Sep 10, 2018
Dancing with the Stars RECAP: Southern discomfort and not so smiley (S19:E2)
It’s My Jam Monday on Dancing With the Stars! This week, the contestants are picking their own songs! Abysmal taste reigns supreme! The contestants glare threateningly at the camera, while Randy Couture snarls, “It’s fight night.”
There will be blood-spattered sequins littering the floor.
Or maybe not, because the judges get to choose their “first jams” in the opening number, and they actually peel themselves out of their seats for this one to “dance.” We learn that Julianne Hough is the only one who is still able to move for shit.
Fortunately, she’s covered up her boobs this week. Unfortunately, her hair looks like it got chopped to shreds with a weed whacker.
Randy Couture dances the Cha Cha this week. He wants to remind us that he can move. He also wants to remind us that he’s a competitive SOB. I hope he doesn’t take out his competitive SOB moves on Karina. “Stop yelling at me during the damn dance!”
The Ultimate Fighter turns army-man-flirting-with-U.S.O.-dancer to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Well, not the worst song choice this week, though he’s plodding around meekly like a timid tin soldier and Karina’s doing most of the work.
Len: That was fun! Your footwork wasn’t that great.
Julianne: Your fighting shoulders are a little bit… going… Don’t hit me!
Bruno: We could have a new hip-action hero! Too bad everything else was so sloppy.
Carrie Ann: I was a little underwhelmed!
So much for fight night.
Judges’ total score: 28
Pretty Little Liar Janel Parrish is pouting because she got outscored by a couple of old people last week, and Val has put her in after-school detention. Val thinks he’s pushing her because she deserves it, and Janel thinks Val’s “teaching mood” is kind of crappy. I think Janel is kind of bratty.
They begin the Foxtrot at a faux masquerade ball with two couples dancing, and they’ve got the wrong partners. Oops. After a switcheroo, Val and Janel get to hog the dance floor alone to “Call Me Maybe.” Like Cinderella at the ball, she loses her shoe. Standing O at the end. Val looks smug. Janel, expect detention every week now.
Julianne: (Face frozen in a nasty squint, like an evil stepsister in bitch mode.) That wasn’t a traditional Foxtrot… but I say screw tradition because I LOVED IT! (I’ll scratch your eyes out when the cameras are off.)
Bruno: Baby, no “maybe” for me, you can call me ANYTIME! (Was he talking to Val?)
Carrie Ann: That was …close… to perfect.
Len: You can dance! You can really dance!
Total judges’ score: 34
Lea Thompson was in jeopardy last week, so she’s shaken, SHAKEN WE TELL YOU!, to her very core. People didn’t like her dancing! She has to do the Jive! People liked Alfonso’s Jive! They will hate hers! She can’t do it! She’s a failure! Her confidence is shattered! She’s fishing for the sympathy vote! Please, vote for this woman before she has a nervous breakdown!
As the Jive begins, they are dancing to “Land of 1000 Dances” on a platform so small I think Lea’s going to fall off and break something. No such luck, however, and after a few ferocious passes they jump to the bigger floor and Lea finishes the dance as her boobs nearly fall out of her leopard print dress. Well, there’s another way to get votes!
Bruno: You have the incandescent appeal of Ann-Margret in her prime! Vote for her, you idiots!
Carrie Ann: The ladies are KILLING it tonight! (Falls out of her chair.) Vote for her, you idiots! (Muffled exclamation from behind the judge’s table.)
Tom Bergeron: Carrie Ann is the only judge for whom we’ve installed air-bags.
Len: She just kicked me in the lower portion.
Tom Bergeron: Isn’t it great to get feeling back there?
(This was the actual exchange on the show.)
Len: I was really concerned about the jive. Why? I don’t know, because that was terrific. Vote for her, you idiots!
Julianne: Gave me chills! Hot momma leopard! Knees were so high! Vote for her, you idiots!
Co-host Erin Andrews would like to point out that Lea’s partner, Artem Chigvintsev, just became an American citizen. Yeah, Artem! Vote for him, you idiots!
Erin would also like to point out that next week is Movie Night! You don’t want Lea to go home before Movie Night, do you? Vote for her, you idiots!
Total judges’ score: 35, the highest of the night. I think they’ve made their point.
