Dancing with the Stars Recap: Vegas Night
Dancing with the Stars Recap: Vegas Night
Well Many Moore has done it again. I was not sure where to look in the opening number of Vegas Night, but I fight it absolutely delightful that Erin used all the leftover gold lamé material from the dancers’ bodysuits to make her evening gown. How charming!
There are two things I want to address before we get to the recap. First, I need to put Danelle and Alexis in the category with Bobby Bones and Joe the Grocer as a contestant who isn’t used to the public spotlight the way an athlete, musician, or actor may be. That was an oversight.
Second, it occurred to me last night as I was watching the live musical performances that ALL of the music is live on Dancing with the Stars. Yesterday, I concluded that it’s harder to perform when someone is singing live on stage. Many of you were probably thinking that didn’t make sense because DUH, it happens every week. TWICE a week, in fact.
I’ll concede a bit, but I still think that it’s harder when the actual person is singing the song instead of Harold Wheeler and his awesome band/orchestra. One minor change in cadence or tempo and you might have a problem. I’ll definitely stop complaining about it, for sure.
Unless you’re a Paralympian.
Juan Pablo and Cheryl
“Why don’t You Do Right” by Peggy Lee
I’m telling you, this guy is good. And Cheryl knows it. I think she’s very smart to point out all of his layers, especially in back-to-back dances. During New York Night, Juan Pablo was tall and animated, full of energy during his quickstep. Las Vegas Night was a different story. Both he and Cheryl used the term “steamy” to describe the piece.
That’s not the first time Cheryl has crossed into Cinemax After Dark territory. It’s kinda her thing. In fact, I’ve seen steamy-er choreography with less-talented partners. I wonder if her newly engaged status has something to do with her sexy choices?
Bottom line: Juan Pablo looks like a pro. By that I mean he dances like a pro and he also looks exactly like veteran Tony Dovolani.
Milo and Witney
“Ashes” by Celine Dion
I wonder if someone had to tell Milo and Witney that Celine Dion is an icon from back in the olden days? Because the tiny babies looked a little too enthusiastic when she wished them luck before their dance. I’ll give Milo a pass since Celine has been a Vegas act for half his life, but Witney deserves a “bless her heart” if this assumption is true. Remember, she is the girl who openly admitted in front of the entire world that she didn’t know who the Backstreet Boys were back in seasons of yore.
Her mother should have raised her better.
Additionally, FIRE! LASERS! SMOKE! MORE LASERS!
Anyway, like Cheryl, Witney helps Milo to show his range with a funky jive Monday night and a slick, sharp tango in Vegas. The entire dance was dramatic and serious. His movements are so precise due to Witney’s brilliant decision to choreograph to each tiny beat of the music. Plus, they spent the entire second half in hold, which I knew Len would like.
Unfortunately, since Milo is eleven-feet-tall and Witney is a pocket person, he’s overcompensating for the height difference, which results in his butt sticking out. Len did not like that. So he docked them for it. Otherwise, I’m sure they would have received a sweep of nines.
Danelle and Artem
“Luck Be a Lady” by Donny Osmond
UUUUGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! Really people? You’re going to give the blind woman the quickstep in week two? With a live singer who is incorporated into the choreography? COME. ON.
This is the first time that the entourage of JV dancers made sense. The girls guided Danelle through a series of events on the stage before a few guys hoisted her down the steps. Artem then thumbed his noses at the producers and said, “You want a quickstep? I’ll give you a quickstep.” So they did. They quickstepped for about six eight counts.
Then Donny sauntered up to hook arms with Danelle on one side while Artem was on the other as they Rockette kicked in a long line with the other JV dancers. She looked scared to death. And exhilarated. I loved it. The judges loved it. The audience loved it.
Alexis and Alan
“Body” by Jennifer Lopez
Alexis has a bit of an emotional breakdown when Alan scolds her, but they work it out and everything seems great as she takes the stage in a teeny tiny flesh-colored fringe number. It was a club dance salsa, complete with fake clubbers lining the perimeter of the circular stage. I thought she was going to fall off the structure twice. I also thought her boob was going to fall out twice. In the final moments, Alan shoves nine tricks all into one move. Alexis twirls around his head, up and over his shoulder, down and around into a cartwheel, and ends in a split. The judges loved it, yet they scored one point lower from New York Night. Interesting.
Emma and John
“King Creole” by Elvis Presley
There are only a handful of times when I’ve been so uncomfortable with what’s unfolding on my screen that I spoke back to the television AND hid behind a couch cushion. So much was going on in this piece. Except the jive.
It was musical theater at the local community center, where the cast of characters has practiced approximately twice. John and Emma are both in Elvis costumes, complete with black wig and golden sunglasses. Only Emma’s costume is the sexy one you buy in the naughty department around Halloween at Party City. The banter wasn’t that bad, but then they added to JV dancers who confused me.
These two guys wore blue jackets, black pants, and Elvis wigs. I think there might have been a dance off with Elvis impersonators, but if that was the case, why didn’t the JV guys wear something resembling an iconic Elvis outfit? I was confused. I was also behind the couch, so I might have missed something.
