Dancing with the Stars recap: Guilty Pleasures Night

Dancing with the Stars — Guilty Pleasures
Season 25, Episode 4

I’m sure every person who reviews shows is at a loss for words when thinking about an introduction. After the horrific event in Las Vegas, it seems weird to report every ball-change, feather boa, and inappropriate comment that may come out of Bruno’s mouth at any given moment. Especially when Dancing with the Stars powers that be choose guilty pleasures as the theme.

Yet here we are. The shock of Las Vegas still lingers. The citizens of Puerto Rico remain devastated. Families mourn lives lost in Mexico. Floridians work to recover from Irma. At this point, Harvey seems like a distant memory, yet I drove down a street on Saturday with trash piled high near the road and my church is still full of wheel barrows, crow bars, masks, and shovels.

Like most of my fellow recappers, I like to think that we offer a small glimmer of light in the midst of dark times. Sometimes a mental break is required for you to recharge. If all you need is three minutes of fluff, you’ve come to the right place my friend.

I’m really good at fluff.

I’ll continue to pray for those who have lost loved ones, I’ll reach out to those in need, I’ll support those who are hurting, and I’ll always look for the helpers.

But when you’re ready for a laugh, I’m here for you. And I’ll point you in the general direction of Sharna and smile with you as her mom jean version of denim panties provide all the comic relief you need.

Praying for our world. After all, we’re all in this together.

Everybody Dance Now

The show opener bursts with alls sorts of energy to the tune of what I assume is my favorite choreographer Mandy Moore’s guilty pleasure, “Everybody Dance Now” by C+C Music Factory. The woman is a master at creating fun routines to nostalgic music. She’s also a master at large group routines.

You can imagine my confusion when all the stars, pros, and JV team members scurry around the dance floor with reckless abandon. I had no idea what was going on. Was the camera crew missing things? Why are some people in their costumes and others in overcoats to cover their guilty pleasure wardrobe? Don’t most of them have time to change? Is everything supposed to be so manic?

Perhaps everyone was dancing all loosey-goosey since they didn’t have to perform two dance routines. They had more stamina this week. Or maybe it’s because there’s no elimination at the end of the show, so there are no nerves to contend with, therefore, you can dance like nobody’s watching.

Except we were. We were watching.

Drew and Emma
Argentine Tango
“Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Guilty Pleasure: Watching forensic shows
The Argentine Tango is made for Drew. I think his long limbs and height actually work in his favor for this particular genre. Emma makes sure that he commands the room, the dance, and her body. His outfit is simple — all black with a badge. Her outfit is confusing — half Vegas showgirl, half Morticia Addams. The movement is sharp and defined. Drew stands tall and proud, back as straight as an arrow. I was impressed when he spun her around his head like she was a helicopter propeller. Len was too. The judges loved it and so did the audience.

Sharna and Derek
Cha Cha
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Guilty Pleasure: Watching Fresh Prince
These scenarios bother me for some reason. I don’t love when such a campy song is paired with a legitimate Latin dance. I feel these songs need to be reserved for hip hop or jazz or broadway numbers. It’s hard to dance the cha-cha-cha when the lyrics tout “smell ya later.” I’ll give Derek a break since he totally gets into character, but nothing can assuage my distain for Sharna’s mom jeans that were repurposed as denim panties. THEY HAVE AN ELSTIC WAIST PEOPLE. No m’am. Boycott that business next time. The colorful bedazzled blazers on the other hand…I want one for Christmas.

Victoria and Val
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba
Guilty Pleasure: This song
Val is ambivalent at first. He clearly hates this song. But when Victoria says that this was her anthem when she was bullied at school, Val takes “I get knocked down, but I get up again” to a new level, including swiveling lockers and multiple JV dancers portraying 20-something-year-old high school kids. She does a great job keeping up, since this is the quick step, but the judges check her for not being close enough to Val. What a horrible problem to have…not enough body contact. Bruno says her dance looks like “an attack of the tartan army” which makes no sense to you because you have no visual of their costumes which showcase Jamie Fraser-inspired plaid. Confession: I got really excited when I saw them because I thought her guilty pleasure was Harry Potter.

