‘DWTS’ Week 8: A Three-Way Gives One Dancer a Perfect Score

"DWTS": Tristan MacManus (left), Kellie Pickler (center), and Derek Hough (right) (Photo: ABC)

Dancing with the Stars” seemed like a sterile place on Monday night without our beloved Andy Dick on the ballroom floor. But all good things must come to an end and after Andy’s elimination, it was time to move on to Week 8, in which the final six were set to dance twice. In the first round, the couples would perform a traditional ballroom dance in a style they’ve never done before; their second round dance would feature a trio of our usual pairs plus an eliminated pro or troupe member. Yes, threesomes!

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To ask a corny Len Goodman-style rhyming question, who would be great on Week 8? Here’s what happened:

Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy: Foxtrot
The “Shake it Up” star found the foxtrot relaxing and calm in rehearsal, but Val was trying to stoke her competitive spirit. The crazy Ukrainian melted under the 16-year-old’s bright spirit, however. Who did he think he was, Maks? The Disney princess looked like a dream in her sweet ¾ length dress and dancing to Don’t Worry, Be Happy, she indeed seemed relaxed and happy during this pleasing if not terribly showy dance. It lacked the “wow” factor, but who cared? This couple delivered once again; they were a pleasure to watch. Judge Len said it was strong and he loved the choreography. “You are like a breath of fresh air,” Bruno Tonioli gushed, while Carrie Ann Inaba felt the beginning was too simple but the dance was excellent once they went into hold. Len and Carrie Ann were squabbling again and the grouchy one gave her a 10.
Score: 28

Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: Tango
“I enjoy putting in the hours,” Sean said in practice about his dance training. Peta was trying to teach him how to be aggressive but didn’t his Bachelor training go against that? It started with Peta as a bride running after her runaway groom Sean and then going into aggressive hold with him. Peta was grimacing with a lot of her facial expressions while Sean looked as bland as ever and his footwork looked all over the place. It wasn’t horrible but not memorable either, although he had a wedding theme tailor made for him. At the end of the tango, Sean’s groom left a disappointed Peta her on the floor in a heap. The shade of things to come for his fiancée Catherine? Ha. Bruno told the groom to make up his mind but then said to Sean more seriously that his feet weren’t in the right place at the right time. According to Carrie Ann, this week he was back to being inconsistent. Len said he lost the fluidity in the dance: “It was a little bit ugly.” I bet that’s the first time Sean has ever heard that word!
Score: 21

Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: Viennese Waltz
Would Jacoby jump over Karina's head again this week? That was the biggest thing that stood out so far from the football player's season, except for his stage mom, who visited the couple in rehearsal. Well, he was doing a waltz so this would be a challenge with those pigeon toes. The number started with Ma clapping away and Jacoby swaying to the song A Man's World. The athlete's upper body looked pretty nice in this routine and he steered Karina around the floor. Then he opened his shirt in front of Carrie Ann with a fierce look on his face. What a show off! Carrie Ann loved it and had to gather herself before commenting, "That was absolutely stunning." She noted his beautiful posture, which I had enjoyed as well. Len shouted, "I loved it!" and the football star looked genuinely pleased. Bruno also praised this waltz and I smelled a big score. But I was surprised it was only a 27.
Score: 27

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Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: Foxtrot
The General Hospital star and his fellow Aussie were really stressed out this week and Ingo collapsed in a heap on the rehearsal floor at one point. He told his partner he felt sick but Kym was a slave driver. Ingo said he had a physical limit that was being exceeded and he didn't want to do it anymore. But the actor looked cute in a hat as they hit the stage for their foxtrot and the side-by-side moves looked cool and like he was having fun. He pulled off an interesting move by extending his leg and moving around in a circle. Overall, not too shabby for week 8 and Ingo was smiling at the end. Len said after all that moaning and groaning, he had delivered! Bruno said he did a great job while Carrie Ann thought he had demonstrated his best posture of the season. She also thought Ingo had a casual quality to him, like Gene Kelly. Well, he'd never be that great, but I knew what the judge meant-if Ingo would just let himself go, it could be very free. Ingo explained backstage that he was just very tired this week.
Score: 24

Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: Viennese Waltz
Our immunity couple from last week was plotting in rehearsal on how to take it to the next level-or actually, it was Derek plotting; Kellie is too sweet for that. Derek was getting inside Kellie's head and telling her to think about a person she loved very much to channel emotion into her performance. Kellie cried as she remembered her late grandma who had raised her like a mom. So she looked very sad touching a mirror as she began their waltz on Monday. Kellie and Derek were enveloped in a pink light and the DWTS smoke machine, which was distracting, and that mirror kept sitting there throughout the dance. It was fluid and certainly romantic, but not Kellie's best, in my opinion. And was that dance way short or was it just my imagination? "You were a queen tonight," Bruno praised. "A thing of beauty." Carrie Ann saw her emotion this week and Len said it was sophisticated and lovely. Derek wished backstage that the dance could have been longer; I did too.
Score: 28

Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: Argentine Tango
Aly and Mark were having lunch in Los Angeles and then producers cut to them in the rehearsal studio where he was saying she had to be a seductress this week. Yes, it was that time in the season when the little girl had to grow up, like it or not! As their tango started, Mark slid Aly off a table and up into the air. The usual tango moves followed, and the dance pro lifted her completely up in the air. Her leg movements were completely on point, but this one would never make me forget Ricki Lake and Derek's Psycho themed tango (look it up on You Tube). Carrie Ann praised Aly's transformation this season but said her lifts were a little strange. "It had mood, atmosphere," Len commented. Then Bruno said he had no idea she could be so good at being bad and Aly smiled. Brooke Burke-Charvet called Aly a "harlot" backstage, which was majorly awkward, especially when the ABC cameraman cut to the gymnast's father in the audience. The ultra-high score baffled me; it was quite polished, but a 29?
Score: 29

