Dancing with the Stars Recap: Disney week

Dancing with the Stars Recap Season 27, Episode 5

It’s Disney Week and that means anyone who doesn’t need the extra time in the rehearsal studio will be taking a trip to Anaheim in order for ABC to plug Uncle Walt’s original California theme park. They will skip through Fantasyland and stop to eat a churro before practicing their ballroom dance in front of an iconic Disneyland structure.

And it will be magical.

When they head back, ABC will foot the bill for Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Pluto, and Daisy to join them in Los Angeles where the Dancing with the Stars studio will be transformed into every Disney cartoon you’ve ever seen. And two you haven’t.

To get the party started, the talented Mandy Moore somehow manages a single camera intro, featuring the Fab Five (plus Daisy), all of our pros, many of our stars, several of the DWTS Juniors shorty pros, a few junior shorty darlings who star on TV shows, and some comic relief from Tom Bergeron.

Then everyone comes together for a big dance party where Mickey descends from the ceiling to the applause of the entire audience who just so happen to be wearing Mickey ears that light up to the beat of the music.

Again, magical.

It’s a special night where pixie dust is sprinkled all over Len’s head, number ten paddles are whipped out with glee, and massive props that pull focus from the couples are encouraged.

There’s also lots of hair. All of the women enjoy luscious locks, because that’s how Disney princesses roll. Even Juan Pablo gets in on the fun and totally rocks his pony.

Erin: “Hey, there’s no shame in wearing a clip-on. I have about twelve in my hair right now.”

MAGICAL!

Alexis and Alan
Foxtrot
“Just Around the River Bend” from Pocahontas
SCORE: 29
I’m not one to say “I told you so” very often, only because I rarely get to say “I told you so” to anyone. HOWEVER, in my first piece with InStyle, the very last thing I said about Alexis and Alan is that they would have chemistry and that they would probably start dating.

This was before I knew she had a boyfriend. But alas, rumor has it that Alexis has dumped said boyfriend and has moved to Los Angeles for good. Then last night, one of the producers asked her, “Have you developed feelings for Alan?” Geez, producer, get right to the point next time. Also, GREAT JOB MEDDLING! Alexis is shy and answers, “No comment” before giggling. And, according to her desperate hug with Alan at the end of the show last night when they were deemed safe (spoiler), I’d say there is something going on and I’m here for it.

Alexis and Alan were one of the couples given an permission slip to go galavanting around Disneyland for the day. I would bet a hundred dollars that they shared a smooch in Pirates of the Caribbean. Or It’s a Small World.

If you know me well, you know that Pocahontas is not my favorite. Thankfully, I love Alan and his choreography, so I didn’t roll my eyes when Alexis stepped out with a blue corn moon top and a flowing tan skirt with feathers hanging from a belt. The two knocked this one out of the park. I was a little irritated with all the smoke and the fake rainbow was unfortunate, but other than that, I thought it was absolutely lovely. Chemistry, chemistry, chemistry! Ten, nine, ten! (Read in more detail about this dance over at InStyle!)

Juan Pablo and Cheryl
Viennese Waltz
“Gaston” from Beauty and the Beast
SCORE: 29
Lo and behold, Juan Pablo looks just like Gaston! And I love it! He enjoyed his ponytail, nailed the narcissistic persona, and twirled Cheryl around his tavern with ease. To quote Carrie Ann, “He has flair. Every detail is perfect. There’s a certain finesse at the end that no other contestant has.” Spot on! Len used the words “zest” and “gusto” and “spectacular!” I would agree.

If I had to change one thing, it would have been the huge table in the middle of the ballroom. I get that this is a direct replica of this song’s choreography from the live action movie (and Broadway and the animation) but it made for awkward TV. We either had to watch the dance from far away or very close up. Why that bothered me is a mystery.

Also, I thought it was weird that Cheryl seemed to be a normal wench in the tavern. I get that Belle isn’t in that scene for the movie, but couldn’t they have put Cheryl in a wig or a hat or made her one of those triplets who think Gaston is so dreamy? She looked like an extra from Little House on the Prairie.

DeMarcus and Lindsay
Charleston
“A Star is Born” from Hercules
SCORE: 26
I’ve said it every week and I’ll say it again: Lindsay is a smart choreographer. She knows DeMarcus is a beast and what better way to showcase his Herculean strength than by having him lift her up above his head nine times in one dance?

