DwtS 7, Week 1: Second Performances

Dancing with the Stars 7‘s second Performance Show featured the season’s first elimination, and the ballroom got a little less funny as a result.

The show began with all of the couples on the stage, waiting to learn if they’d be dancing tonight or going home. One by one, each couple was told that they were safe and, following a few clips from rehearsal, they danced.

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — Quickstep
Like last night, they went for a punky take on a classic style.

Len Goodman didn’t like Lance’s posture or hold and said the routine wasn’t his "cup of tea." Bruno Tonioli liked their "fresh take" on the dances. Carrie Ann Inaba said she was "entertained" but not "impressed," saying that they deviated too much from the International style.

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…6, Bruno…8 = 21/30

Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Mambo
Misty did a lot of solo work in the routine, which was a bold move this early in the season.

Carrie Ann and Len commended Misty on having the courage to solo so much. Bruno warned Misty that, throughout the routine, "Your shoulders get higher and higher and higher."

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

Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Mambo
This was a free-form Mambo, and Maurice even did The Worm near the end of the routine.

Bruno said, "It strayed a little bit from the Mambo. It was like being at a party." Carrie Ann told Maurice, "The music pumps through your body." Len asked, "Why did you do the Free Willy step? I don’t want all that nonsense."

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

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Quickstep
After topping the leaderboard last night, Brooke was amazing again tonight. Her form is great, and her face is very expressive. She’s establishing herself as an early favorite to win.

Len repeated his comment from last night: "Best dance so far." Bruno cheered, "Sen! Sa! Tion! Al!" Carrie Ann enthused, "I’m blown away."

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

Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Mambo
The performance was raunchy and utterly lacking in technique, but it was still entertaining.

Before she even danced, Cloris gave each judge $10 as bribe because "I know they don’t give you very much money." They gave the money back before commenting. Carrie Ann said, "Golden girl can shimmy." Len told Corky, "I think you’ve done a fantastic job." Bruno started to speak, but Cloris interrupted, telling him, "Speak English." Bruno taunted her with the threat, "Shady Pines, Ma. Shady Pines."

Upon seeing her scores, Cloris threatened to leave and called for her chauffeur.

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…5, Bruno…5 = 16/30

Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo — Quickstep
Toni was running out of breath in their rehearsal footage, but she looked great during the performance.

Bruno said the dance had "all the qualities of a fine Champagne." Carrie Ann liked the couple’s chemistry. Len said, "The whole thing was very, very nice," apart from what he referred to as Toni’s "funny head."

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

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Quickstep
Warren may have looked nervous, but he executed his moves with great speed.

Len said, "For entertainment, it was fantastic." Bruno called Warren "a ton of fun." Carrie Ann said, "You didn’t miss a step. But I felt like your footwork was a little bit flat."

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

Ted McGinley & Inna Brayer — Mambo
Ted warned in his rehearsal footage, "This Mambo King has dance fever, and watch out — because it’s contagious." He stood around a lot during the routine, but it was still fun.

Carrie Ann told Ted, "There is a bit of an awkwardness to the way you move." Len said, "What you showed, Ted, is that with hard work, anything is possible." When Bruno told Ted, "You grabbed your Mambo with both hands, and you squeezed every ounce of fun out of it," Tom Bergeron quipped, "That sounds so painful."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…7 = 19/30

Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Quickstep
Cody had good energy and competent dance moves to boot.

Bruno called the couple, "King and Queen of the prom. Your parents must be so proud." Carrie Ann said, "Cody, you have gone from being a boy to a man on the ballroom dance floor." Len said Cody danced with "great maturity."

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

Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff — Mambo
Rocco might not know how to move his hips, but he can sell a performance.

Len said, "That was much better." Bruno agreed: "What a turnaround. I’ve never seen such a change so quickly." Carrie Ann said, "That was super sexy."

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

Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Quickstep
Susan was still a little tentative, but this was a big improvement from last night.

Carrie Ann told Susan, "That was the strength and power and charisma that I expected from you." Len said, "This was so much better than last night." Bruno called Susan "my fair lady."

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

Jeffery Ross and Kim Kardashian were the last two celebrities waiting to learn their fate, although Tom cautioned that they didn’t necessarily represent the Bottom Two vote-getters. Tom told Jeffrey that he’d lost, making Kim and Mark Ballas the last couple to dance this evening.

But first, Jeffrey and Edyta Sliwinska got to say goodbye. Jeff joked about his injury, "They told me Edyta was going to be easy on the eyes." He said, in all seriousness, "This has been the most fun I’ve ever had." Regarding his partner, Jeffrey called Edyta "a champion in waiting," and jokingly begged audience members, "Please support Edyta and her nine children back in Poland."

Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas — Mambo
In a nod to Kim’s famous derriere, they danced to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s "Baby Got Back." Kim didn’t commit to her moves, and her energy level didn’t match Mark’s.

Bruno said of Kim’s performance, "More wasted assets than Fannie and Freddie." Len said, "Mark was overdancing to try and compensate, and the whole thing lacked a bit of balance." Carrie Ann told Kim, "I think you did really good with what you had. I see you trying."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…6 = 18/30

Judges’ Leaderboard:
26 — Brooke & Derek
23 — Toni & Alec, Cody & Julianne
22 — Warren & Kym, Susan & Tony
21 — Lance & Lacey, Misty & Maks, Maurice & Cheryl, Rocco & Karina
19 — Ted & Inna
18 — Kim & Mark
16 — Cloris & Corky

Brooke Burke has the jump on her fellow contestants, so she’s getting the majority of my votes tonight. The rest are going to Cloris Leachman because of the comedic value she brings to the show. Plus, I don’t feel like any of the couples, apart from Brooke & Derek, have distinguished themselves enough that the show would suffer without them, so I’m happy to have Cloris stick around for another week.

If I had my way, Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas would go home Wednesday night. She said herself that she’s a shy person, and it’s often harder to train away that kind of personality trait than it is to improve something technical like footwork.