‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Chaka Khan goes home, Bindi Irwin rocks the …

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Chaka Khan goes home, Bindi Irwin rocks the top spot.

It’s clear after just a few episodes of “Dancing With the Stars” that there’s a yawning divide between the real contenders and the novelty acts. Dancing With the Stars professional dancer , who is currently partnered with Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Chaka Khan on Season 21 of the ABC competition, took a break from the dance floor to share 25 interesting facts about himself with Us Weekly. 10. Chaka was second from the bottom of the leaderboard on the first night after flaking on at least half her cha-cha, so her exit isn’t a complete surprise.

She acts calm during her departure speech, expresses joy that she was able to meet host Tom Bergeron and apologizes for doing her partner “a disservice.” She calls Keo one of the most amazing dancers she’s ever seen. But definitely don’t count out American hero Alek Skarlatos, singer Andy Grammer and 15-year-old star of the Interwebs Hayes Grier, who have room to grow but have already trotted out their considerable charm and raw talent. Seemingly in an attempt to torture its cast, “DWTS” producers already have their stars and pros learning two dances for this week’s Hometown Glory theme. Maybe it was only shocking that Kim Zolciak and her cellar-dweller first-week scores managed to stay, but there’s another elimination planned for Tuesday night. We’ll find out for sure Tuesday, when “DWTS” delves into the pros’ roots.) Instead of starting with a dance routine, the show opens with the smiling stars and their hometowns on the screen.

Fun/embarrassing factoid: Even with the measly 12 points she picked up in the first week, Zolciak wasn’t the lowest-ever scoring celebrity on the show. It was a slightly different (crankier?) panel back then, but this season’s Julianne Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli have already kind of poked holes in the score inflation that’s ruled for the past few years. His teacher in Tampa, Fla., steered him in the right direction when he was growing up, Nick said, but his slippery glittered shoes most certainly did not on Monday night. The boy band veteran flailed around the stage during a quick-stepping jive to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” in a performance that Julianne called “a little bit messy.” Bruno thought it was “double espresso” in its energy but still “a bit rough.” Carrie Ann is still surprised that Nick gets nervous.

She was trying to redeem herself – she scored only a paltry 15 in week 1 – with a rumba to “Midnight Train to Georgia,” in tribute to Savannah, where she opened her first restaurant. Chaka wanted to show “an upward gradient” in her foxtrot to Frank Sinatra’s “Chicago,” and she did a few more steps than last week, while still mostly voguing through the number. Carrie Ann warned her to memorize that choreography. “I want to see you when you don’t forget the choreography.” It’s not cool to look stupid in front of everyone, Andy said during the pre-taped video, so he didn’t. Bruno said he “loved the attack,” and then he talked about fresh produce for no discernable reason. (Was that a bodega setting?) Carrie Anne couldn’t understand how a musician was so far off the beat, and Julianne said the technique and timing have to be there. Tom reveals that when Bruno gets excited during the couples’ dances, he’ll grab the host’s arm – and Bruno nearly cut off the circulation this week.

On the one hand, Kim was absolutely right when she said during rehearsal there was nowhere to go but up (from that disastrous 12 points in the season premiere). Bruno called it the most unexpected comeback since Lazarus. “She’s alive!” Humble young hero Alek likes his hometown (Sacramento), Journey power ballads (“Don’t Stop Believin’”) and sound effects (his own). It’s a crowd-pleasing number, even if the judges are more lukewarm. “You were on an upward gradient” once you started dancing, says Julianne, who appreciates that Chaka took to heart her note about using the space better. But he’s relentlessly positive and happy, and I had a feeling his jive to “La Bamba,” honoring his native Mexico, would be a less cringe-worthy experience than his initial outing. A disappointed Kim wants to step forward from week 1, though her juggling of child-care issues during rehearsal doesn’t bode well for an improvement come the live show.

Bruno called her performance to “We Are Family” “luminous and luscious,” and Carrie Ann declared her “a showstopper.” Football was religion in Tulsa, Okla., and Gary played in high school. So Anna put Gary in a letterman’s jacket for their foxtrot to the Beach Boys’ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” That was really the only sports connection, but Gary’s a crowd pleaser so it didn’t matter. Bruno said “that actually looked like a foxtrot,” and called Anna “a miracle worker.” Carrie Ann noted that he “didn’t miss a step,” though he came very close.

When he wasn’t practicing, Alek was at the White House, being honored for his rescue efforts in last month’s attempted terror attack in Paris. “We stole Garrison Keillor’s porch for this next number,” Tom says in a preview for this jazz. He and Witney did a flowing, smooth foxtrot to Blake Shelton’s sentimental country hit “Home.” Carrie Ann said he was “delicate, eloquent” and sophisticated, and Julianne felt the connection between the partners. That’s why she wanted to grab a rocker chick outfit and tango to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Derek seemed happy to oblige because he’s as captivated with her as the rest of us. Backstage, Alek critiques President Barack Obama’s attempts to nae nae for “Ellen.” Score: 23 (Carrie Ann 8, Julianne 7, Bruno 8). “Carrie Ann was asking if that White House footage was real. It was video trickery,” Tom says. “They used Obama’s head and Donald Trump’s body.” Alexa has to find a balance between her husband as a competitor and her partnership with Mark, and he doesn’t think she was in the game as much as she should have been. “Mark has a crazy idea” for their salsa, Alexa says – popular words about some of Mark’s choreography over the years.

Tamar thinks back to singing on the steps with her family, practicing for church. “I don’t want to thrust when I’m thinking about my family,” Tamar says. Leave your thoughts on these and other matters below – and remember to come back here Tuesday night for the next elimination report and dancing recap!

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