It was a busy night on Monday's "Dancing With the Stars"! The eight remaining couples worked on their individual performances and also collaborated on two team dances. And due to the technical error last week, the viewer votes and the judges' votes from last week counted toward this week's scores.
In the meantime, here's how the contestants fared this week:
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi was exhausted this week (she was barely sleeping because her son had a fever), and she struggled to stay motivated during rehearsals. Her pro partner Sasha Farber did his best to raise her spirits, and they were pleasantly surprised when their samba earned a 27 out of 30. They were part of Team Spooky Bom Bom, whose fun zombie-inspired number also scored a 27. But although she scored higher than expected, her overall score of 84 points wasn't enough to save her, and she was sent home.
Meanwhile, Amber Riley and Derek Hough dominated the dance floor once again, performing a passionate, stripped down paso doble. Amber has been having ongoing knee problems and Derek suffered from back pain during rehearsals, but you would never know it from their fiery performance, which earned 10s from Len and Carrie Ann and an enthusiastic 9 from Bruno. Later on, they were part of team 'Foxing Awesome,' whose hilarious jazz interpretation of Ylvis's viral hit "The Fox" scored 10s across the board. Total combined score: 91
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff had an amazing comeback after last week's passionate Game of Thrones number underwhelmed the judges. Karina agonized over the choreography during rehearsals and Corbin admitted that although he looked calm, he was secretly "freaking out" -- but their hard work paid off, and they looked like two pros dancing their energetic Cha Cha Cha. All the judges gave them rave reviews, though Len said he could have done with less "gyratoring!" They were also part of the "Fox" team, adding three 10s to their score. Total combined score: 86 points
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke also redeemed themselves after a difficult few weeks. Jack struggled with fatigue during rehearsals, and said he wasn't sure whether he was just tired, or whether it was a symptom of his MS. Cheryl Burke softened her approach from previous weeks and had only encouraging words for her dedicated partner. "There's no reason, Jack, that you can't win this," she told him. "You've come so far. You need to hold your head up." The judges praised Jack's elegance and precision throughout their lively jive, and he even earned his first 10 from Carrie Ann. As part of the "Fox" dance, they also had 30 points added to their score. Total combined score: 84 points
Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd emerged as stronger contestants than ever with their spunky ice-cream-themed jive. Brant proved his dedication to learning the tricky steps by taking home videos of himself practicing in his backyard, and his practice paid off. Len said he "danced on the edge" and Bruno said he was on a "frisky schoolboy sugar high." He and Peta were also part of the "Fox" team dance, adding another 30 points to their score. Total combined score: 88 points
Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani seem to be getting steadily better every week as Leah gains confidence, and this week, she had extra support in the audience from her friend Chelsea Handler (who also confessed her "sexual attraction" to Tom Bergeron). Their fiery salsa earned rave reviews from the judges, and especially Bruno, who could hardly contain himself. "Look at you all gone salacious on me!" he cried, going on for several seconds about why he loved the dance. "I didn't understand a single word he said," Leah admitted. As part of Team Spooky Bom Bom, Leah and Tony earned an additional 27 points. Total combined score: 81
Meanwhile, the pressure was on for Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy after last week's perfect score. Val leaned hard on Elizabeth during rehearsals, seeming to almost bring her to tears at some points, but she said she wanted him to expect a lot from her because that's how she improves. Their UFO-themed quickstep earned them three 9s, and Len said that in their case, UFO actually stands for "Utterly Full-On!" They were part of the zombie team and earned an additional 27 points for their second group performance. Total combined score: 86 points
Finally, Bill Engvall and Emma Slater, who were also part of the zombie team, worked hard this week to perfect their quickstep. Though Bill said he struggled at times to keep up with the fast-moving steps, his struggles with technique only made him more determined to do well. Though he slipped up a few times during the routine, all the judges praised his effort and improvement since the beginning of the competition, and Len even said that if he was judging with "his heart," he would give Bill a 10.
Also from Parade.com:
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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