Dancing with the Stars week two results show aired Tuesday night with official voting for the 2010 season now underway. After witnessing the performances this week, it may have seemed obvious to the majority of the Dancing with the Stars audience which pair would face elimination. Longtime watchers of DWTS know that what comes next isn’t as straightforward as it would seem. Because Dancing with the Stars doesn’t work like an Olympic figure skating competition, there are other factors which ultimately influence who stays and who gets sent packing. While the judge’s scores do influence the outcome, the viewing audience has a huge impact, which means Dancing with the Stars is also a popularity contest. Much like other contests where popularity has a direct influence, the outcome oftentimes seems to defy reason or just seems plain unfair.
Like other Dancing with the Stars results shows, the audience is made to sit through an hour of “entertainment” in order to find out who will get the ax. Tuesday’s entertainment included performances by the Beach Boys and John Stamos, the DWTS pros, encore dancing from current competitors, as well as an amazing group of Haitian dancers. Just to keep the audience around, the show is interspersed with reveals about which dancers have been deemed safe to dance another day and which dancers have been put on notice.
The first announcement contained a hint of surprise in my mind when Buzz Aldrin and partner Ashly Costa were declared safe. I say a hint of surprise because I suspected that the viewing public who adores him might spare Buzz, at least initially. Hey, I adore Buzz Aldrin as much as the next gal, but let’s face it – he’s stiff and he doesn’t have the right moves. I think we can all forgive him for that, he’s 80 years old! I admire him on a number of levels, but if I could bang the gong, he’d be gone. I’m not a total monster – he wouldn’t be first to go. Pamela Anderson, who was clearly surprised, as was I, was sent to the red room to wait for her fate to be determined. Okay, this really did surprise me because I certainly wouldn’t place Pamela Anderson in the bottom two given this particular field of contestants. I get it; people are enjoying their opportunity to judge her. They think she’s an air-headed slut and they don’t want to give her a chance. This is one of the annoying things about Dancing with the Stars. Pamela Anderson may be all of those things, but she can also become a character and she can move one hell of a lot better than Buzz Aldrin or Kate Gosselin. Just sayin’.
Judge Len Goodman reviewed and gave a commentary of Dancing with the Stars week two performances where he praised Pamela Anderson for her ability to drop into character, pitied Kate Gosselin for letting her nerves get the best of her, and said that Chad Ochocinco’s “diamond in the rough” potential went down the toilet. Good of Len to sugarcoat that one.
I’m still convinced of Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough’s smoking chemistry after watching their encore performance of the Jive. Of course on Dancing with the Stars, the popularity contest will come back into play, and as vicious as voters can be, I will not be at all surprised if they ax Nicole because they can’t let go of her having an advantage over other competitors. No, Nicole isn’t just learning to dance, she showed up with moves. She is learning most of these dances for the first time just like everyone else and therefore, I don’t really believe she has much more of an advantage than Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek, who is no stranger to choreography.
The audience was treated to a performance by the Dancing with the Stars pros that was choreographed by Travis Payne and Stacy Walker, who choreographed for the late Michael Jackson. The pros let their inner sex kittens out for this performance with unbuttoned shirts on the guys and dresses that were nearly nonexistent on the women. At least one of those dresses looked as if it was made of tinsel from a Christmas tree and provided about as much coverage. It was a pretty cool performance as these things go.
Just to kill more time, former contestant Adam Corolla came out and attempted to tickle everyone’s funny bone. I don’t know, it didn’t really work for me, but it was more filler and burned up the necessary minutes I suppose. Just for good measure, we learned that Edyta Sliwinska and Aiden Turner as well as Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel would dance again next week.
The Dancing with the Stars pros shimmied to an anemic performance by the Beach Boys in which John Stamos was a guest drummer. I say it was anemic because lead singer Mike Love seemed to be struggling a bit with his voice. It’s possible this was equipment-related, so I don’t really think it reflected poorly on the band overall. More fringe, more skin, more minutes burned from the chop clock.
I could have totally done without “The Len Commandments” where judge Len Goodman came out and preached about stealing choreography. Can you say time killer? I yearned for someone with a hook to come and yank him off stage as it’s done in Harlem. If only, right?
We continued to learn the fate of other pairs as Pamela Anderson baked beneath the red light in the red room. We learned unsurprisingly that Jake Pavelka and partner Chelsie Hightower would be spared along with first place contestants Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough.
A truly moving tribute to the people of Haiti followed next. Given the statistics surrounding the January 12 earthquake, it was a sobering reminder of what the people of Haiti have been through and what they continue to go through. Some Haitian dancers shared their personal and heart-wrenching stories in a reminder to everyone of how precious life is and how fleeting it can be. One of the dancers was a father who had lost his young son during the earthquake and he was both beautiful and courageous when he shared that the gift he has to offer to the people of Haiti is hope. He said he honors the memory of his young son by finding the courage to be happy inside and having hope for the future of Haiti. They asked that we not forget them and that we help if we are able and if you would like to be a part of that, please visit the Web site.
Receiving the information that Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were safe was no great surprise and Bengals star Chad Ochocinco and partner Cheryl Burke narrowly escaped the ax as well. After all of the waiting and “entertainment,” it came down to Pamela Anderson, Shannen Doherty, and Kate Gosselin. In the end, it was Shannen Doherty who got the ax. Really? It’s that popularity element again, it managed to save Kate Gosselin, who was an absolute train wreck during her performance this week. Again, if I could have banged the gong, Kate would have been gone and the show would have been over in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
While Shannen Doherty has been a rather colorful character, which no doubt contributed to her being voted off Dancing with the Stars, it can’t be denied that her heart was in the right place this time around. She was on DWTS because her father loves the show and he is recovering from a stroke. She declared her experience a success with class when she said that seeing her father’s proud face had filled her with a feeling of thankfulness. As it turns out, Shannen’s partner Mark Ballas injured his knee and would have been sidelined for at least the next six weeks anyway. Shannen shrugged it off as fate as her proud father watched sadly from the audience. I think that Shannen proved that she’s more than just a mean girl. She’s a caring daughter, which apparently disproves my theory from the 90s that she wasn’t even human.
While Tuesday’s show had its worthwhile moments, Dancing with the Stars may want to work on their time-killing strategy for the next elimination show. Let’s all pray that it doesn’t include an encore dance involving Kate Gosselin. I hope you are happy voters; Kate will now stick around to butcher at least a few more dances. Oh joy.
Sources: Dancing with the Stars – ABC TV