Dancing With the Stars recap: Season 23, Episode 9
A steamy 'Latin Night' comes with its own built-in shower!
If your tears still haven’t dried up from ‘Most Memorable Year,’ you’re in luck: It’s ‘Latin Night’! If you’re a true Dancing With the Stars fan, you know the heat coming from the dance floor will dry those misty eyes in no time because ‘Latin Night’ is always…hot, hot, hot. It’s, of course, also full of temperature-themed wordplay. That’s how DWTS rolls, you guys.
Our remaining nine couples will samba, cha cha, rumba, and paso their little hearts out, until one of them is eliminated at the end of the show. So maybe there will be tears during Latin Night! It’s an adventure every season. To add a little extra spice to the night, Pitbull is on hand to guest judge. So, enough with the chit-chat: as esteemed love guru Enrique Iglesias once said, “Bailamos!”
Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke
Salsa, “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” by Celia Cruz
Ryan and Cheryl are informed of their safety for the week and then hit the floor with some salsa moves. Ryan’s a little apprehensive at first because the salsa is fast. He’s not, however, apprehensive whatsoever about the amount of spray tan and black light body paint he’s sporting this evening. That boy is painted up, people. It’s the main reason Pitbull is bestowing them with an 8, which he prematurely divulges during his critique. Guest judges be crazy, amirite? Jules is also a big fan, and she’s becoming more impressed with Ryan each week. Carrie Ann thought it was fun but severely lacking in musicality, and Bruno shares his life motto: Always undress to impress. Regular judges be crazy, amirite?
Judges Score: 30/40
Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber
Paso Doblé, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Santa Esmeralda
Terra’s really on a rollercoaster: She’s riding high from her stellar contemporary routine last week…until she finds out she has to get angry for her paso doblé. Terra doesn’t do angry. Not even slapping Sasha across the face works! But the gal is digging her wardrobe — it’s glitter ruffles, so that’s a given. I’d like to live inside those ruffles, you know? Unfortunately, all of Terra’s worrying about not getting the character of the dance comes through in her performance. All of our usual judges notice that she’s not as committed to this number, noting that they could see she was uncomfortable. That being said, it wasn’t so bad. Plus, she gets to take a whack at the mirror ball piñata afterward, which is the real prize here.
Judges’ Score: 30/40
Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Cha Cha, “Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha” by Petty Booka
Amber didn’t love watching herself break down into tears during last week’s package, but that doesn’t stop her from doing it again. Maks wants his partner to live up to her potential, and Amber is fighting it every literal step of the way. He knows she can do better and he sometimes shows his love by yelling. Amber’s not into it and she takes off, leaving our teddy bear Maks sweaty and alone in the dance studio. Oh, to be that dance studio! She comes back the next day and they work out the kinks, but as the judges point out, Amber still seems unsure in her movements. She’s hesitant and timid when she needs to be sharp and passionate. She swears she’s having fun though, and I guess that’s all the matters. JUST KIDDING, THE MIRROR BALL IS EVERYTHING.
Judges’ Score: 28/40
NEXT: James gets his Ricardo on
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess
Rumba, “Need the Sun to Break” by James Bay
Forget what I said about no tears on ‘Latin Night.’ James and Sharna make me teary eyed and weak in the knees. James has been nervous all week. The rumba is all about getting your sexy on, and James doesn’t think sexy is an adjective that applies to him. He is wrong. He says he’s going to channel his old cha cha alter ego Ricardo (let’s get real, I will be watching that Ricardo bit on repeat), but he doesn’t need to. He’s wearing a deep-V lace shirt for cripes’ sake! James is in it to win it. He and Sharna dance a beautiful rumba that’s so full of lust, Pitbull has to take off his sunglasses. Carrie Ann and Bruno are seriously impressed by James mastery of the details: His arm extensions, hip action, and chest undulations all make him the one to beat. Julianne says she wants more chemistry from James and Sharna (not possible), but also calls James the best male celebrity they’ve ever had on the show. Pick a lane, Hough!
