The nine remaining couples were challenged with capturing the spirit of a specific movie genre through dance. We see action, spy, sci-fi, animation and more. And to mix things up a bit this week: Guest judge Shania Twain!
Here’s a recap of the week’s scores, from highest to lowest:
Lindsey Stirling: 40 out of 40
Mad scientist Mark Ballas gets to concoct what Judge Bruno Tonioli called the dance of the season. Their sci-fi Argentine tango takes place in a lab, where he’s creating the perfect dance partner. Crazy costumes, crazy set, crazy choreography… perfect routine. Head judge Len Goodman called the dance brilliant and told Lindsey and Mark flat out he was giving them a 10; Carrie Ann Inaba thought Lindsey upped her game more than anyone else and she slayed the dance.
Jordan Fisher: 39 out of 40
Jordan was the star with the perfect score last week. He’s putting a lot of pressure on himself to maintain that level of perfection. He and Lindsay have the rumba and the dance is freaking him out a little bit. It’s also hurting him physically; moving those hips is firing up the pain of some past injuries. Carrie Ann, Bruno and Shania all thought their performance was perfectly gorgeous, elegant, and magnetic. Len took off one point because he’s annoyed with some of Jordan’s hand gestures.
Terrell Owens: 37 out of 40
Clearly Terrell’s training in the football world has conditioned him to work, work, work. And Cheryl is the perfect coach because she will make him work, work, work. Their dance is the super-fast jive and their theme is a spy movie. Terrell has some silly fun being a “spy” and sneaking in on the others’ rehearsals. But the real fun is when it’s performance time. Terrell has gotten better and better every week and left it all out there for this routine. Len called it his best dance so far; Shania likes his determination and attention to detail; and Carrie Ann simply said the dance was hot!
Nikki Bella: 36 out of 40
Artem apparently doesn’t just have the job of teaching Nikki to dance, he also has to double as a counselor. When she starts doubting herself and her abilities, she shuts down. He tells her dance is all about partnership, vulnerability, confidence. She learns an Argentine tango with the movie genre “foreign films” as their assignment. Len said this movie didn’t need subtitles, he understood things perfectly. He, Bruno and Carrie Ann all encouraged Nikki to keep exploring this tenderer, more vulnerable side of herself. And the best news came right after their scores. Nikki and Artem danced first and found out right away they are safe for next week.
Vanessa Lachey: 36 out of 40
Vanessa and Maks get the quickstep, to the theme of movie musicals, and they challenge each other to go fast and full out. They are razor focused during the routine, even when part of Vanessa’s skirt came off at the beginning of the dance. Bruno liked the pizzazz and glamour; Shania thought it had sass, class, and humor. Len nitpicked a bit on her posture, but they still got “9’s” across the board.
Victoria Arlen: 31 out of 40
We get a sports-themed movie from Victoria and Val and they choose a hockey setting. Their dance is the paso doble and it works. They are competitive all week (to get in the aggressive mood of the paso) and she challenges him to a dual in her sport, swimming. That might just have been a ruse to get Val in a speedo. She smoked him. The judges liked the hockey concept and said they didn’t lose the content along the way.
Frankie Muniz: 31 out of 40
Frankie had a few missteps during his jazz dance/animation movie routine. He admitted that being in jeopardy last week played with his head a bit. All the judges thought their dance was entertaining, but he just got lost a couple of times. Carrie Ann told him to keep his positive attitude and he’d be back in stride.
Drew Scott: 30 out of 40
Drew gets to fulfill a lifelong dream to be an action hero. But he has to do it while doing a paso doble. Drew’s done karate for most of his life and gets to use a few of those skills in this action-movie genre challenge. He also hopes being Canadian will help with Shania on the panel. Len, Bruno and Carrie Ann liked the energy and entertainment level, but thought the dance was a little too forceful. Shania did stand up for her countryman, and thought they captured the drama of the dance (she gave them a 9!)
Nick Lachey: 26 out of 40
Nick is clearly frustrated by his scores. He’s giving it his all but his confidence has been deflated. Nick’s reminded of his kids and wants to set the example that it’s not OK to quit something you’ve started. Unfortunately, he’s been assigned the samba, which is one of the toughest dances for the non-pros to learn. And their movie genre is Western. Western samba? All the judges gave high marks for entertainment value, but felt Nick still has a way to go.
Tom sprinkled the “safe” versus “jeopardy” announcement throughout the two-hour show but in the end it was Terrell/Cheryl and Nick/Peta who were in “final jeopardy.” In the end, it was Nick Lachey’s time to leave the ballroom.
Next week: the eight stars will all dance twice; once with their partner, and again in the team dance.