It couldn’t possibly stay at the ridiculously high level of dancing that it did last week, could it? Or is it that based on the ridiculously high level of dancing last week, my expectations are so high that I’m jaded even in the face of damn good dancing? I’m willing to concede both of these points. In either case, this week’s episode was not nearly on the level of last week’s Wow! experience. There wasn’t a single dance that I rewound and watched again when it finished, whereas last week, there were several.

Scroll down to see my updated Power Rankings–still ranked in packs, as it’s too early to single anyone out–and then keep scrolling to see video and analysis. Please note, the judges and I disagreed often this week, and many of the numbers that they thought were tremendous? I thought they were just “meh.” There was only a single nine this week, and I still thought that was too many compared to what merited a nine last week.

Of note from last night: It was “Prom Night,” which meant there were lots of high school stories. This created totally inappropriate moments, like Brooke Burke-Charvet‘s hair and this face that Derek Hough kept making:

derek wasp face

POWER RANKINGS: VARSITY

  • Jacoby Jones: Best dance of the night, a surprisingly sexy rumba from the clown prince of football
  • Aly Raisman: Aly is Siri if Siri was an excellent dancer
  • Kellie Pickler: Technically excellent, not the visceral wow of last week’s Jazz number
  • Zendaya: Also technically excellent, if a little too self-aware for my taste

 

POWER RANKINGS: JUNIOR VARSITY

  • Victor Ortiz: Second best dance of the night from the most humble guy on the floor. America is falling in love.
  • Ingo Rademacher: Another solid but not spectacular performance, making him just as consistent as the Varsity but at a slightly lower level
  • Sean Lowe: Also a solid performance, but some people aren’t dancers no matter how much they dance
  • Andy Dick: Back to weeping in rehearsals, not as awesome on the dance floor as last week, still intensely my favorite

 

POWER RANKINGS: MATHLETES

  • Lisa Vanderpump: To her credit, she is really owning the amount of sexual harassment she’s doing on the show. But seriously. Stop making me uncomfortable.
  • Wynonna: Still seems like she is dancing in a vat of molasses
  • D.L. Hughley: He’s working really hard and while I hope he sticks around longer than Vanderpump and Judd, it’s only because he’s more entertaining than them.

 

Jacoby Jones

Partner: Karina Smirnoff

DANCE: Rumba to Rihanna‘s (ft Mikky Ekko)’s “Stay”

SCORE: 8,8,8

I was pleasantly impressed at: (1) how good Jones was at the rumba; and (2) how symmetrically inked up he is.[ref]He’s covered with tattoos but they are perfectly spread out over his whole torso.[/ref] Dancing wise, this guy is a savant. He’s a huge idiot in his rehearsal package and then incredibly artistic, sensual, and sexy on the dance floor. And then he’s an idiot again in his post-dance interview. Seriously, he is strange. But as long as he keeps bringing it when the lights come up, I can’t complain. Upon a second viewing this morning, I thought his rumba was even better than I thought it was last night and I thought it was really good last night.

Aly Raisman

Partner: Mark Ballas

DANCE: Viennese Waltz to Ed Sheeran‘s “Give me Love”

SCORE: 7,8,8 Carrie Ann Inaba with the low score

Aly’s rehearsal package was all about Mark trying to make her blush … but Siri don’t blush, my friend. You ask Siri a question and Siri gives you the answer (“my prom date was a 10,” “I’ve never been in love”) … but don’t expect her to judge herself. Siri don’t judge herself, my friend. She just gives you the information you seek and then dances like an angel. Her dancing was excellent.  The judges gave her a lot of credit for the “acting” involved in her romantic little dance but I have to tell you, I don’t get it. Carrie Ann said the same thing I was thinking–that Aly can be “in character” better–and the gentlemen judges disagreed. Hmmm.

Kellie Pickler

Partner: Derek Hough

Dance: Jive to Kenny Loggins‘ “Footloose”

SCORE: 8,9,8 Len Goodman with the high score

I thought they were trying to contrive some drama with the Jive being fast and difficult and Kellie not “getting” it, but it wasn’t contrived. This was the first dance where I thought Kellie looked outmatched by Derek. Having said that, the audience LOVED it and so did the judges. Sorry, but this dance was not NEARLY as good as last week’s Jazz or even her cha cha in Week 1. Like with Raisman, I feel like I’m missing something.

Zendaya

Partner: Valentin Chmerkovskiy

DANCE: Viennese Waltz to “Que Sera Sera”

SCORE: 8,8,8

This dance was a little bit faux for me. Z looked like she knew she was acting. And when you look like you know you’re acting, people know you know that you’re acting. She’s done better before and she’ll do better again. Make no mistake, she’s still the best dancer out there.

Victor Ortiz

Partner: Lindsay Arnold (rookie)

Dance: Contemporary to John Mayer‘s “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”

SCORE: 8,7,8 Goodman with the low score

“I didn’t went to prom. I couldn’t. I was broke. I was a street kid.” You had me at bad grammar, Victor. He did a contemporary dance this week, which absolutely worked in his favor.  It’s a little bit rough around the edges, same as Victor himself. It doesn’t require the finesse that a waltz does or the precision that the Jive does. This was the perfect dance at the perfect time. “I’m from a different world. Not so friendly and lovey [as here].” Victor is slowly becoming my second-favorite contestant.[ref]He’s got a ways to go before I love him as much as I’m loving Andy Dick[/ref] I hope he draws the paso doble next or the tango. I think he can pull those off.

