The audience booed its displeasure at the outcome of the elimination.
When co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet sought a reaction from the pint-sized celeb dancer, she replied tearfully: “I can’t even talk right now, but I love everybody here.”
Based on their performances from last week, Polizzi and Bill Engvall were two of the lowest scorers. He was tied for lowest place after his tango, while Polizzi had the third-highest score of the night for her energetic fox trot.
Elimination is based on combined judges’ and viewer votes. Typically, audience votes from the prior week are combined with the judges’ scores from the live performance, and the star with the lowest overall total is sent home.
No one was sent home last week after a technical problem caused votes to be cast for the wrong dancers and the show decided to forgo the elimination.
During tonight’s episode – the seventh in the ABC show’s 17th season – each celebrity danced an individual routine for which he or she got an individual score, and also performed a second freestyle routine in one of two groups, sharing in the group’s score.
Music legend Cher will perform and also serve as a guest judge on next week’s show, Bergeron said.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: Coming off a high of achieving the first perfect score of the season last week with her sexy cha-cha, Lauren’s quickstep tonight wasn’t perfect, but it came close. Head judge Len Goodman said the routine was “full of content,” telling Lauren, “that’s the way to start a show.” Bruno Tonioli said it was “fantastic” overall, although he agreed with Goodman that Lauren lost some body contact with her pro partner, Valentin Chmerkovskiy. Inaba agreed with her fellow judges about the body contact, but told Lauren that she’d made vast overall improvement as a ballroom dancer. Each judge gave Berkley 9 points, for a total of 27 out of a possible 30.
Brant Daugherty: Despite a small slip when he stepped on his pro partner, Peta Murgatroyd’s, skirt, the actor’s high-energy jive pleased judges so much that they each awarded him nine points. Tonioli called the routine a “fully loaded, full of content jive,” adding that Daugherty put so much intensity into his performance that he was slightly off a few times. Inaba said the routine may have been a bit too challenging for Daugherty, but commended him for pushing himself beyond his comfort zone. Added Goodman: “What I love is your energy, your attack and your enthusiasm. Good on you!” Each judge awarded the actor 9 points, for a total of 27.
Leah Remini: The actress’s sassy salsa won her high praise from the judges. “You are in the zone, my dear!” Inaba said, smiling broadly. “That was like going to the hottest salsa club and you guys were the hottest salsa dancers on the floor.” Goodman said he liked the mix of steps but felt “one or two of the lifts weren’t quite clean enough.” Tonioli said Remini seemed to have a taste for the dance. Remini earned 9s from Tonioli and Inaba, and an 8 from Goodman, for a total of 26 points.
Jack Osbourne: Judges told the TV personality that they liked his jive. Goodman said Osbourne was light on his feet and had a “naturalness” about his dancing that was appealing, although he said he preferred the jive to be a bit crisper in the feet. Tonioli echoed the praise, saying Osbourne had a wonderful ease of movement and sense of character, although he cautioned him against occasional flat-footedness. Inaba compared Osbourne’s jive to Daugherty’s and said Osbourne’s was the one she wanted to see again. She gave him a 10, while Goodman scored the routine an 8, and Tonioli gave it a 9, for a total of 27 points.
Amber Riley: The “Glee” stars intense paso doble had the ballroom audience on its feet and clapping in time to the music throughout the routine, and it earned her 10s from Inaba and Goodman. The dance earned her a 9 from Tonioli, who told her the routine was “like vintage wine, full of depth, flavor and amazing color,” but who also added that she needed to keep her shoulders down. Inaba said Riley channeled the passion and intensity of the dance. “You lit this ballroom up!” she said. Goodman said he loved that Riley captured the flavor and essence of the paso doble, demonstrating every nuance of the style. “You are back in the game!” he said. Riley earned 29 points.
Bill Engvall: The comedian’s quickstep earned him 8s from Inaba and Tonioli and a 7 from Goodman. Inaba commended Engvall for not breaking hold, but then said the hold wasn’t strong enough to support the entire routine. Goodman said Engvall lost technique in places, and Tonioli said Engvall had “a couple of missteps” but made “a very good try.” Engvall earned a total of 23 points.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: The reality TV star’s samba earned her three 9s from judges who applauded her efforts but had small criticisms. Goodman said it took Polizzi a while to get into the rhythm but said she did well once she got it, and he said that it was “terrific” to be able to dance at such speed and still show rhythm and control. Tonioli agreed that Polizzi was good once she got into the groove, and Inaba advised her to try extending her movements a little bit in order to not dance slightly ahead of the music. Polizzi earned 27 points.
Corbin Bleu: The actor’s cha-cha earned him rousing applause from the ballroom audience and rave reviews from the judges, including 10s from Tonioli and Inaba and a 9 from Goodman. Judges panned his “Game of Thrones”-themed Waltz last week, but told him that he was back in top form tonight. Tonioli called the performance “immaculate brilliance,” while Inaba said his posture was great and the routine was “hot.” Goodman said the routine had crisp footwork and nice hip and leg action, but he didn’t love the gyration in the middle of the routine, although he said it wasn’t too long and it fit in with the music. “I thought you did a wonderful cha-cha,” he said. Bleu earned 29 points.
Team Spooky Bom Bom: Featuring Polizzi, Lauren, Engvall and Remini, team Spooky Bom Bom’s graveyard-inspired freestyle dance earned each member high praise from the judges and a total of 27 points to be added to each team member’s score for the night. Goodman said he liked both the individual pairs’ parts of the routine as well as the parts where the group danced in unison. Tonioli said the group worked to each of its members’ strengths, calling the effort “a ghoulish extravaganza. So much fun.” Inaba said she thought Engvall was the glue that held the routine together. Each Spooky Bom Bom member gets 27 points added to his or her score for the night.
Team Foxing Awesome: Featuring Bleu, Riley, Daugherty and Osbourne, team Foxing Awesome’s performance, set to the quirky hit song “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?),” had the team members channeling their inner foxes (complete with pinned-on tails) to deliver a surreal forest dance experience that had Inaba saying she felt as though she’d just been on an acid trip. “It was kind of bizarre but I loved every minute,” she said. Tonioli said it was clever and inventive, adding, “the choreography gave me goosebumps … you killed it!” Goodman said it was full of little touches that made good. Each judge gave the routine 10 points, for a perfect score of 30 points for each team member.