A round of applause for all the firsts on Dancing With the Stars Season 16 Week 5!
First of the firsts, judge Len Goodman gave us the Side-By-Side Challenge, which was ostensibly about the pro couples helping and inspiring the celebs to up their games — and that did seem to be the case for the top couples, but not so much the comedians at the bottom. For the two funny guys, dancing opposite more pros just made them stand out like sore thumbs. But at least D.L. didn't act sore this week! Still, the challenge was really about bringing back our beloved pros, because we missed them and ABC wants ratings. (Which they may not get this week, since some fans may have skipped the show to watch the news after the Boston bombings.)
Other firsts — Kellie Pickler had her first-ever ballroom dance and Val Chmerkovskiy did his first-ever Argentine Tango. As expected, both were fantastic. Val was made for the AT, and he and Zendaya earned the first 10s of the season for that sexy, inventive, show-stealing jewelry heist routine. We’re gonna have to hold onto that one for our Best Dances of the Season list, five weeks from now.
As exciting as it was to have so many firsts, the top four couples of the week were nothing new. It was Zendaya, Kellie, Jacoby Jones and Aly Raisman, as usual. They mix up the order sometimes, but it’s usually Z and Kellie at the top, and it was the same tonight. Do you think one of the comedians will go home, or will poor Victor Ortiz be back in the bottom two for his final round?
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stand after Week 5.
Zendaya & Val — 29
Kellie & Derek — 27
Jacoby & Karina — 26
Aly & Mark — 25
Sean & Peta — 24
Ingo & Kym — 21
Victor & Lindsay — 21
D.L.& Cheryl — 18
Andy & Sharna — 18
Read on for a full recap of the Week 5 action:
SILENT OPENING: Tom and Brooke took a moment to address the Boston bombings at the start of the night. They hoped to still put on an entertaining show.
1. Ingo Rademacher & Kym Johnson — Cha-Cha-Cha to "Lady Marmalade" — Partners: Tony Dovolani & Emma Slater — Ingo had a good strategy: Ask Tony to tone things down! If you can’t beat ‘em, ask ‘em to beat themselves. Ingo was so pessimistic he just hoped to skate by unnoticed. They definitely didn’t hit all the synchronized marks opposite the pro couple. Ingo looked more comfortable just with Kym, but Kym seemed to be moving the most. These dances are longer than usual this week, so they really have to fill that time.
JUDGES: Head judge Len Goodman said all the routines are going to be a little bit longer than normal so it’s about stamina too. Ingo kept up with energy all the way through. He always comes out and attacks the dance but he has to give it more care and work on details. He’s got to go up a level. Bruno Tonioli said in sheer strength and willpower he got out of it. He gets the character right but he has technical problems. His hip action is rigid (yes) and his timing has to be better. Carrie Ann Inaba said his pelvic thrusts were a hit. It’s not easy to dance opposite the All-Stars champion. He does need to work on below the belt. (!)
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30.
Vote for Ingo & Kym: 1-800-868-3403
2. Jacoby Jones & Karina Smirnoff — Jive to "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard — Partners: Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya — Maks actually kissed Karina on the cheek, which is progress since there was a time when he said he would never speak to her again. They have a cute poker game opening. It’s so good to see Maks & Anna dancing again! This group is a bit better with synchronizing moves, but not much. That’s a tough part for the couples. This song is so much fun, they lucked out there. Love Jacoby’s purple suspenders. Great entertainment! He’s such a showman. Tom already wants it as the encore dance. The audience loved it too.
JUDGES: Bruno said, “Jacoby and Maks, it was like watching two stallions at the peak of their power fighting for supremacy.” Masculinity and testosterone pouring from everywhere. Jacoby needs to point his feet on the kicks and flicks, though. Carrie Ann said it was a little flat-footed in parts. She loves her some Jacoby and he loves her back. Carrie Ann said he hammered that Jive. Len said Jacoby lights up the place, but he’ll never get a 9 with those feet. But, to Jacoby, at least his feet take him 108 feet in 11 seconds on the football field.
SCORES: 9, 8, 9 = 26 out of 30.
