By the third week of "Dancing with the Stars," the mustard starts to get separated from the mayo, the meat from the ribs, the wheat from the chaff...All of which means in plain old non-cliched English: Solid trends have emerged.
And this season, those are...Sabrina's by far the best dancer; Helio's the best male; and the women, or one of them anyway, are clearly primed to take the big award home.
But the devil's in the details - in this case, the voting - and there's clearly no accounting for the taste of the American public. Oh sure, Jane Seymour gets a huge sympathy vote, but will Wayne Newton get a huge sympathy vote for entirely different reasons? Cameron Mathison remains flat of foot but someone out there is voting, so will he be safe for another week? Let's get to the quickie analysis, but first an apology - I missed Marie Osmond's performance (technical problems of my own making) so I have to pass on her. Feel free to enlighten me.
Sabrina Bryan: Come on! Who's kidding whom? Only a broken heel (and check out those heels) will topple her. A seeezmic event, said Bruno, and I have to agree. It WAS seezmic. I can't imagine how it looks from the studio audience vantage-point, but the TV screen (she jived) was a blur of limbs and torsos; Sabs is, in fact, good TV, and really the only dancer who provides such week after week.
Cameron Mathison: Said he'd "blow the judges away" this week, but no can do, Cam. His tango - a ridiculous dance anyway - was boring, boring, and more boring (and his placement after Sabs really hurt.) Still, the generous judges gave him nice marks, which may provide a protective cocoon tomorrow.
Mark Cuban: Maybe Billionaire Guy is starting to feel the pain of that replaced hip - any normal human would, after all - and he seemed to lose the infectious enthusiasm that he usually brings to this affair. He looked almost dainty out there, as he tiptoed his way through the jive, and – though I'm not certain about this - I don't think you're supposed to tiptoe the jive. He's suddenly vulnerable.
Jennie Garth: Man, what is it with the tango that brings out the hammiest, hokiest acting chops in people? With all those exaggerated head swings and leg pumps, it was almost like a comedy routine. But get past the laughs - unintentional though they may be - and this was Garth's best night so far.
Mel B Brown: Again, the jive, and partner Maksim was superlative, which made Scary look a lot less than superlative for much of this routine. But they ended with this funky arm-twisting routine that brought it all home. So another good night for Scary.
Wayne Newton: Vegas Man claimed he had a "breaththrough" with the tango, but a breakthrough to where? The comedy circuit? What an unbelievably silly night, with that fake pony tail and 'stache, and those starchy twists and turns. This was more "Saturday Night Live" than "DWTS." Cheryl Burke, meanwhile, was not smiling.
Floyd Mayweather: No, ummm, knock out performance last night. His footwork seemed off, almost like he put lead weights in his shoes, and he seemed at half-speed compared to his pro. And for whatever reason, he seemed preoccupied, as though his head was someplace else. (Maybe that big impending fight - his day job, after all?)
Jane Seymour: Well, of course, the judges loved it. What are they going to say? Jane's mom dies...she goes to England to the funeral...and STILL has the professionalism, pride and presence of mind to keep working on her dance routine? They all gave her nines, and the only way to explain that, in a word, is "sympathy." I thought the routine - again, the tango - was over baked.
Helio Castroneves: 'Neves twisted his ankle beforehand, so no one expected miracles, and no one got any. Nevertheless, I thought he was very good; he's the most entertaining of all the dancers, and fun to look at even when he's off. The judges hammered him, but I say 'Neves has - or deserves – the best chance of any guy to get through to the final lap.