Do you believe in life after love? I hope so, because Dancing with the Stars is all about Chaz Bono’s mother this week. Not only is Cher performing twice, but she’s replacing Len Goodman as a judge and all of the individual dances will be set to her music. That’s more Cher than you could see in her video for “If I Could Turn Back Time.”
Week 8 will also see the highest score receive immunity while the other six compete in dance-offs for extra points. I’m predicting that Jack Osbourne will go home, but it’s probably a toss-up between him and Bill Engvall depending on the scores.
Cher opens the show with “Believe,” and it’s a big spectacle, though Cher just stands there after being lowered to the floor. WARNING: Do NOT play a drinking game where you take a shot every time the name “Cher” is mentioned. You will die.
Val Chmerkovkiy isn’t wearing a shirt at all. That’s definitely worth mentioning. He and Elizabeth Berkley miss their entrance. He was probably oiling up.
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff: Argentine Tango
Corbin has problems with a film he’s producing, keeping him distracted during rehearsals this week. The “Burlesque” routine is very steamy, and it includes two very impressive lifts. It’s always good to show off Corbin’s strength. Carrie Ann Inaba thought the footwork was a little off, but it was still great. Cher (after her first costume change) has elected to be the last judge to comment. She adds very little, and Corbin scores more viewer points by saying the movie he’s producing is part of an anti-bullying campaign he works with.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9=27
Cher doesn’t understand how the paddle system works, nor how numbers work because when she holds up her 9, she says “Cher.”
Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani: Viennese Waltz
Leah is happy Cher has replaced Len Goodman, assuming she’ll look more at the atristry than the technique. Leah talks all about when Cher met Sonny Bono, and she sounds like a bit of a stalker. The dance is beautiful and captures the sweet feeling of love at first sight. Bruno Tonioli loved the side-by-side action, but the rest had some problems. Cher is definitely all about the artistry and loved this walk down memory lane. Cher also threatens to knee Bruno in the junk, much to Tom Bergeron’s delight.
Judges’ Scores: 8+9+8=25
That’s an extra point from Cher that Len never would’ve given. Heck, he might’ve given her a 7. Well played, Leah and Tony.
Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd: Foxtrot
This week Brant went back to film Pretty Little Liars, giving those fans even more reason to vote for him. The routine is fun and ends with a big kiss. Brant has a huge smile on his face the whole time, and I’m especially impressed with his extensions. Maybe it’s the suit, but his arms and legs looked a lot longer than usual. Cher loved their smiles and energy. Carrie Ann calls him out on lines and knees.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9=27
Is Cher just gonna give everyone a 9?
Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jazz
Val choreographed a whole routine, but then Elizabeth changed the song at the last minute because “Bang Bang” is one of her personal favorites. It seems they’ve reached the rough point in their relationship. The floor is bathed in red and the dance is a tough battle. It’s all very violent and angry and a little Mad Max. Cher likes that the woman won, and Elizabeth thanks her for being a role model for women. Bruno thought the intensity messed up some of the musicality while Carrie Ann thought it was too one-note. They’re not wrong.
Judges’ Scores: 8+9+8=25
Ooh, not so good. That’s her lowest score since week 3.
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater: Disco
He knows he should’ve gone last week, but Emma thinks he’s worked hard and deserves this. Bill has a bit of a crush on Cher. He does a decent job, I suppose. It’s certainly fun to watch, but it’s a lot like your dad at a wedding. It’s so old-school and cheesey. It made Bruno gag with laughter. The judges are torn because they love him, but his dancing just isn’t very good.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8=24
Wow, the fact that Cher didn’t give him a 9 means it must’ve been bad. Those scores are absurd, because he deserved a 7 at best. Len probably would’ve given him a 6.
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke: Tango
Cheryl is actually named after Cher and they’re both intimidated. Something is wrong, because I absolutely love it. Jack is strong and powerful and does some amazing footwork. This is probably his best dance yet. Cher likes that he looked like a “tango-dancing pimp.” Bruno takes it one step foo far and calls Cheryl a hooker.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9=27
Oddly enough, I thought he actually deserved a 10 this week.
