Yay! It’s Stevie Wonder night! I’m pretty stoked about this.
The show starts with Stevie at the top of the stage in front of an elaborately fantastic backdrop. There are dancers, but we get A LOT of extended Stevie close-ups. I guess it’s easier to do that when the singer can actually, you know, sing.
Then Hunter Hayes comes out and I’m sure he’s a nice kid and all, but next to Stevie Wonder ... eh. I mean, not a lot of people are going to come off well in that comparison. I’d say even for a guy that was a Beatle and IS a knight had a rough go of it.
Tom joins Stevie and Hunter on stage and Tom says, “We are so happy to have you here on Stevie Wonder night. If you hadn’t shown, it would’ve been really awkward.” Stevie is right here with, “I had to have been here tonight or I’d have to stay home and watch it on TV.” Tom, rightly, points out that Stevie’s the only one that can make that joke. Oh, I bet there are a few close friends who get to make blind jokes to Stevie.
Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy
“Do I Do”
Zendaya says she’s a huge fan of Stevie Wonder and tells the camera, “If you don’t love Stevie Wonder, there’s something wrong with you,” and she seems like she really means it. I like this kid more and more.
Stevie isn’t playing live for the couples, which is probably good for them, because they rehearse with the version the band uses and Stevie could throw an improvised curveball.
It looks like there might have been a slight misstep at one point, but given how they react at the end I guess I mis-saw. Again, Val’s done a great job of choreographing an authentic dance for the style while still being age appropriate.
Len tells Zendaya to ask him one word that sums up “great dancing,” and when she obliges, he says, “Zendaya.” He has only one small criticism about her legs at one point. When it’s time for Bruno to give his criticism, Tom narrates, “He’s getting up, he’s getting up.” Bruno, as his hop out of the seat usually means, loved it. Carrie Ann calls them “perfection in motion.”
Zendaya says she was awed by Stevie Wonder being backstage before her dance, and was behind her when they were cuing her to make her entrance down the stairs. She wonders, “How am I just supposed to walk down the stairs like a normal person?” Brooke points out that Zendaya is still in school and doing homework. Zendaya explains that both her parents are teachers, so “there’s no room for errors.” Again, I like this kid.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 9, Bruno: 10
Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered”
Sharna throws a lot of dance terms at Andy during rehearsal and Andy jokingly asks, “Is that the lunch order?” Andy is trying hard to work on his technique, rather than just relying on personality.
Andy’s dressed as a postman and Sharna is the cute housewife on his route. I really appreciate Andy’s attitude and effort but his “hip action” -- yeesh. Some things shouldn’t be seen. It’s like watching Don Knotts audition for the Chippendales.
Bruno says it was a “personality-driven splendid shamble of a samba.” Then Bruno does the Harlem Shuffle. Carrie Ann says she loves Andy, but she had to check her notes to see what dance he was dancing. Len says it wasn’t that good technically, but it was entertaining. Len says, “If the others have climbed hills, you’ve climbed mountains.” Aw, Len, you old softie.
Andy admits his technique will never be as good as his competitors’. And then he gives Brooke a rose. Hey, that’s Sean’s move.