Get out those glow sticks and confetti guns, because “Dancing With the Stars” went full-on rager for its Party Anthems Night. And the glitterverse was even more sparkly and festive than usual in Week 6, with the remaining eight stars moving and shaking to some of music’s most bumpin' dance hits.
To go along with the party vibe, the producers brought in Red Foo from LMFAO as guest judge. And while he may not know anything about ballroom dancing, Foo's rampant woooos!, appropriately sparkly attire, and infectious enthusiasm were a welcome addition to the judges’ table and helped to turn the glitterverse’s excitement factor up to 11. Loved how Foo had his own animal print party-style set of paddles and enthusiastically announced each score (“NINE!”). Red Foo judged. He performed. He made everyone wear his ridiculously big bedazzled glasses and entreated the audience to get ridiculous. And everyone gladly did.
Though the Mirrorball party had to end for one more star at the end of the program. And this week, the couple leaving was Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke. The “Price Is Right” host had a feeling he was going home after last week’s low scores, though it didn’t stop him from going all out in his pimped-out tango, set to Rick James’ “Super Freak.” “You were the life of the party tonight,” Carrie Ann said.
The man who likened himself to “a dad at a wedding” (to which Bruno quickly added, “After a few drinks”) understood that it was his time to go. “I got farther than I thought I would, to tell you the truth,” the comedian said, still dressed in his cherry red suit with zebra print lapel, and red shoes. “Thanks for making me borrow this dance floor to fulfill this fantasy.”
At least he’s got the comfort of knowing he was the season’s crowd pleaser and that “stanky pimp face” to fall back on.
Here’s how the remaining stars scored:
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s perfect 40 score and return to the top of the leaderboard was a nod to their revelatory relationship both on and off the dance floor. They always say the best partnerships are ones that sharpen each other to be the best person they can be. In Meryl, Maks has someone he can share his dancing prowess and also his vulnerability without being judged. “This gets to you,” a frustrated Maks said about the “DWTS” process. “I used to be too proud to admit it. Now I’m too proud not to admit it.” For him to be able to admit that to Meryl, and for Meryl to wisely talk him down from the ledge by gently telling him “you’re questioning yourself – and you’re not the problem” – was huge in this partnership that only seems to get stronger with every week. And their closeness really shone through in their performance – a flawless tango that was filled with so much passion and intrigue and shades of light and dark it was practically cinematic. Meryl asked Maks to give her his hand during rehearsals, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a handclasp was a crucial part in their resulting tango. Len called their partnership “special.” Bruno called it “a spine-chilling, totally gripping film noir of a tango.” A speechless Carrie Ann remarked how the “magical” chemistry between the two led to “truly artistic excellence.” Red Foo said, “E.T. phone home … because that was out of this world.” Total: 40 out of 40.
Now that they were halfway through the competition, Amy Purdy wanted to break free from the pack. And Derek Hough found out that this Paralympic snowboarder was a party animal (code name: “Dirty Purdy”), making her jive to the Isley Brothers’ “Shout” perfect for the Sochi bronze medalist. And Derek cleverly crafted their performance into a Wedding Crashers-themed routine, as Derek stole Amy from Artem at the altar and they kicked and flicked with raucous abandon happily ever after. And hello – did the woman with two prosthetic legs just do a cartwheel at the end? Len called out an “incident,” but lauded them for “a fantastic performance.” Bruno called Amy “a real-life superhero. What you achieve, most of us would consider impossible.” Carrie Ann said “you have the best kicks and flicks I’ve ever seen anywhere.” Total: 38.
Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were second on the leaderboard after last week, and for the first time, the “Wonder Years” actress felt like she was a contender. And her ascent toward the Mirrorball trophy just took another sexy step with her cha cha to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” which kind of had a “Dirty Dancing” I’ve Had the Time of My life” feel to it — so fun I didn’t want it to end. Red Foo said Danica “just put love in the club.” “I swear, you are in full blossom,” Carrie Ann marveled. “The strength, the power, the confidence.” Not to mention those abs! Len called it “the best dance of the night so far.” Val braided Danica’s hair, he was so nervous. Not that he needed to be. Total: 36.
Charlie White’s had a tough week, what with going back and forth from coast to coast to dance on ice and then having to dance a cha cha to a C+C Music Factory hit. The Olympian’s hips aren’t naturally movers, so he and Sharna Burgess had their work cut out for them to pull out a proper cha cha while still pulling out that fluorescent ’90s flavor. But their routine really did want to make “Everybody Dance Now,” and Bruno appreciated the day-go section with the black light at the end as a nice Ibiza touch. Carrie Ann called it “hot, sexy, funky.” Red Foo said “It made me want to dance.” Len loved Charlie’s “brilliant musicality … you just ease up and ooze out, like toothpaste” but “I wasn’t too keen once you got [to the day-glo part] but that’s because I’m old and grumpy.” “This track is hell to dance to,” Bruno said. “You managed to make it look flawless.” Total: 36.
Big Time Rush’s James Maslow proved himself leading man material with a Danny Zuko quickstep set to “You’re the One That I Want” from “Grease.” James was really feeling the pressure, as he knew expectations on him and Peta were going to be sky high after last week’s perfect contemporary routine. And it was certainly a crowd-pleasing (great “Grease” step choreography with the Troupe at the end!), if not completely technically proficient routine. Bruno called an “absolutely wonderful” combination of “very very specific music theater.” Red Foo likened James and Peta’s quickstep to two crabs in the sand. Like Carrie Ann said, “you are such a leading man … your athleticism mixed with your charm is amazing.” But as the judges said, the onetime Danny Zuko player was a bit heavy on his feet. “The speed came in and the style came out,” Len said. Total: 35.
“We had a little tiff, but Tony and I are very much in love,” Real Housewife NeNe Leakes assured on hers and her pro partner Tony Dovolani’s now-reconciled relationship. And after last week’s teary make-up session, this duo showed they were stronger than ever with their extra-spicy yellow-fringe “Hot in Herre” salsa, in which Tom noted that “Tony’s getting his money’s worth for his chest waxing earlier this week.” Len liked the entertainment, but said NeNe has to work “a little more on your technique.” Carrie Ann said it looked like Nene’s “most comfortable dance.” “You looked like an entrepreneur out there because you owned that!” Red Foo exclaimed. “That was hot.” Total: 33.
Candace Cameron Bure still has to get over her “mental” dance block. “I don’t want to be my own fault for leaving,” the “Full House” actress said. “I gotta figure out how to chillax.” And get sexy in her cha cha, set to Icona Pop’s “I Love it.” And I absolutely loved Candace’s entire outfit from her styling ponytail in size extra-long to that fabulous chic Mirrorball of a dress. But while her pelvic thrusts weren’t as “Godzilla” as Mark Ballas wanted them to be (apparently, Mark’s reality deals a lot with fantastical characters, as seen by his Super Mario Brothers bath toys), it was still a fun, if not completely exciting performance. Len appreciated Candace’s much-improved leg action, but all the judges likened her to a flickering light bulb. “Don’t do that, because it’s all there,” Bruno warned. “Keep the current going all the way through.” Total: 32.
What do you think of Party Anthem Night, ballroom fans? Did you find Red Foo as entertaining as I did? How awesomely fun was that Macy's Stars of Dance performance (robots with fire extinguishers! Phillip Chbeeb from "So You Think You Can Dance!")? Does this mean Meryl and Maks are getting married at season’s end?