Monday, December 30, 2019

DTWS S027, Week Four, Trios Night: Some Steamy (and Wet) Stuff and Fun With Tires

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s TRIOS Night! (They call it “Trio Night,” but that’s grammatically incorrect, since there are multiple Trios, so I’m just going to call it Trios Night.) And let’s see all our Trios!

Wonderful rollicking opening number, showcasing all the trios (and Val and Gleb). Yay! All these people are doing trios. I love Trios Night. Let’s begin, shall we?

Their package shows Juan Pablo falling on the floor (last week) when he saw not only their (first of the season) perfect score, but also Len’s standing O. (Big stuff.)(It was a very hot salsa...)

For Trios Night, Cheryl and Juan Pablo have Melissa Rycroft (of The Bachelor, also the All-Star champion of Dancing with the Stars). Wow. This set! (Bowing to the set designers on this show again.) It’s like three separate apartments, with one of them in each to start. Man! Their lines! That choreography! Ummmm. So sexy. Such a great cha cha.

Len: “On this occasion, three was terrific. Lovely mix of steps between the three of you. I would’ve liked a bit more cha cha cha content.” Bruno: “We’ve only started. What are you doing to me? That was dead sexy. Fantastic routine.” Carrie Ann: “Today I thought you were just holding back. You held the center.”

Erin, after talking a bit about how hot these guys are: “Our Cheryl Burke ALWAYS knows where that camera is.” (Same could be said of Val and Sasha, btw. Emma is no slouch either. Or Jenna.)

JUDGES’ SCORES:  24 (out of 30)

OK. Hopefully everyone had their cigarette and has calmed down. These folks are clothed now... Brandon and Tinashe have Amy Purdy (from Season 18) as their trio mate.

There is a courtroom motif (even though they are all in red), and they dance a tango to “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” It felt kinda awkward to me, especially compared to the fluidity of Cheryl and Juan Pablo’s previous routine. Brandon starts out as the judge, then he’s dancing with the two lawyers. Whatever. The story didn’t make sense at all. (I really prefer dancers who work the lyrics into their story and choreography.)

Bruno: “The structure of the choreography... creating wonderful images... was superb.” Carrie Ann: “Amy, it’s so great to have you back. Brandon, congratulations to you. That was the most innovative choreography, considering all the challenges you had, putting that trio together. It was a fantastic tango, and it was sexy for all the right reasons. It was all right there.” Len: “Doing trios is a tough job. Doing a tango is an even tougher job. I thought you handled it brilliantly well.”

JUDGES’ SCORES:  26 (out of 30)

Erin notes that Sasha was doing background vocals on the last song. heh

Who is that guy with the beard, you say? Why, it’s Joey Fatone, Season 04 runner-up. He’s also in some band... ;-)

I gotta say, I love their package, where they are barely rehearsing. Made me laugh.

The boys are playing Greek gods. But of course. And Emma is the goddess extraordinaire.

I do so love Emma’s amazing choreography. Truly wonderful.

Just such beautiful lines. Argentine tango trio. Gorgeous.

Joey mock passes out on the floor by Tom. Tom: “It’s like Marie Osmond, all over again.” That causes Joey to get up, laughing. They talk about how at the beginning, Emma’s hair got stuck in John’s costume.

Carrie Ann: “There was a gravitas that I have not seen from you. And neither from you, Joey, either. (He mimes: “Season 4!”)... I like that you went against type. We were seeing a new side. You showed us a new side of John this week, and I really appreciated it.” Carrie Ann says she wants the dance to start in the heart, but she’s pointing to the bottom of her cleavage, and people get confused. BTW, she is showing a LOT of cleavage today, so people are probably already confused. Len: “It was a little bit of a Greek tragedy just to start. What I liked, you went straight into the dance. No messing about. I love the way you interacted between the three of you. It had passion, it had attack.” Bruno: “The music is very very hard. It demands such concentration to keep the timing.” 

JUDGES’ SCORES:  21 (out of 30)

Courtesy of Getty Images. Photographer: Eric McCandless.
There was this stunning trio dance by these three men (Val, Gleb, and Artem). Just wonderful. “Three matadors,” says Tom.

