'Dancing With the Stars' recap,' Jacoby Jones is the Evel Knievel of the ballroom

Tonight is the first night the couples will do two full dances (where one is not a dance-off or a group dance). During the staircase introductions, Jacoby is wearing a cowboy hat. I can't wait to see what that means for their routine.

Also, today is Tom Bergeron's birthday and why this isn't a national holiday, I don't know. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.


Round One

Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy



Val is trying to ignite Zendaya's competitive spirit, but her smile always makes him chuckle. They're dancing to "Don't Worry, Be Happy." It's very weird to see someone ballroom dancing to this. But it's a perfect choice for the bubbly and young Zendaya. Standing beside Tom for the judges' comments, it's clear that in her heels tonight, Zendaya is taller than Val. Was that true at the beginning of the season or has she been growing these last few weeks?

Len calls it pretty, loved the choreography, and loved the performance. Bruno calls her a breath of fresh air because of her gracefulness. Carrie Ann thought the beginning was a little simple, but then when she went into hold, it was beautiful -- one of the best holds she's ever seen. The judges devolve into bickering and Tom quips to Val and Zendaya, "Bottom line -- they all love you; they're not crazy about each other."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 10, Bruno: 9


Apparently, we get to vote via Twitter for a style of dance and which dancer we want to see perform it. I am Team JacobyDisco all the way.

Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd


Peta says their biggest competition is Ingo & Kym. She's not wrong in the "Fight to Stay Out of the Bottom" competition. Sean is wearing striped tube socks with shorts and I find it somewhat endearing.

The routine starts with the wedding march and then segues to Katy Perry's "Hot & Cold." Sure, whatever. This is a weird choice for a tango, especially during the verses.

Bruno says it started extremely well, but then "[his] feet weren't at the right place at the right time". Isn't that kind of the definition of not dancing well? Carrie Ann also laments his lack of follow-through throughout the dance. Len says it wasn't a great dance, even calling it a "little bit ugly."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7

At this point in the season, that's just about the equivalent to straight 4s or 5s on Week 1.

Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff

Viennese Waltz

They replay Jacoby's mom yelling at Len last week. My parents are worried she might be turning voters off. We viewers love a protective mom, but we also don't like people griping or talking back to the judges too much. We are a conflicted bunch, us. Anyway, his mom visits rehearsal and gives them a pep talk.

I'm worried about Jacoby in a waltz, because frame is such a big part of this dance. Also, he's wearing spats and as pigeon toed as he can be, he probably shouldn't be doing ANYthing to draw attention to his feet.

It's a sexy dance, given the song. At one point Jacoby is facing the judges' table, particularly Carrie Ann, and pops open his shirt. The crowd goes wild. And even though they do a "death spiral" move at the end that isn't my favorite, it ends with Jacoby standing over Karina and then, using only one arm, lifting her straight off the floor. I mean, I know he's a professional athlete and she weighs not more than a couple of feathers, but still. Also, hot move. I imagine a lot of women will picture themselves as Karina in that pose.

Carrie Ann mentions her appreciation of the shirt coming open and then praises Jacoby's fluidity and posture. Len asks Jacoby's mom what she thought of it and she hollers, "I loved it," and Len hollers back, "So did I!" and says to Jacoby, "Great footwork! Yes, thank you, Jacoby!" Bruno agrees with an "Absolutely."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9

Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson


Ingo's hit a wall during rehearsal -- tired, irritable. It's what Linda Holmes, when she used to write about "The Amazing Race," identified as "killer fatigue." He's taking some of it out on Kym , but she handles it like the professional she is.

Ingo's butt sticks out a little more than it really should for a foxtrot, but he's doing better than I expected at this, especially with regard to his arm extensions.

Len said it had an ease of movement and says he could have been "softer in the arms." Bruno said he did a great job, including his arabesque. Carrie Ann says it was his best posture he's ever seen and then compares the "casual quality" of his dancing to Gene Kelly.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8

Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough

Viennese Waltz

Derek tells her they don't want to get complacent now that she's received 10s and he's going to push her further.  Kellie starts crying talking about her grandmother, who passed away when Kellie was only 15. I think this is a way for her to try and give the emotion Carrie Ann said she lacked last week.

