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'Dancing With the Stars' recap: 'My Jam' night

Tonight, the stars chose their favorite songs. So we start the show with head judge Len Goodman dancing to his jam, "Come Dance with Me."

I've been waiting years to see Len dance, YAY!  He's off the floor almost immediately, though, so my dreams are still dashed.  Carrie Ann Inaba has chosen "Only Girl in the World" and dancing with men with their shirts open. Love you, Carrie Ann.

Bruno Tonioli's jam is "Born this Way," but Bruno is not seen. Oh, there he is. And there's his hip thrusting. Love you too, Bruno. Julianne Hough's jam is "Sky Full of Stars." That's not a jam. But OK. Interspersed with the judge entrances are the introductions of  competing couples.  Tavis Smiley is wearing the same blue suit as last week. That's odd.
 
Ah, at least that intro meant we didn't have to hear the horrible theme song from last week. Although I miss the theme song from the past 18 seasons. There's something to be said for tradition. Ask The Price Is Right.
 
Randy Couture & Karina Smirnoff
Cha-Cha
 
In rehearsal, Randy's having fun with the hip action. He's also drenched with sweat. Poor Karina.
 
He's chosen "Satisfaction" and, for some reason, a military theme in the costuming. This is more the Otis Redding version of "Satisfaction" than the Rolling Stones version, which is cool. Randy seems a little stiff, more than he did in rehearsals.
 
Len says his feet aren't great, but his heart is good. Julianne says it was a good way to start the night, but his "fighting shoulders" are up a little bit. Bruno says we might have a "new hip action hero" but wants him to dance a bit sharper. Carrie Ann says she expected more of his sex appeal to come through in the dance.
 
Ah, Erin lets us know that Randy was in the Army for six years, hence the military theme for tonight's dance.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
 
Janel Parrish & Val Chmerkovskiy
Jive
 
Janel says Val is in teaching mode, which means grumpy. She takes it in stride, though. Oh no, they're dancing to "Call Me Maybe." This song is an earworm coated in superglue for me. It's a fun number, though. Elegant, fun and sharp.
 
Tom points out that Julianne has her scrunched up face on. She says it wasn't a traditional foxtrot but screw tradition. She wants Janel to work on putting her feet more in the ground. Bruno echoes Julianne's comments. Carrie Ann praises her versatility, with last week's sexy number and this week's elegant one. Len says he would've liked to have seen a little bit more in hold. Never change, Len.
 
The director still hasn't quite gotten the hang of audience cutaways, but they've gotten better. They did a split screen during Bruno's judging comments showing him and showing footage from the dance. That was neat.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 8, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 9
 
Lea Thompson & Artem Chigvintsev 
Jive
 
Lea is trying to shake off being put "in jeopardy" last week. Lea can feel Artem getting impatient with her during rehearsal.
 
This is a very sped up version of "Land of 1,000 Dances." Lea, you're too young for this to be your jam. How I would've loved for her to have gone with one of the Huey Lewis and the News songs from the Back to the Future soundtrack. If Lea's worried about looking like a "cougar" I'm not sure sequined leopard print with red satin trim is the way to go. Oh, hey, there's her "Switched at Birth" costar Marlee Matlin in the audience, signing to Lea.
 
Bruno compares Lea to Ann-Margret in her prime. He says she missed a tiny pass. Carrie Ann says she killed it. Carrie Ann exaggerates her hand motions a little too much and falls out of her chair, but off camera. She says she's fine, she has experience falling. Tom quips that Carrie Ann is the only judge for whom they've installed airbags.
 
Len claims that Carrie Ann kicked him "in the lower portions." I don't know if he means his shins or something else. Tom replies, "Isn't it great to get feeling back there?" HAHAHAAHA.  He says her jive was terrific.  Julianne says Lea gave her chills more than once during that routine. She also says that there was no "relying on Artem" and compliments how high her knees got.
 
Artem became a US citizen this week so everybody in the crow's nest is waving American flags.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 8, Julianne: 9, Bruno: 9
 
Star: Michael Waltrip & Emma Slater
Samba
 
Michael says he was too concerned about where he was headed and not how he was getting there. Michael's strategy with his song choice was to get girls in bikinis so he picks "Girls in Bikinis" as his jam. I have never even heard of this song. Oh, it's a current country song. I kind of stopped listening to country music in about 1983.
 
Despite what Michael might've been hoping, the girls are wearing bikinis more suited to Esther Williams than Sports Illustrated. One of them is even wearing a one piece. Michael's so awful, you guys. Not an ounce of grace or timing.
 