Look at Evanna! Does she not have star quality? I ask you. They are dancing with a woman named Scarlett (also from the Harry Potter movies).

They are dancing salsa to a song called “Girl Power.” Not as smooth as some of the other ones. Some of the lyrics talked about “black magic,” which I’d like to believe refers more to her Harry Potter background than some kinky thing about Keo...

Len: “I thought there was a nice lot of salsa content. It was a polished performance. Great routine.” Bruno: “You saucy little spice girls. You have to push the hips much more.” Carrie Ann: “I’m blown away at how great you guys are like bookends. You look like you should be dancing together as a troupe all the time. You seemed really relaxed. I love watching you expand every week.” 

JUDGES’ SCORES:  24 (out of 30)

When they first got together, it appears that Rashad accidentally broke DeMarcus’ finger (doing a chest bump). Crazy. After going to the ER, they just put it back in place, and bandaged it up, and went back to work on their paso doble. :-0

Bruno: “Very hard to concentrate. I don’t know why... The Clash of the Titans. You can’t lose the artistry in the paso doble.” Carrie Ann: “I love the way you showcased their physique, and the physicality.” Len: “You were fortunate he just kicked you in the finger. You got the guns, but not always the ammunition. Paso doble’s a tough dance. It was a little bit flimsy on occasion.”

JUDGES’ SCORES:  22 (out of 30)

I dunno. Bruno was just palpitating over the two shirtless guys in the last paso. Even Len seemed a bit distracted. But for my money, lovely Sasha as a shopkeeper is way way sexier.

The package shows Mary Lou taking it really hard, feeling like she couldn’t keep up.

But they are dancing my favorite dance (the Charleston). It starts with Mary Lou driving a cool Vespa. (Her outfit is also the color of the Vespa.) Two gymnasts (Mary Lou and Nastia Lukin) fighting over Sasha. This couldn’t get any more good. They are all doing cartwheels and spins. Unbelievable stuff.

The lyrics for the song are: “Take me on your Vespa, take me on a trip. Turn me on, turn me on, turn me on.” So blissfully sublime.

Oh my. That was so wonderful. I really adored it. It really brought out the best of all of them.

Carrie Ann: “Last week, you were really great. But this week... you were BETTER! Sasha, you used two very different styles of dance, you brought them together in a way that was so complimentary. All of you just shone so brightly.” Tom: “I just like the way that Sasha you became like gymnast shelving.” Len: “It was fun, it was snappy, and Lennie is a happy chappy.” Bruno: “Charleston, with a taste of Italy. It was as invigorating as a double espresso in Piazza Verona. You’ve got a wonderful style, sharp, in sync. What you did, you showcased your girls perfectly.” (As he does.)

JUDGES’ SCORES:  26 (out of 30)

Then a wonderful troupe bumper coming back, where everyone is in leather. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” gets another spin. Great stuff. (Hayley and Brit and Gleb outstanding.)

Milo and Witney dance their salsa trio with Riker. He says that salsa was one of his favorites when he was on the show.

This salsa is to a Spanish song about Queen Lina? (not sure) Anyway, there is this lift where Milo throws Witney over this shoulder (seemingly without looking) and Riker catches her. Crazy stuff. But beautiful salsa with great choreography.

Tom notes that the crowd was on its feet “for the whole dance.” Len: “Witney, you were flying from Riker to Milo (sic) like a Frisbee. It was fast, it had plenty of attack. It was clean, but it was in control the whole time.” Len says he “would’ve liked a bit more hip action,” and Carrie Ann screams, and mimes crying buckets. Len: ”I thought it was wonderful and the best dance I’ve seen tonight.” Bruno: “It was electrifying. You’ve blown all my fuses. The details in the choreography were absolutely delicious. You hit every accent, and every syncopation to perfection. And that’s the truth.” Carrie Ann: “This is teamwork makes a dream work. You guys together. Everything that you did was so in sync. You never looked at each other to check any moves. You were just feeling each other. It was unique and... it was so many things, but it was just absolutely perfect.” 

JUDGES’ SCORES:  29 (out of 30)

Erin entices them to do a hair flip on three. #Funny

Then they show Jenna with Grocery Store Joe (who has a rose) and Jordan, who whips out a gigantic rose. #MoreFunny

So, I have been voting Joe all season long (he’s had consistently low scores and he is still here). And what’s better than one Bachelor in Paradise alum? Add in Jordan Kimball, our beloved male model from Paradise, and we are in heaven.

