Dancing with the Stars recap: Movie Night
Hello dance lovers! It’s Dancing with the Stars Movie Night! Even though Shania Twain is a well-known country singer from a few decades ago, she’s got a new song out about soldiers on the soundtrack from Thank You For Your Service and that makes her a bonafide expert on judging dance competitions.
It’s too bad this isn’t a lip sync contest, because Shania could have shown the contestants how it’s done. The angst! The emotion! The over exaggeration of facial expressions! Does this realization deter me from the excitement building inside me knowing that I too will see Shania
lip sync sing in a big arena next year?
Absolutely not. Give me “From This Moment” and “I Feel Like a Woman” and “Any Man of Mine” via recorded vocals or real vocals and I’m a happy camper.
Do you want to know when I’m not a happy camper? The days the cable chooses to go out for the first fifteen minutes of the show. I missed the opening number and Artem and Nikki’s Argentine Tango.
Thank goodness for YouTube, amiright?
Artem and Nikki
“Dernière Danse”by Indila
Even though the quality was a little fuzzy, I could tell that Nikki was doing a good job. Once again, she proves that the strong Latin dances are in her wheelhouse. Artem in a crisp cream suit with that hat covering one eyebrow is a win from the start. The outfit is great, her hair is divine, and the makeshift French setting is perfect for the genre and the song. There are times when I wanted her to do a little more with her face, but the Argentine Tango calls for sharp sophistication. And she definitely pulls that off.
Emma and Drew
“Legend” by The Score
Sweet, sweet Drew can’t seem to catch a break. I think most of us love him so much that we are willing to forgive so many tiny mistakes for the sake of his adorable personality. Did you see the audience reaction to his paso? They L-O-V-E him. And they really love him with Emma.
Speaking of Emma, she’s definitely a fan of the half dress. On one side of her costume is a collection of bands that somehow don’t show any naughty parts. The other side of her costume is a black gown. A jet black bob polishes the entire look. Drew is all in leather and pretty much kills all of the JV crew who dare try to stop him from dancing with his woman. Even the female dancers ended up on the floor. Emma choreographs a big group combination in the middle, which as we all suspect, makes the vein in Len’s head pop. Shania loves the balance between man and woman and Bruno thinks it was explosive. Carrie Ann wants Drew to try and not rip Emma’s arm out the next time, while Len praises Drew for already being deemed safe this week. In a nutshell, they all enthusiastically hate the number, except Shania.
Nick and Peta
“Wild Wild West” by Will Smith
Okay, I understand that Nick isn’t the best dancer and that he works really hard not to look like an idiot. But what I love about him is his heart. He is confused by the fact that he is safe every week, yet he’s clearly the worst dancer. It makes him sad to see others go home when the talent is there.
Peta tells him to suck it up and own the fact that he’s still in the competition. She’s created quite the head scratcher of a routine and he needs to focus! Now the genre is western, so pay no attention that the routine is set in an auto body shop. Also pay no attention that the costumes make them look like old timey airplane pilots with goggles and leather jackets. Does the body shop work on airplanes? Based on the rusted car in the middle of the stage, my guess is no. Peta throws in a little Mad Max for good measure and we watch as Nick halfway sambas and halfway jazz hands his way into the Thunderdome. The pelvic thrusts were the icing on the cake. The judges praise Nick for “nailing it” and “a fantastic breakdown.” Then they give him the lowest score of the night.
Victoria and Val
“We Will Rock You” by Queen
Let’s make one thing clear from the beginning: Alan riding a Zamboni shirtless is the best thing ever. Val in a Speedo is the opposite of that. Victoria’s hockey uniform, complete with shoulder pads and a kicky skirt, is adorable, but I wish she and Val had been in different colored uniforms, or at least opposite colors, since they were supposed to be on opposing sides. The routine doesn’t feel very paso to me with all the extra hockey stick choreography and puck work in the middle. Yes she was sharp and yes the concept was creative and yes I liked Val’s missing tooth, but it moved like molasses. I blame the music. In this instance, the theatrics of the set got in the way of the dance for me. Shania thought so too.
