With no eliminations in week one, that meant 12 performances in a jam-packed two hour show in week two. Let's see who rose to the occasion and who can start packing their bags ...
Steve Guttenberg and Anna Trebunskaya (Mambo) - Steve had a charming debut with his foxtrot and scored some points for attitude, if not dancing. Len praised him for having fun and enjoying it, but then compared Steve's dancing to his cooking, which is flat and collapsed. Bruno thought all the energy went into the facial expressions, and all the dancing was bad. He lacked balance. Carrie Ann thought his musicality was off. She thought he got the audience on his side, but it wasn't his best. Score: 16 (6,5,5) Total: 34
CristiÃ¡n de la Fuente and Cheryl Burke (Quickstep) - Coming off of a dance that the judges described as being two halves, and one of those halves not being so impressive, CristiÃ¡n certainly had room for improvement this week. Carrie Ann praised the improvement in CristiÃ¡n's posture, choreography, and the energy of the performance, but she did question the footwork. Len agreed on the footwork, but added that the performance was faster than air from a duck's bottom. He also dinged them a bit for it not being a classic quickstep. That sure does come up a lot. Bruno liked CristiÃ¡n's character, but joined the chorus of footwork complaints. Score: 20 (7,6,7) Total: 41
Monica Seles and Jonathan Roberts (Mambo) - Monica really took a hit with her foxtrot last week, and needed to pull out all the stops with her mambo. She was initially worried about not being able to convey the character of the performance, because there is just nothing in tennis that translates to that aspect of the dancing. Bruno led off the judges comparing Monica to alternating current. She's on the rhythm, and then off the rhythm. Carrie Ann praised the way that Monica came out and attacked the performance, but added that the technique just isn't there. Len thought it was obvious that Monica is out of her comfort zone and said that she needs to bring the spirit of her tennis to the dance floor. Score: 15 (5,5,5) Total: 30 Monica did take it all in stride, quipping, "The judges absolutely love me."
Penn Jillette and Kym Johnson (Quickstep) - The giant musician and his giant feet were off the mark a bit in week one with the judges questioning his footwork. Len liked that Penn was having a go at a proper quickstep, but added that his feet are terrible. Bruno said magic tricks wouldn't get them out of this mess. And then went out of his way to call Penn's footwork "really, really, really, bad." Carrie Ann echoed their statements about the footwork, but did add that she likes him out there because he is so entertaining. Score: 17 (6,6,5) Total: 33 As a parting shot, Penn's advice for all of us watching... Dance badly, the preparation isn't any fun.
Priscilla Presley and Louis van Amstel (Mambo) - On a certain level, it was a very nice mambo, and taking Priscilla's age into consideration, it is very impressive. However, in the context of this competition, there were parts of it that were really lacking. Carrie Ann started by saying that Priscilla is so glamorous and sexy, and praised her performance. Len was pleased that she was right on the beat, but added that parts of it might have been too precise. Bruno called the performance very good, and technically well accomplished. Score: 21 (7,7,7) Total: 45 In the light of the other scores, this one seemed high to me.
Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough (Quickstep) - Shannon had a nice start with her cha cha last week, even if she did think that she deserved lower scores. This week she was back with a quickstep. Bruno kicked off his comments with, "That's a performance!" He called it exciting and a shot of adrenaline. Carrie Ann thought she nailed it and praised her posture and footwork. Len agreed that it was great, only criticizing her hold, which he described as clinging on occasion. Score: 24 (8,8,8) Total: 45
Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska (Mambo) - Don't think any of us should really be that surprised at the way Jason has started the competition. Len can usually tell which couples are the winners, and Jason and Edyta are one of them. Bruno agreed, calling Jason the Mambo King. Carrie Ann jumped on board that train saying that Jason is now a contender to win it all. Score: 27 (9,9,9) Total: 49
Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony Dovolani (Quickstep) - Carrie Ann praised Marissa for being so much fun, but added she was disappointed by a few missteps. Len said that Marissa is lovely and bubbly, and he loved that, adding that it was a great improvement. Bruno also called out the footwork, but thought it was a great classic quickstep. Score: 21 (7,7,7) Total: 39
Adam Carolla and Julianne Hough (Mambo) - Oh, Adam... The performance wasn't bad, on the Adam scale. He had a couple moments that on their own actually looked pretty good. He's clearly put in some work and that should be acknowledged. Bruno said that it was a mambo he had never seen before, and probably never will again, but it made him laugh, which is a plus. Carrie Ann didn't think it was quite a mambo, but agreed that Adam is entertaining. Len, oddly, called it brilliant, because sometimes we just need to be entertained. Score: 19 (6,7,6) Total: 34 I found that one rather surprising.
Marlee Matlin and Fabian Sanchez (Quickstep) - Marlee and Fabian really impressed in week one. For the most part, this was another successful outing for the pair. Len said that Marlee has the potential to go a long way in this competition, praising her musicality, but he did question some of Fabian's choreography. Bruno agreed that she is a contender, but added that old chestnut, he would like to see a more traditional performance. Carrie Ann also praised Marlee's musicality, and the way she brings the style out of the dance. Score: 24 (8,8,8) Total: 46
Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas (Mambo) - It's tough to get a better start on the season than Kristi did. Best first round score ever? Not too shabby. Carrie Ann started off with a "Wow!" She praised Kristi's precision and said that at this stage in the competition it was boggling to her. Len said that Kristi set a really high standard last week, and she did it again this week. Bruno called it fast, sharp, exuberant, and added that for the second round, it was incredible. Score: 27 (9,9,9) Total: 54
Mario and Karina Smirnoff (Quickstep) - The top woman from last week was followed up by the top man. Bruno thought it was very charismatic and focused. Len liked Mario's footwork, but had an issue with his hold. Carrie Ann added that Mario was very charming and that he moves very well. She also said he was hot. Score: 26 (9,8,9) Total: 50