Tonight's Dancing with the Stars was all about guilty pleasures, which is a bit of a coincidence given that this season of Dancing with the Stars is quickly becoming my guilty pleasure. Seriously, you'll never get me to admit to my friends and family that I'm rooting for Frankie Muniz more than any of these people, but it's true.
Another guilty pleasure? Watching a pretty mediocre dancer who has somehow skated through the show get mercilessly kicked off during the elimination round, but apparently that's not happening this week. Curses!
Since there was no elimination round, we'll just let the scores speak for themselves...
The dance: Drew's guilty pleasure is true crime dramas, so he and Emma's routine had a bit of a murder mystery feel to it. He's a detective, she's some sort of tangoing criminal... it works. The lifts were out of this world and some of the most complex we've seen this season. The one were Emma's body was literally behind held on top of his shoulders as he spun? How do you not lose balance when you do that?! Drew is also a Las Vegas resident, so he got to give a sweet shout out to everyone affected by the
What the judges said: Len loved the lifts and the characterization of this sultry mystery dance, even telling Drew he's officially on a roll since he maintained his smooth moves from last week.
Score: 23/30. He totally cracked the case with his highest score yet!
The dance: Mostly, this Fresh Prince cha cha was a great reminder that no one should ever, EVER try to cover a Will Smith original because hearing it sung by someone else was just super disconcerting. The close up on Derek's booty shaking was probably a little gratuitous, but Derek was having a blast and we could all tell. The Guilty Pleasures round was a good one for him.
What the judges said: Bruno obviously loved that "Bootyliscious, extra spicy moment," and Derek admitted it was his favorite too. He's still not a judge favorite like Jordan Fisher or Lindsey Sterling, but he's got a foot in the door.
Score: 21/30. Better than last week... we'll take it!
The dance: Do I lose my '90s kid cred if I admit that I literally never knew the title of this song was "Tubthumping?" It was just the "I get knocked down, but I get up again" song. Victoria managed to have the quickest feet in the game, which is always going to be bonkers given her former paralysis. Watching her jump for joy at the end of the routine was pretty adorable, mostly because this was the dance that scared her the most, and she could tell she killed it.
What the judges said: "I think that you're totally on the path to a 10," Carrie Ann praised Victoria and Valentin. There were a few comments about the couple's frame, but their score was still decent. Here's hoping they're on their way to a 10!
Score: 22/30. Looks like her lead is slowly ebbing away.
The dance: Putting Vanessa in front of the troupe girls was maybe not the best idea since her performance was put right up next to the professionals. She's undoubtedly one of the most talented stars, but that doesn't mean she can hang with girls who have trained in ballroom since they were in tiny tutus. Another bad move was giving her lifts she and Maks maybe weren't ready for. The first one in particular was not graceful. She nailed the cartwheel lift though. Get it, girl!
What the judges said: Len said he couldn't tell who was the celebrity and who was the professional up on stage, so maybe I'm wrong about pairing Vanessa with the troupe. Doubt it though. Carrie Ann had to mention the wobbles, especially that whoopsie moment during her lift.
Score: 23/30. Apparently the judges just want to have fun.
The dance: A female WWE star enjoys BDSM romance novels? Shocking. The fact that anyone would willfully admit they're into Fifty Shades of Grey is nuts, but it actually ended up making the perfect fodder for Nikki and Artem's waltz. And that elevator opening? I'm not saying it was super hot, but... yeah, never mind I'm totally saying it was super hot. Hot enough for Nikki's fiancee John Cena to get up on stage with her and threaten to punch out Artem.
What the judges said: Bruno got way, way, way too into the naughty commentary, which was probably not a smart move with John Cena standing right in front of him. Carrie Ann kept it professional though, telling Nikki she's not averse to taking risks. "You just go for it!" She did, however, warn her not to rely on the sexy and make sure to switch back to the emotional stuff next week.