They are dancing salsa to “I’m Too Sexy,” and God knows Jordan believes he is too sexy, so this should be fun.

From the package: Jordan: “I’ve been sexy my whole life, but I’ve never been salsa sexy.”

Jordan: “America is just gonna love what they see from Joe. Expect to have your mind blown.”

OK. Waiting...

Oooh. Jenna adds that there is “a very special surprise” at the end. Hmmmm.

What’s this? Joe has removed his shirt, under his overalls. Jordan (our male model) tries to do that, but appears to only get it half off. He continues dancing.

Then, we have Gleb and Val arrive, and also take off their shirts. Whew... You certainly will have been too distracted to notice this, but in the background, Gleb and Val are making obscene motions with tires, which cracked me up.

Then, at the end, both Joe and Jordan get under the showers.

Wow. Wow.

Bruno: “That was a unique experience. I had no idea if I was watching Magic Mike, Tragic Mike or Mike and the Mechanics. But you went for full service. The dancing was a little extra. May or may not be included. Open to interpretation. The timing? Nonexistent.” Carrie Ann: “Jenna? You get MVP. That was magical, what you did with what you had. I appreciate you so much. I have so much love in my heart for you. Joe, it’s nice to have you here. Jordan, you didn’t quite get the shirt off, which was the whole number, but it’s ok.” Len: “It’s not often I’m speechless. If I’m honest, Jenna, it’s hard to put into words what I thought of that dance. It’s all very well if you get a partner that is a natural dancer, and has been at stage school, and done everything. That’s an easy chore. What you’ve done with Joe and his chum I think is terrific.”

Erin asks Joe what he thought of it. Joe: “Oh, I thought it was sexy.” Erin: “Which part?” Joe: “The whole thing, baby.” Erin: “Did you have any clue that Jordan couldn’t get his shirt off?” Joe: “No idea.” Erin: “Jordan, how was it for you?” Jordan: “I got in my head a little bit. But I kept going forward.” Erin: “Thank God you didn’t see what was going on behind you. That got into everyone’s head.” Everyone is laughing.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  15 (out of 30) YIKES.

Tom: “And as we go to break, this is for Erin.” They cut to Val and Gleb under the showers now, dancing... oh yes, very sexy... Whew...

Tom and Erin are on the floor. Erin says: “What’s going on tonight?” Tom: “We’re still recovering from the last segment.” (As Erin waves at her face... indicating steaminess)

Alexis and Alan are dancing with Maddie Ziegler. She’s the one who performed in Sia’s videos. She’s also been on #DWTS before. They are doing a tango.

That was a pretty crazy tango.

Tom: “I got goosebumps.”

Carrie Ann: “Very strong. But I have to say that in the tango, I wanted to see you dance as one. And I felt that there was more three solos happening, than dancing as a unit.” Len: “Alan, it was a good mix of tango content, and beautiful attacking tango. I thought it was a really good job.” Bruno: “I was watching another show. What I saw was a guy that really empowered his girls. It had elegance and it had sophistication. I don’t know what I watched, but I liked it.”

JUDGES’ SCORES:  25 (out of 30)

Then, we had this. Bobby Bones and Sharna, doing MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” with Lindsay Stirling. Boy, there are sublime moments on this show... this... wow.

OMG. That was the craziest and most wonderful cha cha. LOL

As Bobby rolls into camera right after this move. LOL

Len: “You nailed the Hammer part. But the cha cha cha part was not so good. You gotta get a bit more finesse in your technique.” Bruno: “Like a tribute act. You took a sledgehammer to the cha cha cha. And nobody can carry those pants like you. It always is fun watching you. So entertaining. The cha cha cha got lost in translation.” Carrie Ann: “Bobby Bones. The world is a better place because you’re in it. You bring so much joy, because you’re so authentic. You did not miss one single step in the whole routine.”

JUDGES’ SCORES:  20 (out of 30)

And we go straight to elimination. Who is going home?

Evanna and Keo and Tinashe and Brandon are in the bottom two.

Going home?

