Dancing (Theoretically on my Couch) With the Stars, Week 2: Jam Monday

PolitiChicks.comWell here we are again faithful reader, week two of Dancing with the Stars, and I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief now that Lolo Jones has been released back into the wild… (Cue the “no longer relevant to the aesthetic of the shows overall look” orchestra, Aannnnd let’s, um…”Jam”?)

I have to say, this week’s opening is a little intense. The producers seem to really be jamming this whole theme week down our collective throats, which if it were real jam would be perfectly fine, but honestly (and I have a feeling I’m going to use this phrase a lot this season especially after seeing a rather menacing clip of Randy the UFC ballroom dancer threatening to “Take it to the next level!”) IT’S ONLY WEEK TWO PEOPLE, CALM DOWN!!

Uh oh, it looks like we might have a Grey Alert situation in the studio. Len’s walking around confusingly on the dance floor like Billy Dee Williams during a, well, any number Billy Dee Williams danced. Did he lose his way to the judge’s table? Ahhh, now I get it, he’s sort of dancing! And jamming (yes ABC, I get it, Jam, music, tunes, breakfast food). I know I’m not exactly young and hip anymore, but when exactly did the word “jam” come back into the mainstream as something groovy people say to describe music?

At the judges table we have a good news/bad news situation going on tonight. The good news, Julianne decided wearing a whole dress might be a treat for the youngsters and the older males with heart conditions who watch the show. The bad news is there now seems to be a woman sitting directly behind Len Goodman in the audience who felt it unnecessary to wear the middle portion of her outfit to the studio. Poor thing, I hope she realizes this is a television show and not a dance hall.

And here we go! Welcome to Jam Monday folks, be sure to tune in tomorrow for Pot Roast Tuesday’s result show, and now, let’s dance!

Karina and Mr. Couture are up first. He’s dressed as a service man, and naturally she’s wearing a bright yellow glittering bumblebee onesie (clue #1 that you’ve turned in to DWTS and NOT Downtown Abbey). From what I can tell, he likes to dance, but he also likes to fight, which just proves that West Side Story was right on point as a musical about gang members who like to twirl around on the empty streets of New York. Apparently for this song (fine Tom, I mean “Jam”) he’s a GI on leave and therefore naturally wants to go dancing with a lady in a bee outfit. He’s actually not too bad, not that I would ever have the nerve to tell him differently, but the judges agree and he and Karina seemed “buzzed” about the positive remarks.

Back from a commercial (and nothing from Smuckers, do you think anyone was even aware that Monday was Jam day?)

We see a clip of Val backstage during last week’s show talking gently with his “Pretty Little dance partner” Janel Parrish, and of course he’s shirtless because that’s how a Chmerkovskiy hands out words of encouragement. In the rehearsal clip he’s suddenly dressed quite sporty with a backwards baseball cap on and a stern demeanor. He’s going to be tougher, more forceful; it’s Jam week for gosh sakes, there’s no more time for nelly footing around! And now on the dance floor we have a rare sighting: a Chmerkovskiy in a tuxedo that’s completely buttoned. It’s the foxtrot and there are inexplicitly four dancers on the floor. Oh no, is Len lost again?? No, it’s fine, the dance is lovely, Val smiles, Pretty Little Dance Partner beams, and really, there’s nothing quite like a Chmerkovskiy all dappered up…LOVE.

I have to take a moment and mention that DWTS now has instant replay during the judges’ comments. It’s good to know that the show has finally waltzed its way in to the 21st century. Of course they do have the Twitter stuff at the bottom of the screen occasionally, but I find if I stop to read, by the time I look back up they’re showing a Swiffer commercial and I’m totally lost. HashtagNotTechnical.

Oh swell, Lea Thompson is still upset with herself and everything that she’s ever stood for or believed in. Methinks that Lea might be a bit, how to say this politically correct, a doofus. I wanted to like her, I really did, I love Back to the Future and that other movie she did, and her dance partner Ark –trim seems like a spunky little fella, sort of like a George Michael meets a George Michael lookalike. She hated being in jeopardy, hated it! R-tim seemed to take it all in stride, like it’s just a celebrity-based dance competition and not a group of stalwart scientist trying to save the world. Of course nothing cheers a gal up like a glittery leopard prom dress and a little bit of tulle, and the dance is wonderful (yes, Some kind of Wonderful for all you 90’s kids out there) and I’m sure Lea will be able to sleep a good two minutes or so until the results show.

By the way, Arg-grim is now a citizen of the United States and the crowd in the celebrebox wave American flags as he enters for a mandatory Erin Andrews interview. Inexplicitly Erin starts throwing a series of history questions at him and before the commercial he vows to become Canadian. (Just joking, welcome to America fine sir, where the waters run clear and the Jam is plentiful.)

Michael Waltrip, his hairdo, and Emma are discussing how Michael Waltrip and his hairdo want to see Emma in a bikini for their next number. Turns out that his favorite “jam” happens to have the word bikini in it. Not that I thought it might be Clair de Lune mind you, but naturally one has to stop and think if this really is his favorite song or is it just some type of ploy to have him dance with a young girl in as little clothing as possible? Yeah, I’m gonna go with, lemmee see, PLOY!!!! I have to say, watching this man is a little like watching a retired banker at a wedding reception. I do however like his gigantic pocket square. I don’t really remember much about the dance; I felt a bit strange watching it.

Mr. “Not really that” Smiley and Sharna She-Wolf are out on the road, trying to squeeze in a few dance moves in between book signings. At one point we see them practicing in the hallway of a hotel. I can just imagine the folks in the room right outside of where they were dancing:

Honey, what’s that noise out in the hallway?

