A new gimmick had a dramatic effect on this week’s Dancing with the Stars 7 leaderboard.
In addition to the individual dances, there were two team dances, each of which featured three of the six remaining couples. One team danced Cha Cha Cha, and the other Paso Doble. The team dances were scored by the judges, and those team scores were added to the couples’ scores for the individual dances.
Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson — Fox Trot
The pair got tips from former DwtS pro Nick Kosovich during rehearsal. Len Goodman said, "It was a little bit of a disappointment." Bruno Tonioli told Warren, "You have to go back to the ease of movement you had at the beginning of the season." Carrie Ann Inaba asked Warren what the problem was, and Warren replied, "These aren’t my shoes."
Judges’ Scores: Len…7, Carrie Ann…7, Bruno…7 = 21/30
Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani — Paso Doble
Good, but not a breakout performance. Bruno said Susan danced "with pride and dignity." Carrie Ann made Susan shout the phrase, "I am doing good!" Len, "I think that was right up with all of your best dances."
Judges’ Scores: Len…8, Carrie Ann…8, Bruno…8 = 24/30
Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke — Cha Cha Cha
Maurice injured his leg during the team dance rehearsal on Saturday. Carrie Ann said the routine was "the perfect mix of form and freedom." Len told Maurice, "I thought it was your best dance." Bruno said, "Happy days are here again for Maurice."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…9, Bruno…8 = 25/30
Cody Linley & Edyta Sliwinska — Viennese Waltz
Cody & Edyta checked in on a groggy Julianne Hough, recovering from surgery while wearing an AC/DC shirt. Len said, "I thought, as a couple, you looked really comfortable together." Bruno told Cody, "It was like watching a fledgling bird stretching its wings, but not quite being able to take off." Carrie Ann said, "I thought it was great."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…8, Len…7, Bruno…8 = 23/30
Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer — Rumba
Lance acquiesced to Lacey’s demand that they dance barefoot. Bruno said, "Barefoot in the park has never been so seductive and romantic." Carrie Ann told the couple, "Your best dance. I loved it." Len said of the bare feet, "I didn’t get it. It didn’t enhance the performance at all. It was a distraction."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…9, Len…7, Bruno…9 = 25/30
Brooke Burke & Derek Hough — Fox Trot
Brooke & Derek took the floor, eager to reclaim their spot atop the leaderboard. Carrie Ann yelled, "Wow!" Len said, "It was truly fantastic." Bruno said the routine was a "thrilling performance from start to finish."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…10, Bruno…10 = 30/30
Susan Lucci and Warren Sapp were named team captains, and they chose the other couples to join their teams.
Team Cha Cha
Susan & Tony, Lance & Lacey and Cody & Edyta
Cody & Edyta and Lance & Lacey did a fine job, but Susan looked unsure of her steps, making her and Tony look awkward by comparison. Len said, "As far as the solos, I thought Lance & Lacey saved the day." Bruno said, "This was a Cha Cha teetering on the brink of disaster." Carrie Ann said, "The unison was terrible. It was brutal to watch."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…6, Len…7, Bruno…7 = 20/30
Team Paso Doble
Warren & Kym, Brooke & Derek and Maurice & Cheryl
This was the much stronger of the two dances. Everyone did well, though it looked like Maurice’s bum leg was causing him some pain. Bruno said, "That’s the way to work as a unit!" Carrie Ann said, "It was just this magical mish-mosh of a Paso Doble. I loved it!" Len noted, "It’s much easier to keep a formation in a marching dance than it is in a real Cha Cha Cha, Latin dance."
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann…10, Len…9, Bruno…10 = 29/30
Judges’ Leaderboard (60 points possible)
59 — Brooke & Derek
54 — Maurice & Cheryl
50 — Warren & Kym
45 — Lance & Lacey
44 — Susan & Tony
43 — Cody & Edyta
Thanks to the Team Dance, Lance & Lacey fell from second place after their Individual Dance to fourth place. And Warren & Kym, who were in last, moved up to third, after dancing with Team Paso Doble.
As always, some of my votes have to go to front-runners Brooke & Derek. I’m tempted to throw a few votes to Cody & Edyta and Lance & Lacey just to make sure that they stick around another week. Susan clearly can’t keep up with the other celebrity dancers any longer, so it’s time for her and Tony to hit the road.