‘Dancing with the Stars’ Recap: Chest Hair Debate
Dancing with the Stars Recap: Episode 2
It’s an elimination episode and Tyra did not come to play. How do we know? Easy. Look no further than her gladiator dress. There’s a bunch of symbolism going on in that one outfit. I’m not sure what her visible pair of black Spanx are trying to say, but I know it’s something fierce.
Producers read the blog last week and took my note. I barely remember the piped in crowd cheers from Tuesday night’s festivities. I’m glad they toned the volume down. Thank you for listening, Mr. Sound Guy.
This week’s note has to do with lighting. I understand that the Dancing with the Stars budget had to be reorganized due to stupid COVID. I also understand that each and every penny clearly went into Tyra’s wardrobe, dramatic lighting, and confetti cannons. What I don’t understand is why powers that be insist on the performers dancing in the shadows.
It wasn’t until Chrishell stepped from her blue-tinted spotlight to receive her scores that I realized she was in a purple dress. I know I uttered, “Turn the lights on,” at least three times during the two-hour event.
Where’s Len when you need him? He would never allow such nebulous frivolity.
Now, let’s see who nailed their dances and who would have benefited from darkened spotlights to cover floppy feet and poor frames.
Nev and Jenna
“Dynamite” by BTS
Jenna is super proud of Nev for a “job well done” last week and she wants to see him soar during their cha-cha-cha. That’s why she plucked a yellow parakeet of its bright feathers and sewed them on her bra. It’s called method
acting dancing, people.
The colorful plumage doesn’t faze Nev. That’s because he has his own plumage vying for the winner of “Best Chest Ornamentation.” In his case, the lack of shirt coupled with the deep V of Nev’s bright yellow vest showcases a considerable patch of glorious, curly hair.
Dear reader, I hope and pray that Nev does not let one of the Dancing with the Stars official beauticians rip him of his masculine foliage. Both Derek and Bruno suggested he participate in some light “manscaping.” Is an oiled up, tan, shaven chest a good thing? Sure!
But what I would love to see is Nev choose to forgo the ballroom norm in lieu of his natural fleece. AXE THE WAX, NEV!
Here’s another thing: Nev can dance. He has gorgeous arms and fingers and he knows how and when to smile. He’s a raw blob of talented clay and I think Jenna is going to mold him into something great. I just hope his relative obscurity doesn’t keep people from voting for him.
Skai and Alan
“Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo
Once again, Skai’s adorable personality and teeny tiny body make me want to protect her like a little sister. Or at my age, a young daughter. That’s why I grew angrier and angrier as the night progressed at the judges’ unfair scoring of her samba.
Skai shimmied in a hot pink skirt and turquoise bodysuit. Alan’s jacket and shirt were a perfect match. The butterflies and flowers in her fabulous hair were on point. The dance was everything a samba should be. You can imagine the catch in my throat when she swung her short little leg around Alan’s crouched down body, only to clip him in the forehead (stupid height difference!) and almost fall. Notice I said she ALMOST FELL.
Such a bummer. I’m glad Skai was able to grab onto Alan’s helmet hair to maintain her balance, but I understand why the judges will have to score her on that one little bump in the otherwise great routine. I even appreciated that they all gave her props for handling herself professionally and encouraged her that “it happens.”
Then they all hold up their 5 paddles and I shout at the TV.
Johnny and Britt
“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
I said it last week and I’ll say it again. I expect Johnny to be better than the performances that end up on television. He has the resume to be a natural on the ballroom floor. He understands movement and space. He has been on national television before, so his nerves shouldn’t be as much of a contender as others. He totally gets artistry and knows how a good costume and makeup can enhance a routine.
Someone needs to remind his face. The tango is a serious dance and it requires a certain intensity, but Johnny’s face remains stoic the entire time. Carrie Ann said it best when she commented that he “hasn’t found the floor.” Maybe his ice skating background is the culprit of why he appears so floppy?
With that said, the goth Jack Frost hair and makeup combo was a nice touch for a Lady Gaga song.
