First they tell me I'm going to have to deal with Abby Lee Miller as a guest judge, then they open the show with Mark Ballas singing. I've given and I've given to you, show, and this is how you thank me?
Erin Andrews is wearing a JUMPSUIT. I'm conflicted about this. On the one hand, Yay for her for wearing pants. On the other hand, I'm not thrilled with jumpsuits generally.
Now that NeNe Leakes is gone, the only dancer I'd be upset to see not make the final is Meryl Davis. So, that means it's wide open.
First results of the night: Charlie and Sharna are safe.
Charlie White & Sharna Burgess, Quickstep
Sharna's frustrated that they can't get a 10. Charlie decides he needs to bring back his optimism to succeed. And then Charlie's mom visits and she seems really sweet.
This is a perfect dance for Charlie, because he doesn't have to try to be sexy or serious, just charming, affable and athletic, all of which come naturally to him. He's really good in hold, which isn't surprising for an ice dancer.
Len Goodman teases Charlie as to whether or not the routine is "special" enough for a 10. Abby Lee gives very technical advice about Charlie's knee in arabesque. Bruno Tonioli jumps in to correct Abby Lee's criticism. Abby Lee does compliment Charlie's "impeccable musicality." Carrie Ann Inaba raves; while receiving the compliments, Charlie points to Sharna, giving her credit. What a sweetie.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 10; Abby Lee: 10; Bruno: 10
More results: Meryl & Maks are safe. Not shocking. Danica & Val are "in jeopardy." Given Danica's low scores last week, this is not a surprise either.
Danica McKellar & Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tango
During rehearsal, Val says he wants to put in plenty of content to please Len. He then reveals that Len has been judging him as a dancer since Val was 12 years old.
After saying all that, Val starts with a lot of "business" at the beginning I bet Len won't like. It's appropriate for the song -- a Goth-y cover of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" -- but I still bet Len gripes.
Abby Lee loved the concept, but gives Danica advice about not hunching her shoulders. Bruno babbles and then says he'd be devastated if she goes tonight. You and me both, Bruno. Carrie Ann says it was challenging choreography, especially with a broken rib. Len does grump a little about it taking a while to get started (told ya!). but liked it once they got into hold.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 9; Abby Lee: 9; Bruno: 10
Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Rumba
Meryl needs to change her foundation makeup -- her face is several shades lighter than her arms and chest. Meryl also calls Maks a big teddy bear and pets him. These two have a weird relationship.
Things start with the two of them sitting at a table. Then there's flinging dishes and domestic violence as Meryl slaps Maks. This feels more contemporary than rumba. Especially with the arm movements when they're not in hold. Also, the professional makeup-people have given Meryl the right shade of foundation for the performance. Honey, ask them what they're using and switch for your off-duty hours too.
Bruno calls it "melodrama" and "Tennessee Williams" and blah blah. Carrie Ann loves the chemistry between these two and talks about how even when they had stops, they maintained a kind of movement with their eyes. She does ding them for not enough rumba content.
Len says he doesn't normally go for overly dramatic moments, but he liked the routine. He does agree with Carrie Ann that it needed more rumba, less contemporary. Abby Lee has some very specific criticisms about Meryl's feet. Abby Lee may grate on my nerves, but at least she does have some more legitimate dance credentials than some of the other guest judges.