Vote for Jacoby & Karina: 1-800-868-3412
3. Victor Ortiz & Lindsay Arnold — Viennese Waltz to "Never Tear Us Apart" by INXS — Partners: Tristan MacManus and Emma — Victor was distracted last week during rehearsals, because of some girl he was dating who was seeing another guy? Heck with her! Find someone more worthy. But never mind that for a minute, ‘cause Tristan is back! They aren’t bad, in terms of matching movements. Victor is still a little too jerky instead of fluid, but there’s improvement there, and effort.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said that was a victory. He channeled his emotions well. She saw a fluidity and he nailed the grace. A foot came off the floor, though. Len said there was no intent to lift, so he disagreed with Carrie Ann. This is better than last week and that’s the way to go. Bruno said he’s back in the game. He was elegant and had an erect, pert stance. (Oh, Bruno!) He lost it for a couple of seconds but covered it well.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30.
Vote for Victor & Lindsay: 1-800-868-3402
4. Alexandra Raisman & Mark Ballas — Samba to “Misery” by Maroon 5 — Partners: Tony and Witney Carson — Aly is the girl Mark can’t have. But he’s also a good sassy girl himself. Aly really works it and shows some personality out there. She’s not always loose enough to look like she’s having fun, but this time she seems to just go for it. And Mark has her moving around a lot, so it’s not like he’s doing the bulk of the work.
JUDGES: Len said Aly’s bottom is the tops. He found a little mistake at one point and sometimes her legs are a bit flimsy, but overall she knocked it out as a performance. Bruno said he had no idea Aly could be so sassy. She has strong technique, apart from that mistake. She has a lovely effortless, carefree attitude that shows her enjoy dancing. Carrie Ann liked seeing her bring out her sexy side. She saw what Witney taught her come out in the dance. Carrie Ann thinks Aly noticed when Witney wasn’t there and it affected her dance. Mark did not seem happy with the comments.
SCORES: 8, 8, 9 = 25 out of 30.
Vote for Aly & Mark: 1-800-868-3408
5. Sean Lowe & Peta Murgatroyd — Quickstep to "Go Get It" by Sepalot feat. Ladi6 — Partners: Chelsie Hightower and Tristan — Sean even dressed like Tristan so they would look identical. He decided to copy everything Tristan did. Ha! If Tristan had been on The Bachelor, Sean would’ve picked him. They belong together. (Sean even calls him “a beautiful man.” Everyone loves him!) They have a cute ballroom dance contest rivalry story. Love Peta’s sparkly gold pants, and her phenomenal tight curls. She’s like retro and timeless at the same time. Sean can still look a little stiff, especially when he puts his arms out. But this is an improvement, and it’s so much fun.
JUDGES: Bruno said “Sean, what’s going on?” Up till now he’s been fun to watch but a bit of an underdog. But tonight he turned into a swan. Carrie Ann said he is back, bold and beautiful. He’s so determined and sure when he dances. Len said last week he was a statue, this week he was a pigeon. (!) It was meant to be a compliment. Bruno burst out laughing. Len and Carrie Ann fought over it again. But it boiled down to, “That’s your best dance so far."
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30.
Vote for Sean & Peta: 1-800-868-3407
6. Kellie Pickler & Derek Hough — Foxtrot to “It Had to Be You” — Partners: Henry Byalikov and Anna — It’s their first ballroom dance of the whole competition. Huh. Derek gets extra frustrated with her when she’s not perfect. He does get that way with partners with huge potential. But still. He should calm down a bit. Anna helped her out a lot, and it gave Derek a bit of a break too. These two couples look pretty well matched. It’s like an American Downton Abbey. (Then again, that’s basically what The Great Gatsby is.) Love Kellie’s wig. What a classy, elegant, sophisticated, fun routine. Of course her ballroom work is as good as everything else she does!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann told Len she loves the side-by-side challenge. She thinks the celebs have all blossomed by dancing alongside the pros. “That was fabulous.” She can’t believe that’s Kellie's first ballroom. She had a little turn misstep. Len said it wasn’t a Foxtrot it was a Hottrot. They put the “oo” in smooth. Len said if she keeps dancing like that she’ll make the finals. (Well, duh! We knew that on Week 1.) Bruno always breaks out good pop culture references. Kellie had the glamor and humor of Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight and he sophistication and elegance of Gatsby. Baz Lurhmann would use this.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30.
