Welcome, gem hunters, to Week 4 of Dancing With the Stars: The Mean Girls Are Gonna Getcha.
Last week it was farewell to Randy Couture. He didn't care, and this means his partner Karina Smirnoff will get to ooze up alongside the Troupe in the bumper dances again -- so that's pretty much a win-win for everyone involved. (Especially Randy.)
Tonight is "You Raise the Paddle" Night, so go here for the chance to score the couples yourselves. Looks like you need to do that right as they dance, and you'll need to be logged into Facebook. So doing this could corrupt your live-chatting flow. But whatever, you know? You do you. This is your one shot at life. Might as well grasp it by the sequined rump and just go for it.
If you can't watch liiiive on TV tonight, try the DWTS All-Access live streams to see the dances and hear from the couples throughout the show.
Discuss it here! I'll try to float back in with comments overnight.
It's farewell this week to eternal child gymnast Betsey Johnson and her partner, the smilin' 'n' stylin' Tony Dovolani. Unfortunately, the fact that the fashion designer "threw down the freeze" during the jive (score: 29/40) and that she has a gorgeous daughter who looks like the prototypical "DWTS Contestant You've Never Heard Of" were not enough novelties to keep her around. (Because the results had been determined a week ago!)
I say Betsey should hang out in the Celebriquarium anyway for the rest of the season, if only so that Shirtless Val has a festively inappropriate prop on which to relentlessly grind. It's what Dancing With the Stars is all about.
Also: Screw four hours. I'd marry Tony in five minutes.
Will the judges and America please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!
Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson: 40/40 Best Celebriquarium Carlton: Val. Hands down. Worst: It's a tie between Michael Waltrip, who seemed to be demonstrating how hands of a clock work (slowly), and Lea Thompson, who was sadly disqualified from the competition for wearing sweatpants. (The Carlton competition.) But the MVP of The Carlton? OBVIOUSLY the man himself! What's his name again? Alfonso! Of course!
The Carlton (it has a technique of its own) brought us all back to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the tragically pigeonholed Alfonso back to primetime prominence for a precious few seconds. I LOVED THIS! The way he lit up, not in a "fine, I'll be your clown" type of way, but more of a "This is the moment I've been dreaming of ever since someone told me what Dancing With the Stars was" way. Alfonso has been living. for. this. And it was all worth it. America knows best.
Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev: 39/40 That idiotic guest judge America kept Lea from earning a perfect 40 for this contemporary/balletic tribute to her late dad. "Ew, America," Erin summed it up in the skybox. Pretty much. "You are an exquisite performer," Bruno gushed, to which Lea nearly toppled over with delight. She seems very genuine to me. A rare gem. A marvel! I loved how she bothered to point out to the judges, "He did a great job!" in reference to her partner just before commercial break.
Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas: 37/40 She's been growing on me the past two weeks, and Sadie's feathery samba outfit tonight is basically my ideal Halloween costume (Fowl Ballroom), minus the inevitable reference to her trashy TV family. Even a heavily bearded Mark was endearing this week, prompting my favorite Tom Bergeron line of the night: "Come here, you! Put down your duck."
Hey, don't blame the Robertsons! They're just doing what God wants. YEAH. RIGHT.
Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy: 36/40 I almost got choked up during Janel's weepy backstory about her vocal coach grandmother figure, but ....ummmmm, did her name have to be "B.J."??! Of all the "names" in the world. B.J. "It was good for me; it was therapeutic," said Janel of this opening rumba. I think. These two always look like they're getting married, costume-wise. Val will definitely get married without a shirt on.
Ladies and gentlemen: B.J.
Bethany Mota and Derek Hough: 33/40 Honestly, if I reveal my true thoughts about Bethany's tragic backstory of those dark days before she decided once and for all that she loved herself enough to "start YouTube," I'll regret it. Here, long story short (much like the list of actual rumba elements found in their routine tonight): Bullying is bad; Bethany found herself; Derek turned it into a rumba. The end.
Zero acknowledgement for guest performer Colbie Caillat from Bethany. I can't.
Antonio Sabato Jr. and Cheryl Burke: 29/40 This was hot! To recreate Janet Jackson's classic samba jam "Love Will Never Do (Without You)," Cheryl embraced a slinky cutout frock, and her Grade A Beef embodied the wonderful world of one of Dancing With the Stars' best contemporary male fashions: JUST SUSPENDERS. "That had 'dance for my mom' written all over it," quipped Tom.
Carrie Ann called Antonio "the heartthrob of the season." Tommy Chong was like "Whaaaaa? .........Where am I?"
Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd: 28/40 Clearly Peta was too busy vigorously exercising somewhere in Australia to watch Tommy mirror his real-life jail story on That '70s Show. (And now she looks like this, and we look like us. Maybe we should have made better choices, America.) Tonight's jailhouse jive wasn't Tommy's best, but it did provide DWTS with perhaps the funniest line from a competing Star ever. "I'll take Tony," Chong assured Erin when she asked about his prospects for the Partner Switch Up. "I've been in jail."
Once more, with feeling: Let's give it up for B.J.!
Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater: 25/40 I was horrified to see that Michael didn't realize his friend and mentor Dale Earnhardt had died on the last lap of the Daytona 500 until after the champagne course of his victory celebration. But as all of us gem hunters know, that's just what confetti can do to a situation sometimes. It's not his fault.
"Part of me still isn't over the low of that day," commented a softer, more sensitive Waltrip than we've seen to date. Very good! Which is more than anyone could say for his quickstep. HOWEVER, this dance did bring us Emma's incredible costume -- sort of the DWTS version of a lady tux. This tux had everything: Balloon pants, butt chandelier, feathered neck warmer.... have I lost you yet? In a moment of reverie? #Sparklebarf!
Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker: 24/40 He looks so confused all the time! I can't tell if he's politely wishing for a different partner (he's in luck -- the Partner Switch Up is next week) or if he just can't hear anything that's going on. This poor guy lost both parents within the last year -- which the DWTS editors made even more brutally "clear" by BLURRING THEIR FACES in a family photo. Yikes! Too much erratic energy in this samba. I wanted the santa suits to stay on.
And Erin called him Aaron! "Twitter's gonna attack me now," she knew. "But WHATEVER, AMERICA."
Great point, Aaron. 'Til next week, DANCMSTRs! And hip, hip, hooray for B.J.
P.S. Kindly help spread the good news that I'm still fluttering around over here! For my health!