Erin, at the end: “This is why you have to vote.” I WAS voting. I was voting like mad (like many others, I assume) for Grocery Store Joe and Bobby Bones. Cause I LOVED them, and this week, I LOVED Sasha, and voted for him.

Miche’s Favorite Trios
1. Mary Lou and Sasha and Nastia (Charleston)
2. Juan Pablo and Cheryl and Melissa (cha cha)
3. Bobby Bones and Sharna and Lindsey (cha cha)
4. Joe and Jenna and Jordan (salsa) (and Val and Gleb helped!)
5. John and Emma and Joey (Argentine tango)
6. Milo and Witney and Riker (salsa)
7. Evanna and Keo and Scarlett (salsa)
8. Alexis and Alan and Maddie (tango)


Saturday, December 28, 2019

DTWS S027, Week Three, Most Memorable Year: Tears and Goosebumps

Normally, when I write a #DWTS column, I dutifully watch the episode I’ve recorded, and am able to rewind and fast-forward to my heart’s content to insure I get every last nuance. However, that is not what we have with this episode. So, I apologize ahead of time. The episode was lost, and sadly, they don’t have back DWTS episodes on Disney Plus yet, so I am at a loss. I do, luckily for me, have my notes (yes, I also take notes while I’m watching the show), so I am going to write this column (so we have all episodes of the season) from my notes and from rewatching the videos. Sorry. That’s the best I’ve got at this time. What will mostly be lost are the extensive judges’ comments, which I know I  always love the most, especially during Most Memorable Year night.

Let’s begin. I will note that in the opening number, where they nicely have graphics representing what the year in question represented to each celebrity, at the end, the lyrics of the song say something about “love” and you can see Alan hugging Alexis tighter. Hmmm.

Once again proving that Hayley and Brit need to be pros now.
Tom promises tonight will bring “tears and goosebumps.”

First up is Mary Lou Retton doing a Viennese waltz with her partner, Sasha Farber.

Mary Lou and Sasha:    Viennese waltz
Most Memorable Year:  1984
Why?: She won the gold medal in gymnastics in Los Angeles

Mary Lou talks about what a thrill it was to win the gold medal for this country. But she also tells us: “There’s another reason why it was so special that people don’t know. Six weeks before I competed, I had knee surgery.” WHAT? Doctors didn’t even think she could walk again after six weeks, let alone compete in the Olympics. She says: “I just wasn’t gonna give up.”

So they are dancing this Viennese waltz (!) to “We Are the Champions.” Says Mary Lou: “That song got me through some really dark times, times when I wanted to give up. The words inspired me, and kept me going. This is gonna be emotional. I don’t know if I can do it without crying. I’m very proud of that moment.”

Of course, it’s a much slowed-down version of the song. As they dance, images of her at the Olympics are projected on the floor. They also have a woman singing, which gives it an extra poignancy. And the adult Mary Lou at the end raises her arms as the 14 year old did. *tears*

Awww, man. It’s only the first dance. Whew.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  24 (out of 30)

Milo and Witney:            Viennese waltz
Most Memorable Year:  2018
Why?: “My movie came out, I’m on this show, I graduated from high school... I feel like I’m starting with life this year”

Most of his package bores me, but we did learn that he calls Witney “Wittles.” I need to call that out.

I will note that DWTS seems to be reusing a lot of songs (and choreography) from previous seasons. They never used to do that. Milo and Witney are dancing to the so-memorable number from Jenna and Adam’s Mirror-Ball-winning freestyle. WTF? Also, I really HATE when they choose to dance on the judges’ podium. Leave it alone. Dance somewhere else. Very annoying.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  27 (out of 30)

Nancy and Val:               Rumba
Most Memorable Year:  2006
Why?: I think she said that’s when her first baby was born. In any case, she is dedicating this rumba to her family.

Val’s dancing, the perfection of it, just makes me swoon. So exquisite. But Nancy seems to be mostly just kinda standing there in this dance. Also, rumba is supposed to be the most sexual dance of all, and this wasn’t in any way sexual. They dance to “When You Love Someone.”

JUDGES’ SCORES:  22 (out of 30)

Alexis and Alan:              Contemporary
Most Memorable Year:  2014
Why?: The year she learned her mother was going to die.