NASCAR’s Michael Waltrip knows his dancing sucks, so he’s trying something new to keep the audience distracted from the fact that he’s a clumsy lout. He’s going to show them that he’s a skeevy perv! His song is “Girls in Bikinis.” He wants Emma to wear a bikini. No, actually he insists that Emma wear a bikini. He DEMANDS that Emma wear a bikini! He wants it so badly, HE’LL wear a bikini, too!
They’ve got the Samba, and… sure enough, against her will, Emma’s in a bikini. So are two other pro dancers. Michael, of course, is fully dressed. Sexist asshole. The girls dance; Mike shuffles around a little bit, with one very effective hip roll that shows where his head is. Peta Murgatroyd actually looks kind of offended.
Carrie Ann: The world needs more of what you’ve got (WHY?????!!!!) but I didn’t see much of a Samba. I saw hip-rolling pool boy.
Len: You put the “Sin” in Syncopation.
Julianne: You’ve definitely mastered the hip rolls, but… it’s, ah, the in-betweens….
Bruno: You must be the envy of every American male in the country tonight. Those girls all around you… it must have been very difficult to keep the concentration going!
Michael: I was having so much fun, I forgot some of my dance steps!
Total judges’ score: 24
Don’t vote for him, you idiots.
Radio host Tavis Smiley is on a book tour. He’s not here to dance. He’s just taking advantage of all the free advertising ABC is giving him. See him sign autographs at his book signing! See his self-promotion interviews! See him give speeches! See him blow Sharna off when it’s time to practice the Cha Cha Cha! See him realize “it’s gonna be a meltdown on Monday!”
Sure enough, when they head into “Boogie Wonderland” he’s like a deer in the headlights, looking absolutely terrified. He’s staring at Sharna like that kid who cribs off another kid on the final exam because he didn’t study. There’s a reason why he stood behind her almost the entire time.
Len: I know you’ve had a tough week, but it showed a bit. (A lot. A whole lot.)
Julianne: The time, of course, was kind of tough… uh… I… uh… this was your jam! The show must go on!
Bruno: A bit too stompy.
Carrie Ann: You got all the steps! Mostly… kinda.
Total judges’ score: 28
They gave him at least one point each out of misguided sympathy.
Alfonso Ribeiro topped the leaderboard last week! Now there’s nowhere to go but down! He spends his rehearsals whining, and Witney spends her rehearsals wishing Alfonso would shut up and listen to her.
Carlton’s dancing the Samba to “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” by the Fresh Prince himself. The biggest thing he’s got going for him is that he follows Mike and Tavis; they’d make anybody look semi-adaquate. At least he’s actually learned the steps.
Julianne: You have the Alfonso Groove. I’d like to see the Samba Groove.
Bruno: I could watch you dance forever, but….
Carrie Ann: You certainly gave us the Jiggy Jiggy Jam.
Len: You were popping like buttons on a tight shirt. By the way, I’m not going to be here next week. That little bit of dancing I did in the opener wore me out, and I have to sleep in for eight days straight now.
Total judges’ score: 32
The twitterverse is crazy for Bethany! #weluvubet! Even Taylor Swift tweeted about her! #andittrended! #Shecandiehappynow! But oh no! Her ankle! #limpingaroundandsupressingscreams! She’s been hurt!
But the show must go on, and since Bethany is “All about the Bass,” Derek makes her stand on one in the middle of a Foxtrot. With the sprained ankle. #pieceofcake. There’s no limping at all as she glides effortlessly about in dazzling red.
Bruno: It was so very Fosse.
Carrie Ann: You’re a great storyteller.
Len: I’m not a big twitter-man.
Julianne: You are my jam.
Total judges’ score: 33
Fashion designer Betsey Johnson almost went home last week, because everything about her performance was a complete nightmare—the look, the dance, the hair, the deadly attack boa. Tony decides the Baby Jane look isn’t working for her and gives her a makeover. All of a sudden, she’s in clothes that are 30 years too young for her rather than 50, and… she actually has something that resembles dignity.
The dance, performed to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” isn’t awful. It isn’t really a Foxtrot, but with the bar set so low this week by Mike and Tavis, it scrapes by as fairly passable. And no feather boas! The audience is on their feet because she didn’t completely humiliate herself.
Carrie Ann: All hail Queen Betsey! (Now, there’s a scary idea.)
Len: Last week was a night to forget. Tonight was a night to remember.
