The remaining contestants on Dancing with the Stars shared their personal stories a la Most Memorable Year weeks of yesteryear. I think this week should have just been branded “Most Memorable Year”. It’s time to bring it back. This was one of the most popular weeks on the show for the viewers and it was always a good cry.
The opening of the show was kind of funny, but a little corny. I guess someone had said that AJ McLean looks like Vin Diesel now since he is now bald, and now I can’t unsee or unthink that. Tyra’s delivery as a host is getting better and she is starting to grow on me. However, her dresses this episode, especially the second one, were not flattering on her at all. Wardrobe complaints aside, here are my comments on the dances this week:
Nelly (partner: Daniella Karagach)
Dance: Paso Doble to “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Rick Ross, and Snoop Dogg
Thoughts: It always makes me laugh when the celebrities don’t know what a paso doble is. Nelly wanted to produce a breakthrough dance with this number, and I don’t feel like he did that. His arms were not controlled, and the shaping of his arms was off as Derek pointed out during his critique. I could tell he was trying, which I will give an A for effort. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him eliminated in the next couple of weeks, though.
Chrishell Stause (partner: Gleb Savchenko)
Thoughts: I thought it took a lot of courage for Chrishell to admit that she was going through the process of freezing her eggs and acknowledging her public divorce from Justin Hartley. Her dance was good, but I didn’t feel like it lived up to the last two weeks’ worth of dances. Her footwork was so-so, and it seemed like at times Gleb was gliding her around the dance floor. She has improved since the first week and I’m excited to see her improve weekly.
Monica Aldama (partner: Val Chmerkovskiy)
Dance: Samba to “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
Thoughts: It was refreshing to see Monica and Val have a “come to Jesus” moment and acknowledge what they both need to work on as a student and as a coach. I feel like Monica committed to the dance, but it didn’t look like her hips were moving all that much. I agree with Carrie Ann Inaba’s comment that they had great chemistry.
Anne Heche (partner: Keo Motsepe)
Dance: Paso Doble to “Rise” by Katy Perry
Thoughts: The story that Anne told about taking Ellen DeGeneres to the premiere of her movie and getting an ultimatum from Fox blew me away. It was not only the story itself, but how she persevered through it that were mind blowing to me. I think it was insane that she lost work and her contract with them just because of someone she loved. Anne’s dance was okay, and I will give her an A for effort. However, I felt like she was overdoing it at times. I did like her costume for the dance; it fit well with the message she was trying to convey.
Nev Schulmann (partner: Jenna Johnson)
Dance: Rumba to “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
Thoughts: I think Nev and his wife are adorable, and I liked that he dedicated the dance to her. His dancing was beautiful. His movements were fluid and there was plenty of Rumba content. I would say that was one of the best Rumbas performed by a male in the last 29 seasons. Nev was severely underscored in this dance. He should have gotten at least one 9.
Justina Machado (partner: Sasha Farber)
Dance: Salsa to “Que Viva La Vida” by Wisin
Thoughts: Justina’s video package included homage to her grandmother’s move to the continental United States from Puerto Rico and how it created opportunity for success for her and her cousins (her cousins are professors). We saw the fire that she was missing in last week’s dance in this week’s dance. She had smooth movements, even though the lift was a little bit clumsy. I also think she deserved one 9 for this dance.
Kaitlyn Bristowe (partner: Artem Chigvintsev)
Dance: Viennese Waltz to “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs
Thoughts: I’m not a fan of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise, but I thought that Kaitlyn and her boyfriend, Jason, are an adorable couple. She dedicated her dance to him, and it was beautiful. Kaitlyn gets better weekly and I can’t wait to see what she offers in the next couple of weeks. I want to see her in the finals!
Johnny Weir (partner: Britt Stewart)
Dance: Jive to “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John
Thoughts: I love Johnny’s energy and how him and Britt wanted to “make the dance pretty for their mamas”. His dance was good and included his signature energy, but I was expecting better with his technique. The kicks and flicks needed some work, but he has so much potential.
Jeannie Mai (partner: Brandon Armstrong)
Dance: Tango to “Seven Nation Army” by White Stripes
Thoughts: I can’t even with Mama Mai. I love that she motivates Jeannie to do better, but don’t be so mean to Jeannie. I thought Jeannie’s dance was good, but last week’s dance was better. It looked like there were a couple of slip-ups, but I appreciated the intensity and commitment to the dance.
Vernon Davis (partner: Peta Murgatroyd)
Dance: Rumba to “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green
Thoughts: I love the vulnerability that Vernon showed when he was talking about his grandmother taking him and his six siblings into her home to raise them. His dance was good, but his footwork needed improvement. Vernon’s arms and hips were smooth, and I wanted more of that. I also wanted to see him score another 8.
Jesse Metcalfe (partner: Sharna Burgess)
Dance: Cha Cha to “Smooth” by Carlos Santana feat. Rob Thomas
Thoughts: His video package was okay. It wasn’t heartfelt but shows Jesse in his happy place. I thought his dance was not great. His footwork was flat and clumsy. Sharna, who is one of my favorite pros on the show, created this sexy choreography and Jesse did not do it any justice. I agree with Bruno’s comment that he needs to push harder and with Carrie Ann Inaba’s comment that he needs to stop looking down at feet (finally someone acknowledged it). If he doesn’t improve, I’m not surprised if he goes home soon.
Skai Jackson (partner: Alan Bersten)
Dance: Foxtrot to “Ordinary People” by John Legend
Thoughts: I like that Skai dedicated this dance to Cameron Boyce, who died young from a seizure (he had epilepsy). They were great friends and shared a wonderful bond. This dance was her breakthrough dance and showed that she did not come to play. I do wonder if she is better with the ballroom dances than with Latin dances, though. I agreed with Bruno that she possessed a poise that those older than her do not have when they dance. I was not expecting her to get a 10 for that dance, but I’m not mad at it.
AJ McLean (partner: Cheryl Burke)
Dance: Cha Cha to “Larger Than Life” by Backstreet Boys
Thoughts: I think it was great that AJ acknowledged the brotherhood that he formed with the members of the Backstreet Boys. AJ’s Cha Cha was his breakthrough dance. I liked the dance breakdown in the middle with the virtual members of the Backstreet Boys, which was an innovative idea. The judges were too critical on him, though.
We’re getting to the point in the competition where everyone is getting good and it’s heartbreaking to see contestants go. I wasn’t entirely surprised that Anne ended up in the bottom two but was a little taken aback that Monica ended up there. That little flub was a weird mistake and even though I don’t like being conspiratorial, something wasn’t right that Monica was called safe and then called in the bottom two. Anne had to hang up her dancing shoes at the end of the show, which was a little sad to see, but not entirely surprising.
‘80s Night will be next week and I wonder how many leg warmers, neon colors and side ponytails we will see.
(Picture courtesy of ABC/Disney)