Being called "wacko, demented" would be an insult anywhere but on Dancing with the Stars, and Joliet native/comedic actor Andy Dick seemed delighted to hear it Monday night.
Garnering 37 points from the judges for his and dance partner Sharna Burgess' jazz/Alice in Wonderland-inspired routine to Lady Gaga's Poker Face puts him about in the middle of the pack -- a marked improvement over his second-to-last debut last week.
His willingness to bring comedy to his routine this week -- portraying the Mad Hatter to Burgess' Queen of Hearts -- seemed to delight the judges, who had this to say:
Len Goodman: "I'll tell you what that was a laugh. That was really fun to watch. What I like about it is your commitment. You're not the best dancer but you come out totally committed."
Bruno Tonioli: "Outlandish and crackers ... and I loved it."
Carrie Ann Inaba: "You are so lucky jazz was your category tonight because that allowed you to be wacko, demented and nail it, and make it fantastic."
Interviewed prior to the show, Dick said he suddenly felt like he was "getting it."
"This week I feel like a veil has been lifted," he said. "I just feel different this week. I feel like I can take on anything."
There is something of the underdog about Dick that makes it hard not to pull for him, especially since he's been candid that he derailed his own career with drug and alcohol addictions that he's now fighting to overcome.
"This is the very first time where I have experienced an exorbidant amount of stress and I did not drink," he said. "You know how you jump over little hurdles, I just jumped over Everest."