And let’s not forget that they performed the Charleston the entire first half of the dance. It was full of kicks, flicks, bounces, lifts, swings, twists, turns, and a human windmill situation at the end. DeMarcus did all of this with a broken finger. And Lindsay did all of this with a broken shoe. EXTRA POINTS FOR THE PROFESSIONAL!

Evanna and Keo
Jazz
“When Will My Life Begin” from Tangled
SCORE: 24
Evanna and Keo get to ride roller coasters at Disneyland. The best part of the entire night was Keo’s fear of Big Thunder Mountain, which is one step above a kiddie roller coaster.

Did you catch that? My favorite part was in the pre-package. And it’s not just because I’m a huge Disney fan. It’s because I was underwhelmed by this dance in every way. Even Carrie Ann called it “competent.” Which is accurate. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t dumb. It was just meh.

First of all, jazz can be interpreted in any way. And this song is not very dynamic. Evanna looks scared (I blame her visit into the red light of doom last week) and Keo seems bored. I couldn’t help but think that if this had been Derek Hough or Mark Ballas, there would have been some sort of funky jazz choreography that revolved around Rapunzel’s long braided hair.

Wait a minute. Is that the best idea ever? Am I a superior choreographer good enough for DWTS? I think so!

Grocery Store Joe and Jenna
Jive
“Zero” from Ralph Breaks the Internet
SCORE: 17
You can tell that the producers of DWTS have trained Jenna to pitch Joe in a victim light. We learn that it’s hard for him to hear that terrible feedback (I would imagine this is true) and that Joe has zero dance knowledge. It should be noted that he wants to be here and he wants to grow. Or at least he wants the bank account to grow. Again, these jokers get major bucks for each week they stay in the competition.

Unfortunately, Joe doesn’t even have the advantage of dancing to a tune that anyone knows. Or a show that anyone has seen. They dress him like Ralph, which is unconvincing since Ralph is big and huge and Joe is not. Why wouldn’t they put him in padded muscles? He stands there most of the time flexing his muscles while Jenna jives around him. This seems like a no-brainer to me.

Ah! Look at me! I’m master choreographing again! Move over Mandy Moore, I’m coming for your job!

I could tell they really worked on the middle part, which was full of jive dance moves. The other sections didn’t seem very jive-ish at all to me. He stood a lot. He did do a little better and three people in the audience gave him a standing ovation in solidarity. His girlfriend Kendall was not one of them.

Mary Lou and Sasha
Contemporary
“Reflection” from Mulan
SCORE: 25
Mary Lou had the most elaborate set of them all. There was a pond which reflected her dance. There were trees and logs and foliage. She had a sword that she swung in the air. Sasha created a great dance that really brought out Mary Lou’s as a person. And what he brought out was insecurity. The woman broke down three-fourths of the way in, right before Sasha did a literal front flip over her hunched body.

Of all the contestants, I believe Mary Lou is having the most noticeable change. Each week that she is not number one is humbling. So she lets that perfect guard down and settles into the moment, because for the first time in her life, she realizes that she may not be the last one standing. And it’s really fun and sweet to watch the transformation.

Emma and John
Quickstep
“I Wan’na Be Like You” from The Jungle Book
SCORE: 24
Y’all, I’m loving John Schneider. I think he has the best attitude and is a hard worker. He’s always smiling, always making Emma laugh, and has a certain charm about him that makes me smile when he gets on the dance floor to perform an upbeat number like the quickstep.

And boy did he perform it. He never missed a beat. He ran all over that ballroom, holding on to Emma who was dressed as a sexy monkey, without missing a beat. It was a proper, recognizable quickstep and I was so proud of him.

Also, watch how the other contestants engage with him. You can tell he is beloved. That says a lot to me!

Bobby and Sharna
Waltz
“Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid
SCORE: 21
Sharna warns Bobby that he can’t be his normal Bobby self this week, because the waltz is elegant, graceful, and full of technique. Plus, she’ll be wearing a ton of red hair extensions, which can be distracting, and she’ll have an exposed belly slathered in glitter, which can make certain bloggers feel the need to do a thousand crunches for the rest of her life.

Although his shoulders were up most of the time, and he did something weird with his mouth, Bobby did as he was told. The judges praised him for being “brave” and “playing it straight” and “dancing outside of his comfort zone.” I commend him for his effort and his willingness to go method, asking everyone behind the scenes to call him Prince Eric.

Who, as we all know, is the best prince of them all.

