Dancing with the Stars did a tribute to Broadway this week, or at least a tribute to songs that have at some point been in Broadway shows, regardless of whether they actually originated in, say, The Life of Brian or the high-pitched chauvinism of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.
As always, I will categorize the performances for your pleasure and convenience.
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff are pretty much just a pair of professional dancers at this point; it’s just that J.R. needs a couple of days beforehand to learn the dances. I hope he gets to use his twinkling toes in a broader forum at some point. He’s really good and seems to have a great time.
The pair danced a quickstep that I defy you not to enjoy.
SCORE: 29 On the one hand, that’s a great score. But once again, I suspect that that 9 from Len was deliberate lowball to keep them from pulling ahead of their chief rivals…
…which is not to say that Ricki Lake and Derek Hough were anything other than a delight to watch. I just feel like the scores are deliberately jiggered to play up the horse race aspect. But my annoyance and whatever skullduggery is happening with the judges and producers should not pull the focus from their terrific quickstep to "Luck Be a Lady" from Guys and Dolls.
SCORE: 29 Super dramatic! But a 29 from the longtime leaders and a 30 from the recent upstarts would also have been dramatic! Enough with the shenanigans.
Speaking of getting ridiculously lowballed, Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer got exactly that (and one of the judges made some jerktoast comments that we’ll get to in tomorrow’s SnapCap).
They performed a Phantom of the Opera tango, and, honestly, the camera is swooping around them so much that it’s sort of hard to tell how well they actually did. But still.
SCORE: 19 Harrumph.
And yet I bet Chaz and Lacey are less frustrated than poor Hope Solo, upon whom the producers are still forcing the idiotic "She has to learn to be sexy!" storyline. Because there is nothing that allows for unselfconscious sensuality than squads of people screaming at you to be hotter.
Also, they made her dance while wearing what appears to be a purple leopard-print bra underneath a macramé plant holder. For chrissakes, Hope, bring the costumers some cupcakes or something.
SCORE: 20 I’ve seen less bull at the Pamplona festival.
I still mourn the loss of Carson Kressly and Anna Trebunskaya, but David Arquette and Kym Johnson have really been stepping it up and bringing the whoopee.
They danced a quickstep to "We Go Together" from Grease and, again this week, are clearly bringing hot cider and artisan doughnuts to the costume department, Hope.
SCORE: A respectable 23. Please let them stay longer than at least one of the monster couples. If I throw any more shot glasses at the walls I won’t get my apartment deposit back.
The Ridiculously Overscored
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus dressed as a knight and a damsel and danced a reasonably fun number to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Spamalot.
SCORE: 24 Seriously? Higher than David and Kym? Fine.
Because that’s nothing compared to the ongoing fraud and mummery swirling around Rob Kardashian. Amidst everyone talking about how he has grown into his manhood, and how he came on this show a boy and now he is a man and his freaking mom showing up and doing everything but singing “Sunrise, Sunset” right there in the rehearsal room, he and Cheryl Burke danced a cha-cha to “Walk Like a Man,” just in case someone in the deepest depths of outer space failed to get the point.
DO YOU GET IT? HE’S A MAN NOW. A SEXY, SEXY MAN.
Warning: There is a lot of pelvic thrusting in this clip.
No, a lot.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And don’t come running to me for Spotless Mind pills. Believe me, I’m out.
Have I mentioned that this is my first season watching Dancing with the Stars? Just when I think I have steeled myself to everything this show could possibly do to me, they go and throw a group number at my skull.
When they first showed some rehearsal footage as a preview of the group dance, I was so appalled that I had to invent a new descriptive word that unfortunately cannot be deployed on a respectable, quality website such as this one.
The good news is that the dancing turned out to be far better than I was led to believe.
The bad news? The forward-thinking feminist theorists at Dancing with the Stars thought that “prostitutes and johns” would be a supercool guiding concept to go with.
Really. A major network show with a major network budget put less thought into this than the theme committee of the dumbest frat on your campus.
On behalf of all the little girls who watched this show because they look up to Ricki, Hope, Nancy, Karina, Kym, Lacey, Cheryl, the Troupe, or guest star Kristen Chenoweth, I will humbly suggest that the DWTS producers take some time out of their busy days to suck it.
There are thrills, chills and controversy to come in tomorrow’s recap. Until then, go forth and dance.