Former Texas governor Rick Perry held up his end of the bargain in Monday night's exercise in mobility.
Though improved from last week, Perry stayed put at the bottom of the leaderboard on Dancing With the Stars. The stars danced to favorite television theme songs. Perry played again to the Hollywood's notion of Texas as AwShucks-ville by trying to do the quickstep to the theme from Green Acres. Hey, whatever works.
Perry was "blatantly campaigning," according to DWTS host Tom Bergeron (who, quite possibly, might be tiring of this gig; he seemed a little punch drunk Monday night). And the leadup video showed him even trying to get a goat to vote and to "Make America Dance Again." Viewers -- and the goat -- can vote until 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20. Someone will be eliminated during the two-hour results show on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. on ABC.
Perry said, "It's a lot of fun." I believe him. He also said that it "flows a little better." I don't believe him. Easy for him to say, not so easy for him to do.
His face had better moves than his knees. God bless her, when he went to kiss Mrs. Perry after the performance, she looked as if she was in captivity. That nefarious Bergeron!
"Was that your wife?" Bergeron asked.
Perry: "That's where she's supposed to be sitting." Where has this wit been?!
Judge Bruno Tunioli spared no punches, comparing the performance to a "bad cold; you can't get rid of it," and "heavy machinery."
Carrie Ann Inaba kept repeating "perky and efficient."
Len Goldman has this great way of compartmentalizing performances, judging them only against the competitor's previous one. (God bless him.) He said, "well done."
Julianne Hough defended her position, exclaiming "I actually loved it," which sounded suspiciously like a version of "what had happened was ..."
But Rick Perry is fresh out of give a damns. He smiled broadly and held a rhinestone-encrusted pitchfork in the kiss-and-cry area, also known as the "skybox." Earlier he reminded everyone that he was dancing for veterans: "Every day I get up with a smile on my face, thinking about that" and he hopes people think about that when they vote. Heh. He said, "Vote."
The top of the leaderboard had the complete opposite experience. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, "the human emoji," did the jive to the theme from Duck Tales. "What is Duck Tales?" she asked in the video earlier. Everyone loves her. Me, too. S/N: There has to be something offensive about constantly being compared to animated characters.
Terra Jole and her quickstep to the theme from Bewitched enchanted the judges. She was right on Hernandez's heels in second place with judge Julianna Hough's "favorite dance of the night." She even stood up to say it. Not to be outdone, Bruno stood when he exclaimed over it, too. (He was probably thinking: "Hunty, that's my thing. Have several seats.")
Another Texan fared better, but not by much: Vanilla Ice danced to the theme from Married With Children because he said, "I don't know how it's going to be, but hey, it's Frank Sinatra." (Rolling my eyes is starting to hurt.) Ice -- suddenly a foxtrotting Al Bundy -- was driving home the point that he's a family man and his greatest accomplishment is his teenage daughters. Freestyling is not his thing, yo: "Get our butts off of our seats and start moving our feets," he said. Ouch.
Honest Bruno: It "was not the ultimate picture of sophistication," but it was "very effective." Heh. He called him "funky."
Carrie Ann to Vanilla Ice: "Don't lip sync." Preach, girl.
Len: Last week, he said Vanilla Ice's dance was an "ice ice breaker." This week, he disrespected the memory of Muhammad Ali by calling the performance a "thrilla from Vanilla." His freestyle skills were on point, though. He also said there was "improvement in the movement."
Ice, though, is pretty matter of fact about it all: "I didn't step on her feet. ... I'm happy with any score. Happy to be alive and happy to be dancing." What's hostess Erin Andrews going to do with that?
Anyway, let's get to the frog in the room: Ryan Lochte. The video of the tackle of his protestors was shown, with dancer Derek Hough yellling, "This is a good show, a positive show. Get out of here!" And we got to see the other protesters being ushered away from their seats.
Lochte, dressed in sparkly green tux and tails, was probably wishing for some Lucky Charms in the guise of protesters after his quickstep to the theme from the Muppets. Julianne Hough apologized when she said that there were mistakes everywhere. It really ain't easy being green.
Bruno said he was "jumping around like Kermit the Frog but you had the posture of Fozzy the Bear." But he threw him a bone: "We only judge you on the dancing." Tell that to Rio.
Racing driver James Hinchcliffe (as he said: "Who?") and his paso doble to the theme from Walking Dead? Did they steal from the "Thriller" video? Or did MJ steal from the paso doble?
Amber Rose, in character as Khaleesi, danced a Viennese Waltz to the theme from Game of Thrones.
And the abomination that was J.T. Austin dancing like he's grown to the theme from Go Diego Go? Marilu Henner dancing her heart out to the theme from Taxi?
I know what you're thinking, Broadway producers. Walk away; nothing to see here. Just. Don't.
The mind can wander while watching 'Dancing With the Stars':
Does ABC show so many episodes so it cram the fall lineup down the audience's throats?
Do they purposely cull new stars from the old star's friends or admirers? Alum Florence Henderson helped out with Maureen McCormick's performance to the theme from The Brady Bunch; alum Jaleel White showed up to give props to Calvin Johnson Jr. for his cosplay as Urkel as he danced to the theme from Family Matters, giving rise to an "Urkel Megatron bromance"; alum Toni Braxton showed up to help Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds get in touch with his sexy side for his stunning Argentine tango to the theme from X-Files.
How does Babyface, who specializes in making baby-making music, not know how to get into a sexy mindset?
And now that megaproducer Face fixed the X-Files theme so he could dance to it, will everyone else demand a remix?
Do the celebrity guests get an appearance bonus? David Foster and Bobby Brown were on hand Monday night. We know the ABC stars -- Dallasite Mark Cuban and some of the rest of the sharks from Shark Tank -- are there for free.
Will they invite more musicians to perform their own theme songs as Gavin DeGraw did for One Tree Hill actress Jana Kramer, who was dancing while injured?
Will ABC start selling those white T-shirts of support for Lochte?*
*(Asking for a frenemy, although if I were to wear it, it would be ironically. XL, please.)
Can they get any more inappropriate? See the sexy jungle motif and moves for the theme to what should now be called No Diego No.
As the show ended and Bergeron announced that Match Game was next featuring Gov. Sarah Palin, one last question popped up: Are they running out of stars or has the definition changed?