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TV Review: Dancing With the Stars – Ty Murray Hops Into A Tie With Shawn Johnson

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Hold on a second. Did I really just write that headline? A retired bullrider tied with a teenage gymnast? In a dance competition? Performing a dance called the Lindy Hop? And Steve Wozniak scored a 10? Well, that last one was last week, and it was out of a possible 30, but the rest of it is all true, folks.

Ty and Shawn are my two favorite contestants, so I suppose I should be happy to see them tied, but I really have mixed feelings. Shawn seemed like she had such high hopes for this to be her night, her dance, and then her dancing ended up taking back seat to her gymnastics. While Ty, with his usual sheepish grin and gosh-darn-I'll-try attitude, comes out and delivers a great Lindy Hop! (But did you see how uncomfortable he looked when Carrie Ann shouted, "Ty Murray is a DANCER!"? I could just see him responding, "Uh, ma'am? I think you've got the wrong fella.")

Anyway, I digress. This week's performances of the Lindy Hop and Argentine tango didn't shake up the leaderboard too much, except in the marked improvement of two long-shot dancers: the aforementioned Ty, who's now tied for fourth place, and Li'l Kim, who took Shawn's spot in the top three this week. Let's get down to business with a look at the leaderboard.

Gilles and Cheryl: The first perfect score of the season was well deserved. This Argentine Tango truly looked like two professional dancers who were made to dance together. Impeccable synchronicity, steamy chemistry, and sheer beauty in the dance. Judges' score: 30/30

Melissa and Tony: Slap a couple sets of mouse ears on this couple, because Minnie and Mickey Mouse could not have done a more gravity-defying, yet ridiculously adorable, Lindy Hop. Even though I'm not a Bachelor fan, I was smiling the whole way through that dance. Melissa is slowly winning me over. I'm glad Tony didn't drop her on her head on live television, as I thought was about to happen for about a second. Judges' score: 29/30

Li'l Kim and Derek: I'm not sure which was working harder during Kim's tango — her newly triangular, made-to-smile face to hold a serious expression, or her super-curvy little body to do all those precise moves. But she pulled it off, and that tango was totally sexy and sophisticated. I don't know much about technique, but I agree with the judges that Derek choreographed a beautiful dance that was perfectly in time and spirit with the music. Judges' score: 27/30

Ty and Chelsie: I don't see how Ty's body can look so adept, but yet his face remains so awkward. He was joyous from the neck down! His Lindy Hop showed that he has timing, precision, and strength, making his highest score yet well deserved. Judges' score: 25/30

Shawn and Mark (Shark): Mark is known for going to extremes: He's the king of head-to-toe ensembles in an eye-burning color, and the prince of goofy facial expressions that change as quickly as dance moves (with his dad Corky being the king of the latter). In this dance, I think he was guilty of pushing Shawn a little too far back into gymnastics, with a dance that was more flips and tricks than it was steps and technique. Sorry, Shark. Fun to watch, but not so much a dance. Judges' score: 25/30

David and Kym: DAG is to be commended for registering such a high energy dance, packed with lifts, kicks, and even a cartwheel… and all at the seasoned age of 53! I thought it was a great dance, and truly, didn't notice his missteps the judges caught. Judges' score: 22/30

Chuck and Julianne: I saw this dance, and just thought back to Cody and Julianne's jitterbug from last season. And sorry Chuck, but yours doesn't compare. Despite his best efforts, he hasn't completely let go on the dance floor yet, as Cody was able to do so well for the jitterbug. Chuck might be as loose as he gets, and if so, I don't think he and Julianne can make it much further than the halfway point. Judges' score: 22/30

Lawrence and Edyta: Once again, I'm bowled over by how cowed this powerful man is when it comes to dancing, and how simple he makes it look when he gets on the floor. His Argentine tango was good, but I still think that Edyta is not giving him difficult enough choreo to get him past the halfway point. Judges' score: 19/30

Holly and Dmitry: This supposedly sexy dance was one big cringe-fest. At the very beginning, an injured Holly slipped off the stool that played an integral role in Dmitry's choreography this week, and that mistake seemed to jar her for the rest of the dance. Bruno's metaphor was for once spot-on when he said she is too much Barbie. She's obviously working hard to overcome her stiffness, but she just doesn't ever appear comfortable or confident out there. Judges' score: 16/30

Steve-O and Lacy: Steve-O's had a rough go this season, granted, but tonight we finally saw what could be a larger problem than his tweaked back and simultaneous rehab treatment: his complete lack of rhythm. Lacey's Lindy Hop was designed to be more fun than challenging, but it was still too much for Steve-O. But seriously, judges? This had to have been better than last week's flub-tastic foxtrot, which got the same score. Judges' score: 15/30

The Woz and Karina: I don't think there can be a dance less suited to the Woz than the Argentine Tango. Hot chemistry between partners? I don't think so. Sophistocated, sleek moves? More like loping strides and bouncy steps. If Holly is a Barbie doll on the dance floor, the Woz is a teddy bear. And cuddly though they may be, they're not made for dancing. That's why this show is great, though. I mean, I love that he got the chance to be on and everything, but I am not a fan of the entertaining dancer with the faithful fan base outliving the better, hard-working dancer who hasn't yet hit his or her peak. I'm thinking Toni Braxton leaving over Cloris Leachman, Marie Osmond outlasting Cameron Mathison, Jennie Garth, and Sabrina Bryan. Sorry, Woz. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Judges' score: 12/30

Last week's elimination was quite the shocker, with Denise Richards besting Holly in the dance-off, but still being ousted, while Steve-O and the Woz, the lowest on the leaderboard, were safe from the bottom two. With a double elimination tomorrow night, who knows who it'll be? My hope is that the Woz and Holly go, as I think they've both done as well as they can, and I would really like for Steve-O to have one more chance to prove himself. The results show starts at 9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central Tuesday night.

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