We have tangos, we have jives, we have roses in teeth, we have forbidden lifts. All the Dancing with the Stars action, comin’ at ya right now:
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke: Oof. Rough start for Emmitt with the tango, which the men are dancing this week. It’s all about controlled passion, and Emmitt didn’t become an NFL great because of his restraint; he was pretty much a head-down, straight-ahead runner. Maybe that’s his problem there, and why he gets only a 19.
Monique Coleman and Louis Van Amstel: The women are jiving tonight, and as with her mambo last week, Monique shows that her time on "High School Musical" didn’t go to waste. Dug the crazy jump at the beginning too, and the judges like the rest of it too. Nines across the board may make her the favorite among the women.
Harry Hamlin and Ashly DelGrosso: Unlike Emmitt, the tango seems like the perfect dance for a smoove cat like Harry Hamlin, who also gets to play up his theatrical side with the dance (such as giving Bruno a rose at the end). Bruno and Carrie Ann have a few technical complaints, but Len pronounces it "great." It all adds up to a 22.
Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Willa suggests she and her partner have "bonded way beyond the dance floor," which may explain why they argue like — well, not a married couple, exactly, but like one of those dating-but-not-quite-engaged pairs on The Amazing Race. She looks pretty nice in her slutty-carhop outfit, but the judges are of mixed opinion on her performance, with the usually demanding Len more pleased than the others. The result: 22, plus one wonderfully awkward moment when Samantha Harris (who’s getting much better at her co-hosting job, methinks) asked if they were falling for one another.
Jerry Springer and Kym Johnson: If the judges took into account sense of humor in this competition, self-deprecating Jerry and sassy Aussie Kym would probably win hands-down. Plus, he just wants to make it through to the waltz so he can do it better at his daughter’s wedding. Come on, how can you not like that? To my untrained eyes, his tango is better than Jerry’s quick-step last week, and the judges appear to think so too, bumping him up two points over last week to 21.
Sara Evans and Tony Dovolani: You gotta make stuff work for you, so it’s probably a good idea that the country star incorporates a little line dancing into her jive. She’s also less inhibited than she’s been so far, and — dare we say it? — a little bit sexy. What will Tom DeLay think? Who knows. The judges, however, give her the second-best score of the night thus far, a 25.
Mario Lopez and Karina Smirnoff: George Lopez (no relation to Mario, though he’s been there the past two weeks) and the rest of the crowd love Mario’s tango, but the judges are once again on his case. Apparently it’s verboten to break the hold between the two dancers, and their decision to do so costs them a couple of 10s. The end result is a 22. Ouch.
Vivica A. Fox and Nick Kosovich: Vivica is tangoing, not jiving. Was anyone else aware this was allowed? Whatever, it seems to work, as Vivica is called variously a "diva," "Carmen Jones" (she says she was going for a Dorothy Dandridge vibe) and, from Len, "animal, aggressive" and a couple of other words that start with "A," which makes the head judge ‘appy. Vivica is ‘appy too after getting a 27 to tie Monique for the lead.
Joey Lawrence and Edyta Sliwinska: Vivica tangoed, and now Joey is jiving. And he forgot to button his shirt before he hit the dance floor. And where the hell did that handkerchief at the end come from? The judges love the dancing — well, Carrie Ann and Bruno do; Len calls the gymnastics "terrible" — but points come off for a couple of lifts. As with Mario, it costs him and he gets a 22.
The night’s best: Monique and Vivica were on a different level than everyone else, with Sara not too far back. I think Joey and Mario’s crowd-pleasing moves will probably help them too.
Not so much: Emmitt could well land in the bottom two for the first time, and I’m not sure Willa did enough to impress the voters.