‘Dancing with the Stars’ goes All-American

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It may have been “America Night” on “Dancing with the Stars,” but the judges’ scores seemed to come from outer space. And it was a night that left me wondering just “what were they thinking?”

Let’s cut to the chase: there wasn’t a sustained moment of fox trot in Kendra Wilkinson’s and Louis van Amstel’s fox trot (hugely entertaining though it was), and yet the judges failed to mention that little fact in their cautious praises. (And how appropriate that the show’s 1,000th competitive dance be choreographed to “Yankee Doodle Dandy”!) Score: 22. The couple tied with Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chmerkovskiy who danced a sleepy quickstep to the ridiculously ill-tempo’d “Viva Las Vegas.”

Kirstie Alley’s and Maksim Chmerikovskiy’s fox trot was messy in most places, and as much as I love this duo and have been cheering Kirstie on (and the fact that John Travolta did a very cool cameo in their rehearsal video snippet), I couldn’t understand Carrie Ann Inaba calling it their best dance yet. Hellooo… remember their glorious waltzing a few weeks back? Score: 23

Chris Jericho’s and Cheryl Burke’s Viennese waltz was pretty, and pretty boring, though the judges just gushed. What? How difficult is it to choreograph a waltz to a song that has been reduced to perfect 3/4-time in tempo (as was the version of “America the Beautiful” that they danced to?) Score: 26. Yawn.

Speaking of music, who thought anyone (I challenge you Len Goodman!) could choreograph a samba to “Sweet Home Alabama” and really, REALLY pull it off? Such was the challenge for Karina Smirnoff and Ralph Macchio who turned in a very entertaining, lively and fun samba to a song that is great, but really didn’t mesh with the spirit of the dance. Score: 22.

Romeo and Chelsie Hightower’s foxtrot was indeed cheekie as the judges remarked, but it was also stilted in parts, still it earned a 26 from the trio of paddle-wavers. Really?

Hines Ward (another of my faves in this season’s competition) and Kym Johnson’s rumba was pretty if all that mattered were Kym’s endless spins, twirls and gentle dusts of the dance floor. Oh yes, there was Hines mostly standing or walking in her wake. Score: 27. Really?

The best of the night, was Chelsea Kane’ and Mark Ballas’ samba; it was fun, exciting, dazzling and danced remarkably well… far better than Hines’ samba, and yet the judges managed a mere 26 for score. Really? And give credit to Len Goodman (reacting to Kane’s dance moves) for the quip of the night: “Yum Yum, what a bum!”

And so it went tonight, on and on and on, with songs that just were so completely out of the realm of the dances they were paired with. America deserved better.

So who’s leaving Tuesday night?

My money’s on Petra.


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