It's Disney Night! The show opens with the iconic Disney title card, with Cinderella's castle in front of the Mirror Ball Trophy. Then Peta and Val let in Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Nala and Simba, the Genie and Tigger, followed by the Seven Dwarves, Pinocchio, and Tinkerbell. (All but Minnie and Mickey are animated.)
Then there's a shot of the skybox, with human dancers dancing alongside animated Cinderella and Prince Charming. And then there's a techno medley of "It's a Small World" and "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah."
All the couples are introduced and joined by Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald Duck. Whither Daisy, I ask?
Results immediately for two couples: Robert & Kym are safe. Suzanne & Tony are in jeopardy. And they're dancing first.
Suzanne Somers & Tony Dovolani
Jazz, "He's a Tramp" from Lady & the Tramp
Suzanne tells us they'll be dancing along with animation this week. Suzanne is getting VERY frustrated during rehearsals and talks about being lousy at it and hating the show. Tony encourages her, telling her she doesn't seem like a quitter. He says all she has to do is do her best and not to worry about the other dancers.
The animation consists of the musicians and Lady and the Tramp joining Suzanne and Tony in the Italian restaurant scene. Suzanne comes close to doing a proper split, which counts as spry in my book, although she clearly forgets most of her steps near the end of the routine. Tony looks really sexy in his suit and hat.
Tom Bergeron asks Suzanne about her misstep and she clarifies that she caught her heel in the dress. Len Goodman tells her it's too bad she had a little hiccup. Julianne Hough, who has pink hair now, says it was her best dance except for the accident with the dress. Bruno Tonioli says she was hitting her lines beautifully. Carrie Ann Inaba wants her to stay elegant, mature and classy.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson
Quickstep, "Step in Time" from Mary Poppins
During rehearsal, Kym and Robert do a gag with Mary Poppins and her impossibly large on the inside bag. Robert's not loving the quickstep compared to the dances they've done before.
Kym descends from the rafters on wires as Mary Poppins while Robert is dancing with a bunch of backup dancers with brooms. It seems like a fairly standard quickstep and is a good production number, too.
Julianne says Robert wasn't quite there with his footwork. Bruno says he was out of time for most of the routine. Carrie Ann says he was so out of step but his performance level was excellent. Len congratulates him for giving it his all.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 6, Len: 6, Julianne: 6, Bruno: 6
Kym says, "Ooof."
This is one where I have to trust the judges because to my non-judge eyes, I'd rather rewatch that one than Suzanne & Tony's.
Results break: Chris & Witney are in jeopardy. Willow & Mark are safe, even though Mark is in a terrifying rabbit mask. Patti & Artem are in jeopardy and dancing next.
Patti LaBelle & Artem Chigvintsev
Waltz, "When You Wish Upon a Star," from Pinocchio
I like Patti's hair this week. It's shoulder-length and soft around her face. Patti's knee injury is acting up and it's affecting her ability to waltz. Artem admits he feels very protective of Patti. Awwwww.
If the waltz is supposed to have rise and fall, Patti's not getting that. At the end of the dance, she lifts her feet as she's embracing Artem and I wonder if Carrie Ann will call that a lift.
Bruno says this comes naturally to Patti and calls it lovely. Carrie Ann calls her the "fairy godmother of "Dancing With the Stars." Len tells us he's got a bad knee and is impressed that Patti pushed through to dance. Julianne says Patti's attitude is unbelievably good.
Erin in pale yellow and Patti in canary yellow are both wearing the color well and yellow is notoriously difficult. Well done, costuming department.
When Erin asks Patti about the difficulty of dancing on the injured knee, she says simply, "Noah only has one leg." Speaking the truth, is our Miss Patti.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 6, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
Willow Shields & Mark Ballas
Foxtrot, "Alice's Theme" from Alice in Wonderland
Willow as Alice is a great choice. Willow acts annoyed that her dad makes her take a break to eat and stay hydrated — but really it's an excuse to do an "Eat Me/Drink Me" gag.
This feels like the most cinematic music of the night. Did they let the orchestra back in, or did Ray Chew get to hire some extra musicians or something? They've got backup dancers as playing cards, too. I wonder how much of this is in Mark's contract now — the big production numbers. However, I find it all a bit underwhelming.
Carrie Ann says it was an "epic production" but feels there were times that Willow lost her footing in hold during the first half. Len says it was so much fun, wonderful and creative. But he adds that sometimes the concept got in the way a little bit. Julianne wants Willow to work on the fluidity of her arms.
Bruno points out that Mark is a "big, scary rabbit." Thank you, Bruno for pointing it out. Bruno also wants Willow to look to ballet classes to improve her extensions in her arms.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8, Len: 8, Julianne: 9, Bruno: 9
Chris Soules & Witney Carson
Quickstep, "Zero to Hero" from Hercules
Chris was really discouraged by being on the bottom of the scoreboard last week. He's really grumpy and takes it out on Witney. Alfonso Ribiero stops by to give Witney a pep talk and then he comes to rehearsal and cheers Chris up, too. During stage rehearsal this morning though, Chris grimaces in pain and falls to the floor. He's done something to his calf apparently.
But he's on stage in a toga, so apparently he's recovered. It's weird to see the male dancer wearing a shorter skirt than the female dancer. It's not a very quick quickstep, but they seem to do all the required elements.
