Last night I was in Cleveland for a screening of "Into the Wild," then had an amusing drive home through lightning and rain. I've got two more screenings in Cleveland today, so I'm going to fast-forward through "Dancing" to focus on the performances. ...
Did Floyd get sucker-punched by the judges?
Just saved about 15 minutes on recaps, commercials and banter. (Oh, the joy of the DVR.) First up: Cameron Mathison with Edyta Sliwinska. Rehearsal tapes. Maybe it's a good time to download the new Rilo Kiley from iTunes. I foresee more fast-forwarding, although I would hate to miss tonight's variation on "deceptively unfit."
The dance. Foxtrot. The song is "Moondance." The sacrilege is unbearable. Oh, wait, there's dancing. Mathison is a good-looking guy, but he's stiff and awkward on the floor. Not much flow to his movements. Edyta's looking extra hot, though. Oh, wait, there's dancing.
Judges: Len says it "flowed, then it spattered a bit," but still called it "a really good job." Bruno says he has "really good arm line for a man." Carrie Ann says it was weak at first but likes his "nice elongated neck." My summation" They think he's a good-looking guy. Scores: Straight 7's.
I should note that we are 28 minutes into the show and have seen one dancer. Next up: Floyd Mayweather with Karina Smirnoff. The dance: Cha cha. Mayweather's energetic, lots of moves, graceful in spots, but not quite knocking my socks off. Karina seems to have managed to wear less than Edyta.
Judges: Bruno calls him a "September storm. ... Your energy is incredible" but needs focus on technique. Len says "great potential." CA wants more finesse. Drew Lachey labors in the post-dance interview; I know he's a last-minute fill-in, but he still needs a lot of work. Scores: Straight 6's. That seems harsh to me. I thought he was better than Mathison.
Gotta pick up the pace. Helio Castroneves with Julianne Hough, still looking more dangerous than last season. The dance: Foxtrot. This guy has more teeth than Marie Osmond. He's a good spinner of Hough, but more of a stepper than a dancer.
Judges: CA calls him "a natural." Bruno calls him "the king of charm," notes good chemistry between the two; the comments seem to be heavily praising Hough for bringing Castroneves along. Len calls it "great." Scores: CA, 8; Len, 9; Bruno, 8.
Model Albert Reed, with Anna Trebunskaya. She's not enjoying his goofing around, calling him "a kid." The dance: Cha cha. Or Cha-Chippendales. They get him stripped down a bit early, but then he actually looks like a pretty good dancer. Nice interplay with Anna. My favorite so far.
Judges: Len says "it was like watching a stripper ... great fun." Bruno says "the crotch action was like a warp drive." CA calls him "a crowd pleaser" but notes "more other stuff than cha cha." She seems to be ... distracted. Scores: Straight 7's.
Mark Cuban with Kym Johnson. Cuban is pushing fun -- and his hip replacement seven weeks before practice began. The dance: Foxtrot. Cuban is clearly going for the likable-doofus crowd (see: John Ratzenberger, Jerry Springer). And I've met him, and I like him. Not sold on his dancing.
Bruno calls him a "bouncing bionic billionaire" but that "your technique needs work." CA complains about posture, wants him to keep his tongue in his mouth, but calls him "a showman." Len keeps it kind. Scores: Straight 7's.
Mr. Wayne Newton with Cheryl Burke. When I made my pilgrimage to Las Vegas, it included seeing Newton onstage. Where, happily, his apparent fixation with botox was not so evident. The dance: Cha cha. Newton reminds me of Brad Garrett -- or, more precisely, of Brad Garrett playing Wayne Newton. Sort of comic, self-parodying. The dancing is unremarkable, and there's one point where Newton looks as if he's clutching his back.
One other note: Where Burke's outfit is relatively modest compared to tonight's other women professionals, I still think you could take all of tonight's dresses, combine them -- and still have less fabric than in one of Jane Seymour's gowns.
Not that I'm complaining.
Judges of Wayne: CA says it's an honor to see Wayne, notes he's a little old, and wants him to open up his hips more. Len praises the men's group overall, and thought Wayne had a lot of good basic moves. Bruno hopes for more sizzle, and more hip action, and better foot placement, but also says it's an honor to see Wayne. Scores: CA, 6; Len, 7; Bruno, 6.
Recap, ranking: Helio first, 25; Cameron/Albert/Mark, 21; Wayne, 19, and Floyd, 18. I thought the judges had it about right on Monday, but I'm in less agreement tonight. Floyd and Albert's score seemed unfairly low, Helio's oddly high. If I'm sending one home, it's either Wayne or Mark.