It's almost Halloween! And you know what that means. Dancing With the Stars Season 19 Episode 9 was filled with Halloween themed dances, the return of Len Goodman, and the always fun to watch team dances.
Now that the number of contestants is dwindling, my favorite thing to see is more rehearsal footage. It gives us a chance to see the struggles the celebrities are dealing with and to give us just a glimpse of how difficult all of this really is. Emotions ran high and relationships were tested, but the dances that resulted were typically well worth it.
Something else it offered this week, was the chance for a little extra fun. Halloween inspired some practical jokes that nearly made some of the dancers jump out of their skin. These are the kind of moments I wish we could see more often, and that's just one reason I wish the show was still on more than one night a week.
As for the dances, the scores and the skills were all over the board this week.
Tommy and Peta began the night with a Quickstep that received praise from judges and the audience. Tommy may have achy knees and a bad memory, but he's doing surprisingly well in this competition. Len called him "very watchable," and after the dance, we learned that Tommy has set a record of being the oldest dancer to make it this far in the competition.
Lea and Artem had an emotional week, still reeling from critical comments over the past two weeks. But their Argentine Tango was well-liked by the judges, and even inspired a bit of a pep-talk from Julianne.
Bethany is a great example of why I love the rehearsal footage. She was exhausted from the busy week, but we saw the work she put into the rehearsals. Her efforts certainly paid off with a score of 39 for her Paso Doble. Of course, Len was less enthused about the dance, saying the Paso Doble itself was lost a bit in the "production," which included back up dancers and a shirtless Derek (hey, no complaints here).
Antonio and Cheryl's dance this week wasn't necessarily bad, but I got bored watching it. The judges shared their disappointment as well, calling it "uncomfortable to watch." But even with the low score of 27, they weren't the lowest on the leader board tonight.
The lowest score was earned by Michael and Emma with a painful score of 20. Michael has had a positive attitude throughout the competition, but his dance tonight was simply off.
I liked Janel and Val's routine. It was a Paso Doble to the Pretty Little Liars theme, and it looked fantastic to me. Unfortunately, the judges criticized the dance for issues with technique.
Alfonso Ribeiro continues to impress me. Of course, we expect him to be a crowd pleaser, but the guy is a beautiful dancer. He's a trooper too, since he received a laundry list of injuries in rehearsals this week, including one that offered Erin Andrews the opportunity for sexual innuendo. Still, he managed an elegant Rumba that the judges loved and called "proper."
I don't know even know where to start with Sadie and Mark's dance. It was definitely entertaining, if only for Mark's elaborate zombie costume. But I could see where the judges were coming from with Sadie's technique. Something about it just didn't seem quite right.
And this routine got Len pretty upset. Between this one and Bethany's dance, Len said it seemed everyone has forgotten the point of the competition -- focusing more on spectacle and less on proper form.
Following the individual routines this week were the team dances. These are so much fun! The team dances are freestyle routines that allow for more creativity, lifts, and spectacle.
Team Itsey Bitsey was made up of Bethany, Janel, Lea, and Michael. And this is where Michael stepped up his game! It was a sexy dance that nearly stayed in perfect sync.
But my favorite team dance came from Team Creepy, consisting of Alfonso, Sadie, Antonio, and Tommy. The song? "Time Warp" from Rocky Horror Picture show. That in itself is exciting, but their dance was fun to watch, despite a few missteps along the way.
And the winning team was Team Itsey Bitsey, which means that Derek Hough has still never lost a team dance!
Okay, now hold your breath, because it's elimination time. It turns out that all of Team Itsey Bitsey is safe, and that includes Michael Waltrip. So which couple was eliminated tonight?
Well, kids, Antonio and Cheryl were sent home this week.
You know, I'm not upset about this one. At this point, we're getting down to the wire, and Antonio just didn't have the moves.
What did you think, Dancing Fanatics? Was this who you expected to go home this week? And how about those team dances?! Leave us a comment -- we want to hear your thoughts!
The scores from team dances were added to the individual scores tonight. Here's the run down:
Team Itsey Bitsey (Bethany, Janel, Lea, Michael): 36
Team Creepy (Alfonso, Sadie, Antonio, Tommy): 32
Bethany and Derek (Paso Doble): 39
Alfonso and Witney (Rumba): 36
Lea and Artem (Argentine Tango): 34
Janel and Val (Viennese Waltz): 31
Sadie and Mark (Paso Doble): 30
Tommy and Peta (Quickstep): 28
Antonio and Cheryl (Viennese Waltz): 27 - ELIMINATED
Michael and Emma (Jive): 20