To quote Willa Ford, dear Dance Fans – “Don’t be sad!”. Yes, this past week has seen more casualties than a lineup for TMX Elmo. But take heart – despite the loss of not one but two popular dance teams, this circus will never end. And we’ve got a Crumping Clown this week to prove it!
Last Wednesday, to the disbelief of many, Willa and Maks were voted off Dancing With The Stars. Yes – Maks, with his impossibly cartoonish manly physique, and Willa, with her burgeoning self-discovery as a Grecian goddess. The pair were just beginning to draw even more fans into their maelstrom of a love-hate dance partnership. That’s fancy talk for “They were beginnin’ to fall for each other”. Whatever was going on, it held the promise of an interesting storyline. Their dance styles were also beginning to really mesh. Double entendres aside, (hey, I can be serious sometimes!), Willa and Maks (the Super Size Valentino) were a team many were betting on to win.
As if that upset were not enough – and just as women everywhere were donning a set of black leg warmers in memoriam – I think more mourned Maks’ departure than swooned over Rudolph Valentino’s bier – Sara Evans also announced that she would be leaving the show. In this case, the (oh how I want to say “auffing” but we mustn’t mix reality shows) decision was Sara’s. There’s no need to go into details here, since the story is all over entertainment media of every type. Let’s suffice it to say she left the show for personal reasons of a family nature.
So with all of this mourning we’re set to do, Dance Fans – how do we get to the light-hearted part of the Recap? Well, the show must go on, right? And where there’s a will there’s a way (stop me before I maxim again!). Sob…Maksim!!!!!!!!
And now it’s time to bring out the dance teams. Joey & Edyta, Monique & Louis, Emmitt & Cheryl, Mario & Karina, and Jerry & Kym. The numbers are dwindling around here faster than in an Agatha Christie novel – but we’ll continue bravely on…the ghosts of dancers past swirling all around these pages. It must be – I can see some of them onstage!
I Heard A Chorus Line Is Hiring
Yes – dancing the Jive, Mambo, Paso Doble, Rumba, Samba, and Tango – in a live version of the show’s “how to do the dances” – DWTS’ professional dancers are poised on stage. I don’t know why at this point we need to see the dances explained again but hey – it’s not a videotape. I’m all for it!
The theme to “Blackboard Jungle” – that’d be “Rock Around the Clock” – begins, and it’s – Hamlet’s Ghost! No, it’s Kym and Maks. For a moment there, I thought Kym was Willa. Yes, I know, Willa has journeyed to a distant land. But, they’re both blond and fond of aquamarine! Good enough for me. Maks is in his usual all-black outfit, with sleeveless shirt opened to his navel (does he have a navel? He’s so high-waisted it must be on his chin!) and black pants. They’re about to demonstrate “The Jive”.
The pair begin with some ‘flirting’ motions – then Kym pushes Maks down the few stairs to the lower stage. The two then begin some fancy footwork, the type we’ve all seen in ‘sock hops’ in movie scenes. If you’ve watched Happy Days (my generation’s version of That ‘70s Show – our parents groaned “It isn’t funny if you lived it” also) – or certain 1950s films, you’ve seen these steps. Kym is possibly the best DWTS dancer at performing the spirit of each dance in a pure way – she seems more true to era. Maks adds his own flair, or maybe he’s just trying to impersonate a juvenile delinquent. Well, it does look as if he’s hiding several packets of cigarettes in those back pockets, if ya know what I mean.
Louis and Karina are up next, with the Mambo. Louis is in a plain white shirt, black pants – Karina wears a shimmery white and silver mini-dress that sways like tinsel with each movement. And movements are plenty – she works that Mambo like she’s got someone to convince. It’s good to see what the pro dancers can do when not tied down by a partner doing “their own thing” out there. As the Mambo ends, Karina twisting and turning and feet mincing around each other – Louis steals a quick kiss. Hmm. Well, if that’s more show intrigue…bring it on. There’s hardly anybody left to snark on.
