Week 6: Nothing inspires random shirtlessness better than the sensual sounds of Stevie Wonder!
Dancing With The Stars Recap
Credit: ABC

Is there any better “higher ground” for the music of Stevie Wonder than in a lofty ballroom, far, far away on Planet Mirrorballus?

Sure, it was pretty weird that the R&B icon himself didn’t sing on all of the numbers considering he was right there, but whatever! Stevie intro’ed the group, sang “Ma Cherie Amour” as Anna and Tony impersonated The Little Mermaid‘s Ariel and Prince Eric in a gorgeous exhibition, and even got out there on the floor himself for “Sir Duke” so the Troupe ladies, Anna, and Cheryl could take turns stroking various parts of his body so he could literally “feel it all over.”

I love EW reader Liz’s suggestion (over on PopWatch) that as a special Week 6 challenge, all of the couples should have had to dance around a Stationary Stevie and occasionally paw at him for bonus points. What a fun, sexy time that would be for sparkaliens one and all!

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhh-ber!

Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 29/30 (54/60 total) After a very busy week of rooting for each other to fail during rehearsals, this couple earned their first 10s of the season with a flash-footed quickstep — one Len called “the best dance I’ve seen on season 16.” Whoa! Really? I’d give that to Zendaya and Val (and Anna and Maks)’s Argentine tango from last week, but this quickstep was indeed great.

I’m enjoying Kellie’s boldness in weave choice week to week, and her flowy red jumpsuit, complete with sparkly cleavage snake, captured the ’70s spirit of Stevie Wonder Night. One of my favorite parts of watching DWTS is the stunned realization a few seconds into a dance — “Ohhhh. They’re pants.” So jarring, but always a treat.

Kellie, Aly Raisman, Sean Lowe, and Andy Dick earned 25 extra points for the Team Samba — another charming homage to the ’70s that began with a group worship of a GIANT suspended mirrorball. (I’d already given it a 10. “Tehhhhhhhn!”) Zendaya, Ingo Rademacher, Jacoby Jones, and Victor Ortiz only got 22 points added to their solo scores with a Team Paso that was much less in sync, but still had its moments. My listing is in order of *total* tallies for the week.

NEXT: Mark Ballas reveals a sexual fantasy involving a pet store Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 27/30 (52/60 total): Boston girl Aly is understandably still shaken from the marathon bombings and dedicated their foxtrot to the victims. How dare she be distracted during practice, when Mark was executing such attention-grabbing stunts as demonstrating ‘I’m having fun!’ facial expressions, wearing terrible penguin pants, and seducing Aly with lines like “If I went to a pet shop and was gonna buy a kitten, I would buy you. Sex kitten.” But she powered through and seemed fairly relaxed in the foxtrot.

There was a real joy about this dance, despite the cries for help from Aly’s costume, which couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a shimmery t-shirt or a frothy ball gown. I think sleeves should be outlawed in general, but especially short, capped sleeves, which are always less flattering than no sleeves, no matter who you are.

Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 29/30 (51/60 total) Their cha cha came first in the show, so two 10s right away were very “huh?” considering the episode had no momentum. That’s always weird. But when I rewatched this dance post-show, the footwork and especially Zendaya’s three-toned fringe were quite fabulous. I enjoyed their matching gold-studded armbands and the thrill of wondering if Val’s bulging bicep would cause his to snap right off. I’m guessing the judges knew they’d be scoring Team Paso lower than Team Samba and padded Zendaya’s scores accordingly. “I feel sorry for whoever has to come after you,” commented Carrie Ann. So…everyone, then. Buzzkill!

I’m pretty sure tonight’s nightmare will involve Val scolding me, “It’s not gonna work, ’cause you don’t have tone in your body.” Shudder. Hey, I’ll take it.

Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 21/30 (46/60 total) Instead of treating us to more footage of Sean and Tristan’s burgeoning love affair, DWTS showed The Bachelor meticulously gluing a gem to Peta’s heel and, during practice, attempting hip action while wearing a sassy knotted shirt. Not bad. Character development is key. Especially when the character can’t dance!

