Dancing With The Stars: Week 5
(S04E08) Leeza Gibbons is gone, which means that there are only two women left to compete. After some of the men's performances tonight, I doubt that Laila and Heather are worried. There was an informal "muscle shirt" theme this evening, and the men's attempts at fun and sexy had mixed results.
Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke (Samba) - At the start of the competition, I thought that Ian and Cheryl were one of the best couples out there. Now their performances are strictly "middle of the pack." Ian is definitely capable of more attitude and athleticism, and the judges are on to him. I liked the performance and thought that both Ian and Cheryl looked great. Ian's arm muscles were the most impressive of the night, but his Samba was mediocre when compared with Apolo's. Ian admitted that he had trouble getting into the character of the dance. If he's going to make it to the finals, he will have to overcome that challenge. In a few weeks, all of the dead weight will be gone, and Ian and Cheryl will need to do something to stand out. Score: 24 (8, 8, 8)
Clyde Drexler and Elena Grinenko (Rumba) - I'll be blunt: Clyde is really starting to stink up the joint with his performances. He's very nice and a good sport, but I genuinely do not enjoy watching him dance. Clyde's busy schedule this week included a trip to China, and his travels left him with very little practice time. Early on in the competition, the judges encouraged him to take advantage of his long legs and open up on the dance floor. Clyde is still not heeding this advice, unfortunately. I keep waiting for him to surprise the audience with a little more movement, but no such luck. Clyde and Elena's Rumba was very subdued. Elena essentially danced around Clyde, while Clyde alternated between walking and standing still. The judges showed the couple no mercy, calling Clyde the worst dancer in the competition. I've enjoyed getting to know Clyde's personality, but I have to agree. It's time for him to go. Score: 13 (4, 5, 4) Deserved, but ouch.
Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts (Samba) - I never noticed that Jonathan was the only male professional with hair on his chest, but Heather did. She insisted that her partner get the "Steve Carell" treatment (that's chest-waxing, for those of you who didn't see The 40-Year-Old Virgin). Ironically, Jonathan's bare chest was Heather's downfall. The pair performed a lively, entertaining Samba. Jonathan wore an open muscle shirt, and Heather wore a dress that made her look like Christmas tinsel. Heather is a great performer, but she was not at her technical best tonight. Their performance took an unlucky turn when Heather's foot slipped on Jonathan's baby-smooth chest, sending her to the floor butt-first. That noise you heard was the applause of millions of Paul McCartney supporters. The judges gave her a break, since the rest of the dance was more than competent. I'm guessing that the fall will motivate Heather to really bring it next week. Score: 21 (7, 7, 7)
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Rumba) - Joey got some dance tips from former bandmate Lance Bass and actor Alfonso Ribeiro. I was waiting for Alfonso to break out some trademark Carlton Banks moves from his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days, but it never happened. Joey wanted to shed his goofy side and get into the sexy character of the Rumba, and I thought he succeeded. He was flexible and focused, and he even grabbed Kym's butt a few times for good measure. I loved the couple's costumes, particularly Kym's beautiful dress. The judges gave Joey some grief for being too feminine, and Carrie Ann thought that Joey "over-performed" the dance. Bruno was the sole voice of dissent, calling the performance "strong and soft." Score: 25 (8, 8, 9)
John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska (Samba) - John seemed to take last week's brutal comments to heart, comparing the remarks to a "playground taunting." He stopped himself from pouting, though, which is admirable. John is obviously not the best dancer of the bunch, but his attitude won me over this week. The couple's Samba was playful and captured the party-like tone of the dance. John looked like he was having a lot of fun, and his constant smile was wonderful. He's a charming, lovable guy, and his personality could save him this week. John might end up in the bottom two, but he will probably escape elimination. Score: 18 (6, 6, 6)
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Rumba) - I am so glad that Laila and Maksim brought their sexiness back to the dance floor! They were way too careful last week. Laila's fiancé made a hilarious appearance during practice, and kept a close eye on the placement of Maksim's hands. Fortunately for all of us, his influence didn't carry over into the couple's performance. Laila's Rumba was hot and flirtatious, and she looked as flawless as ever. As long as the pair can follow the rules and maintain their sex appeal, they have a real shot at winning. Len thought it was Laila's best performance ever, and Bruno thought she was "smoldering." Score: 28 (9, 10, 9)
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Samba) - Apolo confessed that he desperately wanted a 10, and he got three of them. The first perfect score of the season was well-deserved. Apolo and Julianne did their best to go from cute to sexy, and they pulled it off. I actually doubted their ability to move away from their cute image, but they proved me wrong. At first I thought that Julianne's hair and costume made her look like Olivia Newton-John at the very end of Grease (sweet, but unconvincing as a bad girl). By the end of the dance, I was blown away by how Apolo and Julianne transformed themselves into a smokin' hot couple. These two can really get into the spirit of every dance that they perform. Len said that all of the elements of their performance came together, and Carrie Ann called the Samba "perfection." They have to get the encore tomorrow, and I cannot wait to see them dance again. Score: 30 (10,10,10) Woohoo!
Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff (Rumba) - Someone forgot to tell Billy Ray and Karina that Easter was a few weeks back. They really looked like a couple of Easter eggs out there, didn't they? Few men can pull off a pastel purple sleeveless shirt, and Billy Ray is not one of them. Billy Ray's Rumba was a step backward in terms of skill and entertainment value. Karina basically lap-danced around him. The worst part was Billy Ray's attempt at sexiness, which came off more like smarminess. The guy is starting to give me the creeps. Carrie Ann praised Billy Ray's technical skills, while Bruno compared him to a "pillar of salt." Len said that Billy Ray traded the romance of the Rumba for "hanky-panky in the back of a Chevy." Nobody was amused by Billy Ray's predictable response. Billy Ray had a lot of potential early on, but his performances have plateaued. Fan votes are the only thing keeping him alive. Score: 17 (6, 6, 5)
If I based my episode rating solely on Apolo and Julianne's performance, it would receive a 7 out of 7. Some of the other dancers were pretty underwhelming, though, so I'm giving it a 6 out of 7. As for the bottom two, my money is on John and Clyde. Billy Ray's scores put him in the statistical bottom two, but his country fans will probably save him again this week. I would hate to see John go after such a fun performance, but so far the elimination pattern has been clear. Whoever is in the bottom two the previous week gets eliminated the next. But you never know. Apolo & Julianne, Laila & Maksim, and Joey & Kym got my online votes this week.
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