Dancing with the Stars recap: All That Jazz
Week 2 offers light saber cheerleading, Andy Dick in Wonderland, and a creepy two-person-tall overcoat -- you know, just typical ballroom stuff
“If you just tuned in, we’re playing Find the Body Fat,” quipped Tom Bergeron. Ha! Oh, and I found it. It’s ALL THE BOOBS.
I hope everyone guzzled their 2-Hour Energy (liquid glitter) or at least ingested a mind-altering “Eat Me” cake — tonight the couples took on either a high-powered jive or quickstep or a totally trippy jazz routine. I’ll list them in order of their total Week 1 + Week 2 tallies….
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhhhhh-ber!
Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 26 out of possible 30 (Total: 50/60) “Dancing in heels — are you kidding me?” wondered the Disney Channel star in a precise approximation of my general approach to the series. I enjoyed the crafty editing on this segment that showed Val worrying that Zendaya hadn’t grown into her body yet and that her lengthy limbs wouldn’t allow for speed…because THIS JIVE! Like Tom said, it was so buttah-y and delicious, especially with that gold fringe barely able to keep up with the newborn baby deer’s feet. If this is Zendaya as an awkward beginner, I can’t even imagine what kind of monstrous doe queen beast she’ll become by the finals.
I love everything about this couple. Zendaya’s facial expressions are coolly sensual without being over-the-top, and on the off chance I happened to tear my eyes away from her to check out Val (crazy!), there he was beaming at her with such pride.
“You’re so talented — it’s easy to forget you’re only 16.” Not if you keep reminding us, Brooke. And happy birthday to Old Man River Val-y, he of the quick one-liners and fatherly instincts. “Step away from the pole — What every good father should say to his daughter!” he warned his partner.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 26/30 (Total: 47/60) Tonight’s light saber cheerleading routine was exactly what I imagine is running through Derek’s imagination whenever he’s not distracted by Instagram or a mirror. It’s also, I’m guessing, why “Jazz” is now mandatory on DWTS. The mood and general atmosphere reminded me of his futuristic paso doble — or, you know, any solid jazz routine on So You Think You Can Dance.
I’m torn on this one. It felt out of place in the ballroom, but of course the choreography was inventive as heck and Kellie’s amazing extensions cannot be denied. At the end of the day, did we not want to see her ride a bicycle in the air in slow-motion or pierce Derek’s skin with the jagged mirrors on her boobs? It’s not like I’m such a ballroom purist that I cannot appreciate the arts of floating and/or bloodletting. Hey, whatever, we’ll take it.
NEXT: Aly Raisman takes the Mark Ballas School of Face-Making’s most advanced fail-fail course Alexandra Raisman and Mark Ballas: 24/30 (Total: 45/60) I wish Guppy Mouth had not insisted so forcefully on graduating Aly from the Mark Ballas School of Face-Making (said Tom) so early on, because all I could focus on during their quickstep was the relative absurdity of her expressions. There was a lot to appreciate about this dance otherwise — it had the classic big-band feel, with the lit-up staircase and coordinating royal blues in his hat and her skirt.
I keep thinking they’ll get docked points for stepping outside the red-light boundaries of this particular floor exercise. But nope! Len’s only criticism was that Aly’s head went so far to the left. I hope she’ll let loose soon and that she’ll find a happy medium of face-making between Stoic and Full Tongue.
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 23/30 (Total: 43/60) Jacoby is such a pleasant surprise, and I’m not talking about his blissfully open policy on farting during rehearsals. He was so cute with the modern dance kids and I’m loving his genuinely fun approach to the ballroom. Jacoby and Karina’s side-by-side footwork during tonight’s jazz number was almost as mesmerizing (is he triple-jointed? how does one get limbs to flop around like that to the beat?) as the way he sexily flicked away a pesky suspender post-dance.
I was also obsessed with the random “two-person-tall raincoat” motif at the beginning of this routine. Like, why? Well, why not?! Karina’s funny like that. It’s not like DWTS has ever made sense. Would we really want it to?
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 20/30 (Total: 40/60) I always love the way Kym stages her quickstep routines, and this week’s campy setting with her framed in vanity lights amidst a wall of beads was no exception. It didn’t help that I was really hungry at the start of the episode, but her frothy white skirt made me want to inhale whipped cream straight from the can. I never truly mind that feeling; it’s just mildly inconvenient.
Basically Ingo is competent, but he could be a lot more demonstrative and confident in some of his movements during this “bonanza of tricky steps,” according to Bruno. I loved watching Kym’s “WTF” expressions as Carrie Ann ripped on Ingo’s frame only to get mercilessly torn apart by Len. “ANYONE WHO’S EVER DONE BALLROOM DANCING KNOWS,” said the DANCMSTR (burn!), that “for the male celebrity to maintain that frame is such a hard job.” Long story short, this pair has room for improvement but no way should they be eliminated first.
NEXT: Can that fake water turn real? Sean Lowe hasn’t showered Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 20/30 (Total: 39/60) Sean’s segment seemed to be begging for an invocation of the term “jumping the shark,” what with his pool-party lifeguard jive, the hilarious illusion (maybe?) that Eric Roberts had just yelled at Len, and the all-too-convenient promotion for ABC’s Splash. Oddly enough, Bruno went all technical in his critique, demanding more underarm passes from Sean and Peta and complaining that this jive looked more like a Lindy Hop or a Jitterbug. I’m pretty sure we all just regarded this routine as “kinda hot, mostly lame, what’s up with Peta’s hair croissant?,” but thanks to Bruno for the Len-like perspective. Len wanted “just dancing, not clever things” like binoculars.