Whew. That one was pretty sad, too. Her mom had Stage 4 cancer.

BTW, the women singing on this show are just phenomenal.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  26 (out of 30)

At this point, they do something they’ve never done (and should do more): they ask the pros what their “Most Memorable Year” was. Alan: 2018. Sharna: 2003, the year she moved to London. Keo: 2009, when he won the South African Ballroom & Latin championships. Lindsay: 2015, the year she married her “high school sweetheart Sam.” Sasha and Emma come on together, and Sasha says that 2018 is their most memorable year, cause they got married. (Awww!)

Wait...where’s everyone else? :-(

Evanna and Keo:            Viennese waltz
Most Memorable Year:  2006
Why?: The year she booked her role in Harry Potter.

They do a Viennese waltz to the Harry Potter theme song. “Suddenly, I was in the world, living the dream. I adored the franchise, and Luna Lovegood was my favorite character. I just felt like I knew her soul, and I was meant to be playing her.” Evanna talks quite poignantly about her pen friendship with JK Rowling, and how JK Rowling and the Harry Potter books really saved her life. “Being in Harry Potter proved to me that I had something to offer the world.” Says one of the best dancers on this show.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  27 (out of 30)

Joe and Jenna:                Viennese waltz
Most Memorable Year:  2018
Why?: How could it be any thing other than this one? He was on TWO previous TV shows, one where he met his current girlfriend. Now he’s on Dancing with the Stars. Does life get better? NO. Oh wait, let him speak... Oh yeah. That’s what he said, too.

This dance was so beautiful. Jenna’s costume and hair are goregous, as is her amazing dancing. I loved this dance. I wish I could hear the judges’ comments. (Oh, they hated it.)

(That was Leona Lewis and Kellum Scott doing the singing while they danced.)

Len said he “needed more recognizable Viennese waltz than two bars,” at which Jenna makes a face.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  18 (out of 30)

Some dude named Lucas Graham performed, and Val and Jenna danced to it. It was beautiful.

Juan Pablo and Cheryl:  Samba
Most Memorable Year:   1999
Why?: The year he moved away from Buenos Aires.

Juan Pablo moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream “of being an entertainer,” and after almost ten years, he got a part in Mamma Mia (working with Meryl Streep).

The role he was doing just before he got Mamma Mia was as a “salsa dancer” on a TV show. Fitting then, that they dance salsa to celebrate his arrival in LA.

If nothing else, I sure hope this turn on DWTS helps to cement Juan Pablo di Pace’s status as a heartthrob that needs to be cast in a a lot of things! (Ahem...)

This salsa was steamy and hot and wonderful, as most of their dances are. It gets A STANDING OVATION FROM LEN (not a daily occurrence by any means).

JUDGES’ SCORES:  30 (out of 30)

The first perfect score of the season!

Aha. Here they are. More “Most Memorable Year” items from the Pros. Brandon: 2008, when he first came on #DWTS. Cheryl Burke: 2018, because she got engaged. Witney Carson: 2015, when she got married. Val: 2001, when he won Junior World Latin Championships (just after 9/11). Jenna: 2018, because she “got engaged to the love of her life, Val.” That segment ends on a funny note, when the producer tells her: “you know Val didn’t choose 2018, right?” Jenna: “He didn’t choose this year?” She pauses, and points at her engagement ring. “Not this year?“

Pretty funny. Oh, look, Val and Jenna are watching it air. She doesn’t look happy.

John and Emma:             Waltz
Most Memorable Year:   2016
Why?: The year his home and his mother’s home was destroyed in a flood, and he found love, and his mother died.

John dedicates this waltz to his mother, and Emma notes that his mother’s favorite flower was a yellow rose. They start the dance with John holding a yellow rose in his hand, which is transferred to Emma (standing in for his mom). The dance ends with yellow rose petals raining down on John as he stands alone. Beautiful.

In the package, John talks about his mother was happy to learn he had found love. “You’ve got your smile back,” she said. So they dance to “Smile.”

JUDGES’ SCORES:  21 (out of 30)

Bobby Bones and Sharna:   Contemporary
Most Memorable Year:        1998
Why?: The year Bobby graduated from high school, the first kid in his family to do so.