DeMarcus and Lindsey
“Ladies Man” by Boyz II Men
This was one of those dances that I didn’t really agree with the judges, although I’m not proficient on the quickstep and the camera may have missed what the judges pointed out as mistakes. I thought they looked and danced exquisitely. They were old Hollywood, skipping around the floor with ease. Apparently they also skipped around out of sync with each other, but that’s okay.
Len complained that DeMarcus’ elbow rises up, which makes his jacket look weird, which also makes it look like he doesn’t have a neck. Lindsey is quick to defend him, claiming that her arm is too short to reach as high as it’s supposed to go. Len does not like talk backers, so he docs them a point. You can tell all parties are disappointed.
Joe and Jenna
“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers
Jenna decides to go down the musical theater route like Emma and John, but it backfires on her a bit. Well, the dancing part backfires. Sweet Joe gives everything he can to really nail the dance this time, including drawing little stick figures on a sheet of paper. Jenna called it his “beautiful mind” moment. Sadly, it didn’t work.
The theater part was okay. It was also the entire first half of the dance. By the time they started jazzing it up, Joe was a fumbling, bumbling mess. There’s one point where the two JV dancers hoist Jenna in the air and she ends up with her face in Joe’s crotch. Len liked that part. Otherwise, his feedback is the same as mine:
“It was a routine.”
Evanna and Keo
“Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandellas
Evanna is all about the jive. She likes to bounce. She’s also very, very bendy. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, the girl can dance.
I was confused by the gypsy recreational vehicle theme, but then I realized they are camping in the desert, like one does, and experience a heat wave that only the jive can quench. Evanna keeps up with Keo the entire time and even incorporates a little booty shake syncopation. It was feisty and vivacious. It definitely sparked the ballroom into a frenzy after Joe’s snooze fest.
Sharna and Bobby
“That Old Black Magic” by Sammy Davis Jr.
You know how I felt about Bobby’s dance yesterday. I have decided not to hold that against this performance, because as my friend Amy reported after listening to his show, Sharna was very disappointed in him for going rogue. I like to think he listened to her and apologized.
First off, their navy blue velvet costumes with glitter piping is the stuff Linea Ray’s dreams are made of and I plan on replicating Sharna’s outfit as a gift for my mother at Christmas.
Second, I have no idea how they performed because I was completely distracted by the JV dancers in the background who were struggling with the box. Let me explain.
The dance begins with Sharna and Bobby helping Hayley into a box so they can cut her in half with these big razor blade looking props. Once Hayley is split apart (OOHHHHH!!!!), it’s the JV guys’ job to pull the two pieces of Hayley to the side so the couple can quickstep around.
Unfortunately, one of the razor blades flops out onto the ground. The JV guy picks it up (getting in the shot) and I watch him fiddle with it as I wonder, “Why doesn’t he just leave it?” He spends the next thirty seconds frantically trying to get the blade back into the end of the box before Sharna and Bobby return to put Hayley back together.
That’s what I saw. And I wasn’t interested enough to go back and watch the dance. Sorry! But I’m leaving it for you here to watch since I totally dropped that ball.
Nancy and Val
“Storm” from Ka
After visiting the set of the Cirque du Soleil show “Ka,” Nancy feels inspired to kick some butt on a pirate ship. Val choreographs an intense and dramatic routine, complete with JV dancers wearing masks, that showcases Nancy full of strength and lots of attack moves. When she opens her skirt, the inside looks like the curtains Maria sews to make the Von Trapp children play clothes. Cool.
I thought it was a decent paso.
Tinashe and Brandon
“Circus” by Britney Spears
I really liked this dance even though Brandon looked like the villain from the Prince and the Frog. Tinashe is just good at everything. Full stop. She slays the cha-cha-cha and slays Brandon in the end. But Len leaves Brandon with a pretty serious note: “There’s a bit of sameness to your routines.” OUCH!
What do you think?
Mary Lou and Sasha
“Copacabana” by Barry Manilow
Think about the cheesiest old school ballroom outfit you can conjure and plop Sasha down into it. Now borrow a few thousand feathers from Big Bird, make a dress, and plot Mary Lou down into it. Welcome to the Copacabana!
Sasha wisely watches any and all ballroom footage of the samba from 1984 and reproduces the moves into this routine. There was nothing but tradition stepping around that dance floor. It was a mellow pace. There were huge ruffled sleeves. Mary Lou looked like an Easter chicken. The smiles were plastered in place, until the appropriate facial expressions were utilized.
Len. Loved. It. So did everyone else. Including me. It made me want to watch Strictly Ballroom. If you’ve never seen that show, GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW.
PS: I need a pair of her sparkly pantyhose. I also need to incorporate Barry Manilow back into my Spotify rotation.
I am a Fanilow and I don’t care who knows.
Erin and Tom deliver the sad news that John and Danelle are in the red light of doom. Sadly, it’s Danelle who is sent home and a ballroom of shocked faces watches in horror as Tom holds the microphone in front of her face so she can say something.
Yet she doesn’t know he’s holding it and Artem isn’t with it enough to intervene.
So the music starts playing. Ugh.
Am I happy with the results? Not really. But Danelle has gone on record that she was going to have to work harder in the voting department since she does not have a very big social media presence. It sounds like that was the case.
What did you think? Did she deserve to go home? Who is in the running in your opinion?