It's mid-season point on "Dancing with the Stars" and Kristi Yamaguchi finally snagged her elusive perfect score of 30 with a truly enjoyable jive. Of course, Yamaguchi is no stranger to dancing --- on ice ---- having toured in numerous ice shows in her skating career. Does it give her an edge here? I'll bet you her Olympic gold medal it does!
Which is perhaps one big reason why the rest of the skaters just don't stand much of a chance. It's the halfway point of the competition, and unless Kristi totally screws up the next five weeks, or her fan base doesn't think they need to vote en masse to see her win (remember Sabrina Bryan?), she's pretty much got this season all sewed up.
But here's hoping she doesn't just sweep this one. She's got some pretty exciting competition nipping at her heels in the form of Marissa, who delivered a gorgeous, elegant and lovely Vienese waltz. This one should have earned her "9's" across teh board, but Judge Len Goodman down-voted her for who knows why, awarding her a misguided "8". She scored 26 overall. Don't count her out.
Mario was ridiculously sexy in his rhumba. Partner Karina Smirnoff held on to her fake-hair braid as it kept slapping her in the face in the dance's first few moments. Quite hilarious, actually. And Karina wore the officially worst costume of the night. Good ol' judge Lenny didn't quite like this dance at all, calling it "the story of a strumpet and gigolo." Ouch. Still, the singer snagged 28 points.
Shannon Elizabeth, well, what can I say? She and Derek are all lovey dovey on the dance floor (and apparently off-screen, too) but her rhumba was just a bore. The actress can't get past her gangly legs that for some reason just won't cooperate when it comes to strict choreography. The judges are fixated on her lack of hip action. Maybe she's already thrown in the towel?
Marlee Matlin had another difficult week out on the dance floor. If I've been rooting for anyone this season, it's been Marlee and Marissa, as both have worked so hard to prove that nothing in life should hold you back from what you love doing. And it's clear both ladies love to dance. Marlee just couldn't stick with the rhythm of the demanding mambo and it was reflected in her score of 21. This could very well be her last week on the show.
Jason and Edyta delivered a so-so cha-cha, earning a measly 24. Too bad, because Jason was one of the few giving Kristi a run for her money. Come on Jason, it's half-time. There's a whole second half to go!
But it was Cristian de la Fuente who astounded everyone with his gorgeous fox trot, calling himself "Frederico Astaire" along the way. This was a beautiful dance earning the sexy Latin actor at 27, his highest score so far.
And wasn't Cheryl's (in an homage to Ginger Rogers) costume fun?
The biggest time-waster of the night? The required "group dance," this time a western hoe-down that looked like a playground free-for-all. Was it fun to watch? Sorta, but it was impossible to focus on any one couple, so the voting (by viewers only on this dance) will come down to folks simply voting for their faves, no matter what they didn't accomplish in the dance.
Best quip of the night:
Len Goodman, to Cristian and Cheryl after their gorgeous fox trot: "If you're in the bottom two tomorrow night, I'll show me bum in the supermarket." That British humor just floors me!
Most inspirational quip of the night:
Henry Winkler, stopping by Marlee's rehearsal , pointing to her legs and telling his good pal: "These legs will mambo us into submission." Spoken like a true Fonz.
Spotted ringside: Paula Abdul, looking like she wants judge Carrie Ann Inaba's job. Badly.
Prediction for the elimination Tuesday night: It's gonna come down to Marlee and Shannon, and my gut is telling me it will most likely (and sadly) be Marlee.