Dancing with the Stars, Episode 2: Rumbaliciousby Jill Jones -- 06/09/2005
Robert R. Updegraff
Previously on Dancing with the Stars, the male celebrities did the cha cha cha while the female celebrities waltzed. The esteemed judges critiqued the performances and scored them accordingly, while viewers were given a chance to vote for their favorites. Tonight, the journey ends for one of our stars. Who will be eliminated from the competition and who will be one step closer to winning the coveted trophy? It’s time to start the show and find out!
The couples enter and again only the celebrities are introduced. I know it’s their show, but isn’t it rude to introduce only one person when in fact there are two? Gee, I hope I’m not this negative throughout the entire show tonight! Our co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Lisa Canning are back, and after a quick recap of last week’s scores and standings, we’re ready to begin.
First up are Rachel Hunter and Jonathan Roberts. While the couple seemed stressed during their rehearsals for last week’s show, they appear to be more relaxed and at ease this week. That’s interesting because as Jonathan points out, they are incorporating three dangerous moves into their routine: the one-leg hang, death drop, and back-bend clothesline. If someone was teaching me a move called the death drop, I would not be relaxed! Tonight the couple will be doing the rumba to “I Don't Want to Miss A Thing.” The routine starts off with Rachel doing a split. It’s quite impressive! She also throws in some leg lifts that defy all things that are humanly possible. Rachel and Jonathan gaze at each other throughout the performance in order to make it more romantic. What do the judges think?
First, Len Goodman, professional ballroom dance judge extraordinaire, explains that in the rumba, he looks for a lot of interplay between the dancers, hip action, and romance. Luckily for Rachel and Jonathan, he saw it all in their performance. Our next judge, Bruno Tonioli, who is a film, music video, and TV choreographer, agrees and says that Rachel could become a “love goddess of the dance floor.” Our last judge is Carrie Ann Inaba, film, TV, and stage tour choreographer. She says that although Rachel started out nervous, she worked through it and displayed great hip action and great chemistry with her partner. After moving backstage, Rachel receives her scores; all three judges give her an eight for a total of 24 points. When combined with last week’s score, she now has a 44 out of 60.
Our next couple is Ashly Delgrosso and Joey McIntyre. Last week, they appeared to have fun during rehearsals, but this week things seem to be more stressful. In fact, Ashly seems to be a bit annoyed with Joey. The couple will be doing the quickstep tonight and their choice of song is “You're the One That I Want.” Joey observes that his feet are moving 60 miles per hour; the dance is so fast! Yes, Joey, that’s why it is called the quickstep! During the performance, Joey shows that he took Bruno’s advice from last week and is improving his posture by putting his nose in the air. He and Ashly cover the entire floor during their routine, which is primarily made up of a lot of spinning and fancy footwork. Overall, the couple performs a very impressive routine.
Len begins the critiques by first stating that during the quickstep, he looks for light, fluffy dancing. He then compares it to a soufflé. Suddenly, I’m hungry. He also refers to Joey as Jonathan, but Joey takes it as a compliment! Len continues by saying that Joey had incredible footwork and should continue focusing on it. Bruno doesn’t agree. He says that Joey is underachieving and should take smaller steps during the quickstep. While he is giving his feedback, Tom interrupts in order to move on to Carrie. I guess we have a lot to cover tonight, so the judges will have to be quick with their evaluations. Carrie explains that Joey didn’t miss a step and that he had great presence. Joey and Ashly move backstage for the results. Carrie gives the performance an eight, Len gives it a seven and Bruno gives Joey a six. His total for this week is 21. When added to his score from last week, it gives him a final score of 41.
Trista Sutter and Louis van Amstel are set to perform next. Trista says that she didn’t like the romance and intimacy involved in the routine during practice. This makes me laugh since she is known as the woman who went on television not once, but twice to find love! You would think she would be able to separate true feelings from phony ones! Sorry, there goes that attitude again. Sigh. Where’s my dog? Perhaps if I pet her during the show, I’ll relax and lose my negativity. Anyway, Trista invites husband Ryan to rehearsals. If he’s OK with the routine, then she’s OK with it. And he is, so we can move on. Tonight, Trista and Louis will be doing the rumba to “Endless Love.” Despite a tricky ending, the dance doesn’t thrill me. I think my problem is with the moves and the music; I never pictured a lot of shaking hips when I heard this song in the past. Again, this is just my opinion. Perhaps the judges loved it.
Carrie says that the dance lacked seduction, while Len compliments Louis for putting a basic dance move called “the fan” into the routine since he has seen very few basics in any of the routines so far. That’s it! He says nothing about Trista’s performance. She cannot be feeling positive at this point. Bruno says that he didn’t feel any heat or passion. Louis corrects him by saying, “I felt it.” Oh, that Louis! The judges score the performance; Carrie and Bruno both give Trista a six, while Len gives her a seven. Tonight, her total is 19. When added to last week’s score, it gives her a final score of 37. Backstage, Lisa asks Trista for her thoughts. Trista says that she feels the judges were affected by the preview that was shown of Trista stating that she was uncomfortable with the closeness of the moves. It’s disappointing that some of the celebrities have spent their time whining while others have had great attitudes even when their feedback was less than spectacular.
