‘DWST’ judges get tough; dances get tougher

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GREAT night on “Dancing with the Stars,” most nobably because it was the night that four new dances were introduced: the Hustle (go figure), the West Coast Swing (still don’t know what that one’s about), the Salsa (hot and sexy) and the jitterbug (loads o fun).

Great because the pros had to each learn the dances as well as choreograph a routine for their celeb partners who then had to learn the dance. Frustration reigned supreme! Tempers flared. Pompadours towered!

The dancing was good and bad. I won’t say a word about Cloris’ and her salsa. Nothing left to say. Except backstage during her inane “interview” with Samantha Harris, Leachman did manage to shock everyone into uncontrollable laughter. When asked by SH what “character” Cloris channeled in order to get into the mood of the salsa, the sprightly 82-year-old searched for just the right word then blurted out “skanky ‘ho.” Just what salsa dancers around the world loved to hear. Thanks Cloris for bringing the show to an all-time lowpoint.

Susan Lucci’s hustle was a yawner, no matter how many times she mentioned being part of that whole Studio 54 scene. Warren Sapp, on the other hand, did one mean, groovin’ hustle. Even though the judges loved it, he still got a lousy 24 points. Come on!

Maurice and Cheryl turned in a sizzling salsa, even if Cheryl called him “lazy” during a frustrated rant in the rehearsal studio.

When it came to the West Coast swing, Lance, who in the rehearsal video proclaimed that he was always called the “worst dancer in NSYNC,” which led to serious self-doubt throughout his career. Oh puleeeze. Lacey’s proud papa actually introduced the West Coast swing into Americana, so she turned to her proud papa for instruction. Seemed nothing helped except that she showcased her swing prowess against a statue-like Lance who did little more than stand there while she danced rings around him. In the end, they got a proper 21 points for it all. (And it had little to do with Lance’s sliding fall onto the dance floor). Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo didn’t do much better with their West Coast trip. Seems judge Bruno didn’t like the insertion of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, even though they danced to Jacko’s song.

When it came to the jitterbug, it was sibling rivalry in the ballroom. Julianne and her partner Cody squared off against her brother Derek and his partner Brooke, and both teams turned in some pretty kicka– jitterbuggin’!! But who’s hair was more HIGHlarioius? Derek’s pompadour, or Julianne’s take on Lucy Ricardo? Loved ’em both. Alas, Brooked snagged a 29 to Cody’s 28, but at least they made the ballroom sparkle! It was about time. Seems this season is suffering from a severe case of “every dance is starting to look the same” syndrome. This was the first time in a long time that FUN permeated the ballroom.

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