Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Monday, Oct. 28, 2013
It’s an action-packed two hours of Dancing with the Stars this week, with both pros and celebrities battling injuries, fatigue and stress in general. Before we get to tonight’s dances, however, Tom Bergeron drops a little teaser for next week: Pulling double duty as guest judge and performer will be Cher. Who will still be around to see her? Let’s recap the performances:
Elizabeth Berkley & Val Chmerkovskiy (Quickstep)
Coming off their perfect 30 last week, Val is being extra hard on Elizabeth during rehearsals this week. His tough taskmaster routine pays off handily though, with the pair giving a nearly flawless performance for the second week in a row (with a cute little UFO invasion skit to boot). I got out of breath just looking at their fancy footwork as they spun around the floor. Bruno agrees and calls the routine “breathtaking,” while Carrie Ann compliments the growth Elizabeth has demonstrated throughout the competition.
Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd (Jive)
Brant is rehearsing around the clock for the jive, even working on his steps in his backyard at home. And maybe it’s because of that extra work that he looks like he’s totally letting loose and having fun, for maybe the first week thus far. Their ’50s costumes and “Tutti Frutti” routine (which ends with a liplock, haha) is a real hoot. “You were like a frisky schoolboy on a sugar high,” Bruno tells Brant afterwards, while nitpicking a bit on his timing. Carrie Ann says the routine may have been a bit too challenging for Brant, but notes that he didn’t miss a single step.
Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani (Salsa)
After their big comeback performance last week, Tony has added some extra-hard lifts into tonight’s routine — even as Leah’s tussling with a rib injury. Maybe some positive feedback from the judges was all Leah needed, because for the first time she looks totally confident on the floor. She’s just a ball of sass, especially when she nails a super complicated lift sequence that involves her draping her legs around Tony’s neck. Carrie Ann gleefully rubs her hands together as she tells them they’re “in the zone,” but Len says a couple of the lifts missed the mark.
Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke (Jive)
Cheryl doesn’t sugarcoat anything in rehearsals, telling Jack bluntly that they’re in the bottom three of the remaining groups, and Jack says he’s feeling some mid-season blues (not to mention fatigue from his MS). Their jive is fun and energetic, and Jack’s noticeably more svelte and limber than he was at the start of the competition. Len says the dance could be “crisper,” but compliments Jack for being so in touch with the music. Carrie Ann says they were even better than Brant and Peta’s Jive, and rewards them with a 10. (Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne look like proud parents at graduation in the audience, which is cute.)
Amber Riley & Derek Hough (Paso doble)
Ahead of tonight’s episode, Derek was unsure if he would actually be able to dance, with his back pain flaring up. Amber’s having issues with her shoulders and knees. They offer up a sultry routine, but Derek looks a little more stiff than he has in previous week’s. Is that due to his injury or because he’s trying to make the dance extra sharp? Unclear, but it works. Bruno compares the dance to vintage wine, while Carrie Ann gets so excited her bracelet falls off. She and Len both give the pair a perfect score.
Bill Engvall & Emma Slater (Quickstep)
One week after being saved, it’s do or die time for Bill and Emma. Bill’s hoping for at least one 9. Will he get it? Bill looks flashy in his metallic sport jacket, but their timing is a little off throughout the routine and he seems a bit, dare I say, sluggish at the beginning. Plus, though they’re dancing to Bill’s favorite artist, Elvis, he doesn’t look like he’s having a great time out there. All the judges give gently critical feedback. Len says if he could judge with his heart, Bill would get a 10. Alas.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi & Sasha Farber (Samba)
Snooki first compares herself to a Chihuahua on the dance floor, and later says she’s trying to channel Beyonce. Which one is it? She’s having a really hard time in rehearsals and says she feels “screwed” heading into the performance. It’s true that Snooki doesn’t demonstrate the attitude that she normally does during the routine, and she’s a little flat. Even her signature shimmy looks tired. Let’s chalk this one up to a rough week? After the dance, she says she felt more like a turtle than a Chihuahua. She’s harder on herself than the judges are, however.
Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff (Cha-Cha)
Karina and Corbin are super frustrated after the low scores from their Game of Thrones-inspired number last week, and Karina’s toying with the choreography untilSaturday. Maybe they work better under pressure? Corbin’s movements are spot-on, and it’s clear that he’s heeding the judges’ feedback to make his kicks and elbows sharper. More often than not, in fact, it’s hard to tell who is the pro and who is the star in this pairing. “That was the tightest cha-cha I’ve ever seen,” Carrie Ann gushes, before handing out her third 10 of the night. Bruno joins her! Len is the party pooper.
Now it’s time for the team dance number. We’ve got “FoxingAwesome” (Jack/Cheryl, Corbin/Karina, Amber/Derek, Brant/Peta) vs. Team “SpookyBomBom” (Elizabeth/Val, Leah/Tony, Bill/Emma, Snooki/Sasha). Before they dance, Brooke reveals that, based on the scores so far, a member of SpookyBomBom would be going home — but the team scores could change that.
First up is “SpookyBomBom,” who choreograph a Halloween-themed dance (at Bill’s suggestion) featuring zombie dancers in a graveyard. The dance is fun and fierce, highlighted by Sasha spinning around with Snooki holding on to his neck using only her legs. Individually: Snooki still looks a little fatigued, Leah hardly moved, Bill looks like he’s having much more fun with this number, and Elizabeth gets super into the zombie shtick. Is The Walking Dead casting? Score: 27
Next is Team “FoxingAwesome.” Derek’s got a lot to live up to, having never lost a team dance. Their “Thriller”-esque choreography is impressive at first, but overall I’m partial to SpookyBomBom, personally. Individually: Derek and Amber are the weak leaks, Karina and Corbin are insanely good together, and seeing Jack’s full-on fox costume makes up for any mediocrity in his steps. Carrie Ann says she felt like she was on an acid trip. I think that’s a compliment? Score: 30
Tom wastes no time in revealing that all the members of Team FoxingAwesome are safe. Before audience votes, the leaderboard has Derek and Amber at the top and Bill and Emma at the bottom. So who’s going home?
Safe: Elizabeth and Val, Leah and Tony
In jeopardy: Bill and Emma, Nicole and Sasha
Eliminated: Nicole and Sasha
Brooke manhandles a very upset Nicole to come down and give a statement. “I love everybody. This sucks,” is all she can muster. It’s awkward and sad.
What did you think? Are you shocked that Snooki and Sasha were voted off, while Bill and Emma are still in the competition? Which team dance did you like better? Are you excited for Cher next week? Sound off in the comments!