Monthly Archives: October 2007

Ox Notes: October 23, 2007

TV Guide’s backstage report has details on what led to Marie’s collapse last night on Dancing with the Stars. Smoke from the wildfires surrounding Los Angeles had been aggravating Marie’s asthma all day, and she’d forgotten to bring her inhaler to the show. Producer Conrad Green said Marie would be examined by doctors today.

Fellow contestant Jane Seymour was also struggling with the wildfires: her husband, James Keach, ignored an evacuation order and stayed behind to protect their Malibu home.

The fires brought an end to the filming of an episode of 24, and currently threaten the bed & breakfast owned by Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott. Fans of MTV’s The Hills will be relieved to know that Spencer Pratt & Heidi Montag’s house has been spared.

Viva Laughlin was not so lucky. Cop Rock: Las Vegas got canned after only two airings, and will be replaced this Sunday by a CSI rerun. The latest season of The Amazing Race debuts as its permanent replacement on November 4.

And I’ve got a new reason to watch Sportscenter: the hilarious Rick Reilly has signed on to do on-air commentary for ESPN. He doesn’t start until next June, however.

DwtS 5, Week 5: Performances

One of the stars really got down this week on Dancing with the Stars. Just not in a good way.

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Samba
Marie & Jonathan’s Samba was well-executed and cute, but lacked sizzle. Marie’s unflattering dress was ruffled in all the wrong places, and its robin’s egg blue color contributed to the performances cutesy vibe.

As Len explained why the Samba is difficult for amateurs to master, Marie began breathing heavily and slumped to the ground. Tom Bergeron immediately said they’d be back after a commercial break, as the audience gasped and the judges looked on in concern. The HD feed stayed with the show long enough to hear the band kick in awkwardly with their standard bump music.

After returning from commercial, an alert Marie stood backstage with Jonathan waiting to get their scores from the judges.

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Backstage with the couple, Samantha Harris told Marie, "If you thought fainting would get you 10s, it didn’t work." Marie chuckled and said, "No, you don’t plan those things." Then she explained that she occasionally passes out when she gets winded, and then apologized for spooking everyone.

Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani — Rumba
Jane & Tony’s Rumba seemed a little low key after the drama that preceded it. But Jane moved beautifully, and she looked stunning in an open-backed red dress.

Bruno gushed over Jane: "It was wonderful. You looked like Edyta at times." Carrie Ann noted, "There is a bit of a problem on your spots on your turns." Len told Jane, "You’re really classy the way you dance."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Mark Cuban & Kym Johnson — Samba
Mark & Kym danced to the I Dream of Jeannie theme song, with Kym dressed as Jeannie. Mark dressed as a nerd, which didn’t make sense, considering Jeannie’s master was an Air Force Captain (and astronaut). Despite that, Mark did move better, now that he’s decided to just have fun and not worry so much about the judges’ scores.

Carrie Ann said, "I actually liked it. The content was there as well. The only thing that was really lacking…was the technique." Len told Mark, "Get that lamp, rub it hard, and hope that Jeannie sorts your feet out." Bruno said, "It was your most entertaining dance to date."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30

Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas — Rumba
Sabrina’s dance was much more fluid than Jane’s, and more romantic as well — especially when Mark put his face in Sabrina’s cleavage at the end of the routine.

Len said, "Your strength is [that] you’ve got no weaknesses. For me, there was one or two over-the-top poses and postures going on." Bruno countered, "A good trick is a good trick. It was a totally grown up, ripe, womanly performance." Carrie Ann told Sabrina, "Normally, you knock us over. Tonight, you gently beckoned us in. You’re just hitting the edges of your turns a little hard."

Backstage, Sabrina took Len’s comments in stride: "I think Len has so many amazing comments, and they’re what keep getting us better each week."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 28/30

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Samba
Derek took Jennie to a Hip-Hop choreographer to help her learn to "shake her fun stuff." Jennie did an admirable job shakin’ it, but it’s still apparent that acting sexy is unnatural to her. Still, the routine’s fast turns and variety of moves made up for any awkwardness.

Bruno said, "This Samba had so much content, it was almost like How-To-Samba. Performance-wise, you stalled a little bit." Carrie Ann agreed, "Tonight is just a rough night. You were trying to give us a lot more sexy than you’re used to and you’re comfortable with, and I appreciate that." Len said, "I thought it was far better than these two did."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…8 = 25/30

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Rumba
Helio’s black, sparkly turtleneck drew attention to the problems in his performance: hunched shoulders and effeminate arm movements. If Julianne hadn’t looked so beautiful, the dance would’ve been a loss.