For their royal blue (in my opinion Peta’s best color) samba, Sean cranked up the partial nudity and ditched his open jacket early on so that we might focus on his pecs and somewhat disappointing lack of armpit hair (really? this is how my life turned out?) instead of his lack of technique. He has no sense of rhythm and I really don’t think this dance was better than Andy’s.

“Look on the bright side — you can always get a job as a stripper!” cried Bruno. I smell a third reality series for suddenly-single Sean! Oh, no, that’s just his pits.

Hidden gem: I may be delirious, but upon first glance, Karina reminded me of Edyta here.

NEXT: Bingo, Ingo! Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 24/30 (46/60 total) Sean and Ingo both aimed to do better than Andy Dick this week. Dream bigger, guys. I thought “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” was a pretty awkward song choice for the solemn and angry tango, but Ingo totally made it work with incredible posture, what Bruno called an “animal magnetism,” and an all-black suit to offset his ice-blue eyes. Their whirling-dervish sequence into that final drop pose was killer. Well done, Kym! Ingo finally got the 8s he deserved — perhaps instead of all that extra training, all he needed to do was have it be his birthday.

“This is the dance that suits you,” said Len, and that’s true — same goes for the paso doble later on. Ingo’s strong in these fierce, grounded dance styles that don’t demand much hip action. It was great to see him (and young Tot-emacher, as always) so happy!

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 23/30 (45/60 total) Jacoby delivered one of the night’s most memorable moments with that mind-blowing leap over Karina’s head for Team Shirtless — this time she leaned backwards while facing him. I think next time she should do a little hop during his hang time, really force him to up his game.

Their quickstep was less awe-inspiring but super energetic and enjoyable. Jacoby’s pigeon toes (perfect for his day job) are hilarious if you deliberately stare at them. I hadn’t done that yet — all that emphasis on his stompers during rehearsal footage drew me in. (Stompers? WTF? That is so not a term for feet.)

“I know it’s Stevie Wonder night, but that was like a Beatles medley. It started out ‘Please Please Me,’ and by the end I was thinking ‘Help.'” Good God, Goodman! Stop trying to make everything British! And beware the wrath of Jacoby’s mama.

Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 18/30 (43/60 total) I am loving Andy’s commitment to learning the technique, and he definitely goes for it and doesn’t freeze out there due to complicated choreography. I wanted him to do well in what Bruno called a “personality-driven splendid shamble of a samba,” but the mailman costume kept tripping me up. It’s hard to conceive of a funky mailman, let alone a funky mailman who looks like Andy Dick. Meanwhile, Sharna’s sequined version of a floral Betty Draper frock was my favorite costume of the night.

The sunglasses and porn ‘stache definitely helped disguise his dorkiness during the Team Samba later on. And Andy was at least as good as Sean tonight, if not better…at least in terms of handing out roses.

NEXT: Bottom two comin’ atchu, plus Profoundly Obvious Gems! Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold: 18/30 rumba (40/60 total) Well, this was poor timing, to have to dance the rumba a week after Victor had his heart broken. He couldn’t get into the character at all and came across as stiff, uncertain, and unable. Carrie Ann’s comments about his and Lindsay’s “real wonderful chemistry” seemed absurd to me — I never get the sense during rehearsal footage that the pair have any common ground. But Victor claimed to “actually loooooove Lindsay” up on Brookebot Mountain, so what do I know?

In lieu of a full Hidden Gems heap this week, here’s a small collection of Profoundly Obvious Gems.

I love how crazy the props peeps are getting with various ways to highlight variously scaled models of Planet Mirrorballus. “What haven’t we stuck a disco ball in yet?” “Nothing…. wait! How ’bout a JELL-O mold?”

Mirrorball cake!

Mirrorball head!


Ballroom priorities, to scale.

These “Dating With the Stars” profiles were a hit, but check out Karina’s feathered bracelet.

Whatever the HELL was happening here is just bafflingly fantastic.

(Why can’t this fake TV be my real TV?)

Oh and if y’all don’t mind, I’m just gonna keep putting this at the end of every recap:

Okay, DANCMSTRs — who goes home tonight? Discuss!


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