The trick, of course, was the surprise elimination of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and her partner Sasha Farber, which stunned the crowd into silence. Bill Engvall and Emma Slater were also in the bottom two, and it was widely assumed that the low-scoring comedian would be the latest star booted from the glitterverse.
"Pocket rocket" Nicole's worked tirelessly and her dancing's grown leaps and bounds. She was also visibly upset by this result.
"I can't even talk right now," a teary Nicole said. Unfortunately, her bloody team dance makeup made it look as though she had feasted on a squirrel monkey and made this somber exit that much more ghastly. "Why am I leaving a zombie?" she moaned. "Zombies come back!" Tom replied optimistically.
It was a macabre ending to a hard "DWTS" week filled with "mid-season blues." Good thing we got two triumphant Team Dances.
Team Spooky Bom Bom, consisting of Elizabeth & Val, Bill & Emma, Nicole & Sasha, and Leah & Tony, went first, and theirs was a graveyard delight. Yes, the team was composed of “underdogs” but the motley crew really came together in a Beetlejuicy, "Thriller"-like event. Bill was the Ichabod Crane-type figure who happened upon the other undead dancers. Leah looked like
Next came Team Foxing Awesome — made up of Amber & Derek (who has yet to lose a group dance), Brant & Peta, Corbin & Karina, and Jack & Cheryl and set to that head-scratching YouTube sensation “What Does the Fox Say.” And put me in a furry suit and stick me in the forest: Team Foxing Awesome really was … foxing awesome. The routine matched the energy and extreme battiness of Ylvis’ paean to animals and pulled off a furry-laden performance that was like an “
Here's how each individual couple fared:
Brant Daugherty was determined not to let the jive get the best of him, and even put in extra time in his backyard to develop his muscle memory. Peta Murgatroyd played
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff were determined to avenge last week's Red Wedding-like massacre from the judges with their cha-cha. So much so that Karina kept tinkering with the choreography until the last minute. The pursuit of perfection paid off, as their cha-cha ended up like sunshine after the rain, with glum Corbin transformed by Karina, looking like a cross between a literal ray of sunshine and Big Bird's Vegas-bound sister. "Crystal-clear moves, the timing, the shape, the finish — immaculate!" Bruno said. "That was the tightest cha-cha I've ever seen – I could have put a quarter in there and we would have lost it," Carrie Ann said, venturing into questionable language territory. Len added to his own vocabulary by admitting he's "not a lover of the gyratery," but conceded that all the gyrating "fitted beautifully with the music." 27 (last week) + 29 (cha-cha) + 30 (team dance) = 86.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi had grand plans to channel Beyoncé and attack the dance floor like a Chihuahua. Or, you know, a squirrel monkey. She even wore animal print for her samba. But her grueling traveling schedule finally caught up to her, her son had a fever, and Nicole found herself moving more like a zombie (or a turtle) than Sasha Fierce. But the judges thought her samba with Sasha Farber, set to
“Week 7 — this is like big boy stuff,” Jack Osbourne said. Jack also hit a wall this week with his jive training. Jack felt a “bit of the mid-season blues” but Cheryl Burke encouraged him to hold his head up and hold on. And hold on he did, prancing all over the dance floor and all the way up to the top of the grand staircase. Len commended Jack’s lightness and musicality, though “I’d like the jive to be a bit crisper in the feet.” Bruno also liked Jack’s ease of movement but said at times Jack went “a bit
Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani were coming off of their season-high score of 27 last week. "I'm not used to being that happy," Leah admitted. Tony tried to ratchet up the complexity of their salsa with a whole new set of dance ingredients. And with more lifts! Chelsea Handler was in the audience lending her support. And despite suffering from a rib injury, Leah showed a lot of hustle in her bustle in her snappy, sassy routine. "You are in the zone my dear!" Carrie Ann exulted. "That was like going to the hottest salsa club." Len liked that Leah "kept my interest throughout" though "one or two of the lifts weren't quite clean enough." Bruno said Leah went "salsalicious on me." 28 (last week) + 26 (salsa) + 27 (team dance) = 81.
It was all about Vegas this week for Bill Engvall. The comedian was in Sin City last Friday for a stand-up show, and he and Emma Slater also performed their quickstep to Elvis Presley's "Viva Las Vegas." And kudos to Bill for gamely channeling his idol while Emma served as the King's Tropicana girl with a feather bustle. "The good news is that you did not break hold – the bad news, the hold wasn't strong enough to support the dance," Carrie Ann said. Len liked how the routine "had speed and it had energy" but "you lost your technique in places," he said. "If I could judge with my heart, you'd get a 10." "You rolled the dice and you hoped for the best and you had a good go," said Bruno, who sure sounded like he expected this week to be Bill's last. 24 (last week) + 23 (quickstep) + 27 (team dance) = 74.
What do you think, ballroom fans? Surprised to see Snooki leaving the competition? Excited about Cher next week? Were these the best team dances to date?