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Dancing with the Stars recap: Top 5, Week 8, instant jive

J.R. and Karina earn two perfect 30s in a top-five performance night packed with fears, cheers, and instant jives

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Dancing With The Stars

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

Week 8 on Dancing With the Stars had no over-arching theme, but it was still pretty wacky. Maks hugged Len! Carrie Ann had bangs! And at one point, Tom Bergeron appeared alone on the top-level platform above the band to introduce a “ginormous” screen of Brooke interviewing the final five contestants as they raced to rehearse their instant jives. I know Tom has tightrope experience due to his extensive mime training, but I still had a tremendous sense of unease the whole time he was up there — it was like he was dancing all over the third rail of the NYC subway. Just blatantly tempting death. Stop it, Tom! We need you aliiiiiiiiiiiiive!

Thankfully, he did. Brooke, by the way, had apparently swathed herself in last year’s discounted Christmas wrapping paper so that she won’t feel guilty about buying too much again this year. To match its tackiness, she racheted the makeup level to “clown” and finished off the look with an inexplicably ratty fishtail braid. But why am I spending so much valuable think-space on Brooke when I should be reveling in the return of her little friend?

That’s right — this week the couples had to pull envelopes containing their instant jive songs out of some sort of appropriately gaudy structure. So it was finally time to check back in with our old friend, the MirrorBowl. Oh, we love him! His insides are red and velvety, like cake. Once or twice per DWTS season, that big ol’ guy likes to roll on out of the DANCMSTR’s Hidden Gem Emporium at the center of Planet Mirrorballus and chug its way up through the molten-sequin-sea outer core and the Swarovski crystal mantle until it breaks through the shimmery crust and travels magnetically until it reaches its righteous spot: surrounded by plenty of other sparkly ball-like figures up on Brookebot Mountain.

Welcome back, MirrorBowl!

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhhh-ber!

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: 30/30 waltz + 30/30 instant jive = 60 out of possible 60 This week didn’t have a theme — I felt so lost! — but “The redemption of J.R.” was sort of the unspoken one. Not only was he referred to as “last week’s fallen star,” but he had a group of soldier-buddies in the audience (the real ‘Dancing With the Stars Troop’?) and he earned the first two perfect 30s of the season and he thanked his mom, God, and Justin Bieber for making it all happen! It was as if an invisible angel (named “Margaret Cho”) attached to the enormous gold wings in Karina and J.R.’s rehearsal studio had been watching over the couple this week. But J.R. earned those 10s all on his own, with ferocious kicks and the ability to create musical magic in that first waltz.

NEXT: Reality worlds collide when the DANCMSTR refers to ‘The X Factor’