— The ballroom got busy Monday night as “Dancing With the Stars” featured two of the most upbeat and unforgiving dances to ever hit the stage. In dueling quicksteps and jives, the stars (along with Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Audrina Patridge — snap!) showed what a difference a week made.
But who cares about that? It may be a dancing show, but this week the big action wasn’t about the moves or even the quasi-stars. (Hey, Bristol Palin!) This week the competition turned its focus to a complete non-dancer. (Hey, Bristol Palin’s mom!)
Yes, Sarah Palin received more off-the-floor camera time than any other celeb in sight. From stage-side commentary to back-home video, the elder Palin stole the spotlight, and from the sound of things, not everyone appreciated it.
Or not. It’s hard to say for sure, but it seemed as though members of the audience banded together for a few big boos. The only question is whether or not they were really aimed at the “Mama Grizzly” or at the judges.
The confusion came shortly after the competition’s clear front-runner, Jennifer Grey, wowed the crowd for the second week in a row with jive that proved her Viennese waltz was no fluke. The actress can dance. The fact that she can pull off an up-tempo, almost flub-free jumping routine at 50 years old and with a metal plate in her neck just makes it all the more impressive. It was worth every one of the 24 points head judge Len Goodman and his pals on the panel gave her — maybe even more.
A few moments after Grey got her scores, the groans came from the gallery. The actress wondered aloud what it was all about.
Cut to the former governor of Alaska seated next to host Tom Bergeron.
Were the vocal audience members bashing the judges for not giving “Baby” her ballroom due with an even higher score, or were they making a political statement? Maybe they just didn’t want any more dance-floor distractions. Politics or no, filler is filler.
Either way, booers had plenty other opportunities to have their muffled moans heard, if only they had taken them. Forget Palin Sr. and the panel. What about the younger “teen activist” Palin, who despite the rave reviews she got from judges, performed a slow and slightly dazed quickstep?
Then there was boo-worthy ballroom blunderer Michael Bolton. His “Hound Dog” jive, complete with a literal crawl from a dog house, was a huge mess. It wasn’t just the worst jive of the night. According to judge Bruno Tonioli, it was the worst jive in the history of the show — which would explain Tonioli’s use of the elusive “3” paddle. Seriously, no one has seen a three since Steve Wozniak sambaed his way to shame back in season eight.
But perhaps the best of the boos-that-might-have-been could have been aimed at co-host Brooke Burke who, in a true Samantha Harris 2.0 nonsensical moment, told a quickstep-worn 76-year-old Florence Henderson that “Everybody is so impressed with your beautiful age.” Really?