'Dancing With the Stars' results recap: Unplugged
Well, anything is possible. Maybe it was because, as the “DanceCenter” panel pointed out, he had too many cookies and “he’s not working out hard enough.” Oh Romeo, Romeo. Despite that swagger and a confidence that stretched on for days, the multihyphenate talent formerly known as “Lil” and son of Master P was eliminated from the competition during this, Season 12’s eighth week. Just shy of the semifinals, too. And while I can safely say that I never want to hear him shill anything ever again (“He’s plugging to the very end!” exclaimed Tom), I was still sad to see him go.
Remember when Romeo didn’t want to put on heeled shoes? He’s come such a long way, thanks to pro partner Chelsie Hightower, and he should be proud of his efforts. Carrie Ann in particular, seemed shocked that Romeo was the one leaving and not injured Ralph Macchio, who received a good six points less than his fellow bottom-dweller. But at least Romeo was able to leave with strong tango and salsa performances that showed that he can not only talk the talk (and talk and talk), but walk the walk as well. He won’t have to turn down movies for fear of dancing. And his message remained on point. As they said on “DanceCenter,” Romeo (member of the Celine Dion fan club) did it for the kids, for the troops “and for his father’s record company.”
Well, this leaves Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff, Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Hines Ward and Kym Johnson and Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas to duke it out in the semifinals.
Kirstie and Maks got their semifinal notice early, like a reward after their Argentine tango was selected as the encore performance. In the performance recaps, Kym buttered up Hines before his individual dance, saying “Your butt looks cute in those pants” and then requesting that “If we get a Mirrorball trophy, I want a proper ring on my finger.”
“DWTS” alums Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice returned with glittery eye decals and ridiculous ballroom wear for their ever-entertaining “DanceCenter” segment. And while this one seemed shorter than previous seasons (maybe because there weren’t as many contestants to go through this late in the cycle), I still found their version of what Tom called “sequins and sarcasm” a highlight. Particularly when Kenny and Jerry chatted about the Royal Wedding, to which British Len wasn’t invited. “You’re a terrible dancer,” was all hurt Len could muster. “That’s not what Kate’s sister said,” Kenny razzed back. Oh, snap! Loved how Jerry and Len were concerned with Ralph’s hips, and the hits that Hines put on Kym Johnson. Most uncomfortable moment was a tie, both courtesy of an orange mesh-wearing Jerry Rice. First, when he stirred his own sex pot and licked it, in response to Kirstie Alley (age: timeless; shoe: removeable; weight: diminishing) partner Maks’ “sex on stick” rant. And then when he knowingly told the camera that Chelsea (hobbies: hocus pocus and breaking the rules) was “a naughty girl.” Also loved how Jerry said “Put him in a body bag, Johnny” about Ralph “Sweep the Leg” Macchio (oldest kid ever on "DWTS;" likes: bananas and painkillers). But that may be just because I love quotes from “The Karate Kid.”
The inspirational, three-hanky portion of the program shone the spotlight on three brothers — Hefa, Solane and Tu’iniua Tuita — whose lives were saved by dance after their father tragically passed away after complications from a stroke. And their all-out, energetic performance meant that much more after you know how much these boys had gone through. “I’m loving this series,” said Tom. Go, dance!
“DWTS” alum Michael Bolton came back to perform a duet called “I’m Not Ready” with Australian superstar Delta Goodrem, who kind of looked like what would happen if Kristen Wiig, Faith Hill and Audrina Patridge were stirred in a sex pot and merged into one person. Dmitry Chaplin and Anna Trebunskaya accompanied them by making sweet ballroom love on the dance floor. Dmitry had his trademark chest bared, and his satin shirt flapped handsomely, like the cover of a Harlequin romance, and Anna, as always, was a vision. Michael Bolton’s really having a moment, isn’t he? Between this behind the music parody of “I Said I Love You...But I Lied” and his SNL Digital Short “Jack Sparrow,” I think this erstwhile mulleted crooner may be trending.
Delta Goodrem came back and had her own Insta-moment/trial by fire, playing pinch hitter for the ailing Adele and singing a rendition of “Natural Woman” while Louis Van Amstel and Cheryl Burke swayed romantically on the dance floor. “If she hadn’t bailed us out, Bruno was going to sing it,” Tom said, doing a little save of his own.
Recording star Adele couldn’t achieve the higher registers of “Natural Woman,” but she did come out to perform the primetime TV debut of her single “Rolling in the Deep” with a triangle light show behind her, and a Travis Wall-choreographed number featuring SYTYCD alums Nick Lazzarini, Jaimie Goodwin and Wall and Chantel Aguirre on the dance floor.
What do you think, ballroom fans? Did you find yourself as shocked as Carrie Ann looked when Romeo’s number was up? What do you think galvanized voters more: Karina’s odd headpiece, or Ralph’s mesh turtleneck? What kind of ring was Delta wearing? Who do you think has what it takes to win it all?
Photo credit: Chelsie Hightower and Romeo; Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Adam Taylor / ABC