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Shannon Elizabeth Report: Week 3
Shannon Elizabeth continued to surprise the judges, and probably her poker fans as well, in Week 3 of Dancing with the Stars.
She took on the jive this week, and according to her pre-dance video segment, she worked extensively on making her long legs and arms look more controlled for this fast-paced, kicky dance.
Her secret turned out to be drawing on her kickboxing experience to master the kick. She still had some coordination issues, complaining during rehearsal that she had to concentrate on keeping her legs in control or making her arm movements right, but not all at once.
As it turns out, the stint in the kickboxing arena knocking her partner around paid off for Elizabeth. As her segment ended, she said, "Champion of the ring and hopefully champion of the jive," and she needn't have worried.
Her jive was high energy and she left everything out on the dance floor. As one person in the audience put it during the results show on Tuesday, "Usually the pretty girls don't bring it like she's bringing it."
There was a noticeable improvement to her limb control. Her leg movements had much more purpose to them this time around, though her arms had some awkward moments during the dance.
The result was that Elizabeth earned rave revues from the judges. Len Goodman was even prompted to say, "I know, Shannon, that you're a poker player, but the thing with this show is there's no bluffing. What you see is what you get, and what I saw tonight was a really good jive."
The judges upped her score once again to reward her with eights this week and a total of 24 out of the 30 points. That was enough, along with the viewers' votes, to keep her in the competition. Instead it was Steve Guttenberg who got the boot.
Here's how Guttenberg and the other dancers' scores shook out after Monday's round of jives and tangos:
Marissa Jaret Winoker
The Tony-winning Broadway actress got the harshest criticism of the night, as well as the harshest scores for the night on Monday. She took on the jive, which she thought was going to be her best dance yet, but it fell flat. While she had the steps down, the judges all thought Winoker's performance lacked energy and pizzazz.
Matlin was first up on Monday night and for the first time she showed some flaws. It was still impressive to see a deaf person pick up such intricate footwork, but she had a few off-beat moments this time around that the judges were quick to point out.
Guttenberg continued his path of improvement with his tango Monday. His footwork was much cleaner, and he managed to maintain a serious performance. It could have come across as overdone, but his stern face just helped show his determination to do it right this time. At least his final dance ended up being his best dance yet.
In his video segment the Dancing with the Stars producers were already making excuses for a possible bad performance by Mario this week - highlighting his travel schedule and having to really squeeze to fit in time to dance. The premonition was correct, as Mario's tango was a bit sloppy. He still had more charisma on the dance floor than many of the other competitors and wasn't hurt too badly by the judges.
It turns out the tango was the magic charm for Carolla. He had his best dance yet this week as well, performing what was actually recognizable as a tango and keeping his comedic side contained just enough to make it work. He got good reviews from the judges in the sense that they all recognized his improvement even if they weren't blown away by his skills.
After two weeks of impressing the judges with his natural ability, Taylor didn't quite wow them with the jive this week. He hits amazing lines, but was criticized for showing some sloppiness in the dance. What's most impressive is that he was actually singing along to the music during the dance rather than counting the steps.
Cristian de la Fuente
De la Fuente performed early on Monday's show, taking the stage as the third dancer of the night. The jive was his best dance yet as he maintained fairly good posture, hit the steps just right and managed to give a high-energy, enjoyable performance. However, it seemed a bit unremarkable and perhaps only his good scores from the judges kept him in the competition this week.
Bruno Tonioli described Presley's performance best - "Priscilla Presley in the hot cougar tango!" Presley performed a very classy and classic tango that showed off her dramatic flair and nearly gave her the best score of the night.
With her tango, figure skater Yamaguchi proved once again that she doesn't have any trouble mastering footwork. However, the tango is a dance of passion, and for once it really did show on the dance floor that she's more reserved. All three judges praised her technique but faulted her for her lack of emotion on the floor. "I don't feel you when you dance," said Carrie Ann Inaba, which Tonioli followed up with, "I want you to be a dirty girl."
The remaining celebrities will be back on the dance floor Monday on Dancing with the Stars and the next elimination will take place on Tuesday. Come back Wednesday, April 9, to see if Shannon Elizabeth continues in the competition or if she'll be sent back to the poker tables.