Welcome back to Dancing with the Stars, the so-called talent competition that tossed off Christina Milian despite the fact that she earned the season’s first perfect 10s. As we all try to recover from the shock, remember that we have finally reached the official halfway point of the competition. Leah Remini is still in the running to be America’s Next Top Ex-Scientologist and Bruno Tonioli still hasn’t gotten a shot at replacing Charlie Hunnam in 50 Shades of Grey. Luckily, there are still five more weeks of tango, tanning, and tension.
Here’s what happened on Dancing with the Stars:
Most Appropriate Song Choice: Blue Collar comedian Bill Engvall danced a tango to, of course, Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise”
Best Mispronunciation: Pro partner Emma Slater being British and, thus, immune to the charms of Jimmy Buffett, pronounced Buffett as if it was an all-you-can-eat “buffet.” As much as Engvall groaned about it, the slip-up was far preferable to the “cheeseburger” puns the judges used to rate the dance (“It was cheesy!’ “It was delicious!”) His score: 23/30
Hear Her Roar: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren danced an “empowered” cha-cha to prove to the Hollywood cabal that she still had the moves. In response, Bruno Tonioli called her a “brazen hussy,” which is Bruno-speak for “empowered woman.” But nothing is more liberating than a perfect score of 30/30.
Best Back Seat Coach: Leah Remini was having a hard time remembering that dancing was supposed to be fun. Luckily, her BFF Jennifer Lopez and her back-up dancer boyfriend Casper Smart were there to dole out some American Idol-honed advice: Dancing should be fun! (Especially if you’re J. Lo’s back up dancer — right, Casper?) J. Lo’s advice paid off: Leah’s quick step earned her highest score yet: a 27/30.
Worst Timing: Normally, seeing Mona from Pretty Little Liars would make my day, but after J. Lo’s rehearsal-room drop-in, no one Brant Daugherty could recruit to the show would come close. Sorry Mona! Don’t stalk me.
Best Compliment: While Carrie-Ann Inaba dubbed Brant Daugherty, “The perfect Dancing Ken doll!” it was Len Goodman who handed out the much sought after “ten from Len,” which was undoubtedly much more appreciated. Brant earned 28/30.
Most Annoying Judge Moment: Bruno was dying to find something wrong with Glee star Amber Riley‘s samba, but couldn’t. Len dug deep, though, and announced it was “repetitive,” which isn’t Amber’s fault. While judges aren’t supposed to judge based on choreography, Len still doled out a lowly 8 to Amber. But Bruno and Carrie-Ann were eager to hand out 10s for her routine. A 28/30.
Most Straight Forward Routine: Jack Osbourne danced a paso dobles dressed like a matador. The judges thought it was okay. There is nothing else to report. 25/30.
Wittiest Repartee: Proving their on-camera skills, Snooki and Brooke Burke Charvet had this clever exchange: “Can I say ‘suck’?” “You just did.”
That’s What She Said: Pursuant to nothing, during rehearsal, Snooki declared, “I feel like a frog!” She crawled off her lily pad long enough to manage a graceful foxtrot to “Build Me Up Buttercup” and earn a solid 27/30.
Best Fake Khal Drogo: Who knew that High School Musical star Corbin Bleu would make a passable Khal? He and Karina Smirnoff danced a Viennese waltz to the Game of Thrones theme music and Corbin had to step into the Khal’s shoes (and eyeliner). Sadly, it was not performed on horseback. Unfortunately, the judges don’t know better than to underscore a Khal and doled out a 27/30. The judges must not have noticed that he actually spoke Dothraki.
Best (Only) Non-Dance Performance: Dancing with the Stars got 100% more Ariana Grande this week when she and Mika performed their aptly named “Popular Song.”
Best Time-Waster: As the numbers of stars dwindles, the producers are tasked with devising new and unusual ways of filling the time between dance and departure, hence the “switch-up challenge.” Like chaperones at a high school dance, stars and pros had to improv a dance to music they have never heard before.
Worst Sport: For some reason, after the supervising producer announced the switch-up dance contest, Leah Remini walked out of the room with a little black cloud following her.
Dance Party: For the switch-up challenge, the contestants were divided into two heats and were tapped out as they flailed and earned extra points the longer they lasted. In the first round, Bill Engvall opened his shirt to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” and was immediately kicked off (proving there is a merciful God). Corbin and Karina won the first round, taking four bonus points. Round two quickly took it’s toll on Leah and Tony, with the win going to Amber and Derek.
Bottom Two: Jack Osbourne and Bill Engvall were the bottom two contestants. So when Brooke announced that Jack was safe, Bill prepared his own eulogy. However, this week, everyone was safe. Why? Because last week there was a technical issue during the East Coast and Central airings that may have resulted in some lost votes among the easily confused. To maintain a facade of fairness, the producers decided to keep all the contestants and stretch out this show even longer.