Dancing with the Stars recap: Bittersweet Symphony
A star heads home; Jennifer Hudson belts it out; Lieutenant Len pretends he's American
In a Week 4 elimination that seemed rather unaligned with “Classical Night,” boxer/TiVo enthusiast Sugar Ray Leonard and our favorite tiny Russian ball of balletic fire Anna Tre-BUN-skaya were banished from the ballroom. “This guy’s the heart of the show this season,” said Tom Bergeron. “I will cherish this moment,” said Sugar Ray. “I think it should have been Kendra Wilkinson,” said Annie Barrett. In the end, the Sugar Plum Fairy’s ouster wasn’t a complete surprise, but what a bummer for such a sweet guy.
Sugar Ray and Anna were even in hold, sort of, under the red light. It’s worth mentioning. That’s some ballroom commitment right there. Anna was also in third position, ballet-wise, but that’s probably her default stance.
Chelsea Kane/Mark Ballas and Petra Nemcova/adorable nail-biter Dmitry Chaplin joined Sugar Ray in the “jeopardy” zone. It’s been long established that “in jeopardy” is essentially meaningless, so maybe Kendra really didn’t get that many votes. If you missed Monday’s show — here’s a recap! — Kendra complained “I just don’t care about it” after Carrie Ann suggested she was afraid of being elegant. As we saw during the results show, Kendra’s partner Louis van Intensité did not approve of her ‘tude. “I must say, I was quite disappointed with your comment,” he said, “because I know you care.”
NEXT: Kendra’s lady troubles, a Tom-provisation, and Jennifer HudsonKendra blamed her bad night on “the hormones” taking over. “It’s one of those womanly things,” she said, as millions of women shouted “Screw you!” at their screens. Jeez, Kendra, how will we be able keep on convincing the menfolk we deserve to share their glittery atmosphere if you give away the secret that we’re really all she-demons who can’t handle our cycles? I mean WHAT THE FRINGE, WOMAN? Not cool. But I guess I can allow her one bad day.
Tom-provisation of the Week: “Keeping their choreography fresh is always a challenge for Our Pros…[freaked-out face]…especially during hormone time!”
Chelsea and Mark got the encore, and Mark’s horizontal freefall/leap was even more backbend-y than Monday’s version. If that’s even possible! Here’s my mom’s description of that same move: “mid-air, crazy back bend with flicks of the feet, inward and upward!” So once again, you can see where I get my descriptive superpowers. You know, this dance kind of annoyed me Monday night, but here in the context of a results show (where anything goes, even if it’s the dumbest crap ever), the Harry Potter waltz was quite lovely and spirited and…well, fun! So good for them.
Jennifer Hudson blew me away yet again with her thinness. And talent! She is one incredible singer, and I’d also like to compliment the production team for a beautifully shot segment. Well, two, actually, but the first one, her new single “Don’t Look Down,” featured multiple zoom-outs to the piano player, a nice shot of drummer guy through the dangling white lights, a shimmery curtain backdrop for J-Hud, and even some of Mark’s discarded golden snitch confetti for her to “whimsically” blow out of her hand at the end. It was a performance worthy of CLASSICAL NIGHT if you ask me. (Yep, I’m still obsessed with Classical Night and that 46-piece orchestra. I hope they weren’t allowed to leave, and that Enthusiastic Cymbals Lady blocked all exits with her multiple but all-enthusiastic personalities and pieces of percussion.)
Side note to Arrested Development fans re: Jennifer Hudson’s grape gumball dress: “She’s shaped like a….She’s the belle of the ballroom!”
NEXT: Who needs Black Swan when there’s the Dancing With the Stars results show? Here’s something I don’t write too often: Hooray for Macy’s! I loved the specially choreographed excerpt from Swan Lake, starring sisters Lorna and Lorena Feijóo and Jose Manuel Carreño as the Stud. They’re all principal dancers at major ballet companies. And Cuban! I so wanted Natalie Portman to emerge instead of that guy, but I guess she’s really pregnant. It’s one of those womanly things. Don’t worry, I warmed up to Jose within just a few seconds. This watery vision reminded me that I’m surprised there isn’t a ballet-only reality show yet. Every other dance niche (hip-hop, weight loss, ballroom, the massively deluded) has its own series. But fine. In lieu of ballet reality TV, I might watch Center Stage this weekend, even though I’ve seen it A BILLION TIMES.
Of course I loved Lieutenant Len’s boot camp, featuring Our Judge costumed in sparkly blue stars and a bejeweled belt, Kirstie putting in minimal effort by rolling her eyes and wearing a long green skirt, and some tremendous acting efforts from our various other Privates. Len wants an Oscar for this. Someone should remind “the Olivier of spray tanning” that he’s on TV. I did think this segment could have been slightly improved with the DANCMSTR license plate affixed to Len’s one-time-only military jeep, but we all want stuff. Oh, didn’t need that weak-SNL-skit fart sound either. But I’ll stop nit-picking before I fart my way right out of this paragraph.
Oh, and to kick off the night, the deadly smoke machine was back for an exhibition featuring Our Troupe and this week’s spicy guest David Garrett a.k.a. Vagabond Messy-Bunned Violinist. I think he washed his hair — it looked super fluffy even though it was bunned. I could have sworn I saw Our Pro Jonathan Roberts walking towards me enticingly, but I think that was just Kiki. Even if it wasn’t Kiki, I just like to say Kiki.
Your Hidden Gems of Week 4! Check ’em out. Here’s a taste.
“When Brooke gave out the numbers for voting, Sugar Ray put his hands out like he was writing a letter. If he’s waiting for the write-in votes, he may be in trouble!” –Mo
Ha! This reminds me of the time Michael Bolton tried to use a rotary phone.
Update: Here’s Tom, liiiiiiiiiiiiiiive! Press play on the little triangle above to hear him.
‘Til next week, DANCMSTRs!
Dancing With the Stars