This time last week I was sitting next to the stage live at Dancing With the Stars, and now I’m watching on my couch. And it’s just not the same. But my first trip to the ballroom was awesome and exciting and gave me an entirely new appreciation for how the show puts on such an elaborate production each week. Plus, I sat in front of tWitch, who adorably cheered on Allison all night long, and now I want to be his best friend. Alas, I’m back in New York just in time for icon night and the dance-off and Erin’s return, so what’s better than that? Well, being back at the live show, I guess. Anyway, bring on the dancing!
Carlos and Witney
Salsa | “Valió la Pena” by Marc Anthony
Carlos chooses Marc Anthoy as his icon, and I’m pretty sure he did him quite proud by removing his shirt midway through the dance. Although if he really wanted to pay tribute to the singer, he would’ve worn sunglasses…but I digress. The routine itself was just okay, but maybe I was turned off by the bright pink blinding my eyes. Bruno, though, loved it. A lot. And there’s no doubt Carlos was in his element throughout the performance.
Judges’ Score: 27
Alek and Lindsay
Contemporary | “Holding Out for a Hero” by Ella Mae Bowen
Alek has the ability to remind us this is just a show after all, and hearing how he struggles with being America’s hero makes me love him even more. His performance, dedicated to his hero, the late Chris Kyle, is beautiful, and although he messed up one lift, I was impressed by his strength both physically and emotionally. The competition is getting down to the wire, but I’d love to see this guy make it through another week.
Judges’ Score: 25
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Andy and Allison
V. Waltz | “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
Andy gets emotional during rehearsals as he chooses a song for his late mom, and after a moving routine, he chokes up again. While I thought it was a near-flawless performance and Allison’s moves were stunning, the judges were a bit hard on him and critiqued his posture and technique. I may not be an expert, but I say boo.
Judges’ Score: 22
Alexa and Mark
A. Tango | “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay
Last week, the judges praised Alexa for not getting in her head during the dance, but can she keep it up? She chooses David, as in David and Goliath, as her influential figure because religion motivates her. Unfortunately, the high-concept routine might’ve overshadowed the actual dance, and she had a bit of a stumble midway through where I thought she literally froze. After the fact, she said sorry to Mark which lead to some awkward groans from Julianne, and I just wanted to get to commercial break.
Judges’ Score: 25
NEXT: Another baby is on the way!
Nick and Sharna
Contemporary | “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Haley Reinhart
Nick got some tough critiques last week, but as we see in a post-show clip, Sharna agreed with it and pushes him further. During the interview package, Nick opens up about how he and his wife have been trying to have a baby for over a year, and although she miscarried, we learn she’s now 16 weeks pregnant! The performance is stunning and deserving of a perfect score. And you know what else? Nick — and millions of viewers — learned he’s having a (Backstreet) boy!
Judges’ Score: 30
Bindi and Derek
Foxtrot | “Grace Kelly” by MIKA
The pressure is starting to get to Bindi, but this ray of sunshine refuses to let her bruised knees or cracked feet knock her down. Even Derek admits she’s maybe the hardest-working celeb he’s ever been paired with. As for the Fosse-like routine, it was delightful, and although I didn’t love the aerial shots, it was both technically on-point and thoroughly enjoyable. See, Derek, nothing to worry about!
Judges’ Score: 28
Tamar and Val
Paso Doble | “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
I love when Val gets angry, and this week he’s all about defending his partner, whose confidence got some negative attention. During rehearsals, Tamar has a tough time connecting with the dance, but Val gives her the greatest pep talk — he’s just the best — and it seems to do the trick. You may not agree with Tamar that she’s the best dancer in the bunch. But she’s consistently good, and this number certainly proved that.
Judges’ Score: 28
Nick and Sharna earn the highest score so they win immunity for the week and three extra points! Seriously, talk about the best week ever for the guy. As for the rest of the duos, it’s dance-off time! No one knows which style they’ll get, so basically every couple has had to learn a whopping four routines this week. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. The show also changes it up a bit by having two pairs dance together at once and letting the viewers also at home vote.
Jive | “Travelin’ Band” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Is it just me, or is it incredibly distracting having both couples dance at the same time? Derek goes in with a strategy to get the jive, but for once it doesn’t work in his favor as the judges choose Carlos and Witney as the victors over Derek and Bindi. America, though, votes for Team Crikey, but it doesn’t give them the additional points that the winners get.
Cha Cha | “Fun” by Pitbull ft. Chris Brown
It’s Tamar and Val vs. Alexa and Mark, and it’s honestly hard to keep tabs on either of them. At one point, it appears Val just stops as the camera pans to the others, but by the time it comes back, the two are in full swing. I’m kind of surprised when Tamar and Val win the judges’ vote, but Alexa and Mark get the viewers’ vote.
Samba | “Lean On” by Major Lazer and DJ Snake ft. MØ
Neither Alek and Lindsay nor Andy and Allison have danced the samba in competition, which seems odd. I have no idea if the worm counts as part of the style, but if so, Andy killed it. Apparently, both lacked in technique, but the judges ultimately went for Andy and Allison, as did America.
Time for an elimination! First, Bindi and Derek and pronounced safe (duh!) as are Tamar and Val. Also surviving the week are Alek and Lindsay and Alexa and Mark. So who’s hanging up their dancing shoes? Andy and Allison. I’m not shocked, but Andy seems like a genuinely good guy, and I’m glad he made it this far!
What did you think of this week’s performances? Who should get cut next? Weigh in below! And don’t forget to check out Derek’s exclusive video diary with this week’s special guest, his dad!