Welcome back to Dancing With the Stars! Grab a bowl of chips and watch the salsas , because it’s Latin Week on our beloved dance competition show. Stalwart fans know that means this week will be filled with the ersatz celebrities and their more famous pro dancing partners doing their best to get in touch with their inner Ricky Martin and shake their bon bons for our entertainment and the judges’ scores. Who better to judge their success at that noble goal than the real Ricky Martin? Much like Redfoo before him, Ricky will be joining the judges at their table, assessing the merits of the scrum of stars on their kicks, flicks and rumba moves.
Here’s what happened on Dancing With the Stars:
Safety First: Danica McKellar broke a rib during rehearsal, because Val Chmerkoviskiy doesn’t know his own man-strength. She will sally forth and barrel through, though and to reward her for her fortitude, Tom Bergeron announces that she is safe from elimination this week. Who will be joining her next week? Paralympian Amy Purdy, who is tasked with dancing first.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: During rehearsals for their saucy rumba, Amy admitted that she was having “challenges at home” because her DWTS schedule was impeding her personal life and then she started crying, which Derek found very awkward. To make things less uncomfortable for himself (but probably not helping her personal relationship) Derek choreographed a sultry and sexy rumba to “Light My Fire.” The judges ate it up, but Carrie Ann Inaba a.k.a. resident Lift Cop busted Derek for putting a lift in the number. Ricky loved it, though: “I go by what my heart is feeling… You were stunning.” 36/40
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: In typical meanie DWTS style, James and Peta were told that they were in jeopardy and then ordered to hit the dance floor. And hit it they did. The duo started out clad in gas station attendant coveralls that were stripped off during the course of their samba, leaving Peta in her red sequined garters and James shirtless, which everyone with a pulse loved, but none so much as Bruno Tonioli — who announced that he will need the “full service” tomorrow because he has “blown his spark plugs.” Despite what Len Goodman considered to be sloppy footwork, Ricky summed it up best: “It was like wow after wow.” 35/40
Best Bergeronism: “That’s amazing. That’s exactly what happens in the gas station I go to,” said Tom.
Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy: Despite having a broken rib, Danica and Val delivered a fast-paced salsa routine with Danica setting the mood in her outfit of nothing but cut-off booty shorts, hot pink high tops and crimped hair. While the judges knew she was injured and she had the x-ray to prove it, they judged her strictly on her routine, which Carrie Ann deemed “stifled” and Len called “a little bit careful.” 33/40
Safety Last: Amy injured her back during her routine, and was taken to the medics for examination and then ordered to the hospital before she could do the team dance. Also not safe? Olympic ice dancer Charlie White and Real Housewife Nene Leakes.
Nene Leakes and Tony Dovolani: Despite being dapper in his vest and tie, thanks to a last-minute Twitter campaign, Tony was required to hit the dance floor sans shirt. Luckily, he had no problem with the creepy call and stripped down for his Argentine tango. The routine let Nene’s show off her skills as an entertainer, but unfortunately her dance moves were still off. Len noted that she “sold it,” but the footwork and leg action “could have been a bit crisper.” Carrie Ann backhandedly said she was impressed by how far NeNe has come in the competition, which is the telltale sign of a star about to head home. 31/40
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: While Charlie and Sharna are in jeopardy this week, everyone knows it’s just the producers are using it like a pep speech in Rudy to try and create additional tension to propel the Olympian to greatness on the dance floor. They delivered a passionate and aggressive paso doble that looked amazing to the untrained eye, but left the judges unimpressed. Len didn’t think it was “special” and Carrie Ann said he needed more “sharpness” in his moves. Everyman Ricky Martin loved it, though, and gave them a 10. 36/40
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Candace had to go see a sports psychologist to
drum up sympathy to discuss her insecurities and the fact that she is “blanking out” on the dance floor. After years on the hit show Full House, the actress isn’t used to failure and she feels like she is letting Mark down. Candace incorporated her psychologist’s suggestions into her Argentine tango. Bruno noted she had “great legs,” but it was unclear whether the psychologist had anything to do with that. 35/40.
Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Let it be known that Meryl knows how to rock a perm. The enormously curly hair she wore for her salsa with Maks was worth a perfect 10 in and of itself. In rehearsal, Meryl said the “depth of the sexuality” she needed for the routine was new to her, but Maks knew how to turn on Meryl’s “sexy switch” — all of which was clearly a dig at her real life dancing partner Charlie. The duo got down and dirty on the dance floor for a high-energy, super-fast salsa that included a team of backup dancers, wild flips and, naturally, Maks ripping off his shirt and throwing it to the crowd. Obviously Bruno and Ricky loved it. 39/40, with Len being the lone holdout.
Saddest Moment In Television History: In homage to Ricky Martin, the stars were divided into two teams: Team Vida and Team Loca. They were then forced to dance for the guest judge’s pleasure to one of his own songs. Candace was the last person picked for the team dance, which will not help her self esteem issues.
Team Vida: Due to the fact that they were all in jeopardy of going home, Charlie and Sharna, NeNe and Tony, and James and Peta delivered a spicy number that Bruno declared was “incredible fun.” 35/40.
Team Loca: Amy rudely left her teammates hanging and was loitering in a hospital triage room instead of dancing live to Ricky Martin’s “La Vida Loca.” That meant that instead of seeing the live routine, the television viewing audience was shown the footage from the dress rehearsal, while the studio audience got to see shirtless Maks, Val and Mark dance live with Meryl, Danica and Candace. Carrie Ann deemed it the “tightest group dance” ever. 39/40
The Leaderboard: Meryl and Maks top the rankings with a nearly-perfect 39 followed by Amy and Derek and Charlie and Sharna tied with a respectable 36. At the bottom of the charts? NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani with a 31
Who Went Home? Nene, who took a moment to speak of herself in the third person: “I am proud of NeNe Leakes!”