He describes a really difficult life growing up. His mom was 15 when she had him, she hadn’t graduated from high school. He didn’t know his dad. His mom struggled with drugs and alcohol addiction, which she died from at age 40. But before she died, she got her GED, having been inspired by her son.

They are dancing to “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman.” “What I would like people to see,” says Bobby, “is that it doesn’t really matter where you come from. It matters where you are going. It doesn’t matter where you start. It’s how much you want it.”

They have this little kid in the background, who is supposed to represent the kid Bobby (clothed the same). Little Bobby is dreaming in his bedroom (even though he said in the package that he didn’t have a bedroom, just slept on the couch and pushed his clothes under the couch).

At the end, he picks up a book, and holds it to his heart. So moving. I loved that dance.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  23 (out of 30)

My notes say there was a “Cool bumper” after the break, but I couldn’t tell you what it was. :-(

I have two pet peeves on this show. One is when “stars” have other things on their agenda, besides doing the show, which require them to travel all over. This show deserves your full attention, people! The other is when celebrities dance to their own songs. Ugh. That is what we have here with this rumba.

Tenashe and Brandon:    Rumba
Most Memorable Year:   2014
Why?: The year she released her debut album, “Aquarius.”

Her parents talk about what a prodigy she was... (Yawn...)

The other disadvantage to dancing to one’s own music is that it might not be as good as what they normally dance to, and the star is unable to see that. (For me, it was a quite unremarkable song.)

For me, it was also marred by the sweatstains under both of Brandon’s arms. Very unsexy, even though it was a gorgeous silk shirt.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  27 (out of 30)

DeMarcus and Lindsay:    Argentine tango
Most Memorable Year:     2016
Why?: He won the Super Bowl.

And it's most happy for him because he has his kids with him. What all that has to do with this Argentine tango, I’m not sure.

Lindsay likes throwing in lots of lifts with the football players, and that’s certainly true here.

In the last move, Lindsay pulls away, and when the camera pulls back, both of DeMarcus’ kids were by his side. (Nice touch!)

I will say that it’s incredible choreography overall.

JUDGES’ SCORES:  26 (out of 30)

Who’s going home on this night?

Sadly, Val and Nancy. :-(

Miche’s Favorites of Most Memorable Year night
1. Juan Pablo and Cheryl (samba)
2. Bobby Bones and Sharna (contemporary)
3. John and Emma (waltz)
4. Evanna and Keo (waltz)
5. Milo and Witney (jive)
6. Joe and Jenna (waltz)
7. DeMarcus and Lindsay (Argentine tango)
8. Mary Lou and Sasha (Viennese waltz)
9. Alexis and Alan (contemporary)
10. Nancy and Val (rumba)


Sunday, November 17, 2019

DTWS S027, Week Two, Vegas Night: It’s Vegas, Baby

The opening number of Vegas Night on Dancing with the Stars this season features simulated dice (and actual dice, that the women sit on). The funnest thing about this (for me) was seeing Sharna dancing with Val. When they bring out the stars, it’s against a giant roulette wheel backdrop.

Erin Andrews is resplendent in gold. Tom announces that someone is indeed going home tonight.

In the package, Cheryl and Juan Pablo say their foxtrot “is gonna get steamy.” Juan Pablo describes them being alone in a penthouse, after gambling all night, “and we’re going to strut around the room, before we continue to the boudoir.” Ok, then.

Yep. OK. Pretty steamy. They are also dancing to Peggy Lee, so it’s got that old-Vegas vibe.

Whew! What a way to kick off Vegas night.

Len: “Juan Pablo, no problemo. First out, by and large, first class. I would’ve liked a little bit stronger frame. But, this isn’t a gamble: you will be back next week.” Bruno (who is wearing a glittery sparkling jacket): “Talk about opening big in Vegas. Those two are almost too hot to trot. Talk about sultry. You really managed to maintain top-notch sleekness and elegance. The choreography, Cheryl, was superb.” Carrie Ann: “There was something so impressive about you, the way you seasoned every movement. So not only was the technique incredibly good... what you did on top of it, all the nuances and all the pizzazz, but maintaining your core, and the beautiful lines? OK. Yummy.”