Carrie Ann told Helio, "I didn’t feel your spirit in this dance, and your lines were a bit awkward this week." Len quipped, "I’ve seen more romance at the dentist." Bruno told Helio, "You looked in pain."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…7, Bruno…8 = 23/30

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Samba
Intercontinental travel must not have left Mel & Maks with much time to craft a proper wardrobe. Nude-colored dresses and shirts with neon pink and yellow racing stripes are never a good idea. Bad outfits aside, they gave the most energetic and loose Samba of the night, complete with Mel doing the splits.

Len, who’s apparently never eaten an M&M before, said, "M&M, isn’t it? Fruity, sweet, delicious." Bruno said, "That was full of excitement. For me, the best Samba of the night." Carrie Ann went one step further: "That was my favorite dance you’ve done this season."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 29/30

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Rumba
For their routine, I think Edyta mistakenly donned the outfit she’ll be wearing in the upcoming Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The routine was loaded with more tricks than any of the night’s other routines, after last week’s crackdown on lifts by the judges. While the tricks added "Wow!" factor, it meant that Cameron got away with doing little dancing, at times.

Bruno gushed, "Incredible passion." Carrie Ann said, "Emotionally, I thought you guys aced this," but noted that Edyta’s foot came off the ground during the second trick. Len appreciated Cameron’s improvement, but warned, "Edyta, don’t keep doing those one-legged spins. They’re gettin’ on my nerves."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Leaderboard:
29 — Mel & Maks
28 — Sabrina & Mark
26 — Jane & Tony, Cameron & Edyta
25 — Jennie & Derek
23 — Helio & Julianne
21 — Marie & Jonathan, Mark & Kym

Apart from Mel & Maks’ Samba and Sabrina & Mark’s Rumba, none of the performances made a lasting impression on me. While Mark & Kym and Marie & Jonathan could wind up in the Bottom Two, a few minutes under the bright red spotlight might be what it takes to wake Helio & Julianne up and get them back to the top of the leaderboard next week.

Ox Notes: October 22, 2007

Las Vegas oddsmakers updated the betting odds on the remaining Dancing with the Stars contestants, now that their preseason favorite to win, Floyd Mayweather, has been eliminated. Carrie Ann Inaba told People that Sabrina, Helio, Jane, and Cameron are all in the running for a Season 5 victory.

Two_left_feet, a poster at Dance-Forums, figured out who’s dancing what on tonight’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show. Jennie, Marie, Melanie, and Mark will Samba, and Sabrina, Helio, Jane, and Cameron will Rumba.

Former DwtS contestant Lisa Rinna has started a fitness class called Cardio Ballroom with her pro partner on the show, Louis van Amstel. Meanwhile, Lisa’s fellow Season 2 contestant Stacy Keibler isn’t really up to anything.

Fox’s Next Great American Band debuted on Friday to an audience of less than 4 million. I plan to keep watching it as long as Light of Doom — the prepubescent Iron Maiden — is on the show.

NGAB’s dismal debut comes at a time when networks are turning more of their Friday and Saturday night programming over to reruns, as viewers are using those nights to catch up on shows they recorded earlier in the week, anyway.

And a revised cast list for Donald Trump’s celebrity edition of The Apprentice has surfaced, including Marilu Henner, Stephen Baldwin, and Gene Simmons. NBC’s lawyers had the good sense to override Trump’s request to cast LiLo’s unstable dad, Michael Lohan.

Survivor China: Episode 5

Peih-Gee and Jamie established a new Survivor maxim: when the producers mess with you, you mess back.

Before producers thrust a big twist upon the tribes, romance was brewing at both camps. At Zhan Hu, Jaime confirmed her affection for Erik by telling him about the hidden Immunity Idol. And at Fei Long, human action figure James admitted to have a certain appreciation for the hard working lunchlady, Denise: "If Denise was 10 years younger, or if I was older — whichever way — Denise would be in trouble."

The lovebirds were interrupted when a boat pulled up at each camp. Chinese fishermen handed each tribe a note instructing them to choose two members of the opposing tribe to join their own.

Fei Long chose Frosti and Sherea because of their strong performances in challenges. Then the tribe — correctly assuming that the other tribe would be receiving a similar message — steeled themselves for the likely departure of James and Aaron.

