It Takes Two On Dancing With The Stars
Two routines, two perfect scores, and...two eliminations.
Tonight, the theme is "Icons," which means that each song is originally by an…icon. I actually don't disagree with the artists chosen, and I appreciate that the music is mostly from previous decades. It's probably not helping the show's viewer demographics, which are already pretty old.
Each team has to do one individual routine and then perform in a team divided by gender. The men's team will be dancing to James Brown and they are psyched. The women's team will be dancing to Beyoncé, which would certainly be my first choice. This is the first week the stars have had to learn two routines, so we will start to see who can hack it and who can't.
10. Women's Team: Team Beyoncé
Val and Mark choreograph the routine by dancing together, which the women find very amusing. The women also get a little annoyed by how much the guys take over but eventually they speak up and channel their inner Beyoncés. I talked about this on Twitter, but I was making dinner and listening to "Run The World (Girls)" the other day and my son came in and said, "Girls don't run the world. Boys do most of the work anyway." So I disowned him. What even. I'm going to make him watch this routine. Or…maybe not. It's kind of a mess. I mean, how can you screw up a Beyoncé routine? Other than a smidge of "Single Ladies," they don't have any iconic Beyoncé choreography. And Kim Fields looks SO confused throughout. She has no idea what's going on. The choreography is boring. I'm disappointed. The judges try to be positive, but their scores tell the tale. Scores: 25/30.
9. Von Miller and Witney: Salsa
You guys, Witney doesn't know who Elvis is. How can you live in America and be in the arts and not even know who Elvis is? Gah. Anyway, Von is dressed like a giant Elvis in the white suit with rhinestones. He looks amazing. His dancing? Eh. There's a lot of content but not a lot of technique and I think the problem is that Von just has no musicality. He's doing the moves but they don't seem connected to the music. The judges praise his attitude and their lifts. I note they don't say much about his actual dancing technique. Scores: 24/30.
8. Kim Fields and Sasha: Samba
Kim was angry with her scores last week. I think she's been just okay all along. I want her to be great, and she's been just okay. The only mistake I see in her routine is that she's wearing sneakers instead of heels, and it just doesn't work for the samba. She tries to stay on her toes throughout with mixed success. Other than that, she was spot on, and they turn on black lights halfway through, which makes their costumes and hair glow and it just looks cool. I just think she might get dinged for her technique a little bit. The judges are glad she got angry about her scores because it got her motivated and it showed in her routine this week. Scores: 27/30.
7. Antonio Brown and Sharna: Tango
Sharna is going for a different mood with the routine this week, a more somber one. She and Antonio come out in hooded robes and I burst out laughing when Antonio reveals his face because his version of somber involves sticking his lower lip out like he's pouting. He should probably not go into acting. He does keep the mood intense and his footwork is decent. The technique is actually better than I expected. While the judges are talking, Tom tells Sharna to pull up her top because she was showing some nipple. I mean, Tom doesn't say that because he's a pro but Sharna is flustered anyway. The judges all loved the attitude but tell Antonio to work on his precision. Scores: 24/30.
6. Jodie Sweetin and Keo: Quickstep
Jodie's a little disappointed with the scores she's had so far. I am too, actually. The judges seem really hard on her when I think she's as good as nearly anyone in the competition. This is also the phase of the competition when everyone starts to struggle with injuries, and Jodie is no exception. Jodie looks great for the first three-quarters of the routine, but she looks a bit out of sync at the very end. But her frame was great, as was her footwork. I honestly think part of the blame has to go to Keo; his choreography seems very traditional and Jodie is dressed very mumsily so there's no flair or excitement. She would have been great with Derek. Anyway, the judges love her attitude and body language tonight. Carrie Ann points out that they were out of sync at one point but it seemed to be Keo's fault. Scores: 26/30.
5. Nyle Dimarco and Peta: Foxtrot
The theme this week seems to be "last week was bullshit." Nyle is upset that he came off as cocky to some, and notes that he wants to represent Deaf people better, but he blames himself and not the show or the producers. Peta vows to strip their routine down to show off Nyle's flawless technique. His pink suit is showing off his other assets, if you know what I mean. (I mean his butt.) It's a beautiful routine and the technique IS pretty great. Something is missing emotionally, though. Nyle doesn't seem like he's performing so much as just counting the steps. Len sees a few technical problems but the other judges loved the romantic attitude. The judges obviously liked it a lot more than I did. Scores: 28/30.
4. Men's Team: Team James Brown
There are struggles in rehearsals because everyone seems to forget that Nyle is Deaf, so he misses some of his cues. Plus, he's not always right near Peta, who usually communicates with him. Then, to make matters worse, Wanya has to miss a rehearsal and they have a troupe member fill in, but when they do dress rehearsal, Wanya is back and knows little. And yet they totally pull it together for the performance. Nyle doesn't miss a beat. And Wanya totally steals the show with his solo. That boy can move! I'm upset that Lindsay hasn't showcased his natural dancing ability in any of his routines yet! This was a good team dance. The judges are impressed with how in sync they were, and also the individual sections. Scores: 28/30.
3. Wanya Morris and Lindsay: Foxtrot
Wanya gets frustrated because he has a previous obligation that means he'll have to miss Friday's rehearsal and the second team dance rehearsal. He makes a call and tries to kick some ass but it seems like he's told, "You have to do it, so suck it up." Despite their trials and travails during rehearsals, I really loved this routine. It was so light and charming. Wanya played the character perfectly. Bruno and Len thought it was joyful, but Carrie Ann thought it wasn't quite as exciting as it needed to be for this point in the competition. Scores: 27/30.
2. Ginger Zee and Val: Waltz
Ginger and Val are also feeling the pressure resulting in Val haranguing Ginger during rehearsals. Val realizes that he needs to back off a bit and let Ginger know he appreciates her. That's the advantage Val has over Maks; Maks would never have done that for his partner. Ginger has the technique but she also has the passion. Their routine is really, really beautiful. It's like watching a fairy tale. That was her best dance of the season. The judges are also pleased. Scores: 30/30.
1. Paige Vanzant and Mark: Jive
Paige continues to have self-esteem issues and I feel for her but also? Find a therapist instead of working out your issues on national television. Anyway, her dancing certainly doesn't suffer. They dance to "Proud Mary" and Paige nails the Tina Turner of it all. Mark (I hate to say) did an amazing job keeping it a jive while incorporating all of the iconic dance moves you associate with this song. And on top of great dancing, Paige has attitude for days. Maybe my favorite part is that you can see Bruno standing up and dancing at the judges' table because he's so moved. The judges are delighted. Scores: 30/30.
The three couples in jeopardy are Kim and Sasha, Von and Witney, and Wanya and Lindsay. Only one of them stays! Wanya and Lindsay are safe, so that means Kim and Sasha and Von and Witney are going home. That's actually the right call in terms of dancing talent, but that's not usually how this show works, so I'm slightly surprised.