‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Showstopper Week

Tom Bergeron wants you to know that Dancing with the Stars is a LIVE show. And you never know what’s going to happen. For example, Tamar is at the hospital and NO ONE KNOWS if she is going to make it back in time for her contemporary dance with Val!

This is Hollywood, people. The show MUST go on! Put on your bedazzled jacket, sprinkle some glitter on your bosom and hit the dance floor!

Alek and Lindsay
“Back It Up” by Prince Royce, featuring Pitbull and J-Lo
Lindsay tells Carlos that in order to correctly perform a salsa, Alek must wax all of his body hair. On national TV. With a bunch of giggly JV girls watching. None of this makes sense to me. I like hair. On a scale of zero to Channing Tatum, I’d choose chest hair every…single…time. No one agrees with me and the waxing happens. (KELLY CLARKSON!) I can understand why Lindsay wanted to draw attention to Alek’s bare chest and pectoral region. It’s because his feet and hips were not doing anything exciting. The best part of the entire routine was when Tom had to explain Bruno’s Miami Vice reference to the toddlers standing before him.
Score: 24

Alexa and Mark
“Make It Rain” (the Ed Sheeran version)
Mark tells Alexa that their dance is about getting out of your own head. Alexa reveals that she was told as a child that she was too fat. She suffered from an eating disorder for most of her teenage years. Mark took this sadness and built an entire routine around her battle. It was heavy choreography that fit her story well. I admit that I got chills when she finally defeated the darkness (played by Mark) and walked off the stage. Everyone cried. Everyone stood up. And everyone gave her a 10.
Score: 30

Witney and Carlos
Argentine Tango
“What Do You Mean” by Justin Bieber
Witney is feeling the pressure of week 9. She needs to come up with creative choreography. Whomever made that shirt she was wearing that featured her face and Carlos’ face on it was not lacking in the creativity department at all. Can you imagine me wearing that with Our Host Chris Harrison’s face on it? I can. And I will. Moving on. After Witney accidentally flick kicks Carlos in the nads a few times, they are ready to take the stage. Witney looks beautiful. She and Carlos a clean routine, albeit with random glittery door choreography that served zero purpose. But I agree with the judges — there wasn’t a moment.
Score: 27

Bindi and Derek
Viennese Waltz
“Roses and Violets” by Alexander Jean
Derek is suffering y’all. He is overthinking every move because he knows this routine has to be perfect. Sweet Bindi asks him how she can help him “un-overthink” the routine. Unlike the young professionals in the group, Derek is searching for that moment that will have the judges raising their “10’ paddles. He uses a blindfold to create that epic moment. Although it felt a scooch weird at first, he and Bindi pulled it off. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was still better than most. I liked how it was simple, sweet and stripped of all drama.
Score: 30

Val and Tamar
“Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak
Tamar had a crazy busy week. She was back and forth between New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Her hectic schedule contributed to a lowered immune system, which resulted in pneumonia. Because she wasn’t there at the LIVE portion of the show, the judges had to critique her dress rehearsal footage. As most people would, she didn’t perform full-out. Val wanted more energy from her and I totally get that. The judges got it too and the scores reflected that sentiment. Val was ticked. He didn’t want them to judge her at all, but Tom said rules were rules. Val was not a happy campter.
Score: 22

Nick and Sharna
“Cool Cat in Town” by Take 5
Nick is worried that all of the touring with Backstreet has made his body bruised and broken. He has the old man hip injury (not to be confused with my old lady knee pain) and is limping through most of the routine. This freaks Sharna out. However, with the encouragement of his fellow Backstreeters in the audience, Nick pulls off a fun gangster/speak easy routine, complete with JV dancers and hat choreography. Sharna looked like Jessica Rabbit in navy. It was as awesome as it sounds.
Score: 28

Next up is the new Dancing with the Stars showstoppers competition. With six couples left, they will each be paired off into teams to perform a famous stage performance. The best friends get to dance with each other (Witney and Lindsay, as well as Mark and Derek) and the two old people are left to nurse each other’s pneumonia and hip flexor. Here we go!