Milo and Witney
Quickstep
“Incredibles 2” from Incredibles 2
SCORE: 27
Here’s my beef with this dance: MAN PANTIES. I don’t need to see the seventeen-year-old Milo in head-to-toe spandex with MAN PANTIES on the outside. The bar was very, very high after last week’s trio, and I don’t think Milo and Witney reached the status of incredible as they were hoping.

The song is familiar-ish, but the unitards were unfortunate. It was a great quickstep, full of bad guys to fight and zip lines to swing from, but I think the MAN PANTIES were the straw that broke the camel’s back. You can tell that the judges agreed with me, because their scores were all over the map.

Once Milo and Witney were done picking wedgies out of their cracks, I noticed that there wasn’t much time left on the old DVR. When DeMarcus and Alexis were listed as the two couples in the red light of doom, I was nervous.

Is ABC going to send a good dancer home?

HECK NO! It’s Disney week! Everyone gets to stay so we can have a fun-filled Halloween episode next Monday. Hooray!

I noticed two things:

  1. Everyone crowded DeMarcus, so happy that he wasn’t going home. Again, this is a true sign that the entire cast thinks he’s the bomb.
  2. Alexis and Alan embraced for a long, long, long time, hugging at the thought of how close they came to not being able to smush up together in the coming week. THEY ARE TOTALLY DATING.
Photo By: ABC.com

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Jeannine Dolson
Jeannine Dolson

Joe gets the worst of everything – music, costume and dance moves. I really think he could learn an actual dance and I hope he gets the chance. I agree with Len.

Contrarian
Contrarian

I agree with you (and Len), plus I had this thought: did they remove the elimination because yet another “good” dancer would have been voted off, rather than Joe? I get the feeling there are behind-the-scenes forces hoping Joe’s supporters will lessen their commitment, and nixing the elimination allowed for another week for that to happen.

cathy
cathy

I totally agree! How could they let one of “their” beloved good dancers go?! So nope, not gonna do it….surprise, there’s no elimination!

Dee
Dee

I agree with you–I’m feeling really bad for Joe because the judges are SO terrible to him. I too noticed that he gets awful songs selected for him (ACTUAL LYRICS to the song he had to dance to this week: “Hello, hello, let me tell you what it’s like to be a zero, zero . . .”). He was even paired with the crappiest trio partner I have ever seen on this show (model Jordan Kimball from the Bachelor franchise, who has absolutely zero dance experience) last week! That just seems cruel, not to mention unfair. It’s really irritating, and definitely makes the show less fun. Super lame!

Old Christine
Old Christine

You said it, Dee!

evangeline
evangeline

What a fun night!!! I though Joe did better and I hate how the judges treat him, I also thought that he should have gotten a more traditional Disney song!!

Bobbie Bones was so sweet last night!! I loved that dance and everything about it!!

Kathleen
Kathleen

Everybody seemed to have a great song except Joe. Judges are just plain rude to him. I know he’s weak but they seem to enjoy humiliating him with their comments instead of encouraging. Carrie Ann was bit more gracious to him last night. Demarcus…wow! Dang that guy is strong. Sure he shoved +300 lb guys around the football the field for a job but still, its impressive to watch him lift Lindsay like its nothing.

Amy
Amy

Fantastic re-cap as always! But where are we on the whole Carrie Ann “baby watch”?

Skylar
Skylar

(Late person catching up with DVR)
Alan and Alexis are totally dating. I kept thinking they were gonna kiss while galavanting through Disneyland.
Evanna and Keo: I’m wondering if Keo just sucks at choreo because that dance was BAD. I still want to love her so much, but I just hate they paired her with an unpopular pro. Maybe he’s been unpopular because his choreo sucks which is what we witnessed last night.
Mary Lou: Hasn’t she sucked at something after, um, 1984? I don’t see why she still feels PERFECTION when she’s had plenty of time to fail after the Olympics. She’s still super charming but that part leaves me a bit confused – like she’s playing into us strictly tying her to the Olympics when she has lived life after that. Something is missing.
Juan Pablo and Cheryl: I agree with Tom – that was one of my FAVORITE Disney dances ever!! I actually loved the table and the fact they danced on it, and Juan Pablo was swinging from the chandelier. I hated Cheryl’s dress. I kept thinking it looked Minnie Mouse-ish with the red dots.
During the DWTS Tour Sharna had a dance during the Disney portion, where she was Ariel and danced with a Prince Eric. She said that she always wanted to be Ariel during Disney week but never was given the opportunity. I’m not a fan of Sharna, but I was happy she finally got to be Ariel during Disney week.