1. Headline
  1. Headline
TODAY contributor
updated 4/25/2011 11:33:08 PM ET 2011-04-26T03:33:08

Television’s glittering guilty pleasure, “Dancing With the Stars,” celebrated the songs we love to pretend we hate on Monday night. But while the cheesy and all-too-catchy musical guilty pleasures set the tone, the now-routine, over-the-top scores soon took over the theme.

In a night where the strangest thing to happen on the “Dancing” stage should have been kid-band-turned-aging-artists Hanson delivering their abbreviated rendition of Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel the Noize,” or maybe even Kendra Wilkinson hitting the floor with a serious case of “Predator” hair, the judges once again stole the spotlight by selectively dishing out scores that didn’t fit the dances .

Story: You be the judge! Rate the 'Dancing' contestants

Worst case in point? Ralph Macchio’s botched paso doble.

The problems in Macchio’s paso started before the memorable mishap. In an effort to showcase the snap-to moves and intense persona of the matador’s dance, the ’80s actor broke out the old “spatula hands” and added a whole lot of “scary face” to the mix for good measure.

Then it happened.

  1. Stay in the know!
    1. 'Like' The Clicker

      Get the latest TV and reality TV news by following our blog on Facebook and Twitter!

    2. 'Like' us on Facebook
    3. @TODAY_Clicker on Twitter

After Macchio flourished his coattails a bit too far to C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat,” a professional hoofer hit the floor for the second time this season. The stumble, which was ultimately more Karina Smirnoff’s fault, threw the actor off. While he was quick to give his partner a lift, it took Macchio several moments to recover. And in this case, “recover” means getting back into the groove of a barely passable paso doble.

What sort of score would such a flawed routine earn? Well, when Kirstie Alley pulled off a much smoother save after her partner hit the decks in week three, she rumba-ed away with a set of 7s. Surely Macchio would be lucky to land 5s or 6s given his circumstances.

Ralph's fall vs. Kirstie's: Which was worse?

Or not.

Instead, head judge Len Goodman and his fellow panelists raved about Macchio’s dance-saving moves and ignored all of the obvious problems.

Carrie Ann Inaba told the former “Karate Kid” that Mr. Miyagi would be proud of him. Bruno Tonioli raved about Macchio’s “throbbing virile intensity” (must have been that “scary face”). In fact, the judges decided the routine was worth 8s all around.

Story: Chat with Ree and Anna about 'Dancing'

The what-the-foxtrot scores didn’t stop there. Another out-of-line number went to Romeo, who put on a competent, classic slow waltz to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” Despite good footwork (or at least what appeared to be good footwork through an overactive fog machine), Romeo still struggled with his frame. Goodman spotted that, as did Tonioli, but Inaba just saw “magic,” so she handed the actor-rapper a perfect 10.

Then Inaba put on a repeat performance and gave Chelsea Kane’s cheery “Walkin’ on Sunshine” quickstep an unexpected and not quite warranted 10, too. The only real surprise was that judge didn’t hand a 10 to her frequent favorite and former front-runner, Hines Ward. He settled for all 9s after swaying to Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road.”

'Dancing' takes on viral hit 'Friday'
  1. More Entertainment stories
    1. Autistic ballerina dances her way into hearts

      In a popular YouTube video, the beaming little ballerina dances an entire four-minute routine seemingly perfectly, matchin...

    2. Every on-screen drink in 'Mad Men' in 5 minutes
    3. See the 'Dancing' stars' most memorable moves
    4. Emmy's biggest snubs? Cranston, Hamm, more
    5. 'Toy Story' toys burn up in prank on mom

Alley’s rump shaking samba suffered from slightly sloppy arms, but the “… Baby One More Time” routine marked a comeback for the rest of her body parts, so her 8 and 9s weren’t too far out of line. And while Wilkinson suffered from several sloppy parts, there was no denying she could samba-shimmy her way to 8s and a 9 when shimmying was almost all she had to do (and her other “Livin’ la Vida Loca” moves were ignored).

Oh, and the less said about Chris Jericho’s terrible tango, which somehow scraped by with a total of 22 points despite being set to the impossible “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” by Journey, the better.

So who’s going home Tuesday night? Normally this is the where the now weekly Wilkinson prediction goes, but heck, if voting viewers judge her on this dance alone, she might have just shimmied her way to yet another chance.

