Lights, camera, action from motion pictures, television, and music videos were on tap Monday for “Dancing on the Stars” Famous Dances Night. This is the second season for its theme that recreates memorable dances from favorite movies and MTV. ABC’s reality TV dancing competition show literally went all out by using some of the original choreographers, sets, and costumes. The nine couples each had their own famous dance to present that made for an entertaining two-hour live broadcast.
Opening the show with the “Dancing with the Stars” pro dancers and troupe dancers was “Puttin’ On the Ritz” from “Young Frankenstein,” mixed in with portions of “Big” and “Risky Business,” complete with Tom Cruise’s famous slide. First up were Kim Fields and Sasha Farber with a jive to “Hairspray.” Former DWTS pro and six-time champ Derek Hough has been cast as Corny Collins, the local TV dance show host, for the live TV production of “Hairspray Live!” in December. Season 6 alum and Tony-winner Marissa Winokur was in the audience. She was the original Tracy Turnblad from the Broadway musical.
An ecstatic Von Miller and Witney Carson recreated Michael Jackson’s subway scene dance from his music video “Bad.” One of the most ambitious dances of the night was Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe recreating Pink’s “Try” music video, complete with the move featuring Pink lifting her male dance partner. In the rehearsal package Jodie worked on that exact sequence with the original choreographers. Unfortunately Jodie suffered an injury and was able to attend rehearsals and the live telecast. Their dance was a worthy nod to the song’s cry about a dysfunctional relationship.
One of the highlights of Famous Dances Night came from Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas with their last minute notification. Originally Mark was informed of another song that was not cleared for legal reasons. This did not sit well for the pro dancer, yet they came up with an excellent nod to the mod mid-to-late 1960s colorful costumes from the “Austin Powers” film series, primarily “The Spy Who Shagged Me.” They performed a lyrical jazz, a la Bob Fosse, dance that was like watching one of those era’s music variety TV shows with its background dancers. The UFC fighter received her first “10” from head judge Len Goodman.
No, Jim Carrey wasn’t recreating his dance from “The Mask” on “Dancing with the Stars.” It was Nyle DiMarco in an authentic mask from the film and Peta Murgatroyd as Cameron Diaz’s character. Their quickstep was incredibly similar to the dance scene in the movie where the masked man whisks Cameron onto the club’s dance floor, while her mob boyfriend isn’t very happy about it. Their scores took a dip from Nyle’s triumphant Viennese waltz during last week’s Switch-up.
Ginger Zee would have been better suited to dance to another music video or movie than try to emulate Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” music video. She did an admirable job with the dance steps from her partner Val Chmerkovskiy, though it severely lacked Janet’s fierceness and attitude. Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff went Bollywood with “Slumdog Millionaire’s” final scene at the train station. It was refreshing to see a completely different dance style that Doug absolutely enjoyed.
Saving nearly the best for last was Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold reliving NSYNC’s VMA Awards TV performance of “Bye Bye Bye.” It was interesting to see a member of Boyz II Men recreate a fellow boy bander’s major hit song. Utilizing the TV sets for the opening, Wanya and Lindsay nailed it from start to finish, so much so that Joey Fatone was overcome emotionally with joy. Fellow NYSNC and DWTS alum Lance Bass was also in attendance. Wanya received the first two “10’s” of the season from Carrie Ann and Bruno. It was certainly deserving of a perfect score and they topped the leaderboard. .
Closing out the show was Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess dancing a jive to the original “Footloose” starring Kevin Bacon and his six degrees of separation. Someone was eliminated from the competition at the end, and not surprising it was Doug Flutie. He had an excellent run and should be proud of his accomplishments. Next week’s theme is Icons Night and the first team dance of the season with all female celebrities against the male celebrities.