Next week is the dreaded Switch-Up — “The worst thing that could happen is the Switch,” helpfully summed up Maks — but for now, let’s stew in the burgeoning chemistry of the original couples before it fizzles like a Bill Nye ballroom stunt!
As usual, Week 3 on Dancing With the Stars marked “The Most Memorable Year of Your Life” Night, or — all-new for season 18 — Bring Your Kids to Work Day. Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts, a paragon of serenity and DWTS superfandom (yes and YES, love her to pieces), squeezed in between Len and Bruno to guest-judge after getting the Chmerkovskiy Sandwich treatment of our dreams at the top of the show.
No elimination this week — Billy Dee Williams voluntarily bowed out due to chronic back pain and doctor’s orders. Unlike Valerie Harper, he was not willing to die during a televised samba — and for that I respect him. I guess.
Let’s get to it!
Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhhh-ba!
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 39/40 There has almost certainly never been a sexier foxtrot than the new M&M (don’t worry, Scary Spice, you’ll always be the original second M in this particular candy equation). Right??! I had to rewind the whole thing just to make sure it was really a foxtrot and not a rumba or a new style called sexcapade. And, you know, for the chance to revel in their dramatic light and shade, impeccable lifts, and overall I’m-going-to-eat-your-face chemistry (pictured, up top).
I love how super-charged Maks is to conquer both the choreography and the chemistry with Meryl just before the magic carpet (the magic is her dance experience!) is yanked out from under them next week.
Thanks to reader April for grabbing this butt — I mean, sending along this choice screengrab in which not only are Maks’ buns highlighted, but the way the light and background are shaping his hair makes it look like he has a third bun!
“@AnnieBarrett Look where I paused it! Clearly this is a #dwts gem winner! #maksbutt #ArghImMaks”
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: 36/40 As many EW.com readers pointed out, this was a jive that could have fit right into the movie Clueless if Cher hadn’t wussed out and left Christian to scope out the happenings-after-hours himself. Peta’s plaid skirt, cardigan, and white thigh-highs were straight out of Cher’s remote-control closet, while the sparkly sequined bra was probably lifted from the much trashier Amber’s.
But enough about Clueless: James paid tribute to his chubby awkward high school years with this incredible nerd-out-of-water jive. No bullying from me: I loved everything about this. Who knew this guy could do a back flip? And suspend himself in a perfect ‘J’ while clutching one end of the judges’ table?
Only Carrie Ann had a nitpick: “You got a strange little claw thing happening. It was a little claw. [Mimics claw.] So watch the claw.” Well said.
Hidden gem that’s clearly a veiled reference to mining and/or the Coveted Mirrorball Trophy: The book holding their smushed faces apart is How To Rock Climb.
NEXT: Val’s a one-woman man — whoever that woman is