Dancing with the Stars recap: The Immunity Mirrorball
On Latin night, one couple wins Immunity while the others compete in dance-offs for three extra points
It’s Latin Night! Say hola to shirtless Derek!
This week introduced the never-before-seen Immunity Challenge followed by the Dance-Off Challenge For Extra Judges’ Points — something Survivor‘s never tried, but should consider. I feel like the jury members could use the entertainment. Anyway, the dance-offs stressed the heck out of the couples and then we got to see 40 more seconds of either cha cha, rumba, or jive from each pair. The winners got three bonus points sprinkled onto their totals; meanwhile, Kellie and Derek CANNOT BE VOTED OUT tomorrow night.
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 29/30 *Immunity Winners* My favorite part of this segment was when a lone red streamer refused to stop tickling DANCMSTR Len Goodman throughout the critique. But the samba was pretty good, too, full of both “the how of the technique and the wow of the performance,” said Len. Carrie Ann did that annoying judge-y thing where she states that something’s about to be a problem and affect the entire plot of the season even though it’s not necessarily a real issue: Kellie doesn’t emotionally connect in her dances.
The slow-motion, bathed-in-white-light sections of the samba were curious, as was Derek’s apology to his grandma and grandpa that he “didn’t want to be shirtless.” Wait, then why was he? Maybe one of the “scraggly coyotes hanging on by a thread” (that Andy mentioned) got to Derek just before the dance to feast on the spare fabric.
Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas: 29/30 salsa + 3 for the dance-off cha cha = 32 If you didn’t enjoy shirtless Derek, may DWTS offer you Mark Ballas in a fedora and a hospital gown? I suspect he was wearing spats below that thing as well — maybe his special medical spats, beige and functional but with tiny ruffles on the heels. I mean, maybe. I don’t know. We couldn’t see the floor.
The editing on Mark’s back injury was really weird — all of a sudden, he was like “Damnit, you hurt my neck” and “F—, that really hurt. It just put me out of commission,” having crumbled on the stairs after just walking around stoically with Aly on his shoulders. Did she do something wrong? Was she not supposed to be up there? There was a whole “I can’t believe you sat on my neck because I lifted you up there” vibe I did not get.
But anyway, Mark was well enough to dance tonight even though the Dance Doc prescribed rest and Aly practiced with Henry for part of the week. Aly appeared to be having a blast during the salsa, but I’m not sure I’d have predicted 10s for it. Did anyone notice Mark’s inclusion of Derek’s patented CrotchBob move? It was almost as sexual (air quotes) as the sequence a few seconds later when Aly crawled in front of him on her knees while Mark made triumphant fist pumps.
NEXT: Val Takes Out Garbage Intensely — would you watch? Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 27/30 paso doble + 3 for the dance-off jive = 30 The judges were being so wild with the 10s I was worried this paso doble would get a perfect score just for existing! But Len and Bruno agreed Zendaya needs to pick up her chin and work on her top line.
I realized during Val’s incredible spin sequence at the “flamenco beginning” of the dance that I would gladly watch a reality show called Val Eats Breakfast Intensely, especially if the interstitials were captivating shots of him spinning as a matador — or performing the splits with Jacoby, as we’d see later during the jive dance-off. Val’s intensity carried through to the selection process for the dance-off, when he indirectly criticized Mark and Aly (for choosing to dance against Andy) by announcing to Tom and the crowd, “Let’s pick on somebody our own size.”
Zendaya made the bold decision to wear white sneakers with a red fringed dress for the jive dance-off, which was probably the best move for safety but a bit rude to fringe in general. Show some respect, child! Meanwhile, Val was just happy to not have to do the rumba this week. He seems to think that as soon as he does the bedroom dance with a 16-year-old, he’ll be arrested on the spot. Of course, the citation will not even count, because it will have been issued by Lift Policewoman Inaba.
