It’s the biggest night of the season on Dancing with the Stars. For the first time, the couples will all perform twice, including the team dances pitting the men against the women. As if that wasn’t stressful enough, there’s also a double elimination, and 25 percent of the remaining couples will go home.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Team Dances and a Double Elimination

With a close leaderboard last week where everyone got 8s or higher, anyone and everyone are in danger. I’m taking the safe route and predicting Kim and Von will go home, but I won’t be surprised if I’m surprised by the actual results.

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Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: Quickstep

Their icon is Stevie Wonder. The dance is light and fine, but nothing spectacular. Len Goodman loved the energy and commitment. Overall, the judges are positive despite pointing out many flaws. Carrie Ann Inaba likes her aura and even mentions a time when Jodie was in step but Keo was off. Wow, they keep throwing Keo under the bus.

Judges’ Scores: 8+9+9=26

WTF? Two 9s for that?

Kim Fields and Sasha Farber: Samba

Their icon is the Jackson 5. Kim is pissed off about last week’s scores. She was friends with Janet and Jermaine guest-starred on The Facts of Life, so this is right up her alley. This is an insanely fun and groovy performance, complete with a section that’s glow-in-the-dark. It’s my favorite performance she’s ever done thanks to the creativity and Len agrees. Bruno Tonioli loves the fusion of the Jackson 5 with a Mary J. Blige edge.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9=27

Her first 9s of the season and they’re well deserved.

Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: Foxtrot

Their icon is U2. He feels bad about last week’s cockiness, but Peta claims he was taken out of context. She’s determined to highlight his technical abilities. It’s definitely a beautiful day as he’s back to being passionate and intense, which is his strong suit. Carrie Ann loves the elegance and Len is a bit critical of his bum sticking out. Bruno loves his turns and his bubble butt.

Judges’ Scores: 10+9+9=28

Bruno raises a 10 paddle but Tom Bergeron says he scored it a 9. Man, how does this keep happening? The fact that Bruno insists he scored it a 10 raises serious concerns about the system. Luckily, Tom literally shows the official scorecard where Bruno clearly wrote a 9.

Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: Tango

Their icon is the Rolling Stones. It’s a very creepy routine with monks carrying flashlight spears. The mood is fantastic and so is his intense dancing, when I can see it. The smoke machine and bright lights are distracting. The judges love the spirit but notice many mistakes with the footwork. I blame the smoke, lights, and camerawork for making that hard to see.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8=24

Ouch, that’s terrible on a night where the judges are giving out 9s like candy on Halloween.

Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: Foxtrot

Their icon is Aretha Franklin. He has a tough schedule this week that limits their rehearsal time for both their individual and team dances. and he’s not happy about it. The opening is too cutesy for me, but then they fall into a solid rhythm. He’s a good enough dancer, but like with Jodie, it’s not exciting enough for me. Again I have to criticize the camerawork because it’s truly horrendous tonight. Did they not do any camera blocking for tonight? Len finds it joyful, but Carrie Ann wants more.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9=27

That’s basically his baseline now.

Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: Viennese Waltz

Their icon is Whitney Houston. Val pushes her even harder this week. This kind of classy and elegant routine fits her so much better than being “Nasty.” It’s beautiful from start to finish and easily her best yet. Carrie Ann calls it perfection and the other judges agree.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10=30

The first perfect score of the season! And Val’s 20th perfect individual routine ever, tying him with Cheryl Burke in third place on the pro side. Derek and Mark are first and second, obviously.

Von Miller and Witney Carson: Salsa

Their icon is Elvis. They’re adding crazy lifts to show off his muscles. Von is such a goofy Elvis. He’s entertaining in a weird way, but I think now that Doug is gone, he’s objectively the worst dancer left. It’s just insane. Len loves the lifts, but Bruno was worried Witney would die. They find it rough around the edges, but it’s fun and campy.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8=24

That’s right. And once again, the football players are at the bottom.

Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: Jive

Their icon is Tina Turner. Being In Jeopardy last week gave her doubts. Damn, she came to play! The routine is fast, sexy and so much fun. Like Kim and Ginger, it’s her best performance of the season, full of energy and excitement. I think Paige just put Nyle and Wanya on notice that she’s now the frontrunner. The judges are in awe of how fast and electrifying it was.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10=30

Another perfect score! Will this translate to the ladies crushing the men in the team round?

Team James Brown (Men): Freestyle

The men are up first with Wanya, Nyle, Von, and Antonio. They are very confident, but Wanya missing the second rehearsal and Nyle being deaf in a crowd makes things difficult. But it all comes together with high energy, great teamwork, and even some costume changes. It’s a spectacle that really stands out. Antonio and Wanya’s individual parts are my favorite, with Nyle being great as well. Von is easily the weak link. Even Tom is in aw of how much better it is than when they did it in dress rehearsal. The judges love the funk and the teamwork.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+10=28

The door is open for the women to crush them.

Team Beyonce (Women): Freestyle

Despite being all about female empowerment, Val and Mark take the lead with choreography, even considering that they do individual parts with different partners. Meanwhile, the women work on the costumes and sit back reticently. Honestly, it’s very underwhelming. It doesn’t feel very cohesive or polished. The girls just stand around and strike a lot of poses, and not always in sync. Especially after the men, this is really weak. The judges point out several mistakes.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+9=25

That’s fair.


OK, it’s time to say goodbye to two couples. This could be brutal.

The first couple IN JEOPARDY is…Kim and Sasha!
The second couple IN JEOPARDY is…Wanya and Lindsay!
The third couple IN JEOPARDY is…Von and Witney!

Everyone else is safe. Well, this is a no-brainer.

Wanya and Lindsay are…SAFE!

Kim Fields and Sasha Farber and Von Miller and Witney Carson ARE ELIMINATED!

My prediction was 100 percent correct. Somehow Kim didn’t see this coming. But they were the worst two dancers left. At this point, Team Dances are obviously bad luck for Sasha since he also got eliminated during this night with Snooki.

Next week is the Judges’ Team-Up Challenge where the six couples will be split into three sets, each coached by a different judge, and the stars paired together will have to dance with each other. Also, the viewers will be the fourth judge with instant voting online.


56: Nyle DiMarco
55: Wanya Morris, Ginger Zee, Paige VanZant
52: Antonio Brown
51: Jodie Sweetin

(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.