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Dancing with the Stars recap: A Rumba in the Jungle

The final eight couples try to rumba or jive their way to safety for another week

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DWTS Hightower Murray
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

Last night’s Dancing With the Stars halftime show featured plenty of bizarre stunts. Namely: Frantic rumbas with liberty and whiplash for all. Somber, all-black jive costumes. A self-proclaimed ”man’s man” cloaked in a form-fitting sequined lace shirt. Tom Bergeron detecting, protecting, and correcting an exposed Lil’ Kim nipple guard. The long-lost Tasty Chilean Sea Bass of a Man winking his way back into our hearts because he’ll be on Brothers & Sisters this Sunday! It was all crazy and nonsensical, DANCMSTRs, which is to say it was business as usual on our favorite televised quest for a hardened knob of glitter. Here’s how the eight remaining couples ranked after dancing either the jive or the rumba on week 6….

Lil’ Kim and Derek: 28 out of possible 30 points Their jive, cheekily set to ”Jailhouse Rock,” easily could have served as the couple’s final-three freestyle routine instead. DANCMSTR complained about the excessive theatrics, while Bruno and Carrie Ann flipped the eff out over the jive’s brilliance. ”I am guilty of love in the first degree!” wailed a begging-to-be-handcuffed Bruno, while C.A. executed one of her trademark Standing Whoops. You know Carrie Ann truly thought a performance was amazing if the next sentence out of her mouth is ”Where’d my diamonds go?” Personally, I caught some mistakes by Lil’ Kim on my first watch and couldn’t understand the 10s, but on my second try, I was pretty much in awe of Derek’s clever choreography and completely ridiculous hair. Considering this was Lil’ Kim, the theme was ”prison,” and the rehearsal segment featured fried food, this couple’s ”jive” might be one of my favorite DWTS performances, ever. But was it worthy of 10s? Nah. Did anyone else nearly taste those chocolate shakes through their TVs and then die a little inside upon the realization that there’s about a 2% chance Lil’ Kim and Derek actually drank them?

Melissa Rycroft and Tony: 27/30 I love Easter (candy), but even I could not get behind this couple’s Easter Bunny pink-and-yellow ”gradient effect” costumes. I kept expecting them to ditch the rumba and hunt for eggs in the nooks and crannies of the judges’ desk. (In your dreams, Bruno!) Their rumba was technically precise, but DANCMSTR hit it on the head (bopped Little Bunny Foo Foo on the head? Okay, enough) with his suggestion that Melissa ”could be a bit more earthy.” Despite the progress in emotional depth that Tony insisted she’d made over the weeks, Melissa’s performance felt pretty flat to me. Maybe I was too focused on the half-baked Beyoncé impression assaulting my ears. ”If I Was a Boy” did seem lyrically appropriate for Melissa, at least. I kept imagining how she might improvise the lines: ”If I Was a Boy…they probably wouldn’t enhance my classy lower back tattoo with purple sparkles…” and so on. How funny was Tony with that engagement ring analogy during rehearsal? I also loved his quintessential Sappy Days compliment to Melissa: ”The beauty’s coming through you like a beam!” Awwwwww. That’s so Tony!

NEXT: A first date made for who?