The top eight couples on Dancing with the Stars
were spared last week due to technical issues, but that just puts even
more pressure on the dances this week. Every couple will perform a new
style, and we also have two team dances tonight from Team #FoxingAwesome
and Team #SpookyBomBom. Throw in a big announcement and an elimination
and you've got tonight's episode.
The big news is that, next week, Cher will perform and be the guest judge, replacing Len Goodman who is taking another week off. Hmm, is Cher really qualified to judge ballroom dancing? I suspect the pros will use this as an excuse to do crazy, elaborate routines that Len would frown on.Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy: Quickstep
Now that they've had a 30, Val is pushing her even harder because he knows what she's capable of. Luckily, Elizabeth is cool with this tough love. For no real reason, the dance opens with the two watching a '50s news bulletin about an alien invasion. The dance itself has nothing to do with aliens (except at the end when a CGI flying saucer incinerates them), but it does feature some incredibly quick movements and another excellent performance from Elizabeth. Every week she proves that she deserves to win the Mirror Ball Trophy. Carrie Ann Inaba compliments Val on teaching Elizabeth how to be a better partner.Judges' Scores: 9+9+9=27
After a perfect 30, 9s seem kind of underwhelming.Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd: Jive
It's fun to watch the back-and-forth editing of the rehearsal footage as Brant's tank top goes from clean to sweat-soaked to clean again. In the dance, Peta is selling ice cream and Brant is a nerd in suspenders and a bowtie. It's OK and Brant shows off his athleticism, but it's not my favorite. Brant is much better doing sexy, intense dances, not silly, funny ones. Also, he slips and almost falls at the end. The judges commend him for not missing any steps, but it was a little too much for him and the timing was off, hence the slip.Judges' Scores: 9+9+9=27
That's way too generous, and even Brant seems shocked because he slipped on Peta's skirt. I don't understand Len. He seems to love Brant as much as he hates Derek.Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani: Salsa
Tony is creating a very complex dance, perhaps hoping degree of difficulty will boost their scores. It has a ton of intricate lifts and spins, and I actually think Leah does them incredibly well. Somehow, Leah's forte is in super sexy dances, like her James Bond routine. Bruno Tonioli loves her succulence and juiciness.Judges' Scores: 9+8+9=26
That's fair, and Tom Bergeron then tries to help boost Leah's sympathy votes by talking about recent rib injures.Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke: Jive
Cheryl knows Jack is in the Bottom 3 of the remaining couples, although based on Leah the past two weeks, I'd say Bottom 2. He's also getting tired having to do more routines. The dance, however, is a lot better than I expected. Jack actually seems loose and like he's having fun for the first time all season. He's still not perfect, especially compared to the caliber of talent this season, but I'm glad he seems to have lost his stiffness.Judges' Scores: 10+8+9=27
WTF? A 10? Carrie Ann is way too soft and nice. Her paddle breaks, which I assume is God telling her that it was a bad decision. Jack is now the sixth person this season to get a 10 from the judges.Amber Riley and Derek Hough: Paso Doble
Derek is giving up trying to please Len, and he's also dealing with a hurt back. We should check Len's dressing room for a Derek voodoo doll. This is one of those perfect dances that accentuates many things I love about the Paso. It's fluid, yet strong, and while Derek is positively magnetic, Amber still finds time to be the star as well.Judges' Scores: 10+10+9=29
Wow, Bruno is the 30-blocker? At least Len is atoning for last week's horrible mistake.Bill Engvall and Emma Slater: Quickstep
He's channeling Elvis, because a fun gimmick is the only way he'll be able to get through such a fast, crazy dance. Actually, it feels slower than quick. The version of "Viva Las Vegas" feels slowed down and it's just kind of dull and lacks the excitement of Elvis. Carrie Ann gives him credit for getting all of the steps, but his hold and frame were off. They all like him as a person, but his dancing just isn't good enough.Judges' Scores: 8+7+7=23
He's going to have to pray for huge viewer votes to save him.Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber: Samba
The self-proclaimed "squirrel monkey on the dance floor" struggles with the dance because she has two routines and a feverish baby at home. She's trying to channel Beyonce. The dancing is fine, but like most of her routines, I feel like she's just dancing in a night club and not really doing a whole lot of classical technique. The judges point out some trouble at the start, but then it flowed nicely. Carrie Ann suggests Snooki should dance less like a chihuahua, meaning she needs to draw things out and not finish them so quickly.Judges' Scores: 9+9+9=27
Seriously? I feel like they're actively trying to get rid of Bill tonight.Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff: Cha-Cha-Cha
For the second week in a row, Corbin gets the last individual dance. But they've lost all of their confidence because of the low scores last week and it's causing Karina to change her choreography over and over again all week long. Thankfully, they've found their mojo once again. This is the kind of fun, flirty, charming, youthful performance they need to focus on. He's not a Khal Drogo, he's a happy, smiling star of High School Musical
. The judges love it, though Len doesn't like the "gyratering" and hates hip action as much as he hates rap music and crying babies. There's the cranky old man.Judges' Scores: 10+9+10-29
That's a nice comeback.Team Spooky Bom Bom
The team rounds are freestyle, and this first group features Elizabeth with Snooki, Leah and Bill. Tom tells us that, without the team scores, someone from this team will go home. Elizabeth was the captain and had a schoolyard pick against Amber. Oddly, her first choice was Bill and Leah was the last one left.
They have a Halloween/zombie theme with Bill as the caretaker of a cemetery. The whole thing totally works for me, and even the weaker dancers like Bill shine within the group. There are plenty of "Thriller" homages and everyone is showcased nicely. It ends with Snooki being tossed about 200 feet into the air and Carrie Ann praises Bill as the glue that held everything together.Judges' Scores: 9+9+9=27
The 9 paddles are definitely the biggest stars of tonight, showing up everywhere.Team Foxing Awesome
Amber collects Corbin, Brant and Jack, clearly giving this team a huge advantage, talent-wise. They also get to dance to "The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)," which is an even bigger advantage. Derek has a lot to live up to as he's won every team challenge he's danced in.
Here's my recap of this dance: Guys in tuxedos visit a forest of neon trees where some sexy lady foxes turn them into horny dude foxes.
The judges love this weird acid trip of a performance and are amazed how they were in sync despite so many different shapes and sizes. They all agree Corbin was the MVP.Judges' Scores: 10+10+10=30
The fox says: perfect score!The Results
Tom lets us know that every in Team Foxing Awesome is...SAFE
So that leaves Elizabeth, Snooki, Leah and Bill. As you can tell from the final leaderboard, Bill is in last by seven whole points, followed by Leah who is behind the next lowest by three.The next couple SAFE is...Elizabeth and Val!
Also SAFE is...Leah and Tony!
Now the question is: Is Bill 10 points more popular than Snooki?Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber are ELIMINATED!
Aww, she cries and Bill and Emma are clearly shocked. That sucks, since she's scored a 27 in her last four dances. I assumed she didn't have a lot of fan support, but I'm kind of surprised Bill could beat her out despite being 10 points lower than her. He is definitely the Cinderella story of the season,The Leaderboard
91: Amber Riley
88: Brant Daugherty
86: Elizabeth Berkley, Corbin Bleu
84: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Jack Osbourne
81: Leah Remini
74: Bill Engvall
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(Image courtesy of ABC)