Tom chats with Cheryl and Juan Pablo a bit. JP goes off about how “we get to dance, and this is about DANCING!...” Tom: “That’s why it’s in the title.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 26 (out of 30)

Milo and Witney are dancing a tango to a Celine Dion song. As Tom announces that, they roll tape of Celine Dion wishing them both well. Milo and Witney freak out.

Wow, that dance was so good.

Bruno: “You two were on fire. So focused. So powerful. I love the touches of Argentine tango, then off to a proper tango.” Carrie Ann: “I love my job. Season 27 is so much fun. You have quite a range. At 17 years old, to show and display this kind of range of performance style, grace. The way you match lines, considering the height and shape difference, was ridiculous.” Len: “It started off with a bit of Argentine tango, which I don’t really mind, then you got into the proper ballroom tango. You hit every nuance in the music. That’s down to you, Witney. Very clear and precise.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 26 (out of 30)

Tom brings out Donny Osmond. I mean, it is Vegas night. Donny says that he and his sister “were supposed to be at the Flamingo for six weeks. We just announced our 11th year.” Tom laughs and says, “We were supposed to be on ABC for six weeks, and we just started our 14th year.” They laugh and hug. They talk about how Donny is going to be singing while Danielle and Artem dance. Donny notes how the fact that she’s blind “and on this ballroom floor is so inspiring.”

There is a bit of Blue Man Group to bring us back from commercial. Tom notes that they are playing at the Luxor Hotel in Vegas.

Wow. I had forgotten that Donny Osmond won a Mirror Ball on this show. (I only remember the part about Marie fainting when she competed.)

I gotta say, every time Danielle dances, it just terrifies me.

But she had a lot of people carrying her around in this quickstep.

Carrie Ann: “I love the way you used the space, Artem. That first pass was elegant and graceful. You touch our hearts every time you dance.“ Len: “Once the whole thing got cracking, I enjoyed it very much. You had lovely movement around the floor. Your dancing complemented Donny’s singing.” Bruno: “Lucky girl tonight. Your guys, your dolls, your Donny. That’s a good hand.” (OK, enough with the labored Vegas idioms.)

JUDGES’ SCORES: 19 (out of 30)

As we come back from commercial, everyone is in the balcony, which is emblazoned with #VegasStrong. Tom mentions that last night was the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Las Vegas.

Alexis and Alan do a pretty complicated salsa, after seeming to struggle in their package.

However, they commit the sin of performing a song which is already a legend on #DWTS. Maks performed this song so memorably with someone who actually HAS a “big booty.” Neither Alexis nor Alan has anything approaching a big booty. But it was passable.

Len: “If you were playing in Vegas, you went all in. No messing about. You were working your assets, I gotta tell you. You are a great dancer.” Bruno: “You’re definitely bootylicious, as they say. Very very bendy. Those lifts! Cirque du Soleil meets salsa. Very nice.” Carrie Ann: “You were great. You light up the stage. You have such an innocence when you dance. It’s really refreshing to see. Your flexibility works for you, and it works against you. Keep your core tight. You have great lines.”

Erin: “You are ridiculous.” (She means that in a good way.)

JUDGES’ SCORES: 24 (out of 30)

Well, OK. What is Vegas night without Elvis? Or multiple Elvii?

Emma Slater and her partner John Schneider camp it up with an Elvis jive. John mentions that he is in the Elvis museum in Graceland, because he has “the top-charting Elvis cover of all time.” Who knew?

The premise of the dance is that they are competing Elvis impersonators, and they have “an Elvis-off.”

That was funny.

Bruno: “I thought it was so much fun. But you lost a little bit of jive in translation. But as a number, and as an entertainment, really good.” Carrie Ann: “I don’t think it was quite as good as last night’s performance, but I think you did Elvis proud.” Len: “To do two totally different dances on Week Two, one night after the other is an enormous challenge. What a great job you two have done.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 20 (out of 30)

A quick break for a DWTS: Juniors promo.

Lindsay and DeMarcus do a quickstep while Boys II Men are singing onstage (“Ladies Man”). Great costumes!

Carrie Ann: “You’re out of breath, so that tells me you were working hard. Still, Ladies Man in the house.” Len: “I liked the dance.” Bruno: “You still are on a winning streak. You have such a dashing presence. Star quality. That’s a very good quality.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 23 (out of 30)

Wayne Newton does a Vegas plug to bring us back.