Vanessa and Alan
“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
Guilty Pleasure: Girls Night Out
It’s weird to me that Vanessa’s guilty pleasure is girl’s night out, which is so similar to last week’s dance theme. Speaking of last week, where’s Maks? According to Erin, he has “personal issues.” If you do any sort of Googling, there’s a rumor that Vanessa and Maks do not get along and he will more than likely not return to the show. SCANDAL! We shall see. Alan choreographs an entire routine built around shopping and drinking, and manages to omit himself from the majority of the eight counts. Vanessa grooves with the JV girls for eighty-percent of the dance while Alan pretends to be a chauffeur or a bartender. This puzzled me. How is that fair when the others are “playing by the rules” by dancing with their pro partner? Toward the end, Adam hoists Vanessa around his body like she’s a human fidget spinner and sets her down dazed in a pink sparkly dress. It all seemed like déjà vu, because it was déjà vu. She danced the exact same dance last week. And I don’t want to hear any more “mounting” talk from anyone on the judge’s panel.

Nikki and Artem
Viennese Waltz
“Love on the Brain” by Rihanna
Guilty Pleasure: Romance novels
I’m sure the number one item on Artem’s bucket list is to choreograph a steamy 50 Shades of Grey-inspired dance with a woman who is engaged to a legitimate pro wrestler. Bonus points that Artem will have the opportunity to writhe up and down on this woman (both in an elevator and on the dance floor) with said guy on the front row. Hooray!

The dance is sultry, but not gross. There was one part where Artem grabs Nikki by the neck, but from what I’m told, that’s in character with the book. I wanted her to relax her shoulders and neck a little more, but I guess that’s hard to do when your dance partner is lightly choking you as you float across the floor in black lingerie with a skirt attached. The judges were afraid to get too technical in their feedback since Tom pulls the wrestler on stage for the critique. Artem wisely stands two feet away as Len reveals his frustration that he wasn’t “transported back to old Vienna.” Bless him.

Frankie and Witney
“It’s Gonna Be Me” by NSYNC
Guilty Pleasure: Always wanted to be in a boy band
Question: Why would ABC have Frankie get boy band advice from fellow contestant Nick Lachey (who was in a boy band) and then play a rival boy band’s music for Frankie’s samba? Curious.

I like Frankie. I truly do. I even love him wearing denim on denim. He’s humble and adorable and fun and enjoys this game we call Dancing with the Stars. What I didn’t like is that Witney takes the boy band a little too far and totally forgets about the samba, which is unfortunate, because I imagine Frankie would have excelled in the Latin dance waaaaayyyyyy more than the pseudo boy band choreography. Another knock against him? He had fake Gosling dancing backup. No one can compete with that. The panel had a nice time, but judge Frankie based on the fact that there was little samba in his samba.

Lindsey and Mark
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham!
Guilty Pleasure: Staying in pajamas all day
Lindsey’s guilty pleasure sounds totally made up until we learn that she just experienced the end of a relationship. Her heart is hurting and she just wants to get horizontal with a box of Kleenex and a bottle of wine, and watch a worn-out copy of Dirty Dancing like a normal person.

The one thing that is helping Lindsey is that all the hours she spends learning and practicing her dance helps keep her mind off things. So Mark throws everything but twerking in this routine and Lindsey NAILS IT. It was quirky, yes, but not in an uncomfortable way where I hide behind my couch cushion. I enjoyed myself. And I was exhausted after watching! The yellow pajamas with hearts, butterflies, and rhinestones was icing on the cake. According to all the judges, it will go down as one of their favorites of all time. All twenty-five seasons. Does this make Lindsey the one to beat?

