Let’s get physical! Dancing with the Stars is bringing in Olivia Newton-John as a guest judge for Famous Dances Night, where the nine remaining original couples will recreate iconic routines from films, musicals, and music videos. It should be a crazy night with Paula Deen channeling her inner Madonna, Carlos PenaVega as a male stripper, and Derek Hough going full-Swayze on Bindi Irwin.
There will also be another elimination based on the last two weeks of scores and votes. If anyone other than Paula goes home, it will be a surprise and a disappointment.
LIVE…from Hollywood…this is Dancing with the Stars!
Olivia Newton-John is seated between Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli, making her the third score. Also, Erin Andrews is taking the night off, so the hilarious Leah Remini is back to co-host. If it’s anything like last time, she’ll provide brutally honest and funny feedback while interviewing the couples.
Hayes Grier and Emma Slater: Jazz
They’re doing Grease even though Hayes has never seen it. He even calls John Travolta’s character “Danny Kuzo.” That’s awkward because not only is Olivia judging, but Julianne and Carlos are both going to be in FOX’s upcoming Grease Live this January. Hayes is adorable, but the routine is clunky and awkward and they never seem to find the groove. Worse, Hayes is too boyish to capture Danny’s sexual charisma. The judges like it more than I did, calling Hayes a stud, but they need him to find more finesse.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32
I thought they deserved a 7.
Andy Grammer and Allison Holker: Jazz
They’re taking on Singin’ in the Rain‘s delightful “Good Morning” routine. Like with Derek Hough two seasons ago, there’s a lot of reference for this movie musical’s choreography from Allison. The routine is jam-packed with classic moments and it’s a ton of fun. Andy is no Gene Kelly, but he’s charming and Allison’s choreography is particularly brilliant at recreating this dance. The judges love it a lot.
Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40
Holy crap, a perfect score? I think that’s mostly because of how much everyone loves this famous routine.
Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas: Cha-Cha-Cha
She has the difficult job of recreating Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U,” complete with a live python. She’s good with the Cha-Cha parts, but only does a somewhat decent job with all of the sexy Britney moves, shaking her hips and her hair. She’s not super comfortable with the sexiness and the judges agree.
Judges’ Scores: 8+7+7+8=30
Wow, 7s? Leah don’t mess with no snakes, standing far away from them and yelling at Paula for touching the snake’s head. I also appreciate that Leah makes fun of herself for calling everything “Amazing.”
Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: Rumba
They’re taking on Dirty Dancing, recreating a routine made famous by former DWTS winner and Derek’s old partner Jennifer Grey (who shows up to rehearsals). The lift is the big thing, but it’s not in Derek’s wheelhouse. Derek is full of Swayze swagger and Bindi is cute as always. I love watching her dance so much that the lift is probably my least favorite part. It looks and feels stiff and static and tentative. But the rest is superb with Bindi dancing magically.
Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40
And Derek gets another perfect score. He’s basically got twice as many perfect scores on this show as any other pro has.
Paula Deen and Louis van Amstel: Jazz
She gets to become Madonna and “Vogue.” And I see we’re loading up on Jazz as a style tonight, not that it matters since Derek got a perfect score for his Not-a-Rumba. Paula’s goal is to focus on fun and character, not necessarily dancing. It’s a ridiculous mess and Paula’s classic costume is nothing compared to Louis’ short-shorts. They’re REALLY short. It’s kind of dull and the costumes are distracting.
Judges’ Scores: 6+6+6+6=24
The audience boos, but those are generous 6s.
Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson: Rumba
Ladies, gird your loins, because Carlos is recreating Magic Mike. Because he’s all about God, he’s not that comfortable being raunchy. It’s cool and sexy, with Witney at least trying to make it a little bit of a Rumba. But Carlos needs to work on ripping his shirt off because it doesn’t come off entirely and stays around his waist the whole time. Still, it’s a good routine and Carlos may be awkward, but he’s got a rocking body. However, I feel like the judges are a little dismissive of his religious concerns, with Bruno jokingly telling him to get on his knees and repent.
Judges’ Scores: 10+9+9+10=38
Shirtless Carlos made Carrie and Bruno very happy, but Alexa’s disapproving head shaking is priceless.
Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: Samba
If you didn’t like Hayes as John Travolta, here’s another version with Saturday Night Fever. Nick is definitely a superior Travolta, rocking the iconic Disco moves and oozing charisma. I have no idea why the show is even bothering to give these kinds of styles on a night like this when they should just let everyone do Freestyle. Carrie loved some moves, but felt he was out of character for others. Julianne credits Sharna for actually doing some Samba in the dance. Oh, so now the judges are actually gonna care about the style?
Judges’ Scores: 9+10+10+10=39
These judges have gone 10 crazy.
Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: Jive
They’re going to prison with “Jailhouse Rock.” Lindsay brings in an actor who’s played Elvis five times to help him get into character. He does a great job with the moves and it’s refreshing to see some actual dancing on this show again. He tried stepping up on making faces, but he needs to loosen up. He’s still too stiff and precise, but I imagine it’s hard to drop that military training. The judges liked it, but point out some flaws and need him to step up if he wants to get out of the middle. Carrie wants him to work with Artem Chigvintsev.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+7+7=30
Wow, the guest judge and Bruno were the harsh ones.
Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jazz
The fourth Jazz routine of the night recreates Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation.” Tamar missed the first two days of rehearsals because she got sick and lost her voice after her bad showing last week. She’s not that smooth and doesn’t hit all the moves as hard as I’d like. It suffers from too much recreation and too many troupe members stealing focus from Tamar. The judges disagree and absolutely loved it. Wow, what was I missing because I didn’t care for it that much.
Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40
Seriously? That was not perfect.
It’s time to send someone home based on the combined scores and viewer votes of the last two weeks (that’s the Most Memorable Year dances and the Switch-Up Challenge).
The first coupe IN JEOPARDY is…Paula and Louis!
The second couple IN JEOPARDY is…Alexa and Mark!
This should be a no-brainer.
Paula Deen and Louis van Amstel ARE ELIMINATED!
Thank God. The worst five dancers were the first five to go and now we’re left with eight decent dancers. This may be the first time that neither of the teams for the Team Dances will be stuck with a loser.
Next week it’s Halloween Night with scary individual dances and gruesome Team routines. If I remember the rules correctly, this means Bindi and Tamar will be the team captains, making the second season in a row Derek and Val are the opposing captains, and in the 300th season in a row Derek is a team captain.
40: Andy Grammer, Bindi Irwin, Tamar Braxton
39: Nick Carter
38: Carlos PenaVega
32: Hayes Grier
30: Alexa PenaVega, Alek Skarlatos
(Image courtesy of ABC)