Previously on Dancing with the Stars: Halloween claimed two victims and both Nikki and Artem and Vanessa and Maks were eliminated. We’re down to the final six and that makes it the Quarterfinals!
Hey, Tom Bergeron! Something something something Throwing Copper? Oh yeah, it’s LIIIIIIIIVVVVVE!!!!!
Two dances per couple tonight – it’s going to be tight on time, so let’s get to it!
Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke (27/30; 24/30) – After being at the bottom last week, they have to focus up. Terrell doesn’t believe the Charleston is a real dance, which is pretty funny. There are way too many backup dancers and I’m not a fan of the style. Basically, any dance that was super popular in the Twenties just loses me. The movements are nice and crisp but it’s going to look silly because it’s a Charleston.
Len liked it a lot because of course he’s the one guy who enjoys a Charleston. Bruno loved his style and is kind of incoherent. Carrie Ann liked the athleticism. They get a 27.
Now it’s the Trio Round. Unlike other years where they pick a pro or a troupe member, they’re working with past celebrity winners and runners-up. That’s pretty cool. Their partner is first-ever winner Kelly Monaco and I am immediately reminded that I love her. But also? A lot of them are paired with recent competitors and Kelly was on this show twelve years ago. I assume she hasn’t kept up with her ballroom in the intervening time. They’re doing a Rumba and the novelty of having a non-pro dance with a non-pro is pretty fun and they really play up that angle by third-wheeling Cheryl more often than not. I liked it.
Len says the dance didn’t suit his personality but it was well-done. Bruno says “you have two lovely cherries on your Rumba cake” and I’m not going to listen to anything else. Carrie Ann says she wanted more movement and choreography. It’s a 24.
Drew Scott and Emma Slater (22/30; 25/30) – They’re dancing a Waltz and their rehearsal footage is drama free. Dude’s not exactly bringing any demons to the dance floor. The lyrical dances usually aren’t Drew’s strong suit but this is quite good. His arms and extensions get really weird from time to time, but I like it a lot.
Bruno calls it a romantic dialogue set to music and keeps hugging Len. Carrie Ann says he didn’t keep the tempo. Len enjoyed it but says he kept losing his frame. It’s a 22.
They’re teamed up with Rashad Jennings and it’s a very different vibe when the third is the same gender as the star – I feel like it’s easier to showcase the odd one out, you know? It’s a Cha Cha and unfortunately, it puts us in a position to compare Drew to Rashad and that’s the guy who won last season. He’s trying to mirror Rashad’s movements, but you can see he’s just a little behind because he’s watching and copying rather than internalizing the rhythm. It’s what I would do.
Bruno loved the funky feel and “mostly” Drew kept up with Rashad. Carrie Ann calls Drew the Prince of Soul, which I think is a wholly unearned title. Although it does remind me of my occasional attempts to get people to casually refer to me as “the Black Moses of Soul”. It just will not take. Len liked that everybody contributed but Drew was a little wooden. They get a 25.
Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy (24/30; 24/30) – They show us footage of Victoria suffering a spasm during dress rehearsal and people seem genuinely worried – in her case, it isn’t like somebody twisting an ankle or getting a crap, you know? They’re doing an Argentine Tango, which is one of my favorites but I can’t enjoy it because I’m actually worried about her. But she doesn’t show any aftereffects and it turns out to be a really good and inventive dance. It’s good choreography and a good performance.
Carrie Ann thought it was fantastic except that she kept dropping her eyes. That’s a nitpick. Len thought it was very good but it didn’t transport him to Argentina. She gets a 24.
Their trio partner is Laurie Hernandez, who is a tough act to follow. Victoria and Laurie geek out about the new Star Wars trailer which I would almost think is product placement but Val could not be less interested. So I think it’s genuine and thus adorable. They’ll be doing a, sigh, a Jive. I am distracted by the most obvious mic pack placement ever on this show – it’s just a big asterisk of covering Laurie’s back, but it’s a fun dance. I think it could have used some more content because there’s not a ton happening but it’s still well-executed.
Carrie Ann says she fell behind and didn’t remember that she’s the star. Len liked the way it built and had recognizable jive but it wasn’t very sharp or clear. Bruno liked the buildup but it needed more precision. They get a 24.
Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas (26/30; 28/30) – She did a really good paso last week despite hurting her ribs. She’s feeling much better as they tackle the Samba this time. It’s hurt a little bit by the fact that I don’t like the song, but the actual dance itself is fun. It’s lion tamer-themed but really only in the costuming. It’s a straight out Samba that I liked watching.
Len says she wasn’t as sure-footed as she usually is and then lectures the audience. Bruno calls her an untameable wildcat and says it was avant garde. Carrie Ann liked the choreography but basically agrees with Len. They get a 26.
They’ll be dancing with Kristi Yamaguchi. Now, just to be clear, this is a Jazz dance and it’s apparently based on the Seth MacFarlane performance of a standard. I don’t know why Wikipedia is crediting MacFarlane instead of Irving Berlin but my feelings on both this type of dance and the creator of Family Guy are well-documented. I’m too mad to come up with anything to say!
Len says it was terrific. Bruno compliments the band. Carrie Ann appreciated how pristine it was. It’s getting late and the critiques are getting short. It’s a 28.
Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson (26/30; 27/30) – Frankie’s getting an attack of the nerves and he still unsettles me. It’s like Malcolm in the Middle taught him all the worst ways to interact with the camera and now he’s always looking right into it and begging us to like him. They’re doing a Viennese Waltz to a song by Game of Thrones cast member Ed Sheeran. It’s fine, but I was so busy trying to figure out if Sheeran was actually the one who appeared on GoT this season that I didn’t focus that well. And there are twelve dances tonight, so there’s no time to rewind!
Bruno calls it stylish and elegant but didn’t like Frankie’s shoulders. Carrie Ann say it was close to perfection except that he almost lost control of Witney. Len says it was far from perfection and says he never straightened his legs. He and Carrie Ann do not agree at all. It’s a 26.
Alfonso Ribiero joins them for another freaking Jive. There are twelve dances tonight and we’ve had two Jives, a Jazz, and a Charleston. I told you how I feel about dances from the Twenties! Are they going to make Jordan and Lindsay sit on flagpole now? Once again, the pro is the odd one out which makes it feel like Witney is being showcased instead of Frankie. And that’s what most of the couple did – I wonder if that’s easier to choreograph. That wouldn’t surprise me, especially since Cheryl’s the one who went the other direction and you know she’s hard core. Oh yeah, the dance. It was… jive-y.
Bruno says it was well-balanced. Carrie Ann says it was strong but Frankie looked intimidated and pulled back. Len lectures him for being so wishy-washy in the videos. They end up with a 27.
Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold (30/30; 30/30) – They are very nice and normal in their rehearsal video. They’re doing a Quickstep and they’re surrounded by concentric black and white circles that make the stage look like Jim Steranko drew it. The visual effect of the moving circles gives me a headache, but I liked their dance. It’s fast and fun and nice and clean.
Carrie Ann calls it brilliant and sassy. Len gives them a standing ovation. Bruno says it’s the most demanding Quickstep he’s ever seen. He gets a 30.
For the very last dance of the night, they team up with Corbin Bleu who I think has had exactly the same career as Jordan. (Maybe. I’m really bad with these young people who come up through Disney.) In fact, they even joke about being basically the same person. It’s a Salsa and it’s very good because everybody on the stage is very good at dancing. This shouldn’t surprise anybody. They also do a better job of showcasing their star then the other pairs did.
Carrie Ann gets censored for using dirty initials and just freaks out in general. Len says it was perfect. Bruno calls it phenomenal and also talks about seeing two bodies react to the music and, well, how many people did he think were dancing? Perfect 30!
And now, it’s time for the elimination. Jordan and Lindsay are going to the Semifinals! So are Lindsey and Mark! And Victoria and Val make three! Or six, depending on how you count! Drew and Emma join them, which was kind of a surprise actually.
That leaves Cheryl and Terrell or Frankie and Witney. Shockingly, it’s Terrell and Cheryl who are eliminated and I’m surprisingly bummed about that. They probably weren’t going to win, but I thought they’d outlast Drew at least.
Myndi will be here next week for the Semifinals as Jordan’s inevitable march to victory continues.