There was laughter, tears and even an unexpected smooch during the show’s semi-finals, which featured former cast member Maksim Chmerkovskiy as a guest judge.
As usual, Bill Engvall and partner Emma Slater ended up with the lowest overall score for their two routines – a cha cha and an Argentine tango both set to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It.” Their goofy cha cha that got them 28 points out of 40 was poorly received by judges, but they left them impressed with a serious 32-point Argentine tango that Chmerkovskiy raved was “exactly what an Argentine tango is supposed to be like.”
Was the fan favorite able to make it through another week and land a spot in next week’s finals?
Engvall and Slater are off to win that coveted mirror ball trophy because it was Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani who were sent packing.
“I take away so much,” Remini told the audience right after learning her fate, while her daughter burst into tears in the front row. “I have to thank Tony. He’s put in so much work … This has been an amazing experience … Everybody has been amazing.”
As for Dovolani, he told the crowd, “I’ve never looked so forward to practices every single day. This was an incredible experience. If every season is like this, I will be living a very long life.”
The pair danced two routines to Lady Gaga‘s “Bad Romance.” Their Paso doble was called “a little bit careful” by Len Goodman, while fellow judge Bruno Tonioli said Remini missed two turns. The dance got them all 8s. They performed two points higher with their Argentine tango, but it was critiqued for lack of confidence. Goodman said, “I never felt you embraced the dance fully.”
• The crowd gasped when host Brooke Burke noted just before Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff‘s first performance that they were going to be judged by the pro’s ex-fiancé. But all was well for the dancing duo, who scored 35 points for their fire-themed tango that Goodman didn’t love, but Chmerkovskiy called “awesome.” They then danced a perfect scoring rumba that ended with an unexpected kiss. Chmerkovskiy praised Smirnoff for being “one of the top five female dancers in the competition,” which led the starlet to lean over the judges table and give her ex a friendly peck.
• Dry eyes in the ballroom were few and far between, following Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke‘s routines. The packages before the dances heavily touched on the former reality star’s former struggle with substance abuse and his current battle with multiple sclerosis. Burke, herself, broke down in tears after the routines out of joy in how far her partner has come. They scored 33 points for their jazz number and 38 points for their Argentine tango that Tonioli loved, telling Osbourne, “The transformation was unbelievable … It really is a great achievement. I want to kiss you.” They danced to The Police’s “Roxanne.”
• Amber Riley and Derek Hough were the evening’s leaders, scoring one point shy of a totally flawless night. Tonioli called their jazz dance “totally fierce,” and Chmerkovskiy praised Hough for being the partner that will take Riley to the finish line, after they completed their second dance that brough Inaba to tears. They danced to two versions of Bruno Mars’s “Locked Out of Heaven.”
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