Dancing With the Stars Week 8 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

How did it already get to be Week 8 of Dancing With the Stars? (The same way your local mall started in with the Christmas decorations.)

Like it or not, though, it’s time to start seriously contemplating the inevitable “Who the Heck Is Going to Win the Mirrorball Trophy?” question. With just seven couples left vying for that highly coveted prize, Monday’s two-hour “America’s Choice”-themed show featured icon tributes, an Immunity Challenge and an interesting/historic first – real-time voting by the fans (on ABC.com) during the episode-concluding, head-to-head dance-offs. Talk about pressure!

That said, let’s high-kick right to the highlights, rank tonight’s Top 10 dances/moments and reveal tonight’s results.

10. Andy Grammer and pro Allison Holker Vs. Alek Skarlatos and pro Lindsay Arnold (Samba Dance Off) | This gets the Hot Mess of the Night award: Wacky flips, mysterious hand-springs and very little samba. Judges’ Score: 3-0 in favor of Andy & Allison; America’s score: Andy & Allison (54%)

9. Andy Grammer and pro Allison Holker (Viennese Waltz) | Finesse that frame, Andy! Thought the judges frowned on his overall technique, everyone was moved by Andy’s inspired heart-on-his-sleeve performance. Judges’ Score: 22/30

8. Alexa PenaVega and pro Mark Ballas (Argentine Tango) | Two little slip-ups stood out, but while judge Carrie Ann Inaba called this David & Goliath-inspired performance “epic,” Alexa’s post-dance growls revealed her frustration. Judges’ Score: 25/30

7. Alek Skarlatos and pro Lindsay Arnold (Contemporary) | A collapsed lift (or was it a missed catch?) aside, this not-so-perfect dance still enthralled the ballroom with its raw power and free-flowing emotion. Judges’ Score: 25/30

6. Bindi Irwin and pro Derek Hough vs. Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson (Jive Dance Off) | The judges were in accord on this one – it was thrilling, unexpected, and all about Carlos & Whitney. But did the fans at home see a whole difference dance? Judges’ Score: Unanimous for Carlos & Whitney; America’s Score: Bindi & Derek (64%)

5. Tamar Braxton and pro Val Chmerkovskiy vs. Alexa PenaVega and pro Mark Ballas (Cha Cha Dance Off) | Sex appeal, hips gone wild, and runaway energy dominated, but once again, the judges did not see eye-to-eye with America. Judges’ Score: Tamar & Val 2, Alexa & Mark 1; America’s Score: Alexa & Mark (76%)

4. Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson (Salsa) | Stripping off his shirt mid-dance, Carlos displayed major pec-power and “armography” (according to judge Bruno Tonioli) for a sizzling start to the night. Judges’ Score: 27/30

3. Bindi Irwin and pro Derek Hough (Foxtrot) | Featuring elegance, energy and non-stop fun – minus that pesky shoulder issue that judge Julianne Hough and Bruno keep complaining about – this beautiful dance brought the ballroom to its feet. Judges’ Score: 28/30

2. Tamar Braxton and pro Val Chmerkovskiy (Paso Doble) | This high-energy powerhouse of a dance showcased Tamar’s best (“the flavor of Spain was tangible!” gushed Bruno) and worst (Carrie Ann said she lifted her foot-gah!). Judges’ Score: 28/30

1. Nick Carter and pro Sharna Burgess (Contemporary) | “A love poem perfectly visualized through dance,” is how Bruno described this stunning, tear-inducing performance, which dazzled all the judges and was in a word — both aesthetically and numerically — perfection. Judges’ Score: 30/30

And now the results…

Andy Grammer and pro Allison Holker
Alexa PenaVega and pro Mark Ballas
Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson

Carlos PenaVega and pro Witney Carson
Andy Grammer and pro Allison Holker

Andy Grammer and pro Allison Holker

“It’s been a really sweet process to help me kind of grieve through it,” said Andy of his DWTS experience, which he dedicated to the memory of his mom. Then he went out with a real bang, hitting the ballroom floor one last time for a very jaunty hand-spring — and a bow! Well done, Andy!

And with that, it’s your turn. Did the right couple really go home? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Beth says:

    I did not like the dance off….do we think it was just first time awkwardness? Or am I the only one that just didn’t “get it”

    • Natertot says:

      Beth I totally agree. As a viewer, you know something isn’t working when just watching it makes you uncomfortable. I felt like that the entire time. I was glad when it was over!

    • RUCookie says:

      Agreed – it was clunky and just upped the “popular” celeb factor. Watching, you could see who were the favorites of the 2 dancing because that bar moved even when the screen only showed 1 couple. Give the show credit for trying something new, but it didn’t work.

      • mielmani says:

        What was “clunky” was the camera work. I know that they do camera blocking on Mondays before the show, so why were the cameras often focused more on one couple than the other?

  2. I just have to say ... says:

    Alek should have been the one to go home, not Andy. Even he was surprised that he wasn’t in the bottom 2.

