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Dancing with the Stars recap: Control Group

The stars design the pros’ costumes and work out their first group dance (it’s the 60s!)

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DWTS Hough Wicks
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: All in this together

First, DANCMSTRs, a confession. As ridiculous and right-up-my-alley as week 7’s group dance finale was, my absolute favorite part of last night’s performance show was actually the incredibly lame teaser for it that popped up right after Lawrence and Edyta’s waltz. The low-rent, pastel-hued graphics that just said ”Group Dance” and ”60’s Tribute” had me convulsing in giggles. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. (Well, I kind of do: I’m way too easily amused and that’s why I recap Dancing With the Stars.) I just couldn’t get enough of the over-the-top cheesy composite shots of the stars and then the pros. I’m a moron and thought ”Oh, how clever, they used a still image of Shawn because the Brady Bunch logo doesn’t move on the screen. Neither does Alice, I guess, for the split second she’s in that middle square.” Not one of my finest trains of thought. You can just go ahead and consider this entire intro a parallel to that awful teaser. Minus the laughter!

Anyway, the ’60s tribute triumphed over last season’s painful group hip-hop, except in one glaring way: The backdrop for this season’s rehearsal was not emblazoned by an enormous ”GROUP DANCE” logo like it was last fall. To be honest, I barely knew what was going on. Hey, man, that’s the ’60s for ya! I’m not sure who earned more pot brownie points during this segment: Mark for propping up a cardboard cutout of the Traveling Shawn so ”she” could learn the steps, Ty for donning hippie garb so that everyone surely assumed he was some drifter who’d wandered in to sell them some kind bud, or Chuck, who bravely wore a floppy yellow Derek wig for the performance itself, prompting Bruno to warn him: ”It starts with a wig and ends up with a frock. Be careful.” Oh, he will. Aside from some prepared sequences, the dance itself was basically an unregulated free-for-all, pretty much your basic Macy’s Stars of Dance B.S. but with about 20 million percent more human interest because we actually knew the dear fools involved. I loved the black-and-white opening shots, Shawn and Lil’ Kim’s headband material (please send me some), and most of all Chuck’s coy, one-finger-on-the-lips lingering shot when it was all over. (Everyone was in the same pose, but the camera guy intentionally zoomed-in on his. You know it.) My friend Kristian (not Perry) sent me a lovely text during the liiiiiiiiiiive! show: ”You must be crapping in your pants over this group dance.” Something like that. Instead of getting into it, let’s run down how the remaining seven couples ranked in week 7…

Melissa Rycroft and Tony: 29 out of possible 30 Carrie Ann called their routine the best Argentine tango of the season, even though week 4 saw a perfect-30 tango from Gilles and another flick-tastic one from Lil’ Kim. My eyes were focused on Melissa’s lower half the entire time, so the combination of her legs, Tony’s choreography, and that perfect song (”Mi Confesion” by Gotan Project, which I also loved for Chelsie and Mark’s Argentine tango on SYTYCD) really made me dig Melissa’s dance. It also helped that her black-and-red-sequined dress, cinched at the hip with a kicky red rosette, is exactly what I’d want to wear to the DWTS Through The Ages cocktail party that exists only in my dreams. (You’re all invited!) Lots of drawn-out lifts in Tony’s choreo this week, but I thought they fit perfectly with Melissa’s abilities and especially with the music. I’m not sure how much impact the Desperate Housewives set visit from friendly tour guide Teri Hatcher brought out Melissa’s ”maneater” vibe, but it did make me very excited for some potential DWTS/DH crossover action. Melissa can guest-star as Gaby’s alcoholic half-sister who refuses to wear anything but sparkly ballroomwear while pouting around the house reminiscing about her ”glory year,” and Tony can pop up as something random — new mailman, perhaps, or door-to-door life coach. Whoa, is that Maks as Wisteria Lane’s new chimney sweep? Weird!

NEXT: Chuck steps it up