Usually around this time, Dancing with the Stars pulls out Movie Night with dances inspired by classic films. But this season DWTS is trying something different, TV Night. The 11 couples will all perform routines inspired by modern and classic TV shows, from Mad Men to The Addams Family. Season 19 winner and new America’s Funniest Home Videos host Alfonso is back as a guest judge, which seems appropriate since he got his first perfect score for reprising the Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: TV Night in the Ballroom

As always, one couple will be eliminated at the end of the night based on the scores and votes from Tuesday’s episode. However, that may be moot as apparently, Kim Zolciak is not performing tonight as she’s back home in Atlanta followed by some health problems during the past week. We’ll find out if that ends her time on the show, sparing whoever had the lowest combined scores and votes from last week (unless it was Kim and Tony anyway).

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

The Muppets help introduce the show with Miss Piggy replacing Erin Andrews. Mark Ballas is dressed up as Walter White and Hayes Grier is a Ninja Turtle, It’s awesome already. Guest judge Alfonso Ribeiro is the second judge between the two ladies.

In two weeks, the Switch-Up Challenge will return with the stars swapping pro partners.

Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson: Golden Girls Jazz

They’re struggling to find a balance in rehearsals with her as the boss. They’re dressed like old people, creating a strange, funky, sweet, and entertaining routine. I feel like the senior citizen aspect dragged it down a little bit. The judges agree and thought it was a bit slow, but it was in sync. Carrie Ann Inaba thinks they didn’t improve and Carlos is shrinking from where he was in week 1.

Judges’ Scores: 7+8+8+8=31

Erin admits that some people were hoping Miss Piggy would be replacing her all night. Yeah, I’d love to see that pig interviewing the couples.

Paula Deen and Louis van Amstel: Gilligan’s Island Samba

They play the millionaire and his wife, which upsets Paula because she wants to be Mary-Ann. She gets tired a lot during rehearsals and has a fear of abandonment. It’s cute how they recreate the TV show, but the concept and troupe members distract from her subpar dancing. But then her grandkids run onto the ballroom to hug Paula and it’s cute. The judges think there was too much of the TV show and not enough actual dancing and choreography.

Judges’ Scores: 5+5+5+5=20

That’s right, even though the audience boos.

Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy: Mad Men Tango

He’s Don Draper and she’s Joan, but Tamar thinks his scenario is sexist. I appreciate her feminism, but Val is right that it doesn’t fit the show. The theme song and choreography go beautifully together and it’s a fantastic routine. Their lack of chemistry kind of works as it’s more of a reluctant Tango than a romantic one. Alfonso calls Tamar a frontrunner, but she needs to let him lead.

Judges’ Scores: 8+9+8+8=33

Alfonso keeps the track record of being a generous guest judge.

Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas: Breaking Bad Jazz

He’s Walter White (with a bald cap) and she’s Jesse Pinkman (yeah, bitch!) in their yellow meth-cooking suits. This is right up Mark’s alley with his creative concepts. He’s a full-on method actor about it, steaming their costumes in an RV while wearing tighty whities. It’s avant-garde and creepy, but so cool. This is pure, uncut Mark Ballas genius. The judges rave about it and Alfonso gives some tough love about how, in this competition, Mark is Alexa’s only partner, NOT Carlos.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

The best score of the season. And after the dance, the hot male pros perform and then Miss Piggy kisses Derek Hough’s chest and fondles his pecs.

Andy Grammer and Allison Holker: American Bandstand Quickstep

This is a lame show to use for TV night. He has a nice pep in his step, but his posture isn’t all that great. Alfonso is actually a critical judge and points out Andy’s weak posture and shoulders, but the other judges enjoy the footwork and enthusiasm. They need him to be more precise.

Judges’ Scores: 7+7+8+7=29

Julianne was being nice.

