The "Dancing With the Stars" results episode this week starts, after the credits/intros, with a performance by DNCE. I'm totally OK with '80s disco pop coming back into vogue.
We get an edited replay of Marilu Henner and Derek Hough's routine and the judges' comments on it, followed by the same for Calvin Johnson & Lindsay Arnold. Unlike previous weeks, there's no new content from the judges, only snippets of reactions from the contestants themselves. The first couple who is safe is Marilu and Derek. Told ya Derek has a fan base. (Not that Marilu doesn't, but I'm guessing she would be in jeopardy otherwise.) Calvin and Lindsay are also safe.
Back from commercial, Sasha Farber is dancing with Emma Slater to demonstrate "contemporary" style. They kiss full on the lips at the end of the routine. I had no idea these two were an item.
Tom Bergeron comes over and tells them they have amazing chemistry and then tells Sasha he always thought Sasha had the potential to host, and turns the show over to him. This is all a ruse so that Sasha can propose. I'm impressed he just danced that entire routine with a ring box in his back pocket.
Happily for all involved, Emma says yes! And then all the dancers, along with Erin and Tom are on the floor to congratulate them and to admire the ring. Tom tells us the show is glad Emma said yes because the only graphic they had was "She said yes!"
In order to let everybody on the dance floor bask in the joy of the newly engaged couple, we get a montage of rituals undertaken by the cast. Jana Kramer plays a version of pattycake she calls by another name. Amber Rose plays really loud music. Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds shadowboxes, channeling Muhammad Ali. Vanilla Ice gives everybody high fives. Laurie Hernandez puts peppermint oil on her hands and inhales the scent. She also places a hand on her stomach to feel herself breathing. Maureen McCormick reads. James Hinchcliffe ignores the rehearsal package. Calvin hits the jelly beans. Ryan Lochte gets pizza and wings on Fridays. Marilu has to put her right shoe on first and touch the stage with her right foot first. Terra Jolé wants her hands ice cold.
Now the men perform something of a slowed down tango dance-off while a singer they later decline to identify sings. (They only credit Ray Chew Live, the house band.)
Now up for results are Amber Rose and Maks Chmerkovskiy, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and Allison Holker, and Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev. We see footage of Amber and Julianne hugging and making nice. Now they give us new judges' comments from when they were watching Babyface flame out in his routine last night. Amber and Maks are safe. Babyface & Allison are eliminated and Maureen & Artem are safe.
I'm sad to see Babyface go, but he had a really bad night on a night when no one else did and when two couples were going to be sent home.
There's a montage with the pros saying this is the hardest season ever. I'm dying for the season when we get a "this is an easy season" montage.
For this next performance, Derek co-wrote the music, is playing the drums and, of course, did the choreography and is dancing. Say thank you, Marilu, because this is how you get votes even on your off weeks. Toward the end, there's some sort of split-screen and/or hologram thing going on because Derek is playing the drums while Derek does flamenco steps beside him.
Results time for the three highest scores from last night: Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy, James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess, and Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber. After Laurie's performance last night, Maureen comes over to her backstage and tells Laurie that she was good friends with Michael Jackson and that Laurie did him proud with her performance.
As James is ignoring the rehearsal package playing to the ballroom (as is his ritual) Sharna confesses her nerves. James tells her to breathe and then comments to her, "It's like I'm dealing with an amateur here." I continue to be pleasantly surprised by how funny he is. They replay his "teeny tiny mistake," and it was indeed a teeny tiny mistake. I've seen other contestants not get dinged for worse.
Laurie & Val, to no one's surprise, are safe. Terra & Sasha are safe as well. James & Sharna are in jeopardy. I call producer BS on that, unless they explicitly tell us later that they were one of the lowest-ranked couples after combining scores and votes.
After the commercial break, we're immediately into a performance by Zara Larsson. She's either lip syncing or using a microphone with a lot of built-in vocal effects.
Now for everybody else: Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko, Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke, and Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson. There's no further illumination on the yelling at Ryan we heard last night during Bruno Tonioli's comments, so I guess the show doesn't want that publicity this week.
Ryan and Cheryl are safe. Vanilla Ice and Witney are in jeopardy, as are Jana and Gleb.
So we've got three couples still awaiting results. James and Sharna are first to be announced safe.
The second couple eliminated tonight is Vanilla Ice and Witney. I'm actually kind of bummed about that — he at least had more potential as a dancer than Ryan. Although I don't think either one of them was/is destined for a Mirrorball trophy.
Next week is "Most Memorable Year" week, and the timing couldn't be better — due to a schedule conflict, I'll be leaving you in the capable hands of guest recapper Diane Trap. She's much nicer about sob stories than I am.