Justina and Sasha
“When You Believe” by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston
Justina and Sasha are a great couple. Once again, Justina proves to the audience (both watching from home and fake) that she enjoys what she’s doing. Her foxtrot was smooth and enchanting. Her pink sparkles shimmered in the spotlight. Justina knows how to move and she knows how to act, which makes up for any botched dance moves. I even enjoyed the pink flowers that cascaded down at the end of their dance when Sasha spun Justina into the official Dancing with the Stars ending move: “Woman in Backbend Position.”
FYI, the judges L-O-V-E Justina.
Monica and Val
“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
Yikes. This one is tough. I understand that Monica is not a powerhouse athlete like her cheerleaders. Perhaps my expectation of her being a smidge better than she is comes from the folds of my memory when I hear her explaining the importance of technique in the Navarro Junior College gymnasium. She’s a hard worker, though. And Val is doing everything he can to bring her up a level.
Unfortunately, the jive is not an idea dance to work out rough hedges. That’s right. The word “hedges” is not a typo, because for some reason, they begin their dance hopping around a box hedge. As in shrubbery you would see in front of my parents’ house. Strange.
Monica is in a short, pink overcoat (clearly a theme this year) and white go-go boots. Val has on a matching pink jacket, no shirt, green suspenders, with nary a chest hair in sight. If I had to put a number on it, I would say that twenty-percent of the dance was actual jive. The flicks and kicks were absent for the most part. Len would be so disappointed.
The worst part was the miniature squabble between Carrie Ann and Val during judging. She casually told Val that he didn’t need to “include that lift” at the beginning. He immediately shot back and said it was a jump. Carrie Ann barked, “I know the difference, Val,” and then proceeded to award him a dismal five. I’m officially behind the couch cushion at this point.
AJ and Cheryl
“Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” by Dean Martin
AJ talks about his wife and kids in the opening package and I cry. Then he talks about them again after his scores and I cry a second time.
AJ is a mystery to me right now. I’m rooting for him in a nostalgic way, for sure, and I do like Cheryl, but I think there are several other contestants who are better than him. He is doing a great job dancing. He seems to be loving the moment. But there’s something off that I can’t put my finger on. Is it that I’m distracted by his open mouth all the time? Maybe. Or is it the lack of fellow Backstreet Boys at this side? Perhaps.
He wasn’t as smooth as Justina’s foxtrot, but he was good. Not great. Carrie Ann thought he was as smooth as silk and I question that evaluation. I thought he was a little stiff and choppy. But I trust Cheryl and I like AJ and will root for him to succeed. Especially when he endeared himself to me at the end when he got all verklempt talking about how his bride is pretty much amazing in every way. Awwwwww! I want it that way!
Anne and Keo
“Counting Stars” by OneRepublic
Sometimes I worry about myself and how the smallest things can distract me. For example, I could not stop thinking about Anne’s dress and how it was a burnt orange color. Every ballroom competition program I’ve watched on PBS (beginning in 1988 when I became obsessed with the sport) the majority of performers wear a bold color. Or black. I’m not sure why a burnt orange gown is a good choice, unless you went to the University of Texas. Pair that with Keo’s Aztec-inspired jacket and you have one perpetually bewildered Lincee.
Therefore, I don’t remember anything (good or bad) with the dance. According to the judges, the chemistry was there, Anne’s footwork was questionable, and her legs are “along for the ride.” For those who don’t know, that’s a bad thing.
Nelly and Daniella
“Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind, and Fire
In direct contrast to Anne’s color of East Texas mud dress, Daniella’s vivid emerald green fringe dress was a vision. I’m not sure what Nelly’s animal-print with green splatter paint was trying to say, but I do know that a company jumped on the chance to make Nelly a special custom pair of dance shoes that look like sneakers.
The man has power. Ten bucks says he wears a signature Band-Aid on his face before the season is up.
Daniella danced around Nelly in a way that reminded me of a Fly Girl. It’s like Nelly was on stage singing his rendition of “Let’s Groove” and Daniella was part of his dance company who tours with him in North America. The frustrating thing is that Nelly can dance. I hope he loosens up and uses the floor in future performances.
This also may be Daniella’s fault since she’s new and probably doesn’t feel that she can boss Nelly around just yet. I imagine that will change as the weeks progress.
Chrishell and Gleb
“This is Me” by Keala Settle
As I mentioned in the intro, I was unable to recap half of this dance because it was executed in the dark. At first I thought it was Gleb trying to cover some things up. Once the lights came on, I realized that was definitely the case. Poor Chrishell is all over the place with her arms, hands, feet, and legs. But her head, hair, teeth, and smile are great.
