Dancing (Theoretically on My Couch) With the Stars: Week 4

PolitiChicks.comTime to NAME THAT WEEK! I’ll give you a hint:  it’s the complete opposite of Jam Week, and is sure to illicit pain, laughter, tears, and more pain…It’s the dreaded “Most Memorable Year” week!!! And even though most of the male dancers never seem to have buttons on their shirts, ABC is still pretty darn good at pushing them.

I can tell by the opening that we’re in for some rough dance roads ahead; even the camera work seems to be a little wobbly tonight (maybe they don’t let the camera men button up their shirts either–I hear it can get really cold in the DWTS studio).

What say we all kick off our collective dance shoes (or if you’re anything like me, your velcro Dollar Store flats) and let’s dive heart first into the tumultuous world of celebrity-based ballroom dance competition!

Apparently (and I wasn’t prepared for such an honor, or dressed for it) America will be the fourth judge tonight. Of course I’m honored, who wouldn’t be? But I haven’t had a spray tan since 1998, my ball gown is at the cleaners, my hair’s a mess, and (most importantly) will I have to be seated anywhere near Bruno? No? Well then alrighty, I accept. (By the way producers, America would like a fruit tray in her dressing room and a cheese cake made entirely out of Velveeta cheese.)

Val and Janel– I could tell by the sad rehearsal music that our first number would be a real tear jerker, and it really was. Janel is talking about how when she was little she pestered her parents to let her go to California and become a star, and naturally, they let her go. I once pestered my parents for 24 hours straight and they still wouldn’t let me travel to Liverpool (by train, from East Texas mind you) to meet Paul McCartney’s fourth cousin twice removed at a fan convention, but I digress.  Janel goes on to say that she had a great friend who had mentored her and always believed in her, and as she begins to well up with tears I get the sinking feeling that her friend is probably not going to be sitting in the audience tonight. (CURSES you wretched Most Memorable Year week!!) At least she gets to sort out her feelings by dancing a sexy rumba with a buttonless (naturally) Chmerkovskiy . Up in the cele-bri-box Erin Andrews (ever the hard digging celebrity dance show co-host) wants Janel to share with us, “We know you were emotional out there, tell us why you were so emotional out there.” (Hello Erin? Can you not watch the clip before the dance number like the rest of us?) America gives her a 9. America also wants to punch Erin in the face sometimes. America gets cranky.

Jonathan and Allison- (Who I shall now dub “Jallison”) or aka, the two black sheep of DWTS, are up next. Hopefully Jonathan will have a much more upbeat story than Janel… AND no. Basically after Jonathan’s story my pad of paper is tear- stained, as well as my heart, my cat and three couch pillows. I was going to really have a field day making fun of how the only thing Jonathan has done has been in the movie Mean Girls, but now I don’t have the emotional energy to say anything snarky about him ever again. Hold up….he’s dancing to Christmas music? Eh? I’m not sure how this ties in with the unbelievable losses in his life; perhaps his family liked the holidays and cheesy Christmas sweaters? And then, just like that, we ditch the Christmas theme and we’re now watching Jallison dance to the “Milkshake Song” from (apparently) the only movie he’s ever been in. Everything about this dance, from the back story to the dance itself, was a bit painful to watch. As an American I want to give him a 5 for the overall number, but a 9 for pluck and sadness. I think I need to get some type of liquid or Gatorade type drink inside me before the next couple comes out; the last two dances have made me dehydrated. Thanks a lot, ABC.

Betsy and Tony– As expected there’s no let up on bad memories this week. Betsy shares a heartwarming story about divorce. I feel that I can relate to her experience–she got a divorce, I got a divorce, she had a child, I had a child, she started her own business, and I curled under my bed and ate cheese for 10 years. It’s like looking in a mirror. At this point I know that no matter what Betsy Johnson dances to (and I’m talking anything from Old McDonald to that sound you get when a phone number is busy) chick is going to do some type of split. And yes, a handstand triple axel frozen right knee split fits perfectly into the middle of her song, which she dedicates to her daughter Lolo. And then she sort of kind of forgets to dance the rest of the number. I don’t think having all that blood rush to your head when you’re upside down after the age of 70 helps much, but America will give her a 9 for the handstand anyway, for the simple reason that America finally didn’t have to cry her eyes out during a musical sequence.

Quick announcement from Tom: Next week is switch up week (in case you wanted to order t-shirts or have a theme party).