In that case, the likable — though not particularly tango-able — Jericho is in the danger zone.

Story: 'Dancing' judges get low marks for high scores

Ree Hines has to say her guilty pleasure of the night was Taylor Hanson. That guy is still pretty easy on the eyes. Follow @ReeHines tell her your guilty ballroom pleasure.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Vote: Rate the dancers

How did the celebrities do? Score their performances along with the judges.

TODAY.com | Link |
  1. Image: Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Above: Vote Rate the dancers
  2. Image: Walking Dead
    Scott Garfield / TWD productions LLC
    Timeline Upcoming TV premieres

Video: Bad blood between Kendra and Carrie Ann?

Photos: 'Dancing With the Stars' cast

loading photos...
  1. Time to dance

    "Dancing with the Stars" hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke announced the 11 celebrities heading to the dance floor this season during a live news conference. As always, the cast includes athletes, models, actors, and a few people whose names aren't recognizable to your average American. (Adam Larkey / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Sugar Ray Leonard

    Retired boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, who has a cameo in the Oscar-winning film "The Fighter," surely had fast feet in the boxing ring, but can he fit in to the ballroom?

    Leonard is paired with pro Anna Trebunskaya. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Petra Nemcova

    Czech-born model Petra Nemcova is perhaps most famous for surviving the 2004 tsunami resulting from an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Her then fiance died in the tsunami, while Nemcova broke her pelvis and managed to cling to a palm tree for hours before being rescued.

    Nemcova is paired with pro Dmitry Chaplin. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Ralph Macchio

    Ralph Macchio came to fame as the star of "The Karate Kid" in 1984. He was a teen idol of the 1980s, but has played only minor roles in film and TV since.

    Macchio is paired with pro Karina Smirnoff. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Kirstie Alley

    When Shelley Long left the hit sitcom "Cheers" in 1987, Kirstie Alley stepped in as bar manager Rebecca Howe. Recently her yo-yoing weight has become a public issue, as she was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and starred in a show called "Fat Actress."

    Alley is paired with pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Hines Ward

    Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL in 2006. He is half Korean and half African-American, and has worked as an advocate for biracial youths in South Korea.

    Ward is paired with pro Kym Johnson. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Chris Jericho

    Chris Jericho has had plenty of success in the wrestling ring, but he's also served as a radio and television host as well as a rock musician.

    Jericho is paired with pro Cheryl Burke. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Mike Catherwood

    Mike Catherwood, known as Psycho Mike, is assistant producer for the syndicated radio show "Kevin and Bean," and is also co-host of "Loveline" with Dr. Drew Pinsky. A former addict, he uses his own experiences to help callers.

    Catherwood is paired with pro Lacey Schwimmer. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Romeo

    Rapper Romeo withdrew from the second season of "Dancing With the Stars" in 2006 and was replaced by his father, Master P, who is infamous in "Dancing" circles for barely moving his feet. He's now back for the 12th season.

    Romeo is paired with pro Chelsea Hightower. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Chelsea Kane

    Chelsea Kane is an actress who is best known for playing Stella Malone in the Disney Channel sitcom "Jonas L.A.," and has also appeared in other Disney shows and original movies.

    Kane is paired with pro Mark Ballas. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Wendy Williams

    Wendy Williams hosts her own syndicated talk show, "The Wendy Williams Show," and is a former New York radio DJ.

    Williams is paired with pro Tony Dovolani. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Kendra Wilkinson

    Kendra Wilkinson is best known as a former girlfriend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and as such starred on the reality show "The Girls Next Door." She is now married to Minnesota Viking Hank Baskett and has her own reality show, "Kendra."

    Wilkinson is paired with pro Louis Van Amstel. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

More on TODAY.com

  1. @HillaryClinton/twitter

    Hillary Clinton: Granddaughter led me 'to speed up' political plans

    4/10/2015 3:58:42 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T15:58:42
  1. Courtesy Bryan Morseman

    Marathon dad's victories help raise money for son with spina bifida

    4/10/2015 5:54:50 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T17:54:50
  1. YouTube

    8 great celebrity impressions of other celebrities

    4/10/2015 6:44:22 PM +00:00 2015-04-10T18:44:22