Dancing with the Stars recap: Vegas Night

Dancing with the Stars recap: Season 24, Episode 3

You may ask yourself, “How can we get more feathers in the ballroom?” The answer, my friend, is clear: Dancing with the Stars meets Sin City. What happens in Vegas also happens in a ballroom in Los Angeles. Add in some choreography from Mandy Moore and a ton of fake money flying down from Erin’s glittery perch upstairs and you have an opening number worthy of a permanent resident on the Strip.

Or maybe closely adjacent to the Strip. Whatever. Let’s see how our contestants danced!

Nick and Peta
“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
Nick admits that looking for love the past three years has started to catch up with his ability to see beyond the fact that he is an average schmuck. He knows he screwed up last week and he hates letting Peta down. If there’s any time for Our Host Chris Harrison to arrive and give his boy a much need pep talk, it’s right now.

Their show outfits were fun and poker-themed, complete with Nick’s jacket displaying bejeweled playing cards. There was no shirt. Peta’s leotard showcased a jeweled Queen of Hearts. (Why do I feel the need to own that particular piece of Peta’s wardrobe?) Although he’s still a little clunky on his feet and completely too much in his own head, Nick improved big time. The judges agreed. Nick commented, “When I let my bare chest breathe, I’m more loose.” He was kidding. Or was he?
Bruno’s Best Line: “I like the ______ of this gambler. And the pecs.” Because I was unable to understand Bruno’s accent, I’m going to let you fill that blank in however you see fit.
Score: 26

Mr. T and Kym
“Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” by Robbie Williams
Dean Martin roasted Mr. T in 1984. He and Sammy Davis used to compare jewelry. It’s safe to say that this guy knows what old school Las Vegas is all about. The wardrobe department dressed him in white tails and a top hat. The pièce de résistance was Mr. T’s snowy white feather earring.

Two things to note: 1.) Kudos to the JV feather dancer for seamlessly kicking Mr. T’s top hat out of the dance space so he wouldn’t trip. 2.) Other than looking down a lot, Mr. T displayed grace, charm, and a smoother than silk performance.
Bruno’s Best Line: “You clean up well.”

Bonner and Sharna
“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” from BAZ Star Crossed Lovers
Last week, Bonner tied with Olympian Simone Biles. Sharna gets in a little too enthusiastic and decides to push harder, faster, cooler choreography. Unfortunately, Bonner was paralyzed a year ago and has trouble lifting his arms above his head. That means no lifts, no tricks, and no throwing his hands up in the air and waving them around like he just doesn’t care.

Their outfits are traditional Charleston with a sultry twist. Sharna’s pearls are marvelous. Bonner’s fedora was timeless. Sadly, he was half a beat behind everyone else in the dance. Sharna (unwisely) added six JV dancers into the mix who knocked the choreography out of the park. Instead of complementing the piece with their talent, they made Bonner appear to be totally lost. He wasn’t sharp and he had a terrified look on his face the entire time. Bless it. You know it’s bad when the judges have very little to say about your dancing and comment on the set design instead.
Bruno’s Best Line: “Your party planners have done a great job.”

We interrupt this competition to bring you a marketing piece straight from the Hough Siblings. They have a summer show and want to thank Dancing with the Stars, all their fans, and Big Papa Bergeron for helping their dreams comes true! As a thank you, they perform a very emotional, depressing piece about their parents’ divorce. It had angst, drama, ACTING, mini Houghs, and papers suspended in the air. The good news? This brother/sister act didn’t perform a rumba together.

Now — back to the competition!

Heather and Alan
“Toxic” by Brittany Spears
Maks is still injured, but he can walk. He teases that he may be back soon. We’ll see. I’m not sure that I care because I think Alan is a delight.

