‘Dancing with the Stars’ Recap: So Many Tears
Dancing with the Stars Recap 2020 |
Season 29, Episode 6 |
There are all sorts of wacky happenings going on in my schedule, thanks to The Bachelorette airing on Tuesday nights instead of Mondays. I’ve never recapped Dancing with the Stars in addition to seasons from the Bachelor franchise at the same time. Traditionally, they are on opposite rotations on ABC and dueling recaps are never an issue.
Most of you are probably thinking, “So you can’t write two recaps two days in a row? What’s wrong with you? Don’t you call yourself a writer?”
I get it. I don’t know what’s happening, but my brain and my fingers are not communicating. And life continues to ramble on around me, including my part-time job, small group hoopla, and completely full social schedule.
(Read: Completely full social schedule = watching Umbrella Academy and playing mahjong with Lara.)
Last week got away with me because Tuesdays are really busy, to begin with. I couldn’t fit in the recap, so I unwisely thought that I could write it on Wednesday, forgetting that I would be writing a Bachelorette recap and recording a podcast. Also, my website somewhat crashed because it was the first episode of The Bachelorette and that hasn’t happened since the days of the Farmer. Remember him?
Wednesday became Thursday and then it was the weekend and I had to watch Umbrella Academy and play mahjong.
I honestly thought no one would notice. But a smattering of you did, and I thank you for checking in on me. I thought 80s week was a hoot and wish it was the episode I was recapping instead of the one I’m about to.
Before we get into the recap, I’d like to address the elephant in the ballroom. Tyra Banks’ magenta Aladdin pants made me sad and I’m so glad she changed out of them halfway through the show. I fully support her gold, glittery straight jacket top, but the pants need to be burned in the fire that Derek Hough blazed through during his paso doble with his beloved girlfriend Haley.
How’s that for an intro?
Johnny and Britt
“On the Floor” by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull
Johnny and Britt scored the second to lowest this week. Why? Sadly, I think Johnny took his high marks from last week and assumed he would build from those numbers. Additionally, there may have been a little too much time finding the right black leotard and golf fringe for Johnny’s costume and not enough salsa rehearsals.
Britt looks fantastic in her fiery red ensemble and does her best to pull Johnny along. But he misses a beat at the beginning and fumbles through a part in the middle. It was erratic and flowy when it should have been low and grounded. The judges thought it was “all over the map,” which makes sense. Johnny is an ice skater, and he dances like one. And you know it’s bad when all the judges essentially say, “You win some, and you lose some.”
Johnny was not happy with this critique and truly looked shocked as his tens from last week turned into sixes this week. That is quite the drop.
Nev and Jenna
“Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
I’d like to report that there’s nothing to report on the Nev chest hair situation. His weird shirt/vest combo plucked from the Dowager Countess’ curtains in the drawing-room at Downton didn’t provide the necessary evidence I needed to see if he had removed all coif from his pecs.
I would also like to report that Jenna had no idea that Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark from the Funky Bunch. She probably has no idea that he was the subject of a notorious Calvin Klein billboard in Time’s Square and is the brother to the naughtier New Kid on the Block.
Now, let’s talk about this dance. Jazz is a ubiquitous genre that can be translated in a myriad of ways. Instead of focusing on one lane, Jenna chooses to hit them all. Each style gets an eight count. It sounds odd (which it was), but it somehow works. I mean, there were splits, lifts, leaps, Latin ballroom, standard ballroom, quicksteps, contemporary, hip hop, twerking, disco, jazzercise, floor work, and lyrical.
To quote Bruno, “It was deliciously bonkers.”
It’s not my style, but I can see how the judges appreciated the work put into the dance, not to mention that it was very clean. I think there was just too much going on, which why they were only awarded two nines and an eight. That sticks them right in the middle of the pack.
Monica and Val
“Have I Told You Lately” by Rod Stewart
Monica dedicated this rumba to her husband, which was very sweet. I’m unsure why there was a Dallas city skyline in the background on the screen. Let’s not pull at that string. Monica has great arms, stunning legs, and a pretty smile. She was refined and sensual. Nothing was forced. She was in control, yet vulnerable with Val. They both looked fabulous in their turquoise costumes.
Here’s what I didn’t like: the music. The original tune, sung by Rod Stewart, is velvety and smooth. This rendition had a little bounce to it, which felt off since the dance was a rumba. I don’t want my rumba to be fast. Therefore, I was distracted the entire time because I needed more space, more breath, between the moves.
I prefer my rumba like this:
Skai and Alan
“Say So” by Doja Cat featuring Nicki Minaj
Bless itty bitty baby Skai’s, sweet little heart. I can’t stand that she messed up. So, so many times. She just couldn’t get it back together and Alan was forced to visibly mouth the eight counts to her as they cha-cha-cha’d along. I feel horrible for her. And I feel horrible for Alan’s zebra onesie. This costume makes zero sense.
