It was a night of classics ---- and classic missteps on "Dancing with the Stars."
The ballroom was transformed into an elegant dance hall, complete with 46-piece orchestra and white-tie and tails for conductor Harold Wheeler (and just about anybody else who could don a tuxedo). Added to the mix were the vocals of mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and techno/classical-violinist David Garrett. And there was music, of the elegant, sweeping kind: "Love theme from Romeo and Juliet"... "Con te partiro".... "Carmen".... and so forth.
And for the mostpart the competing couples did their darndest to live up to the orchestrations that enveloped the room.
Those elements were classic.
On to the classic missteps. Most of them fell to the judges who for some reason are obsessed with Chelsea Kane's groovy, young approach to ballroom (save for Len who REALLY let her and her pro partner Mark Ballas have it tonight) and Ralph Macchio's hands. I couldn't understand the judges' gushing over Kane's cha cha cha last week that pretty much included every dance step except for those required in a cha cha cha. And this week, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli were tripping over themselves in praising her Viennese waltz that started out so strong and evolved into comic relief. Seriously? A push-up in a Viennese waltz? Sure, Mark and Chelsea were dancing to the theme from "Harry Potter"... and kudos to Mark for wearing his wizard's hat so well. But I had to agree with Len on this one... the 300-year-old dance deserved a little more respect. Still the couple landed atop the leader board with 26 for the night.
On to Ralph and those hands, or as Bruno likes to call them, paddles. Frankly. I don't get that either. Last week, he was quite stylish in his rumba and yet the judges barely managed a smile. This week, Ralph and his partner Karina Smirnof were simply gorgeous in their interpretation of "Romeo and Juliet" and yet, the judges except for Bruno steered clear of 9s.... the dance deserved a 27, not the 25 it ended up receiving. It was dance in its storytelling and interpretive best in terms of the evening's program. It deserved better.
Continuing his winning ways, Hines Ward and his partner Kym Johnson were simply amazing in their fiery and very precise paso doble, as were Chris Jericho and his partenr Cheryl Burke. Yet, Hines and Kym earned a 25, while Chris and Cheryl scored a 23. Maybe we're just not seeing what the judges are seeing?
And the evening ended on another Kirstie Alley/Maksim Chmerkovskiy "first"... last week it was his thigh 'injury'.. this week it was all about Kirstie's shoe coming off during their waltz. Gotta give it to Kirstie, she slapped that shoe back into place and got on with the dance ---- not their best effort by far, but good enough to nab a 22.
The result show tomorrow night should be interesting. Kendra Wilkinson (scored an 18 for her dismal turn on the dance floor) should be outta there; though Kirstie's shoe tragedy could send her packing.
I'm putting my money on Kendra.