It’s ’80s Week on Dancing with the Stars! Tease your hair, turn up the pop music and get ready for the eight remaining celebrities to moonwalk their way into dance history!
There. I have officially pandered enough to the DWTS theme-of-the-week and will henceforth just write the recap like a normal person who is not swayed by random thematic choices. To do so would be totally gnarly, dude.
Anyway… Week 5 of Dancing with the Stars will be featuring a whole lot of ’80s music (including a live performance by The Bangles) as the remaining pairs struggle to avoid elimination. Considering the past couple of weeks, absolutely anyone could be going home. Which stars will shine? Which will dim? We will find out tonight.
First of all, let’s look at where we are, going into week 5. The standings for the remaining dancers are as follows:
1. Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: 99 points so far
2. J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: 96
3. Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 88
4. Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: 85
5. David Arquette and Kym Johnson: 83
6. Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus: 79
7. Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya: 78
8. Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer: 73
In case you were wondering how much of an upset last week’s elimination of Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani was, the pair had 90 total points for the first four weeks. That means they were in third place overall.
But enough about the past. Let’s embrace the future by going back to the ’80s!
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I think my head just broke from so many ’80s references in the intro alone. I wonder how long it took a DWTS producer to come up with them all?
Fortunately, the aching head was instantly soothed by the dulcet tones of The Bangles, singing “Eternal Flame.” Bangles! Woo! There’s some dancing too. “Eternal Flame” quickly segues (with absolutely no transition other than changing the lights) into “Walk Like an Egyptian.” This is also cool.
However, a note to the Dancing with the Stars troupe (and to the judges’ table): I’m pretty sure that’s not how the Egyptians walked. Just saying.
Oh lord… Brooke has shoulder pads. All the cheesy ’80s references in the world aren’t as bad as a pair of shoulder pads.
Granted, considering the costumes that quickly followed down the ballroom stairs, I don’t think I should complain about some little shoulder pads.
Fortunately for those of us who fear shoulder pads, it’s time for the dancing. First up:
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the tango
My Comments: However overloaded with ’80s kitsch I’ll be by the end of this episode, the giant brick phones are still kind of awesome. Oh dear. The band is butchering “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Also there’s dancing. I’m not entirely sure that Hope is keeping up with Maks at every moment. The dance is also fairly jerky. That’s not always a bad thing in a tango, but it’s not working for me here. On the plus side, this is definitely a complicated dance with no big mistakes obvious to the layperson. Also, it ended with headbanging. No dance that ends with flailing hair can be all bad.
Len: “Tango is about action and reaction… Hope, you were too filleted and willowy, there was no strength.” “I don’t know how Maks controls you.” “I like the aggression and the attack that you put into it.”
Bruno: “Hope, I think you got the ’80s super-bitch down to a T.” “You were strong, sexy and powerful!”
Carrie Ann: “I think you were totally strong… but Len is right… It’s almost like you attacked it so hard that some of your lines got a little awkward.” “Sometimes you have to learn that less is more.”
Scores: 8+8+8 = 24
Big question from that dance: Hope and Maks were both alive in the ’80s? Having checked, I am shocked and impressed to report that they definitely were. Born in 1981 and 1980 respectively. Looking good…
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya
Dancing the jive
My Comments: How many stars are actually going to wear leg warmers this week? Wow. Fancy lighting scheme. And now we have jiving cheerleaders. I wasn’t expecting that. Honestly, this dance looks like a bit of a mess. A very enthusiastic and colorful mess, but a mess. My knowledge of actual jive steps being what it is (nonexistent), this might actually be very good. No idea. But it was fun — just like you’d expect from Carson and Anna.
Len: “Carson, I like you. You know I like you.” “If I was judging with my heart, you would be back next week.”
Bruno: “Carson, that was loopier than a looney tune!” “You managed to squeeze so much wacky fun out of a minimal jive.” “This is a crowning achievement in madness! I loved it!”
Carrie Ann: “It is week 5 and I just didn’t see much technique anywhere.”
Scores: 6+6+7 = 19
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus
Dancing the rumba
My Comments: Oh Nancy… Insulting Len’s dancing is probably not the best way to improve your chances with the judges. OK, Tristan just secured Carrie Ann’s vote. Handy when the pro is gorgeous. What am I bet that that’s how Nancy’s hair actually looked in the ’80s? Silly tackiness aside, this is actually a pretty good dance from the pair. Nancy seems to be keeping up, and she definitely has the attitude right for once. That may have been my favorite dance from Nancy all season.
Len: “I thought that it was simple, but it was very effective.” “There was an ease and an elegance about it.” “Overall, I thought you did a very good job.”
Bruno: “Don’t take my boy-toy away, Carrie Ann…” “I thought you pitched it exactly right tonight. It was sensuous, it was sexy, it wasn’t slutty…”
Carrie Ann: “It was nice. It was appropriate, I think. But… I want to see real passion when you’re dancing.” “They’re feeling a little on the drab side to me.”
