Nicole and Derek are up next. In rehearsals, Derek admits to Nicole that his neck and back are bothering him, making learning the routine difficult. Does it affect their Argentine tango? All along this season, I have not been Nicole's biggest fan, and thought she was kind of overhyped, but this routine is amazing. There are some incredibly complicated moves, including one part where Derek walks down the stairs while Nicole is tangled up in his legs, and another where Nicole does flicks and kicks between Derek's legs while they are turning. I can't even imagine the timing and practice that would take to perfect. I did not see one flaw in that routine.
Bruno tells Nicole he was "enslaved by you, enchanted by the dance." For moments after, Bruno acts like he is exhausted. Carrie Ann is CRYING and tells Nicole that she is incredible, and also compliments Derek's choreography. Len says that it was "more delicious than [his] grandmother's apple pie." Meanwhile, Nicole is hugging Carrie Ann and Bruno. I think this might hurt them in the fan voting, though. People at home might see it as her being overly cozy with the judges. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 10, and Bruno 10.
Chad and Cheryl were in the bottom two last week, so can they make a comeback? They get the same edit as most of the other couples -- Cheryl is pushing Chad really hard to be precise, and he says that he doesn't want to go home. Got it. So how is their waltz? I think his lines are good, but they don't extend to his hands -- he's got pancake hands. He has good rise and fall action in the beginning, and his posture is better, but there's no spark. Cheryl is trying like hell, throwing her hair around like crazy, but he seems pretty wooden. It's good, but it's not finalist good. And what happened to their chemistry?
Carrie Ann thinks he nailed it, and she appreciated his posture and fluidity, which she hasn't seen before. Len points out that Chad is the only one left with zero dance experience or training, which makes his achievement all the more impressive. Bruno points out that they've been really harsh on Chad all along, and he thinks it paid off this week. Did they just watch the same routine I did? It may have been a good routine for Chad, but compared to what Nicole just did, it was just average. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 9.
The last of the ballroom round is Evan and Anna. They work in rehearsals on Evan connecting to his emotions, since he has been criticized for being cold and robotic. He has a little nephew that he loves, who is super cute, so Anna tries to tap into that emotion. His foxtrot is ADORABLE. I have not been an Evan fan either, mostly because I think he's a robot who just goes in a closet at night and powers down, but he shows such joy and a sense of fun in this routine that he wins me over. And it's technically very good too -- I don't see the issues with his feet that usually plague him, or at least not to the same degree. I think letting go was good for him.