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'Dancing with the Stars' mentor week: We watch so you don't have to

By Lisa de Moraes

"Dancing with the Stars" celebrates its 200th episode with a cattle call of former competitors and a round of team dancing with team captains Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Ohno -- both Olympians.

Yamaguchi gets points for at least showing up during rehearsal of underdog Team Kristi, which consists of NBA star Rick Fox, Teen Abstinence Activist Bristol Palin, Disney star Kyle Massey and their professional dance partners.

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas scored the lowest number of points on Monday. (ABC/Adam Larkey)

Ohno, on the other hand, literally Skypes it in and only appears to show up at the end of rehearsals to give Team Apolo a cliché-riddled pep talk. "This is when you got to dig deep, stay focused," he blathers at actress Jennifer Grey, pop singer Brandy and NFL star Kurt Warner.

Team Apolo beats Team Kristi, 27 points to 24, in a cha cha to the death death.

After that, show host Tom Bergeron tells us, each of the remaining six celebrities has to reinterpret an "iconic" dance performed by this cast of memorables from seasons past:

  • Mel B
  • Emmitt Smith
  • Kelly Osbourne
  • Helio Castroneves
  • Drew Lachey
  • Gilles Marini

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer try to recreate Maks Chmerkovskiy's super-sexy paso doble with Mel B. Kyle gets an A for trying to look as sexy and arrogant as Maks. He even draws a six-pack on his abdomen, but comes off like an angry smurf.

Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya reinterpret Emmitt Smith's creaky tango as a promo for a James Bond flick with index fingers used to make pretend guns.

Bristol Palin gets to reinterpret Kelly Osbourne's Viennese waltz, which is lucky because Bristol is at her best when she's firmly in the grip of her partner Mark Ballas. Kelly tells Bristol she has big shoes to fill -- and the judges perform their weekly dance around the truth about Bristol's dancing abilities on the dance floor.

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke get stuck re-doing Helio Castroneves's banana-suited quickstep. Rick borrows a green suit from Warren Beatty's "Dick Tracy" movie and borrows Jim Carrey's funniest faces in an effort to show he was "not afraid to have fun" on the dance floor. We also learn he is dating Eliza Dushku, who likes to ride him around their house like a she's a pole dancer and he's the pole -- to Cheryl's undisguised disgust.

Brandy wants us to know how hard it is for her to fondle Maks while reinterpreting Gilles Marini's foxtrot: "I feel so shy; I don't know why," she rhymes. She settles for a little tush tap with her leopard-skin gloved fingers. She also thinks it's important for us to know how very, very hard her life has been, from which we are supposed to infer that winning this competition means so much more to her than it could possibly mean to any of the other celebrities competing.

Note to Brandy: Don't mess with a pro when it comes to dramatic acting. Jennifer Grey pulls out all the stops with clip after clip after clip from rehearsals in which she says she knows this is the end. "I want this to be a good ending," she says weepily. She also cries to her dance partner Derek Hough that "my body can't do what I'm asking it to do," adding, for good measure, "my body isn't even what it was a couple of weeks ago." This is followed by taped visit to her doctor who insists she rest every two hours. It was like watching a screen test to try out for the lead in "Camille."

Oh, and Jennifer got to tango again, recreating Drew Lachey's tango. Anything short of blowing out both her knees and dislocating her hip was going to get an abundance of love from the judges and enormous relief-applause from the audience. Sure enough, she made it through without a 911 call and emerged tied with Brandy for the most judges' points -- but the clear winner in the Drama Queen Derby.

Meanwhile, Bristol and Mark are at the bottom of the heap, point-wise, this week.

Oh, and, in case you were thinking of checking in with Fox News Channel, CNN or MSNBC on Tuesday night, Tom Bergeron wants you to know that he's got a "Dancing" results show that will feature Taylor Swift, Rod Stewart, the dancers from "Marry Poppins" -- "plus all the election news you need!"

By Lisa de Moraes  | November 1, 2010; 7:01 PM ET
Categories:  Dancing With the Stars  
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The attacks against Jennifer are unfounded. I have 2 relatives who had thyroid cancer, and the first year is a roller coaster of mood swings and horrible symptoms til they get the medication right. Plus she's 50 and probably menopausal. I say cut the woman some slack. Her arms were covered in bruises yet she still turns out a far better dance than Brandy who's almost 20 years younger.

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