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Dancing with the Stars recap: Return of the Maks

Plenty of absentee pros come back for Len’s Side-by-Side Challenge. Let the Argentine Tang-bro begin!

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Dwts Recap

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

Pump up the world! Our long-lost Maks — along with Anna, Tony, Chelsie, and Tristan — returned for Len’s Side-by-Side Challenge. This is his show, so it makes sense that Maks would want to participate eventually. Two come-hither eyebrow-slicks inches away from the camera…. and we’re off!

As two versions of Len Goodman (who’d been split by a lightning bolt) outlined for us Amazing Race-style, complete with throbbing orchestral background music, the nine remaining couples would have to watch two pros begin the routine with way better technique than they could ever hope to achieve. Then they’d dance alongside the pros, and then they’d complete a normal-length routine on their own. So these were SUPERSIZE dances, which was awesome. And at the midpoint of the season, having the guest pros’ perspectives was so useful — and a welcome relief for all these old married couples suffering from bedazzled-cabin fever. The more pros, the better! In general.

I was in the ballroom tonight for the first time this season, sitting just under the stairs to the right of the celebriquarium. And wouldn’t you know it — the first Sparkalien to enter my section of glitter-infused Planet Mirrorballus atmosphere was Mr. Sex on a Stick himself! At first I thought it was just some weird guy, pouring water onto the floor for no reason, but then it hit me — THAT WAS MAKS, preparing his red-carpet (appropriate!) starting point for the incredible “Don’t Stop the Party” group number. I awkwardly hugged him hello (hoping some of his magnificent tan would rub off and co-mingle with my tan), then proceeded to silently stalk him via Instagram like a total creep during his one moment of peace.

maks from seat

To stop the party or not to stop the party? That is the question. –Contemplative Maks

Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 29/30 First 10s of the season! But can we just talk about Anna and Maks for a sec? I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them Argentine tango before — I’ve never seen something so fluid yet full of tension, and POWER. They’re fantastic together. Those spins! Are you kidding? At many points they were whirling around as one unit so effortlessly that it was like she was stuck to him by only her face. Incredible. But this is supposed to be about Zendaya.

Anna’s “how to be a woman” lessons with the Disney star worked! The 16-year-old managed to not exude “Eww, icky old man” during the A.T., but aside from that, Zendaya and Val were technically just way ahead of the rest of the pack. Some of those spins were just beyond possible — was that a ‘Z’ for Zendaya we saw via the aerial view? — and I gasped when she twisted her whole body while lowered halfway to the ground in a split second like it was nothing.

Len got all Bruno-y in his praise of the teen. “Sharp and tangy on the top, crispy and tasty down below.” Nope, nothin’ weird about that! Desserts are the best. Right?

All I know for sure is that we will always have this:

The Argentine Tang-bro. 2013, metallic on gem (man on man, yellow tank on blue).

NEXT: Is Jacoby Jones made of rubber?