Based strictly on dance technique, and knowing the giant chasm that opened between the top competitors and the rest of the pack, did there really, truly need to be four couples in the semi-finals of this season’s “Dancing With the Stars?” I say no. No, I say!
The lineup could’ve looked like this: Rumer Willis, Riker Lynch and Nastia Liukin. End of story.
But along came Noah Galloway, and he changed everything. So did his fans, who supported him all the way to next week’s show.
Maybe they’re patriotic, maybe they liked his gumption, maybe they’ve become addicted to his ever-present swiveling hips and taut abs. Maybe they just wanted to see this warrior on television for as long as they possibly could. And I won’t argue. Welcome to the semis, soldier, you’ve made America proud once again. (At least its reality show addicts.)
So that’s how it stacked up after the “DWTS” results show, with Robert “Shark Tank” Herjavec and Chris “The Bachelor” Soules packing it in, though it was clear that their fans had kept them afloat far longer than their judges’ scores would’ve indicated. Heaven knows it wasn’t because of their ability to burn the floor.
Last snarky comment about Prince Farming: so now he knows what it’s like to not get a rose. Bam! Stop crying!
And co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews couldn’t possibly let Robert and Kym leave without asking about their off-air relationship. Robert, ever the gentleman, did not kiss and tell. (They’re totally a couple now, right?! And Kym’s driving that fancy sports car he promised her?)
To build on-set tension, and tease everyone watching, producers stuffed the show with replays, encore performances, clip packages and Carly Rae Jepsen’s sassy new bob. Cute!
Both she and the night’s other musical artist, Josh Groban, have recently debuted records to promote, hence their current whistle-stop tours of morning shows and late-night chatfests. And Jepsen obviously has a budding relationship with ABC, guest starring on Monday night’s “Castle.” She sang her chart-climbing pop tune, “I Really Like You,” and it was fine and inoffensive and predictably bubble gum.
After a sneak peek on Monday, Dance Center returned with extended segments, with deadpan “experts” Jerry Rice, Kenny Mayne and head judge Len Goodman opining on the dancers. One of the best jokes: Mayne said Riker looked like David Lee Roth and one of the Hansons had a baby.
Dance Center, for those who never watch sports and don’t know about Disney’s synergy fever, is based on ESPN’s famous Sports Center commentary. But it has a lot more glitter and bedazzling. Mayne continued to come through, pronouncing Nastia the daughter of Russian president Vladimir Putin, and obsessing over Noah’s “package.”
I like this crossover between “DWTS” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” as evidenced not only by Allison Holker as a current “DWTS” pro but last night’s Travis Wall number to the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” (They’re both “SYTYCD” alums as contestants, and Wall is an Emmy-winning choreographer on the Fox show.)
That group dance was quirky and inventive and fabulous, which is par for the course on “SYTYCD,” much less so on “DWTS.” Maybe this signals a new level of cross-pollination.
Another upside of the night for me: Len the Purist wanted to see a repeat of Rumer, Val and Artem’s flawless paso doble from Monday night, the only live dance from current contestants. And so he did, reminding us all why that routine earned a perfect 40.
Groban, the always-entertaining performer with personality and pipes, was hyping his latest release, “Stages,” a collection of musical-theater songs. That must be why he chose the extremely played-out ballad, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” He sang it beautifully, but please – please – can we give that ditty a rest?
Maddie Ziegler, famous for the Sia music videos and reality show, “Dance Moms,” and a couple of other tiny ballerinas danced to Groban’s voice, and it was sweet. I hope it moved some records.