Dancing with the Stars recap: America the Beautiful
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The week 5 theme on Dancing With the Stars was “America Night,” which provided us DANCMSTRs with a lovely excuse to both honor our patriots and celebrate the national treasure that is Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s ass. (Thanks a lot, Ukraine!) After last week’s elegant Classical Night, this was a visual feast of excess and overstatement — ain’t that the American/DWTS way? The digital red-white-and-blue balloons on the columns, Mt. Rushmore with the judges’ faces in the Celebriquarium, “D-W-T-S” spelled out in hot dogs, Len Goodman sitting above (and personifying) the Bald Eagle of the Ballroom — I barely knew where to look! Spoiler alert: I mostly looked at Maks.
Will the judges’ glitterball abacus please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: 27 out of possible 30 This couple happens to also be winning the phantom “most judges points so far” competition — so for all the “no clear front runner” talk of last night’s show, there is that. Hindquarters and Kym danced a rumba to everyone’s favorite romantic musical number, “Proud to be an American.” He was an officer and a gentleman; she was a Snuffleupagus who had nearly drowned in Wite-Out. The fringe on this woman! I definitely had to rewind the dance to notice the best hip action Carrie Ann’s seen in “a looooooooong time,” because all I could focus on during my initial viewing was the way Kym’s extra-long fringe became so horizontal at times that it matched the angle of the brim of Officer Hindquarters’ hat. Kym looked shocked that Len called this their best dance yet. She was probably still a bit jealous of Hindquarters’ pillow.
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke: 26/30 Their Viennese waltz — or, rather, Cheryl’s ridiculously low-cut red costume — provided us with the first and most prominent Shockingly Sexy Comment of the Night (SSCN) from the DANCMSTR. “So nice to see Cheryl showing off the Rocky Mountains there,” Len noted. So nice to see a Brit showing off his vast knowledge of United States topography! God shed His grace on Cheryl’s deep V, indeed. “I feel violated,” Cheryl murmured, which is hilarious when you consider how no one would bat even one glitter-caked eyelash if Bruno had said the same thing. Anyway, I liked Cheryl’s interpretation of “America the Beautiful” here — the little hand flicks on the lilt of the word “waves” and the rush of the majestic run/drag across the floor during “Amerrrrrrrica.” The pyro chambers on the platform approved, too — both of them shot sparks after C&C’s final pose. Lesson learned: When you feel like you’re gonna puke, and Cheryl Burke asks “Wanna take a break?” — the answer is no.
NEXT: Chelsie and Mark nearly get EW.com’s Fringe Fairy kicked out of her apartment
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: 26/30 My neighbors already hate me, I’m assuming, because all I ever do is sit around blasting reality TV at full volume. (I feel like if I can’t “really hear it,” I’m not getting the “full effect” of the show. Probably makes more sense for American Idol.) I sincerely hope no one was walking by my door during Chelsea and Mark’s “Party in the U.S.A.” samba. As a longtime DWTS recapper, I’ve had some REALLY embarrassing I-don’t-deserve-to-live-here moments, but I think this might have topped them all. I keep freaking myself out lately, too, thinking One of these nights, Annie, someone is gonna finally knock on the door and demand to know WHAT THE FRINGE is up with you. And what would I even say? “Nooooo, no, it’s not Miley Cyrus. It’s the Harold Wheeler Ensemble’s rendition of a Miley Cyrus song on Dancing With the Stars. It’s America Night!” That’s so much worse! But it’s probably time to discuss this dance. Chelsea and gas station attendant Mark, a real blue collar kind of a guy, were technically precise as usual — or as Bruno put it a bit more raunchily, “so tight and so clean.” They went a little too literal on the interpretation of the line “Nodding my head like yeah/ Moving my hips like yeah,” but to be fair, that is pretty much the purpose of DWTS — brought to lyrical fruition by one of our great nation’s most elegant songstresses. So I’ll let that slide. “Yum, yum, what a bum,” said Len in his second-most SSCN.
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower: 26/30 Chelsea’s heavy, billowing white gown was like a third character in their foxtrot — I loved the effect, and thought it made the entire dance more grand and more fun, but it could have been distracting for others. Romeo wanted to do a foxtrot with swagger, but Chelsie warned him, “You have to make it ’60s swagger like Frank Sinatra — cool.” So to compromise, Romeo wore a hat. I think everything worked here. He’s got rhythm, which is refreshing compared to Ralph, who is more outwardly enthusiastic than Romeo but lacks his…well, swagger, I guess! “I’ve never seen a foxtrot so cheeky,” raved Bruno. I find this hard to believe, but obviously he had a better view of Romeo’s ass so I can’t question this too much. Carrie Ann marveled at how Chelsie had chiseled away at Romeo’s initial ballroom resistance. He is certainly in it to win it, and so are his family members in the audience. How you like them cookies, dad? (Mmm…cookies.)
