So, last week, I wasn't here for performance night and Dorothy withdrew on results night. Oh, and TOM BERGERON REPLIED TO A TWEET OF MINE AND TALKED ABOUT HIS BUTT AND I DIED AND AM WRITING THIS FROM THE GREAT BEYOND. Ahem.
Tonight is "Prom Night." Of course I went to my prom; I didn't want that "something's gone missing" feeling Iona described in Pretty in Pink. Oh, fun! The judges are decked out for prom night - Len in a bright pink ruffled tuxedo shirt and Bruno in a white tuxedo. Carrie Ann is in a gown, but that's not so different from every other week. Unless she's accessorized with a corsage. Tom is wearing a tuxedo with contrasting piping and Brooke has gone 80s big hair. She looks like every Miss America of my youth. Well, except for Vanessa Williams, who had a sleeker look.
All the couples are doing a big group dance to Fatboy Slim's "The Rockefeller Skank," with each couple getting a solo. We're supposed to vote on Twitter for our "prom king and queen." That was choreographed by Louis van Amstel, and Tom is quick to point out that the judges won't be scoring it.
Aly Reisman & Mark Ballas
Aly says she never got to go to school dances because she was always training, but she did get to go to her prom. Mark teases her about how cute her date was and it's a sweet older brother/younger sister vibe between them.
There's some sort of extra up in the rafters dressed as Cupid and she shoots an arrow at the two of them to get it started. There's a lot of movement at the beginning that seems more suited to a contemporary routine than a Viennese waltz. Wonder what Len will think? There's a lot of twirling and flinging of arms and I guess that's good.
Len is wearing a GIANT velvet bow tie and criticizes them, lets the crowd boo him, and then busts out "April Fools." Oh, wait, now I think Bruno's tux may be a very pale green? He gives legitimate dance critique and I love it when he does that. Carrie Ann wants Aly to work on staying more in character. Len and Bruno disagree with Carrie Ann - Len sticking up for Aly most of all. What did they put in his boutonnière?
We see pictures of Brooke and Tom from their prom nights and Tom had some wonderfully thick '70s hair. Bless him.
Translating what Brooke asks Aly, it's something like, "You're so young and despite being a freakin' gold medalist, you've never known love? How do you not throw yourself off a bridge, you old maid? Whoops, I meant, how do you get in character?" I may be projecting slightly.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 8; Bruno: 8
Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess
Andy Dick was Homecoming King and they show a picture of him with his velvet crown. Oh my.
They're having trouble getting it together. He may be sober, but I think he's still a drama seeker.
The routine starts with graphics on the screen that are supposed to make us think he's been dumped. But Sharna in a skintight catsuit is going to lift his spirits. His SPIRITS and that's all - this is a family show. Although, my goodness, that catsuit. It's like the inverse amount of fabric of an average Peta costume but it's 10m times as sexy. The routine ends with Andy ripping open his shirt as he does an on-the-knees slide to the judges' table. My eyes!
Bruno says the timing was a bit off, the timing was a bit odd, but the entertainment value was totally on. Carrie Ann tells Andy, "The only way to win is try," and she admires his effort. Len says he's like a sneeze, "You know it's coming, but there's nothing you can do about it." Len says frankly, "You're not a great dancer," but that watching Andy dances makes him "feel good." And adds, "Any resemblance to the cha cha was a coincidence."
In the interview with Brooke, Andy says, "I don't drink anymore, but I still carry around a six pack," and then he opens up his shirt to show off that torso AGAIN and for a second time tonight I'm reminded of pumpkin pie before you put it in the oven.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 6; Bruno: 6
Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson
What? You didn't do the Paso Doble at your prom? Underachievers. Ingo says his prom was "boring as [BLEEP]." So this routine is going to be Ingo's "fantasy prom" where he rides up on his motorcycle and steals the prom queen. Kym says she reckons she'd have been prom queen if they'd had prom at her school. I love that it's Australians, New Zealanders and Southerners from the U.S. who regularly use the word "reckon."
There's then a montage of Ingo hurting his hamstring, his back, his back and there's jokes about how much fun it is getting old. Ingo's ancient at 42, you see.
And sure, enough, Ingo rides onto the dance floor on a motorcycle. I wonder if his fantasy included a sparkly helmet? He quickly divests Kym of her prom queen sash and flowers and they start dancing to "Another One Bites the Dust."
This may sound like a weird thing to say, but I like watching Ingo's shoulders move as he's strutting down the dance floor. The routine ends with Kym draped over the motorcycle and Tom comments on her limberness.
I know Carrie Ann is just scratching her face with her middle finger, but it totally looks like she's doing some surreptitious bird flipping. She compliments Ingo's power, but tells him he needs to strengthen his core. Len liked the attack, but mentions Ingo's posture as well. Bruno wants "refinement in the shapes." The judges clearly think Ingo has potential or they wouldn't be giving him such specific critiques.
