'Dancing With the Stars' recap: Premature paso
Paso night. Already?! Usually I need a few weeks to mentally and emotionally prepare for the high-quality HD pleasure of seeing half the Dancing With the Stars contestants sheathed in spangly pleather. I consider a lengthy list of factors, including but not limited to butt size, general stage presence, and those mysterious things the judges call ''lines.'' I don't even have to know what lines are to know that they're important to the paso. I'm kidding. I know what lines are. You better not cross 'em! (What?)
Since the paso and the rumba are the two most difficult DWTS dances to really sell, I'd have much preferred it if paso-rumba night had fallen a little later — you know, after the celebs had somewhat shed that freaked-out ''Holy s---, I'm ballroom dancing'' vibe out of their systems. After all, as the ever-vocab-generating Tom pointed out to Warren Sapp, ''It's hard to be spandextrous.'' Then again, why wait? If Warren's that proud of his sequined pleather bathrobe on week 2, I wouldn't want to deny him the (apparently sexual) pleasure of such a costume for another second. And for a few pairs, the dances actually worked — along with Brooke, the big ol' Sapp finished the night on top. Here we go....
Warren Sapp and Kym: 24 out of possible 30 After a long 90 minutes of so-so, unconfident performances, Warren and Kym's Matrix-style paso was just the red pill I wanted to swallow. In fact, I wish these two could have stopped time and fixed the little flaws in the matrix of the entire episode. They could have avoided their own pleather-induced wardrobe malfunction, not to mention dosed Misty with a muscle relaxer and deleted Kim Kardashian altogether. You know, just the essentials.
Brooke Burke and Derek: 24/30 Brooke did appear hyper-focused on every single move during her paso doble, but given the ridiculous time constraints and difficulty of the week, everyone who looked terrified deserves a pass. I loved watching Brooke and Derek when the camera caught both of their full bodies — especially the dramatic skirt and cape work Derek threw in. Not to mention, they both looked so damn hot. Carrie Ann complained about their lack of connection, but all three judges raved about Brooke's technique. And I'm with Tom: That music made me want to buy jewelry, too. ''I'm in the market for a necklace. Do you have anything in fringe?''
Toni Braxton and Alec: 23/30 Turn down the lights, turn down the bed, turn down these voices inside my head that tell me it's okay to keep focusing on Toni's ''outtie'' belly button instead of her rumba technique! Whew! Now that that's ''out'' of the way, I thought Toni and Alec's rumba had the most chemistry tonight, even if Toni herself is a bit forgettable in person. We'll see if she makes more of an impression when (if!) she doesn't perform first. I love seeing Alec back in competition mode after so many early exits in past seasons. His karaoke performance, though awful, did delight me in being so supremely awful that it's replaced my own version of ''I Am the Walrus'' as my new ''low'' standard for the non-sport. Side note: Hi, Edyta! XOXO.
NEXT: Superman returns!