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'Dancing With the Stars' recap: 'Famous Dances'

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Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman
Reality TV

If every Dancing With the Stars opened to a Whitney Houston song that somehow mixed in Singin’ in the Rain, a little Beyoncé, MC Hammer, and more, I’d watch on repeat. And if the opening number is a sign of what’s to come, I’m very excited for this week’s “Famous Dances” episode. Plus: Who better to guest judge than a woman responsible for one of film’s most iconic routines — Grease’s Olivia Newton-John. But will she judge her own dance more harshly? Let’s find out!

Hayes and Emma

Jazz | “You’re the One That I Want” (John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John from Grease)

Hayes is the only kid who I don’t hate despite how he always makes me feel old. Even though he doesn’t know what Grease is, somehow I forgive him. He’s ready to channel his inner Travolta a tough order considering Olivia Newton-John has her eyes on him! I have to admit I thought I’d love this routine, but I’m not impressed. It feels a little offbeat at times, and like the judges said, it’s time Hayes steps it up. We know he’s capable of more.

Judges’ Score: 32

Andy and Allison

Jazz | “Good Morning” (Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor from Singin’ In the Rain)

If any of the non-pros can pull off Gene Kelly, I feel like Andy is the guy. He’s totally adorable, and though I can only picture this commercial when I hear this song, he fully commits to the character. And I’m glad they pull off the couch move! The judges, too, are happy with the performance and Carrie Ann says it was as happy and fun as the original. Like Julianne says, Andy just keeps getting better.

Judges’ Score: 40

Alexa and Mark

Cha Cha | “I’m a Slave 4 U” (Britney Spears from the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards)

Alexa is coming off her best week yet, and she’s tasked with a more infamous routine — huge snake and all! Mark is wearing such a Mark get-up while Alexa, for her part, is pretty good. The judges don’t think she owned it enough, but girl had to hold a huge snake, so points for that, right?

Judges’ Score: 30

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Bindi and Derek

Rumba | “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (Blll Medley and Jennifer Warnes from Dirty Dancing)

Of course the original Baby, Jennifer Grey, stops by! (She and Derek also won Season 11, by the way.) But let’s be honest, these two don’t really need that many pointers. Except for the group sequence right before the big move where Bindi seems a bit stiff (and nervous?), they’re incredible, and I’m glad her dress didn’t become an issue like they told us right before the show. Derek’s arms might’ve been shaking, but they don’t break the lift! And with that part behind them, they finish so strongly.

Judges’ Score: 40

NEXT: Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it


Paula and Louis

Jazz | “Vogue” (Madonna from the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards)

Well Paula Deen and Madonna might not be two people you’d ever expect in the same sentence, but nevertheless, here we are. Although she seems to hit her beats, there isn’t a ton of movement required, and so the dance feels slow. Like Carrie Ann says, the costumes were a little too overwhelming and, in the end, probably took away from the routine.  

Judges’ Score: 24

Carlos and Witney

Rumba “Pony” (Ginuwine from Magic Mike)

Full disclosure: I love Magic Mike and Channing Tatum. Carlos, though, is a bit freaked out about getting too raunchy, but Witney urges him to go “balls to the wall.” And that he did. Carlos doesn’t hold back and I’m not mad about him ripping his shirt off. Overall, the performance is sexy without being too dirty.

Judges’ Score: 38

Nick and Sharna

Samba | “You Should be Dancing” (Bee Gees from Saturday Night Fever)

So I’m not a huge disco fan, and I’m actually surprised at how much I enjoy this performance. It could’ve been simple but Nick steps it up a notch with his quick footwork. Carrie Ann feels it was inconsistent, but I didn’t see that.

Judges’ Score: 39

Alek and Lindsay

Jive | “Jailhouse Rock” (Elvis Presley from Jailhouse Rock)

Alek’s video package cracks me up, but unfortunately this dance doesn’t live up to Elvis’ big personality. Alek started the season continually impressing me, and I’m sure there’s more great stuff to come, but he feels behind in each step, like he was having trouble keeping up.

Judges’ Score: 30

Tamar and Val

Jazz | “Rhythm Nation” (Janet Jackson)

Tamar has been sick all week, but you’d never know with this number. It isn’t overly challenging in the technical department, but Tamar’s so precise in every move that it almost seems effortless. (And as an aside, I did a routine to this song at my Bat Mitzvah, so it holds a special place in my heart.)

Judges’ Score: 40

We quickly move on to eliminations and learn that Paula and Louis and Alexa and Mark are in jeopardy. As Alexa bursts into tears, Tom announces that Paula’s time is up. But hey, she lasted longer than I ever would’ve predicted, so cheers to that.

Which dance was your favorite of the night? Weigh in below! And don’t forget to check out Derek Hough’s weekly video diary: