Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff: 24/30 Much like Elizabeth and Val's routine, Corbin and Karina's contemporary was full of sharp transitions and major lifts -- but this one was on overdrive. Karina has finally met her match in someone crazier and more into risk-taking than she is. It was so weird to see her in those "heeled bare feet," by the way. Unsettling, really, if I'm being honest. I just imagine her as arriving in heels for all required tasks, like any decent ballroom Barbie. (I should be more concerned about her shaking hands!)
I'm not sure why Corbin, who seems to have a handle on both the attitude and the footwork, is nervous about next week's jive. If he's really up for anything, I bet he'll be great at that.
Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke 23/30 Man, these dances were short tonight! And if the camera crew keeps trying to relocate Waldo in her various hiding spots (the makeup chair, the sad, barren "rehearsal space," "outside"?!) I suspect they won't be getting any longer. Anyway, I wanted to see more of Jack and Cheryl's foxtrot, which featured a rather regal Jack with good posture, Cheryl's belly button as a blatantly showcased gem, and a loving closeup of J. Lo at the end. Plus, Ozzy and Sharon were both crying in the front row. Well, Sharon definitely was. Ozzy was hunched over in his signature state of amused agony. Damn these Osbournes, really. I always end up enjoying them.
Jack's here, following in his sister Kelly's footsteps (she placed third on season 9) to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis. He's gone blind in one eye before and his legs went numb for three months. So basically there is no guarantee that any of these contestants will show up the next day. Injury (always a threat) and pre-established illness loom at every corner. Season 17 is just going for it.
Snooki & Sasha Farber: 23/30 These people are tiny! Tom Bergeron, at a staggering 5'9", has never felt taller. I wonder if he'll deliberately sidle up to them in group shots to make the feeling last. I've got my eye on you, Bergeron! (Unfortunately so does the camera at all times so he's not allowed to do that.)
I was prepared to rip on Snooki because she's been so obnoxious in the past. But we all know the best place to re-birth yourself in the public sphere once you've hit rock bottom is on the most bedazzled rock in history in an alternate universe called the Glitter Galaxy. Snooki might still be a piece of trash, but now that she's on DWTS, she's like one of my pieces of trash, you know? And I love my garbage. I will guard it fiercely, sometimes for days.
This cha cha could have been sharper and Snooki sure is a wobbly one. But I really like how -- unlike much of this cast -- she's not already a great dancer. The girl falls constantly! And she takes pride in it. She and mighty mite Sasha could have a really memorable partnership with a lot of improvement. From trash to flash and then more trash -- isn't that what this show is all about?
NEXT: If Bruno Tonioli apologizes for being creepy, you must be a special kind of hot