'Dancing With the Stars' recap: What happens on Vegas Night ...
By Amy Watts
For The Baltimore Sun|
Apr 04, 2017 | 4:10 PM
It's Vegas Night on "Dancing With the Stars" this week, and the show opens with four of the female dancers in bed as showgirls who have overslept. Then some of the guys come out in undone shirts and ties, meeting some of the women doing the "walk of shame" in cocktail dresses with high heels in hand. Then we get Elvis impersonators and high rollers at a gambling table. Val and Normani are goofy tourists in tropical shirts. And we finish with Charo and Mr. T as Charo and Mr. T, because what else could they do?
Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd
They're dancing to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face." (The first time I ever heard this song was during a drag performance in which a wonderfully plump performer wore only a strategically placed chiffon scarf with playing cards affixed to it. So that will always and forever be my association with the song.)
Peta's no dummy when it comes to pandering for votes, so Nick is shirtless under his jacket. He looks a little lost and concerned during the routine — someone needs to tell him that mouth breathing doesn't make you look particularly confident.
Len Goodman says he saw a little bit of improvement in the movement and that he liked the tango content. He compliments Nick's flexed knees, but wants him to work on his frame, particularly his left arm. Bruno Tonioli likes the pecs and the looks and says he could see the effort Nick put into the dance. He wants Nick to stop "stomping" his steps. Carrie Ann Inaba says there was a calmness to Nick's presence, and she can't wait to see where he goes from here.
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Mr. T & Kym Johnson Herjavec
Mr. T feels good even though he was at the bottom of the scoreboard last week. He says the best is yet to come. Mr. T was apparently friendly with Dean Martin back in the day and got to meet the Rat Pack, which is why he's dancing to "Ain't That a Kick in the Head."
Mr. T is in a white tux, tails and top hat. His attempt to throw the hat into the audience is fumbled and it lands on the floor, directly in the path of where they'll be dancing. One of the backup dancers (Brit or Brittney) quickly kicks it off to the side without missing a step. Give that woman a raise! This routine has jazz hands from Mr. T and a kick line, so I'm loving it.
Julianne Hough loved it; she calls Mr. T "debonair." Bruno says he looks elegant and got the style and feel of the number absolutely right. Carrie Ann says, "Way to use that 'senior class'." Hmm, is that a nice way of calling Mr. T old? I mean, he is… Len calls him a "gentle giant" and says he appreciated the amount of foxtrot in hold they did.
Sharna points out to Bonner that last week he scored as well as Simone Biles, an Olympian, even though he was paralyzed only a few months ago. His injury prevents him from doing lifts and a lot of the tricks that make up the Charleston; he and Sharna are both worried about that.
Bonner has the goofy Charleston feet down pretty well, and the pinstripes and spats suit him. He needs to work on his hands and he definitely misses a step or two here and there.
Bruno starts by complimenting the set — that's not a good sign. Bruno says the Charleston requires sharper movements and chides Bonner for missing his timing in several spots. Carrie Ann says Bonner didn't do the Charleston that well but that she appreciates how much Charleston content Sharna put in and he attempted. Len says Bonner had the swivel of the Charleston but not the wild, wacky frenzy the dance requires. Julianne says that if Bonner can't put in the lifts and tricks, he has to amp up his performance factor in other ways.
Pause for Derek and Julianne's performance to promote the "Hough Family Dance Hour." (The tour is actually called "Move Live" or "Move -- Beyond," according to different sources. I like my name better.) The routine is about their parents' divorce, and Julianne cries at the end of it, so now I feel bad. Derek, Julianne and Tom Bergeron talk about the piece being like therapy. So if you want to participate in the Hough Family Dance Therapy Session, Tom calls it "Move Beyond Live."
Heather Morris & Alan Bersten
Alan's partnering with Heather all this week while Maks is out nursing his injury. Maks can't resist checking in via video chat, though. Their routine's Vegas connection is a Britney Spears song because BritBrit's been doing a show in Vegas.
The producers ask Keo, "Is keeping Charo under control an easy job?" and he shakes his head while saying no. I still don't understand why the producers enjoy punishing Keo. Charo and Elvis used to hang out back in the day.
It's a sweet dance, if a bit simple, and Charo only has one or two mistakes.
Tom holds on tight to his microphone. Len tells Keo it was a lovely routine, if a bit lacking in technique. Julianne loves the sweet side of Charo. Bruno calls it lovely and tells Charo she doesn't need to go crazy. Carrie Ann says she has a lot of respect for Keo because he's the yin to Charo's yang. She says she misses the cuchi cuchi a little bit, at which point Charo starts in on it. Keo has this look on his face like, "Why you gotta hang me out like that, Carrie Ann?"