Judges’ Score: 38/40
Marilu Henner and Derek Hough
Cha Cha, “Echa Pa’Lante” by Thalia
Marilu is finally feeling like herself in this competition and neither she nor Derek want to waste that momentum. They’ve tweaked the way rehearsals go to make the routine easier for Marilu to grasp and it’s working. Derek’s game plan boils down to: show off Marilu’s gams. And, Derek, in response to you asking if getting hot and bothered over Marilu’s legs is weird, I’m here to tell you that yes, yes it is. But he means well, and Marilu’s legs are her secret weapon on the dance floor. The cha cha lost a little steam for me toward the end, but the judges were all happy to see the confident, relaxed Marilu make another appearance in the ballroom. Bruno found it both graceful and sexy and was a big fan of the armography. I’m a big fan that the word armography just exists in the world, so we’re all basically on the same page.
Judges’ Score: 34/40
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko
Argentine Tango, “Hands to Myself” by Selena Gomez
Jana and Gleb’s Argentine tango starts on a bed and ends in a shower. So, um, yeah…it was real good. We’re all well aware that these two are steeped in chemistry and we’ve seen them successfully do sexy before (although Jana claims that she needs to channel Gleb in order to bring the sexiness), but you guys, not like this. Never like this. Carrie Ann is right to point out that sexy is easy for them, but on top of the lust of it all, there was some top-notch dancing. Jana owns the dance floor. She’s taken a lot of the judges’ critiques into consideration and she’s never looked better. Jana and Gleb were put into jeopardy right before they took the floor, and they danced like two people with nothing to lose. It would be a shame for them to go after this but at least they’d be going out on top.
Judges’ Score: 40/40
NEXT: Yes, people have to follow that Argentine Tango
Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev
Samba, “Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes featuring The Black Eyed Peas
Who wants to follow a routine like Jana and Gleb’s? Poor Maureen talks about all the confidence she’s gained in the past few weeks but I have to imagine if she was watching what just happened on the dance floor ahead of her, some of that confidence must’ve flown out the window. There’s one thing that Maureen has an abundance of, and that’s feathers. So many feathers! Stick a giant head piece full of feathers on a lady and the routine is already a winner in my book. Alas, we’re not judging feathers (but I’d totally watch that show). Maureen does her best to keep up with Artem, but she looks lost through a good portion of her routine. The judges commend her for her positive attitude and her ability to tackle anything Artem throws at her. That’s not really saying much about the dancing, but sure, it’s nice to see someone getting so much out of this process. Also, feathers!
Judges’ Score: 31/40
Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold
Argentine Tango “Hotel California” by Eagles
Lesson of the night: One does not need an on-stage dance shower in order to be sexy. Calvin and Lindsay are also handed the Argentine tango and get everyone just as hot and bothered as those other two did. They came a long way, too, since at the beginning of the week any time Lindsay mentioned being sexy or held sexy face training or reminded Calvin that he’d be presenting his abs to all of America, Megatron just giggled. Thankfully, Calvin didn’t giggle whilst flinging Lindsay through the air. Those lifts were showstoppers. It’s nice to see Calvin growing as an entertainer and a dancer. The judges loved that he was in control throughout the entire routine; a real leading man. ‘Latin Night’ is really bringing the heat, people. I told you there’d be word-play!
Judges’ Score: 37/40
Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Salsa, “Light It Up” by Major Lazar featuring Nyla & Fuse ODG
Laurie and Val are coming into ‘Latin Night’ after a bit of a tumble down the leaderboard. Also adding some pressure is that ‘Latin Night’ might not be the most age appropriate thing for our little teenager. Val tells her to prepare herself because a lot of people will be ripping their shirts off. Val doesn’t know it, but this is how we all prepare for DWTS every week. It’s DWTS 101. Laurie gets some advice from DWTS alums and fellow gymnasts Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin, and off she goes, swiveling her hips and making Rihanna moves all over the dance floor. She mucks up a few bits of armography, and Julianne wants her to get deeper in her hip action, but it’s still the type of fun, precise routine we’ve become accustomed to from Laurie.
Judges’ Score: 37/40
Those were some fiery routines, huh? Unfortunately, it’s time for someone to gather up their sequins and get on out of here. There are three couples in jeopardy:Amber and MaksJana and GlebCalvin and Lindsay
Both couples who tackled the Argentine tango are safe, which means Amber and Maks are headed home. Before anyone can get too torn up about it, there is some good news to report: Len Goodman makes his triumphant return to the judges panel next week. Serious question: What would Len have thought about that shower?
Dancing With the Stars