Amy Watts is off for a birthday dinner tonight, at a joint too classy to have a TV above the bar (two Manhattans and she gets all CAPSLOCK!, three and she loves spats).
Reality sets in! Week two begins.
Grand entrance: No eliminations last week, so all the stars are still with us: Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold, Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson, Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko, D. L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke, Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy, Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd, Alexandra Reitsman and Mark Ballas, Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus, Wynonna Judd and Tony Jovolani, Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess, and Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff.
Tonight Brooke has gone full Kardashian in magenta jersey with midriff windows and flatironed hair.
First up: Ingo and Kym doing the quickstep. In rehearsal, Kym tells him to dance like he has a penny up his butt. They’re dressed in black and white ‘40s wear and his shiny shoes are easy to track on the floor. It’s a sweet, cheerful number. Len is grinning! and says bingo! good frame but hit and miss footwork. Bruno declares it a bonanza of tricky steps. Carrie disagrees with Len and says his frame was off, which sets off a squabble at the judges’ table that Tom cuts short by sending the couple up the stairs. Scores: 6, 7, 7, with the 6 from Carrie, for a total with last week’s scores of 40 out of 60.
Tom teases us with high jinks and high drama to come.
Dorothy Hamill and Tristan MacManus, who Tom calls “Mr. Hair Gel,” are next. Dorothy confesses the jive terrifies her the most, and rehearsal reveals a pinched nerve, a weak ankle, and a good bit of doubt. They dance to Chantilly Lace but the vocalist is no Big Bopper. Dorothy is wearing pretty wingtip flats, which make her dancing less ballroom and more jumping-around-the-living-room-in-bedroom-slippers. Toward the end she gets stuck on an under-the-legs slide and by the end it’s clear she’s mostly glad to have it done. Bruno is so disappointed he stays in his chair but kindly gives her notes to work on. Carrie says her problem was fear more than her ankle and hopes she hangs in. Len laments undelivered promise and says he thought she was going to go from the slide into "Splash" (celebrity diving show, whatever) and the audience boos.
Jacoby Jones and Karina get the first jazz dance of the season. He says, “I wasn’t nervous in the Super Bowl, do you think I’d get nervous for this?” and Karina gives him a shove. She’s too smart to pull his finger during rehearsal but he cuts one without help. Karina brings in some friends, a troupe of tiny girls, and yes, Jacoby in their midst is as cute as you’d think. They taunt him mercilessly.
They start with Karina on Jacoby’s shoulders, under a very tall trenchcoat, in sepiascope. Music is Five Guys Named Moe. Karina’s costumers have forgotten her shirt. It’s a fun dance, with mirrored footwork and some comedy lifts. His mother’s in the audience, looking lovely in black velvet.
Carrie is smiling and says the dance was rocking! and Jacoby’s lines are fantastic. Jacoby makes a show of fixing his posture for Len and seems to have overheard Kym telling Ingo to dance like he has a penny up his butt. Len says the dance was fun and full of razzamatazz, and that jazz will play to Jacoby’s strengths, which he hopes will carry to his other numbers; he loved it. Bruno is out of his chair and says it had wit, charm, and energy.
Brooke asks if Karina or the mini dancers were tougher; Jacoby says it was like being in a house where they took up all the bathrooms. They taught him his jazz hands.
Judges scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 7; Bruno: 8. 23 out of 30, combined with last week’s scores to make 43 out of 60. Jacoby says not bad, he’s got some more work to do.
Tom says last week Len dared Victor the boxer to knock his socks off, which seems unwise. Victor says the jive is tough, with lots of coordination. Lindsay (the other blonde from last season’s "So You Think You Can Dance," Whitney’s friend) talks him out of a sulk-off when it gets hard.
They sparkle in red and Victor does a standing leap over her shoulders, but Victor’s moves are more enthusiastic than precise. Len says it has energy and fun but his socks are still in place; speed came in and style went out. He calls it scruffy. The audience boos. Bruno says Victor is a runaway train but says parts looked like a zumba dance and tells him to hit the beat, not go through the beat, and keep his feet under him; and his advice on where Victor should keep his butt makes Carrie hit her head on the desk. She would like to give Victor bonus points for charisma but the footwork won’t let her.
