Saturday, May 27, 2017

DWTS S024, Week 6: Boy Band v. Girl Groups Gives Us Our First Perfect Score and Our First Shocker

One great thing about this new director is that, as he approaches the shows of #DancingWithTheStars Season 24, he's injecting new life into them. We had our first ever Vegas Night (yes, please! More!) and this week, we have our first ever "Boy Bands, Girl Groups" with guest judge Nick Carter (of the Backstreet Boys, also 2nd place finalist when he was on #DWTS). Although, he's also keeping old favorites, like "My Most Memorable Year" and, of course, Disney Night.

And Maks' injury is healed enough that he's coming back tonight! Oh, so exciting. Let's get started, shall we?

Simone and Sasha are, and have been, one of my favorites all along to win this. They do, um, have some obstacles, however.

Simone Biles may be the most celebrated gymnast in the world, but she hasn't had much time for, you know, that "boy" thing. "I've been on one date," says she in her package.

This week, they are doing a samba to a Destiny's Child song. Sasha attempts to get Simone into the sexy mode that the samba requires. He asks her if she finds him attractive. She says no. In the package, she blushingly admits she does find Rashad handsome. (PSST, aside to Simone: one thing you'll learn, after doing this "sex" thing for awhile, is that what may outwardly appear as handsome--or beautiful--quite often doesn't make for the best lover. So I would bet all of my Whispered Pearls cred on the fact that Sasha is quite the better lover than Rashad.)

Be that as it may... The fact that Sasha was able to pull some sexy out of Simone for this samba is pretty amazing, cause she seems quite clueless on the whole matter.

JUDGES' SCORES: 35 (out of 40, with Nick Carter being the lowest vote)

Remember all those good words I was saying about the new director? I take them back. Look at this.

What do you see on the nightstand? (On both tables, actually.) LANDLINE PHONES. It's 2017, people. Raise your hand if you still use a landline phone. See no one raising their hands? Right. LAME. Ugh.

In any case, Sharna and Bonner are doing (*suck up*) a rumba to a Backstreet Boys song (with Sharna's former partner, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, judging). Not as sexy as many rumbas previous.

JUDGES' SCORES: 30 (out of 40)

Nancy Kerrigan brings up a good point. It's been done.

Maybe some of these people have forgotten, but avid watcher Nancy has not. Artem brings up that their song is "Free Your Mind," and says, "Maybe it's been done." Nancy, immediately says, "Yeah. It has. Season 5. Mel B. and Maks."

And she's right. Further, she's also right that Mel B. killed it (also thanks to fantastic Chmerkovskiy choreography, which Artem will never have). PRO TIP: Don't try to redo iconic #DWTS dances. It never works out well.

But they try, anyway. Personally, I think both Artem and Nancy are hindered by their egos. She doesn't give hers enough credit (doesn't think she's good enough, when she is). He gives his too much (he thinks he's fantastic, and he isn't). It's a hard battle to overcome.

The props I can give Nancy Kerrigan is that she succeeded in looking fierce.

OK, maybe not Mel B. fierce, but then, she's had more practice at it. This is "Welcome to Outside Your Comfort Zone" fierce.

JUDGES' SCORES: 33 (out of 40)

On the opposite end of that confidence spectrum is Nick. He may look like a fool doing it, but darn it, he's going to try his best. Gotta love him for that.

Nick calls himself in his package, "the reality TV reject," which, btw, he isn't. We love seeing him on our reality TV, including this one. I really do. Unlike, say Mr. T or Charo, I really do look forward to seeing Nick and Peta dance every week.

On this fun-filled day, they are dancing a jive to The Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun." I loved this dance. His kicks and flicks were rocking.

Nick Carter says that, "if anyone could be in a boy band, it's you." Bruno calls it, "jive with sunstroke."

JUDGES' SCORES: 28 (out of 40)

Then, we have the two who are arguably the frontrunners here. The powerhouse of Normani and Val, doing a salsa to a Pussycat Dolls song.

Unlike Gleb, Val actually uses sexuality appropriately for the dance. He's a construction worker, she's a girl passing by... OK...

It was pretty phenomenal. Normani is really in control of the stage. For Len, though, there "wasn't enough salsa content." Nick Carter, however, thinks they can take this all the way. A plethora of 10s follows.

JUDGES' SCORES: 38 (out of 40)

So, David Ross (of the Chicago Cubs) and Lindsay Arnold (quite a bit younger) have an Argentine tango this week. Very sexual dance. In the midst of it, he does this.

Quite a difficult feat, that. The judges were mostly not very impressed.

JUDGES' SCORES: 29 (out of 40)

Rashad does a Motown boy band (The Four Tops) for his individual dance, as he and Emma tango.

