‘Dancing with the Stars’ Recap: This is LIVE TV

Dancing with the Stars Recap 2020: Episode 4

It’s episode four of Dancing with the Stars and this is the week that all the professionals demand that their partners really show up for the judges. Now is the time to pull away from the proverbial safe pack and really go for broke. 

Tyra shares that this is also the week that our “stars” will be sharing emotional stories about his or her life. Precisely six of the thirteen dancers followed this rule. That’s par for the course this season. It feels like we are throwing anything and everything at the wall to see what sticks.

There are some things we can count on this week. The use of extensions contributed to the finest hairography I’ve seen in a while. There’s always the dramatic ending backbend pose. And of course, the confetti cannon will never let us down. 

This is Dancing with the Stars!

Nelly and Daniella
Paso Doble
“All I Do is Win” by DJ Khaled

Daniella understands my complaint about our guy Nelly because she comes in hot during rehearsals, demanding perfection. She’s hell-bent on NOT having a routine where the girl dances around the guy who has zero skills. Nelly has skills! What’s it going to take to get him to harness that power?

Well, yelling at him doesn’t work. Putting Daniella in a cat woman sexy leotard doesn’t work. Bouncing around the paso doble with hip hop moves doesn’t work. Removing Nelly’s sleeves to show off his guns doesn’t work, but it’s appreciated. At this point, I feel like Nelly is phoning in his performances because he’s embarrassed that his career has led him to the ballroom. 

Chrishell and Gleb
“Adore You” by Harry Styles

Chrishell wastes no time telling the audience that she froze her eggs and is proud of it! This is her emotional story and Tyra can totally relate. A significant “girl power” moment lit my fire and I was ready for Chrishell to kill the foxtrot! Sadly, she did not kill it. She didn’t even maim it. 

First of all, Christell doesn’t know how to extend her arms and legs. Toe points are a foreign concept. Yes, she is gorgeous in her flowing gown and yes, her cleavage is glistening. Still, Gleb’s dirty dancing choreography can only take them so far. He has one speed: sexual angst. 

Monica and Val
“Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus

Monica has a “come to Jesus” meeting with Val about his coaching methods. I assume that Val was super hard on Monica because he knows she’s super hard on her cheerleaders. But Monica made an excellent point when she explained to him that she is not in her element. Her cheerleaders made the team for a reason and she will push them to be the best. She’s okay with Val urging her to do better, but he needs to balance out the condescending with positive comments, too.


This revelation transforms their partnership. She no longer looks scared. He puts Monica in a golden sparkling dress and sambas the crap out of that dance floor. Booty shakes and shimmies and fun faces! It was all there! Such chemistry. Bravo. Blue confetti. Of course!

The judges loved that this was a proper samba full of such good content! She deserved the four 8 paddles and I’m willing to overlook her Arsenio Hall “whoop whoop” hand gesture. 

Anne and Keo
Paso Doble
“Rise” by Katy Perry

Anne shares a personal story about the time she dated Ellen Degeneres and lost her FOX contract because she arrived at an award show with Ellen on her arm. As a result, she didn’t work in studio pictures for two years. Clearly, she’s always had an assertive attitude and isn’t afraid to show anyone her true self. 

The unfortunate part of her routine was the weird outfit that transformed into Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Leotard with Wings. BLESS. IT. She seemed a bit more sturdy, but most of the time, Keo was flinging her around while they both looked uber intense. 

Nev and Jenna
“Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion

Nev and Jenna wear matching pale pink silky pajamas, which I guess is fitting for a rumba. You’ll be happy to know that Nev did not shave his chest for the blessed event, but he did trim the fleece. According to him, “The is the first time I’ve seen my nipples in 15 years!’ 

This is why we love Nev.

Nev’s lines are beautiful. He knows how to position his fingers. I know that sounds weird, but it’s a thing and very rare for a “star” to automatically know how it’s done. My one critique with this particular routine is that it felt basic to me. It felt safe. The Celine Dion song they danced to is epic and I felt nothing. Am I expecting more from Nev? I’m not sure. The dance was not my favorite and I sort of blame Jenna’s choreography. 

Justina and Sasha
“Que Viva La Vida” by Wishin

Fun Justina is back and she’s shimmying in a hot hot hot hot pink outfit for her grandmother. Justina works the ponytail, the hips, and the duck face. I’m not sure what Sasha is doing because I can’t take my eyes off of her. Such joy and energy! 

Kaitlyn and Artem
Viennese Waltz
“Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs

Kaitlyn’s emotional story is that she was on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and neither experience worked out. Don’t be sad, though. She met former bachelorette contestant Jason on her podcast and she’s been dating him ever since! True love is real, people! You just have to be on a reality show for it to work out in your favor. 

