Six stars remain with two dances to conquer this week -- who's going to make it through and who will fall flat? The couples try to juggle schedules along with the Latin and Ballroom rounds and frankly, it feels like a lot of dancing to try to pack into one night. Prepare for dancing recap overload ... but first, this week's poll:
1) Laila and Maksim start the night with the ballroom round, dancing the quickstep to "Part Time Lover". Their routine is light and energetic and I like Laila's new 'do. She seems to be upping her game a bit, adding some focus in her expressions and arm movements. The judges agree and kick off the competition with the first tens of the evening, leaving Laila and Maksim with a 29 out of 30 for the Ballroom round. Later in the Latin round, the two attack the samba. While I don't really care for Laila's seaweed-inspired costume, their routine is full of spark and had great rhythm. Bruno describes the routine as "the pleasure principle set to the samba beat". And pleasure it is for the judges, who award a perfect score across the board, for a 30 out of 30.
2) If John Ratzenberger didn't feel old coming into this competition, I'm sure he feels it now with all of the constant quips and references. We get it already, but this isn't a Geritol commercial. For the ballroom round, John and Edyta perform the foxtrot to "That's Life", which is a cute song that seems to fit their routine and personalities. It's not the best foxtrot, but it has charm. The judges give it a total of 23 out of 30. Their Latin round finds them performing the rumba to "Under Pressure" -- and yes in the opening bars I am hoping for "Ice Ice Baby". I find the dance a bit awkward, but Len calls it their best dance yet and all the judges note that John's footwork has slightly improved. Still the dance nets one point less than the ballroom showing for a 22 out of 30.
3) Apolo and Julianne hit the floor in the ballroom round with a graceful and fun foxtrot. You can't help but love their energy, but I can't seem to get as excited about these two as everyone else. I'm willing to be persuaded, though, and I feel like Len's hyper-critical comments during the judging are a bit out of place. But isn't that what makes the show sort of a guilty pleasure? The pair ends up with a 26 out of 30 for their first dance. The couple seems to feel a bit more at ease with the rumba in the Latin round. Still, Len isn't totally impressed saying it is a "good performance but not great." Bruno thinks Len has lost his mind and throws out a 10. They receive a total of 28 for their second dance.
4) A lot of hoopla surrounded Ian last week due to his "stiffness" and Carrie Ann told him to take some lessons from Billy Ray on loosening up and having fun. So that's just what he did, having Billy Ray pay a visit during rehearsals to teach him some of the Cyrus moves. Ian and Cheryl turn on to the tango for the ballroom round, performing their routine to "Holding out for a Hero". Their moves are a bit better this week and Ian does seem to be focusing on the entertainment factor. But is he focusing too much still? Len says the dance has fire, passion, drama -- and some bloopers in the footwork, while Bruno describes it as "The Revenge of Ian". Easy there, Bruno. The pair receives a total of 27 out of 30 for their first effort of the evening. In the Latin round, Ian and Cheryl bring out the mambo, which Len seems to like much better. Their second dance scored the same for another 27 out of 30.
5) Do you ever wish you could just put on some Neil Diamond and waltz around your living room? Maybe not, but this week Billy Ray and Karina waltzed a very odd waltz to "Play Me". It's always fun to watch what Billy Ray is going to come up with next, but unfortunately this time he didn't come up with much. Len points out that there weren't any real moves in the waltz -- and the only move included seemed more like a samba step. Oh that Len and his zingers! The couple only scores a 17 out of 30 for their first dance. Yikes. The samba for the Latin round finds Billy Ray starting the routine in a boxing robe. Which I don't quite understand, but the dancing was much better. Carrie Ann gives them props for their determination and Len feels like Billy Ray really "sold it" this time. They earned a 21 out of 30, but I'm not sure this gets them out of the woods for this week's results.
6) Finally, Joey and Kym are batting cleanup tonight, rounding out the evening with their routines. They're definitely crowd favorites and their smooth foxtrot pulls out all the stops. Complete with Joey in a top hat and performing to a jazzy version of "The Way You Make Me Feel", the dance is super entertaining and the crowd goes wild for all of the special jumps that Joey and Kym do in tandem without missing the beat. Ever the wet blanket, Len feels it was "a little too much razzle dazzle" and Bruno says Len is just being difficult for the sake of being difficult. Still, that doesn't stop the 10s from he and Carrie Ann, leaving Joey and Kym with 29 out of 30 for their ballroom effort. For their Latin dance, they put it into overdrive and kick out a jive that all the judges could agree on. Bruno calls it a "smashing showcase of talent" and Len can't resist the pun and says they were ... wait for it ... "totally in sync". Groan. Bad jokes aside, the couple hits perfect 10s across the board leaving them with 30 out of 30 to end the show.
What did you think of this week's performances? Who were your favorites and who's fizzling out? Are the judges' remarks on target, or are they missing the big picture? Give us your reactions and check back in on Wednesday morning to dish about the results.