Archive for September 24th, 2006

Like…Whoa…Joey Lawrence Gets Down!

September 24, 2006

joey.jpg

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:
Happy birthday dear, Double D!
Happy birthday, dear Double D!
Happy birthday from the Monkbots!
Happy birthday dear, Double D!
And Soul Patroooooooool!

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Do any of you remember that episode of “Blossom” where Joey Russo lost his smile after a bad day at school…and, just before he shaved off all his hair in desperation…he found his smile once more by dancing with his little sister in the opening credits?

Well, you shouldn’t…’cause I just made that up.

However, a spark has been lit under our little Joey Lawrence. He may have already reached the “shave your head” stage of whatever it is he’s got going on…but the man came out this week on “Dancing with the Stars” smiling like a champ and dancing like a pro.

After the inevitable shooing away of Tucker Carlson last week, the couple count was down to 10. And two of these 10 couples faced a week of controversy. First, Jerry Springer’s partner injured her knee in rehearsal and then Mario Lopez was outed as having had dance lessons.

So, with excitement already fever-pitch, we begin this week’s show. The kaleidoscope of talent spins and hostess Samantha Harris welcomes viewers, while sounding like she’s chewing on a mouthful of pot roast…seriously, this woman irritates me…her banter is inane and her ability to maul her words is profound.

But I digress.

On with the dancing. This week, the women are dancing the mambo and the men are dancing the quickstep. I’m excited, because the quickstep is one of my favorites (umm…does that sound as nerdy as I think it does?)

Willa Ford is up first with her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. In the voiceover pre-dance clip, she describes herself as tough, dirty, and raw…and then immediately discredits her bad-ass façade by walking out of the practice with Max…and crying. I yell at my tv, “Suck it up. You have an opportunity to get an entire nation to pay attention to you and you’re whining? Whatever!” When the dance starts, Willa comes out wearing this crazy rainbow halter…er, dress (for lack of a better word)…but I can’t help but think of how much it looks like Mork’s suspenders have turned all Mindy on her. She’s working it tonight to Sean Paul’s “Get Busy” (what a classy tune). She vamps too much and ends up stomping around the floor like a horse. Grace isn’t her strong suit. She does offer some good hip action and a decent “body rock.” However, I think she must have attended the Traci Lords Academy of Facial Expressions because…yikes…tone it down, honey. But, apparently the porn faces work for the judges. Len says “that was fantastic…great hips and rhythm…occasionally clumsy in your feet, but great.” Bruno and Carrie Ann also liked, although Carrie Ann said Willa got a little out of control and ahead of the music. Scores: 7, 8, 8

Dear Santa, I’ve been a very good girl this year (if you don’t count all my snarking on graycharles.com and here)…so for Christmas…if all the Taylor’s are sold out…please bring me my very own Harry Hamlin. Thank you. Love, Shelley

Looking even better than he did last week, Harry Hamlin (who’s 54, folks!) and cutie-pie Ashly DelGrosso are up next, dressed in pink and black…and preparing to dance to “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop (thus completing a separation of a mere two degrees between Iggy Pop and Tom Bergeron…now I’ve seen everything). In the pre-clip we see that Ashly has come up with a brilliant idea to help Harry loosen up…a laughter yogi. The yahoo comes in and makes Ashly and Harry practice laughing while counting out the quickstep. It’s the corniest thing I’ve ever seen…I’m surprised Iggy hasn’t filed a lawsuit for defamation of character by association. The dance, however, is nice. Harry is still stiff, but he does seem more comfortable. He gets behind a little on the footwork but his facial expressions are less rigid. Ashly does a wonderful job. Bruno makes note of the sloppy footwork but Len and Carrie Ann give him props for the good posture. Scores: straight 7s

Monique Coleman is also working the sexy vibe this week. She and Louis Van Amstel had to overcome their “lack of chemistry,” as cited by Len last week. So they took a gondola ride…which is very weird. Seriously, do gondola rides inspire anything but self-consciousness and cheesiness? MMMmm. For their performance, they are dancing to “Bop to the Top” from “High School Musical.” They start by almost kissing…and from there the chemistry only elevates. Really great choreography. She’s sexy and he lets her shine. She’s a little labored in parts, but the routine is fun to watch and she really puts her all into it. They judges reward her with high praise and high scores. Scores: 9, 8, 9

Now for Mario “Hot Pants” Lopez and Karina Smirnoff, who’ll be dancing to “Do Your Thing” by Basement Jaxx. The show is really playing up their sparring in practice…so much so that they put the couple in a boxing ring to go a round or two. Cute…but Mario and Karina ain’t no Barbra and Ryan. Their dance is great…he jumps and moves like a pro. Plus his posture is amazing. It’s a fun routine, plus we get to see Mario do the splits. The guy is definitely an entertainer. But the judges have some harsh criticism for Mario and Karina’s lack of incorporating the traditional moves of the quickstep. Scores: 7, 6, 8

Shanna Moakler and Jesse DeSoto take the floor and mambo to “Jump” by Kriss Kross.

