Monday night’s performance show was like no other on “Dancing with the Stars.” Dancers contended with illnesses, fumbles, and for one, a dramatic drop that wasn’t part of any routine. Despite the mix-ups, one thing remained the same — namely that the women are still out-dancing the men in the competition.
Just five weeks in and it’s looking more and more like this could be the first season since, well, the first season that sees a woman in the final two. And if the men don’t step up their steps, there might not be a male celebrity on finale night at all.
Expect the unexpectedThe competition barely got underway before the most dramatic event of the night unfolded. Moments after Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts performed a reasonable facsimile of a samba, and before Len Goodman could finish his dissection of the dance, a hyper Marie and her blue bubble dress hit the floor. Hard.
For a split second it seemed as though was just a new selection from Marie’s bag of overacting, but after host Tom Bergeron knelt down to check things out, it was clear the lone female of the Osmond clan wasn’t okay. (And massive presenter props to Tom for seamlessly going to commercials with a completely limp Marie at his feet.)
When the show returned, Tom informed the audience that Marie returned to consciousness in typical fashion, with the words, “Oh, crap.” And a drowsy, smiling Marie stood, with considerable support from her partner and explained that, “this happens sometimes.”
Seems in the excitement of the moment, she simply forgot to breathe. And, as ever-helpful Samantha Harris pointed out, “If you thought that would get you 10s, it didn’t work.” Johnny and Marie earned just 21 out of 30 for their efforts.
With, literally, a tough act to follow, Jane Seymour and Tony Dovolani hit the floor for their rumba. Jane’s background in ballet continues to show in her arm lines and leg lifts, and once again the “random” assignment of the dances worked in Jane’s favor. From her tango to her Viennese waltz to this week’s rumba, the dances that rely on grace and perfect lines — clearly Jane’s strong points — keep coming her way.
That’s not to take the credit away from Tony and his tough-love training. Jane continues to improve, overall. This time their well-choreographed number earned a 26 from the judges, and only merited slight criticisms for Jane’s hesitation in the turns.
A low point for Team MenLike Wayne Newton and Floyd Mayweather before him, Mark Cuban just isn’t getting it. Repeated notices from the judges seem to sail by him, and his “If we get an 18 or a 19, who cares? We want to entertain” attitude in rehearsal footage shows what poor Kym Johnson has to work with. Mark’s playing to the crowd the only way he knows how: hammy faces and jazz hands.
In this week’s skit-samba, Mark integrated his love of “entertainment” with his difficulty dancing in an “I Dream of Jeannie” themed routine. Up until now, the officials gave him extra credit just for trying, but even they seem to realize that this is as good as it gets from the boisterous billionaire. Just before handing out his 21, Len told him, “Get out that lamp, rub it hard, and hope that genie sorts your feet out.”
Of course there were no such comments for this season’s golden girl, Sabrina Bryan. In fact Miss Cheetah and Mark Ballas managed to finally show a different side while performing the rumba, or as Mark put it, the “vertical expression of a horizontal desire.”
A big plus for the pair is Sabrina’s habit of actually listening to advice. (Take note, Cuban.) For instance, this week she finally showed that she could embrace a slower number and not meet every move with intensity.
It helps that she came to the competition with a background in dance. That, along with acting and singing, is part of her triple-threat Disney billing. But possible ringer-status aside, Sabrina and Mark delivered again and scored high, with a total of 28.
If Mark got praise for just trying in the past, Jennie Garth deserves her fair share. She takes the judges comments to heart every week and it shows all over her face. Following a particularly impressive hip-shaking samba, especially for a woman with virtually no backside, Jennie put on her lip-quivering brave face on once more.
Even with Derek Hough hanging on to her, Jennie looked like she could cry when Carrie Ann Inaba started out with, “Tonight is a rough night.”
But even with the list of nitpicks that followed, the pair scored a decent 25. And if her past performances are any indicator, look for the “90210” alum to comeback big next week.
Not the best from the best of the menSo far, Helio Castroneves has been the one hope for a gent to make it to the finale, but even he was unable to deliver on Monday night. In their worst dance to date, the racing champ and Julianne Hough crashed and burned with what is usually their strong suit, chemistry.
Apparently, Helio felt the rumba required acting to convey seduction. Well, he’s not an actor. Not even close. His usual smiles and sweet glances toward Julianne were replaced with creepy glares.
Whether he’ll be able to bounce back and lead the men next week remains to be seen, but after only meriting a 23 for the routine that Bruno Tonioli called painful, maybe he’ll at least try harder and act less.
One last woman had a chance to show the men how it’s done, and despite a bad cold and recuperating partner, Mel B did it. Still smarting from their moment in the red light last week, Mel and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed, according to Carrie Ann, their best dance of the competition. And all of the judges agreed, it was the finest samba of the night.
Just one point shy of a perfect 30, Mel gave all the props to Maks, for being a great teacher. Even Samantha chimed it to congratulate the duo on a great performance, “for two sick people.” (Once again, welcome back, Sam!)
At least the men finished off on a slightly better than expected note from Cameron Mathison. He’s still not on par with the ladies, and he relies on cheesy shtick like bringing in daytime legend Susan Lucci to seal the soap fan base, but at least he shows improvement.
In a rumba that sailed past seductive and right into a little pornographic, Cam and Edyta Sliwinska did bring the chemistry. Sure, it looked like they might just stop dancing and get down to business, but, hey, that’s something.
Scoring a 26, and a not-so-shabby-for-a-dude third place, Cam accepted some rare praise from the judges. He also made sure to give his wife a shout-out for allowing him to do what he just did. “My wife’s watching and I love you for being so supportive about… this.” Ahem.
Given the men’s lackluster Latin night performances, Tuesday’s results show should see the male exile trend continue. But the fans, or whomever it is voting for Mark, could throw a wrench in that. Mark’s inexplicable staying power brought him this far, and after last week’s surprise bottom two featuring the competent Mel and Maks, anything could happen. One thing is for certain: Marie has the sympathy vote all locked up.