First, they added an improvised Chubby Checker twist to the usual dance marathon, forcing two groups of couples to compete side-by-side to songs they hadn't heard before. Then they announced that Week 6 was the season's halfway point, not Week 5.
Finally, because of a phone voting error, the producers decided that no couples would be eliminated this week! It was almost like an Oprah Winfrey show of ruby riches: You’re safe! And you’re safe! And you’re safe! What’s next? Dances in water? With lightsabers, like in the stellar swing and jive opening number choreographed by Lacey and Benji Schwimmer? Or set to reconfigured Broadway musical songs, like Mika and Ariana Grande’s take on “Popular” from “
Enough of this mucking about. Let's do as the host with the most Tom Bergeron said, and "get some of these obsessive compulsive scores."
At the top of the leader board and life itself were
Len’s seriously got a snake in his English riding boot, and it seems he’s really taking
Peta Murgatroyd was really intent on making sure everything she and Brant Daugherty could control about their tango was perfect. And wow, did the "Pretty Little Liars" actor (who got a visit and a Twitter shout-out from "PLL" co-star Janel Parrish this week) cut a fine figure during his tango. Len likened the dance to "a glass of dry white wine: sharp, crisp, tasty, no gimmicks, none of this messing about." Bruno loved Brant's aggression, but pointed out "a couple of stumbles … otherwise, performance-wise, it was your best." Carrie Ann said Brant's technique was "incredible" but "the energy took you a little off the music," she said. "It was like a beautiful dancing Ken doll … with a little stumble." Brant still got a 10 from Len ("I can't help me self," the British head judge said), and a 28 total for their tango. They also got an impressive second-place finish in the switch-up challenge (way to shimmy those shoulders, Brant!), bumping three more points to their bottom line. Total: 31.
Leah Remini has had a tough go of it, suffering at the judges’ less-than-exuberant comments after last week’s high-concept, not-so-highly executed contemporary routine. “Don’t you dare cry,” Tony Dovolani fiercely cautioned his partner after they received their scores. “I was hoping I’d be better than I actually am,” Leah said sadly. And it took a visit from pal
Loved Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke’s rapport this week. They’ve been tasked with the paso doble, and Jack has never been very good with Latin dances. So the younger Osbourne sat across from his partner, determination on his face. “This is it,” he said. “This is where I’m taking Latin back.” “Pound it,” Cheryl responded, fist out. Jack tried his darndest to channel “angry
Corbin Bleu got as excited as Joffrey at a beheading when he found out his Viennese waltz was going to be set to the "Game of Thrones" theme. Corbin is a major "Game of Thrones" fan, and getting this theme was the equivalent of being gifted three dragon eggs. He loved that as he was learning about the Viennese waltz, that his Khaleesi, Karina Smirnoff, was getting schooled on Westeros and Essos. But not even the Khal Drogo guyliner and armor of abs could protect him from the tongue-lashing he got from the judges after his routine. Bruno usually liked Corbin's lines but "you were playing it like Conan the Barbarian," the judge said. "Somehow it lost the flow … I was expecting that immaculate finish." Len loved the lyrical movement, but because he called Amber and Derek out for not having enough content in hold, he felt he had to do the same thing here. "I didn't really feel it was a Viennese waltz," he said. Carrie Ann thought the passion worked, even though "there were a few lifts in there." ("I'm glad you didn't go with the Red Wedding tango," Tom said in the best line of the night.) Winter came early for Corbin and Karina, who ended up a lowly 23 for their waltz. Tom offered the wannabe Dothraki the prop throne as consolation: "We've got no use for it." A better consolation in the glitterverse was winning the first group's switch-up challenge, in which Corbin and Karina were able to add four points to their tally. Total: 27.
"Get ready for a redneck tango," Bill Engvall announced, after being faced with the tall order of having to tango to Jimmy Buffett's "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Or, as English partner Emma Slater called it, "Beefburger in Paradise" by Jimmy "Buffay." Comedian Bill does not do salads, so it was great that he was able to fit all that tango content in. And Bill's Burger Hut was a tasty treat, with Bill in an tomato-like vacation shirt and Emma his tropical condiment. "A beefburger 'buffay'!" Tom exclaimed. Len called it a "cheeseburger tango with plenty of mustard and pickle." Bruno thought there was "plenty of beef on top, but it went a bit cheesy on the bottom." Carrie Ann enjoyed the "strangely odd combination of humor and passion" but "You were taking too big steps." Bill and Emma received a 23 for their tango, and was also the first couple booted from their switch-up challenge round. This, despite Bill's concerted effort to keep things moving and expose his beefburger chest for all to see. Total: 24.
What do you think, ballroom fans? Glad all the couples got to live another week? What'd you think of the switch-up challenge? Which is the better consolation prize: The "Game of Thrones" prop throne, or the Talking Val Poster?