Mark Ballas is wearing a color-coordinated fedora. Guess how I feel about that. Also, I’m going to turn into an old biddy and say that Zendaya’s lip color is too dark for a young woman her age.
There’s a new twist this week where whichever couple scores highest on their regular dance will get “immunity” and the other couples will then dance to add extra points to their scores. It’s a pain when my silly dancing show makes me use my brain.
Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff
During rehearsals, Karina has fun with a partner as strong as Jacoby, pretty much hurling herself at him, so he can catch her. And sometimes she hurts him in the process. In fact, he misses a day of practice to get a massage and spend the day in ice. That first part sounds fun, but that second part not so much.
Jacoby explains that with football after a game, Monday you have a walk-through, and Tuesday is the players’ day off, but dance is wanting him every day.
Jacoby notes in an interview, “I love to dance, but I didn’t know dancing was this serious or this intense.”
Jacoby and Karina start at the top of the stage, she with maracas, he with bongos. In case you’re interested in this sort of detail, he is wearing a shirt, but it is entirely unbuttoned. They get in a lift that’s Jacoby swinging Karina around by an arm and a leg and then later she pretty much does a handstand into a cartwheel up his body onto his shoulders.
They look like they’re going to repeat the “Jacoby leaps over Karina from behind” move but at the last second, he doesn’t go high enough and her head ends up between his knees, with her arms holding onto his legs. Which makes me think maybe it was supposed to be that way? I don’t know. I’m sure we’ll find out if it was a goof during judging or the interviews.
Len asked if that was an earthquake or if Jacoby just rocked this place. Len says he would’ve liked a few less lifts, and Jacoby’s mom hollers at Len from across the ballroom. The camera cuts to her, and she’s making the “I’ve got my eyes on you” gesture. And looks stunning in a white dress.
Bruno gets very excited about Jacoby’s hip action and tells Karina she spends more time flying around than Iron Man. I’m too lazy to look up if the media conglomerate that owns ABC also produces the Marvel films. Or if Bruno just gave the movie a plug out of the goodness of his heart.
Carrie Ann says Jacoby is so good that it’s like he could “fart salsa.” It just gets grosser from there and Tom Bergeron has a “Really?” look on his face.
Brooke asks a question about the farting analogy but is too prissy to say “fart.” Jacoby says that his grandmother told him if he didn’t fart he could die, so he lets it out. Lovely. Brooke then asks if dance training is harder than football. He replies, “When I go back to the Baltimore Ravens I’m gonna talk so much trash about conditioning.”
Jacoby says his experience on the show is definitely going to improve his touchdown dances. The people of Baltimore hope he gets many, many chances to show off those moves.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9
Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson
Ingo’s planning on bringing some of his "General Hospital" character to the rumba, for the sexy factor. He’s worried about the fine line between looking cool and looking stupid with the hip action.
It’s a rumba. It’s hip action, hip action, pose, pose. Ingo is great in the face, selling the character, but is sometimes a little awkward in his movements. It definitely feels a little bit, “Kym dances around Ingo.”
Bruno says “hips don’t lie,” but in Ingo’s case he wishes they could. The tension was good, but the hips need a lot more work. Carrie Ann says he lost his timing and in losing his technique, lost the tension some times. Len gets a dig in at the Lakers as he criticizes Ingo, but he liked the content and says it was good, but not great.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 8, Bruno: 7
Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough
Kellie did three concerts in three states last week and it really cut into their training time. Derek’s adding what looks like a lot of advanced content to their routine.
Derek’s shirtless. Are we going to have to institute a dress code for this show: “No shirt, no shoes, no scores”? Kellies got on a long wig this week.
There’s an odd part in the middle where they slow down their moves, not matching the tempo of the song at all. And then they finish with the complicated under the arm turn that Kellie was having trouble with in rehearsal.
Carrie Ann says when she watches Kellie all she can see is “perfection,” but that she doesn’t “feel” her when they dance. She’s focusing so much and so well on technique that she’s losing the character of the dance. Len says she had both the “how of the technique and the wow of the performance.” Bruno says something incomprehensible about “bon bons” (they danced to the Ricky Martin song).
Derek throws on a tank top during the interview with Brooke portion, which is actually kind of classy of him. He explains after their scores that he didn’t really want to go shirtless tonight, because his grandparents are there. Awwww.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 10, Bruno: 10
Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess
I kind of hoped we’d lose Andy before he had to do a rumba. I’m not sure how this is going to go well. Andy says he and Sharna are part of the “pack of scraggly coyotes” who are hanging in there at the bottom. In rehearsal, Sharna says she’s going to keep it basic and work on technique. Andy tells Sharna, “Don’t get mad at me if you fall in love with me.”
Y’all, the faces he’s making are ridiculous. I think they’re trying to add a bit of a comic vibe to this, but they should have added a lot more. That being said, it’s not all bad – they’re hitting some decent poses every now and then. It wasn’t nearly as cringe-worthy as I’d feared, so that’s something.
Len liked the fun of it and the entertainment value and loved Andy’s enthusiasm, but then calls it “more erratic than erotic.” Not enough hip action or musicality. Bruno points out that they were mimicking the Cyd Charisse/Gene Kelly scene in “Singin’ in the Rain” (I hadn’t picked up on that, because Sharna’s wearing wearing purple and Cyd wore green) and that it was near sacrilege. Carrie Ann tells him that he needs to work on his arms. She’s the only one to give him constructive criticism. Nicely done, Carrie Ann.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 5, Len: 6, Bruno: 6
Whoa. Carrie Ann was saving her hit for the scoreboard.