Zhan Hu selected James and Aaron, and immediately started celebrating the addition of two members to their ranks. "Power really shifted to our tribe today," bragged Peih-Gee.

It never occurred to the members of Zhan Hu that Fei Long might have gotten the same note. Not when their boat left, and not when a second boat arrived without James or Aaron. The depleted Zhan Hu tribe thought the producers were just giving them the gift of two strong members.

Only when they were handed the second note, instructing them to hand over Frosti and Sherea, did they realize that their good fortune came with a price.

After swapping tribe members, both tribes celebrated with a basket of food and wine. But Peih-Gee never stopped thinking about the game, and she pulled Jaime aside to discuss strategy.

If Zhan Hu won the upcoming Immunity Challenge, then Fei Long was sure to vote off Frosti or Sherea. Assuming that the tribes would merge when there were ten Survivors left in the game — and assuming that Zhan Hu won the next two Immunity Challenges — Zhan Hu would enter the merge with only three original members.

However, if Zhan Hu lost the next two Immunity Challenges on purpose, Peih-Gee, Jaime, and Erik could get rid of James and Aaron, and Zhan Hu would enter the merge with five original members to Fei Long’s five.

In other words, by throwing the next two challenges, Zhan Hu could neutralize the twist and garner the same net effect as if they’d won the two challenges and lucked into Fei Long voting out its two strongest members

At the Immunity Challenge, Erik & Aaron (Zhan Hu) and Jean Robert and Frosti (Fei Long) exhausted themselves diving for underwater puzzle pieces and dragging them to shore. Apparently, Peih-Gee and Jaime hadn’t filled Erik in on the plan ahead of time.

Onshore both teams began assembling their puzzles at nearly the same time: Peih-Gee, Jaime, and James for Zhan Hu, and Sherea, Denise, and Todd for Fei Long. But Jaime and Peih-Gee giggled uncontrollably and blundered about, with Jaime going to far as to discretely pitch one of their puzzle pieces into some tall grass. Only host Jeff Probst suspected they were tanking the challenge; everyone else just thought they were idiots.

Working by himself, James couldn’t outsolve Fei Long’s puzzle masters, and Zhan Hu lost, badly.

Back at camp, a confused Erik confronted the still giggling Jaime and Peih-Gee: "What the hell was that?" Jaime asked Erik, "Could you not tell we were throwing it?" Evidently, Erik couldn’t. He didn’t approve of what they’d done, but he wasn’t going to turn against them, since their plan wasn’t without merit.

Later, Peih-Gee asked a grumpy James if he’d like to stay in the game at Aaron’s expense. James replied, "Send my ass home." But Jaime felt that Aaron’s social connections with the members of Fei Long made him dangerous.

At Tribal Council, Jeff Probst got Jaime to confirm that they’d thrown the challenge, and James said that he didn’t want to stay on a team that was happy about losing. But the original members of Zhan Hu stuck with their plan and voted out Aaron.

After being eliminated, Aaron said, "I’d rather still be on that island with those people, even though I don’t like them anymore."

Next time, prepare to leave the room when the Survivors endure a gross food challenge.

Ox Notes: October 19, 2007

Fox’s The Next Great American Band premieres tonight at 8 ET. Even though the producers are promising more talented musicians than they get on American Idol, Reality Blurred notes that sticking it on Friday night isn’t much of an indicator of confidence.

Judge John Rzeznik told TV Guide what he’s looking for in The Next Great American Band.

In other musical competition news, CMT will run Gone Country in January, in which non-country artists try to start a country music career. With a line up that includes Bobby Brown, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, and rapper Sisqo, how can I not watch?

Private Practice, The Big Bang Theory, and The Unit have all been picked up for full seasons.

And due to the overwhelming stress of the dog-adoption scandal she got herself into, Ellen DeGeneres canceled the Friday taping of her show. Kudos to Jane Seymour for publicly handling her mother’s passing with more composure than Ellen’s shown after someone took her hairdresser’s dog away.

Ox Notes: October 18, 2007

Sabrina Bryan and Mark Cuban wrote about their experiences performing on Dancing with the Stars this week. And TV Guide caught up with Julianne and Derek Hough’s mom, Marriann Nelson, about how her kids got into ballroom dancing.

Cheryl Burke is giving the Travelocity Gnome a run for his money in this MSNBC article about her extensive travels. Her best travel tip: save money on room service by ordering off the kids menu. (Thanks, again, to Ox pal Imee for the link).