Tony and Edyta are up with the Paso Doble. Tony is dressed in stereotypical red and black “Spanish” duds – bright red shirt, black flare-leg pants with tuxedo stripe down the outside of each leg. Edyta is in a standard backless knee-length black dress, with a red belt. Rather unimaginative, costumers. I get the feeling that there’s one costumer back there who really knows his or her stuff…and then one that’s someone’s cousin or something, who the others always have to talk out of putting a lampshade on somebody. There’s no other way to explain the lapses in imagination or taste…But hey, I know all about that. Just read my Recaps!
As to the Paso dance itself – I’d say it’s not really Edyta’s dance, as her style is more modern dance – not so much the sensual steps. Tony does very well, and they both accomplish the typical dramatic arm flourishes, a few twirls, stalking each other around the floor and…Swiffer move! Oh, Swiffer move ™, how I’ve missed you. Yes, Tony scoots Edyta around the wood floor on her bottom. Gladys the maid thanks you, Tony.
And DWTS, I thank you – we get not one Maks dance, but two. Kym and Maks dance a mild Rumba to “I’m So Tired of Being Alone”. Oh Maks, how did you know? Call me!
This is where I’ll go out on a limb and say I’d rather see Maks dance a ballet – shh, it needn’t be effeminate dancing – Nureyev, and most of all, Nijinsky, had the muscular type of dancing Maks seems best at. On this show, Maks always seems a bit self-constrained from leaping right into orbit. When Maks raises a leg during the Rumba, he seems to want to keep moving. When he arches his back, again he seems almost too much for the dance he’s performing. I don’t know if Maks will appear again on DWTS, but I do hope he stays in the spotlight. Wherever he does turn up, let’s hope they – oh, I just have to – Maks-imise his capabilities.
Louis & Karina are back with the Samba. These types of passionate, fast-moving, mincing-steps dance numbers are where Karina really shines. Louis proves himself an able partner for anyone he is paired with. He certainly is never off by a moment, which makes sense as he’s the reigning Rhythm dance champion.
The last demonstration is Tony and Edyta showing us how to Tango – hey, it really does take two! And now the other pairs stride toward the camera – this group number is almost done! Thank heavens – last time I heard this tepid of a musical medley complete with hodgepodge of costumes and awkward dance moves, it was Oscar night. No but – seriously. The live studio audience seems to really enjoy the ending combo lineup especially. It’s just that the group numbers rarely seem ‘tight’ – more as if every dancer is attempting to shine on their own…with the exceptions perhaps, of Louis and Kym.
Mariomontage is up first. Clips of last week’s judging in which Mario was judged “short and stiff”. This week’s dance from Mariorina will be the Mambo. In true DWTS pseudo-couple style, they’re bickering in the rehearsal studio. Mario can’t seem to get Karina to allow him to run the sessions…so he
humiliates his date-mate with an old flametakes her to Eva Longoria’s club for some unknown reason. Mario sits at a table with his “friends” – if he really is dating Karina and refuses to call her anything but ‘my friend’ in public – girl, he’s playing you. Ah-kay? Anyway, Eva cattily “asks” Mario in front of Karina, “Why is this Russian teaching you?”. Eva practically spits out the word. Well Ms. Nighttime Soap, I’ll bet it’s because she’s his dance teacher. But that’s just a wild guess I’m tossing out there.
Karina gamely pretends a laugh, then interviews later that she’d be happy to help Eva with any dance steps, if she wanted; also that she’s a big fan of Eva. It doesn’t even seem catty. If she meant it that way, she’s really good at this. But actually I think she’s just a genuine person. (Run, Karina! Run!) Mario leads Eva onto the dance floor of her club, leaving Karina nursing a drink alone at the table. Klassy, Mario. With a capital Klassy. All you need is some Courvoisier and you’ll be giving the Ladies’ Man a run for his reputation. “I’m really happy that a new
hidden datematefriend and an old nobody will ever replace mommygot to glare daggers at each other to boost my manhoodhang out,” Mario dimples to a solo camera to end this footage.