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 27/30 Dude! You can’t just NOT SHOW UP one day. Rude! I love how Jacoby didn’t even make up an excuse for blowing Karina off. I bet she’d have liked to schedule a massage and “take a day in ice” too if she’d at least had some advance warning! If D.L. Hughley had been on the other line of that cell phone call on Week 1 we wouldn’t have even seen him dance in the premiere.
NEXT: ‘It’s like you could fart the salsa.’ Anyway, Jacoby and Karina’s salsa was a killer start to the show — the shiny gold toes on Jacoby’s shoes created the illusion of sandals, his off-white shirt was delightfully wide open, and this time during his signature leap over Karina’s head, he took her down with his crotch! Intentional snap of the neck! This is always a hit for me, perhaps because of the split-second thrill that someone might be about to die.
“What you do is so incredible — it’s like you could fart the salsa,” raved Carrie Ann. Now, Jacoby does love farting, as we’ve seen, but wouldn’t the ideal dance to fart out be something more elegant like the Viennese Waltz or paso doble? Even the meringue would have at least smelled sweet. Salsa farts = JUST TOO REAL, Carrie Ann.
Tom’s stone-faced reaction to the flatulence talk was priceless. (And with a gem over his shoulder, too!)
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 22/30 + 3 for the dance-off rumba = 25 You know when the edited package shows someone announcing “It’s possible this could be my best dance” that it will not be his best-scored dance. Those are just the rules of reality TV. No spoilers please, TV!
The judges wanted more fluidity in Ingo’s rumba. I’ll admit I noticed zero things about Ingo’s performance because HELLO, KYM’S COSTUME. It had every type of sequin, all the different lengths of fringe, and spandex surrounding just enough (barely any) parts of her butt. Loved the red and peach motif. Sorry to obsess over this but it was like a correctly solved paper doll puzzle of a DWTS uniform — everything in its right place.
I did eventually go back and watch Ingo for Ingo and can see how he did get more grounded and connected to that second rumba. Second time’s the charm in the bedroom!
NEXT: Sean outscores Andy by an obscene amount Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 24/30 Here’s the other couple who had to suffer two rumbas tonight — and I also could not get enough of Peta’s dark grey sheer/backless gown! What is my problem? This is supposed to be about the stahhhhhs! But let’s be honest. It’s mostly about legs.
Anyway, Bruno and Carrie Ann insisted Sean’s extensions and musicality had improved. The cynic in me says that’s because the song and dance were both slow and a lot of Sean’s assigned moves were just “move with/drape over Peta.” But I guess they needed the Catherine storyline to work.
See, The Bachelor’s TV fiancée Catherine had dropped by rehearsals to infuse Sean with some sexual energy (ewwww) because, as he complained, the rumba was a struggle. “Because I don’t have romantic feelings towards Peta,” Sean clarified. Dude, we get it. You’re into the grinning-with-gritted-teeth mope instead of your bright and shiny new TV partner. Okay. Sure. Loud and clear.
So we got to watch Sean prove his love during practice by running his hands up Catherine and basically squeezing her boobs — something he would never do with Peta on purpose. His partner could only giggle, “I feel like I shouldn’t be watching this.” You and me both, Peets.
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 17/30 Wait a minute. Spats, a yellow vest, a straw hat — and this is a rumba? Well, yes, because Sharna modeled their costumes and the dance after that unforgettable scene with Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly from Singin’ in the Rain. The beat-driven music and heightened theatricality did seem really off for a rumba, but maybe Sharna just wanted to do something creative and knew Andy wouldn’t be selling anyone on his sensuality anyway. I mean, when his face caressed her calf during a dramatic dip, it basically looked like he was wiping his nose.
The 5 from Carrie Ann was way too harsh. No one else even got a 6 tonight. Give the guy a break. He’s trying so hard, he worked it in the cha cha dance-off, and he shakes it while making his morning smoothies. He’s “moving like a dancer…IN LIFE.” That’s worth at least a five and a hoff.
I do encourage you to watch this 17 times like I just did.
Nominate your hidden gems by 2 p.m. ET over on PopWatch.
Okay, DANCMSTRs — who goes home tonight? Discuss!