Bruno calls her "Queen of the Viennese waltz." Let me translate what Carrie Ann says, "I got you to cry. Therefore I am satisfied." Len is mostly complimentary and his only complaint is one even he admits is nitpicky. When you're getting the really technical nitpick comments from the judges, you know you danced very well.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 10

Alexandra Reisman & Mark Ballas

Argentine Tango

Oh dear. Aly is many good things as a dancer, but it's going to be interesting to see how she does the Argentine tango, a dance not kind to the vertically challenged of us. She's supposed to be playing the character of a harlot for this dance.

They're taking full advantage of lifts being allowed in this dance. And Mark's choreographed the routine to NOT try to show off the legs, like he probably would were he dancing with Zendaya.

Carrie Ann starts by asking Aly how she feels after that routine. Aly timidly replies, "Um, good?" Carrie Ann goes on to praise her transformation over the season. She does question the transitions out of the lifts, which both Bruno and Len protest. Len liked the sex appeal of it. Bruno calls it "sensational" and praises her growth as an actor."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 10, Bruno: 10

"Trio" Round

Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy & Gleb Savchenko


Zendaya is going to be a princess and Val and Gleb are her security. That's a great way to deal with the age differences of a 16-year-old woman dancing with two men who are much older than him. Val even scolds Gleb at one point, "That's too sexy; keep it age appropriate." Zendaya grabs a camera to make a Val short joke. It's like those two are becoming siblings.

This is some sort of weird Bollywood influenced salsa. Balsawood? There's not much of the dance in any kind of hold, but the synchronization of the three of them is impressive.

Len loved it. Bruno loved it, saying that she had the focus even when dancing with "two underwear models." Carrie loved it.


Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 10, Bruno: 10


Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd & Sharna Burgess


Sean manages to tell Peta, "I'm probably a little bit more man than you can handle by yourself, so it's only natural that we bring in Sharna." He keeps a straight face for about ten seconds after saying that. Peta chose Sharna to work with them because she'll help with the "jazz" choreography.

Sean is trying his hardest to sell this, but it's not great. And oddly, I'd blame the choreography. If this is Sharna, I'm not sure I'd tout her jazz mastery. It's a lot of the women dancing around Sean.

Bruno says his feet were a jumble a lot of the time, "Bless you." Is that the Italian version of "Bless his heart"? Carrie Ann talks about how they got out of sync several times. Len doesn't say much, probably subscribing to the "If you can't say something nice ..." philosophy.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Bruno: 7

Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff & Cheryl Burke

Paso Doble

Jacoby interviews why they chose Cheryl: "I picked her because (1) she's another gorgeous woman, and (2) she can dance her butt off." Right on both counts, Mr. Jones.

In rehearsals, Jacoby is struggling a bit with the paso doble, particularly its strong footwork. He says at one point, "I'm no [bleep] tap dancer." Jacoby then talks about the difficulty of having two partners, doing a good impression of a pinball. His first try at a leap does not go well, but this double death spiral looks intriguing.

Lucky for Jacoby, he gets traditional paso doble music instead of some pop song shoehorned into the style. They walk down the floor with the two women flanking Jacoby and it's impossible not to see the pigeon toes, but they are some fiercely stomped pigeon toes. At the end of the stage he twirls both women under his arms at the same time. It looks really cool. Then the women are dancing together in frame with Jacoby. This works because Jacoby is so tall he has long arms to work with.

Karina and Cheryl leave Jacoby at the top of the stage and they dance together back to the bottom of the stage and then pose huddled together. Jacoby takes a running start and jumps BOTH of them. He's the Evel Knievel of the ballroom!

Then he and Karina have a solo, just the two of them. After some impressive coordinated cape work, mostly from the women, the routine ends with Cheryl and Karina standing back to back at the bottom of the stage and Jacoby running at them. Just when you think he's going to jump them AGAIN, he slides between their legs and ends the routine on his back, shimmying his shoulders.

Carrie Ann says he has an impressive presence on the floor, but that he tossed Cheryl after her drag and then later tossed his cape on her, leading to her getting her foot tangled in it. Carrie Ann admonishes Jacoby, "A man is supposed to take care of his women on the dance floor." Jacoby pleads, "But they TOLD me to toss them." I wonder if that face of innocence worked on his mom when he was a kid.

Len stands up to give his praise and is suddenly almost Bruno-like with his expressiveness. Len loved his hands. Bruno liked the passion of the dance, but then critiques Jacoby's posture and his "Spanish lines," demonstrating what it should look like.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 9, Bruno:  8

Apparently Twitter is choosing disco for Jacoby at the moment. Karina says she'll put him in an Afro wig. There is no way America doesn't vote to see that. I've got three twitter accounts and I'll use all of them to get my votes in.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9

Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson & Lindsay Arnold


The routine starts with Lindsay and Kym dancing and Ingo sitting on a chair watching. Well, that's one way to choreograph to a celebrity's strengths. During their triple synchro jive moves Ingo isn't dancing great, but he looks like he's having so much fun. Good for him. It wasn't a bad routine, but it is utterly forgettable, even with Ingo's retina-searing checked pants.