Julianne: It was a make-under.
Bruno: Compares her to Norma Desmond. That’s as close to insightful as this show gets.
Total judges’ score: 28. She’s ecstatic about a bunch of 7s.
Antonio Sabato, Jr., may look great in his underwear, but he looks like shit on the dance floor, and Cheryl’s becoming aware that her final partner is a dud. She tries to help him improve, but it’s kind of hopeless as he drops her on the floor.
They’ve got the Rhumba, a supposedly sensual dance set to “Adorn.” Cheryl dances beautifully. Antonio poses here and there, because really, he’s an underwear model.
Len: Don’t overanalyze these performances.
Carrie Ann: Better! A lot better!
Bruno: The Latin lover is starting to smolder! You have a very nice butt.
Julianne: Subtlety. That was the right approach.
Total judges’ score: 31
Tommy Chong is getting “Higher.” Of course he is. That’s his whole shtick. He thinks he raised the bar HIGH, so now he’s got to go HIGHER. Peta thinks he can’t rely on his personality this week.
On the floor, it’s a virtual repeat of last week. He’s got every step enthusiastically right, if not terribly crisp—but there’s a twist! At the very end, he rips open his shirt to reveal a 76-year-old chest! Which, like everything else about Tommy Chong on this show, is not quite as awful as we were all dreading.
Julianne: The only way I can describe that dance is with a bunch of “F” words. (Fun, fast, funny, fabulous, fearless.)
Bruno: We can party like it’s 1969!
Carrie Ann: You’re just the big Kahuna.
Len: 76, still working your assets!
Tommy: Please vote for us. If you do, we’ll save the world.
Total judges’ score: 28
Mean Girls boy Jonathan Bennett is still here, and he hasn’t asked anybody to duct-tape Julianne’s mouth shut. Great restraint, there. Jonathan declares that Allison is his new best friend, but he’s nervous. They’re doing the Cha Cha, and he has to bring out his sexy side. (Dissolves in a puddle of anxious giggles.) Understandable, but perhaps not necessary.
They dance to “Sing,” and Jonathan spends most of his time trying to keep up. Possibly if they had worried less about sex and more about technique, this would have gone better. What was with that kiss on the mouth? Ignore the tabloids and dance, people!
Bruno: The sharp, hard angles are very, very good.
Carrie Ann: There wasn’t enough Cha Cha.
Len: This wasn’t sharp. This was jerky. Very little content.
Julianne: I’m just going to let them talk about content. I’ve talked enough.
Total judges’ score: 30
REALLY?? Wait, Betsey is getting sevens for not being gruesome. Got it.
This week, everybody involved with Dancing With the Stars, including the judges, the cameramen, and the costume designers, is conspiring to give DWTS pro Mark Ballas shot. But that’s OK, because Mark clearly has a death wish. Either that, or Sadie Robertson’s overprotective helicopter upbringing is her shtick. Willie Robertson declares a bathrobe to be suitable dance wear. It’s got to be the latter.
Sadie’s dancing the Jive to “She’s Country,” and they play every possible stereotype to the hilt. Cowboy boots? Check. Exaggerated spoken drawl? Check. Blouse tied at the bottom over denim hot pants? Check. Ends up lying down in a pickup with a stranger from out of town? Check. I’m surprised they didn’t get a hayloft. As DWTS outfits and routines go, it’s less racy than many, but the judges feign having the vapors.
Tom Bergeron: Daddy’s little girl is growing up fast!
Carrie Ann: I think my maternal side is coming out! Was your dad OK with that routine?!
Len: Jazz and country dancing… it didn’t quite gel for me.
Julianne: You have amazing technique. I missed that tonight.
Tom: Sorry, Bruno, commercial break.
Bruno: Sputter, sputter, LET ME TALK!!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMMIT, Julianne! (To Sadie) You were GREAT!
Total judges’ score: 31
In the final results show, Julianne performs a striptease designed to make Derek die of embarrassment. Sadie Robertson’s fanbase protests all her sinful, sexual content by letting her fall into jeopardy—but she does get to stay. Maybe she’ll wear that bathrobe next week. In the week’s best news, we are relieved to hear that poor, horribly overworked Tavis is getting a break from the stress and pressure. He will now have all the time he wants to plug that damned book of his. He’s gone. And so is all of that free national weekly publicity.