“Tutti Frutti, what a booty!” exclaimed Len Goodman after James Van Der Beek performed a samba during week six of “Dancing with the Stars.” Goodman added that the actor’s “bum was out of control” during his performance with pro partner Emma Slater. And if you can get that kind of reaction out of grumpy Goodman, you know you’ve got something special. Watch Van Derk Beek’s routine above.
Van Der Beek showed us with his “Movie Night” rumba that he could handle the hip action of a Latin dance, but the samba has claimed many victims on the dance floor, including Karamo Brown and Lauren Alaina, who struggled with the style on “Disney Night,” and even Hannah Brown, who also got a samba this week but struggled more with the timing of her country-Latin hybrid performance. Brown ended up with respectable straight 8s, but that put her second to last on the leaderboard as all the scores continue to rise.
So the fact that Van Der Beek emerged from his samba with rave reviews from the judges was a herculean feat even before he got his scores. Bruno Tonioli called it “loose, flexible and very rhythmical” and dubbed it “Close Encounters of the Hips Kind.” Carrie Ann Inaba thought the performance was “off the charts” and gave a critique we don’t hear very often: that it might have had too much hip action. I was reminded of those old Chris Kattan sketches on “Saturday Night Live” as Antonio Banderas — “No! It’s too sexy!”
The performance earned straight 9s for a total of 27 out of 30. That tied Van Der Beek for the top of the leaderboard with Kate Flannery and Sailor Brinkley-Cook (the latter of whom was eliminated in a ridiculous result). This was actually the first time Van Der Beek has been on top since the very first week of the competition. Will he keep this up all the way to the finale?
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