The all-star cast along with their professional partners returned… (ABC )
Tom tells us this is the "best of the best" coming back -- if that were true we wouldn't have anybody that finished lower than first or second on here. Hmph.
Staircase introductions -- first impressions -- Sabrina Bryan has what Tom & Lorenzo refer to as "babyheads" coming out of the top of her costume. And Tristan either has really weird chest hair growth patterns or ticked off his waxer.
Tom tells us 11 of these dancers have made the finals -- so who are the also-rans also being allowed to compete? Pamela Anderson and Sabrina Bryan, that's who.
Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson
hese guys were partners before and they now have matching velour track suits and Joey gets a handful of her tush at their first meeting. In rehearsals, he makes fun of his last name asking Kym if she's ready for "The Fat One" to jump over him. I do kind of like how Joey totally throws himself right into the cheesiness of it all -- high heel dancing shoes and sequin jacket and goofy faces. Joey is breathless, it takes a while for the stars to get their cardio back up.
Len and Tom talk about the changing to scores -- they now can give "half" scores and Tom jokes that the people who sell them paddles were happy about that. I hate to tell them that since they always seem to score everybody over a 5, they could avoid using "halfs" by using ALL THE NUMBERS THEY ALREADY HAVE. Math! It's not that hard!
Scores: Carrie Ann: 6.5; Len: 7; Bruno: 7.
Carrie Ann gripes about Tom cutting her off.
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough
Personally, Shawn I think you've traded up going from Mark to Derek. (There are lovely people out there that are Mark fans. I am not one of them.) That was a good dance technically, but not knowing that song, I wasn't really drawn in. Carrie calls this "American Smooth" which is a different kind of foxtrot, maybe? Len's already being odd man out, saying that it didn't feel like a foxtrot. Surprise, surprise -- I agree with him.
The interview with Brooke actually reveals some useful information: Shawn's got a dodgy knee.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 6.5; Bruno: 7.5.
Sabrina Bryan & Louis van Amstel
Sabrina was voted in as the 13th contestant. And we hear all over again how "shocking" her elimination was. I do love me some Louis, though, so I hope they go far. There's a nice crowd roar as they start. This routine is a strong start for her, I'd say. Carrie Ann says Sabrina is "On fire!" but cautions that she "overdanced" it. Len wanted as much finesse as impact.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7.5; Len: 7.5; Bruno: 7.5
Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower
When Helio sees Chelsie he exclaims, "They gave me another blonde!" Wow, way to make both women feel special, Helio. He explains he came back on the show so his young daughter, born after he won his season, can see her daddy dance. Chelsie calls Helio "the perfect student." He and Chelsie seem to get along really well. Chelsie smartly picks up that it's best to cast Helio as a classic and jovial charmer. He's more Marx Brothers than Farrelly brothers if you get what I mean. Len says it was mostly a joy to watch, but Helio's feet need work. Bruno mentions that Helio had a few missteps which are covered by his stage presence and charisma. Carrie Ann wants more "body contact" to help with his leading.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7.5; Bruno: 7
Pamela Anderson & Tristan McManus
First impression: Tristan is going to have to carry all the personality in this couple. And from the start, Pam is just as bad a dancer as I remember her being. Her technique's not great and she makes ZERO connection with the audience. Having her on right after Helio makes it blindingly obvious. Bruno tells her she has to put more work into it if she wants to go all the way. Len compares it to a kid on the bike when the training wheels come off. Pam's got tears shimmering and I'm surprised given her life and the fact that she's faced these judges before that she doesn't have thicker skin.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 5.5; Len: 5.5, Bruno: 6.
There are boos in the ballroom but those scores are appropriate. Stay strong, judges!
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
These two are reunited and they're both excited. Tony says Melissa is "arguably the best partner [he's] ever had." Looking at a list of his partners/finishes, yeah, he's had some challenges over the years, mostly because they tend to partner him with the "women of a certain age." He tells Melissa that he feels like he could have pushed her more in their first season together and he blames himself for their loss. Humility! From a pro! Fan me!