“Dancing with the Stars,” Week 3: Jennifer Grey and her partner had to dance first and, therefore, did not score the most points, although, arguably, they should have. Their samba was obviously among the most difficult of all the dances, and Judge Len put it well when he said, “You’re becoming an irresistible force on this show.” [I felt like saying, “Well, duh.” After all, this is the woman who danced in “Dirty Dancing.”] The comment from Carrie Ann about being “slightly out of synch:” really nit-picky. Judge Bruno said, “Very, very difficult. As he said, you’re great.” Let’s just give Jennifer the trophy now and move on to who gets to be runner-up.
I thought that Florence Henderson acquitted herself well dancing the waltz to “Edelweiss,” which she starred in on Broadway for 15 months. She had on a green skirt with a black-and-white blouse that screamed “The Sound of Music.” The judges said it was “simple, effective and very, very sweet,” but Judge Len did throw in the criticism that “The technique in your feet was non-existent, unfortunately.” I give Florence high marks for her score of 20, but the crying over her husband who died 8 years ago and later topical pitches on gay rights and every other issue of the day got to be a bit much.
Third couple was Kurt Warner and his partner, doing the foxtrot. They danced to “You Had A Bad Day,” which isn’t much of a song. Carrie Ann said, “It was so charming. You have this incredible charm that works wonders on a story line like this. Your chemistry was fantastic. I loved it.” Judge Len said, “Well done. Fantastic.” Judge Bruno said, “You nearly dropped her. You have to be cleaner.” They still scored a 23, probably for the special effects rain, the umbrella and other gimmicky things in the rather jingo-ish song.
One point less than Jennifer Grey and her partner? I don’t think so. But Kurt Warner is very likable and working hard. Moral here: don’t go first if you can help it.
Fourth couple was Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel. They did the samba. She had on a horrible dress with a yellow feathered headdress. Last week, her appearance improved so much over Night Number One, but she definitely lost ground this week on her costume. Len made some comment about, “I was encouraged at the start, but I couldn’t quite get the story of it.” (No kidding). Bruno said something about, “Keep waving it,” but then noted, “I think you lost your way after the Copa. Too many drinks, my darling.” Carrie Ann made some comment about “Unleashing the beast.” [Beast was the right word to describe this outfit and this dance.] I liked the funny comment that Louis had “brought back Jack LaLanne’s outfit.” I don’t know how many fans Margaret Cho has out there, but she’s going to need them all to overcome dances like this. They scored an 18. (Only The Situation and Kyle Massey were as bad.) “A lot of gay students have committed suicide,” said Margaret. Why? Is all this interjection of issues like troops and gay pride and whose husband or friend died and whether bullfighting is humane really necessary for a dancing competition? This is why I argue about the cheesiness of the competition with a friend, (who is completely and totally smitten with the show.) I like the dancing. I don’t like the teary-eyed dramatic flourishes, which seem totally fabricated and unnecessary. It is true that there are some behind-the-scenes manipulations on “American Idol,” but not to the extent that the at-home viewer gets a lecture on every issue of the day with each song.
Fifth couple on the floor was Audrina Patridge, who danced to “Let It Be Me.” He wore a soldier outfit, so, of course, we had to have a salute to the troops. Bruno called the dancing “compelling and touching storytelling. A hit.” Carrie called it “beautiful storytelling.” Len said, “Move with your feet and dance with your heart,” but he also said it was “the most touching dance of the night.” They scored a 26, which was high score of the night.
Sixth couple was “Bristol the Pistol.” Bristol is a pistol that shoots blanks. The story about a homeless person was lame. Carrie Ann said, “This wasn’t happening.” Len said, “I didn’t like it that much. All a bit contemporary for my tastes.” Bruno said, “You’re not Meryl Streep yet. I know there is something in there. Show it to me, Baby.” Score: 19. Not great.
Seventh couple was Brandi and Maks. Len said, “You were not protective of your partner. I didn’t like it.” Bruno said, “I’m starting to see the comeback of the diva. Way to go, girl.” Carrie Ann said, “You were hot and were on fire tonight” and then tried to smack Maks on the butt, which he didn’t seem to like and moved away in what looked like a huff. Score of 24.
Eighth: Kyle Massy and his partner Lacy. The less said the better. Len put it this way: “Absolutely atrocious. Footwork non-existent. Their score was 23. Not a couple I would want to see anywhere near the finals.
The Situation and Karina Smirnoff did a foxtrot — supposedly. He wore a see-through black shirt. The song, with smoke, had lots of boom boom wow action: not appealing. Len said, “If that’s the future, I’m glad I live in the past. I don’t want to be nasty because that’s not me, but it was a bizarre performance. If you were dancing in my back yard, I’d have to draw the curtains.” It became known as the “Land of the Lost” foxtrot as Bruno pronounced it “In a very weird way very entertaining.” Bruno must be easily entertained or perhaps he had a few too many drinks with Margaret Cho in the Copa. Score: 20.
Rick Fox and his partner scored 24 out of 30. By this point, I had totally lost interest and was running on fumes.
Lose the “story night” theme. Lose the causes that every star must work into their commentary. (Bedbugs next, perhaps? Anti-bullfighting for Pamela Anderson…remember?) Stick to the dancing. Announcement made that Michael Bolton will return to sing in place of ailing diva Susan Boyle; probably Bruno will make nice this time.
Elimination tomorrow: Margaret Cho? The Situation? Kyle Massey? Bristol Palin?