Up in the box, Victor tells Brooke that Lindsay works so hard, it makes him feel bad. Sixes all around from the judges, so 36 out of 60.
Wynonna next; she was surprised by how much fun she had last week, but her goal for this week is not to pee her pants because she’s scared of the jive. Tony says this week they’re mall cops, “so bored with pulling people over for fashion sense that they just want to dance.” Wynonna says the quickstep is the hardest physical work she’s done in a long time; we have scenes of great emotion.
They enter the ballroom on police segways, with flashers. Tony has clearly escaped the Village People and Wynonna is on the run from playing Big Mama in a road production of Chicago. They’re dancing to the Neutron Dance but the choreography is soft, without any punch or daring.
Tom says Tony is a Super Mario Brother lookalike. Bruno says Wynonna’s assets need security at all times, but their quickstep ended up as a casual stroll. Carrie says her frame and movement are beautiful but Wynonna is playing it very safe. Len says she’s entertaining but never got out of first gear. The audience boos.
Wynonna tells Brooke she needed her handcuffs to put on Len, but Len clearly feels unjustly accused. Carrie: 6; Len: 6; Bruno: 6; she’s tied with Victor.
Tom says as soon as Wynonna mentioned handcuffs, Len said “Call me” (this is where Amy would say I LOVE TOM, with double-Manhattan capsies).
After last weekm Val says Zendaya was so great he’ll let her slouch as much as she wants. Zendaya is having Bambi-legs on dance heels.
They’re in 1920s costumes, with Zendaya flashy in gold fringe. Can’t beat 16; she’s long-limbed and lovely. They don’t quite look like a father-daughter team, but certainly Val would be a much older brother. Like buttah! Tom says.
Carrie starts with a whoop and says Zendaya killed that number. Len says Zendaya will be back next week and Bruno leaps up and says "A STAR is BORN" and re-enacts his favorite part.
Brooke brings up the age thing again and for Zendaya to say age is nothing but a number, it’s just cruel. Carrie: 9; Len: 8; Bruno: 9; 26 out of 30, or 50 out of 60 with last week’s scores. Tom says “Imagine how good she’ll be when she’s 17!”
Andy and Sharna are dressed as the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen, which implies more schtick, less steps, though I liked his Bertie Wooster realness in last week’s foxtrot. Andy says it’s the first time he’s been through an exorbitant amount of stress without drinking, so good for him. Sharna’s letting him add some moves but his contribution is the demented worm.
As the Mad Hatter, Andy points at the Queen and declares “Off with YOUR head!”, totally off-book. They’re dancing to Poker Face, and Andy is still a bit pancake-handed as Carrie said last week, but the costumes and the exaggerated Gaga moves work well together.
Tom says it was fun-crazy. Len says it was a lark, and praises Andy’s commitment; he says Andy’s not the best dancer and the audience warms up to boo but Len appeases the beast by saying the number was a lot of fun. Bruno says it was outlandish and crackers, then does the Gaga move, and Carrie pulls the shoulder drape of her gown into a Gaga hood. She says Andy was lucky to get jazz, because that let him nail it.
Andy says Sharna believes in him so much he lives in her reality. Scores: Carrie: 7; Len: 6 (to boos); Bruno 7, so 20, with last week’s scores 37 out of 60. Andy is pleased enough to kiss Brooke’s head.
Tom says that last weekm Bruno called Sean’s dance “a Chippendale’s version of a foxtrot, because some people see what they want to see,” and yes, Amy, I love Tom too. This week Sean is wearing a lifeguard tee shirt and Peta is in a bikini with a shredded fringe, all in a bright sunny yellow. Rehearsal clips show Peta yelling at Sean in a very Helena Bonham Carter manner; Sean tells Peta he hasn’t showered for two days and offers her a high-five to show his manky ampit.
The dance starts with Sean giving Peta CPR in way that evokes the phrase “pneumatic blonde.” He will dance very well at his wedding reception, but he’s more good-natured than good.
