CLEVELAND - Stevie Wonder week on “Dancing with the Stars” brought us the rise of Team Pickler Dick. (I’ve been waiting to use Andy’s line.)
Not only did Motown legend Stevie Wonder perform, the stars had to do two dances, one of them being the first group dance of the season.
The show kicked off with Stevie singing “I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It” with Hunter Hayes joining him. Not sure who Hunter is, but his brief appearance in the second half of that song is all we see of him all night. Oddly abbreviated guest appearance. Stevie, though, still has a great voice and presence.
Zendaya and Val are up first with a cha cha to “Do I Do.” She just knows how to move. Her lines and movements are natural and she is perfectly on beat, though I’m starting to be able to predict her signature “Vogue”-like hand gestures around her head. Judge Len Goodman tells her to ask him for one word that sums up dancing. She asks and he says, “Zendaya.” Ooh, holla, girlfriend! Judge Bruno Tonioli says she has hypnotic presence. “You can cha cha me anytime you want!” She’s 16, Bruno. Shivers. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba calls her perfection in motion. Score: 29 out of 30.
Zendaya tweeted, “oh and vote for @iamValC and me too!! I can't go home tomorrow cause I have to get a 10 from Len!! Lol.”
Actor Andy Dick and Sharna samba to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” He’s a mailman, she’s a naughty housewife, of course. Andy looks a little loose at the start, but he seems to get into the dance. Bruno says it was a personality-driven splendid shamble of a samba. Carrie Ann had to check what dance he was doing. Len says he loves what Andy does. Score: 18. Mailman Andy gives a box to Tom and a rose to Brooke. All I can think of is Brad Pitt in “Seven” yelling, “What’s in the box?!”
“Bachelor” Sean Lowe and Peta samba to “I Wish.” They look more technical and crisp than Andy’s samba, but they also look a little stiffer. Peta tears Sean’s shirt off. Carrie Ann points out Sean was way off on musicality. Len says he was riddled with mistakes. Bruno says, on the bright side, he could get a job as a male stripper. Score: 21.
By the way, Peta and country singer Kellie Pickler seem to be competing for wildest blonde Goldilocks hair tonight, and I approve.
Olympian Aly Raisman and Mark foxtrot to “Isn’t She Lovely.” Beantown gal Aly is shaken up by the Boston bombings, and Mark encourages her to bring joy with her dance and dedicate it to her hometown. Aly does look like she enjoys the dance. They can never go wrong with Old Hollywood, folks. Their charming dance is simply enjoyable and she hits all the right marks. Len and Bruno have minor critiques, while Carrie Ann says Aly is heading toward perfection. Score: 27.
Stevie comes back to sing “You Can Feel It All Over” while five girls dance around him. Fun stuff.
Soap star Ingo Rademacher and Kym tango to “Uptight.” Ingo just attacks it, maybe a bit too much at first. He is fast but a bit stiff. Channeling Carrie Ann, I think I see a lift. Bruno says Ingo kept control and produced beautiful lines. Carrie Ann says, “Welcome to the game!” What – are the Lift Police on vacation? Is this thing stacked? Len says, “Bingo, Ingo!” Score: 24.
Kellie and Derek quickstep to “Part-Time Lover.” They project sass with good movement on the floor and good timing. It looks like Derek might be pulling Kellie along a bit, but this number is very traditional for the uber-choreographer. Carrie Ann says they have perfect posture, nuance, synchronicity and interpretation. Len calls it the best dance he’s seen this season. Bruno calls it dancing of the best quality. Random alert! Why are Len and Bruno holding hands? Score: 29. Those are Kellie’s first 10’s, so now Derek has to buy her shoes.
Boxer Victor Ortiz and Lindsay rumba to “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” They try to inject some emotion into it, but Lindsay is pretty much dancing around him. Victor is so stiff, the poor guy looks possessed by D.L. Hughley. The moment I wonder when the dance was really going to get going, it ends. Len says Victor coped very well. (Why is Len being so nice tonight?) Bruno says his hips were stuck on neutral; Carrie Ann feels the same. Score: 18.
NFL star Jacoby Jones and Karina quickstep to “For Once In My Life.” They actually charge into the audience to start the dance. It’s hard to tell what they’re doing, but it sure looks fun. He does a great job keeping up, and even does the splits again. Bruno says he took off like the Indy 500. Carrie Ann says he surprises her after all these seasons. Len says he did a good job with a dance that