Hello, rabid Martina Navratilova and/or Dancing with the Stars fans. I’m glad to see you. I’m being gentle with you and trying to savor our time together, because, unless there is some dedicated hilarious bloc voting, I fear that time may be all too short.
So this week was Week 2, except nobody got kicked off last week, so it’s really Week 1: The Sequel and last week’s scores and votes will be added to this week’s scores and votes and then they’ll all be added up in a great big ball of hard-thought calculation and then tossed straight out the window because, as we have discussed before, this show is transparently rigged.
So anyway, it’s still essentially Week 1 and there are so many dancers that when they all lined up I panicked a little bit. Also, if you listen carefully during that shot, you can hear China calling the tech booth and wondering if there are too many people.
So we will be carefully selecting our video highlights with the following rigid standards: clips that feature dancing that is very good or otherwise remarkable in some way, clips that feature Martina, and clips that feature astonishing costumes. Martina is in two of those categories.
First up, Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower started things off with a bang. Roshon is an experienced freestyle hip-hop dancer and last week we were pretending that he might not be able to pick up proper technique. End of that little manufactured bit of suspense.
SCORE: 9-8-9, for 26 out of a possible 30.
Sherri Shepherd is really, really perky, and danced a jive with Val Chmerkovskiy. She missed a move so obviously that even I could see it, but the judges liked the way she kept going and sold it.
SCORE: 8-7-8, for a total of 23
Melissa Gilbert and Maks Chmerkovskiy (Hope Solo’s partner from last season, so he is doomed) danced a quickstep to the worst cover of “Dancing with Myself” you’ve ever heard, including weddings, bar mitzvahs, and karaoke bars on cruise ships. They are disqualified from getting their clip shown because they did not start off their quickstep by dressing up like zombies and climbing up the side a building to dance with Billy Idol.
SCORE: 7-6-7, for 20 out of 30. Yeeowtch.
Jack Wagner and the lovely Anna Trebunskaya danced the jive, and a certain contestant didn’t do as well as he thought he would but kept smiling anyway. Which is just the sort of human drama we’re supposed to get sucked into, but no one can fully pay attention to it because Anna Trebunskaya is there and Jack, I’m sure you’re a very nice man, but stop getting in the way.
Gladys Knight brought the entire room to its feet last week because the woman knows how to work an audience and also because she is Gladys Knight for crying out loud. But this week she and Tristan MacManus didn’t quite connect with their quickstep.
SCORE: 7-5-7 for a total of 19. Dang. I don’t think I saw someone give a 5 in all of last season. I think Ms. Knight might be able to take comfort in her several decades of legendary work.
I thought Katherine Jenkins had been generously scored due to her cuteness last week, but she shut me right up this week. My skepticism is withdrawn. She and Mark Ballas danced a terrific jive.
SCORE: 9-8-9 for 26, tying them for the evening with Roshon and Chelsie.
Jaleel White and the frequently underestimated and overcostumed Kym Johnson tied for the top score last week – turns out Urkel has some moves. This week their jive didn’t have quite the same flair. They’ll be back.
SCORE: 7-7-8 for 22 out of 30
Maria Menounos has a laugh that will stop you in your tracks and, yikes, a couple of broken ribs this week. She and Derek Hough danced a fun Bonnie and Clyde–themed quickstep.
SCORE: 8-8-9 for 25
And now it’s time for some hard truths: The two clip categories Martina qualified for were “features Martina” and “features astonishing costume.”
SCORE: 6-5-6 for 17
But if they gave points for moxie, she’d be in the front of the pack.
Hang in there, Martina. Keep working and take comfort in the knowledge that you could take any 17 people in the room in straight sets, all at once.
Donald Driver didn’t score particularly well last week, even though he and Peta Murgatroyd were cute together. This week they came back with a vengeance with a quickstep that pushed past the limits of cute and straight into freaking adorable.
SCORE: 8-8-8 for 24
Gavin DeGraw would not take off his stupid hat except for when the costumers put him into a Marlon Brando outfit from The Wild One with an even stupider hat as a punishment. We will speak no more of him. Karina Smirnoff already knows she’s not winning it this year and she’s pissed.
SCORE: 7-7-7 for 21
William Levy was the other contestant who I thought was perhaps being overscored for dreaminess last week. I stand by that assessment. This week he was fine. And they are treating him like a side of beef, so I’ll try to cut him and his partner Cheryl Burke some slack.
SCORE: 9-7-9 for a 25 Fine.
And there we are! See you back here tomorrow for the recap and results.