Robin Roberts is the season's first guest judge. She's a huge fan and not a dancer, so she'll probably just gush over everything and talk about how much she likes her future guests, I mean, the performers. Also of note, this week each celebrity had to pick a song to illustrate their most important year, giving them an excuse to well up for the cameras. Some people have moving, emotional stuff. And some people really don't. Sorry, kids.
James & Peta
The Background: James was a chubby kid who got bullied. His most memorable year is 2007, because that was when he was able to overcome bullying (read: he lost the baby fat). There is photographic evidence presented that yes, he was actually pretty heavy. He and Peta will be doing the jive.
The Dance: This is shockingly polished. The jive tends to trip up a lot of dancers (no pun intended) and they either get the hands or the feet or the pacing. He seems to have the feet and the pacing, and mostly the hands. We're only in week three, right?
The Judges: Len and Robin thought it was good. Bruno can't believe what he's achieved in three weeks. Carrie Ann was surprised and thought it was kinetic and vibrant, but he has “a claw thing happening.”
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Robin – 9 Bruno – 9
Hey, the big switch-up is coming! In week four, everyone gets a new partner. Just for a week, though. Oh, and fans get to tweet the pairings we want to see. Pick weird, people, because this is your only chance to dictate ridiculous couplings. Tweet, America!
I want NeNe with Derek. Just saying.
Billy Dee and Emma aren't dancing this week. He has a chronic back problem. And… I guess he's not coming back. Aw, that sucks. I mean, he really wasn't up for the task, but he was so likable (which is why he wasn't sent home). Billy Dee gave it his best, but maybe he should pick a less physically demanding reality TV show… or hey, clear Robin Roberts off the judges' table, people! Make room for Lando!
NeNe & Tony
The Background: NeNe has no problem with her criticisms last week, because she believes in saying whatever you want whenever you want. Of course she does. She and Tony are doing the rumba to “I Believe in You and Me” because it makes her think of her husband. Their relationship fizzled, then they divorced, then they remarried. Aww… I think.
The Dance: This is kind of sexy, isn't it? OMG, Tony has great abs, doesn't he? I will say, NeNe is always interesting to watch, and this draws on her experience working the pole, I suspect (that isn't an insult; she was a stripper back in the day).
The Judges: Robin thinks NeNe is the life of the party. Bruno thinks she's naughty NeNe, but adds that the basic backwards and foreword needed work. Carrie Ann thinks there was beautiful sensuality — and great arms. Len was pleasantly surprised.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 7 Robin – 8 Bruno – 8
Anyone notice Bruno doesn't fit in the frame? Poor Bruno.
Cody & Witney
The Background: His most memorable was 2010, because he came to the U.S. and signed a record contract. This is nice, but not exactly poignant. His family gave up everything for his career, which is what I'd call investing in future guilt forever. They'll be dancing jazz to his song “Surfboard.” Because self-promotion, yo.
The Dance: I think he needs a taller partner. It's as if he's doing half of the routine in a squat. But for him, this is dramatically better than last week.
The Judges: Bruno thought it was refreshing. Carrie Ann thought it was ridiculous in a good way. She was eating it up. Len thought it was tight, together and no wipe outs. Robin loves his style.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Robin – 9 Bruno – 9