The first night of “Dancing with the Stars”
Week 3 of “Dancing With the Stars” was Disney Night, which was supposed to be filled with awesome clothes, joy and ABC-Disney corporate synergy.
Still, there was something dark on the dance floor on Monday night as the judges took off their gloves as they assessed “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin’s dance attempts. And if you guessed that the animal activist danced at “The Lion King”, you weren’t alone.
Of course he did, in a resplendent lion costume that earned the judges raves. But his samba was mauled in a week that saw Backstreet Boy A.J. McLean shows off a new Vin Diesel-style Aladdin and “Bachelor” star Kaitlyn Bristowe grit for her mysterious ankle injury.
Here’s what happened:
Justina Machado’s “Mary Poppins” Charleston wasn’t practically perfect, but good
“One Day at a Time” star Machado is an up and coming “DWTS” star and topped the charts last week with an exuberant foxtrot. Machado and pro Sasha Farber’s Charleston to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from “Mary Poppins” lacked some of that magic, even as the two dived onto the dance floor and popped up, with the famous animated penguins dancing in the background.
Judge Derek Hough called for “more energy” and “sharper” technique with a score of 6. But beaming Machado, who scored 19 out of 30 for the judges’ scores, will be back next week.
A.J. McLean brought out the Vin Diesel dome dance
McLean was the consummate showman, performing the fast-paced “Prince Ali” from “Aladdin” with pro partner Cheryl Burke with a pizzazz that would catch the attention of Genie Will Smith. But the sight that wowed viewers and television judges was his freshly shaved bald head. McLean took a step back from his usual trendy hat.
Judge Bruno Tonioli immediately intervened, asking if he was really McLean “or Vin Diesel in” Aladdin Fast & the Furious “.”
Host Tyra Banks asked McLean to name a wish. Surprisingly, all he asked for was a score of 8 for the routine. But the judges denied this desire, giving him 7 straight.
Kaitlyn Bristowe didn’t complain about her injury in ‘Moana’
The “The Bachelor” star was all the drama of last week, while Banks updated viewers gasping for breath on Bristowe’s mysterious ankle injury. Would he dance or not? She danced and received the highest scores.
Bristowe has not yet explained the injury, but he danced a rumba on “How Far I’ll Go” by “Moana” barefoot alongside pro Artem Chigvintsev. Apparently, natural au helps the pain. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba called it “the best dance of the night”, said she was “euphoric” watching and gave it an 8 (total judges score 23/30). The best news: Bristowe said actual medical tests showed the damage to her ankle was “tendonitis, shin and a little swollen,” meaning we hope to see the end of further mentions.
Chrishell Stause was no wavering Cinderella
The star of the reality show “Selling Sunset” has created an even more fairy-tale ideal Cinderella with a gorgeous white ball gown. But Stause admitted she was nervous about waltzing “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” with Gleb Savchenko, a pro because she is clumsy and “pigeon-footed”. He also confessed to having made a recent trip up the stairs.
Yet, after the final pirouette, it was clear that he had nailed him, earning a “beautiful” from Inaba, which gave him a 7 (total score 23/30).
Vernon Davis’ smile is starting to make its way
The NFL Super Bowl Champion was thrilled to dance “Beauty and the Beast”, thinking it would definitely be the Beast. He didn’t hide his disappointment at being the candlestick alongside pro Peta Murgatroyd, dancing the fast pace of “Be Our Guest”.
But, as “DWTS” requires, Davis owned the yellow candlestick dress with frills and never stopped smiling.
“Real men play candles,” Hough said, giving a 7 and emphasizing the enthusiasm amidst some hesitation. “You give off so much joy.” Total score 22/30.
Jeannie Mai keeps looking for “Up”
The TV host is not one of the names on the show banner. But it’s bringing unbridled excitement that results in the dance floor. His Viennese waltz on “Married Life” from “Up” with professional partner Brandon Armstrong was my choice for the dance of the night, getting a boost from the greatest Pixar movie ever. (It’s Mai’s couple film with rapper boyfriend Jeezy).
The dancers, in gray wigs, even acted out moments from the animated film that worked – somehow. When the colorful balloons fell on the dance floor it was amazing.
“You captured the essence of the film. Dancing as acting. Pure storytelling,” disappointed Tonioli, assigning a score of 8.
He was never so happy, he grabbed Tonioli’s paddle 8 and raced. He had to give it back, but the total score of 22 out of 30 left Mai in a good position.
Carole Baskin scratched by “DWTS” after “Lion King” incident
Baskin was doing all he could after barely surviving an elimination in week 2 that came in Hough’s final vote in his favor.
During the preview of the video, Baskin filled with tears as she talked about rescuing the big cats, her pet project. It was like he knew he wouldn’t have the soapbox for much longer. Of course, his “Lion King” costume was sublime. But the flickering samba with pro Pasha Pashkov at the “Circle of Life” almost broke the circle.
“I am amazed. I have never actually seen a samba like this,” roared Tonioli. “If you were dancing with the Brooklyn Bridge you might get more bounce. You just went through it. Samba needs bounce and energy. You can’t sleepwalk through it.”
Tonioli gave the dance a low score of 3.
Inaba could only point out that Baskin had “nice hands when you dance. But samba is more than that. Most other things were missing”. He awarded a 5.
Hough dodged harsh criticism, giving it a “10 for costume, hair, and makeup” and a 4 for dance. Baskin’s total of 12 out of 30 judges left her in a serious situation.
You know where it’s going …
When the final votes were calculated, Baskin and fellow competitor Anne Heche were the last two at risk of expulsion. The final decision was made by the judges and there was little doubt about how it would go this week.
Even the ever-politician Hough was unable to come to the rescue for the second week. “Unfortunately, I can’t save you this week again,” he said. He voted to save Heche.
Tonioli was next, and it was obvious. “I have to do my job,” he said, voting to save Heche. End of the story.
Always positive, Baskin never stopped smiling, even after his elimination.
“My husband will be so happy that I am coming home,” she said, after hugging her partner.
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