'Dancing With the Stars' results recap: Good Knight, Gladys
Parting with the Empress of Soul was such sweet sorrow. Professional dancer/cutie Tristan MacManus offered sweet words for his fallen star. “I’ll probably miss Gladys as much as I miss Ireland while I’m here,” the lucky charm said in the video compilation. “And I really miss Ireland.” Aw! How grand.
OK, so Gladys may not have been the best dancer in this season’s program (darn those Pips for never letting her bust a move!). Whatever. She was such a great, effortlessly cool, life-affirming presence on the show. Yes, Gladys wore sequins and rhinestones, as is befitting this ballroom universe, but her smile and inner sparkle shone just as bright. In the words of host Tom Bergeron, Gladys showed us during these six weeks that she really “out-Pipped them all.” And how fitting that her departing song was her own “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Here’s hoping she’ll come back and sing it herself before the season is through. Snap, clap, move and groove!
Gladys and Tristan were beat out by fellow bottom-two dwellers Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower after a dance duel jive for their lives. But the verdict was not unanimous: Carrie Ann chose to save Gladys (which I’m betting was more of a sentimental vote), while Len and Bruno opted to keep Roshon.
The concluding hour of Motown Week started with an upbeat Motor City medley courtesy of the Harold Wheeler band that featured the dance talents of Val Chmerkovskiy, Peta Murgatroyd, the “DWTS” Troupe and choreographed by Louis Van Amstel.
There was a segment that interviewed the stars on the mental and physical toll that being in this competition exerts. Injury-plagued Maria Menounos feels like an old lady, William Levy’s determined he's not going to let ankle pain take him out of the competition. Gladys wakes up in the wee hours of the morning to run the routines in her head. Katherine Jenkins can’t let her nerves get to her, or else she can’t perform well. Melissa Gilbert knows that she’s going to have to tap into something that she’s never had to before.
The AT&T Spotlight Performance focused on the triumphant story of Michaela DePrince, a 17-year-old who was adopted as a child by a supportive American family from an orphanage in war-torn Sierra Leone, found dance, and has since started studying at the American Ballet Theater school to become one of the most promising ballerinas in the country. And her dance performance, to Natasha Bedingfield’s pared down rendition of “Wild Horses” and accompanied by Adé Chiké Torbert of “So You Think You Can Dance” fame, was made all the more meaningful by the story that inspired it.
“SYTYCD” was also represented in force during this week’s Macy’s Stars of Dance performance -- a celestial contemporary piece by the Shaping Sound company choreographed by Travis Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Teddy Forance. The whole thing was like a classical painting come to life, flowing and lovely and lighter than air. The string rendition of David Guetta and Usher’s “Without You” by ensemble Aston also helped to usher in next week’s Classical Week.
Motownphilly’s back again -- Boyz II Men returned to the ballroom stage to perform their new single “One More Dance,” accompanied on the dance floor by castaways Dmitry Chaplin, in all his bare-chested glory, and ginger Anna Trebunskaya, her skirt in tatters, dancing like they were the last couple on Earth.
What did you think, ballroom fans? Were you as sad as I was to see Gladys go? Should the judges be unanimous in their Dance Duel decisions? Is raunchy the same thing as too sexy? Who is the bigger drama queen: Katherine, or Mark?
-- Allyssa Lee
Photo: Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus. Credit: Adam Taylor / ABC