It’s all too appropriate that Monday’s episode of Dancing With the Stars was dubbed “A Night At the Movies,” because the two-hour broadcast contained some seriously cinematic plot twists.
A couple that earned its first pair of 10s just last Monday was knocked back down into seven-and-eight territory. Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli were both compelled to take their “six” paddles (!) out of storage for one particularly bad routine. And, after reigning for the past two weeks as the duo to beat, Jordan and Lindsay were bested in the scoring department by another couple.
And, of course, the credits rolled on one pair’s Dancing career before the night was over. Before we get to the results, let’s recap some highlights and lowlights from the evening:
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BEST OF THE NIGHT
Lindsey Stirling and pro Mark Ballas (Argentine Tango/Sci-Fi) — There are few combinations more perfect than Mark Ballas and a science fiction-themed routine — especially one in which he plays a mad scientist. Gorgeously fusing the Argentine tango with a few hip-hop-esque combinations, Mark made sure every single beat of this song was accounted for: the percussive tch-tch-tch syllables where Lindsey would move her robotic limbs, or the bone-cracking noise where Mark flexed his fingers. And Lindsey brought Mark’s creative vision to life so wonderfully, melding the coldness of her character with the passion that the Argentine tango needs. To see why this pair earned a perfect score, you need only watch the last few seconds of the routine, in which Lindsey flew into Mark’s arms and landed there mid-backbend. From start to finish, this performance was simply stunning. Judges’ Score: 40/40
Frankie Muniz and pro Witney Carson (Jazz/Animated Movie) — Well, it’s no wonder Frankie stumbled through much of this jazz choreography; he was probably feeling self-conscious about the egregious green vest and blue wig he was forced to wear. (I know he was playing a troll, but there are less humiliating ways to communicate that.) But in all honesty, even the atrocity atop Frankie’s head couldn’t distract from his many mishaps on the dance floor, from the unsynchronized side-by-side section to his choppy knee spin at the very end of the number. Frankie’s inconsistency could get him booted from the ballroom sooner than he deserves, which is so disappointing given the potential he’s already showcased. Judges’ Score: 31/40
Terrell Owens and pro Cheryl Burke (Jive/Spy Movie) — Terrell and Cheryl’s song choice alone — Portugal. The Man’s bouncy earworm “Feel It Still” — was enough to put their routine in the upper echelon of Monday’s performances. But their dancing, combined with a fun concept and fantastic sets, resulted in a jive that really could transport the viewers, as if those 90 seconds were actually a full-fledged spy flick. It was cheeky, it was light and it featured a season-best Terrell who proved he might just be a legitimate contender for the Mirrorball. Judges’ Score: 37/40
WORST OF THE NIGHT
Drew Scott and pro Emma Slater (Paso Doble/Action Movie) — Numerically speaking, Drew and Emma weren’t the weakest of the night; that honor went to Nick and Peta, who only scored a 26 out of 40. And yet, despite their scoring superiority (helped in large part by a random nine from guest judge Shania Twain), Drew and Emma’s awkward paso doble was the more cringe-inducing routine to watch. Drew was so painfully out-of-sync during that breakdown with the troupe — not just by a hair, but by an entire chunk of choreography. Add in Drew’s surplus of aggression, and his paso doble with Emma was the least impressive dance of the night. Judges’ Score: 30/40
And now, the results:
COUPLES IN JEOPARDY
Nick Lachey and pro Peta Murgatroyd
Terrell Owens and pro Cheryl Burke
Victoria Arlen and pro Val Chmerkovskiy
Nick Lachey and pro Peta Murgatroyd
OK, your turn! Was this the right time for Nick and Peta to go home? Drop all of your thoughts on Monday’s episode in a comment below.