She’s wearing a phenomenal pink lame dress that catches the light and flows silky smooth. Kaitlyn knows how to work her arms and fingers like Nev. She also knows how to work her dress. And her smile is infectious. The routine was so clean and precise. It was elegant and effortless. She may be the one to beat. She’s got the talent and the following. We’ll see. 

Johnny and Britt
“Crocodile Rock” by Elton John

Here’s the thing about Johnny: with his Mulan success last week, Johnny has come to the dance floor with a confidence he hasn’t possessed before. It’s like he needed to hear from the judges that he can dance. Although his face wasn’t one-hundred-percent there, he was leaps and bounds better than any of the other weeks.

Can I just say that I think Brit is fabulous? That girl knows how to dance and she knows choreography and she knows how to mesh the two with Johnny’s personality. There green sequined outfits were very “LiZA WITH A Z” and I want one for Christmas. 

The judges loved the dance and praised both Johnny and Britt for a job well done. Both looked extremely disappointed with they only landed three “8” paddles. 

Jeannie and Brandon
“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

I’m not sure if Jeannie’s story about her Mom betting AGAINST her to win was the emotional heartstring moment we were supposed to get, or not. Still it made Jeannie want to prove that she can take the mirrorball trophy. She won’t be taking it with this dance, but that’s neither here nor there.

I might have been distracted by Jeannie’s severe knot on her head or the severe slit in her skirt or the severe neckline that displayed her boobs, but no part of this dance made an impression on me. I feel like Jeannie and Brandon stomped around the floor while Jeannie, who is fun and bubbly, tried to be cool and stern. They, too, were disappointed with their 21 score. 

Vernon and Peta
“Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green

Y’all, I love Vernon. And when he cried about his grandmother taking him in as a kid, along with his five siblings, I became emotional with him. He’s such a gentle giant. And he works so hard to be a good dancer. Which he is!

Let’s just say that Peta’s board straight, long blond hair extensions are what dreams are made of. I was picking up the 70s vibe both were dropping, and I may have uttered “eek” when Peta whipped her leg up in the air into Vernon’s waiting large man hands. Just like Penny and Johnny in Dirty Dancing. It was a solid rumba that was neither boring nor “Did I just accidentally change it to Cinemax After Dark?” I LOVED IT.

Jesse and Sharna
“Smooth” by Santana and Rob Thomas

Jesse likes vintage cars. The end. I have no idea how that is emotional, but here we are. I’ve decided that I am giving up on Jesse to do better. I’m just going to root for him to listen to the rhythm and try to follow it the best he can. 

Carrie Ann agrees with me. She said that there’s something inside Jesse that she wants to come out. How do we know? Because in his packages, he doesn’t look or act like a doorknob. He has to get out of his head, which is the only logical explanation of why he continually looks in pain. 

Skai and Alan
“Ordinary People” by John Legend

Sweet baby Skai shares a story with Alan (who weeps the entire time like me) about how she’s going to dance for her friend and fellow Disney actor Cameron Boyce. He passed away from epilepsy last year. Through gentle tears and a huge smile, Skai praised her friend for his character and work ethic. 

The wardrobe department puts her in white gossamer, which portrays Skai as an angelic creature floating around the dance floor in Alan’s strong arms. Alan pulls exactly zero focus and choreographs a routine that showcases every ounce of Skai’s talent. To quote the judges, “She has impeccable poise for someone so young.” That’s why she landed the first 10 of the season.

AJ and Cheryl
“Larger Than Life” by Backstreet Boys

I’m confused. Tyra hinted all episode long that we were going to get a Backstreet Boys reunion. Would they be performing a socially distanced song? Would that be AJ’s dance? Is that fair to add the Boys to his cha-cha? 

My bad. The Boys joined AJ and Cheryl via hologram. It was extraordinarily lame and very odd. Cheryl was missing for half of the dance and I believe there were maybe two eight counts of cha-cha. I did not like it and I don’t think the judges did either. 

At the end of the night, Tyra invites all of the couples out onto the stage and one-by-one she deems them safe. We get down to Chrishall, Anne, and Vernon in the red light of doom. Tyra then says that the last two are Anne and Monica.

MONICA? Wait…she’s already been deemed safe. What’s going on?!?

Carrie Ann is visibly upset by this turn of events. Tyra tries to be cool by saying something like, “This is live television, people.” Peta and Vernon look around and shrug their shoulders as if to say, “Should we skedaddle off right now? Before they change their minds again?” Chrishall and Gleb do the same thing. Then a very ticked off Val and Monica trudge back onto the stage as Tyra barks at the judges to yell out who they will save because LIVE TV PEOPLE.

