What is Spring Break? Who even gets to celebrate it anymore? Why is it in late April? If I go, will I get crabs?
Dancing With the Stars answered these burning questions and more (Will there be Hot Pockets?) during Week 6’s sausage-sizzling heat wave of a beach party. As I watched inflatable edibles float across the screen on 4/20, I think I finally understood what Spring Break is all about.
ONE BARE FOOT, Y’ALL.
Eliminated fifth: In a shocking goodbye to the tune of “Why’d you have to kill off our fairy godmother, America?” Patti Labelle was shoe-ed off the stage. The generously fringed heart of the cast had bravely endured a tough but high-spirited week of quickstepping, hot-teachering, and grilling. (Always grilling. Buy Patti Labelle’s line of hot sauces, since you can no longer vote for her.) The way Patti so hilariously and nonchalantly kicked off her troublesome high heel mid-dance exemplified the music legend’s fun run on this show. May she never stop resting that knee. Until the Season 20 finale, of course.
Artem and Miss Patti forever.
In what could only be a cruel joke (much like the idea of Spring Break itself, if you think about it, but don’t think that hard) this was also the week of the dreaded Team Dances. So much work, endless stress — but since Team Trouble and Team YOLO tied at 39 points apiece, these dances won’t even affect anyone’s trajectories.
Yet in one way, the results were staggering: Monday will go down in gem-studded history as the first time Derek Hough did not win a Team Dance. The guy was away in NYC all week and literally phoned it in. (YOLO, OK? Technically, he FaceTimed.)
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: 37/40 Allison endured “the most pressure I’ve ever felt in my career” after stalling for days on the choreography for this week’s samba. Her relief in getting to dance to Jason Derulo instead of Missy Elliott totally threw my definition of “in bad taste” for a loop — but like any participant in an Allison routine, I just had to try and keep up. Riker is bow-legged and moves across the floor like Spider-Man, yet still ended up with two 10s.
Like Len, I admire Riker’s enthusiasm during the dance. But what really sold me was his bedazzled bandana.
Obviously, the guy wants to win.
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough: 34/40 “My dad was my coach. Derek reminds me of him.” Yo, is this pair’s relationship heating up or what? SPRING BREAK. A flurry of fast and loose floor-clouds and some significant background pyro did their best to supplement Nastia and Derek’s lackluster connection during the tango, but the judges saw through the smokescreens. Len thought it was all too fast; he would have preferred to see a stalking panther out there. So he impersonated one.
I don’t think I’ve seen Len seethe this hard since Maks told him maybe it was time to quit. The DANCMSTR’s fury was not at all matched by the tepid twosome.
Though they barely know each other, Nastia and Derek did manage to somewhat coordinate their face-sparkles this week, and I applaud them for that.
Carrie Ann, not so much.
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas: 34/40 A bewildering diagnosis of “extra ribs that should not be there” couldn’t keep Willow down during the duo’s uplifting Whiplash-inspired salsa. You might not expect the members of a private high school jazz band to rush to get excited about their classmate’s… salsa dance. But I think it’s just an “Only on Planet Mirrorballus,” embrace the absurdity type of thing. I for one totally bought it. Definitely my rhythm! Willow just needs to stop shaking when she transfers her weight, and maybe she can stay in the band.
Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 32/40 Rumer and the Troupe girls are three of the least “Bootylicious” ladies I can think of, but the players in a classic billboard fantasy sequence did their best with a difficult music assignment for the jazz. (Ugh, jazz.) “We were stuck with the song,” said Val. I don’t recall a DWTS couple ever so blatantly aligning themselves with the judges and against production, so that was interesting.
Val agreed with his fellow traditionalist/old person Len — a cup of tea in a world of cappuccinos — that “it’s a ballroom, not a bedroom” and that their routine was too raunchy. But when Val repeated “That’s important” up in the Celebriquarium with Erin, I could have sworn he was saying “That’s some porn.” This from the same guy who announced, somewhat slyly I thought, “I’m not bootylicious at all.” Mixed messages all around.
Chris Soules and Witney Carson: 31/40 Chris’s Viennese waltz and cheerleading prowess in the Team Dance somehow resulted in this being a “breakthrough week” for him. But wouldn’t any random dude, bachelor or not, seem utterly magical while dancing within a carousel gazebo?! I feel like the carousel gazebo totally out-performed Chris and yet Chris got all the credit.
This bejeweled horse head alone was bringing it.
Carrie Ann had never heard such oohs and ahhs from the audience, especially from the women. But I’m sorry. CAROUSEL GAZEBO. That is the construction that won the night. Frankly, Julianne should’ve considered shaking the horses’ hooves instead of Chris’s hand. You’d think Princess Coachella might know better.
Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess: 29/40 Noah’s blistering rage against the couple’s training package translated beautifully into a lone glistening tear at the start of their Rumba.
Have you ever seen anything more beautiful, besides the rest of Noah’s body in those ice-blue sweatpants? I mean, I’m sorry he was suffering, but all that pent-up emotion made for some great TV. Noah was upset that the training package made Sharna look bad, but I thought the opposite — he’s the one who refused to take direction and stood petulantly in one place after his partner asked for a hug. Aren’t hugs about meeting in the middle? Oh well. Editing can be harsh. Just dance through the pain, man. Spring break!
Noah and Sharna slipped up at one point, but so much of their rumba boldly spoke to me. I loved when her head surfed along the gentle wave of his arm. And whatever this is called…
Yeah. Super into it.
Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson: 28/40 By the end of this week’s episode, after Robert’s ill-timed jive and insistence that “This is definitely not the end of the road for Kym and I,” I was convinced this couple would indeed be flying out of there for good in that sweet Thunderbird (or maybe the Ferrari he’d promised Kym if they won). Robert will need an even bigger breakthrough than Chris (read: a breakthrough, period) to survive next week. Kym continues to pack their routines with difficult content, and Robert keeps trying his best. But in the end, perhaps waiting for the Shark Tank judge to step in time is as useless as trying to ward off the crabs.
Sorry, land lubbers. They’re here to stay.
Carrie Ann’s Challenge for the Long Week Ahead: “Embrace the new art form. Allow yourself to dance.”
Good luck with that, sparklebarfers. Feel free to just float around and snack instead.
Cronuts are so last season. The Petoughnut’s where it’s at.
Time to bulk up. See you next week!