BONUS FRINGE FAIRY (TM) DESKTOP BACKGROUND OF THE WEEK
Maks shows off his temporary American flag tattoo. Tile that s—, DANCMSTRs!
NEXT: Dr. John Travolta prescribes high-top sneakers and romantic tension
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 23/30 This American Woman in a royal blue genie’s outfit is also in it to win it, but this week she barely need have bothered, because MAKS REMOVED HIS SHIRT. Just like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, Maksim Chmerkovskiy stripped down onstage and made millions of women pant and scream in the presence of his enormous American flag tattoo. This was in addition, of course, to Maks’ own tattoos, which are obviously much hotter than the flag. (Sorry, America!) Oh, and another reason Kirstie (or as Tom and I decided last week, Kursed-ie) barely had to bother this week was because esteemed doctor of dance psychiatry John Travolta showed up at Kirstie’s house for a therapy sesh! And Maks was wearing white pants and a low-cut black v-neck during this segment. Honestly, after all of this commotion and once Maks was shirtless, I had no idea which dance they were doing. I still don’t. Let me check. Foxtrot. Really? I guess so. Who cares?! My reaction here is much like Kirstie’s reaction to Brooke: “What advice did [Dr. John Travolta] give us, REALLY?! Just have fun. Just have fun.” Good times. Oh, and much like Kirstie, I wanna be on top.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff: 22/30 Ralph is always just a tiny bit behind Karina on all of their moves — but he gets there, and I love that about him. He’s sort of the Ty Murray of the season in that way. Clearly not the best, but look at how hard he’s trying! And he’s such a nice guy! It could work for him. Ralph’s samba, set to the renowned sexy Brazilian dance hit “Sweet Home Alabama,” was “not terrible, but lacks a lot of the qualities you like to see,” as our parliamentary representative Len so politely put it. (I loved that celebriquarium portrait of our good old Uncle Samba, by the way — “I want YOU to quit messin’ about and work on your hip action!”) Bruno was in rare form here, insisting that Ralph’s line dancing and two-step were very good but since this was a samba, “We need the fire down below, man.” Len completely swiveled around in his seat — usually he just leans away into the comforting glow of Carrie Ann’s jewelry. “Give me sex! Give me sex, man,” pleaded Bruno. Someone, please, do it! Just not Maks. He’s too expensive.
NEXT: Petra sticks her neck out; Kendra blabs about her cycle. Again!
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin: 22/30 Lovely Petra, the golden-token queen of the DWTS casino, “messed up” (her words) in the quickstep, but that’s okay. She’s so pretty and sweet. Len thought she coped very well with the speed of the music and the difficulty of the dance, then delivered an odd compliment: “You’ve got a lovely neck.” Her head droops a bit too far to the left for his tastes sometimes. It’s like the guy with anger issues telling Elaine she had a big head on Seinfeld. What am I talking about? I’d kill for Len Goodman — or anyone, really — to tell me I’ve got a lovely neck. Oh, and if some of those front-row audience members didn’t breach security and scurry onto the floor to grab some of those DWTS Casino chips, then I have zero faith left in the Planet Mirrorballus citizenry. You gotta get in there and take what’s yours!
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel 22/30 Awww. Wtittle baby Kendra felt like she was being attacked when Carrie Ann said she was afraid of being elegant. “I’m not afraid of f—ing elegance,” she whined elegantly during rehearsal footage. Luckily, “Yankee Doodle,” some silver thigh-highs, and a shredded American flag robe were on hand for a redemptive storyline this week. Their foxtrot was DWTS‘ landmark 1000th competitive dance! The first half of it was slow and stompy beyond comprehension, but Louis picked it up for the second half and they had some decent movement in hold. The judges still think she’s thinking too much during her dances. Ha! I can barely bring myself to write any more about her — she brought up “that time of the month” AGAIN, so she’s dead to me. Oh, but Kendra did win this week’s consolation prize, from Carrie Ann: “Most Patriotic Dance of the Night.” HUH? Suuuuuure. Did they not see both sides of Maks’ torso?!
If you missed it last week, listen to my post-results chat with Tom Bergeron. As he points out, “If I can send you video from my car, the least I can do is give you audio from my dressing room.” Tom and I discuss the risk and eventual payoff of transforming the ballroom into a symphony hall for Classical Night and the chances of an eventual DWTS pajama party (roughly: “a snowball’s chance in hell”). And would he have accepted the kiss from Maks that Kirstie turned down at the end of their dance? Hell no! “Let’s keep it below the belt,” he warns.
Press play on the little triangle above. Be sure to stick around ’til the bitter end when I release a lovely and ladylike snort!
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Update: Here they are — Your Hidden Gems of Season 12, Week 5!
EW.com’s Fringe Fairy