Simone says last week was hard for her because she's not used to showing emotion. Simone claims to have never heard "Viva Las Vegas" and has no idea Elvis made movies. Sasha shows up in an Elvis jumpsuit and doesn't quite fill it out as well as The King did.
They're both dancing in Elvis-style aviator sunglasses at the start, and Simone's dress has a collar and deep V to mimic Sasha's jumpsuit. There's a jump/turn move in the middle that I think Carrie Ann might call a lift. We'll see.
Julianne says Simone's frame was gorgeous and the quickstep was great, but she wants Simone to continue to work on her performance. Bruno agrees about the emphasis on presentation, adding that, physically, Simone can do anything she wants. Carrie Ann does call the move a lift, so she's going to deduct a point. Len says it had speed and control, but lost a little bit of body contact.
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Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev
Nancy says the challenge for her with the samba is confidence — to be a little more sassy. Apparently, Artem has looked up to Ricky Martin since he was a kid and he's a huge fan. They go to Las Vegas and get to Ricky Martin and Artem is clearly giddy. It's adorable.
There's the smallest stutter of a step at one point and they don't really do the big samba rolls that Derek always made his partners do (and that Len loves).
Bruno says he likes this side of Nancy. He says she had the full range of proper samba steps and never lost the performance. Carrie Ann says the upper half was sophisticated while the lower half had the proper samba bounce. Len says Nancy's bum was bouncing about like a ball on a roulette wheel. He calls it the best dance he's seen this season. Julianne emphasizes that it was a proper samba — she calls it the best samba she's seen on the show in a while. Artem kvells at that.
Oh Lordy. Their performance this week has something to do with "Magic Mike Live" and I'm scared. Lindsay is delighted by this while David is, like, "I'm going to have to take my kids to school the next morning." He's debating whether or not to go shirtless — he's got love handles.
He comes on stage in the vest and sleeveless tuxedo shirt. They're dancing to 50 Cent's "Candy Shop" — a filthy, filthy song if you don't heavily edit it. There's a lot of "business" at the front of this routine that I think Len will complain about. There's also very little of David and Lindsay dancing together — it's more David dancing with the backup dancers. At the very end, David rips open his shirt to reveal … another shirt with painted on muscles.
Carrie Ann says she likes that David played it tongue-in-cheek while also hitting the moves. Len likes the gusto with which David throws himself into the performances. Julianne says it was really good, with David hitting the moves and leading Lindsay when they were dancing together. Bruno exclaims that no one was expecting this. He echoes the other judges in saying it was entertaining but also actually really good.
David tells Erin the guys were always twerking in the Chicago Cubs locker room and Erin says, "Oh, that's what goes on in there? I always wondered that." Erin tells us that Anthony Rizzo, David's former Cubs teammate, tweeted, "I'm speechless… and horrified."
Erika's having a hard time in rehearsal with the jive. But she vows to dedicate herself to mastering it.
This is a slow-ish jive, and their hold leaves a lot to be desired. Her legs are awful in the kicks and flicks. She honestly moves like she's Charo's age instead of two decades younger.
Len thought there were lots of tricks and eye-catching moves going on, but he would've liked to have seen more jive. He says Erika was a little bit unstable here and there. Julianne says there were moments when Erika seemed a little wobbly. Bruno says she's ever so bendy and stretchy. He says her flicks weren't retracted very sharply and she lost her timing a few times. Carrie Ann says they got out of sync a lot, and she has to dock a point for the lift they threw in.
Emma's no dummy and has Rashad dancing in a shirt that's only buttoned with one button. It's kind of a shame for Rashad that this comes after Nancy's samba, which she really rocked. However, Rashad and Emma do get in both body rolls and samba rolls. I'm impressed.
Julianne loves that Rashad feels the music and the groove. Unfortunately she felt like he was a little behind the music. Julianne wanted to love it, but it wasn't his best dance. Bruno says Rashad has a feel for the dance but went on the wrong foot and lost the dance's drive. Bruno adds that it wasn't as clean and precise as Rashad usually dances. Carrie Ann doesn't think it was Rashad's 'A' game, but she liked that he attempted more of the technical details. Len says it was a little bit flat-footed, which dampened the sought-after samba bounce. He says not to worry — that Rashad will be back and he's a dancer.
Their rehearsal footage was shot in Hong Kong while Normani's tour with Fifth Harmony continues. They take some time to go sightseeing; it seems like a real bonding experience and a way to let off some of the pressure.
My favorite-ever use of this song, "Hey Big Spender," was a "Muppet Show" skit set in a pet store. Normani's legs are great in this routine — wonderful extension, good kicks and pointed toes.
Bruno calls it fabulous and the best dance of the night. Carrie Ann says Normani danced herself into a whole other realm. Carrie Ann also found a lift, using her special lift-detecting powers. Len says he would've liked a tiny bit more in hold, but the whole number was full of joy. Julianne says it was more than a foxtrot it was a "number."