You know it’s going to be a good theme week on Planet Mirrorballus when Brooke appears to be hiding the trophy in her hair.
Prom Night (duh!) brought us a feast of visual delights – Tom’s powder blue tux! Len’s ruffles! A prom portrait staging area! – along with an incredibly fun group opener featuring all 11 couples so we could see their extravagant flails side-by-side. The homage to the 1999 classic film She’s All That (seriously, watch it if you haven’t; it makes tonight’s prom mosh pit so much better) choreographed with love and patience by Louis Van Intensité (né Van Amstel).
My one qualm with Prom Night was that when Len Goodman was shown driving the party limo, it somehow eluded the production staff to employ my beloved ‘DANCMSTR’ license plate. It exists! I promise. You may have noticed I’ve stopped calling him DANCMSTR all the time. At this point, it only makes me seem crazier. (April Fool’s! I’m sure I’ll use it again.)
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhh-ber!
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 25/30 My lasting memory from their jive is the moment they replayed at the end, of Kellie landing in the splits from mid-air. Derek practically drilled her down into them! Her flexibility and willingness to be flung around in impossible positions are just absurd. Footloose seemed like a natural theme for their prom event, considering Julianne’s Hollywood turn in the recent remake and Derek taking on the role of Ren onstage in London. I wonder if the popular jive move, ”sliding down a glass slope while your partner stands around,” came from that show?
Hmm – while this jive was impressive, it almost seemed too quick and challenging for Kellie. It’s only Week 3; they could stand to get into a more comfortable groove so that she’s not performing behind the beat. Derek said during rehearsal footage that he always wants to do challenging routines “when my partner is capable” – ha, when is that not the case?
The highlight of their segment, and perhaps the most likely to inspire nightmares, was when Kellie called out Derek’s ‘Mad Wasp Face’!
My initial thought was Dennis the Menace, but reader Victoria has corrected me: “No, no! Jack Nicholson in The Shining.” My bad.
Zendaya and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 24/30 When Val asked “What is prom?” I wanted him to get into a deep existential treatment of the concept – but of course he was just setting up Zendaya to announce that she didn’t know. She’s never been. She’s too young! The couple dedicated tonight’s ”Que Sera, Sera” Viennese waltz to Zendaya’s grandma, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. The throwback tune lent the dance an elegant 1957-ish authenticity and also reminded me it’s been too long since I watched the opening credits of the 1990 high school black comedy Heathers. (Anyone for croquet?) What could be better?
Bruno thought their gondola ride (expertly chauffeured by Troupe Member/butler/whatever you want him to be Sasha Farber) was “as enchanting and charming as Venice in the moonlight,” but Len was left wanting to see more time spent in hold in this and future Viennese waltzes. “I’m not criticizing you; it’s just my feeling,” he asserted in the face of hundreds of booing-for-booing’s-sake boos. What’s your damage, Len?
NEXT: Let’s get this fog machine party started