‘DWTS’ Tells a Story, Michael Bolton Returns

Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani (Photo: ABC)

Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani (Photo: ABC)

Before we get to the Week 3 performances, this just in: Michael Bolton will return to the ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ stage Tuesday night to perform in place of ‘Talent’ sensation Susan Boyle. He plans to sing “Hallelujah,” which Boyle was scheduled to belt out before having to cancel due to a sore throat. Married dance pros Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya will dance along to the performance.

Okay, on with the show…

When it comes to the much-loved ‘Story Night’ on ‘DWTS,’ it’s open season on potential trainwrecks thanks to the encouraged use of props (or as Len Goodman calls it ‘messing about’–everyone knows how much Len Goodman hates props!) and the occasional attempt at ‘acting’ by the ‘Stars.’

Fortunately for us, and for the dancing in general, no one even came close to a dance floor disaster on the level of say Kate Gosselin’s freaky-deaky “Paparazzi” Paso Doble from last season. That said, Bristol Palin had the poorest showing with her lackluster Fox Trot in a bizarre storyline about a homeless man and a passerby breaking into dance. The story didn’t make sense, but what was more confusing is why the judges are still do darn nice to her. Why? Just because she’s the youngest contestant and not a legitimate celebrity? If there were cause for a nasty comment this week – a la Bruno-Gate over putting Michael Bolton in the doghouse – it would’ve been for Palin’s performance.

My vote for best prop of the night had to be Jennifer Grey’s ruler in her “Hot for Teacher”-themed Samba with Derek Hough. Second best prop was the duct tape Brandy put over her mouth in rehearsal to show her partner Maks that she’s ready to shut up and listen. Good. Idea.

Speaking of Jennifer and Derek … is it okay that they re-danced a tiny section of their sexy Samba for the judges after the judging took place? Hmmm. Seems they gave the viewers a little something extra to vote on and that doesn’t seem fair to me. The pair once again scored a 24, but for the first time in three weeks, it was not the top score of the night. That honor went to Tony Dovolani and ‘Hills’ star Audrina Patridge, who showed her serious side in the Viennese Waltz.

Bitchy moment of the night: Len snapping at Maks for smacking Brandy in a storyline about a bodyguard. Guess he just didn’t get it, but he certainly got heated over it.

Quote of the night: “This is the gayest thing that ever happened,” joked Margaret Cho in her rainbow-colored fringed dress, dancing a free-spirited Samba to one of the gayest songs ever, “Copacapana.”

File under, Say What?: Co-host Brooke Burke’s latest blooper occurred when she told Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya that their score of 23 was the highest score of the night. Oopsie. Not true, since Jennifer and Derek’s dance brought in a 26 prior to it.

Enough of that. On to the dancing…

Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani: Viennese Waltz
Looking pretty darn good for a sprained ankle, the reality star surprised us with her grace and elegance in her first Waltz. She dug deep for this one and let us see a much more serious side. Kudos! Dead solider storyline = high score! Bruno called it “beautifully danced.” Carrie Ann said it was “beautifully acted” too. Len had some love for her as well: “That was the most touching dance of the night.” And seeing Tony’s legs get waxed was the most cringe-worthy of the night. “Now I know what my wife and many women out there go through,” the trooper said of the painful stunt.
Score: 26

Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Samba
Brandy tried to set the record straight about her relationship with Maks, saying that they don’t really fight that much. He even brought her a gift to show that she’s committed to listening and not talking all the time. The gift? Duct tape for her mouth. Loved it. As for Brandy taking the mic to “sing” a few bars at the top of their dance, that was actually a back-up singer singing with Brandy lip-syncing. “It had energy, it had punch,” said Len, who liked the improvement. But Len didn’t think Maks played the bodyguard well and didn’t like it, especially the spanking, and he was pretty adamant about it. “I’m starting to see the comeback of the diva,” said Bruno. Carrie Ann called it “hot.”

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough: Samba
She nailed the Viennese Waltz. She nailed the Jive. And tonight she nailed the Samba. Is there anything this ‘Dirty Dancer’ can’t do? Their story about a boy hot for teacher was pretty steamy. Her fringed pants were a bit distracting and I had a hard time making out all the moves because of it, but it rocked nonetheless. Len loved it. “It was very, very clever…. You’re becoming an irresistible force on this stage,” he said. “You are the sexy mistress of Cougar Town’s academy of samba,” said Bruno. Carrie Ann Inaba, however, thought they were slightly out of sync. Huh?
Score: 24

