"Dancing with the Stars" Recap: Season 11, Week 3

It's week three of "Dancing with the Stars," and we're feeling...underwhelmed. Don't get us wrong: There are plenty of personalities we love this season--the ever-sweet Flo! the kooky Margaret! the pinch-his-cheeks-cute Kyle!--but when it comes to the dancing itself, our overall reaction has been a big fat "meh." We miss Nicole's ridiculous pyrotechnics, Cheryl & Chad's chemistry--there isn't even a serious disaster (ahem, Kate) out there to love to hate.

Sigh, shrug, so it is. We guess we were extra disappointed this time around because it's story week, which is usually a pretty darn good time. But almost nobody had a fairytale night on the floor.

Jennifer and Derek got the episode off to a promising start with their "hot for teacher" samba. We don't know what was up with Jennifer's crazy be-fringed pants, but we thought she did a credible job as the "sexy mistress of cougartown's academy of samba" (thank you, Bruno). There were a couple of slips--or "little twiddly bits," as Len called them--at the beginning, but Derek adorably pulled Jennifer back onto the floor during the judging session to prove that they could nail those moves. Nobody puts Jennifer in a corner!

Florence and Corky's waltz to "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music was a sweet tribute: Flo once played Maria in the touring version of the musical. Though she looked a tad uncertain of her steps at times, she captured the lovely, floaty feel of the waltz. And WHOA, MAKEOUT ALERT at the end there!! Where did that come from? Ow ow.

Kurt and Anna are the. cutest. ever. First, we think Kurt's ridiculously adorable daughters just might win him the show if they keep making cameos ("Pinky up, Daddy!"). Second, Kurt has this amazing natural charisma that camouflages his serious technical deficiencies. His foxtrot with Anna--the premise being that she's having a bad day and he's trying to lift her spirits--made us grin from ear to ear, even though we couldn't tell what Kurt's feet were doing half the time. You can cheer us up anytime, Mr. Warner!

OK. Margaret and Louis' over-the-top samba. We're all about gay rights, we loved the rainbow dress, and we're glad that Margaret was so excited about this dance--which was, as she said, "the gayest thing that has ever happened"--but oof, the dancing itself was a big ol' mess. Margaret looked like she was having a fantastic time, but she kept getting lost in the choreography and messing up her timing. And holy headdress, lady!

The judges raved about Audrina and Tony's waltz, which got the high score of the night. We liked the idea--Tony was a marine on duty who "returned home" to Audrina in a dream--and Audrina got through the choreography OK. But oh man, those eyes of hers. They're so...dead. It never seemed like she was really connecting to the music, or the story. Is there anything going on in that purty little head of yours, Audrina?

It's mean, but true: We can't get over Miss Palin's resemblance to Miss Piggy. Bristol's foxtrot with Mark was strange--he's a homeless guy? who does hip hop? and for some reason she's in a ballgown and decides to dance with him?--and while the dancing was, er, fine, Bristol had this weird grimace of a smile pasted on the whole time that only made her look more Muppet-y. Also: Don't tease us, "DWTS." When you say that a couple will be dancing to "Just the Way You Are," WE EXPECT TO HEAR SOME BILLY JOEL. Got it? Thanks.

On a related note: When Brandy and Maks announced that they'd be doing a samba and telling a story inspired by The Bodyguard, our first thought was: Please, oh please, tell us there's some Latin remix of "I Will Always Love You." Sadly, there isn't--and sadly, the dancing let us down, too. We love that Brandy actually sang at the beginning--girl's got some pipes--and she can definitely shake it. But once the hardcore ballroom steps kicked in, she looked lost, and started carrying tension in her hands. Also, not sure we would ever have guessed that this routine was Bodyguard-themed if they hadn't, you know, told us it was.

Kyle and Lacey are our hands-down favorites right now. He's such a teddy bear, and while we knew he was a funnyman, this week he proved he has a soft, lyrical side, too. As a boy falling in love with a waitress at a coffee shop, Kyle was surprisingly light on his feet. We were shocked when he scored lower than both Audrina and Tony and Jennifer and Derek. C'mon now, judges!

Though The Situation is far from a natural dancer, he's so sweetly earnest about this competition that we can't help but root for him. Underneath all the posturing, he's gotta be a big softy. Sadly, even his most sincere efforts couldn't save his bizarre "time machine" foxtrot with Karina. The whole pace of the dance seemed slow, and because there was so much time between each step, you could see poor Mikey totally overthinking everything. Let's hope he avoids an "elimination situation" this week!

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke closed the show with a steamy samba. The story idea was weak--Rick lost his team the game, we think, and Cheryl the Bartender/Stripper tried to cheer him up? or something--but Rick has some moves, and he pretty much got the choreo. Bonus points for Rick's AMAZING "samba face," which is the funniest thing ever. Note to the costumers, though: Rick's a good-looking dude, but his abs aren't his, uh, best feature. Leave the open-shirt look to The Situation.

So, who's going home tonight? Has Margaret shimmied through her last samba? Will Bristol live to foxtrot another day? Check back tomorrow for our recap of the results show--featuring one Mr. Michael Bolton as the guest performer! Bound to be interesting...

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