Adam Taylor—ABC
By Melissa Locker
October 21, 2014

Welcome to Dancing with the Stars, where the hair is big, the clothes are small and the stars are eager to shine. Tonight the dancers head south of the border for a night of salsa, samba, rumba and Pitbull, because nothing says “It’s Latin night!” like Pitbull screaming “Fireball!” while surrounded by a group of women scantily clad in gold lamé fringe. Since Len Goodman is still embedded at Strictly Come Dancing, after performing and presumably yelling, “Dale!” a few dozen times, Pitbull will join the judges to assess the stars on their passion for dance.

Also on hand is former Dancing With the Stars contestant Leah Remini, who has left the jazz shoes and picked up the microphone to step in for baseball enthusiast and AWOL host, Erin Andrews.

Here’s what happened on Dancing With the Stars:

Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker: After his dismal performance last week, Allison takes Jonathan into the closet, away from the cameras, but still on microphone, and whispers in his ear, “Be you! Be you!” While the promos for the show promised (promised) that all shirts would be off tonight, Jonathan and Allison wore suits and ties for their jazz routine to Pitbull’s “Back in Time.” After lowballing his scores for the past two weeks, the judges finally recognized his hard work, and he earned a respectable 32/40.

Fashion 911: During an interstitial dance, Tony Dovolani wore an all-lace long-sleeved shirt with a deep diagonal V cut into it, which was something to behold. Host Tom Bergeron calls it a lesson in how to make a shirt out of pantyhose.

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy: In their rehearsal footage, the producers give Val and Janel the serious are-they-or-aren’t-they-in-love treatment, that is not resolved. While their love might not be in jeopardy (or exist) the couple is at risk of going home. Val politely abided by the rules of the competition and shed his shirt for his saucy samba to a Celia Cruz song. Bruno thought it was well executed, but Pitbull did not feel the passion and gave them a mere 7. 33/40.

Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd: Last week, Julianne Hough told Tommy that he seemed tired and lowballed him with a 5. So Tommy took Peta (and some poor cameraman) to a sweat lodge in the desert to recharge, and a vision of Cloris Leachman gave him the energy to get through his foxtrot. (Man, this show is weird sometimes.) Pitbull dubbed Tommy “the most interesting man in the world,” and Julianne warned him that he could be in the competition for a long time. 28/40.

Antonio Sabato Jr. and Cheryl Burke: Antonio finally hit his stride in a nearly-shirtless salsa, even almost managing to hold his own against the pros who helped get the dance floor party started. He’s still a little Frankensteiny, but both Paula Abdul and Florence Henderson, who may have carpooled to the show together, seemed to enjoy the routine. Leah Remini demanded Antonio take off his shirt, but forgave him when he didn’t, because rules are meant to be broken. 28/40

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas: This week, Mark was tasked with striking a balance between Sadie’s need for modesty under the watchful eyes of her family and his need to make a slightly racy rumba. He managed the feat and the Duck Dynasty scion maintained her chastity by dancing a PG-rated routine to Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” The judges loved it, with Pitbull giving it a 10, which was balanced out by Julianne doling out an 8. 35/40.

Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev: For this week’s salsa, Lea went full Miami for her routine to “Sexy People,” which, of course, is a track that features Pitbull. Bruno loved the routine, but Carrie Ann Inaba thought Lea didn’t stay true to herself and stumbled. Pitbull took one look at Artem and said, “I didn’t know Jean Claude Van Damme could dance so good.” He also thought Lea let it out, which is apparently a good thing. Lea put Artem in a Lea(h) sandwich with Leah Remini playing bottom slice, which she did not seem to appreciate. 32/40.

Michael Waltrip and Emma Slater: After last week’s dismal performance, Michael went to Talladega to renew his self-esteem on the race track, like Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 8: Straight to Therapy. Back on the dance floor, the poor beaten-down dancer nailed his Argentine tango causing Tom to take a moment, pull him aside and tell him he thought it was great. The judges agreed and Michael earned his highest score ever. 30/40.

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough: Due to Bethany’s YouTube promotion schedule, she and Derek didn’t have much time to practice their tango. What time they did have was spent in a rehearsal studio in Australia where gawking koalas and wallabies interfered with their practice (Guessing!), and the producers devoted a lot of tape to how unprepared they were. Despite the big asterisk on their performance, the tango was nearly flawless. 36/40.

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson: “Tell me about your groin,” said Witney with a straight face. Apparently, Alfonso pulled his groin doing the Carlton last week and had to rehearse around the injury. It’s not his groin that’s the center of attention during their hip-hop influenced salsa routine, though, but his “booty.” Witney choreographed a whole routine to J. Lo’s “Booty” and it was bootylicious, but then Alfonso pulled his groin again. Despite his injury, Carrie Ann spanked him 10 times as a sneak peek of his score. 39/40.

In Jeopardy: At the end of the show, Michael Waltrip, Jonathan Bennett and Janel Parrish are in jeopardy of leaving the show. It’s quickly announced that Michael is safe to dance another week.

Who Went Home: Between Jonathan and Janel, the answer is clear: It’s Jonathan’s time to go. He takes the news well and announces that he “had the time of his life.”

 

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