My, oh my, what a wonderful day for a pirate-themed paso doble, an underwater samba, and a white rabbit to lose one eye. Dancing With the Stars’s second-ever Disney Night may have looked crazy, but rest assured everything was under the loose-flapping control of director Donald Duck. Keep your pants off and enjoy the ride.
Eliminated fourth: It’s the end of the shared spaghetti strand for Suzanne Somers (she’s a lady) and Tony Dovolani (he’s a tramp) following Monday night’s misstep of a jazz. Suzanne got overwhelmed this week, but it happens all the time under the high-pressure atmosphere of Planet Mirrorballus. At least she was able to express herself with some form of BODY LANGUAGE, HAH! during her voyage. Banished from the ballroom on Week 5? Hakuna matata.
Such is the circle of life in a small, small world.
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!
Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 39/40 This couple’s underwater rehearsal footage was worth a Mickey 10 for the sheer amount of pool jewels involved — but their “Poor Unfortunate Souls” samba was even more genius-drenched. I loved how Rumer shooed away the idea of playing a Frozen princess like it was some basic eel bitch, then requested to recreate one of Disney’s fiercest purple-hued female villains instead.
“My grandma’s going to be very concerned about my skin,” warned slippery Flotsam/Jetsam conglomerate Val.
In his murky disguise, Val kept disappearing within the night’s dance. But that’s just what good pros and eels do: light the way so that their stars can shine. He just had to stay in character while his boss was on a samba roll!
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough: 38/40 Here’s that salute to Frozen for all you palace party people. Nastia offered up her silly (aka lip-syncing) side in a jazz number set to “Love Is an Open Door.” Some moves were a bit sloppy like chocolate fondue, but others finished really nicely like sandwiches. I am never going to get this song out of my head. AGAIN.
During the perfect sections of their dance, I did buy Nastia and Derek-with-sideburns as legit professional Disney characters — fitting as the whole production was a nod toward the cracked-open door of Derek’s spring-blossoming stage career. Judge Julianne (costumed as the off-brand festival princess Coachella) confirmed that she could imagine the routine being performed on Broadway.
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: 38/40 After seeing this boy-bander thoroughly transform into a pirate, I’m convinced a brilliant hair and makeup crew can make virtually anyone look like Jack Sparrow. (Sounding like him is a different story altogether, but there’s no support staff for that.) I thought Allison’s aggressive style of choreography actually worked for this Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired paso doble, and there’s a sentence I will never get to write again. Or maybe I was so dazzled by the superb production value of Riker’s “blockbuster” that any missteps in his footwork were smoked out by his shipmates, Allison’s hair, and cannon fire. Either way, the dance was exciting enough for not one but two….
… Mickey 10s! (“Tehhhhhhn!”) Believe it or not, that’s a sequined belt draped over my TV in the top right corner. But it works, and it’s late, so I’m leaving it.
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas: 34/40 Mark has been taking us down his conceptual rabbit hole for years, so it only made sense that the former dancing gorilla and scuttling crab would hop up Monday night as Alice’s harebrained companion. I have to hand it to Mark for appropriating a classic literary tale such that he could combine his love of furries, creepiness, and spats into one terrifying costume. Once their “foxtrot” began, I got so swept up in the horror story of the scary rabbit leading us (and his helpless teenaged partner, remember her?) through a foggy forest that the last thing I expected them to do was dance. I am pretty sure they did dance, though I was quite distracted by the dancing deck of cards, the lingering wafts of snack time, and…
… MARK’S DANGLING EYE.
But he was OK! Once Tom Bergeron, that brave pillar of Purell, had peeled back one of the layers of Mark’s absurdity, the White Rabbit safely made it up to the skybox for a snack of his own. Somehow I suspect “an eye for a carrot” has been a longstanding Biblical principle in the Book of Ballas.
Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess: 28/40 “Suck it up, princess!” Refreshed from the mental-magic carpet ride of his stirring therapy session with Sharna, Noah was able to put aside his fear of the foxtrot and come alive in “A Whole New World,” one in which he’d stopped caring about how his left leg looked mid-dance. Len insisted Noah’s routine contained sway, but Carrie Ann found it lacking in certain movements.
Was anyone else getting Donny Osmond vibes from Noah’s puffed-up hair and deep tan? Also, I was surprised he didn’t take Aladdin’s most basic cue, which is to go shirtless. Finally, hidden gem: There’s Season 13 winner and fellow army vet J.R. Martinez cheering Noah on in the corner.
Patti Labelle and Artem Chigvintsev: 27/40 At the beginning of her waltz, Patti promised that when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true. Normally I might wish for some sort of All-Pro Pec-tacular to unfold before the colored contacts dripping out of my eyes — but isn’t Patti herself a perfectly realized dream in her own right? Blue Fairy dust shooting out of a disco queen will do just fine.
Miss Patti took a break from her usual party mode in a slow-moving non-chimney sweep of the floor. Technically it was a waltz, but theoretically it was a lovely way for Patti to root herself in the ballroom (via sparkles) as “the fairy godmother of Dancing With the Stars.” Her greatest move this week was when, unlike Len, she refused to complain about her own injury. “Noah has ONE LEG,” the lady with a sprained knee reminded Erin in the skybox. There was that magical Disney-esque perspective we’d been waiting for.
Well, everyone but the judges, who seemed intent on ignoring poor Pinocchio as he cradled an imaginary golden mirrorball. It’s almost like they didn’t realize he was there.
Chris Soules and Witney Carson: 27/40 The Bachelor suffered a last-minute calf pull (which sounds like another vaguely Biblical play on words from the Book of Ballas, sorry) during Monday’s dress rehearsal, but still managed to go from “Zero to Hero” in a Hercules-inspired quickstep. I thought the white bandage on one of Chris’s legs wove in rather nicely with his asymmetrical dress, ridiculous gold shoes, and gold-flecked headband. And I like to imagine that the line in the song — “What a pro” — was secret reassurance for Witney that she’s doing a fine job with the choreography. Of course, none of this means that Chris is doing very well at the dancing part.
But this is Dancing With the Stars, silly. It’s not always about the dancing.
There was so much going on in the Celebriquarium — Pluto’s whiskers threatening to poke Witney, Erin pawing at Chris’s toga, Season 19 champ and ballroom consultant Alfonso Ribeiro’s relentless mirrorbarbell insanity — that I almost didn’t notice the intricacies of Pluto’s bedazzled collar.
Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson: 24/40 If only the quickstep were a measure of how to capture a full-fledged sexual relationship in 20 seconds instead of a standard ballroom dance.
Surely this couple’s showmance-under-the-stairs sequence would’ve earned Mickey 10s. Sadly, Robert failed to step in time with the rest of the chimney sweeps and Kym. ’Twas a spectacle even worse than Charlie White dropping the cane in Season 18’s Disney Night. The curse of the Poppins had struck again!
If you squinted really hard, you could see Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, silently disapproving of both Robert’s dancing and Kym’s see-through costume from her perch in the audience. You had to imagine her, though. Do you believe in magic? Disney Night.
Brunoism to get you through the week, if there is even such a thing as a week: “Time is a relative concept. In your own world, you were perfectly in time.”
Keep telling yourself that, TOYS.
Precious Pairing of the Week:
Tom & Eeyore! (Tom & Goofy was a close runner-up.)
Your Exclusive AccuWeather Forecast:
Good luck warding ‘em off, gem hunters. Thanks for reading here. And don’t miss this illuminating behind-the-scenes perspective from DWTS set decorator Jason “Sparky” Howard. Be sure to click through the photo gallery at the top and marvel at how my new flittery friend managed to avoid using the term “sparklebarf”!
See you next Tuesday for a whole new world.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.