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'Dancing With the Stars': Bruno said it best

November 27, 2007 |  9:52 am


"Baby Jane" and "Bride of Chucky" were the terms judge Bruno Tonioli used to describe Marie Osmond's terrifying freestyle dance last night. The snarkiest blogger couldn't have put it better. Adult women dressing as little girls, let alone little-girl dolls, is creepy, even if you think it somehow is justified by her selling a line of collector dolls.

It's hard even to list the other reasons Marie should not win "Dancing With the Stars," because the image of her freestyle dance so seared the brain. But another good basis was her excuse/plea of "I'm almost 50!" The competition at this point is about dancing, not about who had the hardest time out there. If that were the case, race car driver Helio Castroneves might as well have yelled, "I have no dance experience!" each time he received his scores, or Spice Girl Mel B. should have complained after each dance that it was tough training in the midst of her group's comeback. 

That said, who between Helio and Mel should win? It might just come down to personal preference. Mel is probably the better technical dancer, but Helio's total transformation should be called into play. Helio's freestyle dance was flashy and joyous, although he may have had an advantage with his teeny partner, Julianne Hough, flipping all over the place. Mel's hip-hop freestyle was also fun, but she was a little overshadowed by her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, as he brought a hunkiness to hip-hop that contrasted with Apolo Anton Ohno's boyish freestyle routine last season. 

The judges commented that where Mel had the technical chops, Helio was skilled and had personality onstage. Mel certainly isn't without personality, however -- after all, she was known in the Spice Girls for being one of the more outrageous, outspoken ones. Both Helio and Mel also have the benefit of being paired with two of the standout professionals in the group: Julianne is a charming hard worker who won last season with Ohno, and Maks, who came in third last season with Laila Ali, definitely wants to see his hard work pay off.

The winner should be Helio or Mel, depending on whether America fell more for a Brazilian charmer or a saucy British lass. Those who wanted to support Marie, one hopes, opted to buy one of her dolls instead of voting for her in the competition.

-- Claire Zulkey

(Photo courtesy ABC)