Dancing With The Stars Travels To Sin City
On Vegas Night, the leaderboard gets shuffled around, although no one takes much of a gamble on their choreography.
The opening Vegas-themed number features all of the couples dancing, not just the pros, which was actually impressive. The most interesting part was that they had Heather Morris and Nick Viall partner alongside three pro couples. That shows a lot of confidence in their abilities. Contrast that with Mr. T, who just stood there and then Charo ran by and bumped into him. That gives you a lot of information about where the various celebrities stand on the show. You know where else you can get that information? The rankings, so here they are:
11. Mr. T and Kym: Foxtrot
Sometimes when a couple obviously isn't going to go that far in the competition, I have a hard time giving a toss, you know? I like Mr. T just fine. I like Kym a lot. I don't really care about their partnership. There are moments in this routine where Mr. T is actually dancing! That was unexpected. It wasn't good dancing, and it was surrounded by a great deal of just walking around in time to the music, but it was an improvement. The judges loved it and note that he had the audience behind him. Scores: 24/40.
10. Charo and Keo: Foxtrot
Charo has been to Vegas many times and was a friend of Elvis, a revelation which surprises no one. Charo and Keo are getting along great, because she's crazy and so is he, apparently. Anyway, Charo does a perfectly serviceable foxtrot. It's nothing wild and crazy. It's not particularly memorable. But it's smooth and there's some technique and she doesn't miss a step. The judges didn't think the technique was great, but thought it was an improvement. Scores: 24/40.
9. Bonner Bolton and Sharna: Charleston
Sharna learns that Bonner is limited in putting his arms over his head due to his injury a year ago. Sharna wants to do lifts and tricks, but this limitation is making it tough. This routine is almost all footwork and Bonner is only about 75 percent there. I saw a couple of different flubs. He recovered well and went on to the next part without seeming too flustered, but they were still flubs. Seems like Bonner struggles in routines that don't require simmering sexual tension, and the Charleston definitely does not. The judges thought it was a little safe and low energy, and they think Bonner needs to project his personality more. Or, you know, get a personality. Scores: 24/40.
8. Nick Viall and Peta: Tango
Last week, the judges told Nick he had too much content and it was too hard, but it turns out that Nick has been telling Peta to push him and make it tougher. Maybe he should wait for the halfway point to push himself that hard? Nick is improved this week, although he's still not great. He's good for this show, and good for Week 3, but I feel like he thinks he's something quite special and he's really only mildly above average. I did enjoy the sharpness of his movements, but he didn't quite have the tango attitude. The judges are delighted with his improvement. Scores: 26/40.
7. David Ross and Lindsay: Jazz
David Ross is dancing to a song from Magic Mike, so he gets to meet the original choreographers for help with his moves. He's a little concerned with his kids' teachers seeing this. That would be kind of embarrassing, even if he's really good. It might be worse if he's really good.
...Oh, dear. I'm kind of embarrassed watching this, especially when they strip down to boxers and do pelvic thrusts on the floor. God bless him. That took a lot of bravery. Oh, the dancing? It was great when he was alone, not so great in hold. The judges are flustered. That was kind of a lot for a family show. Scores: 31/40.
6. Erika Jayne and Gleb: Jive
Erika Jayne really struggles in rehearsal with the jive movements. It's hard! But she knows that she has to commit and push through, and she seems to do better. Their jive seems quite slow, and I don't see a lot of kicks and flicks. Erika looks fantastic, though. She doesn't miss a step, but sometimes when she stops suddenly she kind of wobbles and looks as though she might lose her balance, which is not great. But she's clearly well-rehearsed and it's better than many of her competitors. She will do better in the less athletic routines, the ones that rely more on smoothness and grace. The judges loved seeing a lighter side of Erika Jayne, although they point out her wobbliness and the fact that she started the routine in a long lift. The audience is very silent when the scores are revealed; it was a bit underscored. Scores: 26/40.
5. Rashad Jennings and Emma: Samba
Emma is happy they did so well last week, number one on the leaderboard, but this week they have one of the most difficult routines. There's a shot during rehearsals of Rashad, shirtless, rotating his hips and moving in a circle, that I wouldn't mind watching a few more times. Their samba rolls are perfect! About three quarters of the routine is great, but there was a point in the early stages where Rashad missed a step or got on the wrong foot or something and it took him a minute to get back into it. However, he had great hip action and musicality. The judges love to watch Rashad dance but they think his errors meant that this wasn't his best routine. This is the routine that, when he makes it to the finals, he should redo. Scores: 28/40.
4. Simone Biles and Sasha: Quickstep
Simone doesn't really know who Elvis is. She definitely doesn't know the song "Viva Las Vegas" or any of Elvis's movies. I'm sorry, Elvis is a cultural touchstone. I'm still planning on bringing federal charges on the parents of these tiny gymnasts for keeping them apart from popular culture. Anyway, their routine is, as usual, technically perfect but with little emotion or fire. Carrie Ann argues with them over whether or not a particular jump they did was a lift or not. Simone is probably the only person who could actually jump that high on her own without Sasha's help. The other judges want more passion from her. Scores: 32/40.
3. Nancy Kerrigan and Artem: Samba
Artem is way too excited to meet Ricky Martin for a straight guy. Maybe I shouldn't make assumptions, but I'm still reeling from finding out he dated Carrie Ann for two years. Anyway, they are dancing to a Ricky Martin song and Nancy really takes it to heart, shaking her bon-bon. In the first half of the dance, she seems to be looking forward to the next step instead of really hitting each one and milking it. But she eventually gets into the routine and has some fun. The judges love it and Len says Nancy's "bum was rolling around like the ball on a roulette wheel." Len! Scores: 33/40.
2. Heather Morris and Alan: Tango
Maks is still out with his injury. It's not clear if Maks or Alan is choreographing the routine, but Maks is definitely giving input from the hospital. Heather was perfect, but she could have made the chemistry a little spicier. Her movements were spot on, but she only remembered to get into character at certain points. And at those points, she was great! She just needs to keep that going throughout. The judges are extremely happy with the precision of her movements. Scores: 33/40.
1. Normani Korde and Val: Foxtrot
This week, they had to go to China for Normani's tour. It is super-impressive that she is travelling the world and still able to learn all these routines. I wonder who pays Val's way. Anyway, this foxtrot is incredible. Normani's movements are sharp and she performs the hell out of the song, which is "Hey Big Spender!" She doesn't miss an opportunity to put some flair into each movement and I couldn't take my eyes off her. The judges somehow find some things to criticize, but I don't get it. Scores: 36/40.
The two couples up for elimination are Charo and Keo and Nick and Peta, and the couple eliminated is, of course, Charo and Keo. She was fun, but she was not a great ballroom dancer.