Adam Taylor—ABC
November 11, 2014

Welcome back to Dancing With the Stars, where we are creeping ever closer to handing off the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy for one of the stars to shove onto their ornamental fireplace (or mention on their college applications). Tonight the competition is split into two parts: America’s Choice, where voters assign dance styles to the stars, and the much ballyhooed dance threesomes, which they insist on demurely calling “trios,” because this is ABC.

Here’s what happened last night on Dancing With the Stars:

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson: Tasked with dancing a foxtrot to Robbie Williams’ “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” Alfonso and Witney decided not to rely on impersonal social media to guide their footsteps. Instead, they took their choreography choices to the (wo)man on the street, who helped plan their routine. The result was Alfonso in a top hat and tails gliding across the dance floor. Bruno Tonioli dubbed him “Alfonso Astaire” and admired the ability to combine the glamour of a bygone era with some “Justin Timberlake” flair. 37/40

Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd: After finding out that they were headed to the semifinals, Tommy and Peta floated on air for their Viennese Waltz. Julianne Hough assured him that he would be in the competition for a very long time. Bruno agreed that he was “very watchable,” but it was Len Goodman who gave the ultimate compliment, “From one old geezer to another old geezer, you are my hero.” Being a hero doesn’t mean high scores, though. 29/40

Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev: For their samba to Maroon 5’s “Animals,” Lea got into character by donning a tiny tiger-striped bedazzled unitard, which when paired with her long flowing blond mane gave her a distinctly Thundercat look. In a good way. The judges loved the routine, but Carrie Ann Inaba wanted her to loosen up a bit and let loose her inner tigress. 34/40

Bethany Mota and Derek Hough: America wanted Derek and Bethany to pretend they were a couple having a fight for their Viennese Waltz, because America apparently loves drama. At the end of the routine, Len wasn’t “transported to Vienna,” but he “was in Austria,” which is close enough. Julianne served up some word salad about Bethany’s journey and how she is a beautiful, vulnerable woman, and hoped that it connected with the audience. 36/40

Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas: Mark choreographed a jive to a song by a band called Christian TV, which one can only assume is a subtle shout-out to Sadie’s much discussed faith. While the spirit may have been in the music, the judges weren’t moved. Carrie Ann thought Sadie lacked “strength in her torso,” which is apparently a key element to the jive, and Julianne simply stated that it wasn’t her favorite dance. 33/40

Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy: Riding the high of their perfect score from last week, Janel and Val are given the show-closing spot for their Jazz Age–themed quickstep. To top off those are-they-or-aren’t-they rumors, the dance ended with a big kiss and a bigger apology because apparently the patent leather shoes they were wearing stuck together. The judges didn’t mind, though, because much like Tom Cruise, the routine had all the right moves. 38/40

The Threesomes:

Alfonso and Witney and Lindsey: If aliens ever land on this planet and decide to watch a little television before decimating the planet, and they happen to catch the Matrix-influenced paso doble set to “Turn Down for What” delivered by a threesome of blonde baby bombshells and Alfonso, they may just decide to spare the world. Carrie Ann summed it up with her “two-word” critique: “DAY-UM.” 40/40

Tommy and Peta and Sharna: For their samba, Peta decided to choreograph a routine to Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty to Me” and paint Tommy as the dirty old man flying Chong Air and doing his best to enter the Mile High Club with two sultry stewardesses. The results were high-level ridiculous, and Bruno almost died from honking at the spectacle. The judges were already beside themselves at the end of the routine, and when Tommy pointedly said that dancing with the two women was “hard,” they all got the vapors and had to fan themselves with their paddles. 28/40

Lea and Artem and Henry: Leo got in touch with her inner dominatrix for her paso doble. Clad in black leather and looming over the men (wearing suspenders and no shirts, naturally) and stomping across the floor to Ram Jam’s “Black Betty,” Lea was the epitome of toughness. The judges loved it, especially the way she incorporated their advice and cut loose on the dance floor. 36/40

Bethany and Derek and Tony: As they prepared to fight their way into the semifinals, Derek decided to take some battle cues from Thunderdome to give their Argentine Tango more flair. Carrie Ann loved it, but couldn’t help but nitpick about a lack of traditional elements. The other three judges disagreed, though, because they just can’t help themselves. 38/40

Sadie and Mark and Emma: For their foxtrot, Mark staged a dance-floor battle with Sadie and Emma squaring off for his affections, which was clearly wish fulfillment on his part. While Sadie walked off the dance floor in tears, because she forgot the last few steps of the routine, the judges didn’t notice and Len stood up to pronounce it the dance of the night. Bruno claimed he couldn’t tell which dancer was the professional, and Carrie Ann and Julianne oohed and aahed over the routine (and the dresses). 40/40

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Janel and Val and Keo: A jungle-themed samba with some seriously cover-your-eyes-kids moments, R-rated moves and jaw-dropping lifts. Julianne couldn’t help but point out that there wasn’t much samba content in the routine, but she didn’t care because the dance was so much fun to watch. Len thought it was fantastic too, but he had to deduct a point because a few some parts made him feel uncomfortable. 39/40

Safety first: After the last round of the night’s competition, Tom Bergeron announced that Alfonso and Witney, Bethany and Derek, and Janel and Val were all safe.

In jeopardy: Lea and Artem and Sadie and Mark were the last two standing.

Who went home: Lea. She left standing tall with a smile on her face and a desire to get back to work on Switched at Birth.

Best reason to come back next week: It’s the semifinals!

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