Carrie Ann says he's "just joy." However, she didn't see much of a samba. Len calls it "wacky." Julianne says he mastered the hip roll. MIchael says he credits that to Bruno. Julianne says the in-betweens still need the help. Bruno explains Michael's lack of concentration because he was surrounded by beautiful women.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 6, Len: 6, Julianne: 6, Bruno: 6
Those should've been 5s or lower.
 
Star: Tavis Smiley & Sharna Burgess
Cha-cha
 
As Tavis & Sharna come onto the dance floor before his rehearsal package, the reason for the blue suit in the intro becomes obvious: Tavis has gone totally disco, afro wig and all. Oh my. He's had to squeeze in rehearsal time while on a book tour and he's feeling the stress.
 
I approve of his song choice, "Boogie Wonderland." I also approve of Sharna's awesome electric blue  lamé jumpsuit with bell bottoms. Tavis looks a little ragged, but coming after Michael, he's almost looking like Astaire. At the end of the routine, as he goes down to his knees to catch Sharna for the end pose, he seems to slip. He gets in place and makes the catch, though.
 
Len says his troubles in rehearsal showed on the dance floor tonight - it lacked a bit of polish. He liked the concept and the feel. He also likes Earth Wind & Fire. Huh. Go Len. Julianne agrees with Len's criticisms but felt that it was clear this was his jam. Bruno likes his vibe. Carrie Ann doesn't think he performed bad at all - he got all the steps, even if some of them were in the wrong spot.
 
Erin asks Tavis when was the last time he had a full head of hair and he says "1972."
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
It didn't really deserve to be that high, but it did deserve to be scored higher than Michael.
 
Alfonso Ribeiro & Witney Carson
Samba
 
Witney is wearing a fishnet leotard that's lined in a fabric that's matching her skin color. It's very disconcerting, giving her Barbie boobs. Witney calls Alfonso "Fons" during rehearsal and it's adorable. Then there's angst. Whatever.
 
It takes me a minute to figure out if they're dancing to a disco favorite of mine, "He's the Greatest Dancer" or the Will Smith song that sampled it, "Gettin Jiggy With It." Ah, it's the latter. Which is fair enough, given that he actually KNOWS Will Smith. Alfonso is slick and smooth in this routine.
 
The ballroom has gone insane and the judges are having a hard time getting the chance to talk. Julianne says he's going to make everything look wonderful because he's got the "Alfonso groove." She wants to see more technical perfection from him. Bruno says Alfonso's personal style and feel for the music is unique and extraordinary. He repeats Julianne's concern about the lack of samba bounce. Len says they were "popping like buttons on a tight shirt." He's looking forward to seeing him dance the Viennese Waltz next week. Although he won't be here to see it in person.
 
Tom explains that Bruno and Len fly back and forth from England to judge both this show and the "mothership 'Strictly Come Dancing.'"
 
There was some mention by Alfonso of a "costume malfunction" during the routine, but I've watched it four times and I can't find it. He said something about catching her tassels.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 8, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 8
Man, they must have really wanted that samba bounce.
 
Bethany Mota & Derek Hough
Foxtrot
 
Bethany's jam, "All About that Bass" amuses me. I know there's been some kerfuffle about how it's not body positive toward skinny girls. To which I say: Stuff it. 98 percent of songs about women's bodies are about women who are conventionally attractive, i.e. skinny. Let us fatties have this song to go along with "Baby Got Back" and "Brick House."  I wouldn't have thought of this song as foxtrot fodder, though.
 
Bethany did something to her ankle last week and she's been in a lot of pain. She's got ice on it before the camera rehearsal. They have her standing on a double bass balanced on the floor, which is no easy feat on a bum ankle, even if it's in a bandage. Derek's choreography for this is so cute.
 
Bruno called it a Bob Fosse foxtrot and says anything Fosse does it for him. Carrie Ann thinks she's doing a good job of telling the story of the dance.
 
Bethany says no one told her how dangerous it was at rehearsal to balance on the bass like she did until after she'd done it. Erin says, "And we call that, 'Thanks for signing the waiver.'"
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 9, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 8
That's weird for Len to be scoring higher than anyone else.
 
Star: Betsey Johnson & Tony Dovolani
Foxtrot
 
Betsey's done up like a glamour girl from the 40s and believe it or not, it makes her look younger. She should maybe rethink the crazy amounts of eyeliner she usually wears. Her jam is "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" which is just about right. She's got her leg up and out. She's more flexible than some of the women we've seen half her age on this show. She's a little bit slow in spots, because she's SEVENTY TWO YEARS OLD.
 