Tom asks about Chris's leg and he admits it hurts. Len says the quickstep is hard with the frame and the footwork and thinks Chris did fine. Julianne thinks Chris is putting too much pressure on himself and not having fun. She wants him to also work on his musicality. Bruno echoes some of the musicality concerns. Carrie Ann thinks this was Chris's best performance by a longshot.
I don't think I would've predicted how good Witney would look with this Grecian goddess hairstyle, but she's a knockout with it. More of a knockout than usual, that is.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 6, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
Those are the exact same scores they got last week.
Now the results for the rest of the couples (Nastia & Derek, Rumer & Val, Riker & Allison, and Noah & Sharna.). They're all safe.
Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess
Foxtrot, "A Whole New World" from Aladdin
Noah's starting to feel like he can actually be a competitor. The problem for Noah with the foxtrot is that, not having a knee in his left leg, he can't do the rise and fall required of the dance. Sharna tells him not to think about what his leg looks like and to worry instead about his core and upper body. She's talking to him exactly like a coach, to which I imagine he responds really well.
The routine starts with Noah coming in on a "flying carpet" and then has a solo from Sharna, then another solo from Sharna. I get they're having trouble with the rise and fall of the foxtrot but you can't just have Noah NOT dance for most of the routine.This feels a lot like Sharna dancing around Noah, which he's proven he's better than.
Julianne confirms that this is their first traditional ballroom dance. She says that Noah's frame was spot on. Bruno says his connection with his partner is flawless. Carrie Ann praises his connection with the audience. She says she felt they were "a tad light on content." Len says he had sway, great lines, and musicality.
Is Noah wearing some sort of wig? Or is he way overdue for a haircut? This pompadour thing is not flattering.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7, Len: 7, Julianne: 7, Bruno: 7
The crabs are back for a "Kiss the Girl" number. As Tom says, they're "amortizing those costumes."
Riker Lynch & Allison Holker
Paso Doble, "He's a Pirate" from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Riker is super excited to dress up as Captain Jack Sparrow. Allison concedes that Riker does a good Jack Sparrow impression but that Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow isn't super-manly in a paso doble way.
Let's just all pretend we don't hear Riker's attempt at an English accent.
They're also getting the big production number treatment with backup dancers, something approaching an actual orchestra and a cannon explosion.
Bruno is hard to hear over the roaring crowd but I'm pretty sure he loved it. Carrie Ann calls it a "beast of a paso" and yells "Best EVER!" a lot. Len loved it. Julianne praises the artistry.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 9, Julianne: 9, Bruno: 10
Rumer Willis & Val Chmerkovskiy
Samba, "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid
During music selection, Rumer finally admits that she wants to play a villain and chooses Ursula from "The Little Mermaid." Val says they're going to give Len a traditional samba. They play around in a swimming pool and I love that Rumer doesn't care that we see her with pool hair.
This song doesn't feel like a samba rhythm. More like a tango? Or paso or something? It's not fast and bouncy like I expect samba music to be. Val gets the samba roll in there, though, so kudos to him for that. And there are more backup dancers. I'm anti-backup dancers.
Tom reaches for Rumer saying, "I want a purple hug," in reference to her full body makeup. Carrie Ann says it was odd and weird but turned her on. Len says Rumer's a fantastic dancer. Julianne says it was the best dance of the night. Bruno calls it "deliciously wicked" and then asks Rumer, "It feels good to be bad, doesn't it, darling?"
Looks like both of Rumer's parents are there tonight. And her dad is actually smiling like he means it. Val tells Erin his grandma is going to be very concerned about his skin.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 9, Julianne: 10, Bruno: 10
I didn't notice it earlier, but the "10" paddles are Mickey Mouse shaped.
As the world's saddest donkey crosses the stage behind him, Tom tells us that one couple will be as sad as Eeyore when they're eliminated later in the show. Tom's Eeyore voice is pretty darn cute.
Nastia Liukin & Derek Hough
Jazz, "Love is an Open Door" from Frozen
It's another professional production number from Derek Hough and his ringer partner. This puts the show in a tough spot because the judges have to score these well but I can't imagine that the audience is really connecting with Nastia. Her rehearsal footage doesn't show much of her personality.
Len says Nastia showed her sunny side and he loved it. Julianne comments that you could put that on Broadway right now. Bruno says it captured the essence of the "wonderful world of Disney." Carrie Ann says the lip synching bothered her, because it was inconsistent.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9, Len: 9, Julianne: 10, Bruno: 10
Patti and Artem are safe. Good. She's not the best dancer, but she's tons of fun and has such a wonderful attitude and lovely personality. Huh. Both of the remaining couples have stars that expressed desire to quit this week.
We can tell, you guys, when you're not a good sport.
Suzanne & Tony are eliminated. That's fine.
Rumer & Val: 39
Nastia & Derek: 38
Riker & Allison: 38
Willow & Mark: 34
Noah & Sharna: 28
Patti & Artem: 27
Chris & Witney: 27
Robert & Kym: 24
Predictions: Oooh, this is a tough one to call. Clearly, viewers love Patti, so even though she's tied for next to last, she's not going anywhere. I've got no idea how big Robert's fan base is, but three points is a big deficit. I wouldn't want to call it between Chris and Robert next week.