Photo Credit: ABC/Adam Taylor
You can always count on Dancing with the Stars for talent worth watching (at least from the pros), crazy costumes and inadvertent humor (usually from the zany judges). But this season has an extra added boost: deeply felt emotion. And Monday night's episode encapsulated all of the above.
Best dance moment:
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff delivered a spot-on jive that confirmed the top-notch talent that this show so often showcases. Yes, Bleu is already an accomplished dancer (known for his work on High School Musical), but that doesn't take away from the sleek and seemingly effortless precision of his moves.
Most surprising moment:
It's not often that the pre-performance clip of rehearsals makes your heart hurt. But the moment when Tristan MacManus wiped away tears during practice with the terminally ill Valerie Harper was stunning in its genuineness.
After a pre-performance clip that featured Amber Riley worrying about her ample cleavage getting in the way of her jive, Derek Hough incorporated a "motorboating" move into the routine. Nothing like focusing all attention on the very body part she was concerned about!
Leah Remini's hot pink feathered dress could have made her look like an oversized flamingo, and yet it it worked. As Entertainment Weekly said, "Her outfit was an entire dance routine in itself." But even more revealing than any of last night's costumes was Remini's candidness about her split from Scientology -- the first time she spoke about it during the show. "The church is looking for me to fail," she said, "so they can say, 'Look what happens when you leave.'"
Best comment from a judge:
It's not easy coming up with puns and expressions that reflect each star's specialty, but Len Goodman seems to see this task as a personal challenge. He offered this week's best line to Bill Nye the Science Guy. "Judging is not an exact science," he said. (Get it?!) "However, there is a formula to dancing. You've got to have technique, and some of those parts were missing. But I like the commitment, the fun, and the fact that you're on this show."
Who got voted off:
Keyshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess. “Don’t let them give you too hard of a time on ESPN,” host Tom Bergeron told Johnson. But considering the fact that most pro athletes make it to the finals on this show, Johnson will probably have to endure some locker room ribbing.
Jennifer Graham Kizer is an Atlanta-based writer who covers pop culture and watches too much TV. Luckily, iVillage gives her an excuse to watch even more. Follow her on Google+.