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Dancing with the Stars recap: Adieu, la Lucci

Susan heads back to her day job full time, Lionel Richie heats up the ballroom, and Kenny Mayne hams it up with Jerry Rice and the DANCMSTR

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Cody Linley
Craig Sjodin/ABC

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

‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Gonna have a campy good time

Finally! A Dancing With the Stars results show that kept me alert — and often beaming — throughout the entire hour. The deserving star, Susan Lucci, received the memo to ”Hit the Road, Jack” (harsh!), with plenty of time to make a sweet, amusingly Oscar-esque speech. Then there was the Maks Factor, obviously. We also had my favorite segment DanceCenter, an excellent (and fully clothed, for once) musical guest in Lionel Richie for not one but two pro exhibitions, and a bizarre but entertaining Stars of Dance number by Dave Scott. No ballroom kids, just one useless filler segment, and very minimal backstage BS with Samantha. ‘Twas a dream, dance masters.

DanceCenter didn’t boast its finest hour, but I blame that more on this generally lackluster season than the ever-winning combination of Jerry Rice, Kenny Mayne, DANCMSTR, and rhinestones. They hit on the obvious jokes for season 7’s cast: Susan’s negligible physicality, Cody’s eyebrows, Warren’s winking habit, Brooke’s hotness. I’ll probably be calling Lance ”the Landlocked Cosmonaut” for the rest of the season. I could have lived without hearing more of DANCMSTR’s relentless fawning over Brooke — she, Lance, and Warren seemed to get the most final-three endorsement during the segment. But on a brighter note, I’m now aware of this standard, seemingly ballroom-unspecific rule: ”Your bony knob should be just behind my bony knob.” Useful. My favorite DanceCenter highlights: the seamless ad for Jerry Curl Styling Gel and Mayne’s spot-on response after DANCMSTR complained that Mayne should have no authority to knock Cody’s tango hold, having himself danced only a ”poor cha-cha” for just one week on TV: ”Yep, that’s how easy it is in this country.” Live and learn, Len!

Dave Scott’s adventures in dry ice for the Macy’s Stars of Dance number made liberal use of props — among them walking sticks, big cardboard televisions containing human heads (à la Jambi from Pee-wee’s Playhouse), and collapsible knives, which served little purpose other than to make sure the dance contained something gratuitously phallic. It was all very So You Think You Can Dance, but who am I kidding, I love that show too. I’ll take this stuff any day over a worthless segment about why the contestants should consider tapping into the occipital lobes of their brains to enhance their understanding of the fox-trot. I just made that up, but I bet ABC already has a psycho-surgical specialist on the line to be a featured expert. I’m pretty sure he has a creepy mustache.

NEXT: Maks dances on the ceiling