This week on "Dancing With the Stars," contestants gave performances that represented an important year of their lives. Here's a look at some of the five most memorable aspects of last night's show.
Derek Hough Divides The Panel
It seems like every season, at least one of Derek's performances polarizes the panel. Last season, it was his trio paso doble with Kellie Pickler and Tristan MacManus. And during the All-Stars season, it was his quickstep with Shawn Johnson.
Last night, Derek and Amber Riley performed a fox trot that Bruno Tonioli described as "sensational," and something "that could have been lifted from the best of Broadway shows." Yet resident curmudgeon Len Goodman criticized the performance for not spending enough time in hold.
Amber and Derek earned a 9 from Carrie Ann Inaba, a 7 from Len, and a 10 from Bruno. There's been some ongoing debate over whether or not Derek has an unfair advantage in the competition because he always seems to have the most naturally talented partners.
Yet I have to wonder if the judges hold Derek and his partners to a higher standard than the rest of the competition. If underdogs Bill Engvall and Emma Slater had given that same performance, would they have been so heavily penalized?
Tony Dovolani Has a Disadvantage With Contemporary
Apparently, Tony had never done contemporary on the show. Is he forgetting about the contemporary freestyle that he performed with Melissa Rycroft during the All-Stars season? Still, he was right about the fact that he and Leah Remini were at a disadvantage when it came to contemporary.
Unlike Melissa, Leah is not a natural dancer. Tony came up with a great concept of the puppeteer and the marionette, but the execution of the performance lacked fluidity and grace.
Christina Milian Goes Out With a Bang
Despite earning the lowest scores this week, Leah and Tony barely survived elimination. I think Leah's Scientology back story combined with Tony's likability saved them this week.
Instead, the hammer fell on top-scoring couple Christina and Mark Ballas. Despite the "shock" factor, I was actually not surprised to see them go. At the beginning of the show, Tom Bergeron announced that based on audience votes alone, a female would be eliminated. And Christina seems to have had the weakest fan base going into the season.
Still, she and Mark were able to go out with a bang. She gave a strong compelling performance about overcoming divorce and her ex-husband's infidelity. She and Mark also earned the first 10 of the season.
Snooki Does a 180 (Not 360)
Snooki may be one of the biggest surprises of the season. The often drunk, loud, and crass reality star is showing a much softer and more human side these days. This season, she talked about being bullied in high school, and overcoming and eating disorder.
And this week, she talked about how becoming a mom has made her a better person. She's calmer, more loving, and she even likes doing laundry now. She's gone through a self-described "180," though Sasha Farber tried to argue that it was a "360."
Elizabeth Berkley Gets 'So Excited'
We were "so excited" to see Elizabeth and Val Chmerkovskiy recreate her iconic scene from "Saved By the Bell," the scene where her character Jessie Spano freaked out after taking too many caffeine pills.
Elizabeth has not aged a bit since the '90s. In fact, she may even look more gorgeous now than she did then. She has also proven herself to be quite the contender on the dance floor. Although my Gleek heart is rooting for Amber and Derek, I would love to see Elizabeth and Val do well in this competition.
Did Len unfairly penalize Amber and Derek this week? Is Derek being held to a higher standard than the rest of the competition? Or are the judges just doing their job?
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Derek Hough
- Amber Riley
- Leah Remini