Carrie Ann and Derek both save Monica and Val. It’s Anne’s turn to go home and I think that was the correct decision. 

What did you think of the show? Do you think Monica should have been in the bottom? What about Nev’s clipped nips? Did you cry when Skai told her story? Sound off in the comments!

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Sally H
October 6, 2020 9:52 pm

Totally distracted by that awful eye shadow and that monstrosity of the second dress on T! I am still waiting for Jesse to relax and have fun -he’s doing pretty good but is too intense. Just look at Justina-she’s there to have fun and it shows big time. Skai slayed her dance. Always hate to see Keo leave so early-he deserves a partner who sticks around longer. The end was almost like a bad comedy sketch. Guess that was the going in a different direction they kept promising.

October 6, 2020 10:48 pm

Of COURSE I cried during Skia’s story, the entire time, I might add. (Partly Alan’s fault. I have empathy for a guy who allows himself to cry.) And I cried again when she finished her amazing performance.

(Full disclosure: I cried during Vernon’s story, too, so that’s my pattern.)

I enjoyed most of the performances.

As for the snafu at the end, Tyra was given bad info, whether via Teleprompter or her cue cards. That part wasn’t her fault. HOWEVER, I didn’t think she handled it well at all.

I believe there was some sort of mix-up like this before. And the Great Tom Bergeron was paying attention and noticed that things didn’t jive. He had the awareness that something was wrong and didn’t spit out the script like a robot. He halted things and said something needed to be checked (can’t remember specifics, might have been a scoring issue, rather than the “safe” announcements.) But he was calm, cool, collected and in control during confusion.

Unlike Tyra, who was oblivious to what was happening on the floor. She said “So the bottom two couples ARE” when there were still 3 couples on the floor! The problem was actually bigger than that, BUT she could have/should have seen that there were more than two couples on the floor in front of her, so there was definitely a problem.

And in general, I finally figured out the crux of what I don’t like about her hosting style. I already mentioned disliking her staccato delivery. And here’s what I realized: I feel like she is scolding me or lecturing me when she. talks. in. that. cadence. (Like “Don’t leave your dirty clothes on the floor. PUT. THEM. IN. THE. CLOTHES. HAMPER!”) Maybe she thinks that tone of delivery is sassy or dramatic. But to me, she just comes off as bossy and mean. And the strutting out to open each show is something I would happily live without having to watch. She sashays like she thinks she’s the star of the show and greeting her adoring fans. She is NOT the star of the show.

Maybe Len is using the pandemic as an excuse not to be here for the show? Maybe he met her and knew he wouldn’t have the patience for her. Just imagine what he would think of all her “messin’ around”. Imagine the eye-rolling!

October 7, 2020 2:15 pm

Tyra is not a good host. That second dress was horrible. I really want to like Jesse, but he is very stiff when he dances. I’m not surprised that Keo and Anne were eliminated. He has a very difficult time connecting with his partner. They never seem to connect on an emotional level. I love Nev (but not so much his hairy chest) and he is just having the best time–as is Justina.

As for the snafu–anyone with eyes could see there was something wrong. TyTy may have had bad information, but surely she could see there were 3 couples left. I’m not going to gripe too much about it–mistakes happen, but I can’t help but think Tom would have handled it better. Also–they ran out of time because of it (they couldn’t have edited the show better for the West coast?) and that’s when Tyra was screaming at the judges who they wanted to save. Bah. This season is meh and it’s because of her hosting for me.

October 7, 2020 11:25 pm

Whoa!! First of all, I’m sad that Ann is gone! I’ve watched her since she was on Another World soap opera many moons ago!!
I like Tyra as a person, but as the host of this show, ugggg I yell shut up at the tv the whole show!!! Thankfully I watch the show on tape the next day so I can FF past her!!!
i love Justina!!!
I love Nev
i love Kaitlin
i don’t know, they are all so good!!!
I wish Nelly was better!!! I wish they would give him different songs away from the hip hop genre, I think he would do better if he had more appropriate music, at least I hope so
i cried like a baby during Sky’s and Vernon’s stories
The fiasco was horribly handled by Tyra!! And that dress was horrible
and she makes everything about her!!!!!!!!!

October 8, 2020 5:26 am

I don’t like Tyra. I don’t know what Nelly’s doing? On the flip side, I’m really enjoying Britt as a pro and hope she’s back next season. So glad Sharna is back but I wish she had a partner who could dance. I looove her routines! I’m rooting for Nev to win!

@Lincee: I wanted to read your old recap, but something is wrong with the website. If you scroll down there’s only this black box and can’t go further. It’s so sad since I want to read your old dwts and Bachelor recaps! Is there a possibility to fix this?

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