And now for our Dimpled Darling ™ and his partner’s Mambo. Karina’s very good – timing, flair, stage presence, all there. Mario again seems over-muscled for dance, and is more into doing a series of poses than truly moving in sync with his partner on stage. His range of motion seems tight. They end the dance with Mario bending Karina backward, placing both hands under her shoulder blades, and shaking her vigorously. This is where, I’m sure, double-stick tape becomes the star of the evening. Mario’s mother, George Lopez, and Eva Longoria all cheer wildly from the audience. I’m not sure whether it’s for the dance steps or for the double-sided tape, but it doesn’t really matter.
Finally we get to the first judging session of the night. Len tells Mario he was unfocused. Bruno goes into a mini frenzy of superlatives – Mario was burning Karina with his eyes, he was the devil, his dance was sinful. Was Mario watching Dancing With the Stars, or was he viewing an advance copy of The Grudge on PSP under the podium? Bruno then gleefully goes on to say Mario has “Plenty of battery in the package”. Somehow this show keeps coming back to Mario’s package, but I’d just as soon keep moving along with this Recap…
Carrie Ann compliments Mario and says he’s nearly a professional dancer, so she expects more from him. But she advises him to relax more and have fun. Bruno keeps trying to interrupt Carrie’s critique of Mario and the audience isn’t happy until she says “He’s wonderful”. Since Carrie’s usually the only judge attempting to give actual criticism which could help the dancers improve, I can’t help wishing others would let her speak. But this was never about dancing was it? You all know what I mean…(hang on a second, while I adjust my mourning veil). Anyway, back to the current pair, the judges give them two nines and Bruno almost leaps out of his chair to shout out his 10.
Monouis are up next, and their physical contortions and facial expressions have me really wishing for my late, great computer (not that that’s why I’m mourning…) so I could post some still shots – anyway, Monique is in a bright fuchsia costume. I’ll try to describe it: the back is cut out, the stomach is cut out, and strips of fabric cross her lower back in a low halter. Some type of very long, thin, curvy feathers in a matching color spring in all directions from the bee-hind portion of the costume, to give the slight impression of a chorus dancer. Monique’s hair is short this week, and in tight curls, suggestive of the 1930s. Louis is in an all-black costume with thin fuchsia piping accents at the collar and cuffs.
Clowns Crump My Style
Now here’s where the show almost turns into a scary movie. A lot of people have what is called Coulrophobia, or a fear of clowns. That in mind, I think this episode should have come with a viewer warning. (What would the acronym for this be? “IT”?) Louis asks Monique ominously – “Did you or did you not ask me for a solo?” “Yes,” Mo says through gritted teeth. She’s wise to be leery. Louis says he’s about to bring in some ‘special help’. Like when Jason teamed with Freddy? No, it’s Tommy the Clown.
Tommy drives up in a psychedelic van he must have wrestled away from Shaggy and Scooby, but it’s what he’s decked out in that is frightening. Green army fatigues, army boots, a bright red T shirt down to his knees – a “John 3:16” rainbow afro wig, and clown makeup. The ghost of GI Joe has come back as Ronald McDonald, and he’s pissed.
Tommy the Clown ™ ‘created’ freestyle clown crumping (I kid you not) in order to stop violence, we’re told. I’m thinking the most violence that could result from what we’re about to see is when people beat themselves up rushing away from him, but whatever works. To her credit, Monique is still in the room. Either she’s one calm lassie, or she really wants to win this thing. Tommy, who in actuality was once a spokesperson for former California Gov. Gray Davis – raises his hands and swings them wildly. If this is all Davis had to ward off The Terminator, no wonder that coup was successful.
But somehow the circus magic is restored to our show and Monique is transformed. Mo begins crumping like there was never a crump before. She took the crump out of tea and crumpets and smoothed the crumpled clothing in all the nearby Laundromats. For miles and miles people stopped by to hear the tale of the Lady Who Could Crump. And Tommy was still scary.