  3. Gordon says:

    Can someone explain how the voting for the dance off worked? I was a little distracted while viewing. How much did America’s vote count actually? And who won in Tamar vs Alexa since Tamar got 2 judges but Alexa got the majority of the public vote? Thanks?

    • CM says:

      America was the “4th judge” so, because Tamar got 2 judges votes, and Alexa got a judge vote and America’s vote, the tiebreaker (America) went to Alexa.

  4. Angela says:

    I feel kind of bad for Andy leaving the night he did a really sweet tribute to his mom, but he handled his exit with total grace.
    I thought Bindi and Tamar should’ve gotten at least 29 out of 30, if not a complete perfect score, for their individual dances (mind, I know if two or more people had perfect 30s, that would’ve made the immunity thing tougher, but still). I thought they were just as good, the little technicalities (that I didn’t even catch, but then again I’m not a judge, so…) aside, as Nick (and his dance was lovely, and a beautiful tribute to his wife with their joyous news). Also, on a non-dance related note, Bindi’s dress she wore for her foxtrot was gorgeous. I want a dress like that :p!
    I love how with the exception of the last two couples in the dance-off, America didn’t seem to agree with the judges’ conclusions :p. I would’ve agreed with the voters’ picks, too. In the case of Tamar versus Alexa, I would’ve gone with Alexa simply because the camera seemed to focus much more on her side of the dance-off! I didn’t get a proper glimpse at Tamar’s take on that dance outside of a couple quick shots here and there, so it was tough for me to even judge her to begin with!

    • sanchopanza says:

      That was the problem. Tamar and Val stayed farther away from the camera and you couldn’t really tell what they were doing. They were also slower than Alexa and Mark, emphasizing the sensuality over the beat. We out there in TV land had our eyes drawn to Alexa and Mark, so it was pretty natural to favor them in the voting.

  5. Katie says:

    Andy was one of the best dancers so yes the wrong people went home.

  6. Jeff says:

    I think Alek should have went home. He had poor performance & also his reaction to the judges by being disrespectful to them last week by words and gestures. I thank him for Serving our Country and his heroic actions against the terrorist but he should also show RESPECT to his peers

  7. Mary-Jane says:

    Sadly, I think the right couple went home.

  8. Elaine says:

    Looks like Bindi will win. I’m not watching much anymore. They should have kept Hays longer. That’s win I decided the fix was in.

    • mielmani says:

      I don’t think it may be fixed because Hayes went home. He wasn’t one of the best dancers. His immaturity showed a lot during some of the dances. It often appears that a season may be fixed in favor of Derek, as he seems to be the producers Golden Boy. However, some of the dancers, Carlos, Nick, and Tamar, especially, are getting better and scoring higher; and it wouldn’t bother me at all to see a final with those three in contention.

  9. Kenna says:

    I’m so sad that Andy went home. I know that Tamar is “technically” great, but I cannot handle her attitude. she does not seem likable in the slightest. I wish she would have left. I started watching because I love Andy Grammer but now i’m hooked! it seems like the ending of this show has such a solid cast of celebrity dancers!

    • Mary S says:

      Thank you for saying what I have been thinking since the beginning…tamar is indeed a beautiful woman and does move well, but her attitude is the worst I have ever seen… except maybe for that athlete who fought Maks at every rehearsal! I know it is a dance contest, but we have seen better dancers than tamar will EVER be sent home much sooner than this. I am ready for her to be gone! I know that Alek is not at the level of Bindi, but he does move well and gets better every week, and he really does seem to want to do the best he can. Except for his hands and feet, I really enjoy watching him dance…
      And, as an aside, I saw the reports of Paula Deen’s stupid comments about the judges “not wanting me there, anyway” – In my opinion, the judges were too kind to her total lack of grace and dancing ability. I would have sent her home after the first week!

  10. AngelWasHere says:

    Alek should of went home. Not Andy. Alek can do lifts (most of the time), but he technically doesn’t dance that much and he’s stiff when he does. :/

    • Kim R says:

      I agree. Based on his dancing, which is better than I would ever do, he would have been my pick for going this week. That said, this season has been great for not keeping anyone too long who really isn’t doing well while others go home first.

  11. Terry says:

    How do you level the playing field when Bindi is running away with the competition? Show her disgusting, gnarly, vomit-inducing feet on tv. Only time will tell if their ploy will work. One thing it did achieve was to turn me off completely, definitely won’t be tuning in to this season again. Blech!

  12. Sally Meinen says:

    Bindi is super but the judges are scoring her like she is a pro. She is so graceful encourage her , she is the best.

  13. Lyn says:

    this season has done nothing for me so far. I watched very little during the seasons before 18. Was glued to the TV then. Since it has been a downhill slide of ability and over-inflated judges scoring in my opinion. This season stunk from week one.

  14. Marisela says:

    So upset Andy got voted off he should of gotten farther in the competition………….love Andy…….no longer watching.

  15. mar mar says: