Tonight’s semifinals episode is Plugged/Unplugged Night, meaning each couple will perform two different dances to one song, both the original and an acoustic version. Guest judge Maksim is literally someone who dances with the stars: he’s been a dancer on the show 14 times. Anyway, on to the dances…
First up is Leah and Tony. They start with Paso Doble and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, and what should be an awesome spectacle ends up being totally boring and uninspired. Why pick Gaga for such a snooze-fest? The judges accused Leah and Tony of playing it safe but still give them 32 out of 40.
Next is Corbin and Karina, doing an intensely energetic tango to “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. They match the song’s intensity beat for beat and the judges call it “passionate” and “untamable”. Total score of 35 is not a bad start for this dancing duo.
Jack and Cheryl come next, dancing jazz to the classic “Roxanne”. Jack, facing health problems with his worsening vision and severe pain from MS, reveals that he had trouble during rehearsals, but it hardly shows and the routine ends up being fun and energetic. They net a total of 33 points.
Bill and Emma do the Argentine tango to “Sexy and I Know It” in neon-lined, animal print workout clothes. It’s hideous, inept, and easily the least sexy thing all night, but the judges are amused and declare him the “people’s champion”, because apparently the people love nothing more than a dude who can’t dance on a show about dancing. 28 points.
What knee injury? Last for the first round are Amber and Derek, dancing jazz to “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars and just plain old killing it! Unlike Bill, who spent the week’s rehearsals crying about an injury to his groin and how much it hurt, Amber declares that she will never use her injury as an excuse. She and Derek get 39 out of 40. Brilliant!
Next round two starts with the acoustic versions…
Leah and Tony bore with the Argentine tango to acoustic Gaga. He plays her like a cello for a moment, which is the most interesting thing that happens. Even the judges say Leah is capable of better and give 33 points total. Too lenient, if you ask me.
Corbin and Karina rumba it up next, blowing up the show with a super-dramatic and gracefully sensual dance to a string version of their Fall Out Boy song. Carrie Ann told Corbin that his body was a wonderland—her words, not mine—and said she was glad he took off his shirt. You know, for art. All tens get them a well-deserved 40 out of 40.
Not wanting to be outdone, Jack and Cheryl rock the house with an Argentine tango to the Moulin Rouge version of “Roxanne”, earning a standing ovation. The judges are smitten, giving him a total score of 38.
Next up are Bill and Emma. The weird soul version of “Sexy and I Know It” is creepy as Bill sensually stares down much-younger Emma and the Argentine tango routine they do is an absolute bore. For some reason beyond all comprehension, the judges like it and award 32 points.
Then comes a Viennese waltz Amber and Derek. It’s mesmerizing, grand, and manages to make a slower dance way more interesting than any of the other dancers seem capable of. This performance was perfect and even the judges couldn’t deny it: they give her all 10s, garnering the second perfect 40.
Elimination time. Ultimately kicked to the curb, Leah and Tony are out, so Bill and Emma live another day to be the butt of a jumping, jiving, joke. One can only hope that they don’t interfere with the other, much better competitors.
Finals next week!
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All photos via On the Red Carpet