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Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy: Salsa
Time for the trio dances to start, and Gleb Savchenko (memba him from earlier in the season?) joined Zen and Val to practice salsa. The Russians goofed around but they were all business when the dance started and she was handed off easily between the two guys. It was a lot of hard and fast choreography and Zendaya shook it like she was born to salsa. I was watching the teen the entire time and the guys were just window dressing, which showed she was the star of this dance. At the end, she wound up sitting on a throne like a queen. Len said the three of them worked together great and she became the star. I couldn't have said it better myself! Bruno said all the attention was drawn to her; she sizzled! Carrie Ann used an easy line, calling her the queen of salsa! Yeah, baby! She got a perfect 30 and Val kissed her on the forehead.
Score: 30

Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: Jazz
Andy's partner, Sharna Burgess, was back-yay! Sean told Peta jokingly that he enjoyed the idea of dancing with two women. It was a magic theme with Sharna stepping out of a big book that said "Magic for Bachelors" and joining Sean and Peta for some threesome action. But this was far from magical-Sean looked like a deer in the headlights, really dorky and awkward in some of the kicks and I didn't like the look of his white gloves, either. The costume just made things worse. Someone in the press room said he had boyish charm but others quickly disagreed. "Plenty of magic but a little bit of tragic," Bruno dissed. He said his feet were in a jumble and Sean shook his head. Carrie Ann praised the girls and told Sean he was out of step. "Style went out," Len shrugged. In short, it was a hot mess. We had caught a glimpse of Andy in the audience; why wasn't he up there instead? At least it would have been entertaining! Sean explained backstage how hard the show is, people just don't KNOW. All things considered, he got a generous score.
Score: 21

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Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: Paso Doble
Cheryl Burke returned to enhance the routine of Jacoby and Karina and he threw the gals around in rehearsal like rag dolls. "I didn't come here to lose," Jacoby said. The football player hit the dance floor dressed as a yellow matador and-no he didn't!-he jumped over BOTH of the ladies during the dance as reporters gasped backstage. Well, at least he was consistent. When you have a signature move, stick with it! I was totally captivated by his arm movements and couldn't take my eyes off him. Then Jacoby ended this Paso by sliding UNDER Karina and Cheryl's legs. Over and under, there was no stopping this guy! Carrie Ann cited his impressive presence on the floor but felt Jacoby was a bit too aggressive in tossing Cheryl around. "I loved those spins," Len said as Ma looked thrilled in the crowd. Bruno wanted his rave to be better than Len's, comparing Jacoby to a Quentin Tarrantino movie. I thought it was the most interesting dance of the night and he got a little gypped.
Score: 25

Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: Jive
There was a new girl in town for the "GH" hunk-Lindsay Arnold bounced into the rehearsal studio. Ingo was so happy he was doing cartwheels; what a difference adding a partner made. Ingo started the dance passing out popcorn in a movie theater, er, the DWTS audience, before joining his ladies on the floor. Ingo did a lot of cute kicks and took center stage as his blondes downplayed themselves as much as possible. I didn't think the '50s style quality of the dance suited Ingo; he was making all these upbeat facial expression like he was in Grease but it didn't seem entirely convincing. His first dance was better. "It could have been sharper in the feet," Len noted, but he liked it. Bruno felt it was a bit frantic and he needed to clean up the flicks and kicks. Carrie Ann also said he was flat footed, but said Ingo brought the fun back now that Andy was gone. No shot of Andy in the audience after that comment? Was the ABC cameraman asleep?
Score: 24

Watch: Len Goodman Loses It!

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Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: Paso Doble
Tristan MacManus, the poor guy who had to drop out earlier with Dorothy Hamill, would be doing the threesome with Kellie and Derek. Sweet girl Kellie was having trouble looking fierce in the Paso in practice; it just wasn't her. This time, Kellie's mirror prop broke and she walked though it to circle around Derek and Tristan like a wary lion. Then Tristan stepped aside so Kellie and Derek could do some stalking around on their own. I loved the dramatic music and the way all three lived up to the dark theme of the dance. Her husband was so stunned he pointed at Kellie from the audience. "Masterpiece Theater," Bruno proclaimed. "So engrossing, so entertaining." Carrie Ann was so delighted she got up to hug Kellie and Bruno took the opportunity to cop a feel of the guys. Len was angry, though, calling it a hodgepodge of moves. Smoke and mirrors? That was what Len seemed to be shouting. Then Carrie Ann and Bruno got into it with him and Len said something about them talking out of their ass. Whoa! After Jacoby, this was the most entertaining dance of the night by far. Len outraged everyone by giving the couple a 7 while Tom Bergeron called for someone to hose the judge down.
Score: 27

Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: Jive
Henry Bialokov entered the rehearsal studio to help out the pair, as he had done when Mark was hurt last week. Mark was filming Aly with a camera, for some reason, and the gymnast was learning how to count. Aly ws dressed as a flapper with a garter on, in sexy mode again and made a human sandwich with Mark and Henry. I thought this sparkly costume, with a red hat, suited Aly and her high kicks were among the best of the night. Henry jumped over her, take that Jacoby! And it all ended with Aly back sitting on the stool where she had begun the dance. A shot upstairs showed Bachelor Sean sadly clapping. Carrie Ann said she looked very confident although a bit flat footed. Len said she went for it in this jive while Bruno pointed out how much she had grown as a performer, playing characters tonight. I liked this routine much better than her first one; it had energy and heart.
Score: 27

The “DWTS” results show airs Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC.

Watch Monday Night’s Full “DWTS” Performance Episode Below:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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