Dancing with the Stars, Season 24, Week 3, “Vegas Night”

Dancing with the Stars celebrates the world of gambling and glamour with “Vegas Night”. We run down the scores, the slip ups and missed steps and the standouts.

It’s Vegas Night in the ballroom, so naturally they open on a slot machine. Also some showgirls getting out of bed, but no, the opening number is not to “Waking Up in Vegas.”

It’s a good, creative one, though, utilizing the ballroom well. A number of the dances are performed to songs playing in current Vegas shows, though not all of them….

Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd: Tango; “Poker Face” Lady Gaga

The tabloids may be writing about trouble with the fiancée, but the fluff ain’t touching that. It just focuses on his taking the events of the previous show badly and wanting to be better. This week, Peta choreographs a number that makes her look mostly like an evil sorceress queen with him as her card shark companion. And honestly, she kind of steals the show. But Nick dances very well and makes himself worthy enough a partner for her. The judges congratulate him for his improvement, and Len raises his score to a Six. But Bruno keeps his score a Six and the ladies keep theirs Sevens, so they only go up to 26.

Mr. T & Kym Herjavec: Foxtrot; “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” Dean Martin

Mr. T actually met Dean Martin and the Rat Pack once, and he talks about the kind of Vegas he’s old enough to remember. Kym, too, calls the foxtrot “old Vegas,” and says Mr. T is suited to its refined style. The number includes a pair of Vegas showgirls so Mr. T has three ladies and lots of feathers surrounding him. But he still does a lot of foxtrotting, and he gets the job done well enough. Len expresses an appreciation for how much dancing he did, and Bruno for how well he cleans up. The judges break out the straight Sixes for 24.

Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess: Charleston; “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” Fergie, Q-Tip, & GoonRock.

They’re using this song because it’s in a Baz Luhrmann show in Vegas, Star-Crossed Love. Bonner too spends the week stressing and feeling inadequate. In his case, that’s because the Charleston is a dance that’s supposed to include lifts and tricks, and his injury doesn’t allow for that. The routine Sharna creates that he can do does, nonetheless, have just a little bit of the recommended cartoonish feel to it. Bonner himself helps to bring that up with his attitude. But the judges still don’t think it had the larger-than-life feel they wanted. That he got the timing wrong on a lot of it doesn’t help. They break out a second set of straight Sixes.

We pause for Julianne Hough to get onto the dance floor, and Derek Hough shows up to join her! The two of them preview a number from their upcoming tour which reflects their own life. The moment these two take the floor together in a powerful number, we suddenly realize how much we wanted to see some dancing this just plain good. The celebrities will tell their own personal stories next week, but they won’t be as good as this. Then back to Vegas…

Heather Morris & Alan Bersten: Tango “Toxic” Britney Spears.

This one’s from Britney’s Vegas Show Piece of Me. Maks is in the hospital post-surgery, coaching Heather and Allen over Skype. This isn’t the first time Heather’s done Britney Spears numbers; she did them in Glee. Her past Britney impressions didn’t involve ballroom, but it serves her well. She dresses for the part, and is perfect as the diva. Her dancing is also pretty good as well, some of the best we’ve seen out the celebrities this season. “You brought the ballroom to Britney,” Carrie Ann tells her as she breaks out the season’s first Nine. “Hit me, Heather, one more time!” Bruno adds as the other three break out Eights, for a 33 total.

Charo & Keo Motsepe: Foxtrot; “Chapel of Love” the Dixie Cups.

This song means getting themselves married by an Elvis impersonator, of course. Charo notes that she actually met Elvis once. Also that spending so much time around her has made Keo less mild-mannered. But this song is a light and fluffy and she shows her sweet side. Also wears a big poofy skirt that makes it hard to determine how she’s doing with her feet. The judges provide us with the answer afterwards: not very well. But Len nonetheless declares he “smiled from beginning to end.” Bruno tells her to see that she doesn’t have to go crazy, but Carrie Ann thinks the old Charo need not go entirely. For the third time tonight they all break out the Sixes.

Simone Biles & Sasha Farber: Quickstep; “Viva Las Vega” Elvis Presley.

