"Dancing With The Stars" Week 4 Recap: Moves Like Jagger
Let me tell you, and the powers-that-be at ABC, that Rock and Roll and ballroom dancing DO NOT ATTRACT. They can put in as many leather-studded outfits, shirtless men, and random explosions of fire as they want to, but, in the end, all they really have is a hot mess.
The episode was initiated with a performance by legendary rockers KISS, who stuck around for the rest of the episode to pop up in random corners of the screen and make faces at the audience. It was seriously like Where’s Waldo, except instead of the red and white shirt you were looking for the black and white face.
"DWTS" first real venture into theme week was a double-edged sword. While the leather costumes and 80s throwback music were both Rachel Zoe certified OOC Out Of Control, the performances fell a little flat. Trying to tell their right foot from their left foot, not impale their partner with all the studs on their costumes, and paso doble, waltz, or tango to some of the most legendary rock songs was a little bit too much for some contestants to handle. Naturally, scores went down. Maybe that was the entire point of this venture into Alice Cooper’s wonderland – the celeburinas/os had been doing too well, they needed to be knocked down a little.
But who would ever want to knock down Sherri Shepherd? Sherri Bomb and her handsome pal Val fell a little out of love this week. Honeymoon is over, let the marital strife begin. Val showed his Chmerkovskiy genes and bullied Sherri into proper tango posture during rehearsals, but not before taking numerous breaks to check himself out in the mirror. To be fair, he was rocking a situation that the Situation should be jealous of. All the drama-rama paid off when they took two to tango to Quiet Riot and shut that dance down. “I like it when you’re being moody!” Bruno growled, complementing the dance’s attitude and effort. However, Carrie Ann missed Sherri’s signature smizing, and was less than impressed. With 7’s across the judges’ table, Sherri tangoed Rock week away with a total score of 21.
The next performance brought to the stage two things I never would have expected to see together – Katherine Jenkins, and cage fighting. The Welsh wiggler tried to channel her inner Chuck Norris when partner Mark Ballas asked her to get angry and get aggressive. He even took her to some badass boxing lessons – she squealed before lightly tapping a human-shaped beanbag. Katherine’s discomfort showed in her paso doble. While she looked like a glorious lady batman, judges criticized that she was too heavy on her feet and didn’t paso the paso the way it should be paso-ed. She was given 8’s across the table, amounting in her lowest score this season, 24. But if that is Katherine’s idea of a bad dance, I suspect we are going to be graced with Katherine’s presence in the ballroom for many weeks to come.
Same goes for Jaleel, who continued his "DWTS" character study by embracing a whole new personality this week – Mick Jagger. He and partner Kym tangoed to “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, their performance complete with a very Jagger-esque scarf on Jaleel, and heavens only knows what on Kym. Her dress looked like… I honestly can’t even explain it. Look here for yourself… if you dare. Anyway, the judges were indeed very satisfied by Jaleel’s Jagger moves. Len wished to see more attack, and Bruno made some odd comment about wanting Jaleel to be more like a stalker, but in the end Jaleel walked away with an 8 from Carrie Ann and two 7’s from Len and Bruno for a total score of 22.
Val’s turn as the mean one of the family was short lived, because this week Maks turned up the heat on Melissa. He wanted to get her as angry as possible and channel all that rage into a passionate paso doble. Melissa’s response? “Bite me.” Ha. I like her sass. Their dance was a little less Mick Jagger and a whole lot more Matador on crack. Besides looking like their entire paso had been glitter bombed by Ke$ha, the dance had, as Bruno said, “hot blooded drama a plenty.” The judges couldn’t find fault with how much progress Melissa has made throughout the competition and wished to see her in a slower more lyrical dance. Please, oh please let this be a teaser into next week’s theme. Something like Swan Lake, or Celine Dion. Melissa’s overall score of 23 (the only 8 coming from Len – color me shocked!) all but guarantees she will be around to see what slow dance disaster is a-coming round the corner.
Donald Driver is the exception to my previous statement about the opposites of Rock and Roll and ballroom dancing not attracting, so I guess y’all can go on using that allegory – but only when talking about Donald and Peta’s OOC paso doble. Rumor had it that athletes had previously been successful at the paso, their natural strength giving them an advantage in the powerful dance. Even Peta’s granny sweater couldn’t emasculate this self-professed “Hunky Dunky Man.” Their paso to “Purple Haze” was without question the best dance of the night. Donald was in complete control and practically outperformed Peta. “MASCULINE! MUSCULAR! MAAAAGNIFICENT!!!!!” I don’t even think you need help figuring out which judge that was. In other news, Len said this was the first time he was excited by a shirtless man. Take that how you may. What isn’t up for debate is the unanimous 9’s from the judges, giving Donald the highest score of the night with 27. Check out his perfect paso below.