Ingo gives a 50th birthday shout out for General Hospital and its fans.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7
Lisa Vanderpump & Gleb Savchenko
Lisa and Gleb talk about their lack of votes. Lisa says she's got about 600,000 followers on Twitter and Gleb says he only has "6." So they post some shirtless pics of him and he's up to 70,000, with Giggy monitoring the account.
They're dancing to "I Have Nothing" and that's such a prom song in its '80s Lite-FM way. This is a graceful looking routine, suitable for the Woman of a Certain Age that I'm sure Lisa would hate to be called.
Len pretty much runs down everything about the dance, but then says he liked it. Bruno also talks about a lot of the missed passes and other problems. Carrie Ann loves watching the two of them, but admits there are issues.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7
What?!! That wasn't as good as Ingo and Kym.
Tom makes a joke about Giggy tweeting and that it's so easy he can do it without opposable thumbs. Since Tom and I are both on the Twitter, we have no leg(s?) to stand on here.
Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough
Kellie busts out some serious "local being interviewed after a disaster" Southern accent in her rehearsal interviews this week. Derek shows off a face that makes him look like a wasp, according to Kellie. It's a weird face and a little bit scary.
They're dancing to "Footloose" and with his hair spiked just so, Derek looks something like young Kevin Bacon. This is a fun and lively jive routine. It's got a lot of big movement and wow moments, including a terrific finishing twirl that ends with Kellie doing a full split on the floor.
Bruno calls it "crisp, tight, and precise," and calls it "sharper than a Samurai sword." Carrie Ann calls it "ridiculously amazing." She says it was the fastest routine she's ever seen. Len dubs her the queen of the prom.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 9; Bruno: 8
Deserved. Derek and Kellie have some sort of crazy private joke celebration dance - it's cute.
Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold
Victor was embarrassed being in the bottom two last week. And he explains he didn't go to his prom because he was broke. Was this when he was homeless?
Contemporary routine footwear watch: Both barefoot. Despite Victor being in tuxedo pants, tuxedo shirt and an untied bowtie.
Victor's strength has prompted Lindsay to put in a lot of lifts and this feels like a dance that's mostly about just getting from lift to lift.
Carrie Ann loved it. Len was "pleasantly surprised." He says the lifts were very, very good but they needed to work on the bits between the lifts. Thanks for having my back there, Len. Bruno uses a lot of adjectives to say he liked it.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 7; Bruno: 8
Tom says they're proud to announce that the Audubon Society has declared Brooke's hair a "nesting habitat." I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.
D. L. Hughley & Cheryl Burke
D. L. says his knees actually buckled when they got the news last week they were safe. They're dancing to "Sex Machine." D. L. says he didn't go to his prom because he didn't graduate high school. He explains that he did rent himself out to girls who couldn't get prom dates. His rate was $25.
They're using the same raised square platform that Jacoby and Karina did in the first episode, when they had all the audience waving glow sticks.
There's a lot of personality in this routine, including a funny bit with D. L. shocking CHeryl back to life at one point. Presumably with the power of his sexiness.
Len says if D. L. is a "sex machine," he's "America's Next Top Model." Len complains it was barely a salsa, had no rhythm, no hip action, and was as "untidy as a teenager's bedroom." Bruno appreciated the effort, but said D. L. looked like a candidate for hip replacement. Carrie Ann says D. L. is making "baby steps" and she's seeing the improvement.
D. L. says it's hard for him to move his hips because every time he does he has a baby. "It makes [me] think of child support." (For the record, he has only three children, all by his wife, to whom he is still married.)
Scores: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 5; Bruno: 5
Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff
Jacoby tells Karina he went to his prom "on a last-minute thing." He was 5'7", 160 pounds, and went stag. Once at prom, he played some pranks and got kicked out. Oooh, scandal!
Jacoby's high school was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, when he was a college student. He's dedicating tonight's dance to that school, Marion Abramson High School.
During rehearsals, Jacoby keeps saying "rhumba" to rhyme with "Roomba" the self-propelled vacuum cleaner. I wonder if he's seen that video of the cat riding around on one?
The stage is bathed in red light as he and Karina being dancing. Jacoby is wearing black pants and no shirt and it is a very nice view if you're into well-muscled male bodies. (I am.) It's a very, very sexy routine - expect a lot of newborns in the Baltimore area in about 40 weeks.
Ok, the dancing: Jacoby is still going to need to work on his posture. He's doing a good job of not hunching up his shoulders, but he's letting his back curve a little too much, especially as he's trying to launch Karina into the death spiral move.
Jacoby's mom is jumping up and down, screaming in the audience. I will vote for Jacoby every week (like I wouldn't anyway) if he promises to bring his Mom every week and ABC promises to show her. She's delightful.
Bruno is out of his chair, hollering about "Jacoby the Great and Powerful." Then he enthuses, "You were smoldering like a volcano of passion." He talks about how into the dance Jacoby was and that his extensions were beautiful. He mentions a "tiny, tiny thing" and warns Jacoby about his foot placement, his feet being too turned-in sometimes.
