‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: The stars team up for theme dances

Cher is coming! Cher is coming! I feel faint. This is so exciting! And not only will Cher perform on “Dancing with the Stars” next week, she’ll be JUDGING, as Len will be out of town. This is every color of awesome. I hope she has many costume changes and wears a different wig to judge each routine. 

Anyway, let’s get to the dancing, shall we? Did I mention Cher is coming to the show next week? Cher? 

Elizabeth & Val

The Background: They’ll be doing a quickstep. Mostly, the rehearsal seems to revolve around Val yelling at Elizabeth. But she’s okay with that! I think the less of Elizabeth we see in the background/rehearsal segment, the more I enjoy her dancing.

The Dance: This is definitely a quick step. Elizabeth is great on stage. I think she’s good for final two. 

The Judges: Len thought it was a UFO – utterly full on. Bruno thought it was a good job despite the loss of body contact. Carrie Ann thinks she’s grown into partnering. 

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9

The Verdict: Elizabeth seems to be loosening up and having fun, which makes her a lot easier to watch. 

Time for questions from Tom. Did getting a perfect score last week stress them out? Of course not, says Elizabeth in her chirpiest voice! Val says it did, as that’s the politically correct thing to say, because otherwise they look like asshats, hint, hint. I’m half expecting him to waggle a finger in Elizabeth’s face to remind her to work on her humility. 

Brant & Peta

The Background: He takes homework home with him to work on his muscle memory. Isn’t that the cutest thing?

The Dance: Wow, this is the wrong song for this dance, because even though the dance seems to be fairly demanding, slowing down a song we know to be much faster (“Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard )makes this look slow and boring. And hey, never make Brant look like a nerd! Also, he almost falls. Uh-oh.

The Judges: Bruno thinks Brant lost timing a few times, but overall good. Carrie Ann likes that he showed a whole new side of himself, but the routine was too challenging for him. Len was okay with it.

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9. What? He tripped and he got straight nines? I’m not sure what’s going on with the judging this week. Maybe the judges have been hitting the Halloween candy a little early this year. 

The Verdict: Again, Brant is adorable and charming. I’m not sure if he’ll go all the way to the end, but he might. 

Time to meet Team Spooky Bom Bom. Bill talks about how Bom Bom is a phrase from Transylvania meaning zombie dance, and I think Brooke believes him. 

Leah & Tony

The Background: Tony wants to wow the judges. So, he’s adding lifts to the salsa, which Leah suspects could be a recipe for disaster. Tom asks Chelsea Handler why she’s in the audience, and it’s to support Leah and sit next to Tom, whom she finds sexually attractive. Such a sweet moment!

The Dance: This gets a little muddy in the middle, but Leah sexes it up and some of it is actually really good. 

The Judges: Carrie Ann thinks Leah is in the zone. Len thought it kept his interest, though some of the lifts weren’t clean, which is true. Bruno thinks Leah was salsa-licious. 

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 8, Bruno – 9

The Verdict: Leah’s in the middle of the pack, yes, but this is definitely a step in the right direction. 

Tom now reveals Leah had a rib injury, but insisted on doing the lifts anyway. She didn’t want sympathy votes. Good for you, Leah. I bet that will, ironically, lead to more viewer votes. 

Jack & Cheryl

The Background: Jack realizes he has a bit of the midseason blues and it’s “pretty heavy.” He’s getting bouts of fatigue, which could be M.S. or just working hard. He tells Cheryl his body will give out if she keeps riding him. Yikes!

The Dance: Okay, this was not a kind costume for Jack. I can hear him counting from here, though. I just don’t get a sense that he’s comfortable with this. But some of it is more than solid. 

The Judges: Len wished his footwork had been crisper, but he thought it was well done. Bruno thinks he has a wonderful ease and charm. Really? He has musicality and character and the performance flow was perfect. Sometimes he’s flatfooted, though. Carrie Ann thought his jive was better than Brant’s.

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 8, Bruno – 9

The Verdict: Again, I think the scores are coming in far too high this week. I’m not sure Jack’s going to go the distance, but he’ll be around for a while. 

After Carrie Ann breaks her 10 paddle, Jack gets to keep it, and he’s honestly touched. As he said, he’s built for comfort, not for speed. Brooke talks to Sharon Osbourne about Jack. “I’m exhausted being here every week! Goodness only knows what he’s going through!” Aww. Hey, Ozzy looks spry, which is nice to see. 

Also, we get a reminder that one of the group dances will be set to Ylvis’ “What Does the Fox Say.” Catchy song, but not exactly a dance hit. Odd. 

Amber & Derek

The Background: Derek is tired of trying to make Len happy. His back hurts, her knee hurts, they’re both falling apart. Amber hates having to do anything half-assed, especially the paso doble. 

The Dance: This is fine. Amber always emotes like crazy. Did I love it? Not really. But the judges will, and that’s what’s important. 

The Judges: Bruno thought it was like vintage wine, but her shoulders inched up. Carrie Ann thought she slayed the beast again. Len thought every nuance in the music was picked out, and she’s back in the game. 

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 10, Bruno – 9

The Verdict: Two tens for this? Seriously, I feel as if the judges are giving out trophies to every kid in the elementary school so they don’t suffer low self-esteem.

Bill & Emma

The Background: Bill really wants to get nines before he leaves. Not that long ago, he wanted to win, but I think he’s downgraded his expectations. Anyway, he wants to do an Elvis-inspired quickstep. 

The Dance: Unfortunately, it’s not very quick. There are steps, though. I really like watching Bill, but I have to think his days are numbered. 

