Jennifer Sankowski

November 30, 2006: Not the Most Obvious Couple

Sure, Taylor was enamored with Ryan for rescuing her from her loveless marriage. And she appreciated the beauty of the sight of a shirtless Ryan. But what was the telltale sign that she had truly fallen for the guy? She actually thought the king of brooding was funny. And while Ryan’s far from Seth when it comes to witty retorts, Taylor has no problems in the humor department. Becoming someone’s uncertified sleep therapist is definitely a novel way to go about seducing someone. And she gets bonus points for the elaborateness of her approach: 50 candles, flannel pajamas and an offer to be a warm body. Her false denial when Ryan finally asked her whether she liked him was priceless, as well as somewhat believable. I can’t say that I fault him for not picking up on things initially — Taylor is a little bit kooky, and she’s always jumped into projects (like high school committees) with tremendous gusto, so attacking his insomnia with such tenacity wasn’t ou... read more

November 8, 2006: Angry Nudfo Chocolate Love

Ryan wasn’t going after Volchok to kill him. He was going to tell the cops where Volchok was.... He just needed to see him first. As Seth explained, “No offense, but like nobody believes that.” Seth may not be stealth, but he has good instincts, and he knows Ryan all too well. And he was quite the James Bond last night, albeit in his own comic-book way. First he stumbles onto Ryan’s secret plan when overhearing his phone call, then he leaves coded messages for his parents to find. (How could Sandy not figure out the anagram?!) But Ryan, likewise, knows Seth too well, hence the cell-phone casualty. However, Seth didn’t let that nor 18 tequila shots slow him down, and he wound up saving the day by giving Ryan a decoy address for Volchok. I was so proud of Seth for doing that and for trying to convince Volchok to turn himself in. He really reminded me of a mini Sandy in that scene. True, he had to pull a “Judas” move and betray Ryan to Sandy and Kirst... read more

October 31, 2006: The Monster Mash

This show really knows how to take a theme and run with it.... And we’re talking marathon lengths. This Halloween checklist had it all: smoke on the floor, black lipstick, songs about witchcraft, and fangs. I thought for sure someone was going to dance to "The Monster Mash," but they proved me wrong. (However, they weren’t about having someone dance to Ghostbusters.) I guess you could say the show was a little excessive with its Halloween enthusiasm, sort of like a coworker who decorates his or her cubicle for every holiday imaginable... oh wait, I do that. OK, so I liked the Halloween cheesefest of an episode. It was different, and it made last night’s show stand out. And at this late stage in the season, when the shows can start blending together, that’s a good thing. One contestant who really got into the theme was Joey Lawrence. From his playful opening tango to The Addams Family theme song to his confident, heck-of-a-costume paso doble, Joey was on his game ... read more

October 25, 2006: No More Spring in His Step

Even after being told he was voted out, Jerry Springer was still cracking jokes: “Thank you for having me. And thank you for letting me go home.” It’s that mixture of sincere humbleness and self-deprecating humor that I’m going to miss most about Jerry. I think Tom Bergeron said it best when he called Jerry “the heart and soul of this show.” This season would not have been the same without him. He gave the show a sweet paternal subplot, a little age variety and some wry commentary — much funnier commentary than Samantha Harris provides (could he possibly sub for her the remainder of the season? Just a suggestion). And in spite of his constant wisecracks, he didn’t treat this competition merely as a joke — he did try to learn the dances. While he sometimes fell short in terms of natural ability and technique, he did succeed in entertaining the crowd. Jerry, you will be missed.Speaking of people missed, MIA Season 1 professional champ Alec ... read more

October 24, 2006: Double Dancing, Double Standard

Monique Coleman has been all about girl power and “representing the women” these past two weeks, as she remains the last female star standing in this competition. Though she feels the female stars have been judged more harshly than the male stars this season, the more obvious double standard that the judges have been applying isn’t so much a male vs female thing as a Jerry vs non-Jerry thing. Their comments to Jerry Springer go something like this (and I’m paraphrasing): “Jerry, great job for just getting out there and trying. And bonus points for moving around a bit.” Their comments to everyone else: “Mario, good job and all, but be careful with the floppy arms.... Joey, well done, but watch the somewhat sloppy turns.” The judges admit that Jerry’s not doing the same level of dancing as the rest of the contestants, but then they go and give him all eights for his fox-trot, which he sort of walked through. Yes, Jerry is older than his com... read more

September 20, 2006: Shanna's Swan Song

?We are not going home tonight,? Shanna Moakler proclaimed during one of her rehearsal-scene interviews. Sorry, Shanna, but yes you are. She may once have been Miss USA, but clearly she wasn?t Miss Popularity, and that was ultimately the reason for her early exit. And based on her appearance in the red-light spotlight for two weeks now, Willa Ford looks primed to be following Shanna next week, for the same reason.So we won?t be seeing any more of Shanna, and hopefully no more of Julio Iglesias, either. Really, the less said about his performance the better. At least there was dance going on during it, which proved to be a pleasant distraction. And even more enjoyable was the group jive. I know they were dancing to Billy Idol, but their all-black outfits and the way they paired off made me think of the final scene from Grease ? I almost expected Sandy and Danny to come out and join them.I did not expect to see Tucker Carlson again, and yet, there he was. Thankfully not dancing, but i... read more

September 13, 2006: Tucker's Last Tango

Yes, I know Tucker Carlson didn?t dance the tango, and now he won?t even get a chance to, but I couldn?t resist the alliteration. So, although I predicted it would be Sara Evans, justice was indeed served and Tucker was the first one out. Deservedly so, for his non-dancing performance. And he managed to insult both ?slow children? and people with accents with his parting words. Way to go, Tucker.Also kind of insulting: the red lighting in which they bathe the bottom three couples. I don?t remember that from last season. It seems a bit harsh. But not as harsh as Jerry Springer was on himself. He seemed to genuinely expect that he was going to be the first one gone, and he wasn?t even in the bottom three. As he kept making more humble and self-effacing comments, I found myself liking him more and more. Hang in there, Jerry!The group mambo number performed by the professionals was great, and the carnival of colors that made up their costumes was a feast for the eyes. And Tom Jones was... read more

September 12, 2006: They Feel Like Dancing

Loved the new bigger and better set. The chandeliers and balcony seats add a kind of theater glamour to the show. Tom Bergeron was back in top form with his snappy comments, proving he's one of the best reality-show hosts out there. And the judges were back to bickering amongst themselves in no time. As for the new crop of stars, some lived up to expected awkwardness, while some surprised.Let's start with the top of the pack: Mario Lopez. Sure, I expected A.C. Slater could dance well; after all, he had some pretty killer moves back at those Bayside High dances. But I never expected his dancing to be that good: those hips, those feet, those dimples. Did I mention his dancing was really good? He has the lean body of a dancer, and could almost pass for one of the professionals. And right on his heels in the competition was Emmitt Smith. After fellow football great Jerry Rice made it to runner-up in the competition last year, it should be no surprise that football players can dance. But... read more

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