If Donald and Peta are an example of everything going right, Gladys Knight and her partner Tristan are exactly the opposite. (And no! There is no attraction!) The Grandma of Rock and Roll put all she had into their tango, and by all means it should have worked. But alas, no. “Bohemian Rhapsody” stole the show. These two were completely outperformed by their song!!! I still cannot figure out why Tristan would ever choose the one song that is actually 6 songs in disguise. The judges complemented his choreography and the ambition of the routine but were, overall, not impressed. Gladys received 7’s from Carrie Ann and Bruno, and a 6 from Len, making a total score of 20. I don’t think Gladys is much longer for this competition, but I wish I were wrong. Between her fun loving attitude, and Tristan’s delicious accent, they really are one of the most enjoyable couples to watch. Wellllll, now only you, the voters, can save them, to let them dance on and bring smiles to the faces of fans of Irish accents everywhere. No pressure, or anything.
William Levy was up next, with a bedazzled bandana no less, but that was the least of his worries since this hombre had absolutely no clue what Rock and Roll was. When his partner brought rockers Steel Panther to rehearsal to teach Senor Levy some moves, he thought “Who are these two ugly women?” Sigh. We can’t all look like you William. It takes something special to still look good wearing a mullet wig and leopard print leggings, but he did it. Funny thing about his dance though… how do I put this lightly?... It sucked. It really did. While William and Cheryl were off to a strong start, William even working a little Bootylicious in there for the ladies (and Bruno), after what looked like 2 failed attempts at a floor spin, they lost it entirely. The rest of the dance lacked rhythm and went on for too long. When the judges were finally put out of their pain, Len summed it up well, “It is what it is.” William had been a strong performer in weeks past, but this Rock and Roll performance left a lot to be desired. He was generously given 7’s from Carrie Ann and Len, and an 8 from Bruno that absolutely no one believes was for any other reason than his hotness. 23 points for Senor Levy, and adorable pouty frustrated face for all of America to gawk at. Seems a fair deal to me.
Roshon Fegan and partner Chelsie were up next with the randomest handsomest dance of the week – a Viennese Waltz. I don’t know when waltzing to Rock and Roll music became ok, but somewhere along the line it did, because Roshon killed it. In rehearsals he was having trouble with being a noodle. Roshon the Ramen Noodle. Has a ring to it, no? His extreme flexibility actually made the waltz more difficult because everything had to be controlled and precise. Mr. Noodle figured his limbs out though because their waltz was pristine. Heavenly, really. I think Carrie Ann encapsulated it best when she said the dance reminded her of the climax of a Disney movie with the couple twirling around the ballroom. The only Disney movie I have seen that in is Beauty and the Beast, in which case she is calling Roshon a giant furry animal. Offensive. I joke, Carrie Ann also said that out of the men, Roshon is the best dancer they have this season. What Roshon took out of this? That Carrie Ann cal
led him a man. He earned a well deserved score of 26, cementing his place in this competition for a while. I would not be surprised to see this Disney darling in the finale.
Daria (Maria and Derek) are doing a terrible job trying to convince America that they are not dating. Their choreographic chemistry is off the charts. However, this investigative journalist uncovered the truth. Maria Menounos is not dating Derek Hough, she is dating the least Derek Hough-y man out there. Seriously though, he looks like Howard Stern. Well, we’ll let the blonde bombshell (weird to call a guy that? I think it stands) have his moment with her in rehearsals. Short moment though, since Maria was rushed to the doctor with a stress fracture in her foot. Since quitting is not an option for her, she was back to rehearsals with a oddly-outfitted Derek to work on their tango. Can we just talk about how Derek rehearses in jeans and Toms? What is that about? He sported a black streaked fauxhawk for their “School’s Out” performance, which rocked the judges’ socks off and earned them the second highest score of the night, 26.
Last, but never least, was Gavin Degraw, feeling confident this week since Rock and Roll is right up his alley. Want to know what isn’t right up his alley? Dancing, in general. Tangoing, in specific. Karina tried to play on their frustrations, and then she tried to duct tape his mouth closed. Ha. Their performance to “Paint It Black” was not only well danced, but chamazingly costumed. Gavin looked like what would happen if Sebastian Stan’s Mad Hatter on “Once Upon a Time” joined Panic at the Disco. Translation: GUYLINER. Karina looked like an evil butterfly gypsy who rummaged through the costumes for “Black Swan.” Translation: Feathers glued to her face. The judges appreciated Gavin’s constant progress, though Bruno said his terrible shoulder posture made him look like a turtle. Gavin the Mad Turtle Hatter at the Disco earned a solid score of 23 for his dance.
That's it for Rock week and good riddance. It was just too much of a hot damn mess. Leave the Rock of Ages to Tom Cruise. Vote away for your favoritos, and I'll see you back here next week for the next (Swan Lake??) fandango. Til then, check out the full episode here. Or just Donald rocking the paso like nobody's business below.
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