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We open this week with a wonderful performance by Lacey & Benji Schwimmer that had both Charleston undertones and the light sticks that Derek and Kellie Pickler used last season. The real disappointing moment was having to watch Lacey on the sidelines make comments about the show, let’s have her back on producers.
The big twist this week was the surprise Switch-Up Challenge which forced all the competitors, celebrities and pros alike to think on their feet. All the dancers had one round of more unlearned dances before they had to take on this new take on the Marathon.
Round One - Unlearned Dances
Bill & Emma - Tango - The couple was nervous about the Christina/Mark elimination. Emma was mostly worried about the song choice the couple were given that it wasn’t even close to a traditional tango. The story was supposed to be about a couple on vacation and Bill doesn’t eat salads. I guess that’s some redneck comedy that went right over my head. I thought for what music they were given, Bill kept up with timing. The steps were smart and there was good floor coverage, though Bill wasn’t extremely sharp, especially after watching Brant’s performance after his. The judges thought there was good content, but the timing was questionable. Score: 23 (8,8,7)
Elizabeth & Val - Cha-Cha - Val knew there were minor mistakes in the jive that Elizabeth could fix. Elizabeth opened up to how harsh the criticism was for Showgirls. The solo dancing on the bar was Elizabeth’s sign of acceptance from all the years of critiques and I think she nailed the routine from there. I loved how sharp Elizabeth’s movements were and how much fun she was having with the dance. Height could be an issue with dancing and Elizabeth looked beautiful. The judges loved how clean, sharp, and sensual the routine was. Score: 30 (10,10,10)
Leah & Tony - Quickstep - Leah was in tears after last week’s contemporary piece, but Tony was her rock and reassured her. The Quickstep frustrated Leah, but with Jennifer Lopez’s visit and support reminded her that she should be having fun. I hated the black robe trench that Leah had on and I was surprised that it wasn’t ripped off. I thought that Tony put really smart choreography , though there were moments where it wasn’t enough kick. Leah lacked as much oomph as Tony had when they were at their side-by-sides. Len pointed out that the quickstep needed to be in hold throughout the routine, but the judges were positive about her movement. Score: 27 (9,9,9)
Brant & Peta - Tango - Brant was nervous that if Christina had a bigger fanbase than him, how did he survive? Janel Parrish arrived to help on the PR department by “tweeting.” Peta tried to make sure that the choreography was content filled. I was happy to see how Brant’s frame looked and how sharp his kicks were. His face also matched the emotion of what a tango should be. Brant wobbled at the final pose, but he held on and didn’t drop Peta. The judges loved that the routine was sharp and not gimmicky even though there were a few stumbles. Score: 28 (9,10,9)
Amber & Derek - Samba - After having the 7, Derek reminded her about how he warned her about that. Amber was scared of the Samba especially because Derek wanted to put the samba roll in the routine. She stressed out but trusted that Derek was a good choreographer and kept going with the routine. The routine was fast and had fire and the samba roll wasn’t half bad. I liked the break in the middle which showed some more Brazilian undertones and appealed to her more hip friendly movements. The judges loved the high performance value and the choreography choices, though Len had his reservations. Score: 28 (10,8,10)
Jack & Cheryl - Paso Doble - Cheryl wanted to prove that Jack was good at Latin dances so he needed to show he had power. He picked up the choreography, but he lacked the attitude for Cheryl. Jack tried to get Val’s help to a mixed degree. The cape work wasn’t terrible and once they got into hold, I thought Jack tried his hardest. Unfortunately he just looked like he stumbled through several steps. I felt bad because Cheryl put everything in the dance, Jack tried really hard, and the fire in the background was intense but he just lacked something for me. The judges thought he was a bit one-dimensional and his timing was questionable. Score: 25 (8,9,8)
Snooki & Sasha - Foxtrot - Sasha wanted a Fred & Ginger feel, but Snooki was feeling more Anna Nicole Smith. Sasha had to change choreography on the fly, which threw off Snooki and she questioned his confidence in her. I thought Snooki stumbled on the first few bars but recovered really well. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the lightpost choreography, but Nicole maintained a strong grace to the routine. The judges were generally positive about Snooki’s trajectory. Score: 27 (9,9,9)
Corbin & Karina - Viennese Waltz - Corbin was excited to dance to the Game of Thrones song, because he was a huge fan of the show. Karina was worried about the character-driven a-typical Viennese Waltz. I don’t think that the routine was gimmicky because of the Game of Thrones music, I actually thought it was a good showcase of Corbin’s acting skills, something which Jack lacked. I’m not sure if Karina did a “supported jump” or two lifts. The judges critiqued Corbin on his lines lacking flow, but the passion sold the story. Len thought like Amber last week, the routine lacked hold. Score: 23 (8,7,8)
Round Two - Switch-Up Challenge
The couples were given the challenge that four couples would be dancing head to head as the music changed. This confused the choreographers, but Leah walked out in upset. The groups danced the first time as the music transitioned and everyone looked like deer. The scoring would be up to four points per round.
Tom pointed out that the groups would be randomly selected by paddle. A little chaos happened as they grabbed the paddles.
Round One - Jack, Corbin, Bill, Snooki
Round Two - Elizabeth, Leah, Amber, Brant
Round One - Jack looked like the odd person out as Bill opened his shirt and Corbin looked like he walked into a club. Did Jack say he partied with Paris Hilton last week? Snooki & Sasha had the best choreography, but couldn’t transition well. As the routine slowed down, the routine got unnecessarily sexual and Corbin spent pretty much all his routine rubbing against Karina. The final two were down to Snooki & Sasha and Corbin & Karina., but it seemed pretty obvious that Corbin was going to win. If anything Snooki lacked a strong transition. Corbin said it was being like at a club.
Bill & Emma - 1 Point
Jack & Cheryl - 2 Points
Nicole & Sasha - 3 Points
Corbin & Karina - 4 Points
Round Two - The routine started with LMFAO as the dancers got very cha-cha. Leah & Tony looked like the wink link in this routine but as the choreography got too a waltz tempo, Lea tried to spin the couples around. Even more credit for Derek’s lifting of Amber with such ease. The routine switched to a sambas/salsa. The final two were Brant & Peta and Amber & Derek, where the two transitioned to a Jive. Brant & Peta were eliminated in third, leaving Amber & Derek the winners.
Leah & Tony - 1 Point
Elizabeth & Val - 2 Points
Brant & Peta - 3 Points
Amber & Derek - 4 Points
After all the scoring results, the bottom two couples were Bill & Emma and Jack & Cheryl. The twist was that everyone was safe because of technical difficulties last week. This is what happens when you only have one show a week. There were no notes of whether or not there would be a double elimination next week.
Week Six Scores
Amber & Derek - 32 (28+4)
Elizabeth & Val - 32 (30+2)
Brant & Peta - 31 (28+3)
Nicole & Sasha - 30 (27+3)
Leah & Tony - 28 (27+1)
Jack & Cheryl - 27 (23+4)
Corbin & Karina - 27 (23+4)
Bill & Emma - 24 (23+1)