Ingo Rademacher

Partner: Kym Johnson

Dance: Paso Doble to Queen‘s “Another One Bites the Dust”

SCORE: 7,7,7

This isn’t fair, but Ingo suffered in this dance from my memory of Kym and Hines Ward’s paso,[ref]Shitty video here)[/ref] which was amazing. She did some of the same steps with Ingo as she did with Hines and it just wasn’t the same. Having said that, where a couple of weeks ago I thought Ingo could do a better job “acting” during his dancing, this week, his “acting” was spot on, even better, I think, than his dancing (which wasn’t too damn bad). Ingo is a pleasant surprise and his scores have improved every week. This guy is solidly in the middle of the pack and moving in the right direction.

Sean Lowe

Partner: Peta Murgatroyd

DANCE: Cha cha cha to the Village People‘s “YMCA”

SCORE: 7,7,7

Hmmm. Sean is having fun, I guess. Somehow it doesn’t translate onto the dance floor. Carrie Ann nailed it when she said he does all the moves and they’re precise and defined, but there’s not much more there than that. This guy is not meant to move around. He’s meant to stand still and look good. Having said that, he’s not going anywhere for a while. He’ll be here a couple more weeks at least. I am excited to see him doing a slow, romantic dance. That will be where he can make a big jump forward.

Andy Dick

Partner: Sharna Burgess (rookie)

DANCE: Cha cha cha to Rod Stewart‘s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”

SCORE: 6,6,6

Sharna walked out on Andy this week after he got whiny and pissy. He cried again. He is a roller coaster of inner conflict, desperation, pride, tension, and courage. Andy’s dancing wasn’t so great this week though. His cha cha was very tight until the end, when he knee-slid up to the judge’s talbe and ripped his shirt off. Carrie Ann nailed Andy by saying he “tries” to the point where he has an “X-Factor.” Len double nailed it when he said that watching Andy dance “just makes him feel good.” But they both noted that the dance didn’t have a ton of cha cha content and would be tough to grade high. Line of the night: Andy saying in his post-dance interview that he doesn’t drink anymore but he still carries a six pack (and whipped off his shirt again).

Lisa Vanderpump

Partner: Gleb Savchenko (rookie)

Dance: Viennese Waltz to Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”

SCORE: 7,7,7

The majority of time in Lisa’s rehearsal package this week was spent talking about how Gleb had a responsibility to get them votes, so she made him take his shirt off for her Twitter followers. Sorry, I know this was meant in fun but all it did was make me really uncomfortable. I work in human resources and this is the definition of sexual harassment.[ref]Yes, I understand it’s different when the job actually involves getting a spray tan and taking your shirt off. Still.[/ref] I was glad when the whole “Get your kit off” thing was over … and then Burke-Charvet brought it up again post-dance interview. Ugh.

Dancing wise, I’m afraid Lisa’s waltz was an overwrought mess of too much facial expression mixed with being 6/8ths of a second behind Gleb at any given time. There were a ton of Real Housewives courtside for this dance, which made me hate it that much more. Side nugget: Lisa’s rehearsal outfits all look like the outfits I wore to ballet class when I was five–a black sleeveless leotard over a pair of white tights.

Wynonna Judd

Partner: Tony Dovolani

DANCE: Samba to Def Leppard‘s “Pour Some Sugar on Me”

SCORE: 5,5,5

There’s a breed of improviser known as “the verbal sniper.” The verbal sniper walks onstage with their hands in their pockets, stands stock still, listens carefully, waits for their moment, and then casually drop the funniest line that anyone will say all night. They are amazing. They build tension with their silence. The payoff is almost always worth it.  Wynonna is kind of like them. She builds tension with her reserve–it looks intentional–but there’s never any payoff.  Not nearly as much as an Aly Raisman, who I’ve come to think of as Siri; not even as much as Lisa Vanderpump, who at the very least, sexually harasses with gusto. Wynonna may get to stay another week or two and I hope she gets her groove back.

D.L. Hughley

Partner: Cheryl Burke

DANCE: Salsa to James Brown‘s “Sex Machine”

SCORE: 6,5,5

Cheryl blogged on People Magazine about their near dismissal and it seems like D.L. is (finally) earnestly trying to make it work, moreso than he was before? His salsa this week was very tight and his hips were super creaky, which doesn’t work with a dance that is supposed to be loosey-goosey party town. His comeback as to why his hips were tight was, “every time I move my hips, some woman has a baby, so I try to keep them in check.” Well played, D.L. Then he very humbly said he did the best he could, was going to continue to work as hard as he could, and let’s all see what happens. I think everything after last week is a moral victory and I’m so happy he is still here.  He should probably go soon (not sooner than Lisa V.) based on dance quality. Having said that, Len Goodman was far too mean in his critique. Go home, Len.