Oh, the irony of tonight's show! Li'l Kim, fresh off the block, gets the highest score of the night by wielding a nightstick and arresting Mr. Clean himself, her partner, Derek Hough. And Matron Mama Morton herself (Queen Latifah's role in Chicago) watched in delight! Kudos, Derek, on taking a risk in this jive's choreo and theatrics. The paradoxes continue with Shawn and Mark scoring their second-highest score of the season with the sexiest dance of them all, (albeit an age-appropriate one!), the rumba. Let's get to it.
Li'l Kim and Derek: Barbie again registered a befuddling range of facial expressions on the dance floor, this time during a jail escape-themed jive. Her strange snarls are enough to distract me from Derek's killer routine. Please, Kim, I know you probably don't have full control of those plastic features, but try to tone it down already! They scored the only 10s of the night, with Len holding up an 8 for the dance being too much theatrics and not enough jive — no surprise there. Judges' score: 28/30
Melissa and Tony: This rumba emanated grace and longing, unlike last week's stony-faced paso. Loved her Bachelor reference in the practice footage: Hold my hand like this? Like where's that ring, buddy? Again, the judges get nit-picky with the naturally talented dancer, with Len saying her movements were "too balletic" (it's beyond my limited dance knowledge to figure out how ballet movements are bad in a rumba?) and Carrie Ann talking about something called Cuban motion? Judges' score: 27/30
Shawn and Mark: Aw, Mark staged a prom for Shawn! How much are producers trying to make us think we've got a showmance on our hands? Seriously, did Mark really go out and buy the 2009 balloons and a pink corsage and boutonnière? Anyway, their rumba, of course, had all the steps executed perfectly, but as usual, a bit lackluster in the character of the dance and hip action. These seem to be Shawn's main points of weakness. Judges' score: 26/30
Gilles and Cheryl: Okay, if Bruno, the king of spontaneous outbreaks of wild movement, calls someone's dancing "a bit like a mad squirrel," you know you were maybe moving somewhat frantically. I don't know though; I really think it was Cheryl choreographing to the music she had, creating a difficult jive with an edge. Gilles' strong suit is basically any variation of sexy: smoldering, steamy, aggressive, etc. The jive was a stretch for him, but he still executed the million steps he had perfectly and with panache. Judges' score: 26/30
Chuck and Julianne: If this real-life couple can't break away from their highest score so far with the dance of love and sexual attraction, I don't know that they will. This rumba was the sexiest one of the night (mostly because of all the between-the-legs moves) but it still didn't quite do it for the judges. Of course, Len said it was too sexy, but the other two said he was progressing as far as breaking out of the uncomfortable stiffness he falls back on sometimes. Judges' score: 23/30
Lawrence and Edyta: Seeing Warren's visit to the practice studio reminded me how easy he made these dances look compared to Lawrence. Especially in the jive, where it's so important to be light on your feet, it was evident how heavy-footed Lawrence is. Just loosening up and having fun is great for Lawrence's mental health, but won't keep him in the competition too much longer. Judges' score: 22/30
Ty and Chelsie: Wow, talk about some awkward moments in that country-fried jive. I didn't think the overall quality of the jive was as bad as the judges said, but it was obvious that Ty made a couple mistakes that threw him off. His timing was certainly off a bit, but tough to watch? Ouch, Carrie Ann! Their second-lowest score of the season put them back in the bottom two. Judges' score: 18/30
Steve-O and Lacie: Lacie's flowing negligee and wavy locks couldn't distract or soften Steve's painful stiffness and heavy tread in his rumba. But Carrie Ann's comment was spot-on, I think, that his total commitment to the dance made him seem so vulnerable that he was morbidly watchable. Bruno has apparently lost his patience with this mercy-vote winner, though, calling it just "bad dancing." Funny that Steve-O's goal is "perfect 7s." Judges' score: 16/30
Tune in tonight at 9 pm Eastern/8 pm Central to see who gets the boot. I think this week's bottom two have a loyal fan base, so I'm hoping we'll put Lawrence out of his misery. I heard no mention of a dance-off tomorrow night, so perhaps they're nixing it for some reason? We'll see!