Sunday, September 27, 2015

DWTS Season 21, Week 2: Hometowns, with a Spin


Bindi and Derek, Hometowns Week 2
You have not lived, my friends, until you've seen a TANGO to AC/DC (above).

But I'm getting ahead of myself... back to the beginning, the very beginning. This week there were two shows, both focusing on Hometowns. Monday night featured the stars' hometowns. Usually, the personal shows help the stars to focus on something other than the fact that these dance rehearsals are killing them.

But by and large with the stars, they were just walking through the paces of this theme. Frankly, I still think a lot of them are just getting their bearings. It was funny, though, in interview, when the producer asked Chaka Khan why she had picked the song "Chicago" about her hometown. "Which song did you choose?" "Chicago, by Frank Sinatra." "And how does your hometown relate to that?" Chaka pauses for a long beat, contemplating the idiot in front of her, and says, "Because it's called Chicago."

And really, that exchange was pretty much the "hometown" highlight of this night. They all pretty much fell flat.

Later, Ms. Chaka Khan was the first to go home.

(Of the five that I requested to go home as soon as possible, both of this week's bootees were on the list.)

1. Paula Deen
2. Kim Whatsherface
3. Gary Busey

(Actually, I'm getting my wish with another one, I believe, because I heard in the Twitter sphere that Kim had some kind of minor stroke after last week's shows.)

So, I'm enjoying Andy and Allison quite a bit. However, that move which is so en vogue with the dancers here lately, where you grab a woman by the throat and sort of dance around her (when the pros do it, it looks amazing)... really looks scary in the hands of an amateur. Andy's moves made me very uncomfortable with this.

Sharna and Nick did a swoon-worthy Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

Why? Was he in the Army? I must've zoned out of that hometown. But the dance was fun.

Personally can't wait till these two do a rumba... Ahem...

Alek continues to blow me away with his mad dance skills, doing a jazz number (that looked like contermporary to me) but was nonetheless amazing. Dancers keep trying to sneak in more lifts by choosing this jazz option, and it was stunning to watch, so OK.

Still, we're snoozing through all these hometowns...

And then we had this...

Which was notable only for the fact that he kept putting the hat over his genitals, and it kept staying up... so... um, ok...

Then we had Taymar Braxton trying to convince us that Valentin shouldn't 1. thrust his pelvis and 2. take off his shirt. Girlfriend, THAT is why we watch this show. Val without his shirt off is like... Well, let me show you.

Is anyone looking at Taymar in this picture? Hells to the no...

On that same sexuality tip, we also THANK YOU, JESUS, had Alexa and Mark doing a sensual, sexual dance.

Mark Ballas is such a sexy dancer. I am so glad we finally got to see it again. (Both nights of Week 2 had a lot of sensuality.)

We also had Gary and Anna (I love Anna, I love Anna) dance to a lovely Beach Boys tune. Still he is completely batshit crazy. She, however, is wonderful. So I'm very torn with this couple.

But then, just as we are about to fall asleep on night one from lack of drama or spark, along comes Bindi.

And CRIKEY! Our little Bindi has sure grown up. She also informed us that (secretly) she loves hard rock, like AC/DC. So there they are, Derek and Bindi, rocking out a tango. You heard me, I said TANGO, to AC/DC. It was so fantastic, there are no words.

DWTS WEEK 2, First night of Hometowns (Stars)
1. Bindi and Derek
2. Alek and Lindsey
3. Alexa and Mark
4. Val and Taymar
5. Nick and Sharna
6. Andy and Allison
7. Carlos and Witney


But the second night, we actually had poignance. For years, the pros have been shunted aside (and I do blame Maks for this), with the spotlight put firmly on the "stars."

In fact, let me show you a physical example of how this is still in action. Look at this.

Notice pro dancer Mark Ballas in this shot? Not so much, no. And especially for this dance, when the drama and emotion was really all about HIM, they have this shot. (Uncropped by me, this is exactly how it aired.) And they do this A LOT. It's sickening. The "star" is the focus of the shot, and the pro is all but cropped out. Let me just reiterate how much I hate this. It's disrespectful to the pros, and was especially grating when this whole evening was ABOUT THEM.

For once (I mean, truly, they never usually do this), they had the whole Hometowns segment on the Pros, and THEIR hometowns. And it was wonderful, cause usually these folks don't get to speak (as you can see).

The most moving moment to me was when Mark Ballas spoke about his parents (whom everyone knows were world champion pro ballroom dancers) and Mark let Alexa dance to his parents' last music, including letting Alexa do his mom's signature move. That was really special and wonderful. Also, Shirley Ballas was in the audience. (The producers did nothing with this, but it was a very special moment.)

No, really, this was a super important moment for Mark, and the producers obviously honored and recognized that... *sigh*


Someone remind them that at least half of the DWTS audience is there because we LOVE the pros on this show. We'd much rather hear about their stories, and how they rose up through the ballroom ranks. It's MUCH more interesting. Glad they finally gave them a hometowns show, but they could do so much more.

Like this. (The fans got it right.)

Even if DWTS didn't say it properly, we love you, Shirley Ballas. Thank you for giving us Mark. Thank you for all you brought to the world of dance. And for me, personally, this tribute dance this week was the most moving moment.

DWTS WEEK 2, Second night of Hometowns (Pros)
1. Valentin and Taymar (charleston, see pic above)
2. Mark and Alexa (and Shirley)
3. Derek and Bindi
4. Sharna and Nick
5. Allison and Andy
6. Emma and Hayes
7. Witney and Carlos

It could've been worse, I suppose. This one (Gary) kept referring to Anna as "To Russia, With Love." Um, ok. *eyeroll* God bless you, Anna. We love you. Hang in there through the madness.


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