Dancing With the Stars recap: 'Vegas Night'
Dancing With the Stars ups the glitz and glamour factor with a Vegas theme night, only to send one unlucky couple home.
Now that we’re one elimination in to season 24 of Dancing With the Stars, things are getting serious. And when things get a little too serious, DWTS does what a televised dancing show is wont to do: find a place that loves feather boas and shiny objects just as much as it does letting loose. That’s right you guys — the ballroom is headed to Sin City.
But what does a Vegas Night on DWTS look like? I imagine a lack of clothes and whole lot of feathers — which is really any Monday night. But if the rest of the routines look anything like the big opening group number — which had a dancing group of drunk bachelorettes — we are in for a fun night. Let’s dance, people.
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd
Tango, “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
Nick and Peta are still feeling down from the rough critiques they received for their hectic foxtrot. Still, neither Nick nor Peta agrees that Nick can’t handle all of Peta’s choreography. THE JUDGES KNOW NOTHING. Just kidding! Our DWTS judges are great and I never want them to leave. But still, these two don’t ease up on the tango content when it comes to their Lady Gaga poker routine. And there’s improvement! It’s not the greatest number we’re likely to see tonight, but it is serviceable. Bruno still wants Nick to work on his foot articulation, but overall he really does seem in control. And even better: He had fun doing it. Aww. Somebody’s feeling the DWTS love.
Judges’ Score: 26/40
Mr. T and Kym Herjavec
Foxtrot, “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” by Robbie Williams
Well, Mr. T was feeling pretty good about his boxing-themed routine… until he realized he was at the bottom of the leader board. But never you mind those scores! This is a new week, and Mr. T and Kym are finally going to reveal a softer, more elegant side of Mr. T. He’s going for a routine based on the Vegas he knows: the glitzy, dapper Vegas of the ’50s and ’60s. The new side of Mr. T is a delight. May he always dance in a white tux with a matching white feather earring. The judges enjoy it too — he’s still not a great dancer, but he is entertaining. Hey, that counts a lot on this show.
Judges’ Score: 24/40
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess
Charleston, “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” by Fergie and GoonRock and Q-Tip
As all the judges repeatedly remind Bonner, not every dance is going to be your best dance. You know what that means. The Charleston is a tough dance style for, you know, a human who just one year ago was paralyzed in a rodeo accident. The style calls for big movements and lots of lifts and tricks — none of which Bonner can do with his injury. They try to sell it as best they can, but Bonner looks in over his head. It’s a shame because Queen Sharna’s choreography is so good. But what’s new? Bonner gets possibly the most dreaded critique from Carrie Ann: She appreciated that he “didn’t give up.” Oof. A rough night for our rhinestone cowboy.
Judges’ Score: 24/40
We now interrupt your regularly scheduled dancing for a
commercial performance from Derek and Julianne Hough from their new tour. Well, aren’t we just the lucky ones? It’s all very emotional and moving and about their parents’ divorce. Just giving us a little warm-up for next week’s “Most Memorable Year” theme, which, if you’ve watched this show or read these recaps before, you know is basically just two hours of crying. Can’t wait!
Heather Morris and Alan Bersten
Tango, “Toxic” by Britney Spears
Sadly, Maks is still out trying to heal his calf. But neither pain nor distance can keep Maks from critiquing Heather and Alan as they work on their Britney-themed tango. Does Alan know he could just turn the TV screen off and be on his way? Whatever the reason, this routine is pretty great. Is it the Britney-fied tango dress? Is it the sought-after sighting of a blazer, no shirt combo? Or is it just pure talent? My heart says the second thing, but my head says the third. You be the judge. Speaking of the judges, they love this tango so much, they’d like to marry it. They point out the improvement in chemistry, and applaud their musicality and subtlety in movement. All this praise is a lead up to the first nine of the season.
Judges’ Score: 33/40
Charo and Keo Motsepe
Foxtrot, “Chapel of Love” by The Dixie Cups
It’s hard to write when I’m stilling laughing about Tom saying Keo and Charo are “working on settling down.” How? Also, HOW? Well, one thing Keo has going for him in his constant attempts to rein in his partner: She feels so bad about her outburst last week. She promises to listen to Keo more… sort of. They take the floor for a foxtrot, which is nerve-racking after only seeing her in more passionate Latin dances, but she really does rein it in! The judges rightly praise Keo for his choreography, and they all love to see this softer side of Charo. Well, except for Carrie Ann, who confusingly asks for a little more of the old Charo. MAKE UP YOUR MIND, WOMAN. Nothing ever makes sense on Planet Cuchi Cuchi.
