Last week feels like a distant fever dream, doesn’t it? What charity the ballroom deities have displayed, to give us two weeks of performances by all twelve dancers! That means two sets of scores, combined with YOUR votes, and that’s a lot of ballroom math to consider. So put an ice pack on your brain and try to remember last night:
Roshon Fegan (49/60): It might seem infantilizing to call Roshon and Chelsea a pair of little Munchkins, but that’s what they are! Even if they are not little in real life. And it’s okay because they are amazing, if not a little frenetic and disorganized. But their faux-fancy quickstep proved the raw talent is there, and Bruno called Roshon “delicious.” See? Like a Munchkin.
Sherri Shepherd (46/60): Anyone with an ounce of glitter in their veins knows that when you forget/refuse to perform a step in a dance, there is no limit to the tragic awkwardness that can ensue. Not so for SherSheps! She just kept on movin’ and waving her hands about all sexy-like, forcing partner Val to stand there and play act, and forcing us to like her even more. Brava. Even the judges have been ensnared by her charm, because they easily could have castigated her. Instead, it was all love and decently high scores. What is this world?
Melissa Gilbert (40/60): The redheaded cry machine got Maks to admit that yes, large lumps of solid bronze muscle do shed tears -- but only during "The Lion King." In turn, we learned (or was it common knowledge?) that she once dated Billie Idol, which must have made dancing to his song at least a little weird. I totally blanked on Melissa last week (I blame the microwave burrito) but she and Maks quickstepped it up this time, planting her in the middle of the pack. We’ll see how things progress.
Jack Wagner (44/60): Jack’s continuing cooperation with the sherbet dreams of Anna and the wardrobe staff is impressive. His dancing? Also pretty impressive, if you just look at his feet the whole time. Once you start getting into arms and how they move naturally, it kind of falls apart. But Jack can definitely hold his own. So what if he gets a little offended when Anna makes fun of his head movements? He is serious about dancing. But not so serious that he can’t rock that orange shirt. Just work on the kicks and flicks, say the judges, and all will be bright.
Gladys Knight (42/60): I don’t know what Len is talking about. A five?! I’m usually on board with the Grumpmaster, but no one can step on a spotlight piano like Gladys. I want one so badly. Gladys has a disadvantage here seeing as she’s oh, almost 50 years older than the youngest contestant -- but look at the dress! And her generally pleasant nature! And honestly, a pretty good quickstep! It’s Gladys-dang-Knight! She’ll be fine.
Katherine Jenkins (52/60): The “Welsh Wiggler” is, like, the only female who could possibly say “naughty bits” and still sound and look like a Disney princess. That is talent. Oh, yeah, and she saved a little talent for her casino-themed jive, wherein she and Mark won some sort of Mirrorball prize involving all three judges’ heads. Jackpot? She is top three material, you can bet on that.
Jaleel White (48/60): The props this week were insane! First Katherine and Mark’s craps table, and then Jaleel and Kym’s jive in the Diner of Love? He cut a fine figure as a soda jerk or whatever, and I love the chemistry between this pair. Maybe it’s because Jaleel wasn’t afraid to call Kym out on having crazy eyes, or to admit that crashing into doors gracefully as a child may have contributed to his surprising dancing skills.
Maria Menounos (46/60): Kudos to Maria for being one of the only humans who can soften up banana-bot Brooke to the point where she doesn’t seem pained and confused every time she laughs or asks a question. Perhaps Brooke was more distracted by Maria’s cream gown and bandit mask, which were both begging to be ripped off, but mercifully were not. The pair had a fairly lively robbery jive and apparently Maria and Derek enjoy some hearty rehearsal-time hijinks, but I can’t place why I’m finding this pair underwhelming. I think my excitement for Maria has been stolen by Katherine. Darn you, Welsh Wiggler!
Martina Navratilova (37/60): Now, I try not to get too far into critiquing how people are dressed for their dances, because -- let’s face it -- we’re pretty far in the sequined deep end, sartorially speaking. However, there is no excuse for whatever sparkly tennis net abomination the costumers wrought on poor Martina. It’s bad enough the woman is just not a dancer (“It’s sad!” said Carrie Ann on behalf of everybody). It wasn’t that she looked uncomfortable, per se. She just, you know, forgot a lot of steps. And having to fixate on her weird net-top thing was no relief.
Donald Driver (45/60): I love Donald Driver. I do not know why. Maybe it is the blinding smile or the fact a grown man with a very manly job is a legitimate fan of a dancing show. Either way, the feeling is totally justified, because despite being gigantic he is quite a hoofer, leading tiny little Peta around the floor like he knows what he’s doing. Also, he actually got an apology from Len, who said he underscored Donald last week! Perfectly good explanation: Len probably saw Donald’s adorable son clapping in the audience. Points for everyone!
Gavin DeGraw (41/60): I really want to know what’s hiding under Gavin’s hat. Is it full of jokes? This week, Gavin decided to kick it up so as to avoid the steam of anger coming out of partner Karina’s head. Of course this meant more hats and a motorcycle, and a pretty decent jive. He is a puzzler, this one, because he’s got the humor, he can move his feet around in a decent impersonation of someone dancing, but I just feel like he, as a contestant, is not shining as brightly as he should. His songs are all over the radio! We should care about him more!
William Levy (49/60): At the end of Gavin’s time I was wondering why all of a sudden the audience was going nutso-crazy for him, until I realized William Levy had come out on the floor. Unfortunately for Bruno, he was very clothed this time, but where partial nudity is apparently preferable for America’s new favorite Cuban, a dapper suit is a close second. William was concerned his lusty impression last week would falter (AS IF) because he had gotten an edge with a Latin dance. Turns out, he’s pretty capable at the quickstep as well, an inexplicable dance if there ever was one, so no worries, William. You will be around to singe our eyebrows for many weeks to come.
Although this is shaping up to be one of the BEST SEASONS EVER (Spoiler Alert: That happens every season), someone has to go home. Let’s all take bets on that weird prop craps table. If we were to pull the arm on the slot machine of fate, whose faces would pop up? Is it Martina? Gavin? Melissa? I was never very good at gambling. Throw the dice!