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Dancing with the Stars recap: Jungle Boogie

The five couples take on absurdly non-ballroom styles in the semifinals. Plus: sparkle-infused champagne. Let’s party!

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DWTS Aly Raisman Mark Ballas

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

It’s the semifinals! Time to abandon ballroom dancing as we know it and watch Mark Ballas presents The Lion King!

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 30/30 Argentine tango + 29/30 Lindy Hop = 59/60 These two are officially the most-bleeped couple of season 16 during rehearsal footage, and that’s not even counting Sunday’s camera blocking session, at which Karina landed on her jaw during a Lindy Hop lift. (Sorry, I know this is serious stuff, but I kept thinking of Cher from Clueless describing her mother’s death: “Freak accident during a routine liposuction!”)

Krazy K decided to put her neck on the line and dance anyway, of course, and she positively shimmered in their round 1 Argentine tango. I could barely remove my eyes from the sparkly purple netting on her headpiece, let alone her body, especially as she slithered down Jacoby mid-lift as the music slowed. Hooray for all the “upbeat orchestra” tango music tonight, by the way! Lyrics can be so bothersome. Seriously.

This tango didn’t quite do it for me — I loved the platform setting, their costumes, and the music, but it seemed to have everything but the timing. I found him slightly sloppy in the background of Karina’s extreme polish. I didn’t see the “slick, clean, prowling predator” that Bruno did. I mean, I know they gotta give Jacoby a 30 at some point so that he’s firmly established as a contendah (not a pretendah!) in next week’s finals. But I actually thought Jacoby’s second dance, the Lindy Hop, was much more impressive. Not only did it electrify the ballroom in a very real way, but….

HAROLD WHEELER SPOKE! The band leader convincingly scolded Jacoby and Karina to quit being not-so-hidden gems as part of the brass section at the top of the Lindy Hop. “Get out of here… now!!!” He really sold me. The man has gotta protect his band from the Sparkalien species, who probably just want to use Team Harold’s jacuzzi (a figment of Tom’s imagination…or a real thing?) to treat their various injuries.

Unbelievably, Jacoby and Karina executed lifts just as freaky and complicated as the one that had given them trouble during rehearsal. From her adorable purple-toed flats, to the little number 12 on his left sleeve, to the speed of the dance that fit the NFL star like a sequined glove, this dance was pretty perfect to me.

“Without a doubt, I vote you the number one entertainer of season 16!” proclaimed Carrie Ann after the Lindy Hop — and this was much more eloquent than her first critique, which was NOTHING…just an apology for getting “all heated up again” and some contrived writhing. Tom, pressed for time, had to just be like, Okay, no. Enough now. “I think that said volumes,” he assured her, shooing the dancers away. “That said it all.”

Mama Jacoby, by the way, was remarkably subdued this week for someone with a sparkly ’10’ paddle. ***SPARKLEBARF ALERT*** After seeing all those photos of Jacoby and his mom during his Overcoming Obstacles segment, I had a sudden surge of love for her and no longer find her so annoying. Ah, the magic of editing…and timing. Happy belated Mother’s Day to that enthusiastic weirdo!

NEXT: Most Improved Player Aly Raisman has perfected the seething hug