Dancing With the Stars this week is a non-elimination week, because of a a technical error last week. The wrong voting numbers were displayed for the couples, so the votes were thrown out. The scores of the couples will carry over to next week. In tonight’s episode, the eight couples who are left face the first Switch-Up Challenge that’s ever been done on the show.
The couples who are remaining on Dancing With the Stars will compete, as always, against each other doing individual dances, but the will also participate in the Switch-Up Challenge, which is a sort of dance marathon. The eight couples will dance side-by-side, and this challenge will take place in two rounds. They will have no advance information about what dances they will be asked to perform during these two rounds, nor any idea what the music will be that they will be dancing to, which should make this part of tonight’s competition very challenging.
The first couple up are Bill Engval and Emma Slater. They will dance the Tango to the song Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet. I think they did a pretty good job.
Len: “It was a cheeseburger Tango, sharp and tangy.”
Bruno: “Plenty of cheese on top but a little cheesy in the middle,” he said. He added that they kind of messed up their footwork somewhere in the middle of the dance.
Carrie Ann called their performance a “strangely odd combination of humor and passion.” However, she, like Bruno, commented that their footwork “was a bit off.”
Len and Carrie Ann gave them 8s, while Len just gave them a score of 7, for a total of 23/30 points.
The second couple to perform on Dancing With the Stars was Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmreovsky. They danced the Cha Cha Cha to Put Your Hands One Me by Josh Stone. They did an awesome job, though they should — they are one of the favorites among the remaining teams to win the whole thing.
Bruno told them that “You still got it big time,” and said that the dance was “so sexy that it just killed me.” He added that it was “brilliant.”
Carrie Ann said that they “were like a white panther, you have so much confidence. I loved it.”
Len said of their partnership that it was “formidable,” and he somewhat creepily added that thier hips were “hypnotic.”
The three judges each gave them a 10, for the first perfect score yet this season, of 30/30 points! That means that they won’t have to worry about getting eliminated next week.
Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani danced the Quick Step next, and they performed it to Man Wanted by Copacabana. They kicked some butt, also, but will their effort be enough to score another perfect 30/30?
Carrie Ann called their performance, in comparison with that of last week, possibly “the biggest turnaround that I have ever seen.”
Len mentioned that there are “rules with the Quick Step,” and pointed to Leah and Tony as examples of how scores can go up if the rules are followed. He told them: “You were down last week, this week you were way up.”
Bruno told them “You are like Ginger Rogers, just fabulous.”
The judges gave them straight 9s for a total of 27/30 — not bad at all.
Len compared their dance to “a glass of dry white wine, dry and crisp, absolutely great.”
Bruno liked it, on the whole, though he said that “there were a couple of stumbles,” but he added “I loved to see the range in you.”
Carrie Ann agreed that “there were a few times you got off the music,” but still added about Brant “you were still a perfect Ken doll.”
Carrie Ann and Bruno gave them 9s, while Len gave them a score of 10, for a combined score of 28/30. Not a bad score, for supposedly stumbling a little….
Amber Riley from Glee and Derek Hough followed up by performing the Samba. They danced to the song Get It Right by Fantasia Barrino. Amber and Derek seem to me to be among the most consistently good dancers in the competition — I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up winning it all.
Bruno thought, apart from their “performance value,” that “you did everything perfect.”
Carrie Ann said that their performance “was awesome, every move drove me insane, it was a turn on.”
Len liked the routine, but he said “I found it a tad repetitive. This girl is a fantastic dancer.”
While Carrie Ann 10 and Bruno gave Amber and Derek 10s, Len just gave them a 8, for a total of 28/30.
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke were next on the dance floor. They danced the Paso Doble to Conquest, by The White Stripes. I thought they did pretty good, but maybe not quite as good as some of the other performers tonight.
Carrie Ann knocked their performance, saying that she thought “it was one dimensional for me. You really were trying to be to stiff for Cheryl.”
Len said of their performance that maybe “there was a little mistake, but the rest was top notch.”
Bruno thought that their timing was off, and said that “today you were chasing the music.”
Carrie Ann 8 and Bruno gave them 8s, and Len gave them a 9, making for a score of 25/30 points.
Next, dancing the Fox Trot, were Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Sasha Farber. They performed to the song Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations. Nicole and Sasha are also pretty consistent, and they just might wind up in the winner’s circle by the end of the season — who knows?
Len said of their dance “what was there not to like.”
Bruno told them “you extended your lines so beautifully.”
Carrie Ann remarked on their performance, saying about Nicole that and Sasha that they “have improved the most from everybody.”
The judges gave them scores of straight 9s, for a total of 27/30.
The final couple up on Dancing With the Stars before the Switch-Up Challenge are Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. They dance the Viennese Waltz to the theme song from Game Of Thrones by Ramin Djawadi.
They have been great in the past weeks; but, this week, they failed to impress the judges very highly.
Bruno told them “this time you lost the flow with your Conan the Barbarian lines.”
Carrie Ann said that “I really think the passion was there but there could have been more holds.”
Len just said straight out “I really didn’t feel it was a Viennese Waltz.”
Carrie Ann and Bruno gave them 8s, while Len gave them only a 7, for a total of 23/30 points. Wiull they get eliminated next week, or will Bill Engval and Emma Slater perhaps be the ones who get cut?
How the Switch-Up Challenge works is that first, the couples are separated into two groups. Then, whichever couple gets tapped on the shoulders first scores one point, while the second scores two points, the third, three points, etc.– the final couple in each group scores four points.
Predictably, perhaps, Bill and Emma get tapped on their shoulders first, and score just one point. What was a small bit of a surprise is that Jack and Cheryl get tapped next, and they score two points. Nicole and Sasha follw, with a score of three points. Corbin and Karina help their overall low score by getting four points.
In the second group, the first couple out with just one point are Leah and Tony — which I thought was kind of surprising — then, Elizabeth and Val got tapped, scoring 2 points. Brant and Peta went out next, with three points, and Amber and Derek were the last to remain, and earned four points.
Well, it was definitely an interesting episode of Dancing With the Stars, filled with great dancing, as usual, and I thought that the Switch-Up Challenge was a pretty cool idea. It might have ensured that Bill Engval and Emma are the next ones to be eliminated, though….What are your opinions? Who do you think will be cut next? Please leave your comments below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb