She was here for the party, and now we must "Carry On" without her. Dancing With the Stars Season 17, Week 4 guest judge Julianne Hough called Bill Engvall the heart of the show, but the heart, soul and fighting body all belonged to Valerie Harper.
But Valerie and our beloved Tristan MacManus had the lowest score on the judges’ leaderboard again and … it was time. Because if not them, then who should’ve left? Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd were close to the bottom, but they had the highest score last week. That actually made us a little nervous for them, since you never know who might not have voted for them last week, assuming they’d be safe this week. This new system! We're still getting used to it.
There was no theme to Week 4, other than Julianne Hough Night, since Len Goodman is back in the U.K. for a while. Should he stay there, letting Maksim Chmerkovskiy guest judge next week, and then maybe Louis van Amstel, Anna Trebunskaya, etc.?
Other than the sad departure of Valerie and Tristan, it was a pretty sexy week. Both Brant and Corbin Bleu went shirtless, and Julianne even flirted with Brant, reminding him that she’s now single. (Total upgrade from Ryan Seacrest, no?) But almost everyone had an injury, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was sick from flying coast to coast, and Cheryl Burke was PMS-ing pretty bad. So now we know her cycle, in case that ever becomes relevant.
How do you feel now that Valerie and Tristan are gone? Who has your votes at this point? And what did you think of Julianne as guest judge? She was pretty great, right?
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stood after Week 4:
Elizabeth & Val: 27
Corbin & Karina: 27
Amber & Derek: 27
Jack & Cheryl: 24
Leah & Tony: 24
Snooki & Sasha: 24
Christina & Mark: 24
Brant & Peta: 21
Bill E. & Emma: 21
Valerie & Tristan: 18
Read on for a full recap of the Week 4 action:
SPECIAL INTRO: The pros have a great intro on their own (“Move right out of my life…”), but this week they even introduce the judges, which has to be for Julianne Hough, who looks gorgeous in her black dress. Love her hair too. She plugs her upcoming movie Paradise, then has her own video saying she’ll be a tough but fair judge.
1. Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke — Quickstep — Cheryl is a tough love partner and Jack says he’s never offended when he’s short with her. (Even when she’s PMS-ing?) He tries to lighten the mood but he also fishes for compliments by suggesting she’d rather dance with Corbin. He’s obsessed with Corbin! Jack starts his dance by the judges table. They move well out there and he keeps up with the super-fast pace. Why can’t he believe in himself instead of getting so insecure? Love seeing Louis Van Amstel in the audience with his Season 9 partner Kelly! It’s Jack’s anniversary tonight, too.
JUDGES: Julianne is filling in for head judge Len Goodman this week, so she went first. Julianne said it’s such an improvement from last week. Ballroom is his strong suit and “if you can put up with Cheryl…” He has to trust that he’s amazing and show that he’s having fun. That was missing. Bruno Tonioli said it was full of more tricks than Vegas. The footwork was incredible. He kept the pace up well. Watch the frame. Toward the end he starts to lean forward. Carrie Ann Inaba liked her frame and disagreed with Julianne a little, saying he was way more animated this week than last week.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30.
Vote for Jack & Cheryl: 1-800-868-3402
2. Elizabeth Berkley and Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Argentine Tango — Kristin Davis in the house to support Elizabeth! Val said Elizabeth is a perfect student but at times she’s on a different planet. One day she just stared into his eyes for a long time. Awwwwwkward. Still, who wouldn’t wait to stare deeply into Val’s eyes? Smoke monster is back for their AT. Val breaks out his violin too. Remember his “Toxic” duel with Mark Ballas? Very creative intro, with Elizabeth having her own little solo moment. Dark and sexy. Love the song.
JUDGES: Bruno said she’s done it, “you bewitching fantasy creature.” She took us on a journey into the hidden depths of passion. She didn’t go wrong. Carrie Ann said Elizabeth has been, from day one, the most elegant and sensuous dancer. It was so powerful, every movement had meaning. This week, she cut through the movements with a new sharpness. Julianne agreed with Carrie Ann, Elizabeth has been one of her favorites. She got chills immediately. Great choreography from Val. Julianne loved that Elizabeth took control, she didn’t wait to be led. Jules had an arm extension note for Elizabeth, but she already covered it this week.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30.
Vote for Elizabeth & Val: 1-800-868-3405
3. Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd — Salsa — This is a very injury-prone season. Things got even worse for Brant this week, after last week’s foot issue (and robbery at gunpoint)? Brant wants to be the first to get a 10. This is Peta’s first solo Salsa on DWTS. Brant got into a bike accident a couple of years ago so now he has no stability in his arm. They keep trying to do lifts and Peta’s contemplating taking them out. What they should’ve contemplated taking out is Peta’s pink and purple costume. And he looks like he’s wearing pajamas. Oh but then he takes his shirt off. Acceptable pajamas! Fast, frantic dance but they seem to focus too much on the tricks. There’s no need for fancy lifts or the floor spins. Just shake it and trust that he can move!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said it’s an awkward moment. The lifts were fantastic, but when he takes off his shirt it’s very revealing and he needed to work more on the Salsa moves and arms. The actual Salsa was a little broken looking. Julianne said it was awesome when he took off his shirt. “I think I told you this but I’m single now…” She had to agree with Carrie Ann, though. It was a little too “loosey-goosey.” It could’ve been tighter and his feet were a little sloppy. But she knows how hard it is to dance injured. He needs to work on his upper body a bit. Tom joked that this might be the first time a scoring paddle has a phone number on it. Bruno jumped in to add his own. Bruno thought Brant was a good boy. Bruno said Salsa is having a good time but it has to have a certain amount of control or smoothness.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. Very low compared to last week. Are the judges going to vote together on everything tonight?
Vote for Brant & Peta: 1-800-868-3403
4. Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus — Viennese Waltz — Valerie feels like, last week, she didn’t do the routine as well as she had before. Her score was fair. She screwed up the choreography. They love their song, “Carry On.” Tristan said they’ve been struggling with the steps, but Valerie’s heart is what will get her through. “I’m here for the party,” Valerie said. Very sweet to see them dancing together. It’s a joy to watch them, even if she’s never going to be at the dance level of, say, Elizabeth or Corbin.
JUDGES: Julianne said she was all teary-eyed. She took a chance to tell Valerie she’s courageous. She started out with great lines. When they are together, there’s more of a team there. When they are separate there’s a vulnerability and she’s not sure where she’s going. Bruno said he calls it as it is. She created pretty pictures this week. If she goes wrong, cover it up and act it. Don’t show the mistakes. Carrie Ann said she loves watching Valerie carry on. There were some beautiful moments but the mistakes stood out more. If Tristan isn’t where she thinks he’ll be, do a little solo and sell it!
SCORES: 6, 6, 6 = 18 out of 30. Yep, all voting as a unit this week.
Vote for Valerie & Tristan: 1-800-868-3410
5. Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani — Cha-Cha-Cha — Leah has a sparkly gold Jennifer Lopez catsuit on this week. Tony said she’s been looking hotter and hotter so he’s showing her off. In the video package, Leah tried to pimp Tony out, saying he could come down a pole or show some skin to try to go from 8s to get a 9. Give it a try, Tony! She joked about wanting fewer moves this week. That’s not how it works if you want a 9, love. It feels like she’s at 75 percent this week, not as sharp and strong as previous weeks.
JUDGES: Bruno said it’s Leah from the Block. She places herself well but she has to get more of the sharpness. Carrie Ann said she was in her zone. But a few of the movements needed to match the power of her facial expressions. Julianne disagreed a bit with Bruno. She thought Leah had strong footwork but she also agreed with Carrie Ann (shut up, Bruno!) saying there’s a bit of a disconnect and she needs to stretch her body to match her face.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. They didn’t get the 9s they wanted, but if Len were here he might’ve given them a 7.
Vote for Leah & Tony: 1-800-868-3411
6. Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff — Paso Doble — Corbin doesn’t want to fall back on hip hop, which is his comfort zone. Karina wants them to be #1 this week. Corbin has a lot of natural ability and it challenges Karina to give him the best choreography. There are no bells and whistles this week, Corbin said, it’s just pure Paso Doble. He looks gooooooood in his matador vest. Love the sharpness and aggression out of the gate. Takes off the vest. Second shirtless dance of the night! He has muscles on his muscles. Love this routine! So passionate. Bill Nye the Science Guy Loves it too!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann shouted that she loved it. The crowd was still cheering. Is Corbin the one to beat? She said the intensity was smoldering, his movements were stunning, but the bad news is … she still saw a little hip hop. Oh come on! Julianne thanked them for doing no gimmicks. “You don’t need it.” Truth. Amazing choreography from Karina. His hips were so far back, put your hips under. She stood up to illustrate that extra little bit. She pulled a Bruno after all! Bruno said what he has is the pure essence of Paso Doble. Masculine and powerful as a bull. It was an incredibly powerful performance.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30. Tied for first at this point. No 10s? (Loved the Will Ferrell Anchorman 2 commercial that aired after this dance. Can we spray for dancers? Ha!)
Vote for Corbin & Karina: 1-800-868-3406
7. Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber — Jive — They travel back and forth from West Coast to East every week and it all caught up with Snooki, who got sick. It was hard for her to rehearse this week. They are such cute cheerleaders, though. Cheerleading was Snooki’s life in high school. She was anorexic and had an eating disorder to keep her place. It was a dark time for her. Now is a good time, she said, to make new positive memories. They show a lot of energy out there, plus a couple of cheer flips. Not the best technique ever, but fun.
JUDGES: Julianne said she’s the cutest thing in the world. That was so her. The only thing she would say is to sharpen her kicks and flicks and have a better connection with Sasha. Bruno sang oh Snooki you’re so fine, you blow my mind… Bruno said her performance level has grown beyond recognition. Carrie Ann remembered when Len called her a pocket rocket. Her knees were a little crazy, though, and she had T-Rex arms in the beginning.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. This feels … generous.
Vote for “Snicole” & Sasha: 1-800-868-3412
8. Christina Milian and Mark Ballas — Foxtrot — They felt rough under those lights last week, but they don’t really know if they were in the bottom two or not. They probably weren’t. She was frustrated in rehearsals this week. It made her question herself as a performer to think she might go home. They’re messing with your mind, girl! Don’t let it get in your head! Mark returns to his Chicago-esque prison bars theme. Nice suit, man. Love the personality and little sassy touches they always add. These two are underappreciated so far this season.
JUDGES: Bruno said she was a foxy lady. Fosse would’ve loved it. It wasn’t traditional. She needs more control in hold, though. Carrie Ann said she loved how she was able to transition between opposing styles. But she has to work on her shoulders just a hair in both styles. She performs the heck out of the numbers. Julianne said every week Christina is strong, sexy and fierce but this week she was hoping for more of a softer side. She’d love to see a completely different side to her. On top of that, Julianne felt like choreography-wise it was like two people dancing side by side rather than together, and she wants to see Christina shine. When you dance with Mark you have to stand out front to shine! Called out, Ballas!
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24. Robbed. Come on, guys. This was stronger than Snooki’s cheerleading.
Vote for Christina & Mark: Vote for 1-800-868-3401
9. Amber Riley and Derek Hough — Tango — Derek jokes about how he has an in this week since his sister is the judge. But he knows Julianne is his harshest critic. Amber’s knees are hurting from the past couple of weeks. She doesn’t want to make it worse so they go to the doctor. She had to have the fluid drained out of her knees. Lindsay stepped in and Amber had to watch. They only started rehearsing on Friday. Everyone has drama this week! Love her walk out in the beginning. Who knew Kanye’s “Love Lockdown” was so good for a Tango? It fits with the sharp movements. She seems fine out there. Looks beautiful too.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said their hold was like one person. She worked on her footwork and it was so crisp and clean. Derek pays Julianne $10 for a good critique! Julianne was hoping that something could go terribly wrong so she wouldn’t get in trouble for liking the performance. She was questioning whether Amber’s pizzazz would work for the tight dance, and holy cow she was like a tight little explosion that hadn’t exploded. Bruno said there’s no beating about the bush, it was pure unmistakably amazing Tango. She’s a magnificent dancer.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30. No 10s tonight, it seems. This is pretty fair, but they didn’t share any constructive feedback to get a 10 so it sounded like they might’ve gone for the big paddle.
Vote for Amber & Derek: 1-800-868-3407
10. Bill Engvall and Emma Slater — Samba — Bill is like the team leader with the cast. They look great in their blue and white outfits. Even love her feathers. Last week Emma actually hit her head in the dress rehearsals and Bill felt so bad. But everything went perfectly during the live show. They bonded over the experience though and it showed Emma how strong their relationship is. They are such a calm, sweet pair. He feels like a creepy old man to swivel his hips, but … no injuries? Fun song. He always gives 100 percent, which has to count for a lot considering he doesn’t have the natural talent or experience of so many others this season. Cheek-cheeky-boom!
JUDGES: Julianne said the reason they kept Bill for last was - everyone in the audience cheered. “You are the heart of the show, in my opinion.” He has this quality about him that’s like her dad, and he’s her favorite person to dance with. Bruno thought he was going to wet himself (!) ‘cause it had everything you want in a Samba except timing and rhythm. He laughed. He wanted to see it again. Oh, that’s not nice. Carrie Ann said who needs Cuban Pete when you’ve got Blue Collar Bill.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. Just once it would’ve been nice for them to break formation.
Vote for Bill E. & Emma: 1-800-868-3409
WHO GOES HOME THIRD?
Who is safe: Right after hearing their scores, Bill and Emma were told they’re safe. So they are going to do this differently every week. Bill cries he’s so happy. Yay for them! He’s like the little engine that could. Also safe: Elizabeth and Val, Leah and Tony, Corbin and Karina, Amber and Derek, Jack and Cheryl, Christina and Mark.
In jeopardy: Snooki and Sasha, Valerie and Tristan, Brant and Peta
Not necessarily the bottom two: Valerie and Tristan, and Brant and Peta
Who is going home on Week 4? Valerie and Tristan. Peta looked so scared. Ah, Valerie. We’ll miss her, and of course Tristan. But it seemed like Valerie knew. She’ll Carry On!
What’s this experience meant to her? “It has been absolutely wonderful, completely unique like nothing else in the world that you would ever do, and it was an opportunity for me to carry a message to folks - not just with cancer, whatever they have, whatever challenge. Like our song, keep on keepin’ on.”
Tristan said sometimes you get very lucky to do well in your partner, and sometimes you get lucky in your life to meet someone who can affect you. And maybe his life is a little bit better since he met Valerie Harper.