I repeat…they MAMBO to “JUMP” by KRISS KROSS.

Shakes head and wonders from what dark place comes ideas for such pairings. I think it all began with Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing “The Little Drummer Boy”…but that was so much cooler…right?

Anyway, Shanna…is wearing a dress made entirely of taupe/beige fringe and even more frosted eye shadow than last week (I honestly didn’t think this was possible). Plus, she’s wearing some kind of poo-colored lipstick and liner. It’s truly terrifying. Listen, I don’t know who is letting her walk out looking like queen of the trailer park…but they need to be fired. Plus, between the frosted brown eyeshadow, the brown lipstick, and the taupe/beige dress…she looks like a sample board of panty hose swatches. Horrible.

Oh, and I guess I have to talk about her dancing, huh? Well, her mambo twist is very slow. She is too cautious…not to mention boring, which I attribute to the choreography. How am I to believe that Jesse is the “mambo king” if this is how he choreographs? I didn’t like this at all…and I’m afraid she won’t even win points on personality. The judges agree. They give tepid responses but then, curiously, throw her some decent scores. Scores: 8, 7, 7

Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson are next. Kym has had a rough week, as she injured her knee in rehearsals. Jerry…I hate to admit this…shows some real compassion for her and says that her healing and her career are far more important than this one television show. It’s quite sweet. But Kym, the audacious Aussie, bounces back like a kangaroo and gives a performance, which, though not perfect, is fun. Dressed in 1930s garb, the couple dances to “Sing Sing Sing” by the Andrews Sisters. They started a little slow and were cautious and a little labored, but it was still very entertaining. But the judges didn’t cut them any slack for Kym’s injury and were a little more harsh than, I thought, they should be (especially when I thought they were much better than Shanna and Jesse). Scores: 7, 6, 6

Up next, Vivica A. Fox and Nick Kosovich. As couples go in this competition, these two are the most relatable. Nick seems like a great guy, and Vivica, though a little divalicious, is driven, yet grounded. I really like them together. It’s a believable pairing (unlike, say, Ashly and Master P or Edyta Sliwinska and George Hamilton). Tonight Vivica is in a spicy reddish/pinkish/yellowish halter dress and Nick is in yellow. She really works this dance out and moves like a mature woman…which makes her relatable to me…and anytime I feel like I can relate to someone as gorgeous as Vivica A. Fox…I’m a happy, happy girl. I still like Monique and Louis’ choreography better, but Vivica pulls out the stops and finishes with a friggin’ cartwheel! Nice! The judges applaud her efforts with decent remarks and good scores. Scores: straight 8s

Okay, now things are getting good ‘cause up next are Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska…wearing the greenest green I’ve ever seen. For the first time since the competition began, we see Joey crack a smile…and it’s a wonderful thing. The Gestapo edge is worn down with a flash of his terrific grin. They come out dancing to “I Got Rhythm” by Ella Fitzgerald…Joey wearing a fedora and Edyta lying on the floor with a leg in the air. Joey tosses the hat on her raised foot and she kicks it away…very Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. Joey is very light on his feet and the routine is fabulous. He does a little tap dance in the middle that he said he performed on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson when he was 5. He gives good kicks and has nice leg extension then he slides at the end and finishes with a very big (and charming) smile. They got a standing ovation…and totally deserved it. The judges gush appropriately and Joey looks like that little kid who was on Carson…totally adorable. They are compared to the golden age of Hollywood. Scores: 10, 9, 10 (which are all received by Joey backstage with his mouth agape…whoa)

Up next is Mae West…er, Sara Evans…with possibly the biggest hairdo I’ve ever seen. She and partner Tony Dovolani are dancing this week to “Papa Loves Mambo” by Perry Como. We’re shown clips of her in her hometown of Franklin, TN, with a bunch of her fans. It looks like she’s having some kind of cookout for her fans (Taylor, please take note). I hope the Sara Patrol isn’t going to be out in full force voting…’cause the rest of the contestants won’t stand a chance. Tonight she’s dancing in a short, red skirt. Again, she’s too sweet and cautious, although she gives good twists and nice “body rocks.” The judges seem unenthused. Scores: straight 7s

