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Dancing With the Stars recap: Season 23, Episode 5

Not even the sweet sounds of Florida Georgia Line can save our stars from elimination

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Eric McCandless/ABC

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

Dancing With the Stars is getting very serious, you guys. At the top of every results show, viewers are intensely asked: WHOSE JOURNEY WILL END? Seriously, it’s in all caps. It’s very scary. Don’t worry, stars: You’re not, like, sent out to exile for a year or anything (I don’t think?). The good thing about last night’s challenge is we’ve already narrowed down the list of who might be headed home. After losing in their respective head-to-head battles, Amber and Maks, Ryan and Cheryl, Rick and Emma, Terra and Sasha, Marilu and Derek, and Babyface and Allison are all up for elimination. Of course, we’ll have to sit through two hours of recaps, musical performances, and America’s Dad (don’t fight it, man) Tom Bergeron trying to get substitute co-host Kym Johnson Herjavec to go off-script.

Because of America’s Face-Off (you know, that pesky presidential debate), competition night was condensed. To fit 12 dances in, the judges were basically given the shaft. Frankly, I missed those guys. But as we get a look at the highlights reel this evening, we’ll hear what the judges really thought about our 12 couples on “Face Off Night.” Let’s review:

Both Babyface and Allison’s and Jana and Gleb’s jives were a little shaky. The judges thought Babyface needed to be much sharper in his movements. Jana’s kicks and flicks ended up giving her the edge in this matchup. Apparently, the latest DWTS tradition is to have a shot of Gleb in his underwear during each results show. I don’t hate it? Tonight he’s joined by Artem, so I definitely don’t hate that. But the greatest gift is yet to come: a photo of Len and Bruno modeling their underwear. BLESS THIS SHOW.

We get another look at the night’s paso dobles, courtesy of Rick and Emma and Vanilla Ice and Witney. The judges thought Rick was way too stiff, but Julianne’s proud he’s dancing with his hips forward. And just when I think Len and I share a soul, he goes and complains about Vanilla Ice’s backwards glitter hat. Who hates a glitter hat? Thankfully, that didn’t come into play when Len had to break their tie. He found Vanilla Ice’s paso much more passionate (and secretly wants his hat). I SEE YOUR HEART, LEN GOODMAN.

We get another look at James and Sharna’s super-smooth cha cha, and I still think he was underscored. Bruno wanted better footwork from our IndyCar driver, but he definitely got into the spirit of the dance. The judges were glad to see Ryan have better energy in his routine, but for the most part it was Cheryl handling the cha cha steps. You know who doesn’t care about that? Ryan’s grandma. She’s Cuban and knows how to cha cha and she’s so proud of her grandson. It’s nice to see Ryan enjoying himself and this process so much. Cheryl wanted to show off more of her partner’s personality; mission accomplished.

The best face-off of the night was Terra and Sasha vs. Calvin and Lindsay. Both performed some classy Viennese waltzes. Terra’s is very emotional and light, and Julianne was super impressed with her lines and frame. But the real story here is Calvin. He’s not used to being delicate and graceful, but that’s what Lindsay needs from him. He’s enjoying showing his softer side and it makes the dance better. All the judges agree: Megatron’s a contender.

NEXT: The Chmerkovskiys make me wanna shout