Terrell and Cheryl
“Feel It Still” by Portugal. The Man
Cheryl’s idea of their entire routine revolving around a ruse to steal the “10” paddle from Len’s house was cute. In theory. However, I’m still unsure how the judges were able to see both sides of the wall. At the end of the day, it didn’t really matter I guess. Whenever the judges saw him, Terrell flicks and kicks like a jiving James Bond. He has bounce. He has a sharpness about him. But most of all, TO has all sorts of personality! That smile and the wink to the camera was endearing! He’s a dark horse. Mark my words.
Witney and Frankie
“Holly Rock” by Sheila E.
I have all sorts of questions. Why are Witney and Frankie dressed up as Poppy and Branch from Trolls? I have to admit that I was excited to see which song they would dance to because the Trolls soundtrack is full of potential. Then it occurred to me that Trolls is a Dreamworks animated movie. DISNEY’S COMPETITION. Does anyone else find that odd? Of all the Disney/Pixar movies in the Disney catalog, they choose a Dreamworks hit? So very curious.
The dance was a hot mess. It looked very high school musical to me and not in the cool Troy Bolton kind of way. Frankie messes up multiple times, probably because Witney dabbles in every dance genre known to man. When the JV dancers show up, who are not dressed as trolls but normal people, it all falls to pieces. I don’t know where to look. To quote Bruno, “It’s like tripping on magic mushrooms.”
Vanessa and Maks
“Let’s Be Bad” — Smash cast featuring Megan Hilty
Vanessa and Maks want y’all to know that they are okay. In fact, they are going to show you how cool they are with each other by dancing so fast that there’s no time to talk. It’s straight energy. The routine starts out with Vanessa in a silky red dress with FEATHERS at the bottom. She’s in a girl group with backup dancers lip syncing like Shania Twain. They run down the stage and Vanessa takes off with Maks. That’s when her feather skirt falls off revealing a fringe number. Spoiler: It wasn’t planned for that moment of the dance. Kudos to Uncle Tom Bergeron for scrambling out to remove the skirt from the middle of the floor.
Vanessa is undeterred. In fact, the mishap fuels her to give it even more hustle. She nails the trio part with a chair, lip syncs a little more, and then takes off with Maks again. It was theatrical and fun. Vanessa needs to let herself go more often!
Jordan and Lindsay
“Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheehan
Jordan needs you to know that he is not perfect, even though his scores from last week directly prove that he is dreaming. He also hurt his hip, which is crucial for optimal rumba participation. Lindsay give him a pep talk, a backstory about her leaving him, and a scarf they dance with that magically ends up on Lindsay’s neck halfway through the routine. The entire routine is smooth as silk. It is simple, elegant, and fluid. He knows how to breathe through a moment. He knows how to pause. And according to Len, he knows how to flourish his fingers in the air, which is a bad thing, so points must be taken off. So close to perfection, Jordan. So close.
Mark and Lindsey
Science Fiction Genre
“Human” by Sevdaliza
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Mark’s quirkiness works with Lindsey as his partner. They both commit to the weird and the result is phenomenal. I had my doubts with the opening b-roll footage of Mark as a mad scientist, but the routine did not go in that direction. Mark wore a white jacket. Lindsey wore a bodysuit straight out of the wardrobe department from Tron. Her eyes were iridescent and metallic bits of silver were all over her face. The costume isn’t the only thing that made this routine.
Mark is the master of intricacies. Every tiny beat of the music is matched with a robotic twist of the head or arm. There are moments where nothing happens and they are so, so good. At one point, Lindsey literally kicks her leg back and touches her own head. Mark is understated, which is exactly what he needed to be. All eyes were on Lindsey and she definitely won the night in my opinion.
Throughout the night, Tom and Erin announce couples who are safe. By the end of the second hour, Terrell and Nick are the only two left standing. Nick is sent home. I don’t think there’s ever been another contestant who looked more relieved than him. You can tell from the embraces of his fellow contestants (and his wife) the cast loves him and will truly miss the camaraderie. The good news is that he’ll still be around to cheer his wife into victory.
That is if something suddenly happens to Jordan or Lindsey.