If nothing else, Kate Gosselin proved she's great for ratings, if not the art of ballroom dance. (That was a smart bit of scheduling, by the way, waiting until the last half hour to feature the reality-TV mom and wild card Pamela Anderson.)
We won't know until Tuesday whether any of the train(wreck) spotters tuning in to Dancing With the Stars' 10th season are actually voting to keep these ladies in the competition, but, first, they and the nine other celebs jockeying for the disco ball trophy had one more chance to impress the judges and win a little favor among the masses.
Did anyone turn the tables tonight, or was the toe-heel hierarchy set in stone last week? More importantly, did someone not even make it back to the spotlight because she annoyed her partner so much?
Shannen Doherty & Mark Ballas: It seemed a bit early in the competition to break out the difficult-yet-delightful jive, and indeed it might have been way too early for the admittedly unconfident Doherty to give it a go. She and her sock-showing partner were off from step one—a real bummer, because her legs looked great from a physical standpoint. But there was Papa Doherty tearing up in the audience again, so all was well. The judges praised her energy level and went the constructive-criticism route, avoiding the mean streets.
Aiden Turner & Edyta Sliwinska: So disappointing last week (yes, because he's hot and therefore should be great), the All My Children star apparently took some of his frustration out on Edyta during rehearsals, getting on her case for being impatient, threatening to leave and ultimately bringing her to tears. He didn't exactly put the fox in fox-trot tonight, either, but at least Edyta nailed him a couple of times in the face with her elbow. "I can see a glimmer of hope for Aiden," Bruno Tonioli began, launching another round of dull-edged criticism. "Nice job," Carrie Ann Inaba said. "Great connection; solid, solid dance." As with Shannen, though, the judges gave themselves away with their scores.
Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya: We were ready to throw flowers on the ice parquet for the Olympic gold medalist last week, and tonight only further proved that he's already one of this season's elite. The long-limbed skater does have the tendency to go gangly at times, but overall he's a joy to watch. Evan's not really a Grease type, as he pretended for his jive; rather, he's more Anything Goes. So finally, the judges' praise made sense, though they still found a few issues with his footwork. "There's something strange going on down below," commented Len Goodman. Must've been the pink socks.
Niecy Nash & Louis van Amstel: Is Niecy having the time of her life or what? She looked just as psyched to be doing the fox-trot this week as she was the cha-cha last time, and she moves without a trace of awkwardness or self-consciousness, as if she's dreamed of wearing pink satin on Dancing With the Stars all her life. "You are a revelation," Len applauded, while Bruno called her "light and frothy…like a strawberry milk shake." When Carrie Ann encouraged her to go even bigger with her performance next time, the glowing Clean House host quipped, "I can do big!"
Jake Pavelka & Chelsie Hightower: Every good Bachelor knows how to tap dance. But Jake can jive, too! He lost his timing here and there, but for the most part, he handled Chelsie's advanced choreography like a champ. "Your energy and determination are great," Bruno said. "When you combine the two, you'll be amazing." Carrie Ann spied a lift (she's just no fun), and Len said something interesting. "Someone's going home tomorrow night and I truly hope it's not you, because I think you've got a lot more to give and great potential." (Tom Bergeron said earlier in the evening that, if someone had been eliminated last week, it would have been an upset. Are Vienna haters up in arms?)
Buzz Aldrin & Ashly Costa: Again, what are we going to say about Buzz? He's not making a joke of himself like Cloris Leachman or submitting to weird gimmicks. And tonight he danced a traditional fox-trot, which suited him way more than the cha-cha. "I think you inspire, anyone can dance," Len said approvingly. Bruno, getting down to business a bit, said it looked like the pioneering astronaut was "avoiding craters," he was taking such giant steps. He's a charmer, but let's say this: If he doesn't go home, it means someone else is really unliked.
Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough: This partnership is just great to watch, regardless of genre. Although now, what with Nicole's ponytail flinging about and the sequins flying, we can finally see that jive is a Latin dance. "Perfection," Carrie Ann concluded, while Bruno called it "phenomenal," the best jive he'd seen in week two, ever. Nicole had reason to fear ol' fusty Len, though—his 8 prevented her from getting the earliest 30 in Dancing history. (P.S. No one's earned a pair of week-two 10s since Joey Lawrence in season three.)
Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Digging Maks' buzz-cut…oh, right, this is about Erin. The ESPN reporter looked graceful and lovely doing the fox-trot. As Bruno said, she's a natural. We weren't in love with the little solo parts, feeling they looked kind of pageanty (that one's for you, Simon Cowell), but her lines in hold were gorgeous. Apparently she was holding on too tightly, though, because Carrie Ann told her to "watch the death grip." Len, meanwhile, went to bat for Maks, whom Erin was seen screaming at during their rehearsals. "Turn up, keep up, shut up—trust in your pro!" the Brit advised.
Pamela Anderson & Damien Whitewood: Is there such a thing as an orgasmic fox-trot? Because if there is, Pam was having one. We're happy to say, she can do ballroom as well as Latin. "A busload of Kennedys just pulled up," Bergeron quipped, in reference to Pam's Marilyn Monroe-channeling performance. "A well-executed, delicious tribute to the original blond bombshell," Bruno raved. Len praised her elegance and "cheeky charm," and taught everyone the word "titivating."
Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke: The strapping football star definitely didn't look as comfortable fox-trotting as he did doing the cha-cha last time. His rhythm is good, and he kept up with Cheryl, but he hasn't quite mastered the grace thing yet. Len must have been hungry by show's end, because all of the restraint he showed earlier was gone by Ochocinco o'clock. "It was like the snow, you're just glad when it's all over," he huffed. "Cumbersome and ungainly," Bruno offered—though he, like Carrie Ann, wants to see more.
Kate Gosselin & Tony Dovolani: Surprise, surprise… Kate kicked off jive week by criticizing Tony's teaching style and turning it into a Sesame Street (only less sophisticated) treatise on feelings and listening. "You're not taking into consideration how I learn," she lectured her teacher. Tony threatened to quit, even walking out at one point. To his detriment, he returned. "A lot of people quit on me," she said, thanking him for coming back. They made it to the floor, but never really danced. Well, Tony danced. Kate just kinda bounced. She looked cute, though. Bruno compared her to a Stepford wife, she had so little character. Carrie Ann applauded her for finishing the routine. "What's the worst that could happen, you go wrong, you fall over? So what?" Len said fiercely. "Go out fighting."
Here's a rundown of tonight's leaderboard, including last week's scores:
Nicole & Derek: 53
Evan & Anna: 47
Erin & Maks: 44
Pam & Damien: 43
Jake & Chelsie: 40
Niecy & Louis: 39
Shannen & Mark: 38
Aiden & Edyta: 34
Chad & Cheryl: 34
Kate & Tony: 31
Buzz & Ashly: 26
One of these hearty souls (and their tired soles) will be eliminated Tuesday.
Your guess is as good as ours—tell us who you think is getting the boot. And...let us know what you think of Nicole's killer moves, Jake's tenacity, Erin's hissy fit, Kate's desire to make Tony sit in the corner, etc.
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