Lonique begin their Samba…to the Jackson 5’s “ABC”. Louis is sitting on the steps, and Monique skips in. Mo crumps a bit in a corner. All I can say is, Carrie Ann will never be able to criticize Monique this time for being too reserved or ‘internal’. In fact, what Monique’s solo reminds me of most, is Josephine Baker’s super-energised style of dance. Monique goes all out, inhibitions gone, and there is something wild about her dance solo – yet not out of control or sloppily danced. Tommy, thou hast taught thy crumper well.
Mo and Tony continue to dance side by side. I think it’s a good Samba – isn’t this supposed to be the ‘party dance’? They certainly seem to be having fun on stage. Monique’s timing is impeccable, and Louis even seems more sensual this time around. The two hop and dance and jump around each other, and soon the dance is over. I honestly think Monique captured something fierce in this performance – and it wasn’t Tommy’s rainbow wig. Carrie giggles and says Monique’s fantastic energy ‘blew me away’. She also said she’d better be careful what she asks for. Carrie warns Monique that the Samba is a partners dance (aren’t they all?) and she found her solo indulgent. Len absolutely hates their performance, calling it a hodgepodge and a cheese with no burger. Bruno, of course, “appreciates the wild child” but says they lost the Samba. Too much crump for the judges. Hey, don’t make Tommy cry! Lonique’s scores are 9 from Carrie, with the guys voting 7 each. Monique remains upbeat. Well girl, you can dance, no matter what they say…And I hope some scriptwriter out there sees the same Josephine Baker bio-pic potential.
Well, away from micromanaging starlets’ careers from the pages of a reality tv Recap…let’s talk Joeyta, shall we? Despite the fact he’s an actor…well okay, nevermind…Joey is having trouble feeling guilty about ‘acting like’ he and Edyta are lovers for the sake of their upcoming Rumba. Joey goes so far as to call in his wife, who arrives sleepily with Starbucks in tow. She seems to really care less what they’re doing, but Joey’s still insecure. (Or, y’know, maybe the show finally ran out of Field Trips ™ ). Once he’s got his wife’s approval, Joey finally loosens up and dances more sensually. But, I suppose there are worse things than being afraid to dishonor one’s wife. Certain dimpled Lotharios could take a lesson from Joey.
You Will Submit All Individuality. Whoa!
But what costume is this? Joey, with of course his clean-shaven noggin, is draped in a stark white shirt with high collar. He clutches a microphone and mouths the words to “Father Figure” by George Michael. The house band’s male singer’s actually doing the honors, but it looks as if Joey’s singing for a moment. It’s a jarring effect, and detracts from the beginning of the dance number. Plus, it’s a bit creepy, with the THX-1138 visuals Joey’s giving. That it’s a George Michael song, bringing to mind all his odd run-ins with the law, doesn’t help. And not for nothing…but who chooses these songs? I’d have thought this song would be perfect for Jerry and Kym. They certainly play on his age readily – but we’ll get to Jerry soon enough. Anyway, with his white shirt, bald head, and grip on the microphone, Joey looks like a cult leader about to begin some “motivational speech”. Oh, maybe THAT’s what they mean by “Father Figure”. As in Sun Myung Moon.
Edyta, in a white column um, strip of cloth over a bikini – (is this the same costume from earlier in the show? Come on, the budget can’t be that bad?) approaches Joey as if mesmerized. Is he about to hand her a can with a slot in the top, to take to the airport? No, they begin to dance. Edyta’s lean, angular form and dance style come in handy here – her extensions (not that kind – but a backward-arching, balletic stretch of one leg) are superb. Edyta is another of the show’s dancers who seem perched atop stilts – if she and Maks had a child, it would be its own Cirque du Soleil. But I mustn’t muse…Oh, yes I must. This dance is a bit sleepy and it’s hard to concentrate on what I am writing…Zzzzzzz….Father Wants You to Give a High Score, Carrie. Father Must Be Obeyed Len. Father Wants to meet you in a Beverly Hills park, Bruno…
The dance ends with
Our LeaderJoey hugging Edyta while kneeling on one knee. Edyta, to maximize (Maksim!!!!!!!!!!! – excuse me while I recite the Kaddish for his dancing shoes – okay, I’m okay again) the appearance of length of limb and gracefulness, is draped across Joey’s knee and the dance floor, posed flamingo-style.