Vote for Kellie & Derek: 1-800-868-3401 (1-800-VOTE4-01)
7. D.L. Hughley & Cheryl Burke — Tango to "Love Letter" by Clairy Browne & the Bangin' Rackettes — Partners: Sasha Farber and Chelsie — Cheryl calls him creepy and a dirty old man for connecting by the hips with ... his nether regions. Sasha helps him from a male perspective. You can’t envy D.L. for having to go against Sasha, who really is a sharp powerhouse. D.L. mostly seems to just walk his Tango along instead of having much finesse, but he does seem to be making some progress. He moves out there, even if his moves need work!
JUDGES: Len said it was like a decaf coffee. It looked all right but it was too mild and lacked buzz. (That’s a pretty decent comparison, actually.) You’ve got to attack the dance. He got through it OK but it lacked the attack. Bruno said D.L. went for the aggression and disdain but his feet got in a little meddle. He was a romper stomper instead of a stalking panther. It fell apart technically. His footwork was off. Carrie Ann loved his intensity and focus but side-by-side she could see the difference. His lack of technique was obvious. D.L. wondered if it was his hair. Celebs like Kellie, and probably Zendaya, are helped by the pros to just go up a notch, but someone like D.L. is not done any favors by that kind of comparison.
SCORES: 6, 6, 6 = 18 out of 30. Another low score. Probably fair, although you could see his work out there. It’s not like (sorry) Wynonna just not really moving.
Vote for D.L. & Cheryl: 1-800-868-3405
8. Zendaya Coleman & Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Argentine Tango to "Discombobulate" by Hans Zimmer — Partners: Maks and Anna — Val has never danced the Argentine Tango before?! How is that even possible? Zendaya has the world’s best nails. It does seem to help to see how a dance should be done, by a pro couple. Anna has to teach Z how to be a woman, instead of a 16-year-old girl who sees Val as a creepy old guy. All these creepy old men on DWTS! (Kidding!) They have a jewel heist storyline and what sounds like Sherlock Holmes music. Again, love seeing Maks and Anna dance together. They keep the jewel story going through the dance, which is cool. Z & V are so sharp together. Seriously, this is Kellie vs. Zendaya all the way through. No complaints, just saying. LOVE V& Z’s shapes together. Wish you could buy legs like hers. Fantastic dance!
JUDGES: Bruno called Zendaya a lethal beauty. She’s the ultimate femme fatale. She was as good and strong next to Anna. She was up there with the best they’ve ever had. Carrie Ann said Z is so tall but you’d never notice since she was right in there. Every move she does has a story. Len said it was like a lemon tart - sharp and tangy at the top, crisp and tasty down below. “A gem of a dance. Well done.” Lemon tart! Len’s compliments always sound like insults.
SCORES: 10, 9, 10 = 29 out of 30! First 10s of the season!
Vote for Zendaya & Val: 1-800-868-3406
9. Andy Dick & Sharna Burgess — Paso Doble to "The Plaza of Execution" by James Horner— Partners: Sasha & Emma — No comedian has ever gotten this far on DWTS before? And we have two? That’s interesting. Andy’s going to bring out his inner (way inner) Zorro. Love watching Sasha & Emma together. Then Andy literally zooms in to dance. Adam Carolla had trouble with some kind of Zorro move back when he danced with Julianne. Didn’t he try it with a unicycle, too? This isn’t a bad look for Andy, but it’s not the best Paso. Still, he tries. And he really worked that cape! Not always well, but he worked it.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said that entrance will never be forgotten. It’s the best entrance she’s ever seen. But once he lost the cape the dance fell apart. He had the intensity but something was off. Len said it was more Pasadena than Paso Doble but as always it was great fun. Bruno said it was indescribable. It was the attack of the killer cape. “The only thing missing was Cloris Leachman.” Ha! Low blow.
SCORES: 6, 6, 6 = 18 out of 30.
Vote for Andy & Sharna: 1-800-868-3411