Alexandra Reisman & Mark Ballas
Mark is wearing those stupid dropped crotch pants again and I hate them so much. He goes to the doctor and in the doctor’s office he is wearing a hospital gown over his clothes BUT HE STILL HAS ON HIS FEDORA. Maybe while he’s there, he could have it SURGICALLY REMOVED?
In the end, the injury to Mark’s back is enough to bring Henry in as a substitute during rehearsals. But after all that, Mark ends up dancing with her tonight. He couldn’t not -- given that he already had his color coordinated fedora (OF COURSE) and matching neon green spats.
Oh, right the dancing. There’s tons of energy, but it’s kind of goofy, like this one part where Aly crawls/scooches across the floor. I guess I’m just not a fan of Ballas’s choreography tonight.
Bruno loved it. Carrie Ann did too. And then she starts singing at Len. Len would’ve liked a “little bit more salsa” in there and Carrie Ann and Bruno shake their maracas at him. No, really, the percussion instruments.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 9, Bruno: 10
Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd
Sean is finding the rumba challenging because he doesn’t have romantic feelings for Peta. So, they bring in his fiancée, for him to practice with. It is a little weird to watch an actual couple do these moves. I mean, when you’re watching pros, you know it’s all for show.
Well, right with the first moves, Sean looks awkward -- instead of lowering his body down to meet Peta’s he’s squatting in the most ungainly way. There’s a lot of dry ice, which my parents always complain about. Actual text from my dad during a previous episode, “Fab fog covers pesky footwork again.”
There’s a giant swinging lift in the middle of the routine and I don’t know if that’s allowed now or what.
Carrie Ann says he’s responded to the criticisms from earlier about getting into the character of the dance. Len calls him “wooden” and when Carrie Ann interrupts him, he scolds her. I know I just brought up my dad, but Len should steal the line I always heard growing up, “Pardon me for talking while you’re interrupting.”
Anyway. Len didn’t like Sean’s hands and then any other criticism he tries to get out is obscured by Carrie Ann interrupting AGAIN. So Len pouts and says he’ll just stop talking. Bruno says he liked Sean’s extensions but that sometimes Sean’s butt did stick out and he looked like he “was going to the toilet.” See? That’s what I meant by the squatting.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8
Really? That was better than Ingo? I disagree.
Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy
I think we’re all hoping this couple never has to dance the rumba, because of Zendaya’s age. Luckily, they’ve got Paso Doble, which maybe explains her dark lipstick. Zendaya says Val is intense all the time, but she’s happy and more “chill.” She says to get the passion, “I’m just going to channel ... I don’t know ... I’m an actress. I’ll just act.” Attagirl.
Zendaya and Val start at opposite ends of the dance floor -- that tells you how good she is and how confident Val is in here that he’s ok with her starting the dance on her own. There’s a spot in the middle when the music stops and it seems like the dance is over, but it’s not. That was weird. I dunno, that was probably very good technically but kind of boring to watch.
Len loved it but wants Zendaya to lift her chin more. Bruno liked the flamenco at the beginning but that Len is right about her chin, that she needs to watch her “top line.” Carrie Ann said it lacked strength, like a song without a bass line.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9
So, now it’s time for this “immunity” and “dance off” business. Aly & Mark and Kellie & Derek are tied with 29 after the first round. Brooke is going to explain this to us, so I’m sure it’ll all be clear soon. The rulebook says, according to Brooke, that the couple with the “highest accumulative [sic] scores,” wins the tiebreaker, so Kellie & Derek get the immunity.
Colombia rock superstar Juanes performs because this is a live show and we need to do something while the couple change costumes for Round 2. Wikipedia tells me this guy is 40. Give me the name of his dermatologist.
Each winner of the dance-offs will win 3 extra points. Sharna points out that for the very first time, Andy will get picked first for a competition. Ha! Val is hoping he and Zendaya don’t get rumba, “for obvious reasons.” I’m glad he feels that way too.
Aly & Mark get to pick who they’re dancing against, and they do prey on the weak -- as they should, it’s a competition after all -- and choose Andy & Sharna. They get to pick the dance style. As Andy is taking his time on the decision, Tom starts whistling the Jeopardy! theme. Wonder how much that will cost them?
If you didn’t think Mark had spats on hand to match Aly’s dress, you’ve never read any of my recaps ever. Hope you’ve been enjoying your first one so far.
Yay for Andy being a good sport, but this is no contest. The judges agree. And the comments here are more pointless than usual. Winner, officially: Aly & Mark
Kellie & Derek: 29 -- Immune from elimination
Aly & Mark: 29
Zendaya & Val: 27
Sean & Peta: 24
Ingo & Kym: 22
Jacoby & Karina: 27
Andy & Sharna: 17
I kinda hate that the group dance means Ingo and Sean are both ahead of Jacoby, but I’m not at all worried about his fan base keeping him around. If nothing else, you know his mom has got everyone she knows voting on every phone in their house and at least five different emails, per person. She’s fierce, that lady. She might even be driving herself around to everyone she knows and saying, “Can I come in and use your phone to vote for my baby? Won’t take a minute.” I’d let her in. I’d give her a cup of tea, too.
I think it’s curtains for Victor tomorrow night and Andy has that group dance and the power of circle dancing to thank.