I think there was a problem with the roll-in package because you could see the countdown on the screen while it was playing and then instead of going right to the couple introductions, we went right to commercials with no opening credits. That was weird. It reminds you that this is a live show, which I do tend to forget until something goes horribly wrong.
When we return, the couples are all on the dance floor and Tom apologizes and acknowledges the technical difficulties. Tom and Brooke explain that each couple will do two dances this week: a regular routine and a trio routine, which they also did last season. I don't remember it setting the house on fire, but it wasn't terrible. What is kind of terrible is that the dancers are saluting veterans through the majesty of dance. I mean, we should all salute veterans every day, not just on Veterans' Day, but by dancing? That's just weird.
Shawn and Derek are up first. Derek's back! Back again! Derek's back! Tell a friend. They have the Viennese waltz this week, and are going to tell the story of all the soldiers who were hopeless and were helped by angels. Is this a thing? Angels on the battlefield? Anyway, as usual, Shawn needs to set her inhibitions aside and be willing to show her emotions. Okay, that was the shortest dance ever, but I'm fine with that. Anyway, Shawn's lines were beautiful. She has turned into such a fine dancer; I remember thinking on her first run that she had the technique but she wasn't this graceful or able to convey emotion this well.
Judges? Len says that sometimes a whisper is louder than a shout, and this was a loud whisper. He would've liked a little more in hold, but it was great. Bruno calls it "heavenly perfection" and the shapes and the figures were exquisite. Carrie Ann thinks Shawn has turned into a rich in-depth performer who has given them poignant moments. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 9, and Bruno 10.
Apolo and Karina were discouraged last week when they put in so much effort and still didn't get a perfect score. So they decide to take a big risk and have Apolo zipline in from the skybox. Well, this could go horribly wrong. But luckily it doesn't, and they start their tango to "Holdin' Out for a Hero," the most underrated song from the Footloose soundtrack. It's a little fast for a tango, and Apolo has pancake hands and choppy arms at times. He doesn't miss a move, but it's not as elegant as I'd like.
Judges? Bruno thought it was a "daredevil of a tango." Carrie Ann thought it was an action adventure of a dance and she can't say enough about the attack and the lines. Len liked that Apolo danced with verve and passion, even if his frame got a bit wide at times. Scores: Carrie Ann 10, Len 9.5, and Bruno 10. I kind of forget they could give half points. I think the judges did too.