Detroit was in the house Monday, as contestants in ABC’s ballroom dance competition cha-chaed, rumba-ed and even did the fox trot to Motown songs.
Motown’s own Gladys Knight went first, dancing to “My Girl,” sung by the Temptations.
Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. was in the audience, beaming from the front row, and when introduced, gave a special shout-out to his “best friend,” Smokey Robinson.
Robinson, clad in midnight blue was the star of the evening, smoother than butter as he crooned “Cruisin’,” “Oo Baby Baby” (After he critiqued the dancers, tough judge Len Goodman called it “beautiful, lyrical music”) and “Being With You,” as contestants danced. It’s heartening to see one of Motown’s most legendary voices (and writers) still enthrall an audience.
Otis Williams, last of the original Temptations, was with his new Tempts as they sang ”I Can’t Get Next To You,” “The Way You Do the Things You Do” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” Martha Reeves glittered in a silver mini as she performed “Jimmy Mack.”
“Thank you for having Motown night,” Robinson told host Tom Bergeron. “Can you come back every night?” Bergeron bubbled in reply.
Tuesday night will show which of the dancing couples did not score well with the viewers on Motown night.