Tell me something. How is it that a senior citizen like Cloris Leachman can survive Dancing with the Stars, but a trained Olympian ruptures her Achilles tendon?
That’s the big story for week three of the ballroom competition and it put front-runner Misty May-Treanor and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy out of the competition.
It all began on Friday night, when Misty was practicing her dance routine in the ballroom. She was doing a backwards hop, step when she (and we?) heard a pop. Misty says she thought she banged into the last step of the judge’s area but when she tried to put weight on her foot it was as if she had no foot at all. Rocco and Karina, who were nearby, ran to her aide and tried to comfort her before the ambulance arrived and took her to the hospital. The verdict, she’s not going to be dancing or playing volleyball anytime soon.
Misty appeared on last night’s performance show, walking to center stage on crutches, her leg in a cast. She sat and chatted with Tom for a bit and on one hand I thought it was nice that they gave her a moment in the spotlight before leaving the competition. On the other hand the show does exhibit a kind of ghoulish joy when anyone gets hurt. They’ll air that clip of the poor girl in obvious pain ten more times in the coming weeks just as they did with Marie’s fainting spell and Antonio’s shoulder incident. I swear this is the most dangerous reality show on TV bar none!
Now then, let’s get back to business because there’s still a competition at hand.
Last night it was the elegant Viennese Waltz vs. the lively Jive.
Brooke and Derek took the highest marks after a very rough week that was played out in front of the rehearsal cameras. Derek was using, what I thought were very sound teaching methods, but Brooke was having none of it. When he said her brain was lazy, she heard only lazy and told him she’d had enough. Derek later apologized (even though I don’t think he had any reason to) and they hit the dance floor with a gorgeous Waltz.
Warren and Kym also Waltzed for their high score and again we were all blown away by the big man’s light feet. Warren has a wonderful way of embodying the character of the dance and he was a joy to watch, as always.
Maurice and Cheryl, however, weren’t so joyous. They scored fairly well but Maurice still looks stiff on the dance floor. I thought the jive would give him a chance to bust loose. He was better, but still not in the top three by my count.
Lacey and Lance can’t win with the judges. After weeks of Len calling them on their lack of traditional style, they went totally regal with their Viennese Waltz. Len loved it and Bruno didn’t so they ended up pretty much back where they were before. I think they’re much better than the scores they’re receiving.
Toni and Alex pulled a Lance and Lacey as they added a bit of modern pizazz to their Waltz. They both looked fabulous in period costumes and it was a great surprise when the music changed and the performance went from nice to naughty. I loved it.
Cody and Julianne performed a high-energy jive but it wasn’t one of my favorites. There’s a maturity lacking in Cody that shows through in his performances. Sweet kid, and obviously talented but I think it’ll be a few more years before he’s a force to be reckoned with. Cody did get one of the funniest red room moments. Samantha asked him if he noticed a change in his fan base now that he was doing Dancing and he said that he had spotted a few older women giving him the eye. To that Cloris pops out of nowhere and gloms on to the boy. Poor thing was probably truly startled, but he played it for all it was worth and it was an amusing break from the predictable interview section.
Off week for a favorite?
Susan and Tony are a couple I want to like, but they fell flat for me this week. Susan was working with an injured ankle but I don’t think that was the problem. She simply doesn’t have that extra spark needed to win this thing. I love Tony but I don’t expect to see him in the finale.
Coming in second to last was Rocco and Karina – another frustrating couple. Rocco should be so much better than he is. Proves the point that wanting isn’t always enough, you’ve got to have some raw ability if you’re going to improve week to week. Back to the kitchen Rocco, you’re much better at Wellingtons than Waltzes.
The Cloris comedy hour
Bringing up the rear in so many ways was Cloris and Corky. Seriously, someone give this man a prize for his efforts. They had to do a jive this week and he knew there was no way she could keep up with the footwork. To make up for that he packed the routine with silly moves designed to entertain. They even choreographed a moment where her wig is pulled off to reveal a message saying Vote for Me, but the gag went wrong and she was left with nothing but a messy head of hair which was distracting for the rest of the dance.
Love your style Cloris, but please voters, let her go home tonight.
Oh wait! Now that Misty-May is officially out how can they eliminate anyone? Don’t tell me that the fates have dealt the hand again and Cloris stays another week! I’m not sure I can take it.
Catch Dancing with the Stars the performance show every Monday at 8:00 on ABC with the results show on Tuesday at 9 p.m.
Photo credit: ABC/Kesley McNeal