I had two favorite dances of the night. This was one of them. Heather simply killed it. As she should. She’s a performer. She’s a dancer. She’s an actress. Once again, she nailed every aspect of the routine. The choreography was incredible, but there’s always a tell when you know that the artist is good — They go beyond the steps. We saw little things here and there that you can’t teach. She added her own flair. I LOVE that they stayed in hold the majority of the dance. It’s also really bold to choreograph to the lyrics instead the beat. Speaking of bold, transitioning Brittany’s infamous “Toxic” bodysuit into a tango dress was inspired. Well done on all fronts.
Bruno’s Best Line: “Hit me Heather one more time!”

Charo and Keo
“Chapel of Love” by The Dixie Cups
I loved that the producers introduced a wedding chapel theme. What better person to pull this off in an ice blue bridal gown than Charo? Keo somehow helped her to calm down in order to deliver a smooth and pretty routine. I thought it was lovely.
Bruno’s Best Line: “It was a born again virgin!” (I don’t know what this means…)

Simone and Sasha
“Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
After Sasha explained who Elvis Presley was to Simone (eye roll), he taught her the quickest quickstep known to man. She executed it beautifully with extreme control and precision. She also looked really good in her girly Elvis outfit.

Here’s the deal: As a gymnast, Simone is used to hitting marks and having zero emotion. Last year’s winner Laurie Hernandez was able to shake her rigid shell and commit to the moment with her face. Simone isn’t doing that. She has one look — a smile. And the judges/audience will eventually want more.
Bruno’s Best Line: “She’s on the fast track to Vegas. Spinning and running like a slot machine!”

Nancy and Artem
“Shake Your Bon-Bon” by Ricky Martin
This song is my jam. Truly. I love it so much. Not as much as Artem loved meeting Ricky Martin, but close. Let the record show that the former Menudo kid has not aged a bit. There must be something in the Vegas water. I’ll take a case, please.

Nancy rocked it out in a royal blue fringe number. She shook her bon-bon like nobody’s business. She also took a few sexy notes and worked in some hair choreography and seductive body touching. More importantly, as the judges pointed out, it was a legit samba from the beginning to the end. Sometimes I love big production numbers, but often I want the couple to just go out and dance the dance without all the pomp and circumstance. It proves they are confident and secure in the steps, as well as their partner. Good for you Nancy and Artem!
Bruno’s Best Line: “You got all salsy on me!”

David and Lindsay
“Candy Shop” by 50 Cent
I’m sure the one thing David wanted to do during his stint on Dancing with the Stars is to learn how to dance like the cast from the Magic Mike Vegas show. I appreciate that he’s not taking this too seriously, (i.e. “Why am I bitting my upper lip like that?) but I had trouble watching this performance. Yes, there were topless JV men swaying in the back, but I turned red when they started dry humping both the floor and the air. And why was Lindsay’s only role to receive a lap dance? I find it miraculous that her boobs didn’t pop out of her deep plunging v-neck. Additionally, I didn’t like the rhinestone red boxers that made an appearance after David ripped off his pants. Praise the Lord he wasn’t in a g-string. The fake abdominal muscle shirt was funny, though.
Bruno’s Best Line: “That was action packed, wasn’t it? Stirring in magic with thunder in the underpants.”

Erika and Gleb
“Take Me To Heaven” by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater
I’m not sure what Vegas show this is supposed to be depicting, since the only “Take Me To Heaven” song I know is from Sister Act. The fact that Erika and Gleb were in circus outfits was confusing.

The jive is hard. You either do it well, or you don’t. Gleb knows this. Erika knows this. I imagine both realized that they did not do it well, even though Gleb tried to distract me with male JV dancers wearing suspenders without shirts. Erika looked lost, annoyed that she was lost, determined, and then defeated. There was a ton of content. She needed a few more days to make sure it was clean.
Bruno’s Best Line: “You are ever so bendy and stretchy.”

