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'Dancing With the Stars': It's getting hairy

May 14, 2007 |  8:06 pm

For the semifinals, who would have thought a few hairstyles could have made such an impact?

Ian500 A few weeks ago, a certain critic had a thought when it came to Ian Ziering’s general weakness. He was too…blond. This, after all, might have been also what prevented him from being the sex symbol on “Beverly Hills, 90210” — a flaxen, grinning, curly-haired Steve Sanders type couldn’t hold a candle to a smoldering Dylan or a soulful Brandon. But what could being blond have to do with dancing ability or personality on “Dancing With the Stars”? The theory was summarily dismissed as being ridiculous.

Well, perhaps it should have been proposed earlier so that that certain critic wouldn’t look like it was something conveniently made up for this week’s episode, because once Ian covered up his fuzzy blondness with his ridiculous shining black Elvis pompadour, the real talent came through, and so did a perfect score. Maybe the wig allowed him to play more of a character on the dance floor for his second dance, or maybe he was infused with the spirit of the King, but finally he loosened up and let forth a natural looking, fun performance.

Then, on the other end of the scale, Apolo Anton Ohno seemed to have trimmed his longish (but not dirty hippie long) signature locks, and what happened?

A cha cha cha-ing sex maniac was released on the floor to Salt n’ Pepa’s “Push It” (although can anybody resist letting their animal side out when that song comes on?) While Apolo and his partner, Julianne Hough, have appeared a little too cute and sweet to pull off some of the dances that seem to require a bit more grit and sensuality, judge Len Goodman proclaimed the whole thing to be in poor taste.  It makes one wonder what would happen if (when? please?) Apolo shaves off that thing on his chin.

And then, speaking of which, Len, from a follicular galaxy far far away, put on his dancing shoes to show the kids how it was done as he personally coached each couple. While Carrie Ann Inabo usually carries the title of “The Hot Judge,” once Len kicked up his heels on the dance floor, it was clear who the real hot stuff was.

Stop hiding your light behind that desk, Len!

This certainly is an entertaining semifinals — if the fans are on top of things, the finals should reflect the leader board. Laila Ali deserves credit for pulling more than her share as the remaining female in the group (and if not that, a hilarious romantic comedy with Maksim Chmerkovskiy along the lines of “The Cutting Edge,” about two strong willed athletes who learn to come together in more ways than one).

And if Joey Fatone ends up in the bottom two again, he clearly will start putting himself in harms way performing even more outlandish stunts to curry the audience’s favor.

(Photo courtesy ABC)