Dancing with the Stars recap: Nice Work If You Can Get It
Hey, DANCMSTRs! Dancing With the Stars jumped right back into action for the second performance show of season 14. Martina Navratilova went ahead and wore a sparkly tennis net as a costume, Tom Bergeron referenced Clueless and announced that the ballroom had “landed back on the planet” (Mirrorballus!), and Brooke Burke’s yellow peek-a-boob gown was screamingly “Beauty and the Beast‘s Belle went to college and had a phase.”
Yep, everyone brought their A game last night — especially the ballroom floor, which was emblazoned throughout the show by several different standard DWTS food groups: fruit, liquid gold, and cash. It’s all the sustenance you need.
I’ve arranged the JUDGES’ LEADERBOARD by total scores from last week and this week — both scores plus viewer votes count as one couple faces elimination tonight.
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhh-ber!
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26 last week + 26 this week = 52 out of possible 60 Bruno Tonioli knows sexy when he sees it, and what is sexier than cascading two-toned fringe on a Dancing With the Stars contestant with newfound sexual confidence? The “Welsh wiggler” looked like a completely different (gorgeous) person this week and all she had to do was straighten her hair. Katherine had sort of a less trashy, less booby Kendra Wilkinson thing going on here. (Sorry.) She actually looked like one of Our Pros with those hot pink high heels and such precision in her extensions. Mark is the perfect partner for her because he’s so in your face with his relentless booty shaking. It was cool to see her let her guard down once she finally believed that it was okay to be sexy during rehearsal. Definitely a light switch moment for her.
And fruit. FRUIT! Fruit on the floor of the ballroom. Flames on the side of my face. The casino theme was a bit infuriating (especially when they didn’t throw nearly as many chips in the air at the end as you could tell they wanted to; they should have employed Derek’s “pre-made piles” technique) but once Katherine and Mark hit the “judges jackpot” it was all worth it.
Esteemed Colleague Email Interlude:
Perhaps this was an attempt to prove that his “wanking” hand gesture from season 12 really was meant to invoke the idea of “rolling the dice with the choreography” as he insisted.
Either way, Mark loves to roll those dice!
NEXT: Is William Levy the new Jean Dujardin? (LOL)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 23 + 26 = 49/60 I loved how Chelsie, in the interest of portraying a “lifestyle of the rich and famous,” started out this mutli-platinum dolla $ign quickstep by petting a small dog — and then once the music kicked in she hurled it to the ground. I wonder if she meant to fling it into the audience? It was very “Screw my responsibility as chief caregiver of a stuffed animal; I gotta dance.” This was one of the most upbeat quicksteps I’ve seen — maybe too frenetic for my tastes but Roshon could certainly keep up with his whirling dervish of a partner. I’d gotten a little frightened when Chelsie’s in-training instructions included the statement “Everything is slow and quick,” but it turned out there was no need to worry. Bruno finds the Disney teen “absolutely delicious.”
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 24 + 25 = 49/60 Did someone mention snacks? In preparation for their quickstep, Cheryl made America’s favorite piping-hot beef empanada wear one of those dreaded posture bars that maintain one’s frame. He balked after she instructed him to use it the whole time, wondering “Should I go home and take a shower with this, too?”
Good God, Levy. Yes. Film it.
Alas, William was fully clothed — a real Harry Connick Jr., that one — during this week’s quickstep, which Len said needed cleaner footwork and more body contact. (YEAH!) Bruno compared him to Jean Dujardin in The Artist, and I loved Empanada’s “Are you kidding me, give me a break” reaction to that. Cheryl had promised that the higher their scores got, the more of Empanada’s pastry puff layers would come off in subsequent weeks, so of course Carrie Ann and Bruno held up 9s.
The real star of this segment, though, was Empanada’s adorable young son, Zesty Fried Pork Bite. What a little angel. There are some seriously cute sparkalien children on Planet Mirrorballus this season. When William raved that DWTS was “the best thing right now besides having my kids — this love from America is so beautiful,” I was like “So is your child!” Now I just feel weird.