Rashad and Emma
“Swalla” by Jason Derulo
Emma knows that Rashad can move, so she choreographed a really intricate samba for him. Then she added a bunch of set design distractions and way too many superfluous dancers to get her point across. Once again, I think Emma should have taken a note from Artem and just produced a good old fashioned samba. I agree with Julianne that the music was a poor choice. It was a weird translation of the samba beat, which made Rashad hit moves a little ahead of the mark. All of that aside, he looked phenomenal and I don’t know how Emma danced in a bright orange bikini on national television. She’s sneaking up on Lindsay for most scandalous costume this year!
Bruno’s Best Line: “You sell everything with a natural cool.”

Normani and Val
“Big Spender” by Shirley Bassey
Normani and Val rehearse overseas since she’s touring with Fifth Harmony. I appreciate the fact that Normani understands that she is living a pretty sweet life at twenty-years-old. She never complains. With that said, I think some of the contestants will probably start raising their eyebrows if Normani and Val continue to perform near the end each week, even if they are racing in from China.

Remember how I said there were two routines that I loved? This was the other one. Normani looked gorgeous in her deep red dress. She executed every move with precision. Her facial expressions added an extra layer of awesome. I didn’t watch Val once, which is saying something. She can kick. She can bend. And she has no problem hopping up onto a craps table to finish out the big number. How annoying that Carrie Ann took points off for this “lift.” Ugh.

Which did I like best? I’m glad you asked. Val and Normani are in that pomp and circumstance category with props, people, and pizazz. Alan and Heather are in the “clean” category with precision, textbook rules, with a “dance the dance” mindset. If I had to pick one over the other, I think I’d go with Alan and Heather. Both are perfect examples of what I love about this show.

Notice, both are also professional performers…

Bruno’s Best Line: “Hey big splendor!!!”

Because we were running out of time, Erin and Tom hustled everyone onto the stage and quickly announced that Charo was in the bottom, along with Nick. Peta looked mortified. Nick looked relieved? He’ll have to get over it though, because Charo was sent home in her big, puffy wedding dress, thankful to have cuchi cuchied her way into America’s hearts.

What did you think of Vegas Night? Do you find it odd that no one danced to “Luck Be a Lady?” Or is that just me? Are you glad to see Charo go? Did Nick deserve to be in the bottom? Will Hare offer a helping hand next week? Which was your favorite performance? Sound off in the comments section!

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April 4, 2017 2:32 pm

I know Heather hasn’t done ballroom before, but her dance and performance background are a MAJOR advantage and it shows. I love watching her though, and she and Alan make a great team. Kudos to Nancy for being brave and shaking it and killing that dance! Poor David, that was just soooo awkward — didn’t matter if he was good or bad, it was just awkward!! But damn, what I wouldn’t give to have my hips and legs look like Lindsay’s did in that costume, lol! Really enjoying this season.

April 4, 2017 2:35 pm

I LOVED Heather and Alan! They are doing such a great job. But mad props to Nancy and to David (LOVED his sense of humor about the whole Magic Mike routine). Nancy had an ice queen personality when she was skating, but she was awesome last night and Artem couldn’t have been cuter if he tried (meeting Ricky Martin). But the best routine (not technically) was David. He was hilarious and the dude’s got moves. I do not know how Mr. T wasn’t on the bottom. I thought Nick and Peta danced better than him. I don’t think Nick is that bad, but he needs to get out of his head. Oh wait, didn’t I just spend 3 months saying that about his ‘journey’ that aired Monday nights?

April 4, 2017 2:43 pm

Heather is great – but man she has such an advantage!!

I totally agree on Simone. She has zero personality in her face when she dances. Laurie was entertaining because she got into all the characters. Simone is on constant “smile!” mode.

My fave of the night was both Nancy and Normani, although all my votes went to Mr. T. Kym is doing a great job with him and I love his enthusiasm on the dance floor. Hope he sticks around for at least a couple more weeks.

April 4, 2017 3:33 pm

I love Heather with Alan. I find Alan delightful too. Did anyone else notice Ashley I-Lashes in the audience?!

