Welcome to “A Night at the Movies” on Dancing With the Stars! It’s always an exciting theme, what with the creative movie homages (I’m looking at you, Mark Ballas) and fun costuming, but this season is even more so thanks to our guest judge (and performer): Shania Twain is in the house, you guys! Honestly, if she doesn’t begin every critique with “That don’t impress me much,” what is she even doing here?
Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev
Argentine Tango, “Dernière Danse” by Indila (Foreign Films)
A beret-clad Len Goodman informs Nikki and Artem that they’ll be tackling foreign films as their movie genre, and he wants to see a routine full of class, elegance, and style. Nikki spends rehearsal working on her technique and her ability to be vulnerable. Both are easier with Artem at her side. Seriously, Artem is such a great partner for Ms. Bella. Their swanky Argentine tango suits Nikki so well. They lose balance at one point, but it doesn’t matter — the rest of the routine is très good. Those legs! They way they get into hold! Shania comments on how sensual the flick of two ankles in unison can be. I mean, (1) She’s right, and (2) LOOK AT YOU, SHANIA.
Judges’ Score: 36/40
Drew Scott and Emma Slater
Paso Doblé, “Legend” by The Score (Action Movies)
Drew is feeling good after getting his first 9 for his “Disney Night” routine, and who doesn’t like being called a contender? The pressure is on for Drew to keep improving and, well, he doesn’t. Being an action star is Drew’s dream (he’s a karate guy, remember?) but this routine … is not good. It’s a shame because he’s so into it and Emma, as a femme fatale, looks amazing, but the judges are right: This is awkward. During a group sequence Drew loses timing and goes very, very wrong. He doesn’t seem in control throughout most of it. Len wants a paso with a balance of aggression and finesse, and this has zero finesse. Leather duster jackets don’t fix everything, unfortunately.
Judges’ Score: 30/40
Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd
Samba, “Wild, Wild West” by Dru Hill, Will Smith, and Kool Mo Dee (Westerns)
Oh, boy. It’s tough to watch Nick talk about having no confidence in his dancing and then go out and perform a routine that sets him back in his DWTS journey, but that is exactly what happens. The judges are spot-on in their critiques of this Mad Max-inspired western. They call out how stinkin’ great Nick looks during the group breakdown and line dancing, but how he stiffens up immediately when he gets into hold for samba. It probably doesn’t help that his brother Drew’s most memorable dance was his western-themed freestyle. Who wants to live in that glorious shadow? Bad news: Nick and Peta already know they’re in jeopardy this evening. Good news: I have never wanted a pair of pilot goggles so badly. Oh, I guess that’s only good news for me.
Judges’ Score: 26/40
Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy
Paso Doblé, “We Will Rock You” by Queen (Sports Movies)
To prepare for their sports movies routine, and to get Victoria into an aggressive hockey player character for the paso, Val starts talking a lot of smack this week. He challenges Victoria to a swim, and although he can rock a Speedo, he cannot best the Olympian in the pool. But the training works, and Victoria gets into her Mighty Ducks homage. Len and Bruno want her to work on the strength and finesse of her arms, but otherwise, it’s another tight routine from the couple. It’s lacking in triple dekes but has some great Spanish shaping. Gordon Bombay would be proud. Mr. Ducksworth? Who knows, that guy was always so cranky.
Judges’ Score: 31/40