Dancing Recap: A Night of Injuries, Insults and 9s
03/17/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Dancing curse? Just two weeks after Jewel and Nancy O'Dell dropped out of the competition due to injuries, stuntman Steve-O was sidelined on Monday's performance show after hurting his back. Steve Wozniak had to wear a leg brace and Gilles Marini experienced some shoulder pain. Despite the injuries, the judges handed out some tough criticism and also a few 9s to two contestants who may already be dancing their way into the finals.
The night started off with Holly Madison struggled to keep up with partner Dmitry Chaplin in their quick step, prompting the judges to slam her uncoordinated footwork. "You were like a doll and Dmitry was just dragging you around the floor," said Carrie Ann Inaba.
Criticism continued to flow from the judges' table after David Alan Grier performed a salsa that had some "off timing" but could be repaired with some hip and footwork, according to Tonioli. Len Goodman slammed both the comedian and country singer Chuck Wicks for sitting back and letting their partners (Kym Johnson and Julianne Hough, respectively) bask in the spotlight. "Not enough of you, David," the head judge said, in addition to telling Wicks, "You're young. You're energetic. You could come out here and sell this dance!" Denise Richards, on the other hand, made confident strides in week 2 with her quick step, which Inaba praised and said showcased "great improvement." But the most improved of the night? Ty Murray, who swapped his rodeo gear for a white bow tuxedo ensemble -- just one phase of his recent metamorphosis. "Last week a caterpillar, this week a butterfly," Goodman raved about his "much better" performance with the quick step.
Shawn Johnson -- who last week wowed judges with her elegant waltz -- once again proved why she could be one of Dancing's toughest competitors. The gymnast shook off her hip-shaking fears with a precise salsa routine. "What you have that other don’t have yet is the ability to focus so quickly, like your sharp turns," Inaba said. "You've got to be one of the cutest little things I've ever seen," Tonioli exclaimed before adding that she has to "work on the naughtiness." "She's 17!" host Tom Bergeron interjected.
Belinda Carlisle and partner Jonathan Roberts went back to the pop star's Go-Gos roots and pulled some free-form dance moves, including a handstand at the end of their salsa. But the stunt didn't hide the singer's sloppy footwork. "I found it a bit lacking in grace," Inaba said bluntly.
Watch out, Gilles Marini, you've got some tough competition on the leader board. Melissa Rycroft's "juicy salsa" got Goodman "gyrating on the seat." "Excellent choreography. Great variations," Inaba added. "Great leg tricks. You had it all. That was slamming!"
The judges didn't have such kind words for fellow salsa competitor Steve-O, who was absent after injuring his back a few hours before the live show. Following competition rules, the Jackass star and partner Lacey Schwimmer were judged on their rehearsal. "I didn't get it as a performance at all," Goodman said as fans booed. "There was no salsa in the dance for me. I wasn't enjoying it!" "I appreciate your creativity, but where is the salsa?" echoed Tonioli.
Super Bowl champ Lawrence Taylor's light footwork in his quick step and ability to keep up with partner Edyta Sliwinska got the seal of approval from all three judges. Meanwhile Lil' Kim brought glam to the dancefloor with her own version of the quick step. Dancing along to "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," the rapper had "bling coming out of every pore of your body," Tonioli said. "What a vivacious, uplifting performance!" Goodman begged to differ. "There was a lot of quantity going on in that dance," he explained, "but not a lot of quality."
He may have great energy and charm but that didn't help pull Steve Wozniak from the bottom of the pack. Dancing once again with a pink boa (and ex Kathy Griffin cheering from the audience) the Apple co-founder quick stepped his way "like a trooper," Inaba said, but he could still work on arm movements so that they appear less like he's "pantomiming."
Ending the night on a super high note was Gilles Marini. Appropriately dressed as Clark Kent, the French actor proved why he's his competitors' kryptonite … and why he's the clear frontrunner right now. Earning 9s all across the board, Marini danced a near perfect quick step, prompting Goodman to let Marini (and the fans) know he's anything but a one hit, one week wonder. "French class and American flare," Tonioli said about the actor and partner Cheryl Burke, "beautiful combination. There were sparks out there!" --Eunice Oh
Here's how the contestants stacked up after Monday's dance (scores from this week and last week combined): Holly & Dmitry: 18 out of 30 for their quick step (36 out of 60 combined) David & Kym: 17 out of 30 for their salsa (36 out of 60 combined) Denise & Maksim: 21 out of 30 for their quick step (39 out of 60 combined) Belinda & Jonathan: 18 out of 30 for their salsa (36 out of 60 combined) Ty & Chelsie: 20 out of 30 for their quick step (34 out of 60 combined) Shawn & Mark: 24 out of 30 for their salsa (47 out of 60 combined) Steve & Karina: 17 out of 30 for their quick step (30 out of 60 combined) Chuck & Julianne: 20 out of 30 for their salsa (40 out of 60 combined) Lawrence & Edyta: 20 out of 30 for their quick step (36 out of 60 combined) Steve-O & Lacey: 14 out of 30 for their salsa (31 out of 60 combined) Lil' Kim & Derek: 23 out of 30 for their quick step (44 out of 60 combined) Melissa & Tony: 26 out of 30 for their salsa (49 out of 60 combined) Gilles & Cheryl: 27 out of 30 for their quick step (51 out of 60 combined)
Tell us: Who do you think will land in the bottom two on Tuesday's results show? Are you surprised the judges are handing out 9s in week 2 of the competition?
READ MORE:•Injured Steve-O Sits Out of Monday's Dancing•POLL: Who Will Be Dancing's First Casualty?