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke: Fox Trot
First off: Brandy’s brother and Kim Kardashian’s sex tape partner Ray J squealed backstage, “Yay! Cheryl!” when the dancer popped up on the backstage monitors. Sounds like love, eh? Anyway, Rick was dashing once again in his Fox Trot to a tale about losing the big game … and I guess getting entertained by a hot chick. Ray J “wooed” to Cheryl’s moves on that bar top, by the way. Oh, and Holy Abs! The Sitch has some competition. “Well done,” said Len. “We want to see more of that,” said Bruno. “It was hot, it was sexy,” said Carrie Ann.
Score: 24

Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya: Fox Trot
Lameest idea of Story Night: Someone (Anna) is having a bad day on a rainy day (to Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day,” of course!) and then it turns out good. Sorry but I blinked and missed exactly how he fixed her day. Is that the best they could come up with? Unfortunately, it didn’t do it for me. But the tea party with his kids should score him lots of mommy and grandmommy votes for sure! “It was so charming, Kurt … I loved it,” said Carrie Ann. “Well done,” said Len. “Your personality is great,” said Bruno, who pointed out how the NFLer nearly dropped her. Oops. He also compared him to Gene Kelly. I think that’s going a little too far, Bruno baby.
Score: 23

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer: Viennese Waltz
Kyle was afraid the Waltz was going to be boring, but there’s nothing ho-hum about this gorgeous dance. Their meet-cute story at a coffee shop plotline kind of worked for me. Kyle brought a cuteness to what is typically a serious dance. “You’ve got the likability factor sewn up,” said Bruno. “You just bring the fun to the floor,” said Carrie Ann, who said she’s like a school girl with a major crush. “Your acting level is very high. Your performance level is very high,” said Len, before calling his footwork “absolutely atrocious.” Ouch.
Score: 23

Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas: Viennese Waltz
She got her start in ‘The Sound of Music’ so it was fitting that her story book musical number was to the romantic story ‘The Sound of Music’ too. It wouldn’t be Story Night without tears and the tears flowed freely from Flo when she talked about how the song reminded her of her late husband. Nice kiss at the end there, guys! “Simple, effective, very, very, very sweet,” said Bruno. “It was really touching,” said Carrie Ann. “It was sweet,” said Len.
Score: 20

Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino and Karina Smirnoff: Fox Trot
He promised an ample showing of his abs, and the boy did not deliver. The shirt didn’t come off as expected. When I first heard their storyline was about time travel, I hoped for something truly atrocious. She played a scientist and he entered a time machine to go to the year 3008. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? It was pretty weird, but not as bad as expected. Carrie Ann liked it even. “If that’s the future, I’m glad I live in the past,” said Len. “I don’t want to be nasty, its’ not in my nature … if you were dancing in my backyard I’d have to draw the curtains. It was a bizarre performance.” Bruno called it a “Land of the Lost Fox Trot” that was “very entertaining.”
Score: 20

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: Fox Trot
She told us last week that she was excited to play a character and get a chance to act a bit, but what happened on that dance floor was pretty far from acting. Mark played a homeless man. Bristol was a person walking by. And they rip off their street clothes and break into dance. I don’t get it. That’s not Bristol’s fault, but what is her fault is her stiffness and lack of personality. Carrie Ann was gentle with her, as usual. Len said, “I didn’t like it that much. It was all a bit too contemporary.” Bruno should have been as mean as he was to Bolton, but nope. He too was kinder than warranted. “I know there is something in there but show it to me baby.”
Score: 19

Margaret Cho and Louis Van Amstel: Samba
Who knew the Samba could be so emotional? In a storyline about self-acceptance to “Copacabana,” the funny lady seemed to have a lot of fun out there this week. Loved the rainbow fringe dress and yellow feather headpiece. Notice her flesh colored sleeves? Is that to cover up her tattoos so the older viewers of ‘DWTS’ will accept her more? Unfortunately, this was not her best dance, technically. “It started off with good rhythm … but as the dance progressed you lost your timing … and to be honest, I couldn’t quite get the story of it,” said Len. To which Margaret said it was about having pride when people are criticizing you. Bruno also said she lost her way and complained about her bad footwork. Carrie Ann loved the story and the rainbow display but noted that she “lost control.”
Score: 18

Looking forward to Tuesday’s results show: In addition to Michael Bolton, Ne-Yo will perform his latest hit, “One in a Million.” But the performance I’m really excited about is Mark Ballas playing guitar in a face-off with violinist/dancer Val Chmerkovskiy (Maks’ brother) to, get this, Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” while Tanisha Belnap and Lacey Schwimmer dance along. Yep. You read it right: a violin-guitar duel between two dancer slash musicians to a Britney Spears song. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Who was your favorite this week? Who should be the next celeb booted from the ballroom? Hit the comments below!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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