This week on Dancing With the Stars, the dwindling number of ersatz celebrities will do their best to emulate famous dances from movies and iconic routines from music videos. To help judge their famous-dance moves is famous dancer Olivia Newton John, ready to dole out scores and dish out criticism. Former Dancing With the Stars contestant Leah Remini is also on hand, standing in as host for Erin Andrews, who is busy hosting another sporting important called the World Series.
Here’s what happened on Dancing With the Stars:
Hayes Grier and Emma Slater: Since Hayes is barely out of Pull-Ups, it’s no surprise that he’s never heard of Grease. So Emma has her work cut out for her to sculpt the Vine star into John Travolta (she is already the living embodiment of Olivia Newton John). They pull off an impressive jazz routine to “You’re The One That I Want” that even guest judge Olivia Newton John thinks he’s “Baby John,” which is much more of a compliment than calling him Broken Arrow John but less of a compliment than calling him Look Who’s Talking Too John. But this was all basically a set up for Julianne Hough to announce that she’s starring in a live performance of Grease on Fox. 32/40
Andy Grammer and Allison Holker: Andy is tasked with performing “Good Morning” from Singing In The Rain. Allison explains that this dance is incredibly important to her and to the entire dance world, so Andy better not screw it up. Her concerns were well founded when at the end of the routine all the judges admitted that they were very nervous that Andy would miss a step or forget his kicks or flicks and tarnish Gene Kelly’s reputation forever and ever. Luckily, the routine was stunning and Andy managed to pull it off with grace and, as they say in crossword puzzles, élan. The judges were duly impressed (and relieved), but Olivia Newton John won the day when she told Andy, “I actually danced with Gene Kelly and I’d happily dance with you any time.” 40/40
Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas: On the heels of Gene Kelly’s classic dance number comes a new standard: Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” complete with a lucky snake who left the jungle of Burma for Hollywood and is finally getting its big break. By the end of the routine, Alexa is hyperventilating all over the snake. Where is Bindi Irwin when you need her to swoop in and save that python? The routine was strong, but strangely lifeless. Carrie Ann thought that Alexa missed “the essence of Britney” for most of the routine, but the snake was great. That snake is going places. Tom Bergeron wanted to know if someone gave the snake Zoloft, because it’s such a natural. It’s all fun and games until the snake snaps, Tom. Like Alexa, when she realizes that she got ten points higher dancing with Derek during the switch up. 30/40
Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: Jennifer Grey (a DWTS alum) stopped by the rehearsal space to encourage Derek and Bindi to take some tips from Dirty Dancing and practice their lift for “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” in the water like she did in the movie. It did the trick, because their rumba and the lift lived up to the original. Derek even earned a hug from Tom for his hard work. Julianne was impressed that they were able capture all the details of the original routine, while Bruno declared, “My little star has gone supernova tonight!” 40/40
Paula Deen and Louis van Amstel: “Madonna is a sexual icon, y’all, and we don’t have one thing in common,” declared Paula, and yet the producers thought it was a good idea to assign her “Vogue.” Louis bared some legs in his short shorts, but Paula was fully dressed as Marie Antoinette, but to show her sass, she flashed the judges (again!) to show off her pantaloons. Louis boldly ushered her around the ballroom, but there’s not much he could do about the fact that her Vogue bore an eerie resemblance to the “Macarena.” Bruno kindly said she looked like she was “gliding around like a rococo lampshade on wheels.” Carrie Ann thought the costumes overwhelmed her and she forgot to be sexy. 24/40
Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson: Carlos’s faith is very important to him, so having to dance a rumba to “Pony” from Magic Mike is making him feel uncomfortable, because Jesus would not want him to be raunchy. Witney rolls her eyes and continues showing him how to grind on the floor, the chair, etc. They eventually come up with a compromise wherein Carlos ends up doing the entire routine the way Witney choreographed it and also shirtless. Bruno commanded him to “get on [his] knees and beg for forgiveness” and thanked him for making his prayers come true. Olivia Newton John deadpanned, “I think you missed your calling.” 38/40
Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: Nick knows that he miffed it last week, but he’s apparently spoken to his therapist and realized that his treatment of Witney came from a place of fear. “I was nervous without Sharna,”‘ he explained, solemnly. This week he is back with his security blanket for a disco-inflected samba to “You Should Be Dancing” from Saturday Night Fever. While Julianne thought it was a “true reinvention” of the routine and thought it was all “outstanding” and Bruno liked it and Olivia Newton-John thought Nick brought disco back and honored John, Carrie Ann thought he struggled a bit. She talks a big game, but still gave him a 9. 39/40.
Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: Alek, or as Tom calls him “our train attack hero,” channeled Jailhouse Rock-era Elvis Presley, which is the best Elvis. To help him get comfortable playing The King, Lindsay set him up with actor Peter Dobson, who played Elvis in Forrest Gump, to get some pointers. After being forced to walk around The Grove in full Elvis garb, Alek hit the dance floor hard, but it wasn’t quite enough for the judges. They wanted him to be a contender, but instead he’s just “contender adjacent.” 30/40
Tamar Braxton and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Tamar is sick, but that won’t stop her from rehearsing for the biggest role of her life — playing Janet Jackson in “Rhythm Nation.” She looks the part, channeling Janet (Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty) perfectly, and leading the dancers in the sharply intricate routine. The judges were stunned by the routine. Bruno said it was “a knockout.” Even better, he said she was indistinguishable from the professional dancers. 40/40
In Jeopardy: Paula and Louis and Alexa and Mark are in jeopardy of going home. Alexa nods knowingly because Spy Kids fans may not watch this show.
Who Went Home: Paula’s turkey is cooked. She leaves with dignity, telling Tom, “I’m thrilled, I get to go see my grandbabies!” Sadly she did not flash the judges on her way out of the ballroom.
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