Dancing with the Stars recap: Sweet Taboo
Sade performs, our Pros show off childhood photos, and one star fades away
After Week 4 of season 10 of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, Aiden Turner, former All My Children actor and a smash-hit on one moderately populated cruise ship, was voted out of the competition. He was FOILED! by his partner, you might say, if only because half of her body (generous estimate) happened to be draped in crinkled aluminum. Aiden, whom DANCMSTR Len Goodman referred to as his son because both of them are British, will be remembered best for his pixelated puke in Week 3, saying it with flowers, and playing an eye-patched card shark villain in the coming-soon 007-inspired film Dance Another Day.
During Aiden’s farewell interview, Brooke revisited what might have been his ”Sweetest Taboo”: the way he views Edyta as his mom. And there was his real mom, in the audience. She was bawling! Instead of going the supremely lame ”ewww, gross, moms aren’t supposed to be thought of as sexy, especially my mom” route, Aiden kept it classy: Edyta, too, is a ”really attractive lady,” ”very talented,” and has been ”doing it ever since she was a very young girl.”
Kate Gosselin and Niecy Nash were the last two Stars announced as safe — but Tom then said Niecy and Aiden were ”not necessarily the bottom two.” Tom, you scamp!
Meanwhile, Maks’ childhood photos delivered the best performance of Tuesday night. The ones of him in elementary school plays in particular exhibited what DANCMSTR would call ”beautiful lines,” even though Maks probably didn’t have a speaking role because he was such a terrible actor at 4 years old and had to play ”a mushroom or a tree.” Young Damian used to rock a Louie Vito-esque low ponytail (and so did Maks and Louis, but we DWTS lifers already knew that). We saw Anna at 7, Lady Leg Warmer at 12, ballroom pugilist Tony at 25, and ample footage of the ”Ballas Brat Pack” over the years. Everyone else hated them because they kept winning. Those three and their hats. Derek referred to Julianne as ”my sister” — is the show just flat-out refusing to say her name now?
The series of Our Pros: The Early Years photos served as a setup to a performance by young, still-competitive dancers — including DWTS Ballroom Kids winners Brandon and Brittany. You know I love the Harold Wheeler Ensemble for their spontaneity, amusement, and general liiiiiiiiiiiiive feel, but I’ll be honest — the pre-recorded track used for the whip-fast teenagers struck me as quite a relief.
I was just kidding earlier — the night’s best performance was really (surprise!) the Macy’s Stars of Dance segment choreographed by Travis Wall that featured his fellow So You Think You Can Dance alums Nick Lazzarini, Jaimie Goodwin, and Danny Tidwell. Danny was the power-twirler who did the solo with New York City Ballet principal ballerina Tiler Peck. It’s during magical segments like these that I’m glad the ever-evolving Planet Mirrorballus boasts an atmosphere in which a hip-hop ballet set to the fervent tones of a platinum-selling violin duo is not only possible but — by season 10 — somewhat expected. Did anyone make it through that last sentence? Here is a simpler one: I like to think that ”Nuttin’ But Stringz” was originally conceived as a euphemism for ”fringe.”
NEXT: It’s gonna take a while for me to shut up about Sade
Sade brought her own dancers for her second performance, 1985’s ”The Sweetest Taboo,” and I felt a twinge of guilt for thinking that the wow factor of a simple tumbling pass had drastically diminished following the back-flipping maniac of the Macy’s number. You remember that, too, right? He was just spinning and spinning, like a hamster in a wheel but more seamless than that! DANCMSTR would surely have admired his lack of start and stop. But anyway. The hamster-wheel flipper gave me temporarily unrealistic expectations for all gymnast/dancers, when technically I’m not qualified to critique either since I could never quite pull off a completely fluid back walkover.
Sade was great, of course. Her first album in 10 years, Soldier of Love, is selling like crazy. For the first performance, Sade and two mini-Sades with fruit on their heads sang ”Babyfather” and Chelsie’s sparkly red leotard made her butt look like a cross between a strawberry pincushion and a faberge egg. I didn’t want to, but I ended up picturing Jake instead of Damian during that dance. I know it’s crazy! I think it was just because they’re of similar height. Derek is taller so this didn’t produce emotional trauma for me last week. Can you imagine if the Bachelor became really good at ballroom dancing? It could happen! Nah. It couldn’t.
Eventually, I’ll shut up about Sade, but I want to point out that the multitude of outdoor-patio bulb-clusters scattered across the stage made it seem like said clusters were freckles in the Technicolor Staircase’s smile. Sade has freckles, too, so I thought that was a nice touch.
Next week is movie night! My favorite camp-classic DWTS film previews were the ones for Glambo: First Dance, starring Tony Dovolani, and Cha-Chablanca if only for the hilarious, unlikely pairing of Evan Lysacek and Niecy Nash. ”Play it again, Harold!” Other highlights: The preview for Double-O-Cho-Cinco: Dance Another Day was ”approved for all audiences by a women’s hockey team in Minnesota,” and in the one for Tuesday the 13th (so it’s a preview… for last night? coming soon: the present?) featured DANCMSTR as a janitor. I know a lot of you probably rolled your eyes at all these previews, but they struck me as a perfect fit for DWTS. At least they weren’t thinly veiled ads for real movies, like American Idol‘s BRUTAL Clash of the Titans cross-promotion. Should you need further convincing, ask yourself this: Would you rather sit through a few more quick-hit clip shows of shirtless Tony and Mirrorball Killer Bruno, or a five-minute interview with some random body-language expert who specializes in sports psychology, dabbles in astrology, and occasionally, for the sake of reality TV, masquerades as a real live human? I didn’t think so! That person is the worst!
NEXT: Nicole and Princess Sparkle team up to blow my mind
Potent Quoteable: ”I’m an artist. I’m not like other people.” — Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger. Oooh boy. Get it togethah. Speaking of Nicole, this week she proudly donned a Nayari (the formal name for ”dazzling headpiece”) from the Crystals By Carmen collection. According to the press release I was sent yesterday, ”Each Nayari is secured by Carmen’s special patent-pending mounted hair clip that holds them in place, ensuring a proper yet adjustable fit.” I’m in love with that sentence (I consider my DWTS fandom to be an ongoing ”proper yet adjustable fit”) and to be honest, I can’t believe this entire paragraph is actually happening. You see, Carmen Carter = Princess Sparkle, a.k.a. the inspiration for…
Hidden Gem of the Week: Commenter s-diver43 located what I think was the most literal and true example of a hidden gem: ”the mirror ball on the piano bench during Chad and Cheryl’s practice session.” I thought it was time we went back to basics, gem-wise. The really blatant yet unobtrusive placement of the mirror ball reminds me of a ridiculous iPhone app I sometimes play on the subway when I need to chill out, called Jewel Quest Mysteries: Curse of the Emerald Tear. It was a gift, in so many ways.
Look for an EW.com photo gallery of Week 4’s Hidden Gems later today; I’ll add the link as soon as it’s up. Thanks to everyone who nominated Gems. I read the comments and noticed some of you aren’t into the whole treasure-quest thing. Understandable. Next week I’ll set up a PopWatch post as a sort of Hidden Gem Heap so that the comments section of the Tuesday recap won’t be as cluttered.
I’ve also been ranking the couples’ outfits — from mildest to wildest — each week in EW.com’s ‘DWTS’: Crazy Costume Watch! photo gallery. Don’t worry, I always make sure to clutch my fringe à la Pam Anderson’s promo photo as I do this. (Good catch, IAA Evan.)
‘Til next week, DANCMSTRs — leave your thoughts about Week 4 in the comments.
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett