Dancing With the Stars Week 4 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

DWTS Season 28

Thus far, Season 28 of Dancing With the Stars has been totally unpredictable. Contestants have dropped out! Daughters have become last-minute understudies! Sean Spicer has stuck around way longer than I anticipated!

On Monday’s broadcast, though, the ABC competition seemed to settle into a normal routine. Everyone on the roster performed one dance, Len Goodman got expectedly grumpy at regular intervals, and at the end of the two-hour show, one couple was eliminated.

Well, I suppose there was a plot twist this week: Onetime contestant Leah Remini returned to the show, this time to serve as a judge… and yell at Len for his unfairly low scores. It was honestly a blast. Let’s revisit some other highlights (and lowlights) from Week 4:

Karamo Brown and pro Jenna Johnson (Tango) — Some of the other couples may have received higher scores on Monday’s show, but I was impressed by Karamo’s ability to channel weeks of criticism into a truly fun and intense tango. His legwork was sharp and controlled, his partnering was solid, and with all due respect to Carrie Ann Inaba, that starting-position lift was fabulous. (I’ll even forgive them for using “Old Town Road” as their soundtrack. Begrudgingly, but I will!) Judges’ Score: 28/40

Lamar Odom and pro Peta Murgatroyd (Viennese Waltz)
— Never underestimate the power of the Viennese waltz! Even the most robotic contestants tend to have breakout moments with this style, since it lends itself to such grace, fluidity and vulnerability. Lamar demonstrated all three of those things in Monday’s performance; the guy is 6’10” with some of the longest limbs I’ve ever seen, but he still extended those movements all the way through his fingertips! It’s clearly a herculean task for Lamar to memorize and execute a routine each week, so he deserves a lot of props for pushing through with this lovely number. Judges’ Score: 20/40

Kate Flannery and pro Pasha Pashkov (Argentine Tango)
— Kate was at the top of the leaderboard last week, and I was really excited to watch her ride that wave all the way through this Argentine tango. But the passion and intensity that this style requires just weren’t there, nor were the ultra-crisp leg kicks or pronounced extensions. I love Kate’s personality, and she’s consistently one of the most fun dancers to watch. Still, not every number needs that dash of goofiness, and I hope she can commit to the tone of more serious styles down the road. (Also, this isn’t Kate and Pasha’s fault, but I couldn’t help comparing their dance to Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko’s ssssteamy Argentine tango from Season 23, which was also set to Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself” and featured a water sequence worthy of endless rewatches.) Judges’ Score: 26/40

James Van Der Beek and pro Emma Slater (Quickstep)
— James is in the fortunate and unfortunate position of being an early frontrunner, which means he has to outdo himself every single week. This time around, though, his quickstep fell flat — and not just because he fell out of sync with Emma during that bench sequence at the beginning. The entire routine should have exuded genuine joy, but its execution felt forced and one-note. Judges’ Score: 28/40

And now, the results:

Lamar Odom and pro Peta Murgatroyd
Karamo Brown and pro Jenna Johnson

Karamo Brown and pro Jenna Johnson

Lamar Odom and pro Peta Murgatroyd

OK, your turn! Were Lamar and Peta the right choice for elimination? Drop your thoughts in a comment below!

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