Tom claims in his opening voiceover that it doesn't matter who has been the judge or fan favorite so far, because "tonight, the slate is wiped clean." Except it's totally not. I mean, if someone has been a big fan of Erin or Evan all along, it's not like now they think, "Well, it's the semifinals, so I'm going to be open-minded and possibly vote for Nicole or Chad." If anything, people are even more entrenched in their positions (based on the forums, anyway). That was just a weird thing to say, when it's all happening LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!
Tom and Brooke appear to introduce the couples and Brooke has foregone the bandage dress this week to wear a leather looking bustier that must be left over from her days hosting Rock Star. Chad and Maks are both wearing sheer shirts; there must have been a sale on that material at the local Hobby Lobby. Do they even sell fabric at Hobby Lobby? It's just a funny name. Like Piggly Wiggly. Or the grocery store in the town where my mom grew up: Market Basket.
Wait, what's going on? Tom interrupts the show opening to reveal that they usually don't reveal who is first in the viewer votes but tonight he's going to tell us that each of the couples has led in viewer votes at least one week. That was the big announcement? The way he led up to it, I thought there was going to be a change in procedure or something. I mean, I am a little surprised that Erin and Chad led the voting at least one week, but I'm not like falling down shocked or anything. That was weird.
Erin and Maks are up first tonight. In rehearsals, Maks explains that he thinks they have a good shot at making it to the finals and even winning, so he is super focused and pushing Erin hard. Instead of their usual squabbling, they are getting along and working hard. So does it pay off in their Viennese waltz? Maks does that thing he always does that I hate in slow dances -- start and ends with random walking around the stage. I feel like it's a copout to avoid having to choreograph segments. Erin's lines are beautiful and they move well together, but some of her turns are a little choppy. The ending features them sitting on the stairs and then scooting together and Erin putting her head on Maks's shoulder. It's cute, but at this point, I expect something a little more content-filled.
Len thinks that Erin just took a step towards making the finals. Bruno loved her lines and fluidity, although he saw the bobble on the turn. Carrie Ann loves watching Erin grow, and she advises Erin to stop being nervous in her next dance, because it shows in her ankles. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 9. Erin and Maks are thrilled with that score, although Bruno almost gives them a 10 and they freak out and laugh.