‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Hometown Glory
It’s Hometown Glory week on Dancing with the Stars. That means that our fearless contestants take emotional walks down Memory Lane and try to come up with a song that reminds them of their childhood, but that tune also just happens to fall in the foxtrot dance category. Bonus points are doled out if talking about your adolescence makes your cry. To the scoreboard!
Nick and Sharna
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Nick chose “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” as the quintessential song guaranteed to take him back to his dancing days as a young boy. No, he didn’t grow up on an Army base as the jaunty ditty would imply. This particular song is key because it’s very fast and he NEVER thought he would EVER be able to dance to it. Unfortunately, this confession is still accurate because his kicky jazz shoes slipped all over the ballroom floor. Speaking of slips, I think I may have seen Sharna’s nip. Even though her toast tights were amazing, the routine was a pseudo hot mess. I assume all three judges once owned Backstreet Boys bed sheets. That’s the only reason he scored as high as he did.
Paula and Louis
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Great. Nothing says “sexy dance” like a petite Dutch man grinding up against a southern grandma-type to the soulful tune of “Midnight Train To Georgia.” Toot-toot indeed. Her legs looked fabulous, but I had to keep averting my eyes when Louis got all up in Paula’s business with a bold, very deep dip. Neither of them seemed to care that it was weird. I wanted them to care, but they didn’t.
Hayes and Emma
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Sweet Hayes chose country anthem “This is How We Roll” by Florida Georgia Line as the song that reminds him of growing up with his siblings. I’d like to point out that this song debuted in 2014. (Hey— it’s a lot better than the Barney song or the theme from Bubble Guppies.) Hayes loves two things: motocross and his Mama. So he salutes both through his dance. There’s an emotional tribute to his mom in his interview package (everyone was crying), as well as a real-live motorcycle spin around the dance floor before taking Emma into his arms wearing an orange and white jumpsuit suitable for eclectic motocross fans of the world. Or Greg Brady. Erin made him cry about his Mama again in the pre-score interview. Cue the waterworks!
Chaka and Keo
A sweet ABC intern asked Chaka in the pre-dance interview why she chose the song “Chicago” by Frank Sinatra for her hometown routine. Chaka gives the camera a legitimate “Is this white girl for real?” look before dead panning, “I’m from Chicago.” Keo wisely choreographs a good 30 seconds of stage fluff before they even started dancing. It all went downhill from there. Chaka boasted that their team would best be described as an “upward gradient” throughout the competition, but her feet did not get the message. Even her outfit was one big monochromatic blob of maroon. And Chaka didn’t get an interview with Erin in the fishbowl! One of two things must have happened: Chaka couldn’t negotiate the stairs after her routine or Hayes ate up most of her interview time by hugging his Mama for 15 seconds after his dance. We may never know.
Andy and Allison
Hometown: Upstate New York
Andy and Allison danced to “Only the Good Die Young” because nothing says New York state of mind like a Billy Joel song. The problem with Andy is that he’s too much in his own head. He’s afraid of looking like an idiot. And I think Allison packs her routines with so much stuff that a non-seasoned dancer can’t keep up, so the aforementioned “idiot looking” is highly likely. Don’t get me started on how there was hardly any jive in that jive. I also didn’t like how Allison played the crowd by encouraging them to stand up and cheer for Andy. I’d like my cheers and enthusiasm to be natural, thankyouverymuch. She knows that this is a popularity vote and she is fully aware that a young whipper snapper in Art Linkletter’s variety show outfit is commandeering the Twitterverse in the studio corner where you get a really good WIFI signal at that exact same moment. She needs to watch herself because that kind of behavior can be off-putting.
Kim and Tony
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Tony is irritated with Kim because her six children are getting in the way of their rehearsal time. I don’t really understand how this is a problem because Tony choreographed five of the other JV dancers to quickstep around Kim holding up different clothes, jewelry and various items one might find in the closet of a Real Housewife of Fill-In-The-Blank.
