger. That’s not going to win anyone over to his cause.

6. Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel
Last Week’s Ranking – 7
Mambo earned the highest scores of any woman in the field. But I’m
still not sure she has the star power to be a serious contender. Her
pre-show audience was mostly limited to families with children in a
certain age range. And we haven’t seen much of her personality, yet.
The good news for Monique is that she could be earning new fans with,
of all things, her dance skills.

5. Sara Evans & Tony Dovolani
Last Week’s Ranking – 4
probably ranks in the top three in terms of fan favorites. But she’s
been second to last in judges’ scores each week. Most fans voting for her
now do so because they are fans of her music. But, in order to win over
new fans, Sara needs to make some real progress in her dancing. And she
can’t let Tony’s negative attitude about the judges rub off on her.

4. Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff
Last Week’s Ranking – 1
liberal interpretation of the Quickstep was a mistake that hurt them with
the judges. Mario needs another Latin dance to get him back on track.

3. Vivica A. Fox & Nick Kosovich
Last Week’s Ranking – 3
They’ve ranked third with the judges each week, so I’ll follow suit.

2. Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska
Last Week’s Ranking – 5
Quickstep was wonderful, but the best part about it was Joey’s sincere
appreciation for the judge’s compliments and the audience’s standing
ovation. Drew Lachey earned fans last season with his boundless
enthusiasm and hard work ethic. Joey has those same qualities, so
expect his fanbase to grow as the season progresses.

1. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Last Week’s Ranking – 2
shown far more dance aptitude than anyone expected from him. Cheryl
received Emmy nominations for two of the routines she choreographed
last season. The show’s fans love them both. Together, they are the
most dangerous couple in the competition.

Other DwtS News
Two reports from backstage at DwtS 3: People Magazine was there the night of the Performance Show, while Sports Illustrated caught up with Emmitt after the Results Show. Overheard: Joey & Edyta will dance to “Blue Suede Shoes” next week.

According to the Country Music Television network, Sara and Tony will be dancing the Jive this week.

Cook Islands: Episode 2

Billy found love on Survivor: Cook Islands, but it wasn’t enough to save him from elimination. It might have helped if Billy’s soulmate had been on his
tribe — and if she knew about their romance.

Day four started out well enough for the Aitu tribe. J.P.
attributed the team’s successful fish catching and fire building to
their Latino heritage: “We’re hard workers.” Ozzy was even able to rig
a net trap and catch a wild chicken.

To demonstrate to viewers how Asians
can do everything more efficiently, the show cut immediately to Yul
setting up a box trap at Puka camp and catching two chickens.

returned to Raro from a cold and miserable stay on Exile Island, during
which he’d failed to find the hidden Immunity Idol. Adding to his
frustration was his discovery that the tribe didn’t do anything to
improve the camp while he was gone.

Jessica the fire dancer was
game to help Jonathan construct a floor for the shelter, but the rest of the
tribe preferred to gossip on the beach. Adam protested that building a
floor for the shelter was a waste of energy when they could just sleep
on the cold, wet sand.

At the Aitu camp, Billy also preferred to
conserve his meager energy reserves, and Ozzy was sick of having to
tell him what to do. Billy confessed to Cristina and Cecilia that he
didn’t subscribe to the Hispanic hard work ethic. Hard rocker that he
is, Billy declared, “Metal is my culture.”

Back at Puka, Cultural relic Cao
Boi used his magical headache cure on Jenny. He left a red mark on her
forehead, to match Brad’s from last week, but Jenny wasn’t complaining.
“At least my headache’s gone.”

As they had last week, the four
other members of Puka had to ask Cao Boi to stop telling racist Asian
jokes. They feared that non-Asians might feel that Cao Boi was
confirming negative stereotypes by telling his jokes, one of which
involved a Vietnamese person and several dogs. “A joke is a joke,” Cao
Boi insisted. “No, it’s not,” the others replied in unison. Cao Boy
clammed up, and he never did get to the punchline of that dog joke.

