Dancing with the Stars is going somewhere different with a brand-new theme for the fourth week of competition. The 11 remaining couples will all perform routines inspired by Cirque du Soleil shows, adding acrobatic and circus elements to create one-of-a-kind spectacles.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Cirque du Soleil Night

LIVE…from Hollywood…this is Dancing with the Stars!

Len Goodman isn’t here, which is probably for the best since he hates bells and whistles in his routines, and Cirque Night is all about those things.

Oh, and tomorrow is a DOUBLE elimination. Yikes!

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold: Charleston

They have Kurios, a steampunk-themed Cirque show. They’re doing some insane lifts, even more insane since he’s so tall. He has great energy and fast feet. It’s a stellar routine with some big lifts and a lot of excitement. The energy is fantastic, but it slows down towards the end because the routines are longer than usual. Julianne Hough calls him Twinkle Toes because he was so light on his feet. Carrie Ann Inaba is giving everyone a Lift Pass tonight because of the theme.

Judges’ Scores: 8+7+8=23

I feel like we’ll be seeing a lot of 8s tonight.

Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev: Argentine Tango

They have Mystere, a Cirque show with a red bird in it. Seriously, this show isn’t doing a good job of explaining what these Cirque shows are and how they’re different from each other. They had a big crying fight during rehearsals. It’s pretty mysterious, but not in a good way. There’s some weird dude dressed like a red bird jumping around the whole time. Maureen does a fine job with the intensity, but it’s too slow for me. It doesn’t really go anywhere. Bruno Tonioli loved the lines.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8=24

Seriously? That was better than Calvin?

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: Foxtrot

They have The Beatles: LOVE, which is a Cirque show we can actually understand. It’s a decent routine, very uplifting and positive. They’re dressed like hippies and it’s just kind of slow and boring. I expect more excitement in Cirque Night and this was just quaint and cute. The judges have a few criticism,s but Bruno loved the fluidity.

Judges’ Scores: 8+7+8=23

These judges are 8-crazy tonight.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: Paso Doble

They have Ka, a Cirque show about good vs. evil. She has an amazing memory, but it doesn’t necessarily translate to the body. There’s fire and crazy costumes and the pageantry is there, but Marilu is kinda dull. She’s just sleepwalking through the routine and it doesn’t even look like a real Paso to me. Julianne calls her a little stiff and Bruno criticizes her for not matching Derek’s energy and charisma. That’s a tall order. The judges want to like her, but they just can’t because she’s in her head.

Judges’ Scores: 7+7+7=21

Uh-oh. Derek has never finished worse than sixth place, but this could be his one bad season.

Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Argentine Tango

They have Zumanity, a sexier and more adult-themed Cirque show. Julianne saying that Amber’s Salsa last week made her uncomfortable caused some drama. They really embrace the sexy, burlesque-style and it’s easily her best dance yet. She’s extremely sultry and it ends with Maks basically mounting her. I love it. First Julianne has to get through all the crap from last week, then it gets to this week. Julianne loved that Amber delivered her true essence in this routine.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8=24

As of now, Ryan and Vanilla Ice are the only stars who have yet to receive an 8 this season.

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke: Viennese Waltz

They Have O, a water-themed Cirque show, which is perfect for the Olympic swimmer. He gets to swim in a Speedo in the pool during rehearsal, but his costume for the dance is a suit that’s half white and half black, like Two-Face. He actually moves quite well, better than normal, like he’s in the pool. But the dance doesn’t have much personality. The judges are excited to finally see some actual improvement and potential from him.

Judges’ Scores: 7+7+8=22

Hey, he finally got an 8! These scores are all extremely close, which is going to make the double-elimination even harder to predict.

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Allison Holker: Tango

They have The Beatles: LOVE, just like Jana. It’s odd that they’re doing a Tango since they just did an Argentine Tango two weeks ago, and got their best score for it. The routine is really messy and it doesn’t “come together” at all. It’s a trainwreck and a disaster. The big problem is the lightning is just a series of spotlights and they have to find their way into the spotlight at the right time as a new one lights up. Even Babyface admits that the whole thing got away from him. Everyone tries to be polite, with the judges simply saying that it’ll be better next week. Um, there’s a double elimination and I don’t think he’ll be around to be better next week.

Judges’ Scores: 6+6+6=18

Honestly, those scores are generous.

Terra Jole and Sasha Farber: Samba

They have O, the same Cirque show as Ryan, but they’re taking the fire part. It’s a fun and sexy dance, with a lot of wild Samba content and action from Terra. Damn, she is really good, but she started to lose a little steam at the very end. The judges love how freely she dances.

Judges’ Scores: 9+8+8=25

Holy crap, Carrie Ann busts out the first 9 of the season!

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jazz

They have Michael Jackson: ONE, a Cirque show dedicated to the King of Pop. She was busy meeting the President this past week, cutting down on their rehearsal time. It’s a very cool routine, but I feel like Laurie just stands there and does a lot of posing while Val and the sexy male troupe dance around her. The judges are almost speechless about how AMAZING she is.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10=30

The first perfect score of the season! This is only the fifth time EVER that a couple got a perfect score in the first four weeks, and the last time it happened was also Val for a Jazz routine, with Janel Parrish back in season 19.

Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson: Viennese Waltz

They have La Nouba, an urban circus Cirque show with acrobats and clowns. He had five concerts in five cities in five days, which really hurt their rehearsal time. He does a decent enough job with the steps, but his posture is horrible and there’s very little showmanship. Julianne thought his mistakes worked for the circus theme. Carrie Ann loved his improved elegance.

Judges’ Scores: 8+7+8=23

Wow, these judges are so nice tonight.

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: Quickstep

They have Paramour, a Broadway Cirque show and they get two acrobats. It’s a much bigger and better production than most of the routines tonight. James has high energy and captures the old-school Hollywood heme with his charisma. The judges loved it, except for a teeny, tiny mistake the female judges noticed. James admits to it.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+10=28

Another 10! I think we know who the Top 2 will be this season.

Tuesday night is a double elimination, and while Babyface is at the bottom, there’s a very close pile-up above him.


30: Laurie Hernandez
28: James Hinchcliffe
25: Terra Jole
24: Maureen McCormick, Amber Rose
23: Calvin Johnson, Jana Kramer, Vanilla Ice
22: Ryan Lochte
21: Marilu Henner
18: Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds

Find out which couple will be eliminated on a shorter, hour-long Dancing with the Stars results show Tuesday at 8/7c on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.