Sasha and Gleb
“I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops
Guilty Pleasure: Baking
I’ll cut to the chase: I didn’t like this dance. Luckily, it was jazz, which is a vague category where you can get away with pretty much anything. However, there has to be some dancing in the routine since the show is called Dancing with the Stars. It’s not called Musical Theater with the Stars, although that is a show I would totally watch. Did I like the props? Yes! Was the schtick funny? Sure! Is it memorable? Absolutely not. I want to blame Gleb, but I can’t. Jazz is not ballroom, therefore, this ballroom dancer has to wacky act his way through a genre with which he is unfamiliar as the star. It showed. It didn’t showcase either of their abilities. The judges thought so, too, resulting in the lowest score of the night. Ouch.

Peta and Nick
“Jump (For My Love)” by The Pointer Sisters
Guilty Pleasure: Watching romantic comedies
I’ll admit that the pre-taped part of this package where Nick and Vanessa pretend to be the actors in Love Actually and The Notebook is hilarious. However, I don’t buy for a second that his guilty pleasure is watching romantic comedies.

Now I’m going to do something that is a big no-no for writers. I’m going to plagiarize what I just said for Sasha and Gleb, substituting certain words with adjectives and verbs that pertain to Peta and Nick’s routine.

I’ll cut to the chase: I didn’t like this dance. Luckily, it was jazz, which is a vague category where you can get away with pretty much anything. However, there has to be some dancing in the routine since the show is called Dancing with the Stars. It’s not called Jazzercise with the Stars, although that is a show I would totally watch. Did I like the props? Yes! Was the schtick funny? Sure! Is it memorable? Absolutely, but in a sad way. I want to blame Peta, but I can’t. Jazz is not ballroom, therefore, this ballroom dancer has to wacky act her way through a genre with which he is unfamiliar as the star. It showed. It didn’t showcase either of their abilities. The judges thought it was leaps and bounds (pun intended) better than what Nick typically churns out. Congratulations?

Additions: Heaven help those of us who once wore high cut leotards with suspenders. Oh how I would have loved the sequined sports bra Peta wore. I think Nick looks pretty in seafoam green and am still blushing from Carrie Ann’s assessment that “it took balls to do that.”

Cheryl and Terrell
“The Breaks” by Kurtis Blow
Guilty Pleasure: Breakdancing
Again, how can this be a guilty pleasure that Cheryl is supposed to pull off when her genre is salsa? I’m so confused, but Terrell is ready for the challenge. All he needs is a little WD-40 for his hips (Amen, brother), a fly red and black jumpsuit, and a troupe of JV dancers and he’s ready to breaksalsadance. Let me put it to you this way: Terrell is clearly having fun. I was concerned when a few of the JV kids flung both Cheryl and Terrell down to the ground at the end so they could land in a signature breakdance pose, but all seems well. No hips were displaced. Carrie Ann loves it. Len is meh. Bruno liked that Terrell made the salsa his own. I would agree with that statement.

Jordan and Lindsay
“The Glory Days” by Michael Giacchino
Guilty Pleasure: reading comic books
Jordan is from a football town, but since he preferred the arts, he often found himself disappearing into comic books. Or learning gymnastics and how to be generally awesome at stage presence. One could argue both. Although I neither loved the music, nor their outfits, I thought Lindsay choreographed an interesting and creative routine, complete with POW and WHAM kicks to the bad guys. Like Mark, Lindsay realizes that Jordan is talented and throws everything into this Charleston that she can think of, and naturally, Jordan hangs. Unfortunately, according to Len, Lindsay forgot to throw in the Charleston. Carrie Ann and Bruno think he’s bananas when he gives them a 7 to their 9s.

As I watch all of the competitors, I wondered why Lindsey and Jordan are excelling so much more than the others. There are stars who can dance, but these two seem so utterly comfortable. Could it be that they are used to big, huge, live crowds? And the actors are skittish because they are only in front of a camera crew? Is Nick not feeling it because he’s not naturally good at dancing? Are the athletes intimidated because they don’t have a ball in their hands? What do you think? And who will be the next voted off? Sound off in the comments section!