Amber Riley and Derek Houghy: Rumba
They’re dancing to “If I Could Turn Back Time” and taking a cue from the music video with Derek dressed as a sailor. Last week he was a fox and now he’s a sailor? Get out of my head, costume department! Amber has a slight tear in her tendon, because these two are the most accident prone couple ever. The routine opens with Amber ripping off Sailor Derek’s shirt. This is the problem with Derek, because after that happened I didn’t even notice Amber. If the goal of a Rumba is to be sexy, then they definitely win. Carrie Ann calls Amber out for not pushing herself enough.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+10=28
And just like that, Bruno ends the tie and Amber earns immunity. If Derek had remained clothed, that probably would’ve been another 27.
Amber and Derek received immunity for having the highest individual score, but the other six couples compete in the dance-offs. The top two couples get to challenge their opponents, but the team they challenge gets to pick the style: Cha-Cha-Cha, Disco and Rumba. The winning couple of each dance-off gets an extra three points. Since there’s a huge tie, it’s based on cumulative scores throughout the season.
Corbin and Karina vs. Elizabeth and Val: Cha-Cha-Cha
Corbin gets first pick and, interesting, he goes after Elizabeth. Interesting, since I consider them the two best couples. This could backfire on Corbin or create a shocking elimination of the person who I think is the best dancer, Elizabeth.
Corbin goes for fast and furious with a lot of impact and intensity while Elizabeth and Val go for the sex appeal. They’re both great and the judges are puzzled.
Judges’ Scores: All three judges vote for Corbin and Karina
Ouch, Elizabeth could get screwed over. Corbin gets the extra points.
Brant and Peta vs. Leah and Tony: Rumba
Brant is the next highest and chooses Leah, who goes for the Rumba because she excels in sexy dances. Both couples go for steamy sensuality, but Brant does a lot more with his powerful masculine sexuality.
Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann and Cher vote for Leah and Tony, Bruno votes for Brant and Peta
Wow, Leah gets three more points and beats Brant? This is some total B.S. I blame the fact that Cher is all about women power.
Jack and Cheryl vs. Bill and Emma: Disco
By default, the two worst dancers square off and Bill gets to (or has to) do Disco again. This format is really messed up because one of them will get extra points while Elizabeth and Brant don’t. It’s even worse when they actually dance, because Jack isn’t very good and Bill just tosses Emma away. Neither of them deserve three more points.
Judges’ Scores: All three judges vote for Jack and Cheryl
So at the end of the night, Jack and Corbin are tied for first place and Leah is in third, above of Brant and Elizabeth. It’s madness!
After losing the dance-off, Tom lets Bill read the teleprompter, which says that Bill and Emma are SAFE. I have a bad feeling. That leaves Elizabeth and Brant at the bottom of the leaderboard. Since we already know Amber and Derek are SAFE, there are only five couples to go,
The third couple SAFE is…Elizabeth and Val! Whew.
The fourth couple SAFE is…Corbin and Karina!
The fifth couple SAFE is…Leah and Tony!
It’s down to Jack vs. Brant. Jack only has a three point edge from the judges’ scores.
Brant and Peta are ELIMINATED!
Boo! BOOOOOOOO! This sucks. How are they gone while Jack, Leah and Bill are still around? I’m curious if the fact that Brant lost those three extra points to Leah made a difference. Because if so, then I blame Cher since Len totally would’ve voted for Brant.
Next week the six remaining couples will dance twice, and one will mark the return of the triple dance where they will team up with an eliminated pro or member of the troupe for a three-way performance. I’m worried that Derek will team with Mark Ballas and they will completely forget Amber is even there.
30: Corbin Bleu, Jack Osbourne
28: Amber Riley (received immunity), Leah Remini
27: Brant Daugherty
25: Elizabeth Berkley
24: Bill Engvall
(Image courtesy of ABC)