I will say that Skai looked fierce in her outfit. Her ice blue ensemble and pink hair looked like what Elsa would wear if she were a Pussycat Doll.
The judges raked her over the coals. After claiming that “we’ve all been there,” they gave her sixes, which landed her at the very bottom of the leader board.
Vernon and Peta
“Celebration” by Kool & The Gang
So, Vernon cried during his rehearsal package, which made Peta cry, which made me cry. The man allowed huge crocodile tears to slowly drip down out of his eyeballs onto his shirt as he shared about his deceased grandfather. I have no idea what it has to do with Kool & The Gang, but I felt his emotion, and I wanted him to soar!
He did not.
What’s frustrating is that Vernon can dance! He can totally gyrate his body. There’s an ease about Vernon that makes you relax when you watch him. He just messes up a lot. And Peta has to count out to him as well, which is a telltale sign that the dance is not going to plan.
As for Peta, I want her legs and her severe ponytail and I want them now.
Nelly and Daniella
“Humble & Kind” by Tim McGraw
Oh my goodness, Nelly is growing on me each week. The more he smiles, the more I love him. And the fact that he likes country music and sang a song with Tim McGraw. Applause all around for that decision!
Daniella is killing it with her choreography. She knows that she needs to dance around Nelly, but she does it in a way that doesn’t look like she’s dancing around Nelly. And when you wear a skirt that is straight-up made from a Muppet, you tend to pull focus away from hunched shoulders and an inverted frame.
With that said, Nelly did a great job! He still has this look on his face that reads, “Don’t bother me right now. I’m concentrating.” That’s a bummer. Luckily, his fluid movement and nice arching arms endear him to the audience, with each sweep across the floor. I’m rooting for him!
Derek Hough Extravaganza
Tyra takes a quick break to let Derek show everyone how it’s done. Here’s proof:
Jeannie and Brandon
“You Gotta Be” by Des’ree
Jeannie’s pre-package b-roll made me cry, just like Vernon did. Her family is from Vietnam, and they risked their lives to get to America. It was all very dramatic, and I felt sorry for Jeannie that she was obviously emotional when the music started. She had just heard that sad story about her family, and now she has to dance!
Then all my feelings went away because I’m pretty sure I saw a nip slip in Jeannie’s plunging gold lamé neckline that exposed her voluptuous cleavage. I was further preoccupied with her music, as it was too fast. Then I went down a mental rabbit hole, wondering if rumba music is indeed fast now. Just call me Len Goodman, everybody.
AJ and Cheryl
“Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William
I think I liked this dance, because I only wrote down two things.
- Cheryl knows how to work a camera.
- AJ needs to put his tongue back in his mouth.
Chrishell and Gleb
“Stars” by Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
My goodness, what a heartfelt tribute to the memory of Chrishell’s parents, who both passed away in the last year. This makes the third time I have cried during this episode, if anyone is counting.
The thing about contemporary, much like jazz, is that you can get away with pretty much anything. In this instance, Gleb clearly instructed Chrishell to be a rag doll. Then he threw her around for two-and-a-half minutes. I wish with everything inside of me that she knew how to point her toes. I guess Chrishell was too wrapped up in the moment. Her performance was emotionally raw.
There was a flail here and a flop there. An angsty face here and a furrowed brow there. Lifts, twirls, slides, more lifts. Gleb got quite the workout. And the judges rewarded Chrishell with her highest score yet, which tied her with Nelly.
Kaitlyn and Artem
“Sorry” by Justin Bieber
Kaitlyn and Artem looked sassy. The orange fringe and sequins combo was a delight.
Here’s something you probably never thought I would write: I wouldn’t say I liked the dance.
What?! I know! I totally agreed with Carrie Ann’s critique. Although the choreography was a classic samba and the moves were executed to a tee, it felt boring. It’s like Artem and Kaitlyn were instructors teaching a classroom of amateur ballroom dancers how to perform a clean samba. No umph. Very little fire. To quote Derek, “I wish you would attack it a little bit more.”
I think that’s the dance version of Tyra’s “smize” mantra.
Kaitlyn understood and agreed with everything the judges said. Yes, she still received three nines, but all of the outstanding dancers did tonight. If there had been a little more aggressiveness with the moves or some saucy personality, I bet she would have landed a 10.
Justina and Sasha
“She’s Always A Woman” by Billy Joel
First of all, Justina’s billowy skirt was exquisite. Imagine a unicorn and a swan having a baby. That’s what billowed around her legs as she floated across the floor. It was smooth and lovely.
Justina is also dancing for all the women out there who have ever felt insecure about her body. She has the curves, and she’s not afraid to flaunt them!
But in the end, someone has to end in the red light of doom. This week, it was Vernon and Johnny. I assume since Peta and Vernon were in the bottom last week, the judges felt it was appropriate for him to go home.
I will miss him. And Peta’s hair.