What a difference one week can make. Anyone who thought they had this season’s “Dancing With the Stars” cast figured out after watching last week’s debut moves was in for a shock Monday night as the ballroom’s second-chance dances made for some major shake-ups.
Sure, the top celebrity hoofer last time around, Ralph Macchio, managed to scrape by with his overall first-place standing intact, but it wasn’t due to a repeat performance. In fact, if it weren’t for the ’80s actor’s hefty week-one score, he would have slipped several spots thanks to a high-energy but somewhat sloppy jive that earned him just 21 points this time.Join us for a 'Dancing' live chat on March 29 at 3:30 p.m. ET!
Three men managed to best Macchio with matching week-two scores of 23. The first one to wow the judges was wild-wrestler-turned-decent-dancer Chris Jericho. Somehow the formerly stiff showman looked like different guy all together with his spot-on quickstep. In addition to limbering up from last week, Jericho earned his four-point improvement by suddenly developing a sense of musicality. Where did that come from?
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Maybe it came from the same place Romeo found his pace and sense of ease. The son of “Dancing” dud Master P showed major improvement with his quickstep, although maybe not quite as much as head judge Len Goodman saw. The ballroom vet inexplicably dubbed the routine the best of the night.Story: You be the judge! Rate the 'Dancing' contestants
Really, that honor could have gone to Hines Ward, who easily bested the other two quicksteppers with his own precision piece. But, hey, sometimes the scores don’t reflect the best dances.
Case in point? The other best dance contender of the night — the barely-a-jive performed by Disney Channel star Chelsea Kane. The fast and fun dance that Bruno Tonioli oddly and aptly called “Marcel Marceau desperately seeking Lolita in ‘A Clockwork Orange’ ” proved Kane is one to watch in the competition this season, but so far, she’s no threat thanks to her low score.'Dancing' host hesitant to interview Chris Brown
See, the problem with dancing a barely-a-jive is that there’s no way for the judges to rank it next to by-the-book dances. A few modern moves wouldn’t have been amiss, but this one was more of a freestyle than anything else. Though the fault lies with Kane’s pro partner, Mark Ballas, since he choreographed the dance, she’s the one who suffered on the scoreboard with just 18 points — a four-point drop from last week.
Kane wasn’t the only woman to see a big dip. Kirstie Alley remains “Dancing’s” leading lady for now, but she slipped three points with her quickstep. The routine started strong and ended on a high note, but as Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out, Alley lost steam in the middle.
There was one end of the leaderboard that saw little in the way of shake-ups — the bottom. The three hoofers pulling up the rear once again were Sugar Ray Leonard, Wendy Williams and Mike Catherwood. All three showed improvement, especially Leonard, but not nearly enough to guarantee one more week in the game.
The first results show of season 12 airs Tuesday night, and if there’s any dance-hall justice at all, Catherwood and Williams will land in the bottom two. Catherwood’s performance should give him a leg up on the early exit, but his charm could save him. Not that it matters. In a competition between bad and really bad, the audience wins with either ouster.
Ree Hines will continue to root for Kirstie even though she totally smooched Ree’s imaginary boyfriend, Maks. Follow @ReeHines on Twitter and tell her who you’re rooting for so far.
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