Score: 21/30. Not exactly a super sexy score, but better than last week.
The dance: I love that Frankie loves boy bands, it's SO on brand for him. The fact that he got advice from Nick Lachey on how to make a boy band face and then Joey Fatone showing up out of nowhere? WHAT IS GOING ON? Plus, the denim costumes were just so Britney and Justin! Frankie killed the choreography just like he did last week. The judges might disagree, but when it comes to the fans, he's seriously running away with this competition.
What the judges said: Carrie Ann loved the boy band stuff, but she did have a good critique: It didn't feel like a samba, it felt like a boy band routine.
Score: 21/30. Frankie and Witney are not in the lead anymore, and that's a crime!
The dance: When a girl is down in the dumps, PJs are really the only answer, so I totally get Lindsey's guilty pleasure of staying in bed all day after her recent breakup. And can we all just take a minute to realize that holy crap this girl can spin! The entire dance was one big spin, flip, kick combo with no stops in between, and Lindsey did it all with a smile on her face like it was the easiest thing in the world. What sort of sorcery made her this talented without any actual dance training?
What the judges said: "If I'm dreaming don't wake me up because I thought that was great!" Len gushed. He also called it the dance of the season, which is seriously high praise. Bruno couldn't get over how awesome her technique was with some pretty complicated steps, and Carrie Ann rounded it out praising the brilliant choreography and called it one of her favorite dances.
Score: 27/30. That's the highest score this season FYI.
The dance: Poor Sasha and Gleb had to deal with a million props in this baking-themed routine, but when a dance ends with someone getting pied in the face, it's kind of worth it. On the other hand, their routine didn't have any of the show-stopping elements other routines tonight had like costumes, lifts or dominatrix whips, so ultimately it felt like a little bit of a let down.
What the judges said: The judges weren't huge fans of the clean, synchronized moves that didn't quite track with jazz. You'd assume the simple choreography was an effort to make things easier for Sasha, but Len actually said he thought the dance didn't show how good she can be.
Score: 19/30. Yikes, this was the lowest score of the night.
The dance: Honestly, the jazzercise thing was cute, but a full on Love Actually tribute would have been funner to watch. Then again, Nick Lachey in a unitard is pretty great. Let's be real, Nick is never going to win this thing because he just can't really dance — even with Peta carrying him. But he's having a blast and his wife is a major contender, so that's enough.
What the judges said: Carrie Ann was all smiles, and while the tehcnique wasn't awesome, she loved the energy. "What I love most is you're finally having fun, This is the loosest I've ever seen you!" Len loved the three C's — the concept, the commitment and the confidence.
Score: 21/30. It's not the bottom of the barrel, so let's see some jazz hands for Nick!
The dance: Once again, T.O's lack of actual dance ability did him no favors for the salsa, but otherwise it was just a super entertaining number. There was an awesome handstand situation, some serious lifts, and a pretty awesome ending spin. Totally worthy of the break-dancing theme of the routine. The one boo-boo? There was some move where Cheryl was supposed to slide down his leg, and it just looked way too sloppy.
What the judges said: According to Len, it's not a touchdown but he's in the red zone! Like every week, the judges danced around (pun totally intended) criticizing his actual moves and talking about how dedicated he is and how hard he tries.
Score: 21/30. His highest score yet!
The dance: Omg, Jordan's story about growing up in a football town and being bullied for being artsy? It's pulling at these X-Men loving heartstrings. And wowza, did you guys see that back handspring in the beginning? The superhero motif really brought it home, and while it wasn't Jordan's best dance of the show, it did give him his first 9... and then another one to match it!
What the judges said: Bruno called it mission incredible, and the other judges agreed — for the most part. This one also got Carrie Ann's seal of approval as a favorite dance. Len was a sourpuss and had to criticize Lindsay's choice to implement quickstep and lindy hop elements.
Score: 25/30. Jordan is officially worthy of the X-Men!
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.