Bruno yells "SHARK! SHARK!" and demands Sean save him; Len looks like he’d rather be seated at a table nearer the door. More seriously, Bruno says the dance was more Lindy hop than jive. Carrie says it’s clear Sean isn’t feeling the music. Len said it was too much about sharks and not enough about the dancing; an audience members yells “Why are you so cranky?” and really people, leave Len alone! He has standards, and by God somebody needs them in this decadent age. Scores: Carrie: 7; Len 6; Bruno 7; 20 for a 39 out of 60.
Alexandra and Mark have the quickstep; Mark says she can’t do the podium smile and demonstrates cartoony happy faces. They’re a well-matched pair, dancing to "Jumpin’ Jive"; Mark ends the dance face down in Aly’s cleavage and dude, she’s too young to legally drink, so careful there. Carrie calls it the best quickstep of the night, Len gets cheers from the audience by saying terrific, well done, and Bruno says it was like watching a little magic blue bird in full flight, but she needs to watch her top line. Scores: Carrie: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8; 24 out of 30, or 45 out of 60.
In rehearsals, Gelb promises to be a little Russian dictator; there’s a really painful moment of Lisa trying to do the splits. In case Gelb hasn’t noticed, she doesn’t do this sort of physical thing in her restaurant every day, but really, wouldn’t it bring in customers if she did?
Gelb is dressed like the lost Village Person, the Airline Pilot, and Lisa is dressed like a stewardess in a 1940s gentleman’s comic. They’re dancing to "One Way or Another," and she’s smiling and with it but really it’s like Johnny Castle calling out Baby’s mother. The dance dents Lisa’s pillbox hat. Len says it was a little wooden and the audience boos, but he adds that it was neat and precise. Bruno says she has to contain and place her movement and grabs Len to demonstrate. Carrie administers the Lift Warning and compliments Lisa’s refinement. Scores: Carrie: 6; Len: 6; Bruno: 6, so 18 out of 30 and 36 out of 60. Tom invites us to fly the Giggy skies but Lisa left the dog home this week (#freegiggy).
DL and Cheryl are ready to redeem themselves after last week’s disastrous cha-cha. In rehearsal DL says it’s gone to "Hunger Games" in tights. Rehearsal footage is DL tantrums.
It’s clear DL knows the dance better this week; he’s not looking to Cheryl for what the next step is. Bruno compliments his work, but DL is no Fred Astaire; Tom reminds us that Fred’s dead, so DL is one up to start. Carrie says she can see all the work and Len says the point of the show is to improve each week, which DL has done.
DL tells Brooke he and Cheryl were doing Whitney and Bobby imitations this week, but no restraining order. Scores: Carrie: 5; Len 5: Bruno: 6; so 16 for tonight and 28 out of 60 overall. DL says they used up all the fours last week so there was nowhere to go but up.
Final dancers are Kellie and Derek doing jazz. Derek adds some cheerleading moves and says the judges will either love the routine or they’re not going to get it. Derek, you are not smarter than Len. Stop it.
Kellie is wearing sparkly Daisy Dukes and Derek is shirtless. It’s the mating dance of Lil’ Abner on Mars, with a big glowy stick, and the floor is fogged up enough to cover that pesky footwork thing. Carrie gives them a standing ovation and says it was freeeegyan amazing so she didn’t swear. Len says dance is more than footwork, it’s interpretation, and this was a fire to last week’s spark, for week two. Bruno says it was modern dance at its finest and babbles on about achievement for a bit.
Kellie has cut Derek with the spangles on her costume. Next week’s theme is prom night, but Derek doesn’t know what that might mean because he never went to his. Scores: Carrie: 9; Len: 8; Bruno: 9, so 26 out of 30 and 47 out of 60 and Derek says “Thanks, y’all!” as if the shirtlessness wasn’t enough to tell us he’s playing hick tonight.
At the end of the night Zendaya is on top of the leaderboard and DL is on the bottom. Brooke promises us retro songs and styles for next week’s prom-night spectacular, but Tom seems as doubtful at the prospect as I am. First elimination tomorrow!