Since we saw him last week, Aaron Carter butched it up and started growing a goatee, so that he could dance the jive to Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" while wearing a skinny tie and maroon velvet suit. And you know what? It worked. It was bizarre, energetic, compelling, and technically on point. When the judges gave out their approval, he drank it up readily, even when Len toyed with him about possibly offering a coveted 10 paddle. Their dance was the best ranked of the night out of the seven couples, but they aren't at the top spot because the Tango team won the group challenge, giving swimsuit model Joanna Krupa the highest overall score.
Last week I was creeped out by Derek's emerging sexual proclivities, and the show seized on this opportunity to make the couples' practice segment a poor attempt at a skit about Derek's romantic inclinations towards Joanna, for the sake of an authentic rumba dance, of course. They redeemed themselves during the actual dance to "Look of Love," which was perfectly sublime. It's hard to believe she is the same performer from the first couple weeks, as now she is on the warpath to winning this competition -- perhaps in defiance to those who question how her standing as a swimsuit model qualifies to makes her a 'star' -- so Donnie Osmond needs to watch his back for nabbing a slot in the top three to compete in the finals. Since it has become compulsory for me to talk about Michael Irvin, did everyone see his abs when standing backstage after the group Paso dance?!? Interviews where happening, but all I saw was his perfect six pack. I blame Len for putting ideas in my head, since he started off the show telling Michael he started out with low expectations for him in the beginning of the competition, but he phrased it as: "for the first few weeks, all I wanted to do was watch your backside."
Two more couples are going home tonight. There are still no guarantees, of course, but I would not bet on Mark making it back next week, which is sad because he was really improving, but his dance partner Lacey got sick this past week, sidelining his momentum as well. Last night he got a lot of grim polite smiles and pleasant respectful comments about his mediocre dancing that suffered because of the crisis. I am predicting Kelly and Michael will battle it out in the dance-off, which will help sustain interest during the portions of the show with Rod Stewart singing(!!), as well as the singing performance of professional dancers Derek and Mark(?!?!).
A. RAYMOND JOHNSON