I really liked this quote Wade Robson from Entertainment Weekly’s Results Show recap: "If you Googled ‘lost in forest at stroke of midnight not scared just euphoric oh but s— there’s a troupe of zombies HOW DO I BLEND IN,’ you would probably get a complete YouTube listing of Wade Robson-orchestrated dances."

Here’s an interview with Dave Cruser, the contestant most recently ejected from Survivor: China.

CW has canceled Online Nation, which was finishing in 27th place in its time slot on Sunday nights, below the likes of VH-1 reruns of America’s Next Top Model. It’s been replaced by re-airs of Aliens in America.

Sci-Fi has greenlit a pilot for Revolution, a futuristic action-drama they hope can take the place of Battlestar Galactica when it wraps.

Debi Mazar, Aida Turturro, and Karen Duffy are developing a talk show they’ve described as the New Jersey version of The View.

And here’s a link to video of Dennis Kucinich emptying his pockets on The Colbert Report. He was funny enough to earn my vote. Well, that, and I agree with him on most issues.

Ox Notes: October 17, 2007

Be very grateful that Floyd Mayweather left Dancing with the Stars when he did. According to People’s backstage report from Monday’s Performance Show, he and Karina were going to wear afro wigs if they performed next week. People filed a report from last night’s Results Show as well.

TV Guide had plenty of time to gather material during last night’s extra-long Results Show taping. In their backstage report, Carrie Ann Inaba explained why competitors aren’t supposed to do lifts until the finale freestyle routine, and the reasons she offered make a lot of sense.

Jennie Garth posted at her blog about surviving to dance another week. And USA Today has an article about what Cheryl Burke’s doing with the first real stretch of free time she’s had in two years (Thanks to Imee for the link).

The November issue of Real Simple magazine has a Got Milk? ad featuring Laila Ali, and People was there for the photo shoot.

In other reality show news, the bar at Caesars Palace is offering the four-course meal that earned Hung the title Top Chef.

Fox has ordered more episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and shelved New Amsterdam, while USA Network has turned The Starter Wife into a weekly series.

And Star Wars fans can get their hopes up. George Lucas is looking into turning the movie franchise into a live-action TV series.

DwtS 5, Week 4: Results

Mel B survived a scary trip to the Bottom Two, and Floyd went down for the count on this week’s Dancing with the Stars Results Show.

Len Goodman started the show with a warning: "No lifts from now on." Then he awarded the judges’ encore to Cameron & Edyta because it was a "breakthrough" performance for them.

After Gloria Estefan’s last minute withdrawal from the show to be with her sick mother, the producers had to scramble to find replacement performers. The DwtS house band and singers did a fine job performing Estefan’s "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You," and DwtS pros Tony Dovolani, Elena Grinenko, Anna Trebunskaya, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced.

Following the performance, last night’s studio audience offered their opinions on the lift controversy. One female audience member suggested, "Someone didn’t get romance last night, and that was Carrie Ann." Former DwtS pro Ashly Del Grosso had floorside seats, and she agreed with Carrie Ann’s judgment: "I did see a lot of those lifts, and that is in the rules that you can’t do it."

Then the first two safe couples were announced: Sabrina & Mark and Cameron & Edyta. They’ll be around to watch next week’s special Results Show musical guest, Jennifer Lopez.

In a rare, slightly humorous Jimmy Kimmel segment, he and his parking lot attendant Guillermo looked into the dancers’ habit of spray tanning. As Melanie Brown walked out of the tanning room, Guillermo muttered, "Wow, she’s really tan." The several quizzical looks Mel gave in response made the scene work.

After that, Wade Robson took the floor for the best performance of the evening. Wade served as ringmaster in a creepy circus. The routine was very cool, and it was neat to see Wade doing all of the wacky moves he usually makes the dancers on So You Think You Can Dance do.

That dynamic routine was followed by the other fill-in performance of the evening. Drew Lachey & Cheryl Burke gave a lovely dance to Wayne Newton’s "Danke Schoen." If I hadn’t read the news about Gloria Estefan, I wouldn’t have known this week’s performances had been arranged at the last minute.

In a video package, Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer, Reverend Run and Russell Simmons, and Joan and Melissa Rivers offered their opinions on what makes a good partnership. According to everyone, trust is always a key.

Then, Mark & Kym were announced as safe, while Floyd & Karina became the first couple sent to the Bottom Two.

