We need to talk about the use of props in this week’s DWTS. A harness? A Mini Cooper? A… ahem… donkey?! This week, the celebs took creative control of their dance numbers and recreated “iconic dances” from seasons past. From flying Frenchmen to Olympic floor routines, this week had it all… and then some. Plus, a bombshell: Paula Abdul will guest-judge next week. Wait… what show is this again?
Drew & Anna
Poor Drew. I think this routine — Joey McIntyre’s cha-cha from Season 1 — was intended to help him lose the boy-band image he’s had projected on him since he was, well, born. Sorry Drew. You were in 98 Degrees. You’ll never not remind people of the late-90s glory days. I don’t care what Bruno says: you’re no Channing Tatum to this girl.
Gilles & Peta
Ladies and gentlemen, the dance of the night belongs to these two. Not for technical skill or dramatic flair (although this certainly had plenty of both). No, this couple wins because GILLES FLEW IN ON A HARNESS. His vaguely sexualized Peter Pan tribute (just go with it) had the whole audience screaming his praise.
Melissa & Tony
I’m sorry. I don’t think I was able to watch this dance — a season 13 samba — because I went blind as soon as Melissa waltzed onto the stage. Looking at her was like staring into the sun in the middle of Mardi Gras — girlfriend had more rhinestones than Toddlers & Tiaras. For sheer insanity (was that a headstand I saw?!), judges awarded this one of the highest scores of the night.
Apolo & Karina
Apolo goes for the low blow this week, reprising rival Gilles’ foxtrot from Season 3. I don’t know who decided it would be a good idea to have living statues on the dance floor, but I guess in the category of weird things that happened onstage tonight, this is among the tamer options. Still, I’m thinking Apolo probably hasn’t seen the latest episode of Doctor Who, otherwise he might have chosen something a little less terrifying.
Kelly & Val
Ooooh, sibling rivalry! Kelly warns Val that he has to beat brother Maks this week (although as we’ll see, that’s a tall order when it comes to sheer stage presence). I’m surprised it’s taken Kelly this long to show just how good she is — as far as technical skill goes, she’s one of the most naturally gifted dancers on the show. But I guess she’s also the busiest — unlike most of the other celebs, she’s still working her day job (on General Hospital) while rehearsing for DWTS. Still, she gets the best score of the night. Go girl!
Kirstie & Maks
Oh, Maks. Kirstie has made you weird. The dancer came out in a tricked-out Mini Cooper, decked out in full Mick Jagger regalia — complete with a pageboy wig and pants so tight I assume he was stitched into them. But seriously. How did those pants not rip apart on the dancefloor? Was that not the goal?
Sabrina & Louis
Sabrina Bryan is the only person in the world who could make a dance that Scary Spice originated look cute. Mel B. originally performed this paso doble the week after Sabrina was eliminated in Season 5, and dedicated it to her — making this a full-circle triumph and a big “what now?!” to the legions of voters who booted her off last time. The judges critiqued her for not being dynamic enough for an all-stars competition, but Sabrina is so lovable and energetic that it’s hard to imagine her going home anytime soon.
Emmitt & Cheryl
Emmitt, I’m sorry, but if you put a donkey on stage, a few things are going to happen. One, no one will pay attention to you because there is a four-legged former Shrek costar whinnying in the corner, and two, half the audience is terrified the donkey will go rogue and kick someone in the front row. In Emmitt’s defense, though, he did try to regain everyone’s attention with some crafty throws that had me convinced Cheryl was about to die. A good dance? I’m not sure. But I award you 30/30 points for the livestock.
Helio & Chelsie
I’m sorry — call me a terrible person, but I love seeing celebs mess up. It’s part of why we as Americans love reality TV (hellooo, Snooki!) and something I hope for — but somehow always miss — each week on DWTS. This week, I finally got my wish, although Helio’s tiny trip wasn’t enough to send him and Chelsie careening across the dance floor. Still, he tripped, and schadenfreude kicked in. Because now I can feel like I’m more talented than someone. Thanks, Helio!
Bristol & Mark
Honestly, I know I love to hate Bristol but I actually felt real pity for her this week. Our favorite redneck had a true Alaskan meltdown, accusing Mark of being unhappy to be stuck with her. It’s actually really sad — she’s so insecure about how she’s perceived on the show that she can’t help but be emotional. Luckily for her, girlfriend had a mini-comeback this week, earning praise from the judges for her “best dance yet.” For this week, and this week only, I agree. Stay strong, girl!
Shawn & Derek
Hey guys! Guess what? Shawn is an Olympic gymnast! Just in case anyone forgot (how could we?), Shawn and Derek performed a quickstep that was more floor routine than actual dance. Literally, there were trampolines involved. The judges called it the best dance in DWTS history, but stickler Len docked them a point for “breaking the rules.” Haters gonna hate, Len. Haters gonna hate/
Which all-star is headed home tonight?