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Dancing with the Stars recap: Doing the Ham Jive

In a night of tangos and jives, the celebrities learn the importance of acting, and the musical choices revert to their usual wackiness

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Priscilla Louis

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

”DWTS” recap: Acting good

As you know, on Dancing With the Stars, once the votes are read, the decision is final. I’ll go tally the votes.

No! Wrong show, Annie. Survivor host Jeff Probst was confused, too, having strolled off the island and into the giant speck of hallucinogenic fairy dust that constitutes the Dancing With the Stars universe. His ”emergency” bit in which he covered for a coughing Tom Bergeron was funny, but nothing compared to the Probster’s defining career achievement: listing his favorite Hall and Oates videos on EW.com. But I’ll take him over some ABC seat filler, there to represent a show no one cares about, any night.

Why am I giving so much attention to Tom’s rival for Best Reality Show Host when there are so many horrible week 3 song choices to discuss? I got at least a minute into Kristi and Mark’s tango thinking, ”These laughable lyrics sound really familiar,” before realizing the music was intended to resemble Duran Duran’s ”Rio.” The season 6 song-dance pairings have been on the whole a lot less bizarre than in the past, so way to go, show: This episodewas a true return to form. Not to mention the vicious butchering of ”Goody Two Shoes” and ”You May Be Right” and a woeful interpretation of ”El Tango de Roxanne,” from Moulin Rouge, that was only effective in that it provided a fun lightbulb moment as I realized that was why Karina was wearing hooker boots. (Oh, lighten up, I have similar shoes, too.)

But let’s get down to business. Here’s how our bedazzled bravehearts fared in last night’s tangos and jives:

Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark: 27 out of a possible 30 The judges dissed the Kris, then stuck her on top again. Huh? We already know Kristi’s a good dancer; that passionless tango could have been a good chance for the judges to not give her three 9’s. Just sayin’. I’ll trust Bruno that Kristi and Mark’s dance was technically spot-on as usual, because to be honest I couldn’t stop fixating on Kristi’s glued-on curlicue bangs and Mark’s intermittent open-mouth gapes the whole time. Maybe Mark was confused and thought he was supposed to be playing a guppy, or this chick from the ”Rio” video. (Or the guy who’s snorkeling, I guess. My linked example just seemed more in the DWTS spirit.) When their segment was over, I had no desire to rewatch the dance. Instead, I worried about what next week’s rehearsal-package field trip will be, since Kristi and Mark already used their Useless Acting Coach card this week.

Priscilla Presley and Louis: 26/30 Priscilla continues to shock us by establishing herself as a serious contender. Her tango was nowhere near as quick as Kristi’s, but the judges raved about the chemistry between Priscilla and Louis and how convincing P.P. was at playing her role in the tango, ”the actor’s dance.” Indeed, they found her and Louis’ face groping right at the beginning of their dance especially convincing. I thought it was hilarious that after all three judges praised her acting skills, Priscilla said to Sam, ”I’m not a performer.” Also loved Len’s comment to Louis, ”Don’t touch what you can’t afford, sunshine,” but I’m hoping the judges won’t use the word ”cougar” every week. (Boo, Bruno.) They’re otherwise doing a great job of not making Priscilla’s arc in the show solely about her age.

Cristián de la Fuente and Cheryl: 25/30 The tasty Chilean sea bass of a man may have been scored highly this week to make up for his near-bottom placement after the premiere, but I thought his jive was fun, if a bit crazy and off balance. Cheryl’s turquoise fringe and Cristián’s zebra-printed collar helped, as did what I thought was a funny song choice for them, Queen’s ”Don’t Stop Me Now.” Lines like ”I’m having a ball” and ”I’m jiving at the speed of light” (cute, improvised from ”trav’ling”) were, like, totally appropriate for this dance! If the end of that sentence sounded annoying, I was typing it while making Cristián’s crazy-eyed mid-dance facial expression, which may need to be toned down a bit. Cristián seemed much more at ease in his natural aquatic habitat with that sea lion named Clyde (who, for the record, was a much-better-dancing Clyde than season 3’s Drexler), so next week the tasty Chilean sea bass should just imagine himself back at Sea World/home.

NEXT: Heavy breathing