'DWTS' Recap: Kissing Up to the Judges
Donny Osmond Lays One on Bruno Tonioli
By Kate Mulcrone
Special to MSN TV
It was Latin Night on "Dancing With the Stars," which meant the stars danced sambas and rumbas, and Len handed out abysmally low scores, even for him. He wasn't alone; I really can't remember seeing numbers this bad for a couple seasons now. There were exceptions: Mya was once again triumphant with a beautiful rumba, and Natalie trailed her by just one point with a routine that made everyone sit up and take notice.
Honestly, the drama took precedence over the dancing tonight. There was the little matter of Donny Osmond running over to the judges' table and planting one on Bruno Tonioli. Afterwards? Well, Paula Abdul was in the audience, and Tom Bergeron, who is either an evil genius or was just having an off day, handed her a microphone. She called Len "Mr. Bad Man" and then offered to make out with Carrie Ann. Then there was Tom DeLay's brave stand on two fractured feet. Drama!
Here's the lowdown on the actual dance floor action:
For the second week in a row, the "Iron Chef America" star faltered on the dance floor. He danced a strangely stiff, hands-off rumba. He slipped last week, and maybe Lacey was worried about that happening again, because she had all the moves in this routine. The judges just weren't buying Mark's act tonight, so let's hope the votes will come pouring in.
Her samba was sizzling, even though Derek stole some of her thunder by swinging onto the stage on a rope like a blonde, bouffant-ed Tarzan. She shook her hips like a professional! The judges were tripped up by Joanna's footwork during last week's jive, and they didn't give her perfect marks this week. But they sure seemed to love the routine.
She scored this season's first triple 9 with last week's jive, and this week's rumba was even better. It was slow, sexy and yet, downright acrobatic. Mya really owns everything she does on that stage. I fully expect her to be earning 30s about three weeks from now. Carrie Ann and Bruno wept tears of joy. Len was pleased with the dance, but not quite as swept away. He gave Mya a 7, while the other judges both went with 10s.
Clarissa shakes it all! Melissa really sold tonight's samba. She was loose, energetic and held her head up high. OK, so she had a tiny bit of trouble sticking to the beat and some problems with her footwork, but the judges once again cited her improvement. Melissa isn't in trouble … yet.
Cool kid Louie has seemed pretty out of his depth so far in this competition, but tonight's performance was a total 180. It's like he woke up last Wednesday morning and decided to start taking this thing seriously. It was clear that he put a lot of work into this week's routine. He and Chelsie were all over the floor in an intense -- OK, Len called it "frenzied" -- and impassioned rumba. I can't wait to see what this kid does next week. Of course Len's 5 means that people need to call in and vote.
The "Entourage" star ended up in the bottom three last week and was determined not to get stuck there again this week. Unfortunately, she seemed overcome by nerves out on the floor during tonight's samba. She had a really freaked-out look on her face for the entire second half of the routine. There were a few missteps, and her arm movements were just a little too "Tomb Raider." The judges killed her with kindness during the critique, and then promptly ordered her quiet execution with their panels. Debi needs a miracle to stay in this thing.
Last week's jive was quick and energetic, and this week's rumba was as smooth as can be. Donny's foot slipped a little during one of the holds, but other than that, his footwork was right on. The judges, unfortunately, seemed a little bored by the squeaky-clean "Disneyness" of it all. They want Donny to get down and dirty. I don't think this means he should run up to the judges' table and kiss Bruno on the cheek. Because, yes, that happened. Then he said, "I don't think they'll let me back into Utah now." Yikes.
I was a little distracted by the lip-synching, but overall, our token football player turned in a more than adequate samba. It was clear how hard Michael and Anna worked this week, because they were almost perfectly in sync out on the floor. Of course, there were mistakes. Bruno got pretty upset about his footwork, and Carrie Ann and Len didn't come to his defense in any way. Time to get out the phone tree, people.
Our gold medalist has always been a contender in this competition, but she's never completely owned the stage. Well, I was really blown away by this week's rumba, and so were the judges. It was passionate and yet precise. Even more importantly, Natalie seemed truly at ease. This was a standout performance on an otherwise lackluster night.
His tango was fierce, but his samba? It was more scary clown. Honestly, it was painful to watch. The judges were also at a loss. Bruno called it "a samba from 'Zombietown'" -- which is not to be confused with "Zombieland"? Carrie Ann couldn't even keep a straight face while she said some vaguely encouraging things. Ouch.
He's been a front-runner throughout the competition so far, but Aaron stumbled a bit tonight. His rumba was adequate, but just missing any real subtlety. Bruno pointed out that he tended to pop in and out of steps instead of making smooth transitions, but I think it was more than that. He just wasn't feeling it … at all. Also, for some reason he was wearing a blue chiffon bathrobe. Who designs these costumes?
Tom suffered a stress fracture in his right foot last week, and then his left faded out on him. It was touch-and-go whether he'd be able to perform tonight. His doctors certainly advised him against it. He went ahead and did it, which shows spirit … but the dance itself was lame. Yes, a terrible pun. Sue me. Tom's injuries obviously cut into the time he and Cheryl had to rehearse, and I think the judges took that into account with their scores even though they claimed they weren't.
Nerves got the better of her last week, but tonight Kelly's samba was more than passable. She and Louis had great chemistry out on the floor. There were still a few problems, and she held herself stiffly. But the actual moves were right on. The judges were encouraging in their critiques, so hopefully Kelly's confidence will be back in full force next week.
Who won the judges: Mya and Natalie Coughlin
Who didn't cut it: Michael Irvin and Tom DeLay
Who won the audience: Mya and Natalie Coughlin
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"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
I will tell you what professional dancer they need to can. That is Anna. She does not know how to work with her partner. It would be great if they brought Kim back and paired her with Michael.
Kudos to Chuck for giving it his best...but no way did he outscore Michael Ervin. What were the judges drinking? Also, Donny, despite his age, certainly out danced Aaron...yet their scores were the same. What's Cooking?
Let's face it, ANY dance experience puts contestants at an advantage....and that is what is so remarkable about people like Mike, Chuck, Natalie and even Debi....they have no dance experience. So, I'm much more impressed with their progress and their efforts.
I wish Donny would smile more while he's dancing. He makes it look like work. I know it's not easy and I would never be able to do it, but I can't stop smiling when I'm dancing. It's fun! Donny doesn't quite look like he's having fun. With all his stage experience, you'd think a smile would be automatic after all these years. '
I've been an Osmond fan forever. I have never seen them, even just on camera, without a smile. Ahh those pearly white smiles.........