ABC is not paying enough attention to “Dancing with the Stars.” Even though this special program is now in its 17th season, the staff is making a lot of mistakes. Besides the continued mistakes on YouTube (mostly in the form of double-posting of team performances), last week the ABC DWTS staff forgot to include the sound to some of the videos (again, there was double posting as well) AND incorrect phone numbers were posted on the East Coast. For that reason, some votes might have gone to the wrong couple.

Yet another reason to stick to online voting either on the ABC website or on the ABC DWTS Facebook page. Although the staff must have known about this before the start of the show, they attempted to create false tension by making it seem as it there’d be an elimination this week.

It was a particularly cruel moment when one couple thought they had been eliminated. Sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind, but this wasn’t one of those times. So…No eliminations this week, but six tens were awarded and one couple earned a perfect score. This week, there was a new challenge: the switch-up.

Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy earned a perfect score. This week during the rehearsal background footage, Lauren talked a bit about her fall from grace when the first feature film she was in was trashed by the critics. She and Chmerkovskiy have been careful to go for classy instead of sexy, but this week they went for sexy. Lauren’s cha cha cha had plenty of hip movement below and a lot of sinuous sexy movement above. With her long limbs, she was elegant will full extensions and her nude dress with cut outs on one side and lots of fringe to emphasize the hip action really worked well. Chmerkovskiy went for basic black with a plunging neckline.

Lauren and Chmerkovskiy danced to “Put Your Hands on Me” by Joss Stone. There were three more tens given out.

Two of those tens were awarded to Amber Riley and Derek Hough. Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli thought Riley and Hough performed their samba to perfection. Head judge Len Goodman disagreed. He felt there wasn’t enough content and the performance was repetitive. He gave the couple an eight.

When she began her performance, she was at a microphone singing, but even on “Glee” she sometimes stands awkwardly. Moving down the steps, she lost her didn’t make that part of the performance. I felt that Riley should have brought her feet together more and sometimes she had sickle feet. She also doesn’t always remain in dancer mode.

While I think her dress helps with the song, I’m not sure if it really captures the flavor of the samba.  Her big hair hides that her shoulders aren’t always down and back. I don’t think her frame is good enough to earn a 10

Tonioli thought she did everything perfect. Inaba thought that Riley is fierce and all the elements were there. Goodman told the crowd to boo. His comment was mostly about the content and that it was repetitive.

Riley does prove that she can dance and follow in the switch up challenge.

The other ten didn’t go to the Disney kid Corbin Bleu. Their Viennese waltz only received eights from easy-going judges Inaba and Tonioli. Bleu doffed his shirt in a “Game of Thrones” themed performance. The performance was great, but his posture wasn’t and the couple wasn’t in a ballroom hold for enough of the performance. There wasn’t enough waltz to merit a good score for Goodman. He gave Bleu and her partner Karina Smirnoff a seven. In this case, the fault is clearly with Smirnoff as the choreographer.

Goodman did like Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd and their tango. This is a ballroom tango and not an Argentine tango. The couple performed to “The Night Out” by Martin Solveig. Inaba called Daugherty a “perfect dancing Ken doll.” I know she meant that as a compliment, but does anyone want to be the neglected Ken next to the superstar Barbie?

Goodman liked Daugherty’s lines and technique, but Tonioli thought Daugherty stumbled.

Goodman gave Daugherty and Murgatroyd a ten, but Tonioli and Inaba gave them nines.

In the switch-up, four couples competed against each other and were placed from 1 to 4 and received extra points with the best couple earning 4 points. The couples didn’t know the dance style and the music switched tempo and song four times. It’s no surprise that people with previous dance or performing in musical numbers should win this. The groups were as follows:

  1. Bill Engvall & Emma Slater (first eliminated).
  2. Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke
  3. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi & Sasha Farber
  4. Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff (winner)

The other group consisted of:

  1. Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani (first eliminated).
  2. Elizabeth Berkley Lauren & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
  3. Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd
  4. Amber Riley & Derek Hough (winner)

This kind of competition tends to favor the couples with a male professional dancer. However, Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd were able to do well enough in their group to finish second behind Amber Riley and Derek Hough.

COMBINED SCORE

  1. Elizabeth Berkley Lauren & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 30 + 2 = 32
  2. Amber Riley & Derek Hough: 28 + 4 = 32
  3. Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd: 28 + 3 = 31
  4. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi & Sasha Farber: 27 + 3 = 30
  5. Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani: 27 + 1= 28
  6. Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff: 23 + 4 = 27
  7. Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke: 25 + 2= 27
  8. Bill Engvall & Emma Slater: 24 + 1= 25

Bill Engvall & Emma Slater

Elizabeth Berkley Lauren & Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani

Brant Daugherty & Peta Murgatroyd

Amber Riley & Derek Hough

Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi & Sasha Farber

Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff

You can still vote for your favorite couple.

How voting works

During the live show every Monday night, the stars dance and fans get to vote.

The following week, the stars will perform again, and the judges will give each couple a score based on several factors, including technical execution. Those scores will be added to your votes from the previous week, and the couple with the lowest combined score from judges and viewer votes will be eliminated from the competition toward the end of that week’s episode.

So for example, your votes after Week 2 will be combined with the judges’ scores from Week 3 to determine who goes home at the end of Week 3. That means these dancers will have to bring it every week. If they had a bad week followed by a good week, the judges might be their saving grace. But a terrible performance might be enough to cancel out a solid performance the week prior — you’ll have to watch to find out.

You can vote online two ways. You can vote by going to the ABC website, but you need an account and must sign in. You can vote on Facebook. You can vote by phone. See the phone numbers below.

Phone voting begins during the show on Mondays, and is open until 60 minutes after the conclusion of that show in your local time zone.

Online voting at both ABC.com and Facebook opens each Monday when the show begins on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and stays open until 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) the next day. During the season’s final week on Monday, November 25, online voting will open when the show begins on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) and will stay open until 11 a.m. ET (8 a.m. PT) on Tuesday, November 26.

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