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"Dancing With the Stars" Performance Notes

By admin Published: May 10, 2011

Hating the instant dance, fearing for Ralph and more ...

Let me start by saying, yet again, what a joke the "instant dance" is. They performers know what they're supposed to dance, with the music the only surprise. It does draw a distinction between the pros, who know the beats with or without music, and the celebs, who -- as more than one admitted -- use the music for movement cues. But it always seems overdramatized to me.

Not that the night was lacking in overdramatization. Judges fights! Kirstie and Maks argue! Ralph injured! Too bad the dances aren't better. Then, maybe, we wouldn't need as much additional material.

Oh, right. Two hours to fill. Ads to sell. Still, can't we put an end to the painful, unfunny "DanceCenter" promos and segments?

Anyway, for the night:

Chelsea and Mark topped the scoreboard, though barely; four couples are within four points of each other. I thought their first dance was quite good but was still surprised to see the judges drop a 29 on it, since that sets the bar so high for the rest of the show. But they kept it close with a 26 on the instant dance, which I thought was better than the judges seemed to believe. But that 29 may have been another indication of what Lynne Sherwin has said about the show wanting at least one woman "star" in the final three -- and the belief that, no matter how much love the judges give, Kirstie will be gone before then.

Hines and Kym were second, with a total of 54 (28 on planned dance, 26 on instant) and the planned-dance score was a little higher than I would have given it. I would still put them second on the night.

Kirstie and Maks were third, 53 (28 and 25), with a freakin' 10 from Bruno on the first dance. A 10? Really? I know we're at the point in the show where dancers are supposed to be good enough for 10s, but for this. Yes, Kirstie showed continued improvement, but not a 10. Still, the show keeps loving her -- and that stuff about not eating may win her more viewer sympathy votes.

Romeo and Chelsie were fourth, at 52 (27 and 25). I would have put them in third, ahead of Kirstie and Maks, but the judges have for the most part not been as receptive to Romeo's work as they have been to other dancers. I'd give him points just for his turns of phrase. A week ago, we were invited to party in his pants. This week, we were offered salsa gumbo.

Ralph, with a cyst hampering him, and Karina hit last both collectively and in separate scores: 46 total, 25 and 21. Brutal, especially when you consider some of the footwork he did -- and that some dances have gotten higher scores after the performer fell down. Maybe they didn't like the eye-makeup tribute to Capt. Jack Sparrow? In any case, Ralph, who I've long thought was likely to make it to the finals, needed major viewer love to stay around. Since the show reminded everyone of that, perhaps there will be a sympathy vote. If not, he's gone. If so, I fear for Romeo -- and still wish Kirstie would be sent packing.

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