In contrast to Charo, Simone, though she isn’t entirely ignorant of who Elvis is, has very limited knowledge. But Sasha manages to give her good enough of an idea, and choreographs a big bouncy routine with flashing lights that doesn’t keep us from seeing her feet. Those feet skip it well around the floor, as does the rest of her. But then they gets daring, including a lift. It’s one that works well with the routine, and three of the judges happily praise them despite it. But Carrie Ann does not ignore lifts, and she is not pleased at them forcing her to dock them a point. So while Julianne pulls out the Nine and the men their Eights, she only gives them a Seven, for 32 total.

Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev: Samba; “Shake Your Bon-Bon” Ricky Martin.

Artem’s long idolized Ricky Martin; he has quite a strong reaction when they go to Vegas and his show to meet him. Nancy’s glad for his advice, too, since shaking her bon-bon is not something she’s ever gotten comfortable doing publicly. But tonight, she opens the dancing by doing it like a pro. Then when Artem joins her for some proper sambaing she kills it there as well, and they both do dancing to make Ricky proud. The judges all rave, and Len even calls it the best dance so far he’s seen this season. It’s kind of disappointing when then none of them break out their Nine paddle, but they get straight Eights for 32.

David Ross & Lindsay Arnold: Jazz; “Candy Shop” 50 Cent feat. Olivia.

This is based off Vegas’ Magic Mike show, and David’s another person not used to being sexy in public. He debates during the fluff whether to take his shirt off. He finally does after the end of the routine-after he’s stripped down to sparkly boxers and spent most the routine doing very sexy moves with a group of male dancers. Lindsay steps in to do the most difficult choreography, but David absolutely nails what he does do, and he finds his own sex appeal in the end. “Move over, Magic Mike!” Carrie Ann declares, and Julianne too gives him magic props. A Seven from Len and Eights from the others get them 31.

Erika Jayne & Gleb Savchenko: Jive; “Take Me to Heaven” Alan Menken & Glenn Slater.

Erika calls herself “tailor made” for Las Vegas. This is based off Absinthe, a saucy Cirque du Soleil parody that’s kind of perfect for her as well. The jive, however, is another matter. She struggles with it throughout the week. And she doesn’t do the moves right tonight either.  She gets the character she portrays absolutely right. But the judges can’t ignore all the technical errors. Carrie Ann also refuses to ignore the opening lift, saying she might have, but they held it too long. That takes her score down to a Six, and Bruno apologetically gives them the same. Len and Julianne are more lenient with Sevens, and they total 26.

Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater: Samba; “Swalla” Jason DeRulo feat. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla Sign.

Emma calls this the hardest dance, and she spends the fluff pushing Rashad hard in the hope of keeping him on top of the leaderboard. When they do a routine that’s supposed to be a “Vegas pool party,” it ends up going much the way it did with Erika. Rashad is an absolute delight when it comes to the character he portrays and the mood of the music and party. But he gets completely off the tempo when doing the moves. Len also sees him as lacking some of the bounce the samba’s supposed to have. Not his best, the judges declare as they give him straight Sevens.

Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy: Foxtrot; “Big Spender” Shirley Bassey.

Fifth Harmony was still touring this week. The fluff showed them in Hong Kong, and their taking a little time out to tour the place. Val reiterates the bonding experience was worth the cramped schedule. And for the second week in a row it definitely worked for them. Normani absolute owns both the blackjack table sitting and the foxtrotting parts of this routine, sexy, powerful, and dazzling. “Hey, Big Splendor!” Bruno exclaims as he proclaims it the night’s best. Carrie Ann feels obliged to dock a point for his lifting her onto the table and Len wanted a little more foxtrot, so they only give Eights, but two Nines from Julianne and Bruno give them the lead with 34.

Once again with only two minutes left, Tom and Erin just call two couples in jeoparody: Charo & Keo and Nick & Peta. The two of them had the same scores last week, and surely, you think, larger than life Charo would have the advantage over the relatively dull Nick, right?

Wrong. Charo & Keo are out, and before they ought to be. It seems Keo just can’t catch a break. Charo doesn’t even have time to give him the routine praise. Instead she just thanks everyone and then tells Bruno she’ll meet him in the parking lot…

But meanwhile, now we must do next week’s personal stories without her. That really is a waste, given her colorful life story. Seriously, America, what were you thinking?

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