Carrie Ann says he has "incredible artistry." Len says he's shocked and then goes on to explain that he knew Jacoby could do the "goofy stuff" but that this rhumba had "a refinement and a quality of movement. Mood. Atmosphere." We get another shot of an ecstatic Mrs. Jacoby's Mom and it's making my night.
Jacoby is talking to someone offstage and making faces at them and Brooke scolds him that she's trying to ask a serious question. Oh, cram it, Brooke. She asks about Hurricane Katrina and we don't hear him say anything that we didn't already hear in rehearsal footage. So useless, our Brooke.
When Jacoby is asked about what his mom thought of the dance, he says, "You heard her, didn't you? [imitating his mom's voice] 'That my baby. That my baby.'"
Scores: Carrie Ann Inaba: 8; Len Goodman: 8; Bruno Tonioli: 8.
Wynonna Judd & Tony Dovolani
Wynonna said her prom was very simple - she wore a simple dress and went with a friend. They're dancing tonight to "Pour Some Sugar on Me" which Wynonna feels calls for her to release her "inner tigress."
Tony decides to introduce Wynonna to pole dancing. Tony, what did we ever do to you? We even made you the winner last season and this is how you repay us? Wynonna says she needs pole dancing "inspiration" and thankfully that just means going to the Hard Rock and listening to Def Leppard. I was really really afraid we were headed to a strip club there for a second.
This is basically prom if the detention kids ran it, sponsored by Hot Topic. It's also possibly the slowest samba ever recorded. And yet, Wynonna still manages to lose her place more than once.
Carrie Ann says "You know I love you" but then she says she didn't see it this week. Len says she's like "Mount Rushmore. . . Looks magnificent but doesn't move." Len says he knows how hard it is to get out there and Wynonna snottily interjects, "No you don't." Bruno was disappointed as well.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 5; Len: 5; Bruno: 5
It really was that terrible. I hope her fans don't vote for her. It would be a mercy elimination. She's not good and she looks like she's stopped having fun.
Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd
Cha Cha Cha
Sean went to prom in 2002. I feel ancient. Also: Peta should ask Kym who does her hair color. Kym had that super-platinum-pro-ballroom-dancer-blonde when she started and she's softened it to a more flattering honey color now.
Peta says sometimes Sean can be awkward but that he works really hard. Peta's first prom was terrible, apparently. Oh, her date had a girlfriend. And it sounds like she didn't know that beforehand. Awkward.
The troupe is helping them out by being the other parts of the Village People for the beginning of the Y.M.C.A. routine. Sean is the construction worker and Peta is the "Indian." Oh, dear. This is perhaps a new level of cultural insensitivity for this show.
The dancing: Peta is trying her hardest - her costume is tiny and her dancing is lively and distracting. But Sean is, as your guest recapper from last week Diane Trap said to me, "More lunk than hunk."
Len has some criticisms but says it was his best dance so far. Bruno wants Sean to fix his shelves. Excuse me, "Fix his shelves." Up close, you can see that Sean's hard hat has a string holding it on under his chin. Necessary, but dorky. Carrie Ann liked it overall but says it was missing one thing... Bruno! Bruno's out of his seat and trying to get on the floor. Tom steps in to keep things under control.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7
Zendaya Coleman & Val Chmerkovskiy
Zendaya's never been to prom, because she's too young. Somehow this doesn't make me feel as old as Sean having gone to prom in 2002. Because Zendaya's grandmother was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, Zendaya decides to incorporate elements from the time her grandmother would've gone to prom, which was 1957. They're dancing to "Que Sera, Sera," which also with its meaning of "What will be, will be" describes an attitude to her grandmother's treatment and health.
It's a beautiful routine. Graceful and old-fashioned without feeling stuffy or too mature for Zendaya. And she's got the "lean your head way back" posture of one of the female pros. Their death spiral twirl at the end is amazing with her long legs and it's especially notable for how she pops back up out of it to finish in a standing-up pose. Most of the female celebrities tend to end that move on the ground.
As the dance ends, Zendaya looks overwhelmed with emotion. Considering that she was tossing her head back and laughing, well, "gaily" ( It needs an old-fashioned word because it was an old-fashioned gesture), it shows what a performer she is. I mean, the emotion after the dance looks genuine and the emotion during the dance was perfectly in character.
Bruno calls it enchanting and charming and does point out a couple of stumbles. I thought she passed off the stumbles well, almost making them seem like part of the shy, young, nervous girl persona. Len doesn't love the way Viennese waltz is danced on this show and would like to see more of it performed in hold.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8
Kellie & Derek: 25
Zendaya & Val: 24
Jacoby & Karina: 24
Victor & Lindsay: 23
Aly & Mark: 23
Ingo & Kym: 21
Lisa & Gleb: 21
Sean & Peta: 21
Andy & Sharna: 18
D. L. & Cheryl: 16
Wynonna & Tony: 15
Prediction: It's definitely going to be one of the three lowest on tonight's scoreboard and I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it's Andy & Sharna gone.
Prediction, Part 2: I'm going to lose my mind when Huey Lewis & the News perform tomorrow night. I'm a big fan - they're a great live act.