Joeyfatone_kymjohnson_dancingwithth So what did we learn from the second night of Dancing with the Stars? Well, we learned that barring some marked improvement by a couple of this season’s celebs, this is pretty much a three-person race. And also that having more than a foot of height difference is probably not such a good thing.

Here’s how it looks from here:

Favorites: Laila Ali and Joey Fatone did nothing to disabuse us of the idea that they’ll at or near the top most of the way. Fatone had the high score of 24 after last week, with Ali just a point behind. After Monday’s dances, they flipped spots thanks to Ali’s hot mambo, which earned three 9s from the judges, while the former *NSync member repeated his score from last week.

The boxing champ is clearly comfortable with her body, as you might expect from a top athlete. But she was also very strong technically (as far as this amateur could tell, anyway). I might’ve taken off a point for the "JF" Fatone had on the tails of his tux, but he did the second-best quick step of the night, according to the judges, and sits in second overall.

The best score among the guys, though, went to Olympic medalist Apolo Anton Ohno, who jumped five points from his score last week and showed that he’s probably right there with Ali and Fatone.

Contenders: Steve Sanders can dance, folks. Ian Ziering is maybe a notch below the top three, but he should stick around for a while and could easily step up if any of the others falter. And I’m just surprised as you are, but Heather Mills is proving herself to be pretty good too. She did a back walkover tonight, for Pete’s sake.

Shandi Finnessey and Paulina Porizkova are maybe a little below those two, and both looked as if they aren’t completely comfortable with themselves as dancers yet. You have to like Porizkova’s sense of humor, though: "I’m going to mambo as hard as a Czech girl can."

Most improved: After last week’s mullet fiasco, Billy Ray Cyrus seemed to take things a lot more seriously this week. The good news is, his score jumped by eight points this week. The bad news: After a 13 last week, he’s still tied for last place.

Need some help: John Ratzenberger and birthday girl Leeza Gibbons (did she mention she’s 50?) sure do seem to be having fun, but they’ll need some big support from viewers to stick around more than a couple of weeks. And I feel sort of bad for Clyde Drexler. He looked more comfortable this week, and his footwork was pretty solid, but the guy is more than a foot taller than partner Elena Grinenko. At times it looked like he was sort of carrying her around.

There’s no obvious choice to go home this week, as there has been in the past with the likes of Kenny Mayne and Tucker Carlson. Everyone seems to be, you know, trying this time out, so there could actually be a little bit of suspense to tomorrow’s results.

With that in mind, who are you liking thus far? Who should be headed home first?

Posted by:Rick Porter