At Aitu, Billy’s snoring kept everyone awake, so they sat around the
fire eating coconut and talking. Ozzy suggested throwing the next
Immunity Challenge in order to get rid of Billy. J.P. agreed, but
Cristina was hesitant. She didn’t like the idea of throwing a challenge
on principle, and was also concerned that it might give Ozzy too much

Jeff Probst started the The Immunity Challenge with a
story about Captain Cook, the island chain’s namesake. The teams then
navigated an obstacle course while tied together, retrieving seven
wooden plaques along the way. On the plaques were written answers to
questions about Jeff’s Captain Cook story. The first three teams to
answer five questions correctly (two of the plaques were red herrings)
won Immunity. And the first team overall won two waterproof tarps.

even the teams, Puka, Raro, and Aitu each had to sit one of their
members. Being the least fit tribe member, Billy volunteered to sit
out. But J.P. insisted on sitting out, and thus the challenge was

Just to be sure they had no chance of winning, Aitu
stayed at the starting line while the other teams took off, reading a
printed copy of the story Jeff told — just to be sure they had all of
the details right. As the other teams flew through the course,
gathering one answer plaque after another, Ozzy lead Aitu at a snail’s

Puka and Raro completed the course and answered their
questions at exactly the same time. Because of the tie, both teams were
given Immunity and the Reward. Hiki finished just as Aitu was crossing
a rope bridge suspended over a pit of water. For good measure, Ozzy
even “accidentally” shook one of the ropes, sending Billy into the
water pit.

As the losing team, Aitu chose to send Yul to Exile
Island. While Yul said good-bye to his teammates, Billy turned to the
girls of the Raro tribe and said, “I’m next.” Candice said, “Aww. We
love you.” Billy awkwardly and sincerely replied, “I love you.”

Exile Island, Yul accomplished what Jonathan couldn’t, figuring out the
clues and locating the hidden Immunity Idol. For the second time in
one episode, Yul bested the alpha male of another tribe. His
competition doesn’t know it yet, but Yul’s this season’s biggest stud.

Aitu’s camp, Billy followed Cristina when she went to get water. He
told her that he knew that the team threw the challenge, and then asked
Cristina if she was sure that Ozzy wouldn’t throw the next challenge
just to get rid of her. She confessed that she doesn’t trust Ozzy, and
promised to talk to Cecilia on Billy’s behalf.

Cristina found
Cecilia on the beach and asked her, in Spanish, if she had any kind of
agreement with Ozzy. Cecilia said that she did not, and the two
considered booting Ozzy instead of Billy.

As Tribal Council drew
near, Ozzy was confident that the women wouldn’t turn on him: “I know
they’re gonna suffer really bad if they lose me.” And Billy held out
hope for a miracle: “My hand is a weak hand, but at least I got one

At Tribal Council, Billy told Jeff that the tribe threw
the challenge, and J.P. confirmed it. But Billy said that the challenge
gave him a new reason to want to stay in the game. “I’m playing the
game for love,” Billy said. He described the exchange that took place
between him and Candice and called it was love at first sight. Jeff was
flabbergasted, but Billy insisted that he was serious.

Billy’s declaration of love for Candice, Cristina and Cecilia exchanged
confused looks with one another. His disclosure may have been the last
straw, because the women sided with Ozzy and J.P. and voted out Billy.

was laid back in his post-elimination confessional. He was amused that
he, a true metalhead, was kicked off by a guy named Ozzy. “I got to
live the dream of playing Survivor,” Billy said. “Too bad there’s not a heavy metal tribe. I think I would’ve fit in there.”

DwtS 3, Week 2: Results Show

It was the battle of the blondes on this week’s DwtS 3 Results Show. In the end, Shanna Moakler was sent home. And, after two weeks at the bottom, Willa Ford looks to be in big danger next week.

After recapping last night’s performances, the judges’ selected Joey & Edyta for an encore of their Quickstep. Their excitement from last night’s high scores carried over into tonight’s dance, as the two relaxed and smiled brightly throughout the performance.

Their dance was followed by the professionals demonstrating the Jive, one of next week’s celebrity dances. When you think of the Jive, Billy Idol’s song “Rebel Yell” is generally the accompanying soundtrack that plays in your head, right? Me neither. Yet that’s the song they danced to, and it was more than a little weird. Kym didn’t participate because of her knee injury.

Backstage with the safe couples, Sam corrected herself and gave credit to Max and Karina, not Willa, for choreographing the Jive.

When Samantha asked the celebs about their next performances, Sara joked that Tony’s moving in with her, so that they can train nonstop. And Emmitt said, to be tops with the judges, he and Cheryl had to “work a little bit harder.” Cheryl quickly corrected him: “A lot harder.”

