It was a painful Dancing with the Stars tonight. The paso doble is one of my favorite dances. Done well, it’s sizzles with sex and passion and drama. And tonight, except for Joey, the pasos were simply disastrous. For me, all the paso dobles done on Dancing are compared to Drew Lachey’s season two paso with Cheryl Burke, performed to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It was everything a paso should be, and all the people who failed tonight should watch that to see what they did wrong. I’m thankful I have a copy of Drew and Cheryl’s dance on DVD-R because I watched it immediately after tonight’s show to cleanse my palate from the horrors I was subjected to.

Thankfully the waltzes were much better than the pasos, saving the show from being a 90-minute exercise in bad dancing.

Here are my rankings from tonight:

  • Joey came through and provided the only good paso of the evening. He deserved the high marks he got, including the 10.
  • Apolo and Julianne were magical with their waltz. It was beautiful and showed that my choice for DWTS champ for this season is very much in this game.
  • Heather and Jonathan started out with some beautiful choreography and performed it great. The one foot spin simply looked marvelous. I realize she felt uncomfortable acting the dance, but she pulled it off very well.
  • Ian and Cheryl also delivered magic in the waltz. The judges were hard on Ian for reasons I couldn’t spot as a home viewer. I thought it was very good. (I can’t wait to see what Cheryl does with him in the paso, which we should see soon.)
  • Billy Ray was a stunner that he pulled off the second best paso of the night. It had a lot of errors, but he went for it and worked on bringing the passion and the drama to it. Karina took her frustration and turned it into a respectable dance.

These next three are really all tied for just above the bottom:

  • Clyde’s waltz with just plain dull, no two ways about that. I realize that his fan base means we’re stuck with him for a few more weeks. He either needs to step up, or he needs to be sent home. Enough is enough with the dull.
  • John and Edyta once again failed to deliver at least a good performance with their dance. I’m not sure why he’s regressing so. I’m also ready for him to step up or go home.
  • Leeza was painful. She keeps being told to let go and she just won’t do it, thus making uninspired dances.

I reserve the bottom this week for the massive disappointment that was…

  • Laila. She’s such a strong woman and Maks is such a strong choreographer that I had very high expectations. All hopes were dashed in a dance that barely seemed classifiable as a paso doble–no passion, no drama, no sizzle. If I had the ability, I would send her home now because she’s just not living up to her full potential. She started the competition so strong and is just failing to live up to that.

As for who is leaving… Realistically, I don’t think we’ll see Laila in the bottom two, even though she deserves to get the warning of what it’s like to stand in the red light of hell. Bottom two will be John and Leeza (even though Clyde has the lowest judges score, that NBA fan base will save him). Leeza will go home.

Post Results Show Update: How cool was that? Ask where Drew Lachey is and he shows up the next night! Drew did a great dance as a part of the professional accompaniment to a number from Big & Rich. It was great to see Drew back, and doing a riff on his freestyle from Season 2 (please come back). Once again, I got the bottom two right, as well as Leeza making her departure (I’m four for four now!). Next week its the Rumba and the Samba as the competition crosses the halfway point.