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 26 + 22 = 48/60 “God, you have a crazy eye,” Jaleel told our little Olivia Newton-Johnson. At first I thought he said “lazy.” It’s apparently the look Kym gives when she’s pleased, but not satisfied, so that’s probably pretty often considering all her partners/targets over the years. The pair’s jive, set in a “diner,” made excellent use of a curly straw. But the judges agreed it lacked punch and could have been sharper. I wanted to like it more but had trouble focusing after I realized how much Jaleel resembled young Brian (Josh Charles) from the classic 1991 film Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.
Can you hear the distant Clown Dog theme song calling?
Upon further inspection, those polka dots on Kym’s ridiculous yet adorable (how does she do it?) diner outfit were actually gigantic sequins. Of course they were. My sister noted via email that Kym actually looked like the ballroom version of SuEll (Christina Applegate) from, again, our favorite movie — black and white, polka dots, punches of red. Very General Apparel West.
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 21 + 25 = 46/60 Wow! The masks threw me off at first because I kept waiting for the people with beautiful faces underneath them to rip them off. But in keeping with their “flying killers” theme, Maria removed neither her mask nor her long-sleeved pink gown to reveal a sexier underlay. It actually worked for this quickstep, to have them both “in character” the whole time. She miraculously kept up with him the whole time. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that ending, when Derek jumped onto the judges’ table feet first, grabbed two pre-arranged stacks of cash (that’s why it looked so good! Derek, you evil magician!) and jumped away to catch Maria in time for them to both sprawl out, panting, in a sex-sex-sexy heap amidst a flutter of money. Oh, and Maria did all of this with an injured rib. It’s okay, she’s Greek. She’s tough.
NEXT: ‘I look like a big-ass baby’ Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy: 23 + 23 = 46/60 I feel like Sherri Shepherd is going to be the one who gets us to LOVE Val. He was so funny when she missed his grip and had to basically say nuh-uh to the “let me slide you through my legs” portion of the jive. I suspect she never planned on getting in there anyway. Sherri reacted perfectly by standing in place and doing a jazz-hands breaststroke, while Val got situated for the next pre-scheduled move they could actually do together and crossed his arms as he waited for her to finish being naughty. He’s quite a little actor. And I just about lost it during rehearsal footage when Sherri sat on Val’s waist and realized in the mirror that she looked “like a big-ass baby.” Every season needs a magnetic personality who doesn’t care at all if she does the dance perfectly. It turns out that if you don’t care, neither will the judges!
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 21 + 24 = 45/60 Peta is certainly aiming to re-establish the title of Lady Legwarmer in Edyta’s permanent absence with those thigh-high striped numbers. Should we let her? I’m thinking no — unnecessary. We can just call her Stocking Shah or something else. Peta choreographed a difficult quickstep for Donald that she knew he could handle — and did he ever! He was so dapper and fluid throughout the dance, which I’m pretty sure took place on the “bright side” of Mary Poppins. All of DWTS might take place there, in fact. (Sequined-collar-fringe-ilisitc-expial-bodacious.)
Len apologized to a contestant! What is going on?? Is he like Dick Van Dyke’s merry-go-round horse who just kept spinning and spinning until he lost his sense of self? Weird. Len, who is now a football referee, watched the playback of Donald’s week 1 cha cha and decided he had under-marked the good chap. “Oh, that’s big,” the show’s #1 fan said. “I love you, man, I appreciate that.” Read Donald’s comments re: Len’s apology after the show.
Jack Wagner and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya: 23 + 21 = 44/60 Come on, Jack Wagner! You’ll never get anywhere on this show if you think Your Pro is making fun of you by demonstrating what you should do with your head. Their jive definitely did get a bit out of control like the judges said, but I’m loving Jack’s attack and overall effort. As Bruno cried, “You couldn’t have given more if you tried!” Better to have an over-dancer than an underachiever, right? And anyone who’s willing to match half of his outfit to Anna’s glorious pink-and-orange triangular Fringe Flap is a winner in my book.