Judges’ Score: 24/40
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber
Quickstep, “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
The main critique for all of Simone’s performances thus far has been to work on emoting. It’s the usual problem gymnasts have when they arrive on the ballroom floor. Thankfully for Simone and Sasha, they have the quickstep this week. The fast, fun, and as Sasha puts it, “giggly” style is perfect for Simone. Sasha’s right. The routine is fast and fun, and Len loves that it has extreme control and precision. She’ll still have to tackle her emotions at some point, but not tonight, my friends! There’s also this whole thing about a lift, which blah, blah, blah, we’ve heard about before. Let’s just focus on Simone’s perfect outfit. Where can I get one?
Judges’ Score: 32/40
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev
Samba, “Shake Your Bon-Bon” by Ricky Martin
How this routine isn’t standing alone at the top of the leader board, I’ll never know. There is a lot of build-up, mainly from Artem, who cannot believe he is in Vegas meeting THE RICKY MARTIN. He grew up dancing to his music. It is adorable. It also adds some pressure to getting the choreography just perfect — he wants to make Ricky proud. Oh, he does. Nancy has never looked so fabulous on the dance floor. She is owning it. Her hip movement is surprisingly great, and her partner work with Artem is on point. And don’t forget about those arm extensions! The judges are very happy: It’s a proper samba without any gimmicks, and that goes a long way.
Judges’ Score: 33/40
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold
Jazz, “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent
There’s a routine every season that has me down on my knees, grateful that this show exists. This season, that routine is David and Lindsay’s Magic Mike Live-inspired jazz routine. Because what in the hell is happening here? All I know is there is a lot of giggling (from me), some decent moves from David, and BEDAZZLED BOXERS. The judges want David to know that it was more than just entertaining; it was also good. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when David gets back into a more structured style next week. For now, fingers crossed those moms in carpool really do tell David, “I saw you gyrating your whole body last night,” because, sorry David’s kids, WE DID.
Judges’ Score: 31/40
Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko
Jive, “Take Me to Heaven” by Patina Miller & Debbie Kurup & Amy Booth-Steel
Erika has the jive for Vegas week, which, as Gleb informs her, is a style people usually excel at or fail miserably attempting. What will Erika’s fate be? Either way, she’s not the type of lady to shy away from a challenge. On the floor, she looks pretty good. Bruno notes that her timing goes off and she and Gleb get out of sync a few times (watch those flicks and kicks, girl), but it is nice to see the lighter side of Erika. Carrie Ann also docks them a point for another questionable lift (she started the routine lifted by two troupe members), which, again, I get that there are rules to the dance styles, but it is a buzzkill.
Judges’ Score: 26/40
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater
Samba, “Swalla” by Jason Derulo feat. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign
Anyone else still cooling themselves off from Rashad and Emma’s sexy Viennese waltz last week? The couple, now at the top of the leader board, are feeling the pressure to perform again. Emma isn’t taking the easy road with Rashad — she has a dancer as a partner this season, and she is going to push him. They perform a fun poolside samba, but I think I enjoyed it more than the judges. The expectations were high, and they felt like Rashad didn’t really live up to him. He lost timing and wasn’t driving the dance. He has a natural ease to his movement, but they want that balanced with technique. Not one of them mentions his glorious hip action. It is a travesty of an omission.
Judges’ Score: 28/40
Normani Kordei and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Foxtrot, “Big Spender” by Shirley Bassey
My notes from Normani and Val’s foxtrot are one simple sentence: SHE IS SO GOOD. You guys, Normani is so, so good. Even after another crazy travel week (this time, the pair bond in Hong Kong), Normani walks onto the floor and performs the hell out of her routine. She has the best performance value out of all the celebs competing. Len would’ve liked a little more in-hold content, and Carrie Ann feels bad, but once again she has to dock a point for a lift-but-not-really-a-lift (Normani was lifted onto a card table). Overall, though, the judges are gobsmacked. Normani is definitely an exciting contestant to watch.
Judges’ Score: 34/40
Tonight’s party vibe has been fun, but every party has a pooper, that’s why we invited you… whoever made up the rules of Dancing With the Stars, I guess? Regardless, it’s time to send another couple home.
Tom and Erin announce Charo and Keo and Nick and Peta as the couples in jeopardy, and then, sadly, we’re asked to say goodbye to Charo and Keo. The bright side: Keo won’t have to figure out how to keep Charo calm anymore. That was like a second full-time job for the guy.
Dancing With the Stars