From the dance floor, Tom quipped about Samantha’s interview segment, “I don’t know what’s going on with Tony’s hair, but he’s standing between two bald gentlemen (Joey and Emmitt), and bald’s starting to look pretty good.” Backstage, Tony broke into a fit of laughter, the likes of which even Harry’s new yogi has never seen.

Then Tom reintroduced Tysonia, the non-celebrity Slim Fast Challenge contestant we met last week. In this week’s taped segment, she performed a Tango in front of an African dance class, to get the experience of performing in front of an audience other than friends and family. It’s a pretty safe bet that, by the end of the season, she’ll be brought out to perform on the same stage as the stars.

Tysonia’s amateur Tango was followed by a live performance by a couple of Tango pros: Jordi Caballero & Claudia Velasco. The performance included plenty of lifts that the celebrities will not be able to include in their routines next week, but the dance still lacked a little something.

Apparently, Tucker wasn’t as cool with his early departure as he seemed last week. He returned to grill the judges, in a pretaped interview segment entitled “Tucker Carlson: Behind the Sequins.” He was critical of the subjectivity of the judges’ scores. But Tucker admitted that his departure was “a little like euthanasia: sad but necessary.”

In another pretaped segment, the celebs talked about the stress of the elimination process. Monique said that the red spotlight shining on the couples at the bottom was “like being sent to hell.” Willa said, “I’ve never felt such failure as I did last week.” But Harry was confident about his own chances: “I think I’m gonna stay in the competition. I don’t think I have to change anything.” And Shanna was determined: “I want to win this competition. We are not going home tonight.”

Onstage, Tom and Samantha cycled through the remaining couples, until they’d pared them down to the Bottom Two: Willa & Max and Shanna & Jesse. Max looked sad and resigned to going home.

But Shanna & Jesse were eliminated, causing Max to fall down in a pretend faint. Willa climbed on top of him and mimicked CPR. Tom sped through Shanna’s goodbyes, because the show was running out of time. This week’s subtle jab of a departure song: “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane.”

DwtS 3, Week 2: Performance Show

Former child stars Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez may be interchangeable after all. A great performance by Joey vaulted him into the top spot on Dancing with the Stars, while a choreographic misstep humbled early favorite Mario.

Host Tom Bergeron announced at the top of the show that, despite injuring her knee earlier in the week, Kym Johnson had recovered enough to continue as Jerry Springer’s partner.

Then, Tom and co-host Samantha Harris explained the criteria for the night’s dances. The Mambo — the female celebrities’ dance for this week — requires fast steps, rhythmic hips, clever arm movements, and moves known as body rocks. The Quickstep — which the males stars would be attempting — is executed with fast, synchronized steps and powerful runs, as well as moves like the Charleston and the Chasse.<!–

Tom then introduced the evening’s first performer: Willa Ford. As he did last week, Tom called Willa the show’s “bad girl,” a label she might have to shed to help her chances in this competition. (Willa called herself the “Bad Girl of Pop” back in 2001, and the title has stuck, though she has yet to do or say anything controversial on DwtS.)–>

Willa Ford & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Mambo
Even though she was excited about doing a sexy Latin dance, Willa had trouble mastering the Mambo in practice. She repeatedly left the studio, but Max learned to wait her out, as she always returned after a few seconds. Willa was more frustrated with herself than with Max, and, over time, it seemed he was able to get through to her.

Judging by the performance she gave on the dance floor, Willa’s practice struggles were worth the trouble. She had a lot of energy and looked well suited for the Latin dances. And she’s a good partner for Max; he can show off, while she’s able to hold her own. The routine ended with two cool drops. Afterward, Max gave her a proud peck on the cheek.

Head judge Len Goodman said, “It was fantastic. I loved the turns.” Bruno Tonioli declared Willa “almost too hot to handle. The girl can shake.” Carrie Ann told Willa, “You were my favorite of the women from last week, by far.” But as for this week? “Sometimes you got a little out of control, got ahead of the music.”

While waiting for the judges’ scores backstage, Willa told Samantha that she knows she’s not as famous as some of the other stars, and the audience will need to get to know if her if she wants to last until the end. Then, while Samantha explained the voting process, Willa grabbed the mic and said, “Vote for me!” She should get votes just for taking the mic away from Samantha.
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 8, Bruno: 8 = 23/30

Harry Hamlin & Ashly DelGrosso – Quickstep
In order to loosen Harry up, Ashly took him to a session of laughter yoga, which, logically enough, consists of laughing while you do yoga. It was as silly as it sounds, and Harry looked ridiculous trying to fake something close to laughter… until he really started laughing, and then couldn’t stop.

