DwtS 7, Week 2: Performances

For the most part, the second week of Dancing with the Stars 7 was notable only for the consistent blandness of its performances.

Maybe it was because three episodes last week left the couples with precious little time to rehearse this week’s routines. Perhaps the producers went out of their way to avoid casting someone like Kristi Yamaguchi, who dominated DwtS 6 from her first dance.

Whatever the reason, this episode of Dancing with the Stars was totally boring. None of the performances was memorable, or even of very good quality. Unless things pick up soon, this could be a long season.

Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo — Rumba
In their rehearsal footage, Toni turned the tables on Alec and made him karaoke "Unbreak My Heart." Alec’s off-key singing left his wife, Edyta, shaking her head. Toni wore an outfit that looked like it was borrowed from Edyta’s collection for their performance.

Len Goodman said, "I was surprised how good that performance was," although he wanted more basic steps. Bruno Tonioli said Toni showed "sensuality and vulnerability." Carrie Ann Inaba said, "Toni, you move like you sing," though the judge noted two lifts in the routine.

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

Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Paso Doble
Brooke was able to stay in character during the performance, despite the trouble she had keeping up the intensity during rehearsal.

Carrie Ann said, "I was truly mesmerized," even though Brooke’s balance was off a bit. Len liked Brooke’s "controlled aggression." Bruno told Brooke, "You are born to dance."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30

Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff — Rumba
Rocco fed Karina a snack at the end of the routine. Even though he’s a chef, it was a little weird.

Bruno told Rocco, "You were standing there like The Thing." Carrie Ann said, "What’s lacking is musicality." Len said, "There was more tears than jeers about the whole thing."

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

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — Paso Doble
Lance & Lacey decided to ditch the capes and danced to the Katy Perry song "I Kissed a Girl," because Lance is gay, in case you didn’t know. And then Lance kissed Lacey on the lips at the end of the routine. Oh, boy.

Len directed his comments at Lacey: "I know your game, and I know your brain. Chuck in a couple of twist turns, keep the old boy happy, and then do a load of stuff that has no relationship to Paso Doble. It doesn’t work, my old sausage, I’m sorry to say." Carrie Ann said, "I thought it was a very clever song choice." Bruno said, "You go for it 100%."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…7, Len…6, Bruno…7 = 20/30

Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas — Rumba
Kim needed coaching from the founder of The Pussycat Dolls on how to be sexy. It didn’t appear to help in the performance.

Bruno called Kim’s performance "colder and more distant than Siberia." Len wanted more hip action from Kim: "You’ve got all the gear in the rear, but nothing occurs." Carrie Ann suggested, "Watch yourself on tape. See if you really look and compare to everybody else. If not, figure out a way to bring more to the dance floor."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…6, Bruno…5 = 17/30

Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Paso Doble
This week, Maks put Misty through a training regimen that brought her to the brink of tears. In the performance, Misty did a drop and a flip that were pretty cool.

Carrie Ann said, "Compare to what we just last saw, that’s the kind of energy and determination that I like to see on the dance floor." Bruno called Misty "Mighty Xena, The Warrior Princess." Len encouraged Misty to look at Maks to keep their connection, instead of "looking like you’re in the home for the bewildered."

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

Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Rumba
In rehearsal, Cheryl said, "Maurice has embraced the character of the Rumba, maybe a little too well," after he started calling himself "the ultimate lover."

Len said, "It’s all right, what you do, but it’s a bit rough." Carrie Ann agreed: "It was a little too stiff." Bruno told Maurice that he moved "rough and clunky."

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

Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas — Paso Doble
The slow tempo of the song allowed Cloris to show some technique, until Corky started tossing her around like a sandbag.

Bruno called the performance "surreal." Len said, "It was a lovely traditional dance to traditional music." Carrie Ann told Cloris, "One of your assets is your incredible wit, and I didn’t see it that much in that performance, and I missed it."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…5, Len…5, Bruno…5 = 15/30

Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Rumba
Tony bared his chest and Susan wore a headpiece that reminded me of The Childlike Empress in The NeverEnding Story.

Carrie Ann said, "Susan, I thought that was really nice. Nice chest, Tony." Bruno said, "You still dance a little bit like the Virgin Queen." Len grumbled, "I didn’t like it when Tony exposed himself."

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

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Paso Doble
This Matrix-themed routine finally brought some life back to the ballroom.

Len said, "I thought it had a lovely, dark, menacing feeling to it." Carrie Ann yelled, "We have a Paso Doble killah in the house!" Bruno called the performance "big, bold, heroic."

Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30

Cody Linley & Julianne Hough — Rumba
This routine was faster than most of the other Rumbas tonight, which was a welcome change. After the performance, Cody said that a girl could win his heart by bringing him "a Twinkie and some chicken."

Bruno told Cody, "You’ve gotta learn control." Len said, "It just lacked a little bit of polish and finesse." Carrie Ann said, "I thought it was really an age-appropriate Rumba."

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

Judges’ Leaderboard:
24 — Brooke & Derek, Warren & Kim
23 — Toni & Alec
21 — Misty & Maks, Susan & Tony, Cody & Julianne
20 — Lance & Lacey
19 — Maurice & Cheryl
17 — Kim & Mark
16 — Rocco & Karina
15 — Cloris & Corky

Normally, I write how I’m splitting my votes for the week, but after this snooze of an episode, I’ve decided not to vote. Consider it my silent protest.

Cloris & Corky’s serious Paso Doble will probably cost them votes, and they seem the most likely candidates to go home. Though it won’t surprise me if Rocco & Karina get the boot.