“Dancing with the Stars” fans know that the competition isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. Couples may do very well one week, but stumble the next. On Oct. 21, Amber Riley and Derek Hough took control of the combined leaderboard at the halfway point of season 17. Corbin Bleu was previously in first place, but surprisingly fell short this week, opening the door for a new leader.
On Monday night, the remaining eight couples were tasked with performing a dance they have not yet done. In this first round, Elizabeth Berkley received the first perfect score of 30 for her Cha Cha Cha with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Bruno Tonioli exclaimed, “That was so sexy, it just killed me!” Carrie Ann Inaba called the routine “insane.” Head judge Len Goodman added, “You are a formidable partnership.” All three judges awarded 10s for the first 30 of season 17. Alyse Whitney from Wetpaint wrote on Monday, “When the two joined in the middle of the floor, they kept things sexy and fun with some close moves, quick footwork, and lots of spins.” Zimbio posted, “We all know Elizabeth Berkley can do the Vegas showgirl thing, but she can also cha cha cha with the best of 'em.”
Brant and Amber tied for second place in the first round. Both received a combined score of 28 from the judges. Brant and Peta danced a Tango that was well received. Len compared it to a glass of white wine saying, “It was sharp and tasty.” Amber Riley and Derek Hough performed a Samba that also received high marks. All three judges noted the routine had all the elements of a Samba, but Len thought it was a tad repetitive.
Leah Remini was the most improved dancer of the night. Last week, she landed at the bottom of the leaderboard with a score of 22. This week, she rose six points to earn a 28 from the judges for her lively Quickstep. Surprisingly, Corbin Bleu fell to the bottom of the leaderboard in the first round. The judges panned his Viennese Waltz to the theme song of “Game of Thrones.” All three criticized Corbin for his lines, lack of fluidity, and ballroom hold, although they loved the routine’s theme. Bill Engvall tied Corbin with his score of 23. The judges liked his combination of humor and passion during his Tango to “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” However, they all commented that the routine had timing issues.
Below is the Oct. 21 "DWTS" leaderboard after round one:
- Elizabeth Berkley: 30
- Brant Daugherty: 28
- Amber Riley: 28
- Snooki Polizzi: 27
- Leah Remini: 27
- Jack Osbourne: 25
- Corbin Bleu: 23
- Bill Engvall: 23
In the second round of competition, dubbed the first ever “Change-Up Competition,” the teams were tasked with dancing an improvisational dance on live TV. Four couples danced at the same time and the music changed randomly. With no way to prepare for such an oddball challenge, the celebrities were forced to rely on the guidance of their partners and their own sense of timing and musicality. They were judged on three factors: keeping time to the music, their interpretation of the music, and their ability to adapt to changes. The couples were tapped out one by one. The first team out was awarded one point; the second, two points; the third, three points; and the fourth, four points.
Team One included Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke, Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff, Bill Engvall and Emma Slater, and Snooki Polizzi and Sasha Farber. They were tapped out in the following order: Bill, Jack, Snooki, and finally Corbin, who won the round. Team Two included Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd, Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani, Amber Riley and Derek Hough, and Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy. They were tapped out in the following order: Leah, Elizabeth, Brant, and Amber, who won the round for her team.
Below are the final results from Round Two:
- Corbin Bleu and Amber Riley – 1st place - +4 points
- Snooki Polizzi and Brant Daugherty – 2nd place - +3 points
- Jack Osbourne and Elizabeth Berkley - 3rd place - + 2 points
- Bill Engvall and Leah Remini - 4th place- + 1 point
Below is the combined leaderboard after two rounds of competition on Oct. 21.
- Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy: 30 + 2 = 32
- Amber Riley and Derek Hough: 28 + 4 = 32
- Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 + 3 = 31
- Snooki Polizzi and Sasha Farber: 27 + 3 = 30
- Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani: 27 + 1 = 28
- Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff: 23 + 4 = 27
- Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke: 25 + 2 = 27
- Bill Engvall and Emma Slater: 23 + 1 = 24
As of Oct. 21, here’s a look at the combined “DWTS” leaderboard after six weeks of competition, the official halfway point:
- Amber Riley: 27 + 24 + 24 + 27 + 26 + 32 = 160
- Elizabeth Berkley: 24 + 25 + 25 + 27 + 26 + 32 = 159
- Corbin Bleu: 24 + 26 + 26 + 27 + 28 + 27 = 158
- Brant Daugherty: 22 + 23 + 27 + 21 + 27 + 31 = 151
- Snooki Polizzi: 23 + 20 + 25 + 24 + 27 + 30 = 149
- Jack Osbourne: 23 + 24 + 22 + 24 + 27 + 27 = 147
- Leah Remini: 21 + 24 + 24 + 24 + 22 + 28 = 143
- Bill Engvall: 18 + 21 + 24 + 21 + 24 + 24 = 132
Due to phone numbers being improperly displayed last week, “Dancing with the Stars” decided to eliminate no celebrity this week. Instead, the judges and audience votes from last week will be combined with those from this week and next week.
The next new episode of “Dancing with the Stars” airs at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST) on Monday, Oct. 28. It will feature the return of team dances.