It’s 90s night and with only eight crews left, someone has to help fill those two hours of programming. Welcome En Vogue and Salt N’ Pepa to the ballroom! It was a treat to see Len Goodman dance to your performance of “Whatta Man” at the top of the show.
After a super quick tribute to the late Aaron Carter – the DWTS contestant from season 9 died on November 5 – the night of the hot shirtless men – and a double elimination – began!
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki. I can’t be the only one wondering why the jerseyshore star is still in this competition. At least he’s not wasting the opportunity; he tries to inject his personality into his in-between numbers, including with tonight’s tolerable tango to “What is Love.” “You tried to do everything absolutely right,” said Bruno Tonioli. “You were there with your frame. The thing, my dear, is that the tango must always be on a level. You should never jump. You slip through it. Score: 29 out of 40
Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. The duo took on the role of Barbie and Ken for their salsa on “Barbie Girl” which included plenty of ab-tastic lifts and spins. (What can I say? Donovan’s well-defined chest and pair of custom briefs deserve their own set of 10). “It was a great way to start 90s night,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. “The part of Barbie that you nailed, it made me laugh. Once we got into the dance, you were a little jerky at times. Smooth it out. Just a little too tight at times. Score: 34 out of 40
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko. Shangela regaled her partner with memories of the 90s at the University of Dallas, when she attended her first gay club and “started to like who I was”. So they put the club scene center stage, with Shangela donning a bunch of neon tassels for her exuberant samba. “You crushed the crowd. The crowd appeal is off the charts,” Derek Hough said. “The footwork is still a little sloppy in places. But listen, I’m not taking anything away from this incredible, incredible samba. Score: 37 out of 40
Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev. The reality TV star is definitely Finished with the judges telling her she needs more emotion. She loves dancing alongside her far more talented daughter, but realizes her number is up and can’t help but burst into tears during rehearsal. Chigvintsev urged her to channel that sentiment into their contemporary dance to Alanis Morissette’s “Ironic.” And she did, but it didn’t work for Goodman (who seemed much more impressed with Chigvintsev’s chiseled torso. For more, see above). “Heidi, that doesn’t match your personality,” he said. “You are much more outgoing. I thought it was more introverted. Score: 35 out of 40
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart. The CODA The actor has shared a touching story of how he was adopted at 18 months after his deaf and drug addict mother abandoned him with friends. He eventually met her after high school but they never developed a deep relationship as she died of cancer. Yeah I know, what’s that got to do with jazz dancing to a 90s tune? Nothing, really; but I got chills when the music stopped midway through the performance and the duo quietly danced around a hushed ballroom. As Hough said, it was “incredibly powerful”. “I want you to know that you are saving so many people, sharing your experience and teaching us what it is to be deaf,” Inaba added. Score: 39 out of 40
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. The game show host recalled how he kicked off Who owns the line anyway? in 1999 for ABC — ironic, since we just learned this weekend that the show will end next season. Still working with an “injured knee and a sore back,” Brady’s salsa was flawless and definitely playing to his strengths. “When you get into the rhythm, you’re unstoppable,” Tonioli said. “The rhythm, the fluidity, the change of pace, the relationship with your partner…makes you the ultimate consummate performer.” Score: Perfect 40
Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovsky. The bachelorette is hard to root for; her temperature always seems low in repeat packages and she never seems this excited about how far she has come in competition. But boy, Windey comes to life when she takes center stage in her feather boa skirt. She possesses this samba to “Livin’ La Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin. “You are a saleswoman,” Hough said. “Every time you sell it, it’s great!” Score: Perfect 40
Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas. The favorite interpreted a tango. Want to guess how she did it? “I want you to know that if you were a painting, you are a Picasso,” Inaba said. “It was beyond anything I’ve ever seen on this dance floor…a masterpiece.” “Honey, it was like watching two predators at the top of their game,” Tonioli added. “You never really knew who was going to come out on top. The quality of movement.. that’s it. That’s it!” Score: Perfect 40
Second turn! The relay dances.
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko against Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart. The challenge was to perform a cha-cha to “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. (Yes, he was in the house and performing live). Shangela played first, but seemed a little behind. Durant, however, was genuinely adorable and kept up with the times (even his squishy face is a treat to watch). But Goodman gave Shangela the 5 bonus points. Boo!
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki versus Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. The couples were to perform a samba during En Vogue’s live performance “My Lovin, You’re Never Gonna Get it”. Guadagnino looked stiff although he loosened up with his white man header rebound; Donovan (shirtless once again) wasn’t much better but he remembered to bounce back! Inaba struggled with his decision, but ultimately awarded the 5 bonus points to Donovan.
Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev versus. Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. Tonioli assigned them a samba to another Salt n’ Pepa live performance. D’Amelio picked up the pace but missed a few moves at the end. Brady, who didn’t so humbly call himself a “world-class performer” during rehearsal, had this one in the bag. 5 bonus points for Brady.
Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas versus. Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovsky. Hough tasked the couples with a salsa to “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” performed live by Kid N’ Play. D’Amelio was perfection – it’s good to be young and nimble – but Windey was equally wonderful with an added credit boost and rotation. Both deserved the extra points, but Hough awarded them to D’Amelio.
The bottom three were Guadagnino/Iwasaki, D’Amelio/Chigvintsev and Donovan/Slater. D’Amelio was dropped first; she was at the bottom of the standings and the judges were not allowed to save her. All the judges saved Donovan so Guadagnino was next to go, ultimately. (Justice for Jordin Sparks!)
Next week are the semi-finals.