Len says it could've been sharper in the feet, but the jive is about effervescence and Ingo certainly had that. Bruno points out the kicks and flicks could've been sharper. Carrie Ann says it had heart and fun.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8

Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough & Tristan McManus

Paso Doble

In rehearsals, Kellie is having a tough time mastering the "fierce" attitude Derek wants her to have for the dance.

Kellie starts the routine in front of a mirror, wearing a white dress. The mirror shatters to reveal Tristan and Kellie steps through and then sheds the white dress to reveal a black one underneath. It's all powerful posture and fierce poses.

Bruno is out of his seat and calling it "masterpiece theater." He calls it "engrossing and entertaining." Carrie Ann comes out from behind the desk to hug Kellie. Then Bruno mocks the gesture by coming down for a group hug with Tom, Derek, and Tristan. Hee hee hee.

Len starts to talk, but is interrupted by another "Woo!" from Carrie Ann, at which he lets out an exasperated sigh. Len says he was expecting more than "flashing lights and crashing music." Len is annoyed at the lack of paso doble content. The crowd is booing heartily, while Derek throws his head back and laughs. Len's out of his chair and pointing out Derek accusingly. This seems like some sort of long-running beef for Len and Derek, going back at least to all his rule-breaking with Shawn during the All-Star season last fall.

Carrie Ann is standing up now and shouting that Len is wrong. Bruno is standing up because he's Bruno. Kellie looks mortified during all of this, like when your redneck cousins get into a fight at the Red Lobster when you've brought your fiancee to meet the family.

Bruno makes a comment to Len that we don't hear about the fact that Len was standing up and Len says Bruno can't talk without standing up, then says something I can't make out, then says, "stuck up your arse" (or a--, it's hard to tell.) At that point the camera cuts away to Tom, which it should've done at the point Len was yelling at Derek and the other judges started yelling at Len.

Tom encourages the dancers to go up to the skybox, "where it's safer." Len and Bruno look like they're still bickering, and then as they cut back to the judges, they're all three turned around talking to the audience. Tom quips, "Somebody just hose him down." After promo'ing tomorrow night's show, Tom is having a hard time not cracking up, saying, "It's like a bad daycare over there."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 7, Bruno: 10


WOW. Len is clearly TICKED. I wonder if Carrie Ann and Bruno would've scored that high if they didn't think Len was going to score so low.

Tom turns to Len before the break and says, "I don't know you anymore."

After commercials, we're welcomed back to "A special edition of 'Len Needs a Cookie'."  Low blood sugar can make anyone cranky. That and Derek getting right up your nose.

Alexandra Reisman & Mark Ballas & Henry Byalikov


Mark is trying to teach Aly how to get the count of the music. She says she can't hear the beat. Ugh. I feel her pain on this. It's interesting to me that this isn't something she's encountered before. But I guess musicality isn't hat big a deal in the floor exercise.

Sigh. There are three fedoras and two pairs of spats on the dance floor right now. But this is a good jive routine to "Hit the Road, Jack". It's got a lot of great synchronization, Aly's kicks and flicks are right on, and the choreography has some great, fun moves in it. I may quibble with his fashion choices, but sometimes I really do like Mark's routines.

Carrie Ann is loving what she's seeing this week in Aly's confidence level. She says she was a little bit flat-footed and lost the beat at the beginning but overall it was good. Len says she could have a bit more bounce in the balls of her feet, but liked the routine overall. Bruno praises Aly's growth in portraying a character.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Bruno: 9


Zendaya & Val: 28 + 30 =58

Aly & Mark: 29 +27 = 56

Kellie & Derek: 28 + 27 = 55

Jacoby & Karina: 27 + 25 = 52

Ingo & Kym: 24 + 24 =48

Sean & Peta: 21 + 21 = 42

I'm slightly worried about Ingo, because he's been in the bottom two before, and to the best of my recollection, Sean hasn't, despite similarly low scores, which means he's got a fan base. I don't know if they can overcome a six point deficit in the judges' scores, though. It's gonna be one of those two couples; personally, I'm hoping for Ingo because he makes me laugh.

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