The next couple to hit the dance floor is Charlotte Jorgensen and John O’Hurley. Readers, you must watch this show for John’s one-liners if for no other reason! The man is beyond funny. He also has such a wonderful charm to him. I am becoming a big fan. His attitude is also refreshing; even though Charlotte is making him practice and do extra cardiovascular exercises like running stairs, he is still joking and enjoying himself. Their quickstep routine, performed to “Let’s Face The Music and Dance,” starts off with John playfully begging for a dance. At first, Charlotte refuses, but eventually she accepts. From there, the routine explodes! John is fast and light on his feet. He has great posture and many appropriate expressions. Even the clothing that they are wearing works well for the routine; everything is long, flowing, and beautiful! My only complaint though has nothing to do with the dancing, but rather with the camera work. Several times, when the couple is staying in one place, but doing what I assume are fancy and elaborate foot moves, the camera is focused on their faces. This is when the focus should be on the feet. But because the performance is so wonderful, I can overlook it. I really enjoy watching Charlotte and John dance.
After a really bad Russell Crowe joke by Tom, the judges are ready with their critiques. Bruno says that John just set the standard for everyone else; it was pure elegance. Carrie agrees by saying this is the couple to beat. Len says that John had great hold and posture, and that his footwork was “pretty good.” Bruno is so excited over the performance that he jumps back into the conversation to reiterate how he feels. The judges’ scores reflect their positive critiques; Carrie gives John an eight, while Len and Bruno both give him a nine, the highest score yet in the competition! John’s score for the evening is a 26, while his total score is 46. What a great performance!
Even though it is a hard act to follow, Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo are ready for the challenge. Kelly says that she was disappointed by the judges’ critiques of her performance last week and felt that Bruno was particularly harsh, but will still work hard and do her best. In fact, she says that their performance will be “rumbalicious!” Alec states that he is impressed by her attitude. It is nice to see that she is enjoying herself despite receiving such low scores the previous week. Tonight, they are dancing the rumba to “Hero.” The routine begins and right away, I notice that Kelly is showing more expression on her face. This is in response to last week when Bruno told her she looked like someone had just died. Like Joey, it appears that she is learning from their feedback. While I am not a fan of the routine, it is very sexy and Kelly is doing a fine job. She certainly is shaking her hips a lot and moving very well – of course she doesn’t have on any clothing to speak of to get in her way. However, is it enough to please the judges?
Carrie starts by saying that the routine was sexy, and that Kelly and Alec had great chemistry, but it lacked dancing. She also states that Kelly is an awkward mover. I bet there are a lot of men watching this show who disagree with that statement! Len says that she has improved since last week’s performance, but her dancing still doesn’t have an impact on the audience. Bruno agrees that she has improved, but she needs to extend her lines, use her arms, and hold her posture better. With that, Kelly and Alec join Lisa backstage and receive the judges’ scores. Carrie gives her a five, while Len and Bruno both give her a six. Her total this week is 17, which brings her overall score to 30. Lisa, who may earn a reputation for being Ms. Obvious, tells Kelly that her score is low. Kelly says that the judges are expecting too much; this is her first attempt at ballroom dancing, so she’s giving herself credit for doing this much.
Our final performance of the evening is Edyta Sliwinska and Evander Holyfield. Edyta says that Evander has huge feet and weighs 250 pounds, so tonight’s dance may be a real challenge for him; however, to help him, she takes him to a boxing ring in order to practice some of the footwork, since that is where he is comfortable. Tonight, they will be doing the quickstep to “It Don't Mean a Thing.” During the performance, Evander keeps up with Edyta, but most of the steps look like skipping. Evander also looks tense and uncomfortable with the dance. What do the judges think?
Bruno says that the performance was like the Terminator trying to keep up with Tinkerbell. He feels that this was not Evander’s best dance because he simply wasn’t light on his feet. Carrie says that while she admires what Evander went for, she knew this was going to be the most difficult dance for him. Len finishes by saying that Evander has come a long way, more so than the other celebrities, and that he wants to see Bruno train in the ring for a boxing match with Evander. Laughter ensues. Evander receives his scores; Carrie gives him a five, Len gives him a four, and Bruno gives him a five. His score tonight is 14, making his overall score a 32.
Currently, the stars rank as follows:
John – 46 points
Rachel – 44 points
Joey – 41 points
Trista – 37 points
Evander – 32 points
Kelly – 30 points
It’s now time to combine the judges’ scores with viewers’ scores and eliminate the celebrity with the lowest score. Tom announces that the following couples (in no particular order) will return next week:
Ashly and Joey
Charlotte and John
Edyta and Evander
Kelly and Alec
It’s down to Rachel & Jonathan and Trista & Louis. These are the two couples that received the lowest number of votes from fans; however, which celebrity had the lowest overall score and will be eliminated? The votes have been tallied. The celebrity leaving us tonight is… Trista Sutter! No way! When asked how it feels to be eliminated, Trista says, “It sucks!” Yeah, I bet it does. Louis is very professional and says some nice things about Trista and her work in the competition. With that, the couple dances together one last time to “Never Can Say Goodbye” and the show comes to an end.
Personally, I don’t think the worst celebrity dancer was eliminated. But I’m sure that some of the voting is based on popularity and personality in addition to talent. In any case, Dancing with the Stars attracted 13.5 million viewers last week, the biggest audience for an unscripted summer debut since Survivor in 2000. It will be interesting to see if this number grows as we move closer to crowing a winner. Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorites. According to the show’s web site (www.abc.go.com/primetime/dancing/index.html), while viewers can currently vote five times from a single telephone line, that limit may change. Online voting closes at midnight on the Tuesday before each Wednesday night’s episode.
Until next week, I’ll lose my attitude and you keep on dancing!
Jill is an east coast mama who loves sharks, zombie movies, and reality television. She welcomes your comments about these and other subjects, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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