The judges held up a total of six 10s last week, but tonight, only one dance earned that number, with Carrie Ann and Bruno giving Gilles' paso doble the perfect score. Our other leaders didn't fare so well. Melissa struggled with Tony's tough choreography, Shawn played it safe with a sweet Viennese waltz, and Li'l Kim didn't nail her technique. Chuck, David Alan, and Ty were stuck in the middle of the pack, and Lawrence and Steve-O landed in the bottom two.
Gilles and Cheryl: The difference between this paso doble and its lower-scoring counterparts was the grace and fluidity with which Gilles is able to execute lightning-fast steps and aggressive movements. Once again, a dance where the couple both looked like professionals. Judges' scores: 29/30
Shawn and Mark: The munchkins eked ahead of Melissa and Tony by a mere point for the first time this season with a simple Viennese waltz. Mark cut the flips and tricks and kept it simple, although Shawn's gymnastics background still shines through in her clean lines and precise steps. Judges' score: 26/30
Li'l Kim and Derek: Last week, Kim burst into the top three with a sexy tango, and this week, she tied for second with a sassy Viennese waltz. That's right folks, a sassy and sexy waltz, according to Bruno. If sassy is doing ballet-like movements with an open-mouthed grin, and sexy is snarling at the audience. And does anyone know how writing in one's "Buddha book" helps you waltz in perfect unison with one's partner? If her cosmetically enhanced doll face didn't already make you think this gal was a bit unhinged, that comment should. Judges' score: 26/30
Melissa and Tony: This fiery paso was jam-packed with complicated steps, high kicks, and unfortunately, a few slips, according to the judges. Although I wouldn't necessarily boo the judges for pointing that out, these slips were hardly visible to the untrained eye. I caught them on the second viewing, but barely. More proof judges hold the naturally talented dancers to a higher standard. Judges' score: 25/30
Chuck and Julianne: Just as Rome wasn't built overnight, you can't make a country boy into a ballroom dancer in two months. Chuck again improves, in baby steps. He really hasn't broken through yet, to that dance that's so effortlessly beautiful that it radiates joy from the TV. This week's score on his graceful Viennese waltz tied his score two weeks ago for his foxtrot, so traditional ballroom seems to come slightly easier to him. Judges' score: 23/30
D.A.G and Kym: I always feel bad for David's brand of determination, which ends up making the dance appear forced. It's the sad case of a hard worker in practice and on the dance floor, and unfortunately, on the dance floor, it's supposed to look easy. Of their bewitching Viennese waltz, Carrie Ann said the couple was a bit out of sync, and in my eyes, this was the result of David focusing so intently on his own movements and the music, without noticing what Kym is doing. Someone get this man a Buddha book. Judges' score: 22/30
Ty and Chelsie: There's nothing worse than seeing stars fail at what they thought would be their forte. Like Shawn last week, a gymnast allowed to do a peppy dance with lifts, but whose score was actually lower than the previous week, Ty couldn't deliver on the "man's dance" of the matador. Perhaps he's actually better at the fast, slightly out of control dances, like last week's Lindy Hop, rather than the ones that require precision and technique. I hope we haven't seen the best of Ty, because last week was a revelation! Judges' score: 21/30
Lawrence and Edyta: Len called LT's paso doble his best dance so far, and I agree. Although his aggression and step precision was better than I've seen, there was still too much of Edyta twirling and Lawrence standing, or as Carrie Ann said, he displayed once again a "limited range of motion." That means the Frenchman beat the NFL Linebacker at aggression. You heard it here first, folks. Judges' score: 20/30
Steve-O and Lacey: This sweet little Viennese waltz was obviously a simple dance designed to showcase Steve-O's childlike innocence he's forever trying to hide with his dumb stunts, foul mouth and tough tats. I thought this dance was adorable, perfectly suited for the new and improved Steve-O, gosh-darn it, gee whiz. I've gotta say it though: his posture is atrocious. Judges' scores: 18/30
Tune in tonight at 9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central for the results show, featuring the return of the Dance-Off! Again, I'm hoping Steve-O gets to stay, as his journey to self-actualization through dance is a bit more inspiring and interesting to watch unfold than Lawrence's frustrated attempts to please the judges.