'Dancing With the Stars' recap: Guilty pleasures

Peta Murgatroyd, Nick Lachey.
Peta Murgatroyd, Nick Lachey. (Eric McCandless / ABC)

"Dancing With the Stars" starts Monday with Tom Bergeron on a dark stage explaining that, despite the news out of Las Vegas, the show must go on, and the victims of Sunday's massacre are foremost in the thoughts and prayers of all at "DWTS."

It's "guilty pleasure" night. The opening number is to C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" and choreographed by Mandy Moore, so it's totally cheesetastic in the best way.


Maks is dealing with a "personal issue" so is replaced by Alan for the night. And they announce right off the bat that there's no elimination this week, so the stars can let their freak flag fly with their guilty pleasures.

Drew Scott and Emma Slater


Argentine tango

Drew's guilty pleasure is true-crime shows, so they're going to have him be a forensic investigator looking for clues. There's a weird, awkward skit with Drew and Emma and a lie detector.

Another "Dancing With the Stars" couple is eliminated on Latin Night.

Drew's ditched the lab coat he was wearing in the intro number, which I think is a smart move. Drew has such long, long legs — I wish they were a little cleaner and stronger in this number. He's also a little sloppy in some of their spin/lifts.

Tom gives Drew, a Las Vegas resident, a moment to say something about Sunday's tragedy.


Len says the lifts were good and he liked the characterization. Carrie Ann says Drew had extreme confidence and she's impressed with the way he's growing.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 7; Bruno: 8

Derek Fisher and Sharna Burgess

Cha cha

Derek's upset after last week's scores, because he's afraid it means they're not improving. Derek's a big fan of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," so they're dancing to the theme song.

It's weird hearing someone rap this song who isn't Will Smith. Sharna's choreography is a good mix of ballroom cha cha and hip-hop elements. Derek's mom is in the audience again this week. I hope she gets to be there every week.

Bruno praises Derek's confidence and vibrance. Then he says a lot about Derek's butt. Carrie Ann says Derek is moving outwardsand hitting the ballroom and Latin lines. She points out that they missed one turn, where Derek didn't get Sharna's hand. Len likes the amount of cha cha content.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy


Victoria's guilty pleasure is "Tubthumping." Val admits that he really doesn't like the song. For Victoria, the "I get knocked down, but I get up again" refrain has always been an inspiration to her. Victoria admits that the quickstep is the dance that scared her the most coming into the competition.

We get our first elimination of the season on "Dancing With the Stars."

The dance definitely has more speed than some quicksteps we've seen before on this show. I wish it had fewer props and backup dancers, though. They feel distracting, and Victoria is good enough not to need that.

As they're talking with Tom, we find out that Victoria is wearing tapes and supports on her legs, using her pants to cover all that up.

Carrie Ann says there's a little bit of trickery going on, but it's fair and within the rules. Len likes the amount of content but wants more body contact and an emphasis on proper head placement for Victoria. Bruno says Len is right about losing body contact and how it affects her frame.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Side note: Tom's guilty pleasure is miming. This may be the first thing about Tom I don't love unreservedly. At least he acknowledges how creeped out many of us are by mimes.

Vanessa Lachey and Alan Bersten


Vanessa's guilty pleasure is girls' night out with her girlfriends. Alan brings in the troupe girls for rehearsals since they'll be the "girls" in tonight's routine.

A big part of the routine doesn't involve Alan at all, instead focusing on the four women dancers. Alan is less involved than the troupe members until halfway through. The lift they use to conclude the routine is a bit stilted both going in and coming out of it.

Len says it would have been difficult to know who was the celebrity during Vanessa's part with the troupe. Bruno absolutely loved it. Carrie Ann says there were some wobbles in the turns and some gracelessness in the lifts.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 8; Bruno: 8

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev

Viennese waltz

Nikki's guilty pleasure is that she's obsessed with romance novels, but not the Fabio scenarios as much as "50 Shades of Grey." Oh, honey, you should feel guilty about that, unless you've found examples of the genre that are better written.

The routine starts with them in an elevator on stage, which we see through grainy surveillance camera footage. I'm not sure about that, since it means they're disconnected from the audience in the ballroom. Once out of the elevator, it looks a lot more like an Argentine tango than a Viennese waltz. As the dance ends, we see Nikki's fiance, John Cena, in the audience. Heh. He's there to remind Artem that he could crush him like bug.

Then Tom brings John out to stand next to Nikki. John says he thought it was spicy, exciting, sexy, fearless — every reason he loves Nikki. He mocks making a fist at Artem, and then turns it into a handshake.

Bruno praises Nikki and Artem's chemistry. Carrie Ann wants to see more softness in Nikki's dancing, to increase the partnership with Artem. Len's feeling stodgy because he wanted a more traditional Viennese waltz.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Side note: Carrie Ann's guilty pleasure is cheap cheesy nachos with the liquid cheese and jalapenos. Bruno can't pick just one, so it's the holy trinity of hot fashion models, fried food, and fast cars. (I do love that we've come far enough as a society that when Bruno says hot fashion models, he's shown surrounded by a gaggle of good looking men. Even 20 years ago, we might have pretended Bruno was into women.) Len's guilty pleasure is sitting in the California sun, eating bacon and eggs, while naked. Thank goodness for the strategically placed Mirrorball graphic! Len!

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson


Frankie's guilty pleasure is that he loves boy bands. When he was 13, all he wanted was to be in one. Nick Lachey says getting the "boy band face" is a mixture of looking like you're "taking a crap" and pure ecstasy. You can tell Nick is young enough not to realize that sometimes those are the same thing. Joey Fatone stops by during rehearsal, because he's Joey Fatone and he loves camera time.