Jenna and Grocery Store Joe are doing a jazz dance to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” It starts out with a nifty bit of glasses slinging around a bar. It is notable for this INCREDIBLE LIFT in the middle of this. I am still shocked by it. They get a standing O from the crowd. Even the crew applauded.

Len: “It was a routine. It held my interest from start to finish. Whoa, Jenna! The way you flew up there. Wow. That was scary.” Bruno: “I’ve got an image in my brain that I need to erase. I appreciate the fact that you started to tell a story. You still have to come out of your shell.” Carrie Ann: “I loved watching you walk over here after the number, because I saw you proud of what you'd done. You felt better tonight, didn’t you?”  

JUDGES’ SCORES: 18 (out of 30)

Blue Man Group does what they do to bring us back.

Erin introduces this with: “If you’ve ever gotten stuck in the desert, driving back from Vegas...” (and who hasn’t?)

Evanna and Keo dance a jive to “Heatwave.” Great song, fun to dance to, but it is clear that Evanna has not ONE iota of “heat” for Keo. No attraction there whatsoever. Nor much from him to her, so the passion of this dance is not believable. That said, it was very fun to watch, and Evanna is a dance star, as far as I’m concerned. I just wish she was with another partner.

Bruno: “You cooked up a pretty tasty jive.” Carrie Ann: “Wonderful performance.” Len: “High energy, fast and athletic.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 24 (out of 30)

We had this bit of fun and frivolity after the commercial. LOL

Bobby, in his package says: “Whatever you want, Las Vegas has.” True statement.

They get scary by doing a magician’s trick with Hayley, where she is sawed in half. Ugh.

But they are dancing to Sammy Davis, Jr. (can’t get more Vegas than that). “That Olde Black Magic.” Beautiful quickstep.

Carrie Ann: “Don”t lose your joy.” Len: “A bit of Siegfried and Roy, a bit of quickstep down the street.” Bruno: “Be gentle. I like the energy.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 19 (out of 30)

Nancy and Val visit the Cirque du Soleil show Kà to prepare for their serious paso doble. We have fire, we have wind, we have water. We have a stern Nancy, defending her turf. Plus four half naked guys (including Val) dancing around her. (Not a bad day at the office.)

I will say, the sets, lighting and costumes for this number were incredible.

Len: “I thought it was lacking finesse.” Bruno: “I loved the story.” Carrie Ann: “What I love is when a woman can go toe to toe with four amazing dancers.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 20 (out of 30)

The backstory on this dance is that Tinashe used to perform with Britney Spears (they are dancing a cha cha to Britney’s “Circus.”). So that knowledge of the song really resonates.

Bruno: “You picked up an accent in the music. It was so on it. Splendid.” Carrie Ann: “Incredible musicality. You generate energy.” Len: “Another knockout performance. But there’s a tad of sameness about the performances.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 26 (out of 30)

Mary Lou and Sasha are doing a samba to “Copacabana.” They receive an encouraging Tweet from Barry Manilow himself. One of the best things about this dance (to Vegas it up) is that we get to see Brit and Hayley as fan dancers.

Mary Lou has the arms (arm movements) that judges always complain about. She’s doing them with pride. At the end of the dance, Sasha slides through her legs, and kisses the camera. Nice!

Carrie Ann: “The way you nailed that at 50, girlfriend!” Len: “That was a proper samba. I loved it. I wish everyone would do what you do: just dance the dance.” Bruno: “You captured the party mood of the song. Perfect ending for a party night.”

JUDGES’ SCORES: 24 (out of 30)

Who’s going home?

Whew. Big sigh of relief. Artem did a spectacular job, I must say, though.

Miche’s Favorites on Vegas Night
1. Juan Pablo and Cheryl (foxtrot)
2. Milo and Witney (tango)
3. Mary Lou and Sasha (samba)
4. Tinashe and Brandon (cha cha)
5. Evanna and Keo (jive)
6. Bobby Bones and Sharna (quickstep)
7. Nancy and Val (paso doble)
8. Alexis and Alan (salsa)
9. John and Emma (jive)
10. Joe and Jenna (jazz)