‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Inspirational Icons
It’s Inspirational Icon week on Dancing with the Stars and the pros celebrate with an opening number that features all of the girls in gold fringe (yes) dancing with tambourines (Yes) to “River Deep Mountain High” (YES). The judges are prepped for teary montages, the stars are ready to battle each other in a sudden death competition and Erin Andrews is back from the World Series. All is right in the ballroom. Let’s recap this business:
Carlos and Witney
Inspiration: Marc Anthony
Song: Legitimate Latin music
Low and behold, Carlos has never danced salsa in his life. He may be Latino, but that’s not what they were teaching in physical education class back in the Midwest. I totally get this. I square danced in P.E. in my formative years. My first introduction to Latin dances was Roberto teaching Zumba at Lifetime Fitness. It was the best day. Moving on! Carlos’ inspiration is Marc Anthony. Marc tells Carlos that the rhythm is in his blood. Gloria Estefan was right — eventually it will get you. And boy did it. Witney choreographed a legitimate salsa with fast footwork, hip swivels and a lift where Carlos bench pressed her. There were pretzel moves, turns and a big flip that almost ended in disaster. Carlos took his shirt off at the end. Witney looked like Latina Barbie in hot pink. I loved every minute. So did the judges.
Alek and Lindsay
Inspiration: Chris Kyle (The American sniper)
Song: “I Need a Hero” (a breathy version)
Alek had a big week at the World Series where he was honored as a hero. This label bothers him because he thinks he was just a guy on a train who didn’t want to die. Kyle’s wife Taya explains that Chris didn’t think of himself as a hero either. He just took action — like Alek. Lindsay choreographed a floaty routine full of arm moves, desperate faces and a healthy dose of cheerleader stunts. At the end, Alek had sweat stains like a true hero. The judges didn’t love the dance (I agreed) and it reflected in his score.
Andy and Allison
Inspiration: Stevie Wonder
Song: “Isn’t She Lovely”
Andy listened to Stevie Wonder growing up and adopted his joyful attitude in his own music. He danced this routine for his mom. He became extremely emotional in rehearsals and Allison encouraged him to use those feelings in the dance. She looked forlorn (her favorite facial expression) as they danced around a random weeping willow tree. They twirled around the branches and executed the obligatory Dirty Dancing drag (trademark pending). Andy finished the dance in a puddle of tears. The judges pat him on the head and gave him low marks for being sluggish.
Alexa and Mark
Inspiration: David (as in David and Goliath)
Song: “When I Ruled the World” by ColdPlay
Alexa tells the creative team that she feels she is facing her giants every week with each new dance. She wants Mark to be her giant. Her faith motivates her and she attacks the dance with intention and boldness. When she slips on the dance floor, everything goes to pot. Mark’s face changes, Alexa struggles to bring it back and the judges pacify her disappointment by praising that she was intense.
Nick and Sharna
Inspiration: His wife Lauren
Song: “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (a haunted version)
Sharna dunked her hair in cherry Kool-Aid mix for this number. She wants it to be perfect because Nick is dancing for his wife and unborn child. Sharna even rehearses in a legitimate leotard because picking a wedgie is worth a perfect score. Nick and Sharna float around the dance floor and look at each other with angst and happiness. It’s sort of weird that Sharna was posing as his wife, but it is what it is. Fortunately Tom pulls Lauren up on the floor as Nick and Sharna receive their perfect score. Then Erin Andrews gives them a huge gift with blue balloons on the inside. Gender reveal! IT’S A BABY BACKSTREET BOY!
Bindi and Derek
Inspiration: Grace Kelly
Song: “Grace Kelly” by MIKA
Bindi’s feet are jacked up from all the dancing. So are her knees. Once again, they perform in the second hour. And Derek calls her “Babe” which, for some reason, bothers me. Derek reminds the audience that Bindi’s positivity and hard work ethic shouldn’t be translated as her ticket to the mirror ball trophy. The media needs to calm down on her superstar status. We can’t burn this star out before the finish line! Would Grace Kelly crack under the pressure? NO! They rehearse the foxtrot and Derek decides that what this dance really needs is a fedora. Or several of them. Bindi’s dress is all black with black feathers (FEATHERS!) and black pantyhose. I truly could not get beyond the black pantyhose. I didn’t even know they made pantyhose anymore. Did they come in an egg? My mind was racing. And then the dance was over. I did not rewind.
Tamar and Val
Inspiration: Toni Braxton
Song: “Born This Way” by Lady GaGA
There was a lot of talk about how Tamar isn’t lacking in the self-esteem department and how that’s not a bad thing. She has to pump herself up, otherwise, she’ll never make it through the competition. She’s actually amazed that she’s still here. She attacks her paso, but she was still a little bit tight in parts. Val’s hair was as slick as his shaved chest. He was great. And Tamar knows how to work a skirt!
Nick and Sharna win immunity with their perfect score, so they do not have to compete in the dance off. They are forbidden from leaving the sky box. The six remaining couples have to be ready to dance either the jive, samba or cha cha. It will be a side-by-side comparison and since Bindi has the second-highest score, she gets to choose her competition. Except Derek sort of cheats and asks out loud, “Who wants to do the jive?”
The rule states that the second couple gets to choose the dance. By asking out loud who wants to jive, Derek subliminally put that dance out there. Carlos volunteered and there you have it. Tom jumped in to remind Carlos and Witney that they didn’t have to do the jive. At this point, Witney bows up and announces that they WILL do the jive. She gives Derek a look that can be translated as “suck it.” The music starts. Carlos and Witney dive right in as Derek and Bindi showboat. The judges choose Carlos. America chooses Bindi.
Next up is Tamar. She chooses Alexa and Mark and they choose cha cha. Let’s hear it for the rule followers! Tamar and Val flirt for 30 seconds before they start dancing. Mark and Alexa are dancing hard, but she keeps messing up the steps. When Alexa flings her skirt off, there is a definite shift. She’s in it to win it now. The judges choose Alexa. America chooses Tamar.
Finally, Alek and Andy go head-to-head. They are left with the salsa, which neither have ever danced before. Words can not express how bad these dances were. At one point, Andy decided to start break dancing as Allison shimmied around him. He did a front handspring that morphed into the centipede. In other news, I’ve asked Santa for the same pair of fringe pants Lindsay was wearing. I’m sure they will look on me, exactly like they looked on her. The judges AND America choose Andy. Bad news for Alek.
Nick and Sharna are finally allowed to leave the sky box. They join the other contestants as Tom and Erin tick off who is SAFE. Bindi acts surprised when her name is called. Val acts excited when Tamar’s name is called. Lindsay is SHOCKED when Alek’s name is called and the color returns to Alexa’s face when her name is called.
After several unnecessary minutes of silence, Carlos and Witney are pronounced safe. Andy is going home. To quote him, “I’m going out on a handspring and samba worm, which is pretty bada$$.” Bless him. This was the best decision. For Andy and Allison’s baby. I’m sure that girl wants to take a nice, long nap! Someone get that girls some sweat pants!
What did you think about this episode? Was Andy the right person to send home? Are you excited for a Backstreet Baby? Is Bindi going to win it all at the end? Sound off in the comments section!