As a nod to last week’s stiff performance, Harry started the routine standing ramrod straight. Then their music kicked in: “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop. Harry still looked a little awkward, but he’s definitely a Standard ballroom guy. The performance was much better than last week, though the choreography was a little bland.

Bruno told Harry, “You’re coming out of the shell. You kept the hold all the way through.” Len said the hardest thing for the male celebrities to do is to keep the hold. However, Len also said he wished he’d seen a little more rise and fall in Harry’s step. Carrie said that Harry had “great posture. I thought it was fantastic.” Confirming that Standard is more his style, Harry said, “I don’t have one molecule of Latin DNA in me.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 = 21/30

Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel – Mambo
Heeding Len’s advice, Louis worked on his chemistry with Monique, taking her on a gondola ride. In practice, to show his confidence in Monique’s abilities, Louis worked in a difficult trick at the end of the routine that he would normally only try with another professional.

Louis’ jacket was super sparkly and very distracting (at least to me–and to all the infants watching). Monique was totally on point with all of her moves, but Louis’ speedy legs and crisp movements had the effect of making Monique look a bit slower, by comparison. She can really shake it, though, and they pulled off the finishing trick without a hitch.

Carrie Ann told Monique, “You’re a hot, wild, young lady.” Len said the performance was “absolutely knockout.” Bruno told Monique, “You’re bringing sexy back big time. You were like a kitten, purring around the dance floor.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 8, Bruno: 9 = 26/30

Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff – Quickstep
Karina said she wasn’t sure if some of the moves they were doing this week were legal. But she kept them in, anyway, as they played to Mario’s strengths as a dancer. After practice, Mario took Karina boxing to show off his footwork in the ring, and she beat the stuffing out of him.

Karina had good reason to worry about this routine, because it was only a Quickstep by the loosest standards. Mario was very bouncy, and the duo failed to included many of the required moves, making it more of a Freestyle dance. It was crowd-pleasing but failed to capture the spirit of the dance. Hopefully, the choreography was just a rookie mistake on Karina’s part.

Bruno said the routine was “the Quickstep gone berserk, an impressionistic version of the Quickstep.” The crowd booed, and Bruno yelled back, “Stop booing me! Shut up!” Carrie agreed with Bruno: “You guys are fabulous. What are you doing?” Len said there was “no hold and no posture. It was a Latin dance; it wasn’t a Quickstep. Do the proper stuff, not all that rubbish.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 6, Bruno (shrugs): 8 = 21/30

Shanna Moakler & Jesse DeSoto – Mambo
Jesse’s a Mambo champ, and Shanna said she was intimidated by his sexiness during practice. She also said that, despite her beauty pageant experience and posing for Playboy, she wasn’t confident that she could pull off a sexy dance routine.

Her brown dress with tan fringe looked slightly cowgirl, so I was sure their song had to be a country song. But the music kicked in, and it was “Jump,” by former youngster hip-hoppers Kris Kross. It was probably the last song anyone expected — just beating out Rush’s “The Trees.” Shanna couldn’t nail the necessary fast leg work, and the tempo of the song made the routine feel even slower. It was solid, but not loose enough to be great.

Len said this week was “much, much better. You were right with him the whole way through.” Bruno told Shanna, “You’re still not quite there, but carry on with the work, and you’ll get there.” Carrie Ann said, “Shanna, I don’t know what you’re still worried about. That was a good, solid Mambo.”
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 = 22/30

Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson – Quickstep
Kym hyperextended her knee&nbsp;during a&nbsp;Jive&nbsp;practice with some of the other pros.&nbsp;While she worried that Jerry would fall behind in his Quickstep training, he feared that her injury could be career ending. After some medical tests, Kym was cleared to perform with Jerry, who told her, “Dancing with me, you’re always dancing in pain.”

They donned 1920s era outfits, and danced to “Sing, Sing Sing.” Jerry showed a lot of improvement from last week; He’s much more comfortable with Standard than Latin. He even generated some good speed near the end. It was a credible performance that left the crowd chanting, “Jerry! Jerry!”

