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Reality Check: The Ebb and Flow of 'Dancing With the Stars'

It flowed, then it splattered a bit, then it flowed again.

While I'm paraphrasing judge Len Goodman's assessment of one of the "Dancing with the Stars" dances, it could very well also be used to describe Monday night's show.

After receiving a posture lesson from an etiquette teacher, Spice Girl Mel B provided flow with a sharp quick step.

And no one is more surprised than me to report that Mark Cuban continued the flow with his mambo. Sure, I had a moment of hating the guy when we got a quick shot of his private plane, but he was so enthusiastic and determined — and wore potentially the least manly all-black, short-sleeved and tight pants combo I've ever seen, thereby getting even more of my respect — that I couldn't help but root for the Dallas Mavericks owner and film producer.

Splattering came in the form of Wayne Newton, whose charm and sweetness couldn't hide the fact that dancing isn't the guy's forte. And I have to hand it to the judges, who didn't allow their respect for Newton's Vegas cred to influence their scoring (they handed out an almost unheard-of trio of fives).

Then came Marie Osmond who, for all the praise the judges lavished on her, was a bit splattery for me. Part of it was the fact that her partner Jonathan Roberts splattered his hands all over her breasts in their opening move.

The flow started back up in earnest when Helio Castroneves took the stage.

While it may seem radical to declare a winner this early in the season, I'm going to go out there and say that this is Helio's show to lose. His quick step with Julianne Hough actually looked more like two professional dancers than it did a professional carrying the weight for a celebrity who only learned to dance the week before.

And he also seemed to realize that splattering a constant grin on your face earns you more points than cutting off Dario in the third turn.

Sabrina Bryan's quick step also rocked the house, but it was just a tad less impressive — about 1 point less, according to the judges' scores — than Helio's.

And what can be said about the results show? Well, Jennie Garth's dress gaffe was apparently entirely forgivable, but being a model was not. The actively anti-beautiful people viewing audience got rid of Josie Moran last week and Albert Reed this time around.

What does it all mean? Well, age seems to come before beauty in this competition. And what could be more against the flow than that?

Anna David is a freelance writer. Her novel, "Party Girl," is in stores now.