Before the fates of the remaining couples were revealed, the celebrities discussed their greatest fears in a video clip package. Marie described the difference between singing and dancing onstage: "I know how to fix it if I make a mistake when I sing. I don’t know how to do that with my feet."

Cameron’s constantly afraid of dropping Edyta, and Sabrina worries about tripping down the stairs when they’re introduced. Jennie says falling was her biggest fear, but she learned from her fall in Week 3 that "even if my worst fear came true, I could move forward."

Jennie & Derek and Helio & Julianne were then told they were safe, leaving Marie & Jonathan, Mel & Maks, and Jane & Tony to worry a bit longer. Ultimately, Mel & Maks were told that they’d landed in the Bottom Two with Floyd.

The judges were stunned by the results. Bruno gave a candid answer when asked who should stay and who should go: "Melanie is the best dancer. There’s no question. C’mon, people. It’s insane."

Floyd & Karina were told to hit the bricks, and Floyd thanked all of his fans and everyone behind the scenes at DwtS. Karina said she enjoyed working with Floyd: "I got to know the real you."

The couple danced their last dance to Supertramp’s "Take the Long Way Home."

Ox Notes: October 16, 2007

Gloria Estefan had to cancel her performance at tonight’s Dancing with the Stars Results Show to be with her ailing mother. ABC hasn’t named a replacement act yet, and it’s unclear how that will affect the "former contestant and former champion" that were scheduled to perform with Glo. I have a hunch that the champ is Cheryl Burke and the contestant is Ian Ziering.

TV Guide talked with the celebs about their radical physical transformations after last night’s DwtS Performance Show. And the writer was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Edyta eating corn chips in her bathrobe after the show wrapped.

Dancing with the Stars is TV Guide’s cover story this week.

People has an outlet for all the DwtS fans disappointed by the end of Drew Lachey’s tenure as co-host: take their Drew vs. Samantha poll.

Reality Blurred is following all of the Top Chef 4 spoilers coming out of Chicago.

I’m excited for celebrity week on Wheel of Fortune, which airs November 12-16. With Paula Deen spinning the wheel for me, there’s no way I could lose.

Yahoo! TV features an article about the art of casting television shows.

And clips from the pilot of zombie drama Babylon Fields have surfaced. I’m disappointed Babylon Fields wasn’t picked up, but after seeing these clips, I’m not surprised CBS decided to pass on a show featuring zombie sex.

DwtS 5, Week 4: Performances

On this week’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show, the season’s first perfect score was lost amid a lifting controversy.

Samantha Harris was back, and looking slim as ever. You’d never know she gave birth less than a month ago. Mercifully, she made it through her return without any major slip-ups.

Mark Cuban & Kym Johnson — Viennese Waltz
I think the song "Mr. Bojangles" is creepy, so maybe that colored my feelings about this performance. Or maybe it was Mark’s weird softshoe break early in the routine, as if he was channeling Joey Lawrence. The performance wasn’t great, but it’s the best that Mark’s done so far.

Len agreed with me, telling Mark is was his "best dance." Bruno said the routine "started very well," before Mark turned into "Bigfoot in a suit." Carrie Ann, who’d criticized Mark before for singing along with the music, said, "I’m very proud of you. The mouth was not moving."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…8, Bruno…7 = 22/30

Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas — Paso Doble
The DwtS Band’s remixed version of Dead or Alive’s "You Spin Me Round" didn’t work, but Sabrina & Mark managed to distract with some stellar dancing. Sabrina not only executed the moves, but she stayed in character. And the Paso gave Mark a chance to show off.

Bruno gushed, "Power, attack, stealth…a little lynx on the prowl." Carrie Ann said, "I get the sense that you want this really bad. I thought that was perfection." Len agreed: "I’m always looking for things I can find wrong with you, and tonight, I couldn’t find any."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30

Jane Seymour & Tony Dovolani — Viennese Waltz
Jane looked like a princess, giving a very lovely performance with speedy turns. If Mark Cuban got an 8 for his Waltz, then Jane deserved an 11.

Jane & Tony were the first couple that Carrie Ann called out for executing a lift, which she defined as a move that could not be executed by one person alone in which both feet leave the floor at the same time. "We do have a rule about lifts," Carrie Ann said, "and you guys pushed it." Tony proceeded to argue with Carrie Ann about whether Jane’s feet both left the floor, and it was uncomfortable to watch.

