Wow!!!!! Big Wow!!!!!!!, what a night! There were highs — two couples received the first perfect scores of the season — and lows — one more celeb and pro partner was sent home. Tonight was “Movie Night” and the celebs and their pros danced to music that was prominently featured in one of their favorite movies. Head judge Len Goodman was “across the pond” this week, so Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Julianne Hough were joined by actor/comedian Kevin Hart, who showed he has some dance moves in his intro, as well as a “hand jive” number with Josh Gad and the DWTS Troupe coming out of a break.
Incredibly, most of the fireworks happened toward the end of the two hours. First, the good news. Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy danced a jazz routine to “America” from “West Side Story” that Julianne said “felt like a full-on Broadway show.” Bruno added that it was Janel’s star-making turn. The scores? Four 10s for a perfect 40. Janel started crying and Val was ecstatic, especially since he had to redo the choreography to new music after his first choice, “I Feel Pretty,” did not get clearance. They were absolutely outstanding.
They were followed by Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd dancing an Argentine tango to music from “Scent of a Woman” that Peta admitted was the only time Tommy remembered all the steps. I think he might be kidding around a little because he was incredible, and while Carrie Ann, Julianne and Bruno gave them 8s, Kevin rewarded their performance with a 10, for a total of 34
The final couple to dance was Bethany Mota and Derek Hough, and they did a jazz routine to “Singing in the Rain,” a personal favorite of Derek’s. After getting permission to use the music from Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia, the pair was stunned to have her visit their rehearsal. Julianne told Bethany that she didn’t miss a step and Carrie Ann only said, “Mission impossible? Mission accomplished.” For the second time during the show, all four judges gave scores of 10, for another perfect 40! In Week 3? Where do they go from here?
The first couple to dance tonight was Randy Couture and Karina Smirnoff — after they were told that they were in jeopardy. Although they denied the news affected their performance, their paso doble to “Eye of the Tiger” from “Rocky III” was clunky and Randy’s timing was off. Their total score of 26 was the lowest of the evening.
The other couples in jeopardy were Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker, and Antonio Sabato and Cheryl Burke, and in the end, it was Randy and Karina who were eliminated, much to the stunned surprise of Jonathan and Allison. Randy was gracious and said, “I’m happy — it was a great experience, I put myself out there, tried something new. It’s been fun.” Karina called him “an amazing man” and hoped she had made a friend for life.
I have to mention two more favorite routines of the night. Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev did a cha-cha to “Power of Love” from “Back to the Future,” and brought back the fun of the movie with gusto, including a DeLorean. Lea can really dance and she did a terrific job, although Carrie Ann didn’t think it was her best. She seems to be able to handle almost any dance that’s thrown at her and I expect her to be in the finals. And Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani were great in a contemporary routine to “Unchained Melody” from ghost. Through all of Tony’s lifts, Betsey was graceful and elegant. And her absolute delight when they found out that they were safe to dance next week was fantastic.
Host Tom Bergeron was, as always, at the top of his game as the King of Quips. After Antonio and Cheryl danced, the crowd was going crazy, especially the screamer in the upper balcony. Turning to look up, Tom said, “Please, please, no jumpers!”
One bit of news was that the Switch Up will be back in two weeks, and viewers were encouraged to vote on how they would switch the couples around. This should really be interesting. See you next Monday — keep dancing.
All of the celebrities and their scores:
Bethany Mota and Derek Hough — 40
Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy — 40
Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd — 34
Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker — 32
Alfonso Ribeiro and Whitney Carson — 32
Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas — 32
Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev — 31
Betsey Johnson and Tony Dovolani — 29
Antonio Sabato and Cheryl Burke — 29
Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater — 28