'Dancing with the Stars' Week 5 Recap: Their Most Memorable Years
'Dancing with the Stars' Week 5 Recap: Their Most Memorable Years
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The Top 9 couples on Dancing with the Stars season 17 features a lot of incredible talent, Four of the couples have already received at least one 27 from the judges while two others have also received 9s. In fact, two-thirds of all the dances from these nine pairs have received a 24 or higher.

In week 5, each star will look back at their most memorable year before taking the stage for a dance they haven't done yet. So get ready for some emotional stories, Foxtrots and more on Dancing with the Stars!

Since there are no results shows, DWTS is shoe-horning guest performances into the real show, so we start with "Wake Me Up" by Aloe Blacc. The lyrics "wake me up when it's all over" echo my own sentiments.

Luckily they brought back the individual introductions for the couples, but they don't walk down the stairs. Mark Ballas' neon green vest is already stealing the spotlight from his partner.

Tom Bergeron lets us know that, as of now, based on the viewer votes, a female is at the bottom. Ooh, interesting, Snooki? Leah? Christina?

Christina Milian and Mark Ballas: Cha-Cha-Cha

Her Most Memorable Year: 2010. She gave birth to her daughter and divorced her cheating husband. So they're dancing to Cee Lo Green's "Forget You." I guess she isn't bitter over being ousted from The Voice.

She has great moves, and it looks like Mark took Julianne Hough's advice to heart because the choreography is all focused on making Christina the center of attention. I hope Mark takes this as a lesson for the future. However, it's full of one of my personal pet peeves, when many of her movements and gestures mimic the lyrics of the song, which seems kind of hokey. The judges, including the return of Len Goodman, lavish praise on her and have nothing bad to say.

Judges' Scores: 9+10+9=28

Wow, the first 10 of the season! Len must have really enjoyed his vacation.

Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke: Waltz

His Most Memorable Year: 2012. He had a baby daughter, and two and a half weeks later he was diagnosed with M.S. So Jack and Christina's most memorable years BOTH featured new daughters followed by tragedy? Of course Jack's is much more moving because he's saddened and scared about not being able to keep up with his baby.

The dance is beautiful and surprisingly good. I guess Jack's rigidity is actually a benefit in the Waltz because it doesn't require him to shake his hips so much. Bruno Tonioli was touched by his story and was impressed with Jack's bum. Once again, it's unanimous praise from the judges.

Judges' Scores: 9+9+9=27

The judges are in a very good mood tonight. This makes Jack the seventh dancer this season to earn a 9, and the sixth to get a 27 or higher. It also guarantees that my prediction of Jack being eliminated is oh-so-wrong.

Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani: Contemporary

Her Most Memorable Year: 2013. It's all because of her decision to leave Scientology and the challenges she's faced having to stand on her own and "Roar," hence the Katy Perry song choice.

Leah makes a joke about how Tony, who has never done Contemporary, should get Corbin Bleu to choreograph their dance. Her concept is about Tony playing a puppet master as Leah cuts the strings. In other words, Tony is L. Ron Hubbard.

The dance has the same issues as Christina's, with Leah's movements constantly mimicking the lyrics. I love the concept and some of the set pieces, but the dancing is lacking and there aren't really any transitions. Carrie Ann Inaba agrees and points out the fact that it was more concept than dance. Leah once again whines about not being a dancer. I'm sick and tired of her bitching about how unfair it is that people like Corbin have dance backgrounds.

Judges' Scores: 7+7+8=22

Yikes, with the news that a woman had the fewest votes, she could be in trouble and Lord Xenu will win. But if all she's gonna do is talk about Scientology and Corbin Bleu, I'd be fine with that.

Paris Hilton is in the audience to support Christina Milian, which just makes me like Christina even less. Brooke Burke-Charvet then tries to get Paris to be on the next season.

Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff: Foxtrot

His Most Memorable Year: 2011. His sister Phoenix was diagnosed with scoliosis and wears a brace 24/7, but she's coping with it like a champion.

There's no gimmick or concept, it's just Corbin dancing like a pro, as he always does. We all know he's going to be in the finale, so it's all just a formality. Bruno calls him the lovechild of Fred Astaire and Ben Vereen. I feel like the judges assume Corbin will get a 10 and spend his dances looking for a reason to deduct a point or two. Carrie Ann complains about lifts and Karina says there was none.

Judges' Scores: 9+9+10-28

Tom pipes in to say that they are going to get a slo-mo instant replay to see if there was a lift, and Carrie Ann may add that one point back that she deducted for a perceived lift. UPDATE: After a commercial, Tom adds that the rulebook states all judges' scores are final, so lift or no lift, it's a 9 from Carrie Ann.

