Welcome to Dancing with the Stars, where the party continues despite the tragic events unfolding in Boston. Lest you think it’s insensitive that a frivolous show continues to be frivolous in light of the tragedy, hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvat kick off the festivities by assuring the audience that they are aware of the events, that Tom has friends and family in the greater Boston area, and that their thoughts are with the families, victims and citizens of Boston.
However, in the great Hollywood-via-Broadway tradition, the show must go on. Especially when they’ve already gone to the trouble of bringing back some fan favorite pros (Maks Chmerkovskiy! Ana Trebunskaya! Tony Dovolani! Chelsey Hightower!) for some synchronized dance moves with the stars. You see, to mark the the show’s halfway point, Judge Len Goodman has doled out a side-by-side dance challenge and all that’s left is to see which stars will sink, swim, or salsa off into the sunset under the additional pressure.
Here’s what happened on Dancing with the Stars:
Good Plan: General Hospital star Ingo Rademacher was forced to go toe-to-toe and cha-for-cha against pro Tony Dovolani. In rehearsal, the cha-cha proved to be cha-cha-challenging for Ingo, so to distract the judges from any missteps, Ingo’s partner, Kym Johnson, opted to shake what her mama gave her wearing only glitter, rhinestones and a prayer. His score: 21/30.
Manliest Advice: Baltimore Raven and Super Bowl Champion Jacoby Jones was having a hard time learning the art of manly dancing from his partner, Karina Smirnoff, so she brought in a professional in the form of a bearded Maks Chmerkovskiy. Maks and his beard gave Jacoby helpful man dancing tips like, keeping your hands above your hips and never wearing a shirt when suspenders will do.
Best Comeback: After his jive, Judge Len Goodman told Jacoby, “You’ll never get a 9 from me with those [flat] feet.” Jacoby retorted with some stats: “Len, I love you so much, but with these feet I went 108 in 11 seconds.” Point, Jacoby. (Len gave him an 8) His score: 26/30
Best Reason To Watch DWTS: Only on Dancing with the Stars do you get to watch a Viennese waltz to INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart” on a near exact replica of the set of Mannequin.
Best One-Man Get Out The Vote Drive: Boxer Victor Ortiz found out his girl was cheating on him while rehearsing for the show. He channeled the tragedy into his waltz, earning a 21/30 — and not one, but two “knock-out” references from Brooke.
Obligatory Olympics Joke: Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman may have been the most decorated gymnast of the 2012 Olympics, but she may have slightly buckled under the pressure of going toe-to-toe with a dancing pro on national television. Well, that was the judges’ conspiracy theory after she stumbled a bit during the routine. She still earned a respectable 25/30, even though the East German judge gave her a 6.
Best Len-ism of the Night: After Bachelor Sean Lowe’s dance, Len declared: “Last week a statue, this week a pigeon!” No one understood whether he meant Sean’s dance was good or bad, but Bruno Tonioli laughed so hard he almost needed to breathe into a paper bag. Regardless of Len’s thoughts on pigeon poop, it was Sean’s best dance of the competition, earning him a 24/30.
Twice Is Nice: While Kellie Pickler was nervous about undertaking her first ballroom dance (a foxtrot) while dancing side-by-side with Ana Trebunskaya, the dance was so good Len doled out a double dose of Len-isms: He thought they put the “oo” in smooth and that it was a “hot-trot, not a foxtrot.”
Best Prop: Kellie Pickler’s wig, which made her look like an elegant movie star and not Cloris Leachman.
Best Guess: Len described DL Hughley’s tango as a “cup of decaf coffee” all show, no buzz. Bruno called it a brave attempt that ultimately failed. When Carrie-Ann Inaba noted that during the side-by-side dance she could really see the difference between the tangos. DL replied, “Was it the hair that gave it away?” His score: 18/30.
Good Lesson: Zendaya and Val are at a disadvantage this week because neither of them have danced an Argentine tango before. Luckily, they are paired with Maks and Ana, who takes the young Disney star under her wing and teach her to be a woman. Or at least not to make an “ew” face every time she has to touch Val.
Best Ending: Zendaya “killed” Val at the end of their routine, leaving him on the floor, stepping over his body and taking a seat. The dramatic denouement was the icing on the perfect cake of a dance. They earned a 29/30, including two tens.
Classiest Move? Or Tackiest Move? Val dedicated his 10s to the city of Boston.
Best Entrance: Andy Dick kicked off his Paso Doble by riding a zipline into the ballroom while dressed as Zorro. Because if you’re Andy Dick, and you have consistently been in the bottom of the competition, you may as well. Unfortunately, the stunt didn’t make him dance any better. Bruno called it “more Pasadena than Paso Dobles” — and Andy earned 18/30.
The Rankings: Zendaya and Val are at the top of the leaderboard with 29/30, while DL & Cheryl and Andy & Sharna are tied at the bottom, with 18/30.