The show opens with the usual flashy pro number and then the couples are introduced. Tom shushes everyone and announces that next week's guest judge will be Cher. Look, I love Cher but how is she in any way qualified to serve as a judge on this show? Maybe she has some big dance background that I don't know about. She'll have a lot to say, that's for sure.
Val and Elizabeth are first up with the quickstep. Val really works Elizabeth during rehearsals but she says that she's fine with it because she knows he is pushing her to be the best that she can. They are doing a fifties-themed quickstep, which is… different. Elizabeth's frame is awkward and her elbows are kind of all over the place. And she looks like she's in pain. I don't know where her usual grace is. I mean, it's fine and she doesn't miss a step, but her upper body is kind of a mess.
Judges? Len loved it, especially the flowing movement, but thought they lost a little body contact at times. Bruno thinks they lost body contact a bit because the dance was so fast, but he loved that routine. Carrie Ann sees that Elizabeth is learning to dance as a partner instead of always wanting to dance alone, since that's her dance background. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 9.
Brant and Peta have the jive this week, and Brant struggles with all of the moves, so he goes home and rehearses in his backyard (which is like a concrete cube, which makes me kind of sad) and Peta notices his improvement. The dance itself is pretty good, if a little slow for a jive. There's a ton of footwork, though it does get a bit repetitive after a while. The kicks are not as flick-y as they should be either. At one point, Brant rips off Peta's skirt (as part of the routine) and drops it, and later he slips on it but recovers well. Then at the end, they smash ice cream in each other's faces (as part of the routine again) and then do a big smackeroo for the finish. That seemed like a pretty long kiss for two people who are just pretending. Interesting.
Judges? Bruno calls Brant "a frisky schoolboy on a sugar high," and liked that the dance had a ton of content even though he lost timing a few times. Carrie Ann thinks the routine may have been a bit too challenging for him but he didn't miss a step. Len thinks Brant is dancing full out and right on the edge, just at the right time. Scores: Carrie Ann 9, Len 9, and Bruno 9.
Now that Leah got some 9s, Tony wants to up the difficulty for her salsa. She says that if he believes she can do it, she will give it her best. And she really does give it her all. The first half of the dance is great. These Latin dances are Leah's strong suit because she's all attitude and shimmy, and that goes a long way. Tony put a bunch of lifts in there, and while they are better than their previous attempts at lifts, they're still a leeeetle bit awkward, especially on the dismount. Their ending lift is great though. I wish Tony had just let Leah dance more because she looked the best when she was doing the steps.