Bruno told Jerry, “You covered a lot of mishaps with a great performance.” Carrie Ann was “very impressed,” and remarked that Kym’s injury didn’t seem to affect her performance. Len said that he wasn’t going to cut them any slack because of Kym’s injury. Then he had some advice for Jerry. “I’ve always looked up to you as a father figure. You can’t keep up with the younger guys, so work on the things you can: technique and hold. You can be better than any of them.” Tom told Len, “I thought the only person you looked up to as a father figure was Methuselah.”

While waiting for the judges’ scores, Samantha asked if Kym’s injury made Jerry nervous about his chances. He looked at Kym and said, “Oh yeah. Like we’re gonna lose because of your knee.” In the background, Willa and Max nearly fell off their chairs from laughing so hard at Jerry’s constant stream of self-deprecating comments.
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 6, Bruno: 6 = 19/30

Vivica A. Fox & Nick Kosovich – Mambo
For their routine, Nick left his shirt open, exposing an oven-roasted chest, reminiscent of Kramer on the episode of Seinfeld where he exchanges his sunblock for butter. Their routine felt the most authentic, like something you might see at a club. In her heels, Vivica was still able to execute a perfect cartwheel.

Len said, “You sold that, and I loved the spins. But it was like a pizza: the top half was hot and spicy; the bottom was doughy.” After Nick remarked that some people like the crust, Bruno took the pizza analogy in a creepy direction and said, “The crust…is tasty!” Carrie Ann said, “The beginning was weak, but near the end, you brought it to the floor.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8 = 24/30

Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska – Quickstep
During rehearsal, Joey said the Quickstep made him feel “like a marionette or a robot.”&nbsp;Joey&nbsp;equated the Quickstep with other things he finds difficult,&nbsp;”like math.”&nbsp;After he&nbsp;showed Edyta a tap routine he did when he was five, she decided to work it into the routine.

They danced to “I’ve Got Rhythm,” another lively and appropriate song, like “Sing, Sing, Sing.” Joey’s practice fears were unfounded. The performance was fun and crowd-pleasing, while still looking like a real Quickstep — definitely the best of the night. The studio audience loved it, including Ted Danson, who dropped by to promote his new show, Danson with the Stars.

Carrie Ann said, “Last week, you were boring. This week, you were f-…oops, I almost swore…you were fantastic!” Len called it “the performance of the night. Beautiful rise and fall.” Bruno said the routine was “worthy of the golden age of Hollywood,” which was exactly what Joey and Edyta were going for. Joey couldn’t stop thanking the judges and blowing kisses to the audience.
Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 9, Bruno – 10 = 29/30

Sara Evans & Tony Dovolani – Mambo
This week, Sara took Tony to her house near Nashville, so that he could meet some of her fans.

Sara is a beautiful woman, but she didn’t bring enough passion to the Mambo. The routine was cute and fun, but not sexy. Sara smiled a lot more than she did last week, but the smile hardly reached her eyes, as you could see how hard she was concentrating on her steps. It was an improvement, and Sara’s working hard, but she’s got a ways to go before being as comfortable on the dance floor as she is behind a microphone.

Len said Sara was “much, much better than last week. I liked your hip action, but you dance too carefully.” Carrie called it “a very nice, safe Mambo.” Bruno said, “This is the Sara I wanted to see. Go for it. I want you to kill me on that dance floor.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7 = 21/30

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – Quickstep
Emmitt’s used to running with his shoulders forward, so he struggled with the straight posture of the Quickstep. He’s also a perfectionist, leading him to put so much pressure on himself that he wasn’t having a good time on the first day of rehearsal.

During the performance, Emmitt stayed in character, smiling the whole time, and looking like he meant it. He even sang along with some of the music. Cheryl made a point of working ways in for Emmitt to show off his personality, while still executing the necessary Quickstep moves. It was a nice balance of elements.

Bruno told Emmitt, “You have such a natural charisma, you’re so light on your feet. Go take ballet with Vivica.” Carrie asked Emmitt, “Would you mind if I called you Twinkle Toes?” Len said, “It was not quite as good as your Cha Cha&nbsp;last week, but it was still a great performance.”
Judges’ Scores…Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8 = 24/30


1 – Joey & Edyta
2 – Monique & Louis
3 (tie)- Vivica & Nick, Emmitt & Cheryl
5 – Willa & Max
6 – Shanna & Jesse
7 (tie)- Harry & Ashly, Mario & Karina, Sara & Tony
10 – Jerry & Kym

Joey got my vote tonight. He was the best of the week, and he deserves to be rewarded for it. I’m guessing Willa and Shanna are in the most trouble. If one of them goes, it could be good for the other, as viewers will no longer have to wonder which young blonde is which.

