Big theme night this week: “The Most Memorable Year of My Life.” Do you have your shimmery tissues ready? We’ve got deceased parents, premature miracle babies, a broken back from a Little House on the Prairie musical (?!), and the alter-ego of Steve Urkel. And they’re all in one bawlroom. Get ready to cry!
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhh-ber!
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 out of possible 30 Katherine was wise to cover her ears as her “memorable year” package played pre-waltz. I was sobbing over the idea of her losing her father at 15 years old well before Josh Groban’s “To Where You Are” began. And the tears just kept gushing as I realized they were dancing in a galaxy, thus proving correct my suspicion that Dancing With the Stars takes place on another planet. It was almost too much to handle. But there was more! By the time Carrie Ann suggested that Katherine had two partners in the dance because it was almost like her father’s arms were wrapped around her, I was full-out sobbing.
So was Katherine, obviously. Tom Bergeron even had to assist Mark’s double-armed hug with a supportive shoulder squeeze. Agggghhh! Tears on my sofa pillow! Flames on the side of my face! Also crying: Peta Murgatroyd (the shot of her wiping away tears reminded me of Zoe Saldana getting emotional at the ballet in Center Stage, even though Eva the Diva had just let those tears fall) and Katherine’s adorable mom in the front row.
The result of such an emotional dance: The first two 10s of the season from Carrie Ann and Bruno! DANCMSTR Len Goodman thought there wasn’t quite enough dancing in ballroom hold.
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28/30 Well, it happened. William Levy unbuttoned his shirt just a few seconds into his salsa, and the world didn’t end, as I had feared. Nobody’s head exploded as far as I could tell. It was a close call! William set the stage for greatness with a tantalizing personal anecdote about his family’s immigration to the U.S. from Cuba in 1995. “I kept eating apples,” he remembered from his first night in our fruity empire. “I had a pancake with butter on it. I thought it was ice cream. I was like, Oh my God, ice cream in the U.S. doesn’t melt.” Wait, was the pancake cold? I was almost as confused as blank-stare Cheryl, but the story certainly left me hungry for more.
The pair earned the third 10 of the night with their party time/excellent salsa. There was a drum (see ya), a hat (later), a teal bandana (YES! it stayed on), and an impressive series of “walk over your partner while you’re both twisting” obstacle course steps. Len, eager to throw out all of the pop culture references he knows, compared William to William the Conqueror (king of England, 1066) and Free Willy (king of the sea, 1993). Len has been around for awhile.
“I want to go to Cuba!” screamed Carrie Ann. No you don’t, silly. You won’t make any money.
Quick, Cheryl, trade lives with me.
NEXT: Speaking of doin’ it….