‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: We got hustled
I wonder if, a few years ago, Warren Sapp could have imagined that a sexy Australian dancer babe would one day chirp at him to ”Do the hustle!” — you know, instead of a gnarly coaching staff barking gruffly at him in unison to, like, literally hustle. I bet he’d have retired a lot sooner. Last night, Dancing With the Stars introduced four new dances — the hustle, the West Coast swing, the salsa, and the jitterbug — to the ballroom. DANCMSTR Len Goodman had warned us last week that the judges would be emphasizing performance over technique. That was nice for them, but with only a half-baked explanation of the new dances from DANCMSTR, involving the footwork-unspecific terms ”oooooooooooh” and ”zowie wowie,” we viewers didn’t really know what we were looking at, or for, with these performances. (Then again, honestly…do we ever?)
Speaking of things that are baked, George Hamilton popped up in the audience, as ”sun”-kissed as ever. I hope he shared his Baked Ritz crackers with bench-bound Misty and fellow season 2 alum Stacy Keibler. In my mind, Stacy’s consistently strong performances and irresistibly long inseam still beat out those of this season’s judges’ favorite, Brooke Burke — but as Brooke is now the high scorer for the fifth week running, things could change. Let’s get to that ”leader board,” shall we?
Brooke Burke and Derek: 29 out of possible 30 Uh oh! The Hough siblings had to dance the jitterbug against each other, and neither blond bomb knew how to do it! This is so wack: Lacey got to consult sith her champion parent for the West Coast swing, while Derek had to print out ”How to Dance the Jitterbug” from the Internet. That’s, like, something I would do. And Derek and I aren’t exactly on the same ”dance level.” (It’s okay. I bet I’m better at using the Internet. Here’s one of my genius tips: Try watching a video of the dance instead.) Their jitterbug turned out fine — it was ”vigorous,” ”upbeat,” ”glamorous,” ”perfect,” ”amazing,” and plenty of other adjectives that the judges typically substitute for complete sentences when they’re running out of time. So let’s talk hair. Brooke’s clip-on bangs were about as shocking as Brooke gets, but Derek’s increasingly floppy ‘do (which boasted the Zac Efron half pony during rehearsal, along with a bevy of other methods of keeping that mop out of his face) was in rare form last night, featuring delicate curlicues shellacked into a mold that Tom correctly labeled ”a sanctuary for birds.” And, apparently, Cloris Leachman’s saliva.
Cody Linley and Julianne: 28/30 Who needs the fake Internet (seriously, Derek’s printout was such a Word document written by a producer) when you can just spy on your brother for the answers? Julianne and Cody’s jitterbug rivaled Brooke and Derek’s in energy, but in terms of charisma, this one blew Brooke out of the…brook. As the judges pointed out, the slapstick nature of the dance worked for Cody, with his endless limbs and endearing (in this case) awkwardness. I’m sure I’m not the only one who noticed the crotch-in-the-face move first not-perfected by Marie Osmond and Jonathan in their season 5 ”doll dance” freestyle. Julianne and Cody played up the crotch theme throughout, to the point where my esteemed colleague Tim Stack, who was supposed to be across the hall writing his Gossip Girl recap, commented, ”This whole routine, I feel, is about her vagina.” (There you have it: a sentence I would never type into my own recap, but totally just did.) Side note, and also an antidote to Tim: What did you think of Julianne’s choice of footwear? I personally loved that Brooke and Julianne didn’t have to wear heels for once, but then I received a detailed rundown of the show from my mother, arguing that Julianne was ”adorable, but I wish her skirt was a tad shorter and that she’d worn Mary Janes with a little heel instead of flat like that.” Whatever, Dee.
NEXT: Warren steals the show