Warning: Spoilers ahead! We're past the halfway point for Season 17 dance fans! And to celebrate, no one gets eliminated!
Well, not really to celebrate. Apparently, there was what Tom Bergeron described as a "glitch" in the production last week. Eastern and Central time zone viewers saw some of the wrong phone numbers put up on screen.
Producers couldn't be sure that votes went to the right places, so they decided to let EVERYONE stay for another week. However, this week's scores will carry over to next week. Let the confusion begin!
Week six had us seeing our first perfect score! I think we can safely say the cream is rising to the top of the competition. The producers came up with another "twist" this week; not sure if the idea was to keep things interesting for the viewers or the dancers, or to fill time now that we've lost four couples but still have two hours of show time.
The "Switch-Up Challenge" was a bit confusing. It was essentially the "dance marathon" they've done in seasons past, but the music changed every 30 seconds and the couples just had to keep up and keep moving. Each pair received bonus points, from 1 to 4, which was added to their individual score. Well, at least it killed a few minutes!
Here's the rundown of scores, from highest to lowest:
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy -- 30 out of 30 / 2 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 32 total points
Lovely Liz didn't need any help from bonus points in the improvised round after stunning the judges, and the crowd, with her Cha Cha Cha. She's committed and intense in rehearsal; surprisingly, we learned she's still haunted by the negative voices she heard way back in 1995 with the epic flop "Showgirls." It still brings her to tears!
Confident, clean and consistent were some of the word tossed about by the judges. Head judge Len Goodman called Elizabeth and Val Chmerkovskiy a formidable partnership, and he also called her hips "hypnotic."
Amber Riley and Derek Hough -- 28 out of 30 / 4 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 32 total points
Amber is assigned the Samba, which Derek Hough calls the toughest dance they do on the show. It looks like they had a tough week in rehearsal, but she figured out the tricky Samba roll, and every other step, and shook her hips all over the ballroom.
Derek intentionally put in more content (after getting dinged by Len last week for lack of same), but alas it was not enough. Len was still not pleased. He called the choreography "repetitive." Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli sharply disagreed and each gave the couple a 10.
Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd -- 28 out of 30 / 3 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 31 total points
Brant called Christina's elimination last week a huge wake up call. He's worried that he doesn't have the fan base to keep him in the competition; enter "Pretty Little Liars!" His old TV show has a huge social media following, so tapping that card just might help. His "Pretty Little Liars" co-star Janel Parrish drops by his rehearsal to cheer him on. And Brant admits he wants to be a contender!
The judges loved his Tango, with a "10 from Len," who liked that Peta Murgatroyd choreographed a clean, crisp routine without gimmicks. And then Carrie Ann called him a perfect dancing Ken doll.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber -- 27 out of 30 / 3 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 30 total points
Sasha Farber wants Snooki to channel her inner Ginger Rogers for their Foxtrot. Of course, she doesn't know Ginger Rogers from ginger ale. These two are this season's Bickersons in rehearsal but they do pull it out for performance night. Bruno thought it looked like Snooki graduated from charm school; Carrie Ann called her most improved.
Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani -- 27 out of 30 / 1 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 28 total points
Leah was visibly upset after her Contemporary routine (and scores) in week five. She came back to rehearsal committed to going all out with the quickstep. Her pal, Jennifer Lopez, popped in for her second visit of the season ... always nice to get support from friends who know a thing or two about dancing.
Whether it was the dance, or J.LO, Leah had a ton of confidence this week. Carrie Ann called it the biggest turnaround of any season, and Bruno likened her to Ginger Rogers.
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff -- 23 out of 30 / 4 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 27 total points
This was Corbin's first "bad" week with the judges. He and Karina Smirnoff had a very story-heavy Viennese Waltz to the theme from "Game of Thrones." It's his very, very, very favorite show. The judges applauded the epic-ness, the drama, the sexiness ... but there was not enough content (and hold) to please Len.
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke -- 25 out of 30 / 2 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 27 total points
Jack's been aces when he gets a ballroom dance; not so much with the Latin. During rehearsal he seems to get the steps down pretty easily, but he's not an actor, so getting the "character" part is a little tricky. He decides he's trying to channel an angry Robert DeNiro for some reason. He also gets some tips on making the "Paso face" from Val. Very funny. Bruno and Carrie Ann liked, didn't love their Paso Doble routine, but Len called it top notch.
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater -- 23 out of 30 / 1 "Switch-Up Challenge" points / 24 total points
Bill continues to make every dance fun. And boy did Emma Slater have her work cut out for her this week! They have the Tango ... okay, a dance we all know. But their song? Jimmy Buffet's "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Yes an odd fit, but Emma made it work. Bill called it the "redneck Tango." Len called it "sharp and tangy."