Famous Dances Night from last season is back, and they open the night in the style: the opening number is to “Putting on the Ritz,” and includes a Busby Berkley moment, dancing on a walk-on piano, and Val is sparkly short-shorts! Now the competitive dances have to live up to that, as well as to the famous numbers they’re based off of:
Kim Fields & Sasha Farber: Jive; “You Can’t Stop the Beat” Hairspray We have a fluff in which a doctor diagnoses her with stress fractures and advises her not to rehearse, and she refuses to have either preparation or madcap choreography changed, leaving us to get anxious over the commercial break she’s about to hurt herself badly. Thankfully she gets through it well, if a little timidly right before the big lift and not entirely cleanly. She’s such a high level of energy and fun Bruno ends up raving while dancing in place!(He also later addresses Carrie Ann as Maks; he really has been distracted!) It gets them straight Eights for 24.
Von Miller & Witney Carson: Jazz; “Bad” Michael Jackson Von is a big enough fan of Michael Jackson he gets pretty excited over this, especially when it turns out once the dance troupe members had danced with Michael in the past and can give him advice for emulating him. Emulate him Von does, through the train station and the rest of this fun and varying number. “You didn’t need that wind machine; you’ve already got a fan,” birthday boy Len tells them, and the others generally agree, although Carrie Ann thought he was nervous and Bruno thinks while he came close to Michael’s lightening precision on all his moves, he didn’t quite make it. It’s another set of straight Eights.
Jodie Sweetin & Keo Motsepe: Contemporary; “Try” Pink This is a memorable music video with physically demanding & even dangerous choreography, and Jodie in the fluff ends up in a scary amount of pain. But if she’s in it tonight, she manages to pretty much channel it into an intense performance. Carrie Ann speaks glowingly of her comeback and breaks out the Nine, while Bruno lauds her for doing things a professional might struggle with, and he and Len break out the Eights, so she totals 25.
Paige VanZant & Mark Ballas: Jazz; “Soul Bossa Nova” Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery This is a week for troubles; no injuries for these two, but this is actually their second choice of music after their first fails to clear copyright, and they have two days less to rehearse their recreation of this movie’s opening scene. Luckily, they don’t show any weaknesses from the loss of those two days tonight; they’re very much on perfectly to make for a very fun 60s romp. The judges praise her for perfectly recreating the feeling of that, and Len breaks out the Ten, and the other two Nines, for 28.
Nyle DiMarco & Peta Murgatroyd: Quickstep; “Hey Pachuco” The Mask Peta’s worry is for the fancy green mask the make-up department prepares for Nyle but won’t be ready until the performance itself, but he seems confidence. The confidence is well-placed; if this number isn’t as ridiculously spectacular as what we’ve seen from him before, he still comes back and hits it very well and hard. The judges agrees, with Bruno breaking out a Nine, combining with Eights from the other two for 25.
Ginger Zee & Val Chmerkovskiy: Jazz; “Nasty” Janet Jackson Ginger talks about wanting to get higher scores in the fluff, and when she comes out guns blazing and seems to completely own this dance, you think maybe she’s going to accomplish that this week. But while the judges start out with praise, the three of them nonetheless declare that actually, she didn’t quite hit it hard enough, with Bruno deciding to cheer us up by demonstrating how to “punch it more” on Val! They then break out yet another set of straight Eights.
Doug Flutie & Karina Smirnoff: Bollywood; “Jai Ho” Slumdog Millionaire At least doing this movie tribute means they use the actual song; none of this Pussycat Dolls nonsense. Karina’s never done Bollywood, and freely admits she initially panics over trying to get Doug to do it. But they both take to it during the week, and that ends up showing tonight; the judges told him to try to feel the music, and this week he truly does, while moving and doing steps. Unfortunately, doing all this and dancing clean still eludes him, so while the judges are happy he listened, and Carrie Ann even declares he’s finally dancing, their scores are straight Sevens for 21, to boos from the audience.
Wanya Morris & Lindsay Arnold: Jazz; “Bye Bye Bye” N Sync This is based off their 2000 VMA Awards performance, and Wanya talks about wanting to do better than last week and show up his buddy Joey Fatone. Lindsay meanwhile frets about their heads matching the movement of the their filmed heads on TV at the beginning, and that I’m not quite sure Wanya pulled off-but he sure does knock every single other aspect of this routine out of the park. Carrie Ann sums the judges’ reactions up with “This boy is on fire!” but perhaps the best comments come from Joey and Lance Bass both backstage, happy to see a member of a band they themselves idolized do justice to their number, and Tens from Carrie Ann and Bruno and a Nine from Len means the lead with 29.
Antonio Brown & Sharna Burgess: Jive; “Footloose” Footloose He is very unhappy with that comment Sharna made last week about not thinking they’re going to win. Tonight, he certainly dances like he wants to win, coming out with a grin that maybe’s a touch too manic, and moves that are equally manic, but that works out better, especially when it allows him to cover easily for an opening error and allows him to center the number delightfully. “That’s the way to bring the house down,” Carrie Ann tells him, while Len calls it his best dance, and they all break out the Nines for 27.
This has been great enough a night you really don’t want to lose anyone, but alas, we must, so everyone gets lined up. Three couples are called as in jeopardy: Paige & Mark, Doug & Karina, and Von & Witney. Looking at the score differences alone, you gotta figure Doug & Karina are going, and sure enough, they are. The crowd chant his name in farewell.
No, the big surprise announcements are in the final seconds of the episode: the team dances next week will be boys against girls, and there’s going to be a double elimination! Losing two couples next week is not something anyone is happy to here about right now…