Photo By: ABC.com


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I had to hide behind Kevin because of Sharna’s denim panties. Just say no. Do we have a pool whether or not Maks is coming back? Rumor has it he is back in rehearsal with Vanessa. In my opinion, he is a class A brat and needs to take a season off again. I think Vanessa is fun, but would like to have seen more of Alan in that dance. I was not a fan of the Fresh Prince dance. It kind of reminded me of when Mrs. Brady tried to dance the Quick Step to the Brady Bunch song.

Since we didn’t have an elimination this week, does that mean a double elimination next week?


Not denim panties again!! Ugh Haha


Can I just say that Mark Ballas is my absolute favourite dancer of all the DWTS dancers?? I just love his creativity, his energy and his spunk. I thoroughly enjoy watching him dance and I would love to see him win a season.

The mom-jean denim panties. No. Just NO. That’s really all I’ve got to say.


I said the same thing about Mark. I’m thrilled that he’s back because he brings such incredible choreography to the ballroom. He and Lindsey are a pair to be reckoned with!


Plagiarizing yourself for the second “meh” dance of the night? Hilarious.

Yes, you are good at fluff, but you are also really good at capturing our feelings about this sad world in words


I just love Jordan and Lindsey. They appear to be happy people, and I like watching them dance their happy young way across the stage


I frist have to say that I am thrilled that Mark is back in the ballroom and I will totally admit that I have a girl crush on Lindsey. His kind of creativity has been missing and I love seeing his quirky mind at work once again.

Jordan and Lindsay are my next favorite couple. I know he has a background in broadway, etc. and people gripe about that all of the time but I still love him. His smile is infectious.

My next favorites are Emma and Drew. There’s just something about him that makes me want to smile. You get pulled in by his enthusiasm and obvious joy of learning how to dance.

I can’t put my finger on it but Vanessa drives me batty and I cringe at what she says. It will be interesting to see if Alan takes over for Maks for the rest of the season. I think the producers are getting more than they wished for when they put married “stars” with married “pros.”


I meant that I “first” had to say. LOL!


I feel the same way about Vanessa. I usually like goofy people but I just get the feeling it’s an act with her. Contrast her with Lindsay (Lindsey?) Stirling (Sterling ?), who seems more like a “genuine” goofy person. Do I even make sense?!! Peta strikes me as quite subdued and not quite into it as she usually is this season. My gut tells me that life with Maks ain’t all a bed of roses. I think he’s a diva. Not fun when there are two babies in the house. I also think she went too far with the weight loss and working out after the baby. She just doesn’t look very happy to me right now. I hope I’m wrong.


I really like Vanessa–I think she comes across a little bit awkward sometimes but it really seems like nerves to me. She does have a strong personality, but I think that’s fun! She makes me laugh. And frankly, knowing that there was “tension” with Maks makes me like her even more, because Maks comes across as kind of bossy and patronizing. I bet Vanessa wasn’t the type of person willing to just sit there and take it from him day and day out and I’m sure he hates that! Definitely hoping she will stick around as a competitor this season for a while . . .


Sharna’s denim panties were wrong in soooo many ways!! And how unlike her to wear something high waisted, lol!! I think we are seeing who the natural performers are — Jordan and Lindsey — and there has to be a component of just natural talent there too that makes them more able to pick up the dances and excel. However, I also credit Mark and Lindsay as they must be great teachers also. And for the first season, I feel like Mark FINALLY isn’t making it about himself — his creativity shines while showing off his partner and for a change, not screaming “look at ME”!! Nick, poor Nick, clearly lacking in the natural talent department and he knows it. I think he just can’t find a comfort zone. It will be interesting to see who in the middle-of-the-pack group can have a breakthrough to possibly catch up with the frontrunners — it is a big gap right now.