‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: With all due respect
On last night’s Dancing With the Stars extra value meal of a results show, we saluted eyebrow-y Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley for the last time…until next Tuesday, when everyone will return because it’s in their contracts! Cody’s ouster certainly came as no surprise, even to Warren Sapp, Cody’s ”still in jeopardy” co-captive, who gamely acted shocked for a split second after the announcement, then went back to having no cares in the world beyond how tightly the sequins will be sewn onto his shirt for next week’s freestyle. If he even wears a shirt! Sorry about that. Cody and Julianne looked way more adorable in those military costumes when the outfits weren’t clashing with their weird paso doble and an atrocious song choice, so I was glad they got some decent farewell screen time before my DVR’s random 10:02 p.m. cutoff. Best place to press pause all evening? When Cody and Julianne were hugging in two different places (and two different times!) at the end of Cody’s ”Memories” package. Well, that was almost the best place to pause. You can see its closest competition in the video player on the next page.
For once, Tom’s sensationalistic opening line — ”It’s our biggest results show ever” — was actually true! Case in point: Aretha Franklin shuffled on over to the ballroom to perform two classic songs. I’ll get to those in a sec, but I just have to point out how psyched I was that Bejeweled Forehead Singer Lady, one of my favorite forces of DWTS nurture, looked positively giddy to be singing backup for Aretha. So that’s why she’d donned a giant eagle-like sparkle structure on her face this week in addition to her usual diamond doily. For ”Chain of Fools,” Louis and Anna returned to dance with a tragically be-wigged Karina and a newcomer: the ever-dashing Dmitry Chaplin from season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance. As a former student of Louis and current proponent of baring his chest, this fine specimen fits right in to DWTS. Please, show, put him on season 8. He’s so tall!
The hits kept coming: Aretha sang again, and out of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for ”the greatest singer of all time” (according Tom), shiny happy Mark Ballas and season 6 winner Kristi Yamaguchi gave Aretha some ample solo time before flying out of the gates with some killer figure skating lifts in just their first few seconds of dancing. Kristi looked fantastic for not being ”in training” at the moment, and I sadly realized that — in terms of her signature, completely mesmerizing hand flicks — you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Still, it’s not like Kristi’s dance mastery overshadows what Brooke, the ”technician” of season 7, has accomplished. They’re just different. Kristi’s super-quick and programmed, and as much as we might wonder why Brooke never seems to truly emote on the dance floor, she does seem more grounded and sensual to me than her tiny doppelgänger from last season. I’m sorry we didn’t get to see them stand side-by-side; that could have been hilarious, and I might have been shocked into submission of finishing this recap before 4 a.m. just from the sheer precision! of it all.
NEXT: Maks and Karina slow dance