Zendaya and Val's jive landed them atop the leader board. (Adam Taylor / ABC )
It’s only Week 2 of “Dancing With the Stars’” 16th season, but already people have stopped being polite and started getting real. All the stars were back for their second night of competition, but the specter of Tuesday night’s first elimination loomed large. Emotions ran the gamut during this Monday’s performance show: There were a lot of stars hitting walls this week – angry words hurled, and more than a fair amount of tears. On a more upbeat note, jazz was introduced into the show’s repertoire. And we witnessed our first nine scores!
Here’s how the stars aligned: “If you’re just tuning in, we’re playing ‘Find the Body Fat.’ ”
Zendaya proved that she wasn’t a one-hit wonder with her second routine, cementing her as the star to beat. First of all, she looked fantastic in that magnificent gold flapper dress and headdress. And even though there were hints of Bambi on ice when she first tried dancing in heels during rehearsals, there was nary a bobble to be found in her professional-grade jive.
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“Zendaya, you are the whole shebang – you killed that number!” Carrie Ann extolled. “You were great last week, but I did not expect that.”
Len predicted that the 16-year-old “Shake It Up!” star would sail right through to the final week. “You were fantastic,” he said.
“A star is born, big time!” Bruno boomed. “Your lines … are absolutely breathtaking.”
Love that despite oozing great technique, poise and effortless performances, she remains an unaffected 16-year-old. “I can work just as hard and do just as good as the big kids, you know?”
As Tom said, “Imagine how good she’ll be when she’s 17.”
Zendaya and Val received a 24 for last week’s contemporary marvel and a 26 (and two 9s!) for their jive. Total: 50 out of 60.
Like Kellie Pickler, I too have a hard time saying “jazz” without demonstrating some sort of jazz hand. So I can only imagine how difficult it was to keep the hand shaking to a minimum when pro partner Derek Hough explained that they were doing a more contemporary, modern routine rather than the Broadway razzle- dazzle.
The down-home country gal was a cheerleader back in the day, and she cheered the heck out of those sharp arm movements in this sci-fi, "Star Wars"-ian routine, which had shades of Derek’s much-lauded futuristic pasodoble routine with Joanna Krupa from long ago and a galaxy far, far away.
Kellie’s shiny bustier even had edges (“I cut Derek with my mirrors” during dress rehearsal). Carrie Ann was so impressed with the dance she nearly lost her dress. “Holy cow, my boobs almost popped out,” the judge over-shared. “That was ... amazing! Your extension, your feet, your artistry.”
“Last week was the spark, this week was the fire,” commended Len, who particularly admired the “wonderful toning” in Kellie’s feet.
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“That was modern dance at its most effective,” raved Bruno. “Weightless, beautiful, extensions that take your breath away … technically superb.”
Derek was a happy Jedi, waving the lightsaber/glow stick with ninja-like pride all the way up to the sky box. Kellie and Derek also scored a 26 (and two 9s) for their jazz routine. Total: 47.
Mark Ballas knew Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman had the endurance and precision to pull off a quickstep. Her challenge was to stop her dronelike poker face and get into character. And lo and behold, as Tom said, “Another successful graduate of the Mark Ballas School of Facemaking” was born.
Aly pursed and gaped like a true Ballas-ian in their fun, flighty routine. “Best quickstep of the night!” Carrie Ann hailed. Len’s only criticism was that Aly’s head went too far to the left. “But I tell you what, it was terrific,” he concluded. Bruno thought “it was like watching a magic little bluebird in full flight,” he said. “You were just skimming the floor, weightless… and your personality soared.”
Aly and Mark received a 24 for their quickstep. Total: 45.
How fun was Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff’s jazz routine – the first of its kind of the season? Sure, Jacoby’s a joker (“pull my finger”) filled with a lot of hot air. But after Karina’s dance mini-mes used their jazz hands to slap him down a couple of notches, and Karina got on Jacoby’s shoulders for an Andre the Giant as Dread Pirate Roberts impersonation, Jacoby was one cool cat, and he and Karina put on one great show. Five Guys Named Moe, indeed!