Dancing with the Stars folded itself over tonight, compressing two hours of dancing into one hour because two loudmouths had to yak at each other. How did they do that? By putting two pairs of dancing couples on the floor at the same time! It's an idea so crazy that it just might work!
But did it work? The early stages of Dancing with the Stars are always hectic, cramming in training, yapping and dancing, but this was like watching an episode in 4x fast forward! I never thought I'd say this, but maybe stretching it out to two hours is the right move? I worked up a sweat by the second commercial break!
Well you aren't here to read about my perspiration, you're hear to read about the dances! Let's review 'em:
The dances: You know what? I could watch the Jive all day. Or maybe for like two dances. It's awfully fun, but it also comes off as incredibly fake with its over emoting and costumes straight out of Main Street at Disneyland. That said, you gotta say that Jana got the spirit of the Jive a lot better than Babyface did tonight, despite Babyface jokingly saying that the Jive was a dance for black people. Jana and Gleb so far had gone super sexy, but tonight they were America's sweethearts and their energy had an entirely different feel. And while Babyface is awfully smooth on his feet, he's a little too smooth for the Jive, which demands jazz hands and jazz feet. Jana by a nose.
What the judges say: Nothing but numbers! This show doesn't have time for jibber jabber! Thanks a lot, Trump. Make America Great Again? How about you start by not cutting into our DWTS time, you monster!
Scores: 25/40 for Babyface and Allison, 26/40 for Jana and Gleb. Jana and Gleb are safe!
The dances: Two interesting approaches here. Rick and Emma came out in Latin dress like they raided the Three Amigos prop room, and if you've never seen Rick dressed like that, do your best to find a stream of this episode and check it out. Also, Rick is now my favorite dancer on the show because there is absolutely no soul in his dance. It's all measured "my hand belongs here, now it goes here." And the whole time, Rick had this expression on his face like he was a teenager being forced to dance against his will or he was angry dancing. It was fantastic. And by fantastic, I mean not really that good at all. But again, watching people who can't dance is just as fun as watching people who can dance. Go Rick! On the other side of things, Vanilla Ice was complaining about their song not having a beat, and he was right! Instead, he and Witney looked like they were magicians off the Vegas strip... maybe more like magicians you get free tickets to when you sit through a time-share pitch. But it was good to see Vanilla Ice out of his element and trying something new. Points for that!
What the judges say: Again, nothing! Who do you think is a better dancer, Trump or Hillary? I'm going with Hillary because she's really good at moving... away from questions about her emails! Hey yo! Thank you, thank you.
Scores: 23/40 for Rick and Emma, 23/40 for 'Nilla and Witney. A TIE!!! It's up to Len as the head judge to break the tie, and he gives it to the Ice Man. No, not the man who needs ice on his knees, hips, elbows, neck and groin, I mean Vanilla Ice.
The dances: The big question here was which James would we see this week? The James from Week 1 who dazzled us or the James from Week 2 who regressed out of being a major competitor? Fortunately for Sharna, it was more of Week 1 James. Especially when you compare him to what Ryan did, which was essentially stand there and be a pole for Cheryl to dance around. Honestly, he maybe moved about 10 feet total the entire dance while Cheryl wrapped various body parts around him and twirled. The Cha Cha was dominated by both pros, though, with Cheryl and Sharna killing it. Sharna was especially good here.
What the judges say: Look, we've already established that the judges didn't get to really comment here and I will use this space for political jokes in conjunction with debate night. But Len did say it was Ryan's best dance. Also, two dancers did a tango with Hillary and Trump masks on and I will have nightmares for weeks. Thanks, DWTS.
Scores: 29/40 for James and Sharna, 25/40 for Ryan and Cheryl. But it wasn't even that close. Ryan, you're up for elimination!
The dances: This is the matchup we're all waiting for! The 9'16" charming pro football player against the effervescent little person! But seriously, this was probably the tightest pairing of the night. And wow, there was something special going on in Terra and Sasha's dance. Sometimes a dance goes to a special place in its competitors, and that happened for Terra here. Not to be outdone, Calvin and Lindsay put together their best dance of the competition, and every week Calvin seems to get better and better and learns from his mistakes. If I'm giving points, I give the edge to Terra. But just barely.
What the judges say: Again, nothing. No time for chatter! But see? This is what is supposed to happen when you have two choices. Both great options, but you pick the one that's better for you and the country.
Scores: 30/40 for Terra and Sasha, 32/40 for Calvin and Lindsay, [spoiler] the top score of the night. Great stuff from both.
Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev - Salsa, "Tres Deseos" ("Three Wishes") by Gloria Estefan vs. Amber Rose and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - Viennese Waltz, Game of Thrones theme "Booty" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Iggy Azalea
The dances: Well hey, weren't Calvin and Terra great? Amber looked unrecognizable in her wig, so I will dock a point. But something didn't work with the dance aside from that, despite the song's chorus being a gift from on-the-nose-songs heaven for the rump-y Amber. We didn't get to see a whole lot of personality because Amber was facing the other direction most of the time, so I don't know about you, but I felt disconnected. My god, am I actually critiquing dancing seriously right now? Yikes. Maureen turned in her best performance with a more traditional salsa, down to the wardrobe and music. Really, Maureen would have had to slip off the stage and fallen into a tuba to lose this one.
What the judges say: Nothing! But Tom did say Amber's outfit was Real Housewives of Hazzard, since she wore Daisy Dukes. That Tom, always cracking wise!
Scores: 25/40 for Amber and Maks, 28/40 for Maureen and Artem. Could Amber be going home next?
Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy - Tango, "Into the Sunset" (Headhunterz Radio Edit) by Crystal Lake featuring Kifi vs. Marilu Henner and Derek Hough - Tango, "Battle Cry" by Imagine Dragons
The dances: Wait, what are the rules with using lasers? Because you should ALWAYS USE LASERS. Laurie is the clear favorite here, but I'm not sure the tango is her best dance because as the saying goes, it takes... AWAY FROM THE LAURIE OF IT ALL! But because this is an overall dancing competition, it's necessary for her. And she was fine! I just like to see her have a bit more of the stage to herself. Marilu and Derek went a lot more subdued, as expected, and it fit the maturity that Derek wanted to contrast. But this was leading a lamb to slaughter, let's face it. Also, after the dance, Laurie said she added emotion to her dance by pretending she was smelling a really good quesadilla. I want to put her in my pocket.
What the judges say: Carrie Ann noticed a lift in Laurie's routine and docked a point! Also, is the country still standing after this debate? Did Donald Trump actually eat Hillary Clinton on stage?
Scores: 31/40 for Laurie and Val, 28/40 for Marilu and Derek. That's a good score for Marilu, so she shouldn't be sad. You'll be back for another week, Marilu!
Dancing with the Stars returns Tuesday for an elimination episode at 8/7c.