It was a night of storytelling on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ as the crafty judges upped the ante this week with the new challenge that required a story, and some dancing.
And tell a story, they did. From Kate Gosselin’s ‘Paparazzi’ moment to Niecy Nash’s emotional tale to Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke’s “art imitating life” romance, Monday night’s show delivered on its promise of drama, intrigue, and romance.
Let’s start with the drama. Once again it was during the always stressed-out rehearsal. This time, though, it was ‘Bachelor‘ star Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower having hissy fits. Hightower was frustrated because he isn’t “improving” and seems to shut down, while Pavelka snapped, “sometimes when you talk to me you are just very, very disrespectful.”
And it seems we can’t talk drama and ‘DWTS’ without talking about Kate Gosselin, who shed more tears during practice time. She might cry more than her eight kids combined lately.
‘Dancing’s Two Biggest Divas: Does Kate Have a Crush on Jake?
As for the intrigue, three words: Cheryl Burke’s ring. As we previously reported, Burke’s NFL dancing partner Chad Ochocinco gifted her with a mystery ring tonight. Just a prop for their ‘storyline’? Hints of a crush? Ocho thickened the plot by saying their seduction story was like “art imitating life for us. For real, because I keep trying, but I keep getting rejected.”
Buzz Aldrin might be the real American hero of the season, but we give Olympian Evan Lysacek major hero points for dancing with a few broken toes he suffered during rehearsal on Friday. We also saw last week’s surprise cast-off Mark Ballas on crutches backstage briefly before the show and asked him how he was doing. “I’m fine,” he said with a forced smile, looking a wee bit in pain.
Here’s how it went down…
Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough, Dance: Quick Step
Having fun with a slapstick routine about two sailors goofing off, the Pussycat Doll delivered hilarious acting chops, perfect dance moves, and charmed us by opting for cute over sexy for a change. We gave it a 10. But, we don’t have a vote. So here’s what the judges said: Len thought it was “clever” but that it wasn’t Quick Step enough. “It was just a load of vaudeville,” he added. Bruno said, “As a performance, it was incredible,” but agreed with Len. Carrie Ann also noted some broken rules but wants front row seats if they take that act on the road.
Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya, Dance: Quick Step
Loved the slicked back hair, loved the dancing (the pressroom even clapped!), and loved the ‘Chicago’ song. But the story? A bit weak, we say. They’re a couple and he’s mad that she’s late. Didn’t quite get that, but the judges liked it. “That was a slapstick homerun,” said host Tom Bergeron. “I totally got the story,” said Len. Carrie Ann called it “twinkling” and “energetic,” and Bruno squealed a bunch of love their way as well.
Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Dance: Waltz
From dance pro to bodyguard…Maks was wearing a “security” T-shirt during rehearsal and their storyline was about trust – both nods to the ESPN reporter’s recent death threats and increased security. But the scary week didn’t rattle Andrews on the dance floor–their routine was simply elegant. But Bruno’s mind was elsewhere. “You kinky thing,” he said, referring to the blindfold the blond beauty wore, which we felt was more S&M than waltz-y. Carrie Ann called their dance “profound,” while Len shocked the audience by saying, “It was the most boring stuff I’ve ever seen.” Wow, Len. Really?
Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower, Dance: Quick Step
I don’t think Cleopatra had blond streaks, but we’ll overlook that because their ‘Walk Like an Egyptian’ number was sexy, yet adorable, especially that cute Egyptian head-bopping. “Really nice storytelling,” said Carrie Ann of the “finding Cleopatra in a tomb” tale. Len thought “the production was slick,” but “some of the dance moves were slack.” Bruno–in true Bruno fashion–exclaimed, “I LOVED it!”
Pamela Anderson and Damian Whitewood, Dance: Paso Doble
The PETA-supporting babe told the story of a gypsy flamenco dancer in love with a matador, but she is against bull-fighting. Not that she needs extra help in the hoochie department, Charo popped in to show her how to strut her stuff Charo-style. “The anger was great,” said Carrie Ann, but she “threw a little too much into it.” Len applauded her for coping with her nerves after being in the bottom two last week but said she needs “refinement.” Bruno called her “the gypsy queen played by Brigitte Bardot.”
Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel, Dance: Waltz
Now, theirs were tears worth crying. Both Niecy and Louis let the waterworks fall when speaking of their storyline about being an interracial couple in the ’60s. Touching storyline aside, though, the dance had its hits (the twirl) and its misses (the lift). Len called it “brave” and thought they “pulled it off,” but insisted they need to work on her technique. Bruno praised their acting, but noted her stumble in the beginning. And Carrie Ann was confused at the “bittersweet” ending.
Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke, Dance: Paso Doble
These two are really playing up their chemistry – the mystery ring, the heat between them, and was it us, or did they almost (almost!) kiss at the end of that dance? The story was about Chad as a matador trying to seduce Cheryl, but she doesn’t want him. “Art imitating life,” he said (jokingly or revealingly? Time will tell). Bruno said she brought the “power back.” Carrie Ann said, “You were focused on her like a laser and all of it worked perfect.” And, Len added: “Much better than last week.”
Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska, Dance: Quick Step
Romantic, yes. Quick on the quick step, eh. She was his painting come to life and he, well, he just seemed like he was going through the motions but lacking any real emotion. (Maybe he was feeling like he was going to upchuck again!) Len told him he needed to “go for it a little more.” Bruno said he looked as “happy as a clam” and like “a kid skipping around a meadow.” Carrie Ann agreed with Bruno and said his “confidence is growing.”
Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani, Dance: Paso Doble
Fighting the paparazzi, Kate looked downright pissed. And, we bet her partner was pissed for a different reason: her dancing! Stiff, scared, zombie-like, Kate couldn’t have performed worse. It was downright weird, in fact. Carrie Ann agreed with us: “That was odd,” she said. “It was very hard to watch.” Len called it “pedestrian” and lacking “passion, drama, intensity.” Bruno liked her look of a “superbitch from hell.”
Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa, Dance: Waltz
Who doesn’t love a man in uniform? Their age-appropriate story of a father coming home from war to his daughter was truly delightful. Our favorite moment? Buzz using his cell phone to record practices. Nice to see an 80-year-old that’s tech savvy (unlike ‘Celebrity Apprentice’s Rod Blagojevich this week.) The judges were mixed, though. “Royal, dignified,” said Bruno, who then criticized the astronaut’s “movement.” Carrie Ann loved their sweet story, and Len said it had an “Innocent charm,” but his technique was “poor.”
Monday’s Performance Highlights: Broken-Toed Evan Toughs It Out:
Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya: 26
Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough: 23
Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 23
Pamela Anderson and Damian Whiteboard: 21
Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower: 21
Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel: 21
Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke: 20
Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska: 20
Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani: 15
Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa: 13
Who do you think is going home Tuesday night? Who had the most chemistry this week? Who had the most ‘dramatic’ story? Sound off in the comments below.