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Dancing With the Stars: Chuck Stripped and Still Got Kicked

dancingwiththestars30What’s a boy gotta do to get some love on Dancing with the Stars? Apparently shaking your bum and stripping down to a black sequined leotard won’t do it for you – as country star Chuck Wicks learned this week – and just when I was starting to like him.

This week on Dancing with the Stars was all about the group dances – which were gosh darn fantastic. (I’m actually serious – they rocked!) But first were the individual dances.

Up first to kick off the night – literally – were Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke in a high-flying, goofy Lindy Hop. Like the other celebs, Gilles was battling an injury – a separated shoulder – but the doc gave him a cortisone shot (is that safe?), and he was back on the floor. As for the dancin’, Gilles’ mile-high coif was enough to do it for me, but the silly, high-energy hop showed a different side of the usually-sultry couple. It was a blast and the judges loved it. Total: 27

After being reprimanded for toning down her raunchy side last week, Lil’ Kim was back to her old antics with a dangerously wicked paso doble. As Bruno said, “the bitch was back and she means business!” Lil’ Kim was scowling, growling, and kicking her way through the paso, and it was fierce. Grrrr! Total: 28

After breaking out of his shell last week, Chuck Wicks (that’s right, I no longer dub him Ken) was back in fine form – in blue silk this time – for a bum-shaking, flirtatious cha cha. Chuck really let loose and was throwing cutesy faces at Julianne throughout. It was adorable, and the audience was up on their feet in excitement. Even Len had to admit he liked it – though Chuck needs to work on his arms. Total: 26

Shawn Johnson was back smiling and showing a bit more fluidity this week after getting a lesson from Mark’s super-elegant, Latin-dancing mum. And while I hate to do it – I have to agree a bit with Len on this one. While everything was spot on technically and Shawn did loosen up from time to time, she still seems like she’s holding back. You’re a teenager Shawn, go wild, shake those hips, I know you can do it. But she didn’t Monday night. Total: 27

Yet another celeb succumbed to injury this week after Melissa Rycroft suffered a hairline fracture of her rib (yowch!) and was unable to perform. But, as they did earlier this season with Steve-O, they did have a rehearsal tape to show for her jive with a very disappointed Tony. From the rehearsal tape you could tell they were just “marking” – or not going full-out on their steps – and thus the dance was nearly impossible for the judges to evaluate. You could tell they had their steps and their routine on, but it was all done halfway. Too bad we didn’t get to see them go full out. But Tony pleaded the audience to help them through. Total: 21

Ty Murray‘s been all over the place during this competition and usually Latin dances spell trouble for the stiff cowboy, but this week he shocked everyone. Getting a little assistance from pro Dmitry and a spray tan, Ty Murray learned to get his Latin on! He was shaking his knees a bit more than his hips, but at least he was shaking, and it was such a shock to the system to see him go all out like he did, whipping and dipping Chelsie all over the place, that I believe I clapped right from my living room couch. Oh yes I did. Total: 24dancingwiththestars011

After Ty shook up the ballroom, it was time for the team dances which were remarkably good this year. The celebs may be super C-list this year, but their dance moves are definitely worth an A+.

First up was Team Mambo with last week’s scoreboard winners: Shawn & Mark, Chuck & Julianne, and Tony & Lacey (filling in for Melissa). Dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” the teammates replicated dance moves from the infamous video – very well, I might add – and added in their own bits of flair. And then to really get the crowd going, the boys jumped up on the judges’ table, stripped off their outfits and revealed sparkly black leotards and white tights. It was HI-larious.

As for the individual members, the judges applauded Lacey for picking up the routine at such short notice – but we should all already know by now that Lacey rocks. (Serious girl crush over here!) Chuck really stepped up as well, letting loose, shaking it, and nailing his steps, right in toe with the pros. If anyone was falling behind, it was Shawn whose solo with Mark was sharp, but who was out of step on the synchronized moves with Lacey and Julianne.

Those little missteps didn’t go beyond the judges’ notice either. Bruno thought it rocked, though he was obviously distracted by the men’s attire; Len thought it was fun; and Carrie Ann thought they got a bit overwhelmed by the music (which I actually don’t agree with). Though I think they should have gotten extra points for Mark’s attempted tough guy nodding while wearing a leotard. Team Score: 25

Thinking there was no way Team Tango could compete with that raucous good time, I was happy to be proved wrong by Gilles & Cheryl, Ty & Chelsie, and Kim & Derek. Dancing to Britney’s “Womanizer”, the routine started off right with shirtless Ty and Gilles being womanized by a sultry, swaying, smoldering Lil’ Kim. Kim had it going on Monday night! While she made a little flub in her solo routine, she more than made it up in charisma. Ty also nailed his solo section with Chelsie, leading her with strength and confidence around the floor. And then there was Gilles. Have I said “Grrr!” already this week? It was smooth, it was sultry, it was hot.

But hotter than their individual moments were their moments as a team. Every kick, every dip, and every turn was so crisp and in synch it was amazing. Their last few steps together were just perfect. The judges could hardly critique it – except for Gilles’ footwork (really Len?). Team Score: 28

After such a strong Monday night I wasn’t at all sure what would happen Tuesday. Would Melissa’s low scores get her the boot? Would Ty’s good old boy charm be able to overcome his lackluster dancing skills? Is anyone else getting bored of Shawn Johnson? Well, these were my guesses, and I was proved oh so wrong – blind sighted completely.dancingwiththestars091

Tuesday started with bang with an encore performance from Team Tango. Then there were a series of not very funny celebrity “infomercials” and two lackluster performances by Robin Thicke – who until this moment I had always confused with Alan Thicke. But it turns out Alan only does Robin Sparkles’ music videos.

However, for those So You Think You Can Dance fans, Anya and Pasha from Season 3 showed up to dance to Thicke’s “Sidestep”. But they ultimately didn’t get much time to dance since Thicke and his back-up dancers were trying to steal the attention with a few of their own sad moves.

The real highlight of Tuesday’s show was the new pro competition, where Genya Mazo, Afton DelGrosso, Anna Demidova, and Mayo Alanen all survived to this week’s round. Genya and Afton danced a cute little quickstep, but it was nothing too special. However, Anna and Mayo stole the show with their lively jive – a difficult feat for such towering dancers – but it looked effortless and they both have great personality. Expect to see both of them and probably Genya back next week to teach some past season celebs how to dance.

And we’re onto the results. It was a slow reveal, but the last two couples in jeopardy were Melissa & Tony and Chuck & Julianne. So who was going home?

Poor Chuck – he got the boot. But at least he gets to keep his partner.

Season 8, Round 7: Episodes 14 and 15 (originally aired April 27 and 28, 2009)

For more on Dancing with the Stars, click here.

Competition Mondays at 8/7C, ABC

Elimination Tuesdays at 9/8C, ABC

Photographs courtesy of ABC

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