Welcome dancing friends, and also those just curious as to what in the hell is happening here: We return to our quest to remind human beings across the country that dating today sucks so much that people are opting to learn a choreographed dance and perform it with a stranger on national television in the hopes of finding love. This is what dating has come to, people. Our leader on this noble and incredibly awkward quest is, as always, Jenna Dewan. Will she find love for two more flirty dancers? Will, at any point, a participant turn and see who they’re dancing with and be like, um, nah, I’m good? Will we wake up in a cold sweat in a few hours and realize this was some sort of collective fever dream? This is the drama we are living for. Let the body rolls commence!
Danielle, a 33-year-old business owner, has arrived on Flirty Dancing four years after getting out of a nine-year relationship. The woman is ready for love and is ready to dance! She also has come armed with her “Man-ifest,” a very long and detailed list of the qualities her ideal partner should have. You know what, good for her for knowing what she wants. Also, it’s fun to see Jenna sweat a little bit because when she hears this list, she’s like, “Okay, and maybe also it’s just about feelings?” No one said matchmaking was easy!
Danielle & Jason, “Born to Be Yours” by Kygo & Imagine Dragons
Jenna’s paired Danielle with airline pilot Jason, in hopes that he might appeal to her more spontaneous side. His career has been his priority for a long time, and now he wants an adventure with someone by his side. To help bring these two together, Jenna’s enlisted choreographer Dominique Kelley, so they’re definitely in good hands. Which is important because there’s a lot of running around the “New York City streets” of the FOX backlot in this routine. Sure, the streets are fake, but they will still hurt should someone trip over their own feet.
Both Danielle and Jason are nervous on Dance Day. Jason’s worried that Danielle might “smell too good” and he’ll lose his train of thought, and honestly, it’s a little alarming to be so easily distracted WHEN YOU FLY COMMERCIAL PLANES FOR A LIVING. The routine isn’t the most technically sound, but Jason cannot take his eyes off of her and he’s smiling the entire time. Maybe she does smell good?
Danielle & Cody, “Fall on Me” by Christina Aguilera and A Great Big World
Well, this one is emotional from the get-go, because Jenna brings up Danielle’s late mother and we’re all crying now, are you happy? If the faster routine seemed challenging, this one is not only much more romantic, but it is also littered with lifts. Danielle’s nervous about letting go that much and trusting a complete stranger. I mean, that’s the premise of this show, but okay. Cody, meanwhile, finds that the routine has “a lot of sexy” in it for him, a gentlemanly midwestern boy. He might vomit?
Once the routine starts, the eye contact is intense. They seem extremely into each other. Also, this guy is so tall he makes those scary lifts look easy. Okay, maybe not easy, but easy-ish. Easier than they seemed in rehearsal. After the dance, Cody adorably admits that Danielle is a woman he’d be intimidated to approach in a bar, so, maybe this blind dance date is the way to go? Am I being persuaded? What is life? Danielle walks away after the dance and immediately starts crying over the romance and this is a done deal, folks. I’m rooting for them!
The Second Date: Was there any contest here? She was crying, sir! Danielle, of course, goes with Cody — don’t worry, Pilot Jordan has #NoRegrets — and the two have a goofy, awkward-ish second date in which Cody reveals he’s super into astrological signs. Who knew? Danielle seems to be into it and in their update, Cody and Danielle have embarked on a third date to see where things go. I need more updated updates, Flirty Dancing.
Jordan here is a very tall tree man and a former baseball player-turned-real estate investor. He’s a single dad with a very cute daughter, in case you weren’t already interested. Jordan’s been single for five years, is over superficial online dating, and insists he’s too shy to approach women IRL. Well, this show is going to be a shock to him, huh? Also, it should be noted that in some of Jordan’s b-roll of him walking outside the rehearsal studio, there’s just a stray black cat walking alongside him. That’s very ominous and we don’t need those kinds of vibes here on this show, okay? There’s so much riding against us as it is.
Jordan & Mary, “Bones” by Galantis featuring OneRepublic
For his fast dance, Jordan is paired with ER nurse Mary. She wants a love like her parents, who are living the dream in a 36-year marriage. Jenna thinks Mary’s nurturing side will be a good fit for Jordan. Sharna Burgess is back to choreograph, and she gives Jordan and Mary an athletic number to perform on the staircase in the famous Los Angeles Theatre. As if rehearsing for this routine isn’t stressful enough, at one point while Mary is learning choreography, Jenna and Sharna just start chanting “flirt! flirt! flirt!” from the back of the room, and I swear I’ve had a nightmare like that before.
As soon as Jordan sees Mary at the top of steps, he smiles. He’s ready to dance with this woman. The dance is energetic and fun, but there doesn’t seem to be much chemistry between the two. After the dance, Jordan says that he couldn’t wait for her to come down the steps and Mary says she felt something when Jordan grabbed her hand for the first time, but maybe that thing was just sweat? I’m not buying it.
Jordan & Kristen, “Shallow” by Us the Duo
I mean, does poor Mary even have shot? You’re giving these two “Shallow!” How can people not fall for each other while dancing to this song? Kristen, a 31-year-old wardrobe stylist who went through a tough divorce two years prior, starts crying the minute she hears it. Everyone is primed for love!
From the very start of the routine, this one feels different from Jordan and Mary. May all the angels bless Sharna Burgess for this steamy choreography. There’s lots of choreographed face touching and big lifts and generally a lot of time for Jordan and Kristen to be close together. And then it happens guys: At the end of the routine, in the awkward heavy breathing portion of the evening before they are supposed to walk away from each other as if none of this ever happened, JORDAN KISSES KRISTEN. He tells Jenna he was just in the moment and “it felt right” and Kristen seems very happy it happened, so we’re all fine with it.
The Second Date: If Jordan doesn’t choose the woman he kissed, what are we even doing here? Of course, he wants to meet Kristen. Kudos to Mary who is basically like, “Yeah, I’ll be totally fine.” It seems like Jordan and Kristen have some real chemistry when they meet for the second time, sans choreography, and in their update video they’re still making out, so that seems cool. “Shallow,” man. “Shallow” will do it.