Bill Engvall and Emma Slater: Viennese Waltz

His Most Memorable Year: 1982. It's the year he married his wife. It's also earlier than most of the people on this show were born. It's great to have a sweet, funny, romantic story and not one filled with tragedy. Plus, since his wife is named Gail, it makes me think Bill is the real-life Jerry Gergich from Parks and Recreation.

I don't know why I had my doubts about this, because I think it's lovely and Bill is so fast on his feet and brings a smile to everyone's faces. The judges point out some technical issues, but they love his spirit.

Judges' Scores: 8+8+8=24

It's official that Bill and Leah are the only stars left who have yet to get a 9.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber: Jazz

Her Most Memorable Year: 2012. She gave birth. Clearly having a kid is memorable. She admits she was a crazy drunk before getting pregnant and all the Internet comments about her being a bad mom got to her, but she's changed and dedicated herself to being a better person and a great mom. She's dancing to Britney Spears' "Work Bitch."

The bitch definitely works, and there's a lot of movement, but I'm just not a fan. First, it doesn't really connect to being a mom because the routine is all dirty and sexy. It's kind of like she's in a dance club. Carrie Ann says it reminded her favorite drag queen, RuPaul. They all love it. I get it, but it's so completely different from everything else. Maybe I'm a grumpy old man, but I still think they need to drop Jazz and Contemporary as styles. Stick with ballroom.

Judges' Scores: 9+9+9=27

Now seven different couples have received a 27 or higher. That should keep her safe, so things are looking very, very bad for Leah.

Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd: Contemporary

His Most Memorable Year: 2009. He moved to Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, and at the same time his dad died from lymphoma. After his dad's death he worked hard and got acting jobs, including Pretty Little Liars.

The dance is beautiful, and not just because Brant's shirt is open. The story and dedication to his father make it extra touching, and his movements are so fierce, fearless and graceful. The judges love every single thing about it because the movements connected to the story and the emotion.

Judges' Scores: 9+9+9=27

Boo, there should've been a 10 in there, but I think they don't like giving a 10 to a Contemporary routine.

Amber Riley and Derek Hough: Foxtrot

Her Most Memorable Year: 2009 She auditioned for American Idol and got turned down, but then she landed the role of Mercedes on Glee.

This is actually my favorite performance of hers since week 1. I think Derek is finally learning how to choreograph for Amber, because it's different than some of his past partners. She doesn't look tired and her energy and acting is spot-on. The judges agree that she's a star. Len complains about there not being enough Foxtrot.

Judges' Scores: 9+7+10= 26

Egads, I have whiplash from those scores! However, this is nothing new, and Derek needs to know that if he ignores the style and does whatever he wants, Len is gonna call him out on it.

Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jive

Her Most Memorable Yearsr: 1989 and 2012. She doesn't play by the rules, so she gets two years, when her baby was born and when she first started on Saved by the Bell. Mario Lopez is in the audience (A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano 4EVA!) and she's dancing to "I'm So Excited," which is the song I most wanted her to use.

OH! MY! GOD! The routine opens with a recreation of Saved by the Bell as Val climbs through the window of Jessie's bedroom and catches her taking Jive Pills. She needs them! She even does "I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so scared." Everything else doesn't matter, because that moment alone deserves a 30.

Judges' Scores: 8+9+9=26

Tom then says Elizabeth and Val are...IN JEOPARDY! Dear God, no!

The Results

It's time to read a list again. The following couples are SAFE:

Corbin and Karina
Amber and Derek
Bill and Emma
Jack and Cheryl
Brant and Peta
Snooki and Sasha


Christina and Mark are...IN JEOPARDY!
Leah and Tony are...IN JEOPARDY!

Elizabeth and Val are...SAFE!


Christina Milian and Mark Ballas are ELIMINATED!

Wow! They tied for the highest score of the night and got the first 10 of the season tonight. That's gotta hurt, and it means no one likes her at all and she just didn't have the votes to stay when the scores are all so close. Mark has some pretty bad luck, just like with Sabrina Bryan, but even worse.

To be fair, in my prediction article, I did say that a shocking Christina exit was a possibility, I just didn't have the courage to go with that as my pick. Maybe Julianne's comments about Mark last week hurt them and turned people off of their pair.

The Leaderboard

28: Christina Milian, Corbin Bleu
27: Jack Osbourne, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Brant Daugherty
26: Amber Riley, Elizabeth Berkley
24: Bill Engvall
22: Leah Remini


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(Image courtesy of ABC)

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