When only four percent of scripted TV shows feature LGBT characters, what’s a gay girl to do? Why, strap on your gay goggles and watch TV along with us, of course! Our handy appraisal scale is better than any old letter grade. Other sites A+. We say, “What about our lezzy-lady feelings?”
If you’re a fan of the women on the show, you probably enjoyed Tuesday night’s number with all (and only) the female pros and Troupe members. The hosts announced that the dance was to “I Am Woman,” and for a second I was waiting openmouthed for the Helen Reddy song, wondering if the judges and producers of this apocalyptically sexist show would writhe around on the floor and start bleeding out of their eyeballs.
However, it turned out to be the Jordin Sparks “I Am Woman,” which is more about having a tough day and still managing to be fashionable, properly in line with the Dancing with the Stars goals for us little fillies. As long as we don’t, you know, get mouthy about it.
The dancers also got to work it out while Andrea Bocelli (accompanied by trumpeter Chris Botti) performed, and again with rapper Flo Rida. (At least I think they performed with Flo Rida. I left my body for a minute because I was so distracted by the question of how quickly performing on DWTS destroys a rapper’s street cred. Was it measured in nanoseconds? Or had the name “Flo Rida” pretty much already taken care of that?)
But of course most of the baiting at this stage of the game falls to Hope Solo. The relentless, thudding “DanceCenter” sketches took time out to show footage from her nude photo shoot for ESPN Magazine and now you’re all gone so I don’t know why I’m still typing this sentence. I’ll go get a drink and meet you back here when you’re ready.
Solo also showed spirit. After a couple of frustrating weeks, she and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy did two killer dances, and she really looked like she was having fun with them. Hope also totally grabbed the plateheaded “Strong girl no can be pretty girl!” storyline back from the producers. How? Well, we’ll get to that.
Feelings, Feelings, Feelings!
Hope and Maksim made up. Maksim agreed to be nicer with his teaching. They dined with Maksim’s parents, who told Hope about what he was like as a kid. (What?) Then their new understanding pushed them to new heights of dancing! Hooray!
Good dancing alone, of course, has not always worked for Hope and Maksim when it comes to the judges, but this week Hope said something that at last pushed them past that barrier. And that thing is in the Fighting Monsters section, because that is where I put things that make me whip the popcorn bowl across the room so hard that it chakrams through three houseplants before lodging in the door jamb.
We also had Nancy Grace reverting to form and sniping at her partner Tristan MacManus whenever she couldn’t do something immediately, J.R. Martinez agreeably pretending that he and his partner Karina Smirnoff sometimes fight a little bit during rehearsal, Ricki Lake demurely scourging herself for a non-perfect jive, and 3,000 comments about Rob Kangaroo’s butt, which is apparently his new concocted storyline and which I will pay real money to stop.
(In yesterday’s Video Highlights I announced that I will no longer aid the Kookaburra family’s vile self-marketing machine and thus refuse to write The Name of Marketing again. We must all take our stands for what is right, however small they may be.)
It’s go time! The dancers are bringing their all. The jive is always fun and athletic, and we got five of those, two of which (Hope and Maks and J.R. and Karina) were real corkers.
And they’re starting to work stunts in. Rob started his jive by jumping off the judges’ table and then sliding, which may or may not have been what he meant to do. Derek Hough launched his jive with Ricki by jumping over her and then tumbling, and finished off by swinging Ricki around like an unusually vigorous and sparkly Foucault pendulum. Tristan also leaped over his partner’s head and very nearly cleared Nancy’s hairdo, and Nancy herself ended her jive with a cartwheel. J.R. and Karina just went crazy with it. J.R. kicked them off with a leap-split and slide, and then the two ended with so much whipping over and around each other’s legs that I had to rewind it to make sure I’d really caught all that.
There was also a Cirque du Soleil tribute to Michael Jackson, for those of you who were hoping to see glow-in-the-dark crotch-grabbing set to “Smooth Criminal.”