Gary Busey and Anna Trebunskaya: Addams Family Tango

He’s Gomez and she’s Morticia. He is very competitive and seems very dedicated in rehearsals. Gary is great at looking incredibly spooky and altogether kooky, but there’s almost no dancing to be seen. He just stands there and stomps. The judges praised the performance for some reason and Carrie Ann found him yummy.

Judges’ Scores: 6+7+6+6=25

Seriously, Alfonso? Thanks for proving why we shouldn’t have guest judges.

Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: True Blood Tango

Sookie! He has trouble being a sexy vampire and has absolutely no game with the ladies. The dancing is fine, but the problem with having an ordinary guy on this show is that he’s not an actor or a performer and isn’t very good at playing a character. The judges like his skills, except for a problem in the middle. Julianne thought it was perfection. He does have great technique, but I don’t find him compelling in the routines.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+9+8=33

I don’t get the scores for this guy at all.

Kim Zolciak Jenna Johnson and Tony Dovolani: I Dream of Jeannie Samba

Just 12 hours after last week’s performance, Kim had a mini-stroke in Atlanta. On Saturday, she still didn’t know if she could dance after being in the hospital for three days and not rehearsing at all. She wasn’t able to fly to L.A. so Jenna from the troupe performs it with Tony. It’s good, but then Tom Bergeron Face Times with Kim. Even though Kim will be healthy enough to return next week, the rules state that she must withdraw.

Kim Zolciak and Tony Dovolani WITHDRAW from the competition!

Tony and Kim beg for them to bend the rules, but the producers talked to the lawyers, so that’s that. This is all very weird to be placed in the middle of the show instead of waiting until the end.

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: Jeffersons Quickstep

They were originally dancing to The Jetsons with a giant production that involved hoverboards, but it didn’t clear. Neither one of them has seen The Jeffersons and they don’t have a lot of time with the new song, plus her foot is hurting. Bindi is just a giant ray of sunshine, smiling, bopping along, and having an amazing time. She’s positively magnetic as a performer, but at times Derek seems to be going too fast for her. The judges love her, but it wasn’t her best routine, technically.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32

That’s correct, even though I thought they were better than Alek and Lindsay.

Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: Downton Abbey Viennese Waltz

This is a double dose of classiness with the show and style. They’re playing Lady Mary and Matthew, but I’d prefer Thomas Barrow and Mrs. Pattmore. Much like the show itself, it’s very well done, but I don’t really care that much. The judges love it, calling it the best of the night. I see their point, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

I suppose the judges don’t want to give 10s so early.

Hayes Grier and Emma Slater Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jive

Yes, he’s dressed like a Nina Turtle in a costume that makes him look like a 15-year-old boy going out to trick-or-treat on Halloween. To be fair, that’s basically what he is. He says this was one of his favorite cartoons growing up, but the original animated series debuted 13 years before he was even born. The routine is every bit as silly and cute and amazing as I’d hoped. I mean, the dancing and Jive aren’t that great, but I smiled the whole time. Carrie Ann and Alfonso thought he slowed down and lost his energy halfway through.

Judges’ Scores: 7+8+7+8=30

Not too bad.


So we’re still doing this, even after Kim and Tony?

The first couple IN JEOPARDY is…Andy and Allison!
The second couple IN JEOPARDY is…Paula and Louis!


As expected, no one is eliminated because of Kim and Tony withdrawing, so this was totally pointless. Because Erin Andrews isn’t great at her job, it’s unclear to me if the scores and votes from last week will be combined with the scores and votes this week to decide next week’s elimination, or if everything that happened last Tuesday was thrown away.

Next week will be emotional as we look back at the Most Memorable Years. I’m sure we’ll be crying about Steve Irwin’s death and Alek will probably talk about his most memorable year being one month ago.


36: Alexa PenaVega, Nick Carter
33: Tamar Braxton, Alek Skarlatos
32: Bindi Irwin
31: Carlos PenaVega
30: Hayes Grier
29: Andy Grammer
25: Gary Busey
20: Paula Deen

(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.