DwtS In-Season Update: 9-18-06

Now that we’ve seen the DwtS 3 celebrities in action, it’s time for me to rethink my preseason predictions. I’m
0-for-1 so far, as I had Shanna & Jesse going before Tucker &
Elena. In my defense, that was before I saw Tucker dance.

Here’s where I have the dancers slotted this week:

10. Shanna Moakler & Jesse DeSoto
Preseason Rank – 11
wasn’t one of the better celeb dancers, and she had little chemistry
with Jesse. On top of that, her tale of enduring a celebrity divorce
wasn’t compelling enough to help her escape the Bottom Three. The sob
story route could wear even thinner with viewers as the weeks go on, so Shanna needs
to exhibit some more personality (and dance better) if she means to
stick around.

9. Willa Ford & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Preseason Rank – 4
tying for third with the judges, Willa still wound up in the Bottom Three, after the fan vote was added in. If we learned anything from
Stacy Keibler’s popularity problems near the end of last season, it’s
that DwtS fans are not easily beguiled by gorgeous blondes.
Willa may be able to turn things around with a few weeks of perfect
dancing, but she might not be given that much time. That would be too
bad, since she danced well and seemed fun… and her partner is Max.

8. Harry Hamlin & Ashly DelGrosso
Preseason Rank – 1
I said that the only way Harry could lose is if he couldn’t dance. Harry can’t dance.

7. Monique Coleman & Louis van Amstel
Preseason Rank – 6
seems like a nice girl and a competent dancer. She just may not have
the chops or the star power to last long into the competition.

6. Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson
Preseason Rank – 8
finishing in 9th place with the judges last week, Jerry needed a huge number of fan
votes to stay out of the Bottom Three. He got the votes he needed,
which should scare the sequins off of his competitors. Jerry’s only way
out of the competition may be to ask his fans to stop voting for him.

5. Joey Lawrence & Edyta Sliwinska
Preseason Rank – 7
had a good first performance, but there’s still room to improve. Now
that the team has seen the competition they’re up against, it’s up to Edyta to craft some
show-stopping routines for Joey.

4. Sara Evans & Tony Dovolani
Preseason Rank – 3
Last week, the judges gave Sara an even lower score than they did Jerry. Yet she, too, avoided the Bottom
Three thanks to an active fanbase. Sara was a little nervous in her
first outing, but she’s got enough potential — and enough fans around
the country — that she should stick around for a long time. Tony is
still the key; he needs to adjust and choreograph to his partner’s
strengths. Sara Evans isn’t Stacy Keibler, but she doesn’t have to be.

3. Vivica A. Fox & Nick Kosovich
Preseason Rank – 2
gave a wonderful performance last week, and she looks to be the alpha
female of the competition. She’s also the biggest star in the field,
and I’d guess she has enough support to fend off fan favorites like
Jerry and Sara, who don’t dance at the same level.

2. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke
Preseason Rank – 5
Rice finished in second place last season, and he’s not even as good a
dancer as Emmitt is. Emmitt’s popularity and talent should keep the
other celebrities on their toes; one wrong move, and Emmitt could win
the whole thing. If he remains the fan favorite, all he has to do
is survive to the final three, and then come in second with the judges.
Since the fan votes are the tiebreaker, Emmitt would get the trophy.

1. Mario Lopez & Karina Smirnoff
Preseason Rank – 9
now, I have to rank the season’s best dancer in the number one spot.
However, there are rumors floating around that Mario’s had extensive
dance training, contradicting what he said on last week’s show. Couple
that news with the fact that his cheating ways led his ex-wife to annul their marriage less than a week after the wedding, and Mario could lose a good chunk of his fan
support. He needs to be perfect from here on out to stay in the top

In Other DwtS News:
you placed a bet that Jerry Springer & Kym Johnson were the most
likely pair to suffer a season-ending injury, you’d be right. But
it was Kym who
blew out her knee during practice, not Jerry. Kym looks to be out of the
competition, and Jerry is currently training with Nick Kosovich’s wife.
We’ll find out Tuesday night if she’ll be his partner for the
remainder of the season. (9-19-06 Update: Word on the street is that Kym’s injury might not be as bad as initially feared, and she may be able to continue dancing with Jerry. We’ll find out when tonight’s show airs!)