Len was less enthusiastic about Jack Wagner than I am, saying that Jack and Anna’s jive was of “an acceptable standard to take you through.” Whatever, DANCMSTR.
NEXT: The only time I ever cried was when Maks stopped shaking his butt
Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus: 23 + 19 = 42/60 Speaking of whatever, DANCMSTR, why the heck did Len give Gladys and Tristan’s quickstep a 5? He appeared to have been asleep during Bruno’s comments, so he should have been well rested and less cranky when it was paddle time. “As much as I admire you, I didn’t really 100 percent appreciate the dance tonight,” Len told Gladys. He only 50 percent appreciated it. A solid F. I just got off the phone with Tristan (he’s blogging for us — don’t worry, Brooke has agreed to translate) and he admitted he was a little annoyed by the 5. He also said it was his idea to dance with Gladys along the giant piano keys, just like in that memorable scene from Big. This was definitely the coolest part of their routine. It wasn’t too exciting on the whole, but it was smooth and Gladys looked amazing yet again.
Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff: 20 + 21 = 41/60 Bruno could not get enough of Gavin’s leather jacket and studded belt for their “Wild One” motorcycle jive. I couldn’t get enough of his sense of rhythm and general silliness! God, Bruno, get your priorities straight. As it turned out, Gavin didn’t need Karina to stand in front of him so it looks like he’s doing something cool, as he jokingly requested during rehearsals. His posture was “a little funky” according to Carrie Ann, and he had “some strange kicks going on,” but he was animated and lively and that’s all I want from anyone on week 2. Imagine how much more boring this season would be if Gavin, Jack, and Sherri were low-energy contestants who messed up instead of fun contestants who messed up. I really like this partnership. It takes a special type of hat stand to detect the smokestacks that come out of Karina’s ears.
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 20 + 20 = 40/60 I thought this Billy Idol quickstep was much better than a 20. It’s not like she danced it by herself! It had been an emotional week for Melissa, who turned on the tears after winning a single compliment from Maks — after he’d gone all Kindergarten Cop on her (“Stop whining!”) and told her she looked like she was taking a dump. This routine was really difficult and I like that he keeps taking his dances up and down the steps. Melissa seems pretty fearless to me, and that final twisting drop of theirs was a stunner. The judges weren’t feeling it though. Carrie Ann sensed nervousness in Melissa’s shoulders, Len thought “it all became loose” in the middle, and Bruno warned Melissa against “tightening up.” Who knows what they were on about? The important thing is this.
Gray is possibly The Cryin’ King’s butt’s best color, don’t you think?
Hidden gems: Martina Navratilova LOVING this, and Tony’s plaid pants.
Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani: 20 + 17 = 37/60 Kudos to Martina for donning possibly the worst and most hilarious Dancing With the Stars costume ever — a sparkly tennis-net top over red fringed pants. It might even sound okay based on that meager description, but it wasn’t. Nor was their tragic jive, the steps to which Martina forgot more than once. And she had even triggered an old sports injury in her toe during training. Really nothing could go right for Martina this week. At least her fellow tennis great Jimmy Connors was on hand to give the dyslexic version of the score he thought Martina should get (01).
She’ll probably be the one to go tonight. The editors and Brooke having to put up Maria and Derek’s voting number during Martina and Tony’s segment kind of sealed the deal on that one. It was just cringe after cringe after fringe. I almost cried. Ghost of Mustafa, is that you?
See you tonight! Nominate your Hidden Gems of the Week over at PopWatch before noon ET.
Update: Your Hidden Gems of Week 2!
Who’s headed home? Should they project The Lion King on the ballroom floor so that Maks cries no matter what?
Ask Annie anything about ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (or whatever) in the video player below. To see her answers to previous questions, click on the text links below the picture. This is *not* liiiiiiive! and she is not actually sitting there right now. She updates a few times per week.