Carlos and Alek
Paso Doble
“We Will Rock You” from the musical about Queen
This particular show is on a cruise ship. Poor Witney and Lindsay have to simultaneously roll their eyes as Carlos and Alek gallivant all over the ship playing with its many toys. Their lack of hard work showed in their lackluster performance. It was sooooo slow. It was extremely elementary. And no amount of JV dancers could have pulled it up from the depths of blah. The glow-in-the-dark drum painting business at the end was a waste too.
Score: 24

Bindi and Alexa
“Hot Honey Rag” and “All That Jazz” from Chicago
Apparently the teams have five seconds to come up with a routine. This stresses Derek out. Mark tries to talk him off the ledge, but it doesn’t work. He reminds the audience that he’s been in Derek’s life for 20 years. He knows that Derek suffers from “KTVD” — Killing the Vibe, Derek. Derek is frustrated with some of Bindi’s moves and wants to fix them, while Mark just wants to move on. The girls wait patiently. After that dramatic intro, you’d think their routine would be a hot mess, but this is Derek we are talking about. IT WAS AWESOME. All the JV dancers were on fire. The girls were adorable. The quick dress change was cool. And I loved that Derek and Mark took a back stage to their partners. I believe it deserved the perfect score.
Score: 30

Nick and Tamar
“Hey Jude” from Love — The Beatles Show
Newsflash: Tamar is back! And she brought all the supporting players for the Cirque du Soleil show with her. There were umbrellas. Lots and lots of umbrellas. There was an aerialists who flipped for two solid minutes while throwing confetti onto the ground. There were horrific plaid suits. It was mass chaos. I think that was on purpose. I’m not sure if one person rumba’d. But the judges loved it!
Score: 27

Since we were short on time, Tom and Erin immediately announced that Bindi, Nick, Alek and TAMAR were all safe this week. The moment the producers had hoped for had finally come. Alexa and Carlos were both in the spotlight of doom, and one of them would be going home — after the break!

Alexa melts and walks out of her doom spotlight into Carlos’. I love that she did that. She can’t help it. They stand forehead to forehead for what seems like FOREVER before Tom announces that it’s Alexa who is going home. She honestly looked relieved. I think she wanted it to be her before Carlos. And like she said, she went out with a bang! Two perfect scores!

Carlos’ ugly crying was pretty special. Witney’s eye rolls were too. I can’t decide if I want him to “win it for her” next week, or if I want him to be so distraught that he can’t go on without her in the next practice room. It should be a good!

Which routine was your favorite? Do you think Alexa deserved to go home? And where do you stand on the chest hair debate? Sound off in the comment section!

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November 10, 2015 5:14 pm

Lincee, you are such a wonderful girl! And it’s OK for me to call you a girl because I’m way old enough to be your mom.
I especially loved your comments about Witney and Carlos. I nearly fell off my couch laughing. The comments about the Witney/Carlos shirt! And the kicking in the nads! That girl needs to get more careful with those kicks. First Alfonzo and now Carlos. Hmmm.
I also enjoy it every time you mention Witney’s eye rolling. That girl specializes in eye rolling, for sure!
Thank you for always brightening my week!

November 10, 2015 5:30 pm

Nice recap Lincee, as usual!

I am sensing the judges are nervous about the votes and are over emphasizing the good dances (and dancers they want in the finale) and over emphasizing the mistakes made by dancers they do not want to continue. Especially Carrie Anne.

Along the same lines. I think Derek’s back story this week was an attempt to portray to the audience he works hard for the scores and isn’t a shoe in and isn’t over-confident (Personally, I think he always gets the best potential dancers and is usually a shoe in). Last week there was some work done by Tamar to be a bit more humble.

I have also noticed that Witney is not happy this season. With her partner? With the dances? With the judges? Their lower scores reflect their lack of chemistry. Sadly.

Maybe I’m thinking too much……I still love the show. And, reading Lincee’s reviews and your comments.

November 10, 2015 6:00 pm
Reply to  sue

Yes! I agree with what you are saying about the judges. There are so many perfect scores this season. Some deserved, others not as much.

As for Alexa, I love her heart and wanted her to continue on. I think she’s a lot better than some others left standing. She’s just always hot and cold. One great week, one off week, and it was bound to get her sent home eventually. But I definitely think Alek and Carlos should’ve gone before her.

While I support our heroes, veterans (my boyfriend included!) and active members, I’m not sure that means they deserve to stay longer if they aren’t fitting the bill. Alek should go next.

All in all though, I’m not sure if it really matters how the next couple eliminations shake out though because I think it’s Bindi’s mirror ball in the end. Or maybe Nick’s but they are the ones to beat.

November 10, 2015 6:29 pm

For me, the best part of the show was the time spent on the Anthem of the Seas – I mean, sky diving simulator, people! I thought it was fun to see them do all the stuff on board. Yes, their dance suffered, and yes, it was a shameless advertising plug by Royal Caribbean, but boy, I sure had fun watching them “practice” for that dance! 🙂

ann blank
ann blank
November 10, 2015 7:54 pm

Loved the recap as always! Best line:” Put on your bedazzled jacket, sprinkle some glitter on your bosom and hit the floor!” I have a question/need an explanation: What exactly did Val want at the judges table? No scores? How would that have worked? And who exactly was he so angry with? Tamar? The judges? He seems as though he thinks this show is beneath him,so QUIT already, Val. To me this up ther e with people signing up to be on the bachelor/ette then saying some people arent there for the right reasons. Of COURSE they arent! It’s a show! Ans so is DWTS.

