When last we saw the 14 contestants, Kelly Osbourne became a dancing darling, Tom Delay did surprisingly well and Macy Gray and Ashley Hamilton were sent home. This week, the show goes back to its usual two-day premise and the celebrity dancers have only four days to perfect their routines.
Monday night’s scores reflected the absence of Len Goodman. It was a chance for dancers to rebound from the previous week’s abysmal numbers. Contestants, such as former Dallas wide-receiver Michael Irvin and Chuck Liddell (Light Heavyweight Champion) reaped the benefits when replacement judge Baz Luhrmann (director of Moulin Rouge) did not give the harsh and honest criticism with the same bite that Goodman is infamous for. With the love fest going on, the show seemed to lose some of its sizzle of the season premiere. Goodman was sorely missed.
Still, there were several dances that deserved high praise. Mya had the best dance of the night and was asked by the judges to repeat her performance in the elimination episode; while Iron Chef Chairman Mark Dacasos quick-stepped his way into the judges’ and fans’ good graces.
Unfortunately, last week’s star celebrity, Kelly Osbourne, teetered off her pedestal when she made a mistake and came out of her character. If she’s going to remain in this competition, she’s got to bounce back quickly. As for Kathy Ireland’s performance, the band was exceptional as always.
Part of what makes this show interesting is the dance rehearsals. Between Michael Irving giving himself pep talks and Melissa Joan Hart’s giggle-fest, the behind-the-scenes gives an inside look to what the professionals have to go through in helping these celebrities look half-way decent on the dance floor – you will surely feel Maksim’s pain as he attempts to quiet Debi Mazar down and teach her the dance routine.
Elimination Night brought few surprises in who was next to go home, but the singing guests made Tuesday’s show. Joss Stone’s voice was sultry with a soulful grit that made you search for her latest album, Selena Gomez’s sugar pop vocals served up a listenable presentation and the USC Trojan Marching Band performing with the Stomp the Yard crew gave an electric performance.
As the weeks progress and the lesser known contestants are sent packing, it will be interesting to see who remains.