Carrie Ann is up on her feet and calls Betsey exquisite and praises her flexibility and beautiful dancing. Len says last week was a night to forget and this one is one to remember. Len likes her makeover too. Julianne calls it timeless. Bruno compares her to Norma Desmond and she fakes a decent enough swoon.
 
Up in the crow's nest, everybody is hugging Betsey in congratulations. She gives Tony the credit for her entire look tonight. It's clear Betsey feels like the prettiest girl at the dance and it's really touching.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
Tom nails it when he calls the whole thing with Tony and Betsey "a sweet surprise."
 
Antonio Sabato Jr. & Cheryl Burke
Rumba
Part of their rehearsal footage was shot outside and a butterfly comes at Cheryl and she freaks out in the most adorable way. You know, Cheryl, I've heard that butterflies will only land on those who are "pure of heart."
 
Antonio's jam is a slow jam, "Adorn." Antonio is selling the sexy in this number.
 
Len says there's no secret to this show, you just have to come out the next week and do better and Antonio did. Julianne liked their connection. Bruno says he was smoldering and he really liked Antonio's top line. He also says Antonio has a very nice butt and he should use it more. Bruno! Carrie Ann liked the smooth subtlety. She warns him about his arm that's not in hold.
 
We miss the interview with Erin because of a news break about attacks on Syria. That's not an abrupt shift in tone or anything.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 7, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 8
 
Tommy Chong & Peta Murgatroyd
Salsa
 
Tommy tells us he has a little bit of salsa experience - he got good enough at it so the girls would dance with him in the clubs. His song is "Higher" - oh, really? He's a little rough in spots, but he's got the groove. He even rips open his shirt at one point. Oh my! 75 years old!
 
Julianne says it was fun, fast, funny, and had good footwork. Bruno says he's proving age is a state of mind. Carrie Ann says he's got the cajones to be the first one to open the shirt and he rocked it. She says not only does he have the balls to dance like a madman, he's also smooth and dances right in the pocket of the music. Len says it had plenty of wiggle and giggle.
 
Erin asks Tommy how he felt when he ripped open the shirt and he says, "Cold." She then asks him how young he feels right now and he says, "72."
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
Tommy tells the viewing audience, "Please vote for us because if you do we'll save the world." I'm kind of falling in love with Tommy Chong.
 
Jonathan Bennett & Allison Holker
Cha-cha
 
Jonathan looks really awkward at the idea of having to turn on his sexy side. It's pretty charming. His jam is "Sing" which works for me. I'm worried it's a little bit of Allison dancing around Jonathan. Is he that bad a dancer or can she not resist showing off? Is she doing a Peta or a Mark?
 
Bruno liked the sharp angles and how he pulled Allison into him. He says some of the elements of the cha-cha were rushed. Carrie Ann liked seeing this side of Jonathan. She wanted more cha-cha in it, though. Len says it wasn't sharp, it was jerky. He also bemoans the lack of content. He chides Allison for her choreography, which is where the blame lies. Julianne agrees with the content criticism but thinks they have a lot of potential.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 8
 
Star:  Sadie Robertson & Mark Ballas
Jazz
 
It's jazz to a country song. Sadie's dad vetoes all her dresses via video chat. Who's the contestant, Sadie or her dad? Sadie gets lines before her routine. It's weird. Dang, she's got talent, though. Appropriately enough, her jam is "She's Country." There's probably way more pelvic action in this routine than her dad is comfortable with. Unless he doesn't mind, for entertainment purposes, generating mild controversy centered on his daughter's sexuality. I'm sure he'd NEVER do that.
 
Carrie Ann says she's feeling maternal, echoing my concerns about the hip thrusts. Len says the jazz and country didn't quite jell for him. Julianne calls her a natural performer. Julianne missed her amazing leg technique from last week.
 
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 7, Julianne: 8, Bruno: 8
 
Scoreboard:
Lea & Artem: 35
Janel & Val: 34
Bethany & Derek: 33
Alfonso & Witney: 32
Antonio & Cheryl: 31
Sadie & Mark:  31
Jonathan & Allison: 30
Betsey & Tony: 28
Randy & Karina: 28
Tavis & Sharna: 28
Tommy & Peta: 28
Michael & Emma: 24
 
Please, please, please put us out of our misery and boot Michael. I hope the four point difference between him and the four-way tie for next to last is enough to ensure he goes home. If not, I don't know who of the 28s would get the fewest votes.
 
Next week is movie night. Maybe that's when Lea will bust out the Huey Lewis. Although, personally, I'd wish for a deep cut from her IMDB page and get "Miss Amanda Jones" from "Some Kind of Wonderful." We're not told who the Len replacement judge for next week will be - I'm guessing we'll get that tomorrow night.

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