It’s just Tavis Smiley and his partner Sharna Burgess practicing their samba.

Should we call the front desk and complain?

No, I think if Tavis learns to point his toes they’ll be a lot better by morning…

They kind of dance a disco number. He seemed pretty upset about having to learn too many intricate moves so Sharna just kind of draped herself around him as he marched around the floor and occasionally pointed at random things in the ballroom. I don’t think Tavis Smiley likes Jam Monday, or dancing, or happiness. I’m going to give him an 8 anyway because his wig reminded me of my 11th grade class photo.

Alfonso plays the Will Smith card, and if you’re going to have to succumb to ABC programming pressure and say you have a favorite “jam” there’s no better way to song than Getting Jiggy With It. Witney really wants Alfonso to be great, but she also needs to warn him that since he was so stellar on week one, she’s afraid there’s nowhere to go but down. Cue the sad jam music as Witney confesses to a sympathetic producer that she just can’t let her partner down. Seriously, week TWO! People need to get a grip–we usually don’t see this type of angst and torment until week six or seven. And then we get (in no particular order) anguish, sorrow, suffering, freestyle, and winner.

Alfonso was amazing and the crowd went wild. Will Smith and Jada were probably watching from their mansion in Malibu trying to figure out what to buy with all that new Jiggy royalty money about to roll in.

Judges table update: The fembot sitting behind Len hasn’t moved in over an hour.

And now its time to condense this update into as few words as possible, quickstep style:

YouTube gal Bethany Moto and Derek “He can do no wrong, ever, which drives Mark Ballas crazy” Hough will be dancing to the number one hit It’s all about the Bass’ and yes, the first time I read about this song I thought it was about a fish. And by the way, it still can be Mr. Weird Al Yankovitch (just watch, I won’t get one iota of acknowledgment from him at all for that idea). In the clip we see that Bethany has somehow mysteriously hurt her ankle. Well missy, your dance partner won second place dancing with a woman with two artificial legs, I don’t think you’re going to get a lot of sympathy from him, hashtagDancingIsHarsh.

We never get the full story on what’s wrong with the ankle, just that it hurts, and yes, Derek is worried: “Here’s an ice pack, and by the way, could you go ahead and jump up on that Bass?”

I’m going to say it again: Give this man a show were we just watch him do stuff. Please.

Tony Dovoloni reveals to us for the first time since the show started that the elegant lady that had been lurking around him in the celebrebox is none other than Betsey Johnson. I thought it was his mother for the entire first hour of the show. He’s given her a “mental makeover.” Is this a real thing now? How do we sign up? Is there a kiosk at the mall? She looks lovely, and happy and smitten with Tony (and really, who wouldn’t be?). Is there no one in this woman’s life who ever said, “Okay Bets, enough with dressing like a 12 year old!” Tony was the first? I call Implausible Jam!

Quick note to the producers:

Please stop letting the 72-year-old woman hold her leg aloft in the air. Thank you.

Signed, America.

Dimples McGee, or better known to everyone as Antonio Sabato, JUNIOR, needs to join some type of support group with Lea Thompson. He’s not happy with how it’s going while trying to learn this week’s sexy dance. (I think every dance that Dimples attempts are going to be over in the Sexy Category, Amiright ladies and Bruno??) We have some type of secret footage of Cheryl and Antonio talking about not letting the show get to them, something we apparently weren’t allowed to really watch them talk about in the dance studio. It was all very surreptitious and clandestine…as was their dance.

“Innuendo Jam, made from the finest forbidden fruit available.”

Tommy and Peta, Cheech and Chong, all we need are those two old puppets from the Muppet Show and we’ve got ourselves a variety hour. All I can say about the number, and the image of a 76-year-old man tearing his bright pink shirt open is this: STOP LETTING THE OLD PEOPLE DO STUFF LIKE THAT.

Jonathan and Allison are already besties and getting pedicures together. Allison is not a ballroom dancer like the other ballroom dancers, she’s fun to watch, but I totally forgot that Jonathan was supposed to be dancing with her. The Judges ream her for this. It’s uncomfortable to watch and the female pros up in the celebrebox begin to stare daggers at Carrie Ann AhhhhNABA. Awkward, yes, Jam.

And last but not least, Mark and Sadie take the floor. Sadie is all dolled up in country gear that has been sanctioned as tolerable by the Dynasty of Duckdom. And Mark, he’s dressed as some type of scat cat in a fancy hat. (Side note questions: Has Mark ever been to the country? Are they going to start letting the dancers and pros do dramatic line readings now before their dance numbers? Does everyone get to dance with a car this season?)

Sadie seemed to think that she would be getting effusive praise each week from the judges. She doesn’t look too happy about getting critiqued. Mark is probably kicking himself for not having her jump off of a banjo at the beginning of the number. HashtagDerekWouldHave.

So there you go again, another week of a lot of useless information jammed into one tiny little blog. Do you have a favorite yet? Is anybody else craving toast?

Lisa K. Brown

Lisa K. Brown, also known to her fans on social media as 'Lisa Carrington Pennyweather', is the author of the top selling book, If Cheese Made You Thin I'd Be Invisible By Now. An East Texas based humorist, Lisa was a Features writer for CHARM Magazine for five years and has been published nationally in a variety of print publications and online sites. Although not a dancer in real life, her exhaustive knowledge of Bob Fosse and the ability to choreograph (in her mind, verbatim) the opening number from West Side Story makes her (by default) an expert in this field.

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