My biggest complain with this performance was the song. They are twofold:
- Let’s not rumba to anything from The Greatest Showman. Ever. It just feels wrong.
- Okay, maybe you can pull off a sexy dance to the song in the middle of the movie where the red-headed lady sings about life never being enough. “This Is Me” is NOT a rumba song, thankyouverymuch, and the fact that they kept in the fast, exciting bit at the end proves that whoever chose this music doesn’t quite get the gist.
- Note: If this was Skai and Alan dancing the rumba, I would allow it. She’s eighteen and should not be grinding on anything or anyone. Give her Jenna’s yellow bra and let her soar in other ways.
Charles and Emma
“Never Too Much” by Luther Vandross
Both Charles and Emma wore outfits that resembled a mirrorball. It didn’t help. The dance was better than last week, but still not great. I’d like to point out that he received the same score as Skai. I’m still upset about that.
Jesse and Sharna
“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac
Remember what I said last week about Jesse’s face and how it’s doing something weird? Well, Sharna agrees with me. She tells Jesse in the opening package that “if we can bring that face to our performances,” they are unstoppable. The face she was speaking of was the attractive, smiling, perfectly sculpted face that stared back at Sharna with admiration. And heat.
They are totally dating. I say that about all of Sharna’s partners, but I’m really, really hoping for this one to come true.
Sharna is gorgeous in her flowy ice blue dress. If Elsa were to perform a foxtrot, this is what she would wear. Jesse is handsome and strong with a face that looks like he’s constipated. Someone needs to put him and Johnny in a room and teach them how to relax their brows and use their face muscles to smile in a pleasant way.
Otherwise, it was really pretty. I especially liked the part where Jesse found the camera and raised an eyebrow.
Jeannie and Brandon
“Roses” by Saint Jhn
I’m not sure why, but all I have written down for this routine is: “Why is Brandon wearing a turtleneck?”
Carole and Pasha
“What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones
I never watched Tiger King, so I don’t officially know why Carole is crying, but I gathered it’s something with media woes AFTER the show aired. Whatever happened has devastated her life. On the other hand, whatever happened has afforded her the opportunity to dance on Dancing with the Stars, so I guess that’s a positive thing? I just wish they would tone down the cat theme. We get it. She likes tigers or whatever.
For some reason, the set department ships in every rose within a five-mile radius and covers two staircases with the flowers. I should point out that neither Carole nor Pasha ever stepped foot on said staircase. I should also point out that she did a better job than last week.
Vernon and Peta
“We Found Love” by Rihanna and Calvin Harris
Oh I wanted to like this more than I did. Sweet Vernon is trying so hard. And I can sort of see Peta holing back her fire so she doesn’t show him up. Peta’s referee paso doble outfit was to die for. So were Vernon’s abs. I think he should keep the bedazzled football if he doesn’t win the mirrorball trophy for sure.
Kaitlyn and Artem
“I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
I didn’t know that Kaitlyn’s mom was a professional ballerina. I also didn’t know that Kaitlyn tried to be a dancer, but she didn’t have what it took and had to relinquish those dreams when she was young and vulnerable. Then she went on The Bachelor, lost, was asked to be The Bachelorette, found love, lost love, found love in the franchise another way, and ended up spinning around the ballroom with a bum ankle in the arms of a man in a pale pink suit. Who would have thought?
Kaitlyn nailed it. With an injured foot. The only thing she has to be aware of now are the hater voters who think it’s unfair that she is in a competition when she’s already a dancer. We shall see.
One-by-one, Tyra announces who is safe and we watch as the pair scurries off the stage. It was so very random. In the end, it was Carole and Charles who were stuck at the bottom. I found it ironic that there was no red light of doom. I guess they switched all the red lights for blue ones?
It’s Charles who is sent home. He didn’t look like he minded. Neither did Emma. The judges save Carole to dance another week. I’m sure she and Pasha are already working on their paso doble to “Cat’s In the Cradle.”
What did you think? Did the right person go home? Was Skai robbed? Do you think Nev should shave his chest hair?
Let your opinion fly in the comments section!