I can’t really handle Sean’s total lack of rhythm, but must admit his chemistry with Peta is endearing — in fact, it’s easily more compelling than anything we saw on this past season of The Bachelor. I liked when Peta kept yelling at him to stay “DOWN!” and he was wriggling on the floor like an insect. Considering he hadn’t showered in two days, she should have used some Raid.
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 20/30 (Total: 37/60) What could be more “wacko, demented, and fantastic” than an Andy Dick jazz routine in Wonderland set to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”? The giant bobbing CGI mushrooms — meant to symbolize his drug use of days past, or merely serve as a healthy snack for last season’s CGI dinosaur Mirrorballus Rex (suggests reader Cindy) — was a nice touch, as was the aggressive #encoreANDY chyron that popped up right as Andy stuck his face through the structural skirt of Sharna’s costume. Hey, it was better than the Worm! For the record, I think Andy’s Worm, though painful, was still better than Steve Wozniak’s.
All in all the routine was a beautiful nightmare, its less than perfect nature personified by Andy’s former Less Than Perfect costars, who had reunited for the first time ever to support him: Sara Rue, Zac Levi, Patrick Warburton, Sherri Shepherd, Will Sasso, and Eric Roberts. Andy’s shaping up to be a legit contestant who clearly cares to be there and succeed. And this was really cute: “Sharna believes in me so much that I believe in her reality.” That’s the magic of reality TV, too.
NEXT: But mommy, why are those mall cops ballroom-dancing together? Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus: 15/30 (Total: 36/60) Awwwww. Nooooooo. Not only does Dorothy have a bum ankle, but a cyst in her lower back, “right where the nerve goes over the bone” (annnnnnnd I’m done!), has flared up. She couldn’t really rehearse due to the pain, and though the endorphins/cortizone jolt of performance night had put her in a better place, the fact remains it’s inherently painful for viewers to watch a contestant dance in pain. Even if she wasn’t feeling it at the time, we were all wincing along with her having seen the pair’s rehearsal footage. It was almost as bad as if we had completely focused on Tristan’s overly gelled Elvis hair!
No, but really, this is sad. I had such high hopes for this couple!
Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani: 18/30 (Total: 36/60) Let’s be honest: Wynonna’s not winning anyone over due to her grace and stamina. So Tony came up with a brilliant/perplexing “mall cops” theme for a standard ballroom dance — the quickstep — for the simple sake of being ridiculous. “We’re so bored with pulling people over for fashion sense…that we wanna dance,” he reasoned while trying not to crack up. WHAT? No.
But yes! Totally, totally yes. This right here is why I love Dancing With the Stars. In zoomed Wynonna and Tony on their scooters for a quickly-losing-steam 90-second routine set to the Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance.” Why would the cops dance together? Was this whole thing just designed so that Wynonna could wear flats? Of course! It’s just so delightfully stupid! I’m sorry, I was so tickled. I’m the worst.
At one point during rehearsals Wynonna was so out of shape that she was about to puke. BEEN THERE. I’m just loving her whole “I know I suck, but I’m loving this” attitude. If you can’t be the best dancer, it is truly what DWTS is all about. That, and Super Mario mustaches.
Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold: 18/30 (Total: 36/60) Oof, Victor got a harsh edit during the rehearsal footage for their jive. “Let’s go home — I don’t wanna be here anyways,” he said — something I’m sure so many DWTS participants have uttered over the years. Anyway, the jive itself was high-energy, but Victor attacked it so hard it became scruffy, according to Len. “Boooooooooo,” moaned the crowd, and then DANCMSTR got all Shakespeare in Len on us. “If you prick me, do I not bleed?” “Not according to your physical!” piped in Tom. LOVE TOM.
Carrie Ann banged her head down on her own spiky bracelets as if to put Len’s question to the test directly. (No blood. Len’s dead.) And there she was critiquing Vicious Victor’s movements. Ironic.
NEXT: Should Gleb tone it down? Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko: 18/30 (Total: 36/60) I don’t think Lisa’s that terrible, but she’s bad enough that Gleb’s overselling of everything — the aviator costumes, his exorbitant sexiness, and such precise, emphatic moves — all make her seem that much more wooden. He may need to tone it down to make it less obvious she’s not that toned up. But that’s hard when it’s your first season and there’s a big gaping hole in the male pro roster 100 times the size (but perfectly to scale) of Maks’ exquisitely sculpted bubble butt. Gleb could be a real star, but Lisa’s not the Star for him.
“You’re not used to commercial flying — it is understandable,” quipped Bruno after their bumpy Vanderpump Airlines jive. “We don’t deal with turbulence, darling.” Oh, the rich! How they suffer.
D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke: 16/30 (Total: 28/60) I want D.L to be funnier. After last week’s “ass-whooping on national television” (a bit over-dramatic), he’s stuck in this mode where the only strategy that makes sense is to desperately try and prove himself as a try-hard dancer. This Week 2 comeback would have been more fun with an upbeat Latin dance or even a jazz/contemporary routine instead of the treacherous quickstep. In any case, the guy tried hard this time so he can depart Planet Mirrorballus with his head held high.
“Just understand, this s—‘s not easy for me,” he sneered at Cheryl during a rough rehearsal patch. “There’s not some magic fairy that’s gonna make me do these things.” Damn straight, man. My powers extend to fringe commentary and that is it.
“We was doing our Whitney and Bobby interpretations,” explained D.L. Too soon? We’ll see!
Will D.L. go home tonight? Lisa? Poor injured Dorothy? Vicious Victor? Discuss! And nominate your hidden gems on PopWatch before 2 p.m. ET. May the Force be with you.