Tuesday’s Dancing: What You Didn’t See
Defending the New Kid: Lance Bass may have survived a slip, but the former boy bander wasn't about to take the judges' harsh criticism of his partner, newcomer Lacey Schwimmer, laying down. "It was almost a pre-meditated attack, the way that the three of them seemed to know exactly what to say before we even danced," Bass said of his partner's verbal paddling. Bass went on to question the judges' notion that Lacey, the reigning West Coast swing champion, should have eased up on the complexity of the dance so that he could shine. "Why would you dumb yourself down during any kind of performance?" Bass asked in disbelief. "If you're a pro or if you're a celebrity, you're always going to perform your best, perform your heart out, and that's what we did." Though she had her ballroom game face on, Schwimmer admitted the judges' criticism cut deep. "It was a little hurtful, and to be honest, it kind of got my spirits down," she said. "I created a dance that I felt was at his level. And to be fair, I know what West Coast swing is and the judges don't have training in it." And most of the pros agreed the judges had it out for the new girl. "Lacey is an amazing dancer," pro Kym Johnson said, "Maybe for one judge to have said something, I could understand, but for all of them to do that? It made me feel really bad for her, because I think they were too hard on her." "The judges smashed her pretty hard," agreed DWTS champ Cheryl Burke, "To have three of the judges pile on you like that? I thought it was a little too much."
"Un-Break"-able Heart: Toni Braxton never had the chance to perform her breakthrough dance, but the singer will be remembered in the ballroom for her flashes of brilliance. "She was never perfect," judge Bruno Tonioli said, before adding, "Toni had moments of greatness. She never managed to sustain it all the way through the dance, but I know that she has it, and it's a shame that we won't be able to see it this season."
While Braxton seemd to take her ouster hard, finding solace in the arms of her family, other stars and dancers were quick to express their collective surprise after they watched the singer's last ballroom dance. "I'm shocked," Warren Sapp admitted. "I don't ever want to be down there. You look down there and you see Toni dancing, and you wonder, Who the hell is going home next?'" Sapp's partner, pro Kym Johnson added, "This show is so unpredictable. You never know what can happen, but Toni had come so far and done so much, inspired by coming on this show, it's sad to see her go."
"Hustled" by the Judges' Scores?: Despite bringing the crowd to their feet, Sapp and Johnson were only able to garner a 25 out of 30 for their energetic hustle. The former football star blamed the curse of dancing early for his middling score. "We were the ones that got the house rocking," he said of Monday night, adding, "I think we were hurt by the fact that we woke the judges up! Everyone was sitting there like they were waiting on something and then, 'Boom', came Kym and Warren." While the judges' wake-up call didn't help the pair's scores, it may have give their competitors an unexpected boost. "When I woke them up," Sapp said of the paddle-wielding trio, "they got caught up in the momentum of the night into giving out nines and such." But being first isn't always a bad thing, as Sapp was definitely counting his blessings for being the first to be saved on Tuesday's Results Show. "This was definitely the best Tuesday that I've had!" said Sapp.
Ballroom Rehab--STAT: Following Tuesday's show, two-time Olympic gold medalist Maurice Greene said of this week's competition, "Do you understand what I went through this week? Mentally, and physically, I've been through a lot! My energy level was so down coming into tonight and then having to go through this stuff, it's almost traumatizing!" Greene's proposal: a program to help contestants deal with the stress of the competition. "This is such tough stuff," he said, "They may have to come up with a cure for the post-traumatic stress syndrome of DWTS!"
Hip-Hop Replacement?: Next week's hip-hop ensemble dance may prove to be Cloris Leachman's moment to continue to shock and awe DWTS fans--just don't ask her how. "I'm not sure what my hip hop moves are," the outspoken octogenarian said with a laugh, "I've never done it, but I've never done any of these other dances, so what the heck!" "Who knows what we're gonna see from her," Greene said of Leachman, "Anything can come out of Cloris. All I want is to make her spin on her back during the hip hop part of the show." --Reagan Alexander
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