It's Halloween week, which means..."Dancing with the Stars" is doing things that make us miss Wade Robson's Ramalama (Bang Bang).
I know, I know—sorry to get sidetracked in the "So You Think You Can Dance" universe during what is ostensibly a "DWTS" recap. But the over-the-top zombie hair and makeup, tattered-chic costumes and spookily spastic choreography in Mandy Moore's fun opening number last night were giving me Robson flashbacks in the best way possible. (COME BACK TO US, WADE.)
The narrative of the Halloween Night episode of "DWTS" centered on the dreaded team dance, which divided the remaining star-pro partnerships into Team Itsy Bitsy and Team Creepy. And there was an extra twist: All the members of Team Creepy were up for elimination. (Way to stack the deck there, "DWTS.")
Derek Hough's "Black Widow" freestyle for the Itsy Bitsys—Bethany Mota, Michael Waltrip, Lea Thompson, Janel Parrish and their partners—was legitimately great, to the extent that I occasionally had a hard time distinguishing the stars from the pros. (Also, I love the heck out of that song, which never hurts.) The Creepys—Alfonso Ribeiro, Sadie Robertson, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Tommy Chong and their pros—gave it their all in a high-energy number to "The Time Warp" from that old Halloween favorite, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. But let's be honest: Any group that includes Tommy Chong is at an immediate disadvantage (sorry, Tommy—love you!). Team Itsy Bitsy ended up outscoring Team Creepy 36-32.
In the non-team portion of the night, Bethany, Janel and (as always) Alfonso all gave strong performances. Note to America: Please, please stop putting Alfonso in the elimination danger zone. He's fantastic! His wife's going to have another baby! He gave the world the Carlton Dance! SAVE CARLTON!
Ahem. Anyway, at the end of the night, it was Antonio Sabato, Jr. who was sent packing. Domo arigato, Mr. Sabato. I'll miss your abs you.
What did you all think of last night's episode? Did Team Itsy Bitsy earn its victory? Who's going home next week? Should everyone just chill out with the guyliner for a while (YES)? Let us know in the comments!
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
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Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.