Their dance was just superb. It starts out with four guys, onstage, with Rashad in the sparkly jacket, doing Four Tops choreography. Nice.

I just love that there's a story to the whole presentation. It makes it so much more full.

It helps when the music is great, too. But Emma's choreography! Wow. The concept, the dance, the costumes, the music--everything. I just loved this number.

JUDGES' SCORES: 37 (out of 40)

Now, for those just tuning in, Alan has pretty much been Heather's partner all season, since Maks got sidelined early on with an injury. (In the first week, I was SURE that Heather and Maks were going to win this, especially since she is a dancer, after all.) But she got to dance with Alan instead, who is a good, even great dancer, but he's no Maks.

But also, remember, last week, Heather and Alan danced (in what was not much of a dance and more acting out) to Frozen, since it was Disney week. Underwhelming, to my eyes.

Before the commercial break, they have a little playacting thing where Alan is trying to steal Heather back from Maks again (funny). And in the actual rumba to TLC, the storyline is that Alan comes in with Heather, and Maks steals her away.

In the package, Maks asks Heather if she's received a 10 yet. She pouts and says, "No, I didn't get my Disney 10." (Disney 10s are different, cause they have mouse ears attached.) Maks: "Don't worry. I'm gonna get you this 10."

So, here's the rumba, with a proper storyline, nice costumes, and Maks back, in his element.

It was just flat-out stunning. Magical even. Maks is back, indeed.

JUDGES' SCORES: 40 (out of 40) (FIRST perfect score of the season.) Amazing.

So, let me explain something right here. This is a season unlike many in recent memory. Because USUALLY, the public pretty much agrees with the judges. Usually, everything goes along pretty much as it's supposed to.

But here's the thing. Right before they do the team dances (this time boy bands vs. girl groups), they tell everyone that one team is safe, and the other team is all in jeopardy. Currently, at the bottom of the leaderboard (judges' scores), we have: 4. Nick & Peta, 6. Rashad & Emma, 7. Bonner & Sharna and 8. David & Lindsay (Nick & Peta are fourth because they are actually tied with Maks & Heather for fourth).

So that means, the girl groups: (1. Normani & Val, 2. Simone & Sasha, 3. Nancy & Artem, and 4. Heather & Maks--really Heather & Alan) are in jeopardy. That, in and of itself, is pretty shocking. Usually, the person going home is pretty much at the bottom or close to the bottom.

The boy band dances, knowing that they are all safe. Bruno gives them a further instruction: the men have to dance for 20 seconds without their partners. (Of course, they decide to do a stripper/Magic Mike thing.)

It was a whole lotta fun.

JUDGES' SCORES: 33 (out of 40)

In the package, never-really-dated Simone asks Normani: "How do you make this not uncomfortable when he's on you?" (Sasha had instructed her to grab his ass, as a dance move.) Normani doesn't answer, cause Sasha's right there, and says: "What are you two talking about?" (It was funny.)

It was a combination of three songs, The Chiffons, TLC and Fifth Harmony, kind of a girl groups through the ages thing.

So, then a weird thing happened. We are, by now, used to the multitude of lighting effects that #DWTS uses every week, usually to fantastic effect.

Somehow, at the end of this dance, as all the girls pile onto the judges' table (Oh, how I hate those moves), the lights kinda go out, and they are somewhat in the dark.

Which was kind of effective, because it was supposed to be a smoky club that they are dancing in... But only when they turn the work lights on (see below) a moment later, do you really realize that there is a lighting problem.

Tom Bergeron: "To some degree, this has become a radio show, because we lost some lighting."

JUDGES' SCORES: 34 (out of 40)

So, who is going home of our girl group girls?

I gotta tell you, as these four get up there, I'm totally believing that the person going home is going to be Nancy (and Artem). Of course. It had to be.

Guess who goes home?

HEATHER AND MAKS! After a perfect score! The booing in the ballroom is the loudest I've ever heard. But remember,  this result wasn't because of what she did with Maks tonight (which was magical). It was because last week's dance was underwhelming, at least according to most of the audience.

BIG SHOCKER. I love Alan, but I do believe that if Maks had been there all season, there would not have been this result in Week 6. But also, it was only WITH Maks that Heather had magic. I overall found her kind of blah on her own. No sparkle, compared to all the other competitors. So, that said, I think it was really right and fair that she went home. But it sure took a minute to see all that.

1. Emma and Rashad, tango
2. Maks and Heather, rumba
3. Val and Normani, salsa
4. Sasha and Simone, samba
5. Peta and Nick, jive
6. Sharna and Bonner, rumba

Oh, PS. ABC also has a show called, "Boy Band" coming up. Blech.


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