Tom Bergeron was faster than the quickstep with his off-the-cuff humor tonight calling the rowdy audience soccer fans, warning the judges not to tell Drew Lachey he wasn't "in sync," suggesting that Master P start a line of dancing shoes. I was also tickled by the way George Hamilton was orchestrating all these little soap-operatic scenes for the moments just before the commercial. I'm glad some people are taking the competitive edge off things.
Lisa and Louis: I always thought of the rhumba as Baby and Johnny's dance from Dirty Dancing. Even without the lift, this was much dirtier. But what, dear god, is up with choosing that Elton John song? It had zero beat, making all their Latin-y movements look jerky. Plus the sappy lyrics totally distracted me from the fiery "wild kitten" story they were trying to tell.
Drew and Cheryl: All the pressure of living up to last week's performance actually did them good. They made it look so easy, you'd swear Drew has been quickstepping his whole life.
Tia and Maksim: Which is more gimmicky: Lisa and Louis' pole-dancing lessons or Tia and Maksim's hula dancer? Never mind, because neither made the ladies more at ease. Tia's dress and makeup were gorgeous. I'm still not feeling the concept of this rhumba, though.
George and Edyta: How refreshing to see someone dancing to old-fashioned ballroom music Fred Astaire's "Top Hat" no less. I don't care that George didn't prance around as quickly as Drew; he was downright entertaining. I even picked up the phone and voted for Team George.
Tatum and Nick: Len said it best: The top was fruity and the bottom was spongey. I saw, like, no footwork. Tatum knew it, too. Her defensive reaction might turn off those voters.
Jerry and Anna: I love the dynamic between these two, and their '20s costumes were the best of the night. But Jerry seemed a lot sharper with his feet in the rehearsal clips than in performance. He's getting there, though.
Stacy and Tony: Oooooh. Now I get the rhumba. Is this graceful woman really a wrestler?
Master P and Ashly: I think it's safe to say that everyone on this show dislikes P. Especially Samantha. He was OK, but the way he kicked away Ashly's gift of shoes was so uncool.
Giselle and Jonathan: Um, I'm only half Latina, and I have way more flavor than Ms. Hasn't Seen a Carb Since 1992. I agree with Len, she looks hard when she dances. She was rather good and was the only woman to do full splits. I'm just saying she's got a way to go before dancing like a Latina. Sabrina Rojas Weiss
"Donna Martin graduates! Donna Martin graduates!" That was one of my all-time favorite Beverly Hills, 90210 moments. It was camp at its finest. And just as Tori Spelling gets her own VH1 show, the notorious B.A.G. costars on Freddie, Jason Priestley goes all Love Monkey on us, Luke Perry receives a Windfall and Jennie Garth stars in What I Like About You, it's only right that The O.C. pays homage to an awesomely classic moment in teen TV.
OK, the Harbor High student body didn't actually come together to chant "Free Marissa," but T-shirts and signs were made up. Taylor defied her mean mama and got more than 300 students to sign a petition to reinstate the once-troubled girl. So why did Marissa almost ruin the whole thing by choosing to stay at Newport Union when little Johnny Wohnny got rejected from the surf tour? Somebody please explain this to me. And when it was hearing time, I felt like I was watching Footloose all over again, except without the whole "Please, let us dance" campaign. I was half-expecting John Lithgow and Lori Singer to make uncredited appearances. Come on! Instead of reading from the Bible, Ry-Wren brought up transcripts of old board meetings. It turns out that in 1996, some kid had been expelled and then received a reprieve. A few more things: I say this every week, but Sandy rocks. And I feel that public-school education is getting the shaft here. Everyone's preaching "Free Marissa." Does that mean they're saving her from... gasp... going to a... gasp... public school? (Not cool.) Or do they just want to free her from her expulsion? In other news, Julie Cooper-Nichol and Summer's dad? I'm warming up to them. Bettina Charles
Beauty and the Geek
So Round 2 of Ashton Kutcher's "social experiment" has finally begun, and let me tell you, what an experiment! Teaming up a beauty with a geek to compete in social and intellectual situations can only mean one thing: a solid hour of pure entertainment. So here we have a new set of eight stunning yet not so bright (as evidenced by Brittany's "I like books that have pictures") ladies matched with their total opposites, eight brainy and, shall we say, not so aesthetically pleasing, gentlemen. I'm not sure for whom I feel more sorry: Chris, whose claim to geekdom was "has kissed only one girl," or Danielle, who thought the Red Sox were a California team. Did I mention Chris also sported a "I put the stud in study" T-shirt? Let's get to know some of the other key players who had me laughing: Danielle, who has a "shoegasm" when she sees a really great pair of shoes, picked Karl, resident Dungeons & Dragons master, because he reminded her of Napoleon Dynamite. Brittany ended up with Joe because she beat Sarah in a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Oh yeah, and Sarah thought she won because she thought rock beat paper. Hmm. The ultimate character has got to be the big, curly haired Josh. I mean, the guy is willing to give up some of his intellect to get over his anxiety, so hopefully, with the help of his meds and teammate Cher, he'll work on his confidence skills. The guy slept in the closet because he was too anxious to sleep in the same room with a girl. Josh, your fellow museum-critic friends are going to be very disappointed when they see you act like a fool on national television. Well folks, it's going to be a wild ride, so I'll be sure to keep you up-to-date on all the shoegasms and nervous breakdowns coming our way! Maya Schechter
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