It’s Disney Night on tonight’s Dancing With the Stars! Like everyone else in America, I grew up with Disney movies. When I was a young girl, I wanted to be Mary Poppins. Not because of her magical powers, but because I wanted to be able to say “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” without biting the side of my tongue. And even though I don’t have kids, Disney is still a big part of my life, mostly because I live in New York City and it’s impossible to walk more than three blocks without passing a theater hosting a musical based on a Disney movie.
The opening dance is being done to “It’s a Small World After All,” which brings back a painful memory of going to Disney World with my parents and being forced to go on that annoying ride. All those creepy little puppets, singing that dopey song over and over and over and … great, now I’m in a bad mood. Tom Bergeron, you better have some whimsy on deck to cheer me up quick.
Tom is telling us that each contestant will do a dance based on a Disney film. None of them picked Mary Poppins, which doesn’t help my mood. Okay, Lisa, deep breath …
Sportscaster Victoria Arlen and her dance partner are doing a jazz dance based on the 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willie. That movie is notable because it features the first-ever appearance of Mickey Mouse. Plus — fun fact — it’s the film that Larry King took his fourth wife to on their first date.
Victoria, if you remember, was in a vegetative state for nearly four years and, after that, was paralyzed from the waist down. After years of hard work, she learned to walk again. Her story makes me feel kind of guilty about being too lazy to get off the couch to get my slippers, but not guilty enough to not just jam my feet between the cushions to keep them warm. But I digress.
Victoria does a fantastic job and earns three nines from the judges for a score of 27. Plus, I’ll bet she’s going to get off her couch later tonight to get slippers if her feet get cold. Show-off!
Next is Vanessa Lachey. If you told me six months ago that I’d be writing about Vanessa Lachey doing a waltz while wearing a sequined Snow White costume, I probably would have kicked you in the nuts and called you an unprintable name. But here I am. In her close-up after her dance, I’m noticing that Vanessa has no beads of sweat on her face. NONE! If I had done that dance under those hot studio lights, I’d look like I’d just crawled out of the Hudson River. Vanessa scores three eights for a score of 24.
We’re 20 minutes into the show, and Kermit the Frog has already made two appearances. I know that the Muppets are now owned by Disney, but they’re not Disney Disney, if you know what I mean. Seeing a Muppet on a Disney-themed show is like having your second-cousin-once-removed show up at your Thanksgiving dinner. Sure, technically he’s family, but I don’t want him eating my candied yams. I have to admit, I’m feeling guilty for having more negative thoughts than a person watching a show about Disney dancing should probably be having.
Up next is violinist Lindsey Stirling doing a fox-trot to “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio. Seeing how graceful and elegant Lindsey looks as she performs her fox-trot makes me want to jump off my couch and go take dance lessons. But let’s be serious: If I’m not going to get up to get my slippers, there’s very little chance of me running out to take dance lessons anytime soon.
The judges love Lindsey’s performance and award her with a nine, ten, and nine for a score of 28. Head judge Len Goodman gives her the ten, which surprises me because he’s usually so cranky. Maybe there’s something to this “Happiest Place on Earth” Disney crap after all.
Tom Bergeron announces that next week’s theme is a Night at the Movies. I’m hoping for a Reservoir Dogs dance where one of the contestants ties Bruno to his chair while cha-cha-cha-ing to “Stuck in the Middle With You.”
Here comes Nick Lachey, doing a quickstep to “Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book. I have to be honest: Nick is so stiff on the dance floor that he looks like the “before” picture in a chiropractor’s ad. He’s also very sweaty after his dance, unlike his wife. I wonder if this has ever been a point of contention in their bedroom.
Nick gets a seven, eight, and seven for a score of 22, once again a lower score than his wife received. For me, this season of DWTS has become a weekly contemplation of what goes on in the Lachey home during the days between the shows. I imagine it’s something like:
Vanessa: “Good morning, honey! Would you like some eggs?”
Nick: “What I’d like is a 27! THAT’S WHAT I’D LIKE!!!”
Next up is Drew Scott doing the Viennese waltz to “The Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie. And guess what? Kermit is sitting at the judges’ table. Not Mickey. Not Donald. Not Goofy. Kermit. What gives him the right? WHAT GIVES HIM THE RIGHT? Plus, the new guy they have voicing Kermit sounds like a prepubescent Ray Romano. Deep breath, Lisa. Deep breath.
Drew does a nice job with his waltz, and I will go out on a limb and say that Drew is the best dancer this season who has a reality show about real estate. Drew gets a nine, eight, and eight for a score of 25.
Pretty Little Liars star Sasha Pieterse is up now, doing a rumba to a song from The Little Mermaid. In her pretaped segment, she mentions that she’s lost 37 pounds since she started this show. Stop bragging, honey. Some of us don’t have the opportunity to be on a dance-competition show. Some of us don’t even have the energy to get their slippers out of the bedroom, even though their feet are freezing. She gets three eights for a 24.
Here comes Terrell Owens doing a quickstep to a song from The Lion King. He’s doing a great job, but I’m a little disappointed that he’s keeping his shirt on. Come on, Terrell! The Lion King is set on the savanna. It’s hot there! You don’t need a shirt. But nope, he remains fully clothed for the entire dance. Despite his unnecessary modesty, he gets a nine, eight, and eight for a score of 25.
Next up is Frankie Muniz. His Disney film is Pirates of the Caribbean and, in his pretaped segment, Frankie says he’s worried that he won’t be able to pull off being a “sexy pirate” for his Argentine tango. What? A five-foot-four guy named Frankie who starred in Malcolm in the Middle isn’t sexy? But knock me over with a feather — the little schmuck WAS sexy! Right now, I wouldn’t mind Malcolm in My Bedroom. Carrie Ann Inaba is all worked up, too, and gives him a ten, and with a nine and another ten, he earns a 29.
Here comes Jordan Fisher, dancing a fox-trot to his own song, “You’re Welcome,” from the movie Moana. By the way, I just saw Jordan’s music video for his new song, “Mess,” and it’s really good. This kid is way too talented and, in keeping with MY theme of the night, I’m annoyed again. The judges love his dance and give him a 30.
Finally, WWE star Nikki Bella comes out to perform a jazz dance to a song from the upcoming Disney movie Coco. This DWTS episode has pushed more Disney products than the gift shop in the Magic Kingdom. Nikki does a great job and gets three nines for a score of 27.
ELIMINATION TIME! The bottom two are Sasha and Frankie. And …
Sasha goes home. I could make a joke that her new show should be called Pretty Little Loser, but I’m much too compassionate to say something that callous.
I’m giving this episode three out of five stars. I’m taking one star away because Kermit had to stick his nose or whatever frogs have at the end of their faces into the show. See you next week, everybody!
Lisa Lampanelli can be seen in her play, Stuffed, at the Westside Theatre in New York City. For tickets, go to stuffedplay.com.