DwtS 4, Week 5: Power Rankings

7. John Ratzenberger & Edyta Sliwinska
John & Edyta’s Samba was a lot of fun, but I’m afraid their reprieve may just be temporary. A vote for John & Edyta this week was probably as much a vote against Clyde & Elena as it was actual praise for this couple’s performance.

Their best hope for survival is to give another energetic routine — assuming that they haven’t been assigned a slow dance — and pray that either Billy Ray or Heather perform horribly. Otherwise, good old Cliffy the mailman might be returned to sender.

6. Heather Mills & Jonathan Roberts
Despite an impressive early showing, Heather’s descent to the Bottom Two was inevitable. The dancing amputee mystique (Who knew there was such a force?) has faded, and we’re seeing true size of Heather’s fanbase — and it ain’t that big. She and Jonathan are totally capable of pulling off a great routine, and they’re going to need it now more than ever.

5. Billy Ray Cyrus & Karina Smirnoff
Billy Ray isn’t that impressive as a dancer, but he seems like a nice enough guy. However, that shouldn’t be enough to keep him out of the Bottom Two week after week. I wouldn’t be surprised if his success is largely due to the Hannah Montana fans who get a kick out of seeing his daughter, Miley, in the audience.

Billy Ray is still his own biggest obstacle. The group Swing number could make him nervous if he’s worried about being compared directly to better dancers like Apolo or Joey. And seeing Clyde liberated and given the extra time for golf and family activities might sap some of Billy Ray’s enthusiasm for working a third full-time job that doesn’t come naturally to him. If he’s really had enough, he’ll have a hard time concealing it.

4. Ian Ziering & Cheryl Burke
Ian & Cheryl have been consistent all season — which is the polite way of saying they haven’t done anything spectacular, yet. If they don’t perform an amazing routine in the next two weeks, I think Cheryl’s going to find herself in the Bottom Two for the first time in her storied DwtS career.

3. Laila Ali & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Laila & Maks have moved around in the Power Rankings since their first performance, although never out of the top four. They finished in second place with the judges this week, which is a real turnaround after a two not-so-great performances. To really ensure their safety, they’re going to have to score higher than Joey & Kym on a regular basis.

2. Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
I wouldn’t be surprised if Joey & Kym and Apolo & Julianne trade Results Show encores for the most of the season. Joey & Kym have no problem choreographing entertaining routines, so they should continue to stay near the top of the leaderboard.

1. Apolo Anton Ohno & Julianne Hough
Their perfect-scoring Samba was the push that Apolo & Julianne needed to make them the favorites. So what gives them the edge over the competition? Cuteness. Sure, they can be sexy on the dance floor, but when they’re standing in front of the judges, they’re all cute.

That cuteness makes us want to protect them from harsh judges’ comments, and makes us hope for their success. MOIB reader Jenny K. has even compared Julianne’s charm to that of Doris Day. Having watched That Touch of Mink a couple weeks back, I can see the comparison. None of the other couples has exhibited the charm that Apolo & Julianne have.

Unless they screw up, it may already be too late for anyone to stop Apolo & Julianne’s date with the trophy.