Dancing with the Stars, Season 25, Week 2, Night 2, Latin Night
Frankie & Witney manages to snatch the lead from the two more successful couples as Alan’s first run in the main cast ends early.
For the second night of this week, we’re down to twelve couples instead of thirteen. So there’s time for an opening number, albeit a very short one.
The hot Latin routines stay short too:
Nikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev: Samba; “Despacito” Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
Nikki’s disappointed she doesn’t get a headdress, and nervous about bumping and grinding with someone not her fiancée. But at the opening of this, she and Artem do get down and sexy. But she loses it a bit when they start sambaing, with her legs not creating the bounce that the samba really requires, and you feel it’s off even before the judges point it out. Plus not only Len but even Bruno thought they waited too long to get to the content, calling it “the longest foreplay in samba history,” and also points to her timing being off. Carrie Ann too is critical. They get only Sixes and 18.
Victoria Arlen & Val Chmerkovskiy: Rumba; “Easy” Sky Ferreira
Victoria, too, has trouble with the demands of the dance, with simply getting that close and that emotional with Val. But when he choreographs a routine that tells a sad story to go with the song, those are the bits she actually pulls off. You really feel the emotion of the routine, and there are moments were it’s sweepingly beautiful. But it doesn’t feel much like a rumba, and her relative lack of hip action doesn’t help. Bruno and Carrie Ann are both very nice to her in their comments, and their scores are Sevens. Len is not, and he castigates Val for lack of rumba content before raising a Six, so they total 20.
Derek Fisher & Sharna Burgess: Paso Doble; “Diablo Rojo” Rodrigo y Gabriela
Derek, meanwhile, actually had trouble getting aggressive against Sharna. She describes him more like a guy who’s smiling all the time. But presumably he manages to tap into his competitive streak to find the needed aggression, and tonight, he’s able to let that unleash. It’s maybe a little one-dimensional, and Sharna maybe does a bit more dancing then him, but he has his impact. Carrie Ann especially is impressed, though she and Len do admit his arms or hand could use improvement. But Bruno accuses him of getting too in character, at the expensive of artistry! He and Len only give Sixes, but a Seven from Carrie Ann gets them 19.
Sasha Pieterse & Gleb Savchenko: Samba; “Most Girls” Hailee Steinfeld
In the fluff, Sasha talks about how a hormonal imbalance made her suddenly turn heavy without her knowing why, which of course got her a lot of nasty comments, and she’s still recovering from all that emotionally. So Gleb comes up with a routine where she’s crowned Prom Queen, and she rejects the tiara and just dances with him. That’s a little cheesy, but by the end of this short routine, you genuinely feel uplifted. It’s probably a combination of her joy and her bouncing about; she does the samba well. Carrie Ann likes it the most again, giving it an Eight. Bruno says she should sell it even more, and he and Len give her Sevens, so she totals 23.
Nick Lachey & Peta Murgatroyd: Argentine Tango; “She’s a Lady” Lion Babe
Peta decides Nick should channel his and Vanessa’s first date. The fluff has Vanessa’s account of it, and him failing to remember it. But she puts them over a restaurant table, and somewhere in there perhaps he finds some heat. But he doesn’t really do much besides walk around the floor while keeping his feet and everything more or less where it’s supposed be. Peta is the one doing all the dancing, and she overwhelms him, which isn’t supposed to happen in Argentine Tango. Carrie Ann thought he had the emotions. Len did not. Bruno thinks he did, but tells him to work on his feet. It’s another Seven from her and pair of Sixes from them for 19.
Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold: Samba: “Mi Gente” J Balvin & Willy William
Lindsay says in the fluff she’s never seen anyone so enthusiastic about learning the samba, since it’s a difficult one to learn. But Jordan’s still enthusiastic about everything. He channels that into his dancing, making everything look fluid and natural and stunning at times, and his enthusiasm remains very strong. Carrie Ann also notes the nuances in this one were Latin as requested, and thanks him for that. Len even compares him to the river Jordan: “you just keep rolling on.” Though he does suggest if he wears Cuban shoes in a routine, to wear them in rehearsal. They get a set of straight Eights to total 24.
