Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Monday, Sept. 30, 2013
by Liz Raftery
Cheryl Burke, Jack Osbourne
It’s Hollywood Night on Dancing with the Stars, and the show opens with a brothel-esque version of Bjork’s “It’s Oh So Quiet” courtesy of the troupe, which essentially sets the tone for the night. Also: injuries! Did Bill Nye actually get to perform his routine? And who was the second couple to be sent home? Let’s find out:
Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani (Rumba)
Leah’s worried about her “sexy face” ahead of her and Tony’s James Bond-inspired dance to Adele’s Skyfall theme. Her fear is misplaced, as she nails the face (and a slide through Tony’s legs). But her body is a bit wooden during the rest of the routine. Still, it’s an improvement for Leah over Week 1 and Week 2. Even Len has to admit, “That was more Hollywood than Deadwood.”
Interlude: Brooke looks absolutely grave as she talks to Tyne Stecklein about the injury Bill Nye suffered at the end of last week’s paso doble. (He tore his quad muscle, which doesn’t sound fun at all.) Not to be outdone, Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd say they’ve been rehearsing with a boot for the past week. Drama!
Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff (Quickstep)
With a faster dance than he’s used to, Corbin is thrown off his game a little this week. Though his steps are stylistically proficient, he looks far less comfortable with this routine than he has in previous weeks, and you can tell that he’s ticking off every step in his head as the performance moves along. Carrie Ann calls the pair’s footwork “sizzling,” though Len says the amount of speed that went into it took the place of the style.
Elizabeth Berkley & Val Chmerkovskiy (Foxtrot)
Oh dear. Elizabeth rehearses with a blindfold, and that may have come in handy for viewers witnessing her periwinkle ensemble tonight. (Memo to Elizabeth: There’s a reason Pan Am was canceled after one season.) But costumes aside, the dance is fine. The armwork is a little tentative on Elizabeth’s part, but Len and Bruno are fully in the couple’s court. Even Carrie Ann, who’s a little nitpicky about the routine, gives them a 9, while Len calls their performance “chicken soup to the eyes.”
Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd (Quickstep)
Boot or no boot, Brant is quickly emerging as one of the frontrunners this season. He’s got the looks and the moves — not to mention this week’s sympathy vote. Aside from his torn ligament, Brant also reveals that he got mugged this week and the assailant stole his dance shoes. Can’t nobody hold him down, though, as their routine is tight, torrid and totally fun. (The flapper remix of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” that they dance to doesn’t hurt either.) If Boardwalk Empire ever does a musical episode, they know who to call.
Valerie Harper & Tristan MacManus (Cha-Cha)
Coming off a LOL-worthy Freddie Mercury impersonation in rehearsals, Tristan gamely guides Valerie around the stage — which is both the best and worst part of their routine. Valerie (who admits in the pre-taped footage that she was having trouble memorizing the steps) looks like she could use another week or two to feel completely comfortable with the dance. She knows the performance isn’t good, which is both endearing and sad. “It looked like Freddie and Grace Kelly never met before tonight,” Bruno says. Adds Len: “It was a little bit like flying coach on a cheap airline. You were a little bit uncomfortable, a little bit bumpy, but you landed safely.” Safe enough to keep them in the competition, though?
Bill Engvall & Emma Slater (Paso Doble)
Bill and Emma’s Lone Ranger homage (complete with impressive spinning on the part of Emma at the end) was scores ahead of the Johnny Depp film from earlier this summer, though it was a bit out of sync with the music during the first minute. The judges agree, however, that it’s Bill’s best dance of the season. Carrie Ann says it looks like they “rehearsed the poop out of” the routine, but now that Keyshawn Johnson’s gone, Bill might be the weakest link (both in terms of technical skill and personality) in the competition.
Amber Riley & Derek Hough (Charleston)
Amber’s exhausted between dance and vocal rehearsals, but it doesn’t show during their Charleston. She’s got the attitude and the footwork down and matches Derek step for step. They’re one of the couples who make viewers say, “I wish I could do that,” and Amber’s tassled costume is pretty bangin’, too. Len and Bruno, however, tell her she needs to be “much sharper” when she’s doing the scissor moves. “Your legs … felt low energy compared to the rest,” Carrie Ann chimes in, which seems dubious. Hmm. Could it be that Amber’s being held to a higher standard thanks to her Gleebackground?
Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke (Cha-Cha)
For the second week in a row, Jack compares his rehearsals with Cheryl to “making a porno.” That quip’s going to get old fast, but he’s still probably the most amiable contestant in the competition — in no small part because he realizes he’s totally out of his element. Saying he wants to embrace “’70s Hollywood,” Jack kicks things off with an impressive slide down the staircase, but could benefit from being a bit sharper in the rest of the routine. “I nearly overcooked it,” he admits. Their matching pink and black costumes are great, though. (Kelly Osbourne agrees.)
Christina Millian & Mark Ballas (Charleston)
What would happen if Chicago and Cabaret had a child? Answer: Mark and Christina’s dance routine. They rock the Charleston, even if Mark’s face paint is a little puzzling. Christina’s kicks are so sharp they look like they have barbs on the end. Carrie Ann loves the “full-bodied” performance, while Tom Bergeron says their routine is more like “Frederick’s of Hollywood Night.” Ha!
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi & Sasha Farber (Ballroom)
The worst part about this performance is Snooki’s earlier admission that she feels like, “In a past life, I was Marilyn Monroe.” (Or is it the giant “Snooki” marquee above the stage? Vote below!) All kidding aside, Snooki — still feeling miffed about the judges’ low scores last week — turns in an admirable routine. Her footwork is flawless, though her upper body could be a bit more fluid. But she makes up for that by nailing a one-handed cartwheel! Carrie Ann tells her she deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We wouldn’t go that far, but aesthetically, it’s probably the best performance of the night.
Bill Nye & Tyne Stecklein (Jazz)
The big question of the night: Was Bill able to dance after his hospitalization this week? Yes … in “peg-leg fashion.” Against his doctor’s orders and after a gruesome description of the treatment he received (it involved a needle and sounded awful), the Science Guy channels his competitive spirit and dances a jazz routine anyway. Their solution? Have Bill play a robot, so he can keep his injured knee immobilized. And it works pretty well! (Sadly, he’s not much more stiff than some of the other contestants.) The judges’ admiration of Bill’s “spirit” doesn’t exactly translate to their scores, however.
Now on to the eliminations!
In Jeopardy: Bill and Tyne, Christina and Mark, and Brant and Peta.
Safe: Brant and Peta.
Eliminated: Bill and Tyne.
What did you think? Who was your favorite couple this week? Were you surprised that Bill defied doctors’ orders? And did you think that his and Tyne’s elimination was justified? Sound off in the comments!