On Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars,” the dancers were told to tell a story with movement, and for some of the celebrities, it was quite a challenge.
Up first were Olympian Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya, who followed last week’s high-kicking jumping jive routine with a quickstep to a tune from “Chicago.” Their story, a husband and wife who were arguing because she was late for a date, was a major hit with the judges. Lysacek danced on a couple of broken toes, he revealed later, and they were still able to earn 26 out of 30 points.
Following them was former astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Ashly Costa, who danced a graceful waltz. The concern going in was that Aldrin would over-think his movements. “I just don’t know if I can turn off my mind and just move,” Aldrin said. Theirs was a story of a soldier’s return to his daughter — judge Bruno Tonioli said that Aldrin looked regal; Carrie Ann Inaba said he got points for storytelling through the routine. Overall, judges found the 80-year-old’s technique poor and gave the duo 13 points.
“Bachelor” star Jake Pavelka says he’s been bitten by the dancing bug. It showed when he and partner Chelsie Hightower took the stage, doing a dramatic quickstep to the Bangles tune “Walk Like an Egyptian.” They gyrated and shimmied all over the stage, incorporating Egyptian hand freezes into their routine to convey the story of Cleopatra and an explorer. Judges loved that they appropriated the Egyptian moves into their dance; they also got high marks for the slick production, earning a score of 21.
Comedian Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel waltzed as a couple from the ’60s who fall in love despite their racial differences. Judge Len Goodman thought they pulled off the emotion of the dance, but said they must work on better technique moving forward. Inaba wasn’t sure that the story came across in the dance. “I’m not used to seeing people see me cry,” Nash admitted. “I’m used to people seeing me be funny. I felt so vulnerable. It made me a little bit nervous when I got out there.” The judges gave them a 21.
Football player Chad Ochocinco performed a paso doble, in which he tried to seduce his partner, Cheryl Burke, but she wanted nothing to do with him. “Our paso doble is art imitating life for us. For real. I continue to try, and I keep getting rejected,” he joked.
“The power is back. The presence is back. … But you still danced like a crackhead,” Tonioli said. Still, judges thought he was much better than last week, saying he came out with determination and dominated the dance enough to earn 20 points.
Crowd favorite Pamela Anderson was surprised last week when she and Damian Whitewood landed in the bottom two. She said she cried all night, put it behind her and moved on. This week, she played the role of a gypsy flamenco dancer. “I’ve always been an animal activist, and I thought bullfighting was so senseless and violent,” she said, adding that she used that passion in the paso doble. Judges praised her fluid movement. “I thought you had an intensity about it. … You need refinement in the dance, that’s all,” Goodman said. Judges gave the duo 21 points.
Soap star Aiden Turner and his partner Edyta Sliwinska performed a quickstep. “The quickstep should be carefree, and to me this was a little bit careful,” Goodman said. “I would like for you to go for it a little bit more.” In spite of that, judges thought his confidence was growing and that he was improving, despite being a little too light and bubbly on his feet. “The quickstep is the hardest thing I’ve ever learned. Wow. What a week it’s been,” Turner said. Judges gave them a 20.
ESPN reporter Erin Andrews did a waltz that was fairly similar to last week’s foxtrot. In a story that was all about trust, she gave herself to her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and had to follow him … blindfolded. “My biggest concern while wearing a blindfold, is I don’t want to trip on my feet and take a tumble right into all the people sitting in the front row!” Goodman thought it was a boring start, and said they should have done more waltzing. Judges gave them a 23.
Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani did a paso doble to Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” a song that the reality star said speaks directly to her. She channeled that experience and let loose some frustrations in a dance that the judges called odd and strange. Goodman said it looked as though she overcame her nerves but that the entire performance was pedestrian. “You had the look of the super bitch from hell,” Tonioli said, before the judges gave them a 15.
Completing the final dance was Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough , who earned the first 10s of the season last week. “My goal is to challenge myself more and more every week. We’re not taking the easy road on this dance,” she said of their quickstep to Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.” Goodman said they broke the rules, and that even though their routine was beautifully done, it wasn’t a quickstep. “We weren’t trying to be disrespectful in anyway, but we did take the song literally,” Scherzinger said. “We just wanted to have fun with it.” They earned a 23.
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