The Judges: Carrie Ann said he didn’t break hold, but the hold wasn’t firm. Len thought his technique was spotty, but he likes him. Bruno thought it was a good try. This is starting to sound a little condescending. Give Bill the truth! He can take it!

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 8, Len – 7, Bruno – 8

The Verdict: Well, it turns out the judges aren’t handing out nines and tens like candy after all. I’m worried for Bill. 

Snooki & Sasha

The Background: The first part is Beyonce, the next part is samba. Her son has a fever! She hasn’t gotten any sleep and she’s turning into a zombie. She feels stupid. 

The Dance: This doesn’t look fluid. It’s clear she’s trying, but there’s no connection with the audience. She also doesn’t seem to be entirely in time.

The Judges: Len thought it was faultless after the promenades. Bruno thinks it flowed once she got into the samba groove. Carrie Ann tells her she has to stop dancing like a chihuahua and instead extend her movements. 

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9, Len – 9, Bruno – 9

The Verdict: Again, big scores for so-so material. I have to wonder how sizable Snooki’s demographic is at this point, too. 

We learn that one team is called Team Foxing Awesome, which is inspired by a tattoo on Jack Osbourne’s chest, which does not say foxing but something similar. Oh, isn’t that coy!

Corbin & Karina

The Background: Karina is frustrated. They toss out a broom routine and start over. On Wednesday. Then she wants to change it again on Friday. She wants to deliver a clean cha cha. 

The Dance: No brooms, just an umbrella. Looks like Corbin worked over the weekend, because this looks pretty smooth. 

The Judges: Bruno thinks it was crystal clear, immaculate and brilliant. Carrie Ann thinks it was the tightest cha cha she’d ever seen. Len thought it was lovely, crisp footwork. He didn’t like the gyrating, though. 

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 9, Bruno – 10

The Verdict: Corbin may be the strongest male star left on the show (sorry, Brant). He can be a dork, but no one can say he doesn’t have a knack for dancing. 

Team Dances: Team Spooky Bom Bom

The Background: The couple that could be eliminated tonight will be from Team Spooky Bom Bom — if they don’t score big in the team dance segment. Oh no! Let’s make everyone feel like crap BEFORE the dance! So they’ll be more likely to screw up! I swear, I hope the dancers can’t always hear what Tom is reading off the teleprompter. 

The Dance: We start with Team Spooky Bom Bom, who are considered underdogs. Leah & Tony are last picked, which has to hurt — I mean, just assign people. Stars have fragile egos. Anyway, it’s a zombie cemetery foggy kind of thing, which is perfect for Halloween but kind of hard to see. Still, Sasha swings Snooki around his neck like a feather boa, which is impressive, and Elizabeth could pass for one of the pros. I think Bill almost dropped Emma, but okay. Hey, Snooki got tossed in the air really, really high at the very end and didn’t get hurt! This was really very cute, honestly. 

The Judges: Len thought it was fun, and he was impressed by Snooki. Bruno thought it was put together well and lots of fun. Carrie Ann thinks Bill was the glue that held the performance together. 

The Judges: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Bruno – 9

The Verdict: Unless Team Foxing Awesome collapses or starts spontaneously vomiting instead of dancing, I doubt there’s going to be a sizable margin either way here. 

Team Dances: Team Foxing Awesome

The Background: Jack wants to sacrifice an animal. Aw, is that a wink to dear old dad? No one wants to be the weakest link. If they suck, they have to suck as a team, according to Jack. But if they’re awesome? They’re awesome as a team. Foxing awesome. The best part about this name is that Tom and Brooke have to take a deep breath and pause each time they have to say it so they don’t invite the ire of the FCC. 

The Dance: Okay, the little prancing paws move kind of freaks me out. There’s a costume change for the guys? I don’t love this. It just looks like a coordinated spaz attack. 

The Judges: Bruno thought it was clever and inventive. He thinks Corbin killed it, which he did. Carrie Ann felt like she was an acid trip. Len thought it was irresistible. He stands up and salutes… both teams. 

The Scores: Carrie Ann – 10, Len – 10, Bruno – 10

The Verdict: As expected, there’s a very slim difference between the two teams. I suspect that even if it had gone in Team Spooky Bom Bom’s favor it wouldn’t have changed the result. Anyway, all of the members of Foxing Awesome are safe. 

So, who’s going home? The next couple who is safe is… Elizabeth & Val. Also safe, Leah & Tony. It’s down to Bill & Emma and Snooki & Sasha. In this seventh week of competition, the couple leaving is… Snooki & Sasha.

Did Emma start crying? 

Snooki’s too busy hugging people to talk to Brooke. “I love everybody here so it sucks!” she says. Tom tells her they’re going to miss her — and here are the numbers for people you’ll vote for! This is always an awkward part of the show. We love you! Now leave so we can give phone numbers to the audience!

Poor Snooki. She wasn’t a natural talent, but she clearly wanted to do well (I’m also pretty sure ABC pays better than MTV, right?) and redefine herself. I do think Snooki has comic timing and personality, unlike a lot of her castmates on “Jersey Shore,” and she probably did see the show as an opportunity to let a larger audience know she’s not the drunken, dancing fool she was before she had a kid. I’m surprised she got the boot before either Leah or Bill, though I like both of them, too. Snooki could be thrown into the air in group dances — that has to count for something!

I’m also thinking it must suck to have to say goodbye with zombie make-up smeared all over your face. “Why am I leaving a zombie?” she says, as if she read my mind. Bye, Snooki! Bring on Cher!

Are you looking forward to Cher next week? Were you surprised Snooki got the boot? Who do you think is overrated this season?