It's #MyJamMonday on Week 2 of Dancing with the Stars (of course Bruno's is "Born This Way") and, if nothing else, the song choices serve to highlight the age distribution between, say, Bethany Mota and Tavis Smiley on the show's 19th season.
For the second week in a row, it's Night 1 of 2. Who will be given the boot on Tuesday's results show? Here's a recap of tonight's performances:
Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff (Cha Cha)
Jam: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones
The dance: Hmm ... Randy looks like he's caught sleepwalking for the first few seconds of this "Salute to the Troops" routine. Once he picks up the rhythm, he seems to be enjoying looking at Karina more than doing the dance itself — and he's concentrating awfully hard on remembering those steps. Not a great performance overall, and a little boring to boot.
What the judges say: Len says the dance put him in a great mood but Randy's footwork needs a lot of work. Julianne critiques Randy's shoulder movements, but Bruno calls him a "hip-action hero." Carrie Ann's disappointed that the dance didn't show enough of Randy's sex appeal.
Score: 28 (out of 40)
Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy (Foxtrot)
Jam: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen
The dance: I'm a fan of Janel and Val's masquerade ball aesthetic, and it's clear that she's a competitor to keep an eye on. Determined to get a better score than they did last week, Janel's improved tenfold and this dance, for me, is everything Randy and Karina's wasn't — graceful, fun and seemingly effortless.
What the judges say: Julianne says she loved it even though it wasn't a traditional foxtrot — but tells Janel to keep an eye on how she's planting her feet. Bruno and Carrie Ann agree, but overall both love the "close to perfect" (Carrie Ann) routine. And ooh, I like these instant replays too! Len is delighted but would have liked more defined holds.
Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev (Jive)
Jam: "Land of 1000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett
The dance: Almost as entertaining as the dance itself are Lea's amazing facial expressions. I need GIFs of all of them. This one is a real crowd-pleaser, with Lea earning a standing ovation as she checks to make sure she didn't fall out of her shirt.
What the judges say: Bruno's thrilled, noting one misstep. Carrie Ann literally falls out of her chair with excitement. Len says his concerns about their jive were misplaced and calls it "terrific," and Julianne compliments Lea's ability to hold her own against Artem.
Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater (Samba)
Jam: "Girls in Bikinis" by Lee Brice
The dance: Okay, first of all, Emma's refusal to wear a bikini is completely adorable and charming. The dance ... not so much. It's wince-worthy to seeMichael literally counting off his steps (when he's not singing along to the song), and he looks completely robotic out there. Even the applause from the balcony is polite at best.
What the judges say: Carrie Ann loves Michael's "joy," but says a samba was absent. Len says Michael "puts the sin in syncopation," but he liked it anyway. Julianne notes that hip rolls are basically all Michael has going for him, and Bruno makes a strange James Bond analogy.
Tavis Smiley and Sharna Burgess (Cha Cha)
Jam: "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire
The dance: It's cha cha meets disco! But what is with the guys tonight? Tavis is the best of the male bunch so far, but appears to be just getting through the routine rather than actually enjoying himself out there. Love the disco outfits, but his moves are a little herky-jerky.
What the judges say: Len says the routine lacked polish and the rough week Tavis had showed in his technique. Julianne and Bruno both liked the disco vibe. Carrie Ann is the dissenter and thinks Tavis nailed all the steps.
Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson (Samba)
Jam: "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It" by Will Smith
The dance: Love this subtle shoutout to Alfonso's former Fresh Prince co-star, and finally some smoothness from the male contingent on the show. Alfonso matches Witney step for step and still manages to look completely natural and comfortable on the dancefloor. Like buttah!
What the judges say: Julianne praises the "Alfonso groove" but wants to see a little more bounce for a Latin dance. Bruno agrees, though he loves watching Alfonso dance. Carrie Ann notes that a costume malfunction caused them to lose focus at one point. Len says he'll be disappointed to miss Alfonso's waltz next week.
Bethany Mota and Derek Hough (Foxtrot)
Jam: "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor
The dance: Derek, King of the Props, gets points for cleverly (and "dangerously"?) incorporating an upright bass into the beginning of the routine. There's no trace of Bethany's ankle injury in the dance, and she's clearly a natural mover. It's not the most exciting routine once they lose the bass, but it's technically sound.
What the judges say: Bruno praises the Fosse influences, and Carrie Ann loves the "storytelling" in the routine. Len says it's the best routine of the night so far, and Julianne calls it "awesome."
Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani (Foxtrot)
Jam: "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper
The dance: Betsey is such a doll — almost literally, with her Barbie-esque getup tonight. She looks a little unsteady on her feet traipsing down those glittery stairs at the beginning of the routine, but her subsequent elegance and flawless leg lift at the end completely redeem any small wobbles at the beginning.
What the judges say: Carrie Ann thinks Betsey is "exquisite." Len says she completely redeemed herself after last week's wardrobe mishap. Julianne loves her "make-under," and Len dubs her the queen of the night.
Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Cheryl Burke (Rumba)
Jam: "Adorn" by Miguel
The dance: Apparently the tension between Antonio and Cheryl during rehearsal has evolved into a nice, steamy chemistry with each other. They make a great pair, and the routine is sensual and smoking hot. Antonio seems much more comfortable with a slower dance that allows him to glide around the floor.
What the judges say: Len and Julianne are blown away by Antonio's improvement from last week. Bruno compliments Antonio's toplines (and butt) and says the routine "smoldered." Carrie Ann loves the subtle nature of the dance and cautions him to watch his arms.
Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd (Salsa)
Jam: "Higher" by Gloria Estefan
The dance: Tommy kills me. The song choice, his "what am I here for" confusion in rehearsal, the shirt ripping open ... slow claps all around. At 76 (and possibly under the influence, let's be honest), he's a little bit lethargic at times, but overall his footwork is great and he's definitely one of the looser, more comfortable-seeming guys of the bunch.
What the judges say: "Effing fabulous," according to Julianne. Bruno says the 76-year-old Tommy proves age is a state of mind. Carrie Ann loves the bare chest, and Len has nothing but praise as well.
Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker (Cha Cha)
Jam: "Sing" by Ed Sheeran
The dance: Jonathan has a little Michael Jackson thing going on at the beginning of this number — and it's not just the fedora. I'm into it. His footwork isn't the smoothest and his arms are a little floppy at times, but it's certainly not a bad effort for Week 2.
What the judges say: Bruno says the routine felt a little rushed but Jonathan's angles were good. Carrie Ann liked seeing a more "dangerous" side of Jonathan but says there wasn't enough cha cha in the routine. Len agrees with Carrie Ann about the content and says it was too sharp and "jerky." Julianne plays good cop and compliments their consistency and potential.
Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas (Jazz)
Jam: "She's Country" by Jason Aldean
The dance: Mark and Sadie's "country jazz" routine is nothing if not inventive. I'm never a fan of scripted skits at the beginning of routines. But once they get into the dance itself, it's fun and (probably much to her dadWillie's dismay) Sadie really knows how to shake a leg — and other things.
What the judges say: Carrie Ann's worried the routine was too edgy for Willie. Len hates the country-jazz fusion. Julianne says Sadie is transfixing and missed her leg action from last week. Bruno says it was "great."
So, what did you think of Monday's show? Which routines were the best and worst — and who will be sent home Tuesday? Sound off in the comments!