Dancing With the Stars Recap: Last Tango in Tinseltown

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Photo: ABC
Dancing With the Stars

Dancing With the Stars

Episode 7 Season 25 Episode 7
Editor's Rating 4 stars

It’s another Monday night, which means I’m sitting in front of my TV, ready for DWTS. The theme for tonight’s episode is “A Night at the Movies.”

Perfect! This is right up my alley since I happen to have appeared in several motion pictures. I’m sure you have all seen my legendary performance as “Ronnie’s Mom” in the film Drillbit Taylor, which also starred Owen Wilson. Or was it Luke Wilson? Who knows?! Since I’ve only ever watched my scene in the movie, I’m not sure who else is actually in it. I’m pretty sure it’s one of those two guys, though.

The show’s opening number is a celebration of Hollywood’s long-honored traditions. It falls a bit short for me, mostly because there are no dance moves representing unconstrained sexual harassment. On to the performances!

Tonight, singer Shania Twain is sitting in as a guest judge. I’ve never seen Shania dance or appear in a movie, so I’m a little confused as to exactly why she’s here. Maybe she was on her way to guest judge on The Voice and wandered into the wrong studio.

WWE star Nikki Starr is up first. Her movie genre is foreign film, and she’s doing an Argentine tango. Her dance with partner Artem is very steamy, which makes me wonder how many of these celebrities and their dance partners have hooked up throughout the show’s 25 seasons. I mean, they’re locked in a room for hours and hours every day, pushed up against each other’s sweaty bodies as they writhe and wriggle in skimpy clothing. Hell, I once made out with a fellow passenger who brushed up against me on a flight to Akron, so God only knows what goes on behind the scenes of this show.

Nikki does a fine job with her tango. Shania is already having a grand old time giving her opinion of the performance, in spite of her woeful lack of qualifications to be a dance judge. She and judge Bruno Tonioli even have some flirty banter going back and forth. Tom Bergeron tells Shania that, by the end of the night, she’s gonna want to take out a restraining order against Bruno. Shania thinks Tom is kidding. Oh, she’ll see! Nikki gets four nines for a total of 36.

Reality-show Realtor Drew Scott is next, dancing a paso doble to the theme of action movies. I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what kind of dance a paso doble is supposed to be. But I don’t really care because I’ll bet Shania doesn’t either.

Drew is working hard on the dance floor, but he really looks like he’d rather be selling a South Beach waterfront mansion to a tech billionaire.

Once again, Shania has a lot to say about the performance. Her next single should be titled “Man, I Feel Like a Woman at the Judges’ Table Overcompensating for Not Knowing What a Paso Doble Is.” Drew does better than I expected he would, getting three sevens and a nine for a total of 30.

Host Tom Bergeron keeps reminding the viewers to vote for their favorite dancer. Sorry, Tom, I barely have the time to call my mother on her birthday. I’m not gonna take time out of my busy schedule to get off the couch and walk all the way across the room to get my phone and vote, okay?

Next up is singer Nick Lachey doing a Western-themed samba. Nick’s pretaped segment is basically him whining about how sucky a dancer he is. Well, one thing you can say about Nick is that he’s a man of his word. He does a substandard performance and collects two sixes and two sevens for a total of 26.

Sportscaster Victoria Arlen is now taking the floor to do a sports movie–inspired paso doble. There still has not been an explanation of what a paso doble is. Sure, I could Google it, but if I wanted to do homework while sitting in my pajamas, I’d enroll at Full Sail University.

Victoria and her partner are dancing on a hockey rink. In my opinion, knocking a tooth or two out of her partner’s mouth with a hockey stick would give their routine a real air of authenticity, but they don’t go that extra mile. They do, however, score three eights and a seven for a 31.

Ah, here comes ex-football star Terrell Owens, dancing jive to a spy-movie theme. Terrell is doing a great job and is looking super sexy in his James Bond tuxedo. Dammit, I may have to get up and walk all the way across my living room so I can call in and vote.

Two of the judges call Terrell’s performance “oily,” which apparently is a good thing. If someone called me oily, I’d kick them in the groin and then take a very long shower. Terrell scores three nines and a ten for an impressive 37. This is very good news because it means Terrell will probably be safe and I don’t have to get off the couch to get my phone to vote.

Now, I have to point out that they keep showing a guy in the audience who looks like the actor who played J. Peterman on Seinfeld. I’m pretty sure it’s him. They haven’t mentioned him at all, but they just keep showing him sitting there. Why? Maybe he drove Shania there.

Speaking of which, Shania is now singing a song. Well, not exactly singing. She’s doing a lip sync that can best be described as “loosely based on the lip movements required to actually sing this song.” She doesn’t even dance! Maybe they’ll have me on as a guest judge next season and I can lip sync my lines from Drillbit Taylor.

Shania has stopped moving her lips, and now actor Frankie Muniz is up, doing an animation-inspired jazz dance. He does a pretty good job, but only gets three eights and a seven for a 31. I’m sorry, I know I should be giving more details about Frankie’s routine, but I’m obsessed with looking for the J. Peterman guy every time they cut to the audience. Maybe next week they’ll have the Soup Nazi sitting in the crowd.

Here comes Vanessa Lachey doing a quickstep to a movie-musical theme.
She does a great job and exerts so much energy in her dance routine that it makes ME exhausted. Now I’m really glad I didn’t exert myself by going across the room to get my phone. She gets four nines for a big 36.

As much as I’ve been ragging on Shania about her lack of dance expertise and horrific lip-syncing ability, I have to give her props for not requesting that restraining order against Bruno yet. If I were sitting there, he’d have to legally be at least 100 yards away from me at all times.

Singer Jordan Fisher is next. He earned the first perfect score of the season last week, and will now try to match that with a drama-inspired rumba. It’s a moving number, and Jordan cries during his performance. Audience members cry during his performance. I’m not sure how J. Peterman reacts. In any case, Jordan earns three tens and a nine for a 39.

For the final performance of the night, violinist Lindsey Sterling is doing a science-fiction Argentine tango, which, by the way, would be an excellent name for an indie-rock band.

It’s another incredible dance by Lindsey. If I could move like her, I wouldn’t be wasting my time writing TV recaps for Vulture. I’d be making a killing on the main stage at the nearest gentlemen’s club. Lindsey grabs four tens for a 40!

ELIMINATION TIME! It’s between Nick and Terrell … and Nick is going home. I mean, he’s literally going home to take care of the kids while his wife, Vanessa, continues on the show. I’m sure that’s going to be a comfortable scene at the Lachey house. She’ll be performing on TV in front of millions of people while he’s puttering around the house with an infant strapped to him in a spit-up–covered Babybjörn.

So many unanswered questions this week: Why Shania Twain? Was that really the J. Peterman guy? Who else was in Drillbit Taylor? In spite of all the mystery, I enjoyed this episode and give it four out of five stars.

Lisa Lampanelli can be seen in her play, Stuffed, at the Westside Theatre in New York City. For tickets, go to stuffedplay.com.

Dancing With the Stars Recap: Last Tango in Tinseltown