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
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.