Mollie A
Mollie A
April 4, 2017 6:01 pm

I think the judges hate (former) Bachelor Nick and I hope he gets a chance to get out of his head and perform with the best of them. Heather and Alan were awesome as were Nancy and Artem. I like Maks but I feel like he’s a one trick pony where Alan just goes for it. David and Lindsay’s performance was SO. AWKARD. I was hiding behind my pillows the whole time. It would be nice to see them do some real dancing. All in all a good season so far. Thanks for the recaps, Lincee!

April 5, 2017 6:02 am
Reply to  Mollie A

Alan’s enthusiasm and genuineness are so sweet! I love whenever he gets to fill in for one of the assigned dancing pros. Secretly hoping that Maks won’t be back for a long while . . . Maybe he will get assigned his own star soon in an upcoming season.

April 5, 2017 2:24 pm
Reply to  Mollie A

I’ve thought the same thing since the first night: the judges HATE Nick for some reason. He’s not at the same level with Normani or Heather, but he’s leaps and bounds beyond Charo and Mr T but scores the same or only a point higher than them.

April 4, 2017 8:03 pm

Great recap! Fav line: Nick admits that looking for love the past three years has started to catch up with his ability to see beyond the fact that he is an average schmuck.

Since this is supposed to be an amateur dance competition, I agree that anyone with (professional, no less) experience shouldn’t win. They make the show more watchable, but it’s too big an advantage. And since we’re judging dance…Mr. T is a lovely person, but he isn’t really dancing. He stands, walks forward and backwards, and Kym dances around him. He really should have gone home tonight. I’m rooting for Rashad.

April 5, 2017 6:01 am
Reply to  Rachel

Love Mr. T. too but I was thinking he would be the one to go home this time, not Charo. He really does seem to just sort of “walk” around the stage with Kym. I was disappointed since I was starting to find Charo’s antics pretty entertaining each week!

April 5, 2017 6:05 am

I thought Normani and Val were incredible! Loved their routine tonight: great dancing, costumes, characters, and even the camera work really shone. Wow!!

April 5, 2017 11:38 am

I love David Ross! My husband is a HUGE Cubs fan and I think last year I watched more baseball games than I had my entire life previous to that because they were so fun to watch! I love him on the show too! I think is what what the show is all about – however I have to agree that Magic Mike number was awkward! I was embarrassed watching it by myself! I think he did a nice job with it by making it fun, but still I had to hide behind a pillow!

I think that there are a lot of really good dancers this season and that there are so many who can win for different reasons.

I do wish that they would have a night where everyone would do the same style of dance! Everyone would tango or jive or whatever dance style. Not being an expert on dance at all, I think it would be fun to see them all do the same style to better compare everyone.

April 6, 2017 8:39 am

will someone explain to me the voting off/sending home process on this show? this is my first season watching (much thanks to reading lincee’s recaps for a few years and finally deciding to join the fun!), and i can’t figure it out (and i didn’t catch them explain it…?). were charo and nick “at the bottom” from last week’s votes? meaning they still had to rehearse all week and perform through this week’s episode, but the producers knew all along one of them was going home? i’m used to the american idol/america’s got talent voting style, where you vote during or after the performance and someone goes home the very next night. with this being only one night per week, i can’t figure out what votes count for what and when, if that makes sense. and i’ve assumed–but don’t know–that the judge’s scores don’t actually count for anything, right? would appreciate some insight!

April 6, 2017 10:35 am
Reply to  abby

Abby, they used to do 2 nights, like AI, but in the past few years, they have cut back to one night. Scores are based on two things–the actual judges score and the audience vote.

April 6, 2017 12:20 pm
Reply to  Kelli

thanks, kelli! but what i was really wanting to know was the timing…are votes literally counted during the show, or is it from last week’s votes, etc.

April 6, 2017 2:42 pm
Reply to  abby

The voting goes on like for an hour after the show ends. They are combined with the judges score from the week, so it is from the week before. So Charo and Keo’s scores were from the week she did the Paso.

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