Drew Scott & Emma Slater: Rumba; “Lights Down Low” MAX feat. gnash
The fluff is mainly about his going to get a tan to look sexier! Maybe he genuinely needed it too, since he’s got an open shirt. But it feels like his appearance shouldn’t be his made concern tonight. He should focus on dancing better. Although he does do that, doing this dance much more easily than he did his previous ones. Len goes so far to say that while the fixer-upper hasn’t been fixed, he has worked on the back yard, and that it’s his best yet. But the story of the judge’s comments in this one happens when Bruno falls out of his seat! Ultimately, all three judges break out the Sevens, so they end up with 21.
Debbie Gibson & Alan Bersten: Argentine Tango; “Havana” Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug
Bruno said he wanted her to be more naughty, and so Debbie gets to work on that. They also talk about their chemistry, which they take very good advantage of. This routine is hot right from the beginning. Debbie still isn’t the most natural dancer ever, but she looks good through more of this than not. Bruno tells her she delivered the naughtiness, though he critiques her feet-using his. Carrie Ann agrees. Len talks similarly, and is especially impressed at how well she captured the mood of the Argentinean night club. He calls it her best yet. The three of them give them straight Sevens for a total of 21.
Vanessa Lachey & Maks Chmerkovskiy: Salsa; “Instruction” Jax Jones feat. Demi Lovato & Stefflon Don
There’s a funny moment where she asks the different between a salsa and cha cha, and he doesn’t really know it. She too draws on memories, of her younger self who went out dancing a lot. The two of them even break out from the audience as their party crowd before hitting the floor together. From there it’s pure dancing, and it’s quick and energetic underneath the club lights. They do make a tiny mistake at the end. Len declares he’s overlooking that and that Vanessa is a contender. Bruno praises her for outshining Maks but insists he can’t overlook it. So he only gives her a Seven, but Len and Carrie Ann give her Eights, for 23.
Terrell Owens & Cheryl Burke: Samba; “Hot in Here” Nelly
The fluff has Terrell talking about his being single and appealing, and presenting his phone number. Then he hits the floor with Cheryl to further demonstrate how sexy he is. Hey, if he might be voted out, maybe he’s trying to get something out of this? It’s hard to impress when he’s next to Cheryl, but he does convey some sexiness. And he leaves Len saying, “Terrell & Cheryl, I hope you’re not in peril,” while Bruno cries, “Hose me down, I’m on fire!” But he notes his lack of bounce, and Carrie Ann still thinks he’s dancing too small. She and Len only give him Sixes, though Bruno gives him a Seven, so it’s 20.
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas: Samba; “Mani Picao” Ricky Campanelli
Lindsey talks about coming from a conservative background, so she’s another one not used to being sexy. But she also grew up with a work ethic, so she spends the week drilling sexy. The week of drilling the dance certainly pays off. She comes out tonight and is able to dance fast and furious, and there’s no lack of hip action here. She tops it off with a bit of flirtatiousness too. The judges all love it, and Carrie Ann is especially impressed with how well she connected to the music, even saying, “You are the music.” Len also thanks Mark for a routine that is purely samba, and they break out the straight Eights.
Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson: Cha Cha Cha; “Perm” Bruno Mars
The fluff is all about how Frankie’s devoting every waking hour to this, doing yoga and treatments to freeze his back and dancing moves in the drug store aisle. Witney goes with the song by placing him at the hairdressers, which is a little odd, but they and the two other customers/background dancers get down to business quickly. And Frankie is good, hitting all the moves with terrific enthusiasm; he probably couldn’t be dancing this any better. The judges all shower him with praise, Carrie Ann and Len raise their Eight paddles-and then Bruno says it was the dance of the night, and breaks out the Nine! They take the lead with 25.
Len also takes a moment while commenting on Frankie & Witney to congratulate everyone for handling in week 2 the grueling task of learning two dances, something couples usually don’t get asked to do until later in the season. But one of them that danced through both nights is still out, and we have to find out who. Once again two couples are called in jeopardy: Nick & Peta and Debbie & Alan. This time it’s the couple that’s probably getting more votes that’s has the point less. But surely Nick & Peta can get enough to overcome that gap, can’t they?
They can; Debbie & Alan are out. Debbie is happy with the time she had, even saying, “I feel like I got my life back.” But one can help but feel sad for Alan. He worked so hard to earn this spot in the main cast, and he only got two weeks. And who knows if he’ll get another shot; Henry Byalikov didn’t.
Next week is Guilty Pleasures week, and we’ll be back down to one night. So hopefully everyone will end up a touch less exhausted.