Len declared tonight "a lift free zone" — or more accurately a "free lift zone" — and promised not to penalize any of the couples for questionable moves. He said Jane & Tony’s dance had "all the romance of old Vienna." Bruno told Jane she looked like "the queen of the fairies."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Floyd Mayweather & Karina Smirnoff — Paso Doble
Unlike Sabrina, Floyd hasn’t been able to shed his hip-hop tendencies, stomping into the floor with too much force even for the aggressive Paso. When he wasn’t stomping, he danced on tiptoes. The performance ended with Floyd swinging a limp Karina around in an ugly lift that made it look as though she were unconscious.

Len said, "Bloody good job." Bruno said Floyd "went from a bulldozer to a bull fighter." Carrie Ann asked, "Was that a lift?" but continued, "That was the most improvement I’ve seen from you."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 23/30

Melanie Brown & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Viennese Waltz
Mel & Maks gave a pretty, dramatic performance that felt too brief. Mel’s arm extensions were very nice, although she didn’t look completely at ease with the exaggerated neck posture of the Viennese Waltz.

Bruno said, "Melanie, sweet dreams are made of this. I was swept away to Wonderland." Carrie Ann said, "You bring together this sensual elegance. Your shoulders were just a hair up." Len said, "Well, done to you, Maks," and then to Melanie, "You’re a revelation."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 26/30

Cameron Mathison & Edyta Sliwinska — Paso Doble
Edyta had trouble choreographing a routine to the Superman theme song, and who can blame her? But Cameron attacked the dance enthusiastically. The performance ended in a very cool pose, and their superhero outfits were great.

Carrie Ann asked, "Cameron? Who are you? That was incredible!" She then scolded them for being the latest couple to execute a lift. Len told Cameron, "You and Paso Doble go together like fish and chips." Bruno said, "You took it like a hero. Well done."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Marie Osmond & Jonathan Roberts — Viennese Waltz
The tempo of Elvis Presley’s "Can’t Help Falling in Love" made a Viennese Waltz challenging, and Jonathan compensated by creating a routine that was a little more casual and less elegant than some of the other Waltzes. More distracting than the song were Marie’s weird head whips that Carrie Ann described as "stripperish."

Len told Marie, "You put the feel-good factor into every dance." Bruno said, "For me it was a bit like Sleeping Beauty, but still asleep." Carrie Ann said, "I actually thought it was a nice choice. I like the new-found tenderness."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…8 = 26/30

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough — Paso Doble
Jennie & Derek’s dance was fast and fun, and full of character. Ian Ziering gave it a standing ovation, and I would have, too.

Bruno said, "You’ve improved so much, and you’re getting better every week. The choreography was superb." Carrie Ann told Jennie, "You dug deep this week," although she said she would take a point off for — wait for it — their lift. Len started his comments by saying, "I am a grumpy old devil, and if I do start to see lifts creeping in, I can be far worse than these two." Then he turned to Jennie and said, "Listen to Lennie: That… bloomin’ fantastic."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…10, Bruno…9 = 27/30

Helio Castroneves & Julianne Hough — Viennese Waltz
Helio can’t stop smiling long enough to create a serious character. The performance was very good, but it didn’t seem to come as naturally for Helio as some of his previous dances. Julianne learned from the other couples’ experience and was careful to drag her toe in what was very close to being yet another lift.

Carrie Ann said, "Julianne, thank you for keeping your toes on the ground. Helio, you know, when you dance, you make me happy to be alive." Len said, "I loved it." Bruno said, "You really are the glittering combo. You’re like sunlight: you can never have enough." Bruno should be expecting a call from the Skin Cancer Foundation sometime soon.

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…9, Bruno…9 = 27/30

As Tom cued a recap of tonight’s performances, he scooped up some of the feathers shed from Julianne’s dress and said, "It’s a shame Julianne’s only 19; she’s already molting."

Leaderboard:
30 — Sabrina & Mark
27 — Cameron & Edyta, Jennie & Derek, Helio & Julianne
26 — Jane & Tony, Mel & Maks, Marie & Jonathan
23 — Floyd & Karina
22 — Mark & Kym

Sabrina & Mark were the best couple of the night, but I’d have to rank Jennie & Derek a close second for sheer entertainment value. Both couples will be sharing my votes (with one vote thrown to Helio & Julianne for giving the night’s best Viennese Waltz).

The judges’ leaderboard reveals one truth they can’t deny, no matter how nice they are in their comments: Mark and Floyd aren’t in the same league as the other celebrities. Expect to see them in tomorrow night’s Bottom Two.