Bethany and Derek– I just watched this segment and I feel like I’ve now been put through a wash and spin cycle of emotion. Bethany was bullied. Bullying is (I personally think) one of the worst things that a young person can go through in life. If you don’t believe me, just listen to the Janis Ian song “At Seventeen” while sitting alone in your bedroom eating a pecan log and wondering why no boys have ever liked you. (Whoa, Most Memorable Week is really putting me through the mill…) I feel like I’m going to need to go into some type of deep therapy or dance lessons to get over some of what I’m hearing and feeling tonight. Bethany got the last laugh on her tormentors though, about 10 million YouTube-type last laughs so far (according to Wikipedia). Her dance wasn’t so much a dance as a lesson to bullying victims. America does not like bullies but they love Derek; we shall give their dance a 9 and pause the show to go fetch some more Kleenex.

Michael Waltrip (his hair) and Emma– This segment starts out on a upbeat note (thank goodness). Michael talks about winning the Daytona something or another, good..good…exciting race, everything he had ever dreamed of, crossing the finish line. I was thrilled to finally have one of the celebrities talk about something positive. And suddenly the car veers off the racetrack of positivity and onto the terrible road of loss and despair. Michael begins talking about Dale Earnhardt’s death. It’s emotionally gut wrenching (which is something you don’t except to write about when you start a blog about an entertainment dancing show) but hey, there’s dancin to do!! And Michael wants to dance to something fun and upbeat for his friend Dale, and says Michael (a bit prophetically), “If I mess up Dale would probably even like that better.” Well Michael, take it from America, you certainly made Mr. Earnhardt very happy tonight. Well done! I’m actually beginning to really like Michael and his enthusiasm for this journey he’s on, and I have to say that the suit he wore tonight was a color that I’ve never before seen on Dancing with the Stars (and for this show that’s saying a lot folks).

Lea and Ark-trim– Okay that’s it, I’m done I tell’s ya, I am done. Another heartbreaking story about loss. A barefoot dance (the really emotional dances are all done barefoot) let’s just give her a 10 and move on.  I’m an emotional wreck. I want to live in a world of happiness and jam again.

Antonio McDimply and Cheryl– As soon as he says the words “Janet Jackson video” my world becomes bright and sunshiny again. Yes, that video. That glorious black and white sand-blown video. I might be older than Janel and Sadie and Bethany put together (almost) but I remember that video, fondly. Most Memorable Week has just taken a turn for the Meow. (Sorry, that’s the only word I could come up with, and the synonym of that word is basically Bow WOW.) America likey.

Tommy and Peta– Tommy is dressed in prison garb so I’m guessing the Happiness Train just pulled out of the station and is taking us back to Weepy Town. Of course it might not be all bad as it appears; Peta is dressed up as some type of porn cop. Tommy was in jail.  In jail, he had no freedom, and hopefully no jailers were dressed like his dance partner. I still like Tommy; he’s unusual in a zen-type of way. He does however get major points taken off his score from America for motor boating Peta during their dance. Maybe that’s why Peta threw him so violently across the dance floor at the end of their number. I gotta say, the older folks this season can really take a licking. Kudos elderly dancers!

Mark and Sadie– When the show first began and I saw Mark’s cosume, I thought he was dressed as Cat Stevens and I couldn’t figure it all out. You don’t have to hit me over the head with 20 or so Duck Dynasty cast members for me to finally get the joke though. Sadie talks about her family and the show and her Grandpa and people in the audience quack and it’s all surreal and kind of fun. And even though I would always prefer to see Mark suffer artistically, I find myself rooting for Sadie more and more each time she dances. I’m thinking if they switch Sadie with Derek next week it might break little Mark into a billion pieces. If I know my Dancing with the Stars producers, I’m betting that’s a pretty huge possibility.

Alfonso and Witney– YES YES YES. Even though I might be a middle aged (If I live to be 101) pastey white un hip female, I was a very ardent fan of ‘Fresh Prince of yada yada yada” and whenever Carlton danced to that classic Tom Jones song, I confess, it made me happy. AND IT STILL DOES!! The audience erupts into wild applause! I‘ll even go so far as to say it’s my absolute favorite non-Derek Hough dance of the entire show’s history. I really think Alfonso needs to embrace his inner Carlton a lot more, just as we all should. Just as we all should. (Dramatic second line repeats are always effective, don’t ya think?) America gives him a 10, the judges give him a 10’s (and somewhere in the studio you just know Mark Ballas stares sadly off into space as he peels off his fake beard and wonders to himself what on earth he can do on this show to garner a perfect score).

Most Memorable Week comes to a close as we say goodbye to Betsy Johnson (and as a final hurrah, Betsy doesn’t seem to grasp that fact for an uncomfortable 3 or 4 seconds after Tom calls out her name). Tony and Betsy head out to the dance floor to dance their final dance and I must admit I switch the channel over to a PBS station really quickly because I just can’t bear to see her go down into the splits one last time. (You know, due to the heartache and all…)

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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