The final couple of the night is Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke, who will be dancing to what has officially become the most over-played song of the season…”Black Horse & The Cherry Tree” by K.T. Tunstall. Seriously, I wish folks would pay attention to the other songs on her album…they are tons better. Emmitt says in the pre-clip that he’s concerned about performing the quickstep because framing is hard for him. But, as soon as he takes the floor, he wins the audience over with his great smile and demeanor. His technique isn’t the best of the night, but it’s far from the worst. He’s a little overly cautious but he also is very suave. He moves more easily in the faster parts of the dance, but Cheryl’s choreography isn’t as clever as it should be. Overall, it’s not bad…but I hate that he followed Joey. The judges show him lots of love and give him very good scores. Scores: straight 8s

The show ends with the leader board as follows (maximum allowable score is 30):
Joey, 29
Monique, 26
Vivica and Emmit, 24
Willa, 23
Shanna, 22
Harry, Mario, and Sara, 21
Jerry, 19

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Results Show

After the recap and Samantha swallowing as many words as she spits out…the show begins. Tonight we’re promised not just the results but a performance by none other than Julio Iglesias.

ZZZZzzzzz…excuse me while I go comatose.

The encore dance goes to…no surprise here…Edyta and Joey, who is now smiling like a goon. He’s so cute and his confidence makes him dance even better tonight. Very nicely done.

The mystery star from last week is revealed to be Donnie Osmond…and I throw my shoe at the television because it’s not Scott Baio.

After the commercial, all the professional dancers (sans Kym) come out and dance the jive to “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol (who’s probably at home wondering if this is a lower point in his career than when he had a cameo in “The Wedding Singer”). The dance itself is a lot of fun…however, for the first time in my life, I really hear the lyrics to the song…and I’m wondering how this got approved for a family show. Do you think many mommies and daddies are having to explain what it means when “in the midnight hour, she cries more, more, more”? Yikes.

Backstage interviews with contestants. Check.

Unnecessary sound bites from audience members. Check.

Outer edge B-list stars (Tisha Campbell, Ted Danson, George Lopez). Check.

Finally, we find out the first three couples who will continue on in the contest:
Sara and Tony
Emmitt and Cheryl
Joey and Edyta

A new mystery star is introduced. Is it Eddie Murphy, Dennis Rodman, Arsenio Hall, or Denzell Washington? (Okay, if I were Denzell…I’d be totally pissed to be included in this group.) I’m putting my money on it being Arsenio. But I have to ask, just how desperate are these stars doing this “mystery” spot? Did they not make the cut to actually BE on the show and this is their way of joining the cool kids?

Rolls eyes and wishes, yet again, that the producers would shorten the results show to 30 minutes.

Next, Julio Iglesias comes out to sing a “romantic classic.”

Oooo, what could it be?

Um…it’s Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is.”

Huh? Wha?

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Okay, let me stop the blog a minute and make a point.

Julio Iglesias singing a Foreigner song is just weird. WEIRD! Plus, who cares? He brings nothing to it that Foreigner wasn’t able to explore.

Now, had ABC wanted to really impress me…they would have brought friggin’ FOREIGNER on stage. How awesome would it have been to hear a little “Jukebox Hero” or “Urgent” and then…grande finale…“I Wanna Know What Love Is”? Now THAT would have rawked.

But, no, we get Julio and his strange hand movements and his eyes closed (because, you know, he’s like, connecting with the song…or some such crap). The only thing that made the performance bearable was having Cheryl and Max dance the rumba.

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We’re treated next to a clip of Tysonia, the Slim Fast Dance Challenge contestant, who takes on the tango this week. She performs for an even bigger audience and does well.

Then we get a taste of the Argentine tango from Jordan and Claudia…by this time…I’m dangerously close to macing myself…GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!

But the producers want to see just how far they can push me and, in a grand waste of time, they bring back Tucker Carlson to interview the judges about how the show is going so far.

Oooo. Oooo. Tucker ask me how I think the show is going thus far…LAME!

The next two safe couples are announced:
Monique and Louis
Harry and Ashley

More wasting time. Blah. Blah. Interview with Samantha Harris backstage (I wonder what she does during the rest of the week? I’m guessing, she announces for BINGO night down at the Elks Lodge.) Talk. Talk. Blah. Blah.

Also safe are:
Vivca and Nick
Jerry and Kym
Mario and Kerina

Putting Willa and Max and Shanna and Jesse in the bottom two spots.

And leaving tonight will be…Shanna…the frosted flake.

Next week the couples will tango and jive…and I can’t wait…especially if Joey continues to smile and kick ass.

In my opinionation…the sun is gonna surely shine!

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