Bruno, big surprise, says he would have liked to see them “go even dirtier”. But Bruno, they’re wearing white! Carrie hated the beginning with the microphone. Obey Father, Carrie! Whoops, a few minions just drug Carrie to an antechamber where she will soon be re-educated. Len liked the dance, saying it was “right on the money”. Money that Joey’s minions just collected in shopping center parking lots, no doubt.
A clone smuggled in to take Carrie Ann’s placeCarrie Ann gives them an 8, Len an 8, and Bruno an 8. What symmetry! I’m sure Father approves. Samantha mentions that “Joey” (wink, wink) had predicted all 8s before the scores came in. “You can read minds!” she tells him. As if I needed further proof.
Pardon Me - But I Speak Jive
“Back in Dallas” meanwhile, in the real world, Emmitt is taking the helm of a big real estate deal. He’s overseeing plans for a shopping center to be built in Phoenix. He says that he “attacks business” like he “attacks football and dancing” – 100%, full tilt. But with his big smile all I can think of is Care Bear and Smurfs. I don’t know why. The guy’s just a gentle giant. If he were animated, little unicorns would be swirling around him at all times.
Continuing this episode’s trend of bringing the field trip ™ to the studio, Cheryl decides that Texas fella Emmitt would best be inspired by two authentic Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. At first, when I saw two DCCs in full blue and white regalia ‘cheer’ themselves into Emryl’s rehearsal space, I thought I was hallucinating. Watching too many reality Tv shows will do that! No, but I was just catching up on TiVo’d episodes of the DCC reality show yesterday…Anyway, two of DCC’s finest, or two of its most available to travel to Los Angeles, begin teaching Emmitt some cheers. I have no earthly idea what this has to do with dancing the Jive, but I’m sure it’s making the handful of male viewers happy – especially those high kicks and jumping splits. The latter earns an “Oh, my gosh!” from Emmitt. See? Care Bear – told ya.
And now, I’ll confide I’m a bit worried about the last two teams of this evening. Emmitt, and Jerry, both seem absolutely exhausted. Both are businessmen running their own empires outside of the show. Both travel a lot. Both have to make early meetings, Jerry has to host a radio show. The strain’s beginning to show for them both. The fizzle’s dissipated out of their pop bottles. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. Here’s Emmitt and Cheryl on stage ready to Jive. Em’s in his patented black vest, black pants and colorful (pink) shirt. He seems to be wearing spats as well, but I’ll bet those are the junior costumer’s attempt at saddle shoes. As for Cheryl – either she has lost about 10 lbs., or this dress really flatters her. It’s a light pink (with black edges) backless number, strapless, with a sweetheart bustline, and an asymmetrical skirt. Somehow the side and back cutouts give her the appearance of a waist – and the skirt flounces across the wider part of her hips. She’s not heavy by any means, but among all the very thin super-toned dancers, anything but a whippet’s figure will look chunky by comparison. And her shape is somewhat unusual among the ballerina-type figures of the other women. Anyway, this dress feminises her and also seems light and airy when she moves. Without adding tons of petticoats or other awful accoutrements of episodes past – one of the costumers has given her a costume that actually adds something to the dance.
Emmitt’s giving the dance a game try, but he’s plainly worn out. Flying cross country then trying to learn a dance, and perform on a live show, will do that to a person. Or maybe it’s the way the male singer’s making this rock tune more Jerry Lewis than Jerry Lee Lewis? The band actually was good earlier – with a female vocalist who recalled Shirley Bassey – but this song’s a bomb. The episode is headed downhill fast. Len judges first – he said that Em “went off time once”. The audience boos loudly. Len continues the judges’ tendency to give in to the booing, and tosses the rabidly disappointed audience a bone – he compliments the piano player. Come to think of it, the pianist was fairly good during the Jerry Lee Lewis-style riffs. Bruno’s next and says that Emmitt always brings joy to his dance. Carrie says that the energy was great but the execution – full of mistakes tonight. She adds that all the men watching would want to dance the way Em does. He does seem to have fun – even when he’s about to keel over. Emryl’s numbers are two 8s and a 9 from Battery Operated Bruno.