Fans of Cheryl Burke will get an extra chance to see her this week, as she guest stars on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody,
on the Disney Channel. The episode, which airs on Thursday, September
22, also features some routines choreographed by Louis van Amstel.

Cheryl’s former partner, Drew Lachey, will be the special guest on the October 4 DwtS Results Show.

Tucker Carlson revealed in an interview why he danced so poorly last week. He was rattled because his shirt had been sewn to his underwear
in order to keep the shirt from coming untucked during the performance.
I’d probably have trouble dancing under those conditions, myself.

TAR 10: Premiere

The premiere of The Amazing Race 10 featured one of the most
ethnically diverse casts in the show’s history. By the end of the
episode, that diversity had been reduced significantly.

featured two teams in most of the ads leading up to the season
premiere: Muslim friends Bilal & Sa’eed, and disabled triathlete
Sarah & her boyfriend, Peter. Though those two teams may have been
the most obvious hooks for viewers, they weren’t the only interesting people.

There’s Mary, a wife and mother
whose self-image is warped enough that she thinks her husband, David, is
“too cute” for her. David is a coal miner from Kentucky, who looks
like…a coal miner from Kentucky.

Friends Tyler & James were
introduced as “recovering drug addicts and models,” though I’m not sure
how one recovers from modelling. As they introduced themselves, we saw
an old photo of one of the guys, glossy-eyed and clutching a tank of

And my favorite unintentional comedy team is Kellie
& Jamie, a pair of cheerleaders who wondered aloud if Muslims
worship Buddha.

The twelve teams started the race in Seattle,
Washington. Host Phil Keoghan promised that, in addition to eight
elimination legs, there were new surprises afoot this season. Maybe
teams that lose non-elimination legs will spend a night on Exile Island.

Phil’s sendoff, teams drove to the airport en route to Beijing, China.
Korean-American brothers Erwin & Godwin were eager to “get back to
the homeland. Even though we’re not Chinese.”

At the airport,
teams jockeyed to get on the first of two planes heading to China. The
first, a United flight, left an hour before the second, on Korean Air.
However, only six teams would be allowed on the United flight.

they waited in the gate for the first plane, Alabama single moms Lyn
& Karlyn were annoyed that Sarah, who has a prosthetic leg, took
advantage of the early boarding privileges for passengers with
disabilities. It seemed there was little strategic motivation behind boarding early, but Sarah definitely managed to get under Lyn and Karlyn’s skin.

of a delay for the United flight, the two planes arrived within a
half-hour of one another. Beauty Queens Dustin & Kandice lost the
meager lead they had when they became the season’s first victims of a
bad cab driver. He took them to multiple restaurants before they were
able to find the one featured on their clue: the Gold House Restaurant.

In The Amazing Race,
a restaurant is usually a harbinger of disgusting things to come. The
Gold House was no exception. A Road Block instructed one team member to
dig into a bowl of fish head stew (Eww!), pluck out the fishes’
eyeballs (Eww! Eww!), and eat them (Eww! x 1000).

team Duke & Lauren arrived at the restaurant first. Their
relationship has been on thin ice since Lauren came out as a lesbian.
Fortunately, as everyone knows, the first step in mending a troubled
family relationship is for the elder member to eat fish eyes in the
presence of the the younger member.

Dustin & Kandice
recovered from their bad cabbie to wind up in the middle of the pack,
thanks to a local boy who led them to the restaurant on foot.

& Godwin weren’t so lucky. Their driver was equally bad, but they’d
been on the second flight, so they had little room for error. By the time
the brothers arrived at the Gold House, only Bilal & Sa’eed and
Indian-American couple Vipul and Arti were left. But those teams were
already finishing up their eyeballs.

From the restaurant, teams
traveled by taxi to the Meridian Gate within the Forbidden City. Teams
chose one of three departure times for the next morning from tickets on
a pillar. Four tickets read “7:00,” four read “7:15,” three read
“7:30,” and one read, “Last Team.” This ticket signified one of the
surprises Phil had mentioned earlier.

Erwin & Godwin lucked
into a fast cabbie after the restaurant, and they arrived at the gate
at the same time as Bilal & Sa’eed. The brothers won a footrace to
the tickets, and Bilal and Sa’eed drew the final ticket.

ticket instructed the final team to head to the traditional Pit Stop
mat, where Phil waited for them. Phil informed Bilal and Sa’eed that,
even though this was not a Pit Stop, they had been eliminated from the

After an initial moment of shock, Bilal said that the
surprise elimination proved that “you have no control over anything.
The Creator does.” He’s right. It’s Jerry Bruckheimer’s show, and that
guy does whatever he wants.