Frankie and Witney start the number in toy doll boxes, similar to NSYNC's 2000 MTV Video Music Awards performance of "Bye Bye Bye." They're wearing denim outfits not entirely unlike Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears at the 2001 American Music Awards. How tiny is Frankie that Witney's almost taller than him in her heels? Frankie's signing along through most of the dance, but that's probably OK given the boy band member narrative.

Carrie Ann says Frankie was really great at the boy band stuff — samba not so much. Len thought it was a lot of fun but needed more hip action during the samba parts. Bruno says only these two can get away with double denim.


They've dredged up archive video of Frankie at age 14 singing at an MTV thing — he's not meant to be a singer y'all.


Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas


Lindsey's year-and-a-half-long relationship ended last week, so she's feeling bummed. She's saying her guilty pleasure is to stay in her pajamas all day long. Mark gets them some footie PJs and they pal around town together in them.

The routine starts with them cuddling in a bed together. It looks like they're lying down, but then the camera pans away to reveal that the bed was vertical the whole time. Lindsey's got some HEIGHT on her kicks out to the side. She's really, really good, y'all. I suspect we're going to have her around a long time this season.

Len loved the jive content, fun and energy. He calls it the "dance of the season" so far. Bruno says Mark threw a ton of content at her and she was brilliant. Carrie Ann also praises the choreography.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Bruno: 9

Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko


Sasha's guilty pleasure is baking, because she's always done it with her grandmother. There's a silly skit with them baking at Sasha's house and it turns into a food fight. I always think "Who's going to clean that up?" with stuff like that.

For all the talk about the speed of this number, it feels really slow in the actual dancing. The best thing about it is probably the ending, when Sasha hits Gleb with a pie in the face. Tom confesses to Sasha that one of his guilty pleasures is the Three Stooges, and that pie was worthy of Moe Howard.

Bruno compares them to the Swedish chef from the Muppets and then does a really funny impression of the Swedish chef. He says it was great fun but didn't come together really. Carrie Ann says she kept waiting for the dance to begin. Len says it was fun but didn't showcase Sasha's ability.

"Dancing With the Stars" Season 25 got off to a strong start.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 6; Bruno: 6

Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd


Nick's guilty pleasure is romantic comedy movies, so he's channeling Hugh Grant from "Love Actually" in terms of his music choice. We see very little of Peta in the rehearsal footage, and I'm wondering if whatever had Maks out this week affected her time too.

When the routine starts, I have to note that Hugh was definitely not wearing '80s aerobic workout gear worthy of Richard Simmons. Peta looks good in her French cut leotard and high-top Reeboks, though. Nick is wearing black leggings under his shorts, while both of the male troupe dancers are bare-legged. What's wrong with your knees, NICK?

Carrie Ann says Nick looks amazing in his outfit. It turns out to be a unitard under the shorts. That's even weirder. She likes that Nick is loose and having fun. Len liked the concept, confidence and commitment.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke


This is going to be a "breakdance style salsa." Not sure how that's going to go. Terrell's initial response is that his guilty pleasure is chocolate, but Cheryl says that doesn't count. He rates his breakdance skills as an 8.1 out of 10, while Cheryl only gives him a 3.

This is our second Kurtis Blow song of the season. Who'da thunk it? There's a pretty great move at the end of the routine, where both of them get spun into kind of a death spiral pose by members of the troupe.

Bruno says it wasn't a traditional salsa, but Terrell popped out of it. Carrie Ann says it was so good except there was a little boo-boo in the middle of the routine.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold


Jordan's guilty pleasure is comic books and superheroes. He says he grew up in a football town, and as an art kid, he related to the "gifted students" at Professor Xavier's school in "The X-Men."

Jordan and Lindsay are both in superhero costumes and start the routine doing side-by-side tumbling passes. This is some really great choreography on Lindsay's part, mixing Charleston with jazzier and cinematic moves as befits the music (a selection from Michael Giacchino's score for "The Incredibles.")

Bruno loved the Roy Lichtenstein pop-art influences. Carrie Ann says the middle had the fastest Charleston she's ever seen. Len says Jordan is a terrific dancer and he enjoyed watching this very much. He saw elements of quickstep and Lindy hop, but virtually no Charleston. When Carrie Ann argues, Len says it was too fast for him to see. He says he can't score it high because he didn't see enough Charleston. Lindsay looks so bummed.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 7; Bruno: 9


Lindsey & Mark: 27

Jordan & Lindsay: 25

Drew & Emma: 23

Vanessa & Alan: 23

Victoria & Val: 22

Derek & Sharna: 21

Frankie & Whitney: 21

Nick & Peta: 21

Nikki & Artem: 21

Terrell & Cheryl: 21

Sasha & Gleb: 19


Tom hurriedly says that these scores will be combined with viewer votes from Latin night last week to determine elimination next week. Keeping that in mind, then, here's your combined scoreboard:

Lindsey & Mark: 51

Jordan & Lindsay: 49

Frankie & Whitney: 46

Vanessa & Maks/Alan: 46

Drew & Emma: 44

Victoria & Val: 42

Sasha & Gleb: 41

Derek & Sharna: 40

Nick & Peta: 40

Terrell & Cheryl: 40

Nikki & Artem: 39

I'm still sticking with my Terrell prediction, but I could also make a strong case for Sasha getting the boot, if she's not connecting with viewers for votes.