Death by Dobling
Going to commercial break, Kym has a nurse cap on and is checking Jerry’s pulse and temperature. That isn’t a bad idea, Kym. The man looks like he’s had it. And they’re about to make him Paso Doble? Is Jerry going to make it to his daughter’s wedding, after all this bother or is he going to be the first talk show host to have a coronary on live television? Stay tuned…
After last week’s Lucy and Ricky-esque Samba, Kym is gearing Jerry up for this week’s Paso Doble. Kym reasons that Jerry was like a tiger in last week’s Samba, so she is going to make him a Bull for this week’s Paso Doble. Rehearsing like a good sport, Jerry objects that “there are no 62 yr old Matadors” and “there are no Jewish Matadors”. But taskmistress Kym keeps on. Jerry is practicing with a cape, and he’s so tired he’s losing his balance. Kym brings in a Portugese bullfighter. He speaks no English, but tries to teach Jerry to use the cape, etc. Jerry then goes to a “bloodless bullfight” (whatever that is?) in Thornton Calif. To mostly cheers, Jerry enters the ring. Instead of a bull, out comes a tiny calf (no word whether it was named “Veal”). Jerry has trouble ‘fighting’ even that. But he does make a heck of a rodeo clown, so to speak. Somewhere, Tommy’s cursing those darn kids for interfering. Tommy could have had this job, and crumped that cape. Instead Tommy races off in his Mystery Van. The tiny bull calf seems completely uninterested in Jerry. It is a portent for the dance number that’s next.
Jerry enters the stage in full Matador costume, pretending to strum a guitar. As Kym enters, in an awful black and white polka-dot dress (“but it’s Spanish!” I can hear the costumer say) Jerry smashes the guitar against the stairs. Hey, somewhere in Piccadilly starving hippies could strum a week on that guitar, Jerry.
Their song is “Habanera” which is from the opera “Carmen” or also, the musical film “Carmen Jones”. Beautiful song, but it does not match the comic tone that’s usual for Jerkym’s dance routines.
Unfortunately, the only word for Jerkym’s dance tonight is “lackluster”. To underscore how over_it Jerry apparently is (who can blame the man?), he collapses at the end of their dance, upon which Kym throws a cape over his head, as if he died. It’s telling that it isn’t even funny. Still, the audience chants “Jer-RY!”. He will probably hear that at his funeral. Well, maybe he just did.
The judges weigh in: Carrie thought it too gimmicky. Len tactfully avoids saying how terrible Jerry’s dance was, by complimenting Kym and how hard she’s worked, etc. Bruno says Jerry butchers every dance but tonight “it was the chain saw massacre” and “the Paso Doble will never recover”. Neither will Jerry. And now, Tombee teases that tomorrow’s Results show will “have everyone talking”. No one on the show has explicitly stated as yet, what will happen with the votes this week. Will the show send anyone home, or will Sara’s resignation count as this week’s ousting? Or does the show have a third possibility in the wings? We’ll just have to see, I guess…Oh, the drama. Or lack thereof.
Backstage, Jerry jokes to Samantha of the Shoulders that he ‘Died every week on this show”. Sam tells him the Matador isn’t supposed to be the one to die – Jer counters, “sometimes the bull wins”. He must have gotten that motto from his talk show. The judges’ scores are: a lesson in counting backwards. Carrie = 7, Len = 6, and Bruno = 5. It’s pretty fair to say they hated this week’s JerKym performance. Tom bemoans Bruno’s measly 5 score for Jerry, and plops Jerry’s Matador hat on Bruno’s head. Bruno immediately gloats it will go for sale on Ebay.