Alek and Lindsay
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Adorable Alek chose “Don’t Stop Believing” as his song and I have to believe that this is truly his jam and not some weird “love me because I’m a patriot” ploy. Please note that I already love him as a patriot. He doesn’t need the schtick. But he does need a fully-built, literal front porch complete with AstroTurf lawn to honestly execute the jazz number Lindsay has whipped up. And he needs to be barefoot for the moment to properly translate. There were twists and turns and cheerleader lifts. At one point, they even channeled their inner Liesl and Rolf with a little choreography straight from an Austrian gazebo. Alek was strong and graceful at the same time. I didn’t LOVE, love the dance, but I LOVE, love him.
Alexa and Mark
Hometown: Ocala, Florida
The interview package opens with Mark chastising Alexa for being distracted by her husband last week. He flat out told her that “Carlos was in the game. You were in, but with one arm.” Ouch, Mark. Take it easy. I know it’s been 12 seasons since you won the fancy mirror ball trophy and you are probably STILL miffed about the time you had such a good chance with that Cheetah Girl your first year on the show, but let it go! And try not to be so weird. The DWTS audience does not like weird. If you’re going to make Alexa dance in a full-blown leopard costume, that’s great. We’ve all seen CATS. But why are you dressed as biker dude in the jungle? Are you a drug lord? Again—know you audience. We don’t want to see you struggle with the jungle cat who stole your kilo of cocaine. We just want to see some normal salsa.
Karina and Victor
Hometown: Hidalgo, Mexico
Karina turns this assignment on its head and goes full on stereotype by making Victor dance to “La Bamba” in a traditional mariachi outfit. He has absolutely no clue what he’s doing. At one point, Karina takes the male role and flings Victor around like a rag doll. He needs to go home so Karina can steal spots from some of the lesser-known JV dancers.
Tamar and Val
Dance: Cha Cha
Because Tamar is a fierce Braxton, she selects “We Are Family” as her hometown theme. I absolutely ADORE how she is not digging Val’s chili. She likes him, of course, but she is all business when he makes her pelvic thrust during the entire number. Val: “Your hip has to thrust into my thigh.” Normally, that would send any girl into a fit of giggles. But Tamar insists that she can not thrust when thinking about her family. So Val gives her a gaggle of JV girls as an entourage. Now that she has all her fake sisters with her, she can thrust like the wind. And she does.
Gary and Anna
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
I have to be honest. I mostly fast forwarded through Gary. My favorite part of his appearances is when Tom Bergeron gets a huge kick out of whatever randomness is coming out of his mouth. I did notice that he tried to kiss Ann in the middle of his football-themed dance. I’m 72-percent confident that it was not a choreographed moment.
Carlos and Witney
Hometown: Columbia, Missouri
Carlos actually did a pretty good job with this routine. They danced to the Blake Shelton version of “Home.” I myself prefer Michael Buble, but what are you going to do? Carlos began by looking forlorn through a rain-stained window. Witney came up behind him and they floated around the dance floor. It was fluid and pretty. I did remember a line from The Wedding Planner when I saw their outfits. “Teal. The color of gangrene.” But the moment was diffused when Tom Bergeron delivered his zinger of the night, “It’s great to see rain in LA again.”
Bindi and Derek
Hometown: Australia Zoo
Bindi used to dance to “Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC as a child. Although the lyrics are quite mature for a little kid, I can’t really blame the Irwins for blasting the rock anthem. I grew up with the soundtrack of Grease. If you want to really question your upbringing, ask your parents how “Greased Lightning” snuck through the old “is this appropriate?” filter. Anyway—Derek and Bindi tango’d their way through lots of sharp movements and an equal amount of “rock on” hand signs. I didn’t like it at all. And I think it’s because I don’t want Derek to win. Is that HORRIBLE for me to admit? I want Bindi to do well, but it bothers me how Derek can do no wrong when other pros are just as talented. He’s a great dancer and choreographer. I just think he is always placed on a pedestal, which is reflected in his high scores. Rant over.
At the end of the night, Chaka and Gary found themselves in the red light of doom. But it was Chaka who was sent home. I don’t think anyone was more relieved than Keo. Bless him.
What do you think? Who will go home tonight? Am I crazy for not rooting for Derek? Is Alek your favorite? Or Hayes? Sound off in the comments section!