Scores: 7+7+8 = 22
Interesting pictures of the judges in the ’80s…
Because it is, in fact, Monday, The Bangles have returned to perform “Manic Monday” before we get our next dance. When you think about it, this is not a particularly “manic” song.
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Dancing the samba
My Comments: Hey! I had a sparkly bug antennae headband like that as a kid! They were cool. J.R. has drums. And he’s playing them. Possibly badly. Fortunately, this is not Drumming with the Stars. (NOTE: I would totally watch that show.) J.R. is definitely into the groove on this one. I don’t think even Carson had that much fun out on the dance floor. This also has the advantage of looking good. J.R. is possibly slightly too slow with a little of the faster footwork, but it’s only by a bit and not all the time. That was a pretty great dance. Very Latin-seeming.
Len: “Way to go, Jose!” “In the future, if anyone says to me, how should a guy dance the samba? I’ll say just look at J.R.”
Bruno: “You were like a loin-shattering sex machine!” “Look at that! The Kardashians are gagging!” “You had so much fire down below, it was like a volcano!”
Carrie Ann: “I want more of that, because that was **** amazing!”
Scores: 9+9+10 = 28
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the rumba
My Comments: Romeo’s back! I forgot about him… What does that say for the DWTS fame boost? Did the singer miss his opening cue there? Or do I just have a bad sound connection? Anything is possible. Rob, as he so often does, looks best when he and Cheryl are together. By himself, he still looks a little awkward. But only a little. Rob is honestly not a bad dancer. His steps don’t have the style of a professional (or even of J.R.), but they’re competent. And the overall dance is pretty good.
Len: “This dance, for guys, is very hard. You’ve got to try to be masculine… you’ve pulled it off.” “You took command in that dance.” “Don’t keep trying to do the splits, because you could ruin your potential.”
Bruno: “We start to see Rob the Heart-Throb! Really, for the first time I start to see you using Cheryl as a partner.” “Very sentimental, a great performance.”
Carrie Ann: “You’re like the tortoise and the hare… You’re like the tortoise.” “You were totally in control of the woman. Cheryl.”
Scores: 9+8+8 = 25
The cast of Man Up is sitting in the dark. Not the worst place for them. (Sorry about slipping a mini-review in there…)
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer
Dancing the samba
My Comments: Lacey Schwimmer’s father Buddy is a little bit awesome. Is Chaz going to be drunk for this? That rarely improves dancing. Although it may be Lacey’s skirt that’s distracting me, but Chaz might actually be doing a bit better this week. He’s nowhere near as good as some of the others, but he doesn’t look awkward out there at all. That’s been a problem in the past. And you’ve got to give the guy credit for making it atop the bar at the end. That’s hard to do (not that I would know…).
Len: “Chaz, I think that was a gallant effort.” “The technique was lacking here and there… you came out and really gave it a go.”
Bruno: “It was like a dribbling basketball.” “You did very well.”
Carrie Ann: “It’s so nice to see you going strong from last week.” “That was the most dancing I’ve seen you do in all the routines.”
Scores: 7+7+7 = 21
David Arquette and Kym Johnson
Dancing the tango
My Comments: Did David actually paint that mirrorball thing? Impressive, in a graffiti sort of way. Also impressive: that Len impression. How exactly can David see in those glasses. Oh, Kym kicked them off. No problem then. David has just the right attitude for a bad-boy tango. The dance might be a little too slow and simple for higher scores, but what’s there looks very good — clean and with attitude. Overall, that was a fun dance to watch.
Len: “I’ve gotta tell you, first, it had a great ’80s feel.” “You have to show up, or shut up. You have shown up, and it was fantastic!”
Bruno: “That was a tango with a rebel yell!” “That’s the way to go — in charge!”
Carrie Ann: “What you need to work on… I actually think you need to work on musicality.” (This comment causes the judges to dissolve into full-on anarchy.)
Scores: 8+9+8 = 25
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Dancing the foxtrot
My Comments: It may be a shock for Ricki, but it didn’t feel like a shock to me that John Waters would show up. Seriously, how do the guys dance in those sunglasses? Not that Derek doesn’t look totally rad in them. I’m not so sure about this dance matching the music. But Ricki is dancing it pretty well. She looks good, but honestly, it’s nowhere near as exciting as last week’s dance. A very good dance, just not the best for Ricki overall.
Len: “No one likes funk like I do.” “Your footwork was a little bit hit-and-miss.” “It wasn’t your best dance, but it wasn’t your worst.”
Bruno: “You did it wrong! You did it off rhythm!” “In this case, you didn’t gel.” “You can’t be a genius every week.”
Carrie Ann: “You did the Roger Rabbit the first time, you were way off.” “It’s like you guys are one person.” “You should’ve just stayed in hold.”
Scores: 8+8+8 = 24
And… much like the ’80s themselves, this episode of Dancing with the Stars ends. But did it end well for everyone? We’ll find out tomorrow — see you then!
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Did your favorites perform the way you wanted? Does anybody seem doomed after ’80s night? Let us know what you think below!
(Image courtesy of ABC)