Maks is back in the ballroom, Dancing With the Stars fans!
Season 17 is already heading into Week 10 — how is it already time for the Semifinals? — and ABC is pulling out all the stops for an epic climax, including bringing former pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy back to the ballroom as a judge. So what can we expect when the bad boy of the ballroom returns? Drama, naturally! (But here's hoping this drama stays on the dance floor.)
Maks may be known for being outspoken, but he assures fans that he's taking the responsibility of being a judge "very seriously," and told us that his judging philosophy is to "never belittle anybody." He's called the main judging panel out for being unduly cruel in the past, so we can probably expect him to be harsh, but not derogatory. Tonight will also feature a new theme: "Plugged/Unplugged!"
Confused? We were too. Here's the deal: each star will perform two dances this week, and both will be to the same song — but two different versions. In the first round of the night, "the couples will perform either a Jazz, Paso Doble, Cha Cha, or Tango routine to an original or ‘plugged’ version of their selected song," while round two will feature, "either a Viennese Waltz, Argentine Tango, or Rumba routine to an acoustic or ‘unplugged’ version of that same song." Sounds exciting!
Since each couple will be dancing twice tonight, so here's what we know to expect:
Amber Riley and Derek Hough: Jazz and Viennese Waltz
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater: Cha-Cha-Cha and Argentine Tango
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff: Tango and Rumba
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke: Jazz and Argentine Tango
Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani: Paso Doble and Argentine Tango
OK, Dancing With the Stars fans, now that you know what to expect, join in on the fun below as Wetpaint Entertainment gets ready to live recap the Season 17 semifinals! And since we know you have a lot of feelings (we do too!), tell us what you think of the episode in the comments.
We’ll try our best to answer all of your questions, comments and concerns. Keep refreshing for more!
8:02 — Derek Hough and Sharna Burgess would actually make a pretty hot couple, no?
8:03 — Maks is back! (And he's clean-shaven!)
8:05 — Leah and Tony get Lady Gag's "Bad Romance." We're intrigued to hear this instrumental version...
8:06 — Maks is a natural behind the judges' table, especially when he's not wearing pants.
8:07 — This is actually the perfect song for a Paso Doble. Plus, Leah looks fierce!
8:08 — Maks says he's scared of being "hypocritical," so let's see how he does...
8:09 — Len calls Leah's Paso a little too "careful." We have to agree with him. It was a perfectly fine Paso, but there was no razzmatazz!
8:10 — Maks says he wanted it to be a little more "emotional." — "He looks crazy [pointing to Tony] if you're not."
8:11 — 8-8-8-8 for Leah and Tony's Paso Doble!
8:16 — Why do Corbin and Karina look so spooky? Are they supposed to be Death Eaters?
8:18 — Why is DWTS playing up Maks and Karina's engagement? It's a little weird...
8:19 — File this under things I never thought I'd see on TV: a Tango to Fall Out Boy.
8:20 — That seemed very rushed, but they were definitely on fire!
8:20 — Bruno called it "brilliant" but noted that they did lose the frame a bit.
8:21 — Len thought it was too rushed. "This isn't manic Monday, you know!" (Note: Maks loved it.)
8:22 — 9-8-9-9 for Corbin and Karina's Tango.
8:27 — "That Mirror Ball is kinda cool," said no one ever.
8:28 — Jack and Cheryl's Jazz routine is the best of the night so far because it was SO FUN. (Sharon Osbourne clearly agrees.)
8:30 — Cheryl always makes the best call girls... we hope she takes that as a compliment.
8:31 — Maks loved it — he seems to be liking everything.
8:32 — I'd watch a show starring Maks and Bruno.
8:32 — 8-8-9-8 for Jack and Cheryl's Jazz!
8:39 — Bill and Emma are kind of the best. Sure, he's not the best dancer, but he's the most entertaining — and he has the most heart.
8:41 — Poor Bill. This Cha-Cha is a mess.
8:42 — "I don't believe in talent. I believe in hard work." — Maksim Chmerkovskiy
8:43 — This is that awkward moment when the judges are trying to be nice about their backhanded compliments.
8:43 — 7-7-7-7 for Bill and Emma's Cha-Cha!
8:50 — Wasn't this a performance from So You Think You Can Dance? C'mon, Emmy winner, Derek Hough! (Look at Jasmine and Marko's Jazz from SYTYCD and decide for yourself.)
8:53 — "It was like Bob Fosse, but now," says Maks. The judges obviously loved it.
8:54 — 10-10-9-10 for Amber and Derek! (Note: Maks gave their Jazz routine a 9 — Buuuurn.)
9:00 — I really want to go to a bar with Leah. I feel like we'd have a good time.
9:01 — "I didn't think I was going to inspire people — I thought I was going to do the opposite."
9:02 — Can we give Leah's daughter the Mirror Ball?
9:03 — Leah and Tony's Argentine Tango is definitely better than their Paso. Let's just forget about that Paso.
9:04 — Len has been booed into silence. Carrie Ann wants Leah to have more confidence.
9:05 — Maks just called Leah "a real woman." Alrighty...
9:06 — 8-8-8-9 for Leah and Tony's Argentine Tango!
9:12 — So... Corbin is a perfect human being. (Also, his mom is adorable!)
9:14 — Again with the glitter?
9:14 — Love this Rumba — it's sexy and powerful.
9:15 — All Carrie Ann could think of while watching Corbin dance: "Your body is a wonderland."
9:17 — Karina and Maks are kind of the cutest couple. Can they just start dating again?
9:18 — 10-10-10-10 for Corbin and Karina's Rumba!
9:21 — We love how positive Jack is. He doesn't let anything stop him. It's truly inspiring.
9:27 — And this is totally the version of "Roxanne" from Moulin Rouge! (Which would explain why Jack is choking Cheryl.)
9:28 — This is a really sexy routine. Kudos to Cheryl!
9:30 — 10-9-9-10 for Jack and Cheryl's Argentine Tango!
9:33 — How can you not root for Bill?!
9:35 — This Argentine Tango is SO GOOD! Sure, we may be biased — we're members of the "I <3 Bill Engvall Club" — but that was really sexy.
9:37 — "You played it straight, and you played it well." For once, Bruno and I are on the same page.
9:37 — 8-8-8-8 for Bill and Emma's Argentine Tango!
9:45 — Amber's package is like a Glee reunion.
9:45 — Can Ryan Murphy be on the next season? Please, TV gods. Let it be.
9:46 — DWTS must really love Kerli...
9:47 — This is a pretty Viennese Waltz and all, but the lyrics to this song are, "Your sex takes me to paradise." I just can't.
9:47 — "There was smoke on the floor, but there was fire in that performance!" Len got his mojo back just in time!
9:49 — Maks and Carrie Ann are on the same wave length this week...
9:49 — 10-10-10-10 for Amber and Derek's Viennese Waltz!
9:56 — And the FINAL FOUR are... Amber and Derek, Corbin and Karina, Jack and Cheryl... and BILL AND EMMA!
9:57 — America really loves Bill, huh?
9:57 — We're sad to see Leah go. She was really improving week after week!
What did you think, DWTS fans? Did the right couple go home? Do you think these four couples deserve to be in the final? Sound off in the comments!
Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fangirl for all things The Vampire Diaries. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!