With the fear of God, or at least the producers, put into them, teams departed the next morning in the following order:
7:00 – Peter & Sarah, Lyn & Karlyn, Tyler & James, and Duke & Lauren
7:15 – Kellie & Jamie, Mary & David, Dustin & Kandice, and boyfriends Tom & Terry
7:30 – Erwin & Godwin, Vipul & Arti, and dating couple Rob & Kimberly

rode on WWII motorcycles with sidecars, instructing their drivers to a
particular intersection. There, they hopped in a pedicab and rode to a
Detour: “Labor or Leisure.”

In Labor, teams rode to a market and
paved a section of sidewalk, using bricks to create a specific pattern.
It was the more labor-intensive of the two tasks, but it could be
completed quickly if teams figured out the pattern and avoided
bickering with each other.

In Leisure, teams traveled to a park
to learn a Tai Chi-like routine that involved balancing a ball on a
paddle. The task required coordination, patience, and rhythm

Most of
the teams chose Labor, including Vipul & Arti, who’d gotten lost on
their motor bikes and arrived at the Detour in last place. The Labor
Detour brought out the worst in some teams, and Mary & David and
Rob & Kimberly seem the teams most likely to bicker this season.

nitpicky criticism of Sarah as they worked on their brick pattern
grated on Karlyn’s nerves. “He tries to micromanage so much,” Karlyn
muttered. “They can kiss my behind.”

Kellie & Jamie and Tom
& Terry, the only teams to choose the Leisure Detour, got stuck in
traffic on their way to the park. Kellie & Jamie started a cheer,
which Tom & Terry repeated, to the cheerleaders’ delight.

the park, both teams spent a good amount of time twirling and launching
balls all over the place before finally getting the hang of it. Task
completed, both teams made their way to the Pit Stop — Juyongguan,
part of the Great Wall.

In order to reach the Pit Stop, teams
needed to scale a wall using a rope with loops spaced every few feet.
The technique was difficult to master, putting one foot in a loop while
pulling up with the arms in order to put the second foot in a higher

The task was especially difficult for Sarah. She had to
rely almost completely on her upper body strength as she hopped from
one loop to the next. Thanks to her triathlon training, Sarah already
had a strong upper body, and she actually finished the task in what
appeared to be less time than some of the other women.

bagged his nitpicking while she climbed, but his efforts at
encouragement took on a hyperbolic, patronizing air. “You are a
world-class athlete,” he shouted. “No one else could do this… When you make it, I’m
going to cry.” (He didn’t.) Sarah and Peter met
because he designs prosthetic legs, and it seems as if he might have
co-opted Sarah’s personal struggles as his own.

Models Tyler
& James scaled the wall with relative ease and reached the finish
mat in first place, winning a $20,000 prize. An emotional Lauren, who
cried because she was so happy to be spending time with her dad again,
finished in second place alongside daddy Duke.

Sarah & Peter came
in third, followed by Dustin & Kandice. Rob & Kimberly (who’d given her cabbie instructions to head to “the Great Wall…the Great Wall of China“)
finished in fifth. They were followed by Kellie & Jamie, Erwin
& Godwin, and Tom & Terry.

Karlyn, Lyn, and Mary all struggled
to hoist themselves up the wall, but the Alabama moms edged out the
Kentucky couple for ninth. As Mary climbed, David told her they were in last
place, and she apologized to him as she climbed the final stretch of

At the mat, Phil informed Dave & Mary that they were
actually in tenth place, not last. Vipul and Arti had yet to arrive at the wall. Overjoyed at still being in the race, and
angry with her husband for making her feel bad, Mary didn’t embrace her spouse until after she’d hugged Phil and
the Chinese greeter at the Pit Stop.

& Arti eventually showed up and were eliminated. They were happy
to have had the chance to race, however brief it was.

elimination, along with Bilal’s & Sa’eed’s elimination earlier in
the leg, brought the total number of non-white teams competing from
four to two. Hopes for an ethnically diverse season may be short-lived
if this keeps up.

Next week, Rob & Kimberly have what should
be the first of many fights. Plus, temperamental horses and oxen give the
teams trouble — and me a reason to live. There’s nothing I love more
than a troublesome ox.