Dancing with the Stars recap: Hope and Maks elminated
On Tuesday’s season 13, week 8 results show of Dancing With the Stars, goal-oriented Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy — who can still go ahead and make that smile — were expelled from DANCMSTR’s School of Sequins. Your finalists are Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, and J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff. Only one of these people is currently in severe physical pain. That must be a record!
It was becoming exhausting to watch Hope’s mood switch from combative to sweet and then back again in a setting in which she had seemed unhappy and uncomfortable for weeks. To borrow a Simon Cowell-ism, I don’t think Hope was ever quite as good as she thought she was at ballroom dancing, but clearly she was not a good fit to serve as a pawn/punching bag on a reality show. It was just not for her. “I don’t even want to look at them,” Hope had murmured to Maks re: the judges after their Argentine tango. Her partner had shut up and resigned himself to playing nice, but she never got the memo — or more likely, she got it and didn’t care.
I was sick of watching her pout on camera, but because I was on the scene for last night’s results show, I got to witness the best Hope Solo moment of the season. Derek and Anna’s amazing Design a Dance paso doble was filmed nearly an hour before the liiiiiiiive telecast, so from 5:15-5:45 p.m., about half of the rowdy crowd participated in a massive dance party on the ballroom floor. (Apparently this happens quite often; it just didn’t at the last results show I attended.) We plebes were just going about our awesome party moves when all of a sudden Hope had unexpectedly wormed her way into the middle of the floor. People started freaking out and loving on her, and she just kept laughing and grinding with random strangers! Maybe some of them were her friends — I have no idea — but the point is she looked happy and appreciative of the fans.
NEXT: The dance party continues; Derek and Anna Design our Dreams “This could be your last chance to dance on the floor!” the warmup comic kept yelling. I eventually got out there and shook it with my new seatmate buddy Frank and his mom for a few seconds while my poor friend Stephanie filmed it. I’m afraid to post the video, though, because my moves are so bad that I look drunk again and also I don’t think I was supposed to be recording this. Everything about the situation was verging on illegal.
Suze Orman was having a ball during this dance party, as was my new hero, this Princess Sparkle lookalike named Georgia.
Georgia also participated in the “Single Ladies” dance competition, another activity designed to keep the wriggling masses from becoming restless. Then the warmup comic switched gears and kept wondering who in the audience was married. Nearly everyone!
Anyway, as you could probably tell from the use of the DEADLY SMOKE MACHINES, Derek and Anna’s paso was quite a production. The best two minutes of the night, though, were right before they started filming, when both dancers geared up for the routine in their separate worlds on opposite ends of the floor. Derek twirled endlessly in a deep focus and then jogged around making sure to give a friendly wave to just about everyone in the crowd, while Anna tested out the murky waters of the sheer panel attached to the back of her costume, just stretchin’ slowly and bein’ beautiful in a cocoon of glory and wicked-witch hair extensions. They both loved putting on a show that wasn’t part of the show. It was awesome.
Oh, and I thought at the time that Derek was testing out his leap from the floor onto the judges table just to show off and remind his three underlings who’s really running the show — but then obviously it was a part of the dance.
NEXT: Views from the sidelines — it gets better!
This time I was sitting six rows up in the center of the sideline section to the right of the skybox — so I was directly facing the judges. New view! It was especially delightful during the Cobra Starship performance, because I was seated just far enough from the stage to believe that the keyboardist in the whimsical cloud dress might be Zooey Deschanel (no) and just far enough from the aisle that the chairs Tristan and Sonny hurriedly transported to the aisle in the middle of the song nearly became our new seats (should’ve would’ve could’ve). Carrie Ann was going NUTS dancing on her own during this number, by the way. She eventually had to tone it down so that Kym and Charna could climb up there and show ’em how Our Pros do it.
The view was even more dazzling when four of Our Lady Pros — Lacey, Peta, Chelsie, and Charna (who knew there was a Charna?) — struck a sparkly pose atop the judges’ table during the anti-bullying “How You Like Me Now” routine. As Kenny Wormald promised the kids, It Gets Better, indeed. The mom of two of the teen dancers, David and Jacob Guzman, was sitting in front of us to our right and shrieked before and throughout the performance, “Those are mine!” I’m glad they did this segment about how tough it is growing up as a male dancer. “The joke really is definitely on the bullies,” as young Kyle said while giggling as if he was realizing it as he was speaking, which is sort of the best way to realize anything. That’s a good thing to remember every day at any age. Look who just got sentimental! Fringe fairies can have feelings too.
They totally gave Rob’s samba the encore so they could use my dream vehicle the Rio party float again, right? Fine by me! The rainbow streamer explosion was just slightly less special from the right-side view than it had been from straight-on. One golden streamer got stuck amidst the spotlights and they had to call in the party patrol — or fringe force? — to coax it down to the floor.
Don’t worry, it was safe.
NEXT: Should Carson have designed Maks’ costume every week?The audience laughed heartily at the idea of Carson Kressley heading back into the closet for “Queer Eye for the Dance Guy (And Girl).” I have to say these filler segments are always better on TV when I can really study them. They’re hard to hear in the ballroom, though I did freak out when Carson’s vanity plate — “FAB ONE” — flashed onscreen. I mean, it’s no “DANCMSTR,” but what is? I liked watching Tom subtly react with raised eyebrows and a slight smirk as Carson told the fabric store cashier to go ahead and charge $15k worth of sparkly chiffon to “Bergeron.”
Other gems I missed from my seat: Brooke trying to hide behind her card after Hope and Maks’ cringe-worthy Monday night recap, Ricki nearly falling down the stairs backstage and then announcing “I almost ate it,” and the fancy pillow resembling a bed of rose petals on which J.R. iced his sprained ankle after the paso. Only the best for ballroom-induced injuries.
The Muppets thing had been filmed earlier and definitely played better on TV. I would have liked the DANCMSTR to actually interact with his doppelgangers Statler and Waldorf. Kudos to Tom for combating the crazy alone. I love the way Muppets — especially the six “sitting” behind the group of human dancers — move their heads. It’s like a combination of a lolling head roll and a little staccato jerking motion. They’d make such horrible DWTS contestants. But I’d still love to see that.
Thanks to EW.com readers Meredith and Anne Marie for saying hi during the dance party!
Hope walked away from talking to reporters after the show because she was too emotional, and Maks didn’t come out either. Perhaps Monday’s “F— you, Carrie Ann” was enough for both nights.
Next week, before the liiiiiiiiiiiiive season 13 finale, I’ll post videos of me awkwardly carting a giant mirrorball around the set like it’s my job (your job is what you make of it) and chatting with Troupe Teddy, Harold Wheeler, and Tristan MacManus. In his trailer!
Farewell for now, Planet M.
‘Til next week, DANCMSTRs!
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Dancing With the Stars