November 11, 2015 7:48 am
Reply to  ann blank

I kinda got the feeling that Val is not happy that he was given a partner that has such a busy schedule. His one comment was something along the lines of “it’s been like this all season” (I can’t remember exactly what he said) but I feel like he’s frustrated that Tamar doesn’t have time to fully commit to the show and ends up running herself into the ground.

November 10, 2015 10:42 pm

I thought Carlos should have gone home ahead of Alexa, even if she could run hot one week and cool the next, she seems a better dancer and has good chemistry with Mark. Very surprised by last night’s results.
Loved Bindi and Alexa’s side by side, totally deserved a perfect score.
I’m assuming Carlos is going home next week but it should be Alek first.
Great recap as always

November 11, 2015 7:55 am
Reply to  Liana

You think Alexa and Mark had chemistry?? Where!? I feel like he was not feeling her AT ALL the whole season especially in the beginning. He seemed to have come around a little bit the past 2 weeks but I still did not see chemistry.

November 11, 2015 9:13 am

I loved Bindi’s and Alexa’s Chicago dance!! 🙂 I thought it was the best dance of the entire season!! I could watch it over and over again!

I agree – there is something off between Val and Tamar. She is running herself in the ground and I would be frustrated too if I were Val if she doesn’t have time to do it. Did you hear the reports that she may have a blood clot in her lungs and dropped out of the competition? That is sooo scary! I hope she does get feeling better soon. However I am sad that Alexa had to go home with her dropping out.

Great recap as always!

November 11, 2015 11:49 am

Wonderful recap, Lindcee! Favorite line – “On a scale of zero to Channing Tatum, I’d choose chest hair every…single…time.”

SO WOULD I! Totally with you on this one.

I am so, so, so, so, so not a Mark fan. But I LOVED his choreography this week. I’ve liked Alexa from the beginning because I really appreciate seeing the way she and Carlos treat each other on TV. We don’t have a lot of examples of that, and I’m encouraged to see the way they value each other more than they value personal success. But anyway, I’ve struggled with pretty severe anxiety my whole life, and watching Alexa and Mark perform that dance almost had me in tears because I recognized that struggle. It was like seeing an old friend in someone else’s picture on Facebook. It was like “oh, I know that guy!” And I so appreciated the costuming – Mark got his weirdness, so he was still himself, but with Alexa’s white dress and the nature of the choreography, it was obviously a piece about HER. And I watched her the entire time. Way to go, Mark!

So I thought it was really interesting how both Witney and Derek had a choreographic/creative meltdown this week. I had ZERO sympathy for Witney (my husband said “wait, isn’t she the pro? Why does her partner have to make her feel better?”), but I felt like Derek’s struggle was just kind of…the creative process? If we wanna get really deep, maybe we could talk about the differences in the way men and women are portrayed in the media and how that affects our attitudes toward them. If we don’t, we can just say that Derek is a temperamental artist who wants desperately to please the people around him and Witney is young, spoiled, and irritating. She’s really talented – maybe that’s always been her problem.

Is it just me or is Mark getting steadily more English over the years?

I was super disturbed by Tamar gutting it out to perform the second dance. It always distresses me when people dance on this show in spite of really serious injury or illness. I worry about priorities and what this says to the world. I worry about a lot, I can’t really help it.

BUT HEY. That intro was really, really, really cool. I loved the 3-D freeze frames!

November 11, 2015 3:50 pm
Reply to  Katie

I heard the weird Mark British accent too! I’m glad someone else heard it as well.

November 11, 2015 6:43 pm
Reply to  Katie

I agree with everything you said and I actually shouted “Yes!” when you pointed out that Mark is noticeably more British this season! Finally, someone else noticed!

Carol S.
Carol S.
November 13, 2015 6:47 am

I think Mark is always pissed Derek is the better dancer (sister on panel would tick me off) so always feels like the runner up. The chip on his shoulder turns off the audience, plus Derek always gets better partners. Plus Derek is really good though I’m usually rooting for Mark the underdog. Regarding Tamara, she quit the show due to health…so is it possible they bring Mark back. Though don’t know how they’d do that with voting. Has that happened before?? Great blog.

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