The couples pay tribute to famous movies, but for legal reasons, some come closer than others.
It's Movie Night, and each dance will be paying tribute to…a movie. Could this be more generic? Why not just have Music Night where they dance to music? The guest judge this week (taking Len's place, as he is in London) is…noted dancer Kevin Hart? I get that they want someone who can be entertaining but could they also get someone who has some dance experience? Even someone who has made a dance movie? How about Channing Tatum? I would even accept Joe Manganiello, and you know he would do it. With no results show, there will be an elimination at the end of the episode, so here are your rankings BEFORE the elimination was announced:
11. Randy Couture and Karina: Paso Doble
The theme is Rocky. You would think Randy would do well in a dance that's about a battle paying homage to a movie that's about fighting, but it's…not great. His footwork is terrible and it seems like he's walking around and taking jabs at Karina instead of, you know, dancing. The judges all find different things to harp on, except Kevin Hart, who liked that Randy was "into it." Score: 26/40.
10. Michael Waltrip and Emma: Waltz
Michael is wearing a Robin Hood hat and he looks ridiculous. I mean, shouldn't he be wearing green at least? Disney's Robin Hood as a fox > all other Robins Hood. Look, you know what I'm going to say about this routine, right? Terrible frame, not enough dancing, yadda yadda. It was probably his best routine, but what is that saying really? Score: 28/40.
9. Jonathan Bennett and Allison: Tango
Allison goes to MARK for advice on how to be herself and still give the judges what they want. MARK! That's like going to Kim Kardashian for advice on how to keep it real and stay grounded. Anyway, I don't really understand this tango. It's based on The Great Gatsby but it's a weird German-sounding techno song and they're robots? It looks really stiff and out of time. It's kind of terrible. I feel awful for Jonathan because he's got a lot of charisma and I think he'd do much better with a different partner. The judges are happy to see more content this week, and they all praise the routine; I thought it was pretty bad. Score: 32/40. Way overscored.
8. Betsey Johnson and Tony: Contemporary
It's a good thing "Contemporary" is a nebulous container because Betsey does a sort-of rumba crossed with a semi-waltz. It's very pretty and she does a great job. The only awkward moment is going into one of the lifts when she kind of squats awkwardly over Tony's prone body before he lifts and spins her. She is very graceful (except for the squat), but I don't know how much actual dancing was happening. Kevin Hart maybe wants to pork Betsey Johnson, and he gives her a 9. Score: 29/40.
7. Antonio Sabato Jr and Cheryl: Foxtrot
First, they are dancing to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and claiming it's from Guardians of the Galaxy, which FINE, I guess it is, but it's really from the Julia Roberts/Susan Sarandon vehicle Stepmom and I will brook no dissent. NO DISSENT, ANTONIO! Anyway, he has some technical issues with his frame and timing but he smiles! And looks like he's having fun! And THAT is what has been missing from so many of these other routines. They're all grimly determined and he's having a blast. That makes up for so much. The judges don't agree. Score: 29/40.
6. Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney: Quickstep
Alfonso pulls out all the stops to distract from the fact that he's not as good at ballroom as he is at the Latin dances. I mean, he's still good. He's got quick feet and his frame stays strong. But he's lucky Len's not around to yell about all the faffing about at the beginning and end of the routine, because there was quite a bit of it. Alfonso better hit the gym, or he's not going to be able to handle the longer routines in the coming weeks. The judges all give very specific advice except for K-Hart, who yells about Alfonso's velvet suit. Scores: 32/40.
5. Tommy Chong and Peta: Argentine Tango
Tommy is apparently already a tango expert, as he starts teaching Peta the moves in rehearsal. Maybe he's been hanging out with Robert Duvall. Isn't he the one who has a tango studio in his house or something? ["Confirmed." - ed.] Tommy does have the tango attitude down. He could have slightly better posture and he seems frail at times instead of strong, but this was his best routine so far. The judges are awed by his performance Score: 34/40. Maybe slightly underscored but probably the best score he'll ever get.
4. Lea Thompson and Artem: Cha-Cha
Oy, with the Back to the Future skit. Although, what else are they going to do, I guess? There's something weird about Lea's legs for a Latin dance. I think her ballet training shines through and she keeps her legs very straight and her knees locked, and instead her knees should be bent. She's also leaning forward. She had a slight fumble in the middle; overall this wasn't her best routine, but it was still pretty decent. The judges agree. Score: 31/40.
3. Sadie Robertson and Mark: Viennese Waltz
I think Mark might be too short to dance with Sadie. Her frame is good, but she looks like she's bending over or reaching down to him. Sometimes her arm movements are graceful and beautiful and sometimes they're too choppy. She just needs more consistency. But the routine was charming, especially considering it was Mark "Mr. Gimmick" Ballas choreographing it. The judges really liked it. Score: 32/40.
2. Janel Parrish and Val: Jazz
They're both really excited to do West Side Story until they find out that they're not allowed to do any of the choreography from the movie. So they have to dance to "America" without any of the stomping, clapping, and skirt-twirling. And they somehow pull it off! You can tell that Val just skirted some of the moves, but still made it look right, like it fit. Amazing choreography. And Janel nailed it. She is a star. The judges can't stop raving about how Janel just made her career. Score: 40/40. Deserved.
1. Bethany Moto and Derek: Jazz
They are doing "Singin' In the Rain" and I really just want to watch Derek do a Gene Kelly impersonation. Can we get Bethany out of there? That said, the routine Derek has created requires a lot of perfect synchronization with body movements and umbrellas and whatnot, and Bethany does fantastic. I just have a hard time keeping my eyes on her and not watching Derek. He's not overdancing like Mark sometimes does, but this is the routine he was made to do. They even show footage of tiny baby Derek dancing to this song as a four-year-old, and it's adorable. Score: 40/40. Also deserved.
It comes down to Jonathan or Randy, and Randy goes home. He has never lived up to the promise of his very first dance, and I think Jonathan has more to show us, so I'm fine with it.