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‘Dancing’ gets too hot for Chef Rocco

The dance floor just got too hot for chef and apparent nice guy Rocco DiSpirito, who was voted off "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday night. Octogenarian Cloris Leachman's impressive performance Monday night kept her around.
/ Source: contributor

No sizzle in his samba: Last week’s last minute non-elimination left reality restaurateur Rocco DiSpirito dancing on borrowed time Monday night, and a second-chance samba just wasn’t enough to save him this week.

Rocco hit the floor with a flashy smile and even flashier neon pink flamenco sleeves, but as judge Bruno Tonioli told him, “All the ruffles in the world can’t disguise the fact that you haven’t got a musical bone in your body.”

The celebrity chef’s complete inability to keep time with the tempo put him in last place with the officials and the voting public.

Senior shakeup: In just seven days time, Academy Award-winning actress Cloris Leachman went from crawling wig-less on the dance floor to proving that she’s got legs, and she knows how to use them.

Before she and pro partner Corky Ballas tackled a surprisingly serious tango, Cloris told the pro she was willing to fail, as long as she had a chance to try to compete with the real dancers. The result wasn’t perfect — it wasn’t even the best of the night — but it was an amazing effort and refreshing change of pace from the 82-year-old TV and film legend. And it was worth a whopping 22 points.

As for Monday night’s top routine, that remained the domain of frequent television host Brooke Burke, with her sexy samba set to Club Des Belugas' “Hip Hip Chin Chin.” (Take note, dancing trivia buffs — that was Lacey Schwimmer’s samba song in her “So You Think You Can Dance” days.)

The steamy number won over the panel, but Brooke’s body-bending moves proved a bit “too erotic” for head fuddy-duddy, er, judge Len Goodman. Still, he was happy to add his “8” paddle to his panel partners’ nines.

Ridiculous rehearsal moment: This week’s stretch of the performance-prep imagination came courtesy of daytime diva Susan Lucci and partner Tony Dovolani.

Somehow viewers were meant to believe that the only way the pair could take on a proper tango would be if Tony landed a walk-on spot on “All My Children.” So, following that lack of logic, Tony portrayed a bruised man on crutches and read the line “Sorry, Miss Kane” with all the acting ability one might expect from a dancer.

What the tango? Former N' Sync boybander Lance Bass was the main man behind Monday night’s top tango, but the theme left something to be desired. Rather than relying on the time-tested tale of bittersweet romance, Lance and Lacey Schwimmer went for a bizarre silent-film-era gothic-android affair ending in Lance mock-snapping robot Lacey’s neck. Which begs the question: is it even possible to snap an android’s neck? And why exactly would you want to?

Call her tongue-tied, but don’t call her Paula: Channeling her inner Samantha Harris, Carrie Ann Inaba struggled through “shineded” and “shonning” before finding the word “shone” in her verbal repertoire. That inspired Bruno to refer to her as "Dancing's" very own Paula Abdul. Talk about fighting words!

“Aaah!” a shocked Carrie Ann yelled after being compared to “American Idol’s” lucidity-impaired judge. “You did not just call me Paula Abdul!”

Ree Hines is a writer in Tampa