The Bangles kick things off with “Eternal Flame” and “Walk Like an Egyptian,” because we’re sure to be reminded about 100 times in the next two hours, the theme is the 1980s. This Bangles performance is giving us “Gilmore Girls” flashbacks — if anyone understands that reference, it will reveal the elusive “Dancing With the Stars”/“Gilmore Girls” crossover audience, if there is one.
Brooke Burke Charvet is wearing a blue spangled dress with monstrous shoulder pads, and she looks like she belongs on a spaceship. Tom Bergeron makes fun of her shoulder pads, as he should.
U.S. women’s soccer team’s Hope Solo and Maks Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Tango to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer”
The show is trying to push Maks and Hope’s “love-hate” relationship, but there’s a whole lot of hate in this rehearsal footage. They bicker as Hope forgets the steps and mocks Maks’s instruction technique. During the actual dance, Hope is dressed in a super-scary red trench coat, which she whips off to reveal a lot of mesh. After they whip around the dance floor to a Bon Jovi song, Hope pushes Maks out of the way and pretends to rock out at a microphone to karaoke.
Style expert Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya
Dance: Jive to Wham!’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go”
Carson knows he was close to going home last week, so he jazzes things up in rehearsal with leg warmers to get in the ‘80s mood. He also tries to practice a great deal, but it doesn’t seem to be helping — even Anna knows their exit is only a matter of time. Dressed in impossibly bright colors, they perform the most frightening cheerleading routine ever disguised as a jive, with pom poms that Tom Bergeron calls “Big Bird wrist warmers.”
Bruno calls it loopy, and when Bruno is questioning your grasp on reality, you know you’re in trouble. “It was definitely ... fun,” Carrie Ann says cautiously, and says that even though it was entertaining, there was zero technique. Len agrees that the dance was fun, but unfortunately, they’re not judging for fun. Scores: 6, 6, 7 for a total of 19 points.
Commentator Nancy Grace and Tristan Macmanus
Dance: Rumba to Spandau Ballet’s “I Know This Much Is True”
Speaking of cheerleaders, what was Nancy Grace doing in the ‘80s? Yes, she was a cheerleader — the show’s got pictures to prove it. Then, Tristan criticizes Nancy’s listening skills, and she accuses him of not making their dance sexy enough. They argue some more, but you get the feeling that they are two partners who actually don’t hate each other, which, for this show, is actually sort of sweet. Or, Tristan has the patience of a saint. Anyway, they smile through the whole song, though Nancy looks like she’s going over the steps carefully in her head the whole time.
Carrie Ann says she wants to see passion and more of a connection between the dancers, and disagrees with Len’s preference for non-raunchy dancing. Len says the dance was simple, and Bruno accuses Carrie Ann of being jealous of Nancy’s boy toy and thinks the dance was just sexy enough. Scores: 7, 7, 8 for a total of 22 points.
Another Bangles break — this time, they sing “Manic Monday” while dancers in legwarmers spin around on stage.
Actor J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Dance: Samba to “Conga”
Bruno assesses J.R.’s dance skills before they begin, and says most men can’t do the samba, with flashbacks of failures from previous seasons. (Hello, Billy Ray Cyrus!) So, if J.R. can do the samba, Bruno will be really impressed.
J.R. struggles in rehearsal and feels he needs to get in touch with his Latin roots, so he and Karina head to the Conga Room nightclub in Los Angeles. Aside from a random Sheila E. sighting, J.R. also learns that he needs to just let loose in order to conquer the samba. J.R. indeed shakes to the samba, with some especially impressive shoulder movements.
The judges are thrilled to actually see some dancers with skills, which causes Bruno to declare J.R. a “loin-shattering sex machine” (seriously) while a flustered Carrie Ann screams “Muy caliente!” and completely loses her composure. Scores: 9, 9, 10 for a total of 28 points.
Reality star Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Rumba to Lionel Richie’s “Hello”
Cheryl is shocked that Rob has made it this far in the competition. Rob says he’s going to try to be as sexy as Maks or Derek during their rumba this week, and Cheryl plainly tells him that’s not going to happen. Instead, to teach Rob about sensuality on the dance floor, she brings in ... Romeo, a competitor from last season and one of Rob’s buddies from college. It’s not a helpful lesson, but during the actual performance, Rob definitely does not look like he is dancing with his sister. And according to Cheryl, that’s the goal.
Carrie Ann calls Rob the tortoise from “The Tortoise and the Hare,” and says he’s slowly making progress each week — and even managed to look sexy in a lime green shirt. Even Len says Rob looked masculine. Scores: 9, 8, 8 for a total of 25 points.
Activist Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: Samba to Kool & the Gang’s “Get Down on It”
Carrie Ann says she actually saw some dancing from Chaz, which is a huge improvement from previous weeks, when there was none. Len calls it a gallant effort, and Bruno says that J.R. was a tough act to follow (see above and “loin-shattering sex machine”), but he thinks Chaz still did well. Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
Actor David Arquette and Kym Johnson
Dance: Tango to Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”
David Arquette looks like a character from an ‘80s movie already, so this week should be a good fit for him — he also wins points (in our book, anyway) by making fun of Len during rehearsal. David rambles about making a connection between the music and the dance and says he just wants to show the audience he actually has skill. Clad in what looks like a leather bodysuit with lots of zippers, David takes the tango very seriously and scowls through the whole performance.
Sure enough, Len says it has a very ‘80s feel and loved the dance. Bruno’s also a fan, and Carrie Ann says while he’s steady on his feet, he needs to work on his musicality. The judges all start yelling over each other, and Tom Bergeron is successful in breaking up the bickering this time. Scores: 8, 9, 8 for a total of 25 points.
Talk show host Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Dance: Fox trot to Phil Collins’s “Easy Lover”
Ricki and Derek trade stories about what they were doing in the 1980s. Derek says he was a fetus, and then a baby — Derek is very literal. Ricki says she was “eating,” as she played the plus-size lead in “Hairspray.” And who should stop by rehearsal to say hello? “Hairspray” director John Waters, who tells Ricki she’s doing a great job. While she and Derek do a fairly impressive fox trot, they make the unfortunate decision of starting the routine with a disastrous Running Man dance.
The judges all ask wonder what in the world they were thinking with the Running Man, and Len says it wasn’t their best dance of the season, but it wasn’t the worst either. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points. Derek blames the type of dance/song combination, saying they didn’t go well together.
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