Dancing with the Stars Recap: Latin Night

Dancing with the Stars recap: Season 25, Episode 3

Raise your hand if you forgot that Dancing with the Stars is a two-night extravaganza! Was that just me? How are we supposed to concentrate on Latin night when This is Us is on at the same time?

It’s a good thing I’m a professional and just sucked it up for the sake of the recap, because Latin night turned out to be a pretty good episode. I could tell that the stars were tired and that mots of the pros watered down their routines since ABC forced them all to learn two dances in one week, but I was entertained for the most part.

I was really excited to see that Jenna is back from her stint on So You Think You Can Dance. She’s been over there busting out Mandy Moore choreography like this:

And now she’s over here! And so is my girl Mandy!

I thought it was adorable that Jenna is dancing with her real-life beau Val, Maks with Peta, and Fake Gosling with that JV dancer your know he’s crushing. But then they all switch partners and that lovey dovey moment went right out the window right along with all the male dancers’ shirts.

Get those hips on a swivel and practice your bounce, because IT’S LATIN NIGHT!

Nikki and Artem
“Despacito” by Luis Fonsi, featuring Daddy Yankee
To Artem’s surprise, sexy wrestler Nikki Bella who notoriously wears next to nothing in the ring, is uncomfortable getting too close to Artem. She has no problem grabbing him by the neck with one hand and in-between the legs with the other to power drive him to the floor, but writhing up and down his leg is problematic.

Nikki is in a dramatic purple number that hugs her curves. Her lipstick matches her dress. Artem is topless, wearing only black pants. He plays her like an acoustic guitar at the beginning of the dance and then sambas her around the floor slowly and methodically. There is zero bouncing — a big no no for samba. It also looks like he is teaching her at a slow pace. Do we blame the music on this one? Or Artem’s choreography? I’m not sure, but because it held little exaggeration at all, the routine translated as boring. The judges thought so too.

Victoria and Val
“Easy” by Sky Ferreira
Val immediately recognizes that he’s going to have trouble performing a rumba with Victoria — the most joyful person in the world. When he tells her that the dance is “adult,” she sweetly replies, “Like a formal?”

No, dear girl. Not a formal. It’s the dance of love.

Val calls an audible and basically choreographs a simple contemporary routine. He thinks the judges won’t notice since Victoria is essentially wearing a lilac nightie with a big bow on the back. Carrie Ann and Bruno praise Victoria for being authentic and vulnerable, but Len calls a spade a spade. “If I left out the music, I would not have known that was a rumba.” Victoria is fine with the criticism because she is too busy eating the birthday cake Erin gives her in the Glitter Dome.

Derek and Sharna
Paso Doble
“Diablo Rojo” by Rodrigo y Gabriela
I agree with Sharna: Derek is an incredibly nice guy. It’s going to be hard to get him to play a feisty character. Fire and passion do not describe this man, but give him a fresh chest waxing and a bedazzled red suit and you can pretend all day long. He’s got the smirk, he ignores Sharna’s terrible braid, and he tries really, really hard to command the stage. The challenge is that Sharna is so powerful that it makes Derek look even wimpier. Also, what was up with all the undercarriage talk with Bruno? It made me and Tom blush. Moving on. I’m rooting for Sharna and Derek to find their groove. I hope they get it soon!

Sasha and Gleb
“Most Girls” by Hailee Steinfeld
Sasha confesses that she gained 70 pounds in two years and had no idea what was going on. She was social bullied and fell into a depression. This explains why she’s having a hard time projecting on the stage. She’s since learned that she has a hormone imbalance and is working to adjust things. She’s also lost fifteen pounds already on the show. Gleb praises her for her hard work and gives her a girl power storyline that she embraces. Who needs a prom queen crown when you have Gleb in a pale pink shirt, white pants, and what appears to be white Keds waiting for you down the stairs?

Although she still not there one-hundred-percent in her face, the dance is fun and bouncy. I couldn’t put my finger on how to describe her performance, but when Len says Sasha has sparkle, I thought, “That’s it!” She also smiles directly into the camera, which is something only pros do. I think if we give her a few more weeks of practice, she’ll have her moment.

Nick and Peta
Argentine Tango
“She’s A Lady” by Lion Babe
Nick cannot catch a break. Bless his heart. In the opening package, producers ask him about his first date with Vanessa. He can’t recall where or when. Cut to Vanessa babbling on about the Cherry Lounge, promising the producers that there’s no way Nick could forget making out there for hours when they first met. Dude. That has to be the hardest thing to hear (disappointing your bride who is standing right above you) before you go onto the stage to channel your first date love emotions with another woman, based on the first date love emotions with your wife.

I personally thought Nick did a decent job. He can rock a set of flesh-colored pants like nobody’s business. He and Peta are quick, sharp, and yes his hips are tight, but he definitely performs leaps and bounds better than the Manilow debacle. The judges simply are annoyed by him. Or Peta. They complain about his character, his lack of passion, and the fact that there is no intensity. Poor guy.

