Can’t Stop Watching: Amber Riley’s ‘DWTS’ Tango Perfection, T.I. on ‘House of Lies,’ What’s Hot/Not & More

by | October 8, 2013 at 1:29 PM | Black Entertainment, Can't Stop Watching, Dancing With The Stars, House of Lies, The Today Show

Amber Riley and Derek Hough (Photo: ABC)

When I saw Amber Riley looking stoic in a flattering, form-fitting black dress with hands on both hips seductively strutting to Kanye West’s “Love Lockown” I knew her Tango performance was going to sizzle. And it was. Riley and her partner, Derek Hough, turned it out on “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night. For a girl who didn’t take professional dance lessons, Riley sure can move (I’ve said this before but am awed every time I see her dance.). I was very impressed when Hough gracefully dragged her across the floor and she fluidly flowed into the next step. Hough dipped and swung her around effortlessly. And she wrapped and unwrapped her leg around his like a professional. My mouth was open. And so were the judges’. “You all were like one person,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. “That was pure, unmistakably, classic, amazing Tango. You’re a magnificent dancer!” judge Bruno Tonioli said. So you understand why she got the highest score possible: 27. There’s no question that Riley is an excellent dancer. But, I admit that my awe-inspired reaction is partially due to Riley being a plus-sized girl (she’s addressed this on the show). I know big girls who can dance but rarely do I see them partnered up. As a matter of fact, my father recently mentioned my “thick” cousin who was breaking it down at my sister’s wedding. She and one of my sister’s full-figured friends were the two best dancers there but they were dancing alone. They were tearing up the dance floor. And that’s something Riley said during the season premiere, that she wanted to show younger girls that “someone my size actually actively trying to dance and throwing this weight around.” It’s good she has a skilled and aware partner to help make this happen. [Watch here]

T.I. joins “House of Lies”: Grammy Award winner T.I. will make several guest appearances in season 3 of Showtime’s “House of Lies.” “T.I. will play ‘Lukas,’ clothing company co-owner with childhood friend ‘Dre’ (previously announced guest star Mekhi Phifer), who enlist Marty (Don Cheadle) to help expand their empire,” according to a Showtime press release. My sister convinced me to watch “House of Lies” and I find it entertaining. Nia Long guest starred last season as did Larenz Tate, who played Marty Caan’s brother. Veteran actor Glynn Turman stars as his dad and Donis Leonard Jr. as his son. Cheadle earned a 2013 Emmy Award nod for this role and took home a Golden Globe Award for his Caan portrayal. It’d be nice to see how T.I. and Phifer add to this mix. Last year, T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr.,  joined the season 2 cast of Starz’s “Boss” as corrupt power player-in-training Trey Rogers. I was a big fan of this show and was disappointed when it was cancelled after two seasons. He also appeared on CBS’s “Hawaii Five-O” and has a reality TV show, “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” showcasing his family life with wife Tameka “Tiny” Cottle.

“Boss” star Rotimi talks working with T.I. on the hit show

Bronx female students embrace tech: It’s pretty much understood that the more opportunities a person is exposed to, the more likely they’re able to grow and flourish. That’s why institutions like Bronx Campus High, a pilot high school exposing under-served youth to computer science and software engineering, are vital. The school is co-ed but takes extra steps to help teach its female students skills such as learning the basic code language for gaming or audio engineering, areas one female student called “guy things.” The school leadership does this by integrating art with science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, according to the “Today” show. Women use technology but are underrepresented in related fields. Bronx Campus High hopes to change those numbers This story is timely given two popular tech conferences for women of color took place last weekend. Blogalicious, which celebrates digital diversity by increasing the presence of women of color on social media, held its fifth annual conference in Atlanta. Billed as “the most diverse tech conference on the planet,” FOCUS100 was held in New York City and brought together top tech companies founded by black women, innovators like Facebook and Google and top investors. The tide definitely is changing. [Watch here]

On my watchlist tonight? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand with……
“Chicago Fire”: Recently started watching this and it’s good. Comes on at 10 p.m. EST on NBC. [Watch here]
“Supernatural”: I have friends that love this show and it seems right up my alley so I may watch tonight (But Alaya Dawn Johnson’s open letter to its showrunner is giving me pause. We’ll see.) “Supernatural’s” season premiere airs at 9 p.m. EST on The CW. [Watch here]
“Preachers of L.A.”: I’ve been purposely avoiding this. More foolishness? I see it in the cue on XFINITY and am curious. It debuts at 10 p.m. EST on Oxygen but you can see it beforehand on XFINITY. [Watch here]

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Sixteen-year-old Simone Biles wins all-around gold at 2013 World Gymnastics Championships (Looks like another Gabby Douglas in the making!).
NOT: Police using deadly force instead nonfatal restraining options. The latest case is with Jack Lamar Roberson whose wife reportedly called for an ambulance but police showed up to their Waycross, Ga. home instead (Thought “Shoot to Kill” was just a movie…).

HOT: Jermaine Dupri joins Mariah Carey’s management team (They made hits together, so why not?).
NOT: Conservative groups efforts to get Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show cancelled (Not saying I agree with everything he says but these antics are ridiculous.).

HOT: TV One will the NAACP Image Awards for the next five years (Great win for TV One. Congrats!)!
NOT: Hampton University student Melona Clark having to carry papers to prove she can wear a hijab on campus (Hampton knows it can come up with some, um, interesting rules. Remember the cornrows  and dreadlock ban?!)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.