Panic at the Disco
And now…let’s hop through Austin Powers’ time machine (well, H.G. Wells’ could get you eaten by Morlocks) and head for the 1970s! Our cast is about to pretend Saturday Night Fever is taping and they’re just a bunch of extras. The pairs will perform their first “group dance” in this episode. As Tomberger put it – “a group disco freestyle number”. I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m old enough to remember disco – from the first time around. It bore no resemblance to what we see later in the show – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves for now.
With Tom’s narration, we see footage of rehearsals for the disco number. Most of our dancers seem to be taking it fairly seriously. Emmitt & Cheryl promise to bring “some fawnk”. Jerry arrives to rehearsal in a stretch limo, and wearing a mockup of John Travolta’s famous Saturday Night Fever costume – white suit, black shirt. No one else dressed ‘disco’ though, and Jerry regrets the suit (don’t, Jerry – you’re one of the last entertaining bits on this show). He says it’s like showing up for a costume party and being the only one in costume. Actually, that’s exactly what it is, but it was funnier when he said it.
Continuing the theme of celebrity crotches, there’s a totally gratuitous closeup of Monique as she somersaults toward a low camera in short-shorts. More Mario grabbing his own stuff. Em falls on Cheryl in a botched lift attempt, and Joey acts goofy. The choreography team – RuPaul and Twyla Tharp – take the entire cast through its paces. Joey and Mario try to imitate Michael Jacksons’ dancing. See what I mean about the mishmash effect? Jackson was not associated with disco dancing. Jacko’s peak was in the 1980s. (What, couldn’t the show find Danny Terrio?) Mario admits to a love of Michael Jackson (not sure that’s a club you want to send for a membership kit to, Dimples) and spends most of rehearsal imitating Jackson’s crotch-grab style of dance. It’s vaguely creepy – I’m not sure which part of it is more so. But, it might explain some things. Jerry goes through the requisite jokes about how hard it is for him to do the Lifts.
The “Group Disco” performance begins. Some of the men are pretending to arm wrestle, and some of the women come sauntering down the large stairway. I’d just like to take a moment and say that absolutely none of their costumes are remotely disco-like. Nor are their shoes. In the 1970s people typically wore what they wore to work that day, out dancing. It sounds odd today but there really wasn’t anything we’d call ‘club clothes’, back then. You might wear a dance skirt, if you could find one. But for the most part, it was nicer office wear. Jeans, maybe a silkscreened button-down shirt in some synthetic fabric. The film Boogie Nights actually came closest to replicating the disco wear of that time, but, then again I can see why this Tv show wouldn’t want to copy something from that movie.
In any case, the dancers all move about the stage in various styles of dance that bear no real import to the world of disco in the 1970s. Kym’s the closest to mimicking the actual style of dance – the others are all emphasizing snakey motions, hips and acrobatics too much. Other than The Bump, most ‘70s dances didn’t have much hip action. The movements were mostly a lot of knees and arms. And the midsection was usually stiff. After all – one of the most popular disco dances from that time? The Robot. What does that tell ya? My other gripe about their version of a ’70s disco is they don’t have enough energy. Discos were practically frenzied with energy back then – although, granted, it probably isn’t legal to give out the form of energy most discos ran on. (For the record, I was a teen then, and went to perfectly safe teen nights…where I won the dance contest twice running. Woot!) But hey, the sad thing is, most watching the show will not know this was rather inauthentic to the 1970s - They weren’t even born then! I suppose a lot of it belongs locked in a time capsule, anyway. Still, for anyone curious, I recommend renting 1978’s Thank God It’s Friday starring Paul Jabara, The Commodores, and Donna Summer. Enough said? And if you do, you’ll catch a glimpse of this week’s musical guest – Lionel Richie.
As for the show’s final segment, featuring an interview with Sara Evans: Her family’s crisis has been splashed all over every form of media already - I see no reason to reiterate it here. Suffice it to say Sara is home with her children now, though she may return for the show’s Finale. As ever, The Show Must Go On.