Hop on a cross-country flight because the ballroom is going from New York City to Las Vegas, baby. Vegas is all about sparkle, showmanship, and surprises — so it is the perfect theme for Dancing With the Stars. There’s oversized dice! And the Blue Man Group! And more feathers to be found than you could ever possibly need. See? Exactly like Vegas. But we’re not here (only) for the feathers — we’re here to dance. Let’s see which gambles on the ballroom floor paid off.
Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke
Foxtrot, “Why Don’t You Do Right?” by Peggy Lee
How do you come off the high of two nines? You don’t. You continue to get them. That’s what Juan Pablo and Cheryl do with their sexy foxtrot. The routine is about a glamorous couple who have a little-choreographed foreplay after a night out in Vegas. Sure, why not? It’s smooth throughout and I can’t get over Juan Pablo’s arm flourishes. He looks like a pro! Okay, so Len still isn’t pleased with his frame and wants cleaner footwork, but the makings of perfection are there.
Judges’ Score: 26/30
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson
Tango, “Ashes” by Celine Dion
I’m sorry, what glorious world have we stepped into? Celine Dion is now doing intros to routines on Dancing With the Stars? We are truly living tonight. Milo and Witney are doing the tango to one of her songs; she’s a Vegas staple, so she wishes them luck ahead of their dance. Actually, she says, “Put on your heels, the sky’s the limit,” which is very inspiring (to me). This tango is ridiculous. It’s still hard to believe it’s only week two! Len chides Milo for dancing down, instead of dancing his height, but otherwise, this is top-notch. Bruno is here for the staccato moments and Carrie Ann can’t get over how versatile a dancer and performer Milo is. And that’s the Power of Celine.
Judges’ Score: 26/30
Danelle Umstead and Artem Chigvintsev
Quickstep, “Luck Be a Lady” live performance by Donny Osmond
Tonight we get a prime example of the challenge’s Danelle’s disease poses to her dance routines. So much can go wrong even without the extra challenge of being blind. The Paralympian is a little intimidated by the quickstep, but she fully trusts Artem. The couple makes good use of the space, and Carrie Ann praises their first, extremely graceful, pass across the floor. Len thought it took a little too much time to get going, but enjoyed the performance overall. The very pleased judges give Danelle and Artem their highest score of the season so far.
Judges’ Score: 19/30
Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten
Salsa, “Booty” by Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azalea
These two are feeling good after their very well-received Swan Lake Argentine tango, but things take a turn in rehearsals. Alan’s demanding a lot from Alexis, and she gets frustrated. Our first rehearsal room walkout of the season! How exciting. Out on the dance floor, all of that frustration is replaced with lots of booty shaking and wild lifts. Like Phoebe Buffay before her, Alexis Ren is very bendy, according to Bruno. Carrie Ann warns that Alexis’s flexibility is a strength (did you guys see those lifts?), but can be a detriment, too. Beware a lack of core strength!
Judges’ Score: 24/30
John Schneider and Emma Slater
Jive, “King Creole” by Elvis Presley
Bless this show. An Elvis dance-off? I didn’t even know I was allowed to dream that big. That’s the theme for John and Emma’s jive, which helps distract from the lack of actual jive content. His flicks and kicks are lacking, but it’s entertaining! That’s what Vegas is all about. Carrie Ann does offer some real notes for the couple: John needs to own his size — his arm movements are too small. Otherwise, this pair will skate by on sheer charm. How cute are they together? Fingers-crossed “the skunk” works its way into a future routine. The “angry rabbit?” Not so much.
Judges’ Score: 20/30
DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold
Quickstep, “Ladies Man” live performance by Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men is in the house! Remember how great Wanya Morris and Lindsay were back in season 22? Misty water-colored memories, ya know? Not that her current partner isn’t equally as fun to watch. DeMarcus is so charming! Still, he gets a lot of notes on his frame. Carrie Ann points out that his shoulder hunches over and it creates a strange topline. Lindsay takes the blame — her arms aren’t long enough for his frame! You can’t make your arms longer, so they’ll have to come up with plan B.
Judges’ Score: 23/30