Jordan and Lindsay
“Mi Gente” by J Ballin & Willy William
I’m mesmerized by Lindsay’s legs, her denim panties, and gypsy belt made of a gold necklace. Lindsay is mesmerized by Jordan’s eagerness to learn and his endless energy. She bottles all of that up into a fun samba, including rolls and intricate footwork. There are so many spins and tiny little nuances that make Jordan the best dancer on the cast. He deserves to win at this point in the game. So does Lindsay. I hope they do.

Drew and Emma
“Lights Down Low” by MAX, featuring gnash
I just love Drew. He’s so positive. And completely willing to get down with Emma during a rumba. There’s only one thing missing from his sexy repertoire and that’s a spray tan and an open black gossamer shirt. Done.

Emma wears a black see-through negligee that has material in all the right places for network television. She spins and grinds around Drew as he stares, thrusts, and glides around her body. There’s a slow dip at the end and then a kiss by a stranger in the audience. I’ll presume that is his fiance. Like Len said, it was Drew’s best dance of the season.

Debbie and Alan
Argentine Tango
“Havana” by Camila Cabello, featuring Young Thug
Debbie has no problem being steamy and seductive with Alan. Let the record show that I wouldn’t either. They have a natural chemistry and Alan works hard to bring out the naughty side of Debbie per Bruno’s request. Her maroon lace dress is divine. I even liked the Cuban nightclub feel with the lady singing next to the piano on the floor. The smoke was a nice touch. I was a little nervous when he hopped up onto a table, but Alan is strong and commands his woman with ease. It is a solid performance.

Vanessa and Maks
“Instruction” by Jax Jones, featuring Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don
Once again, Maks is mean to Vanessa. He pushes her to dance her personality, which is off the charts adorable. He wants the old Vanessa to come out an play — the one who used to dance at the club with her girls. So Vanessa breaks out her favorite Hammer pants, bites her bottom lip, and salsas her high heels off with Maks. It was a little chaotic at times in my opinion, but fun. Len thinks she’s a contender. I also whooped when I saw her big hot pink earrings, because I have the exact same ones. Now if only I can find my old Hammer pants…

Terrell and Cheryl
“Hot in Here” by Nelly
Did you know that Terrell is single? He goes home every night, curls up with his pillow, and turns on HGTV to watch Drew Scott and the other property brother. This is unacceptable. So he gives America his phone number for all the ladies to call him who are interested. (PS: The phone number he gives is the one you call to vote for him. Precious.)

Cheryl makes Terrell a fireman (smart) in red suspenders. He whips off his yellow coat, but for some reason, Cheryl stays in hers. This distracts me. I kept willing her to just take it off. I mean, the lyrics command the listener to do so, due to the fact that it’s getting hot in here. Why not take off all your clothes? Terrell did it.

I thought he did a fine job. The judges did too for the most part, but their scores didn’t reflect that sentiment. They really have a problem with both Derek and Terrell not dancing big enough. I just don’t see it.

Lindsey and Mark
“Mani Picao” by Ricky Campanelli
Here’s the deal with Lindsay — she’s a musician and understands rhythm. Mark knows this, so he throws everything including the kitchen sink into this salsa and Lindsey totally hangs with him. There is so much footwork, I can barely keep up. And like Len mentions, I appreciate that Mark launches into the salsa and then salsas until the last note of the music. We don’t need butterfly tents. There are no JV dancers. It’s just pure salsa and everyone loves it. I even like Lindsey’s purple and pink butt ruffle. And how is this girl so flexible? She nearly touches her head with that back kick! I like this pair. They deserve to win too, giving Lindsay and Jordan a run for their money.

Frankie and Witney
“Perm” by Bruno Mars
Frankie wants you to know that he is dedicated to this show and wants to remain on the cast until the end. Who cares about his bad back and the fourteen hour days. He’s committed and wants to prove it.

Look, I get that his song is called “Perm” but the opening bit with the salon was too fluffy for me. I want Witney to do like she did the night before and just cha-cha with Frankie. Once they finally get down onto the main dance floor, I enjoy the dance so much more. But it is almost over by that point. I barely have time to geek out over Frankie’s sweet gold jacket. Carrie Ann says it best when she comments that Frankie has swagger. Of course, it’s his own special brand of swagger (hilarious) but it’s there. Len and Bruno L-O-V-E it resulting in the first “9” of the season. You go Frankie.

Erin and Tom announce that Nick and Debbie are in the bottom two. Vanessa looks like she’s going to hurl. Peta looks ticked off. And Alan is dumbfounded. Particularly so when his partner is sent home. I was rooting for Alan to make it farther than he did. He was a smart choice for Debbie. I’m glad she feels like she has her life back, thanks to him.

Do you think she deserved to go home the second week of Dancing with the Stars? What about Nick being in the bottom? Are the two Lindsays/Lindseys the ones to beat? Sound off in the comments section!

Photo By: ABC.com


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