-- The pressure was on in the ballroom for Famous Dances Night on “Dancing With the Stars.” The nine remaining couples recreated iconic dance routines, such as Paula Deen channeling her inner Madonna in a jazzy version of “Vogue,” Carlos PenaVega leaving it all on the dance floor, quite literally, as a male stripper from “Magic Mike” and Derek Hough going full-Swayze on Bindi Irwin.
Despite her best efforts to “strike a pose,” Deen was voted off in week six of the competition. She didn’t seem too disappointed, however.
“I’m so excited,” Deen said, laughing after host Tom Bergeron announced the news. “I get to go see my grandbabies.”
The 68-year-old said she’s thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Dancing’ experience, but was also looking forward to going home.
“Listen Tom, it has been wonderful,” she began. “I have been like a fish out of water for six weeks. It has been such a wonderful journey. It took them a long time to convince me to do this. It was wonderful. It was worth it. It was worth it.”
Deen and her professional partner, Louis Van Amstel, earned scores of 6s across the board from the judges, for a total score of 24.
“You look gorgeous,” tonight’s guest judge, the legendary Olivia Newton-John, told Deen after her performance. “You look like you’re having fun and you did Madonna proud.”
Judge Cari Ann Inaba was a bit more critical of the jazz dance routine.
“I’m wondering what happened to that sexy little beast from last week?,” she questioned. “I thought the costumes overwhelmed you a little bit.”
Alexa PenaVega and her pro partner Mark Ballas were also in jeopardy of going home tonight.
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There were three top scorers in tonight’s competition, all earning a perfect score of 40 from the judges.
Tonight’s top scorer: Andy Grammer soared to the top of the leaderboard with his jazz version of “Good Morning” from the iconic 1952 musical, “Singing in the Rain” alongside pro partner Allison Holker. The dynamic duo “succeeded with honor,” according to judge Bruno Tonioli, as they earned perfect 10s from each judge on the panel. “Those are big shoes to fill and you filled those shoes with ease and grace,” judge Cari Ann Inaba added. Guest judge Olivia Newton John, who has actually danced with Gene Kelly, the star of the original film, said, “I actually danced with Gene Kelly and I’d be happy to dance with you any time. You were so good.” Grammer and Holker earned a standing ovation.
Tonight’s top scorer: Bindi Irwin and her pro partner Derek Hough had the absolutely “time of their lives” doing an incredible rumba to “Time of Your Life” from the classic movie, “Dirty Dancing.” They too earned top scores, getting perfect 10s from all the judges. “My little star has gone super nova tonight,” Tonioli said. Julianne Hough agreed, adding “Your legs were on fire. Gorgeous.” Derek said he was filled with fear before attempting the iconic lift that Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray pulled off in the film, saying, “That was one of the most nerve-wracking moments for me.” But the dancing duo pulled it off with Irwin shouting, “We did it! We did! I can’t believe we just did that!”
Tonight’s top scorer: Tamar Braxton and her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy made a ferocious comeback after last week. The pair performed Janet Jackson’s routine from her classic music video “Rhythm Nation,” and the judges thought Braxton nailed it. “You were so precise and you had a great attitude and were so militaristic,” said Newton-John. “I was really impressed with that dance.” Tonioli said, “That is how you state a comeback. You take a note and then you hit back with that knockout.” Inaba agreed, adding, “Tonight is really who you are as a dancer. That was one of the hardest ones to do perfectly, and I think you might have nailed it.”
Tonight’s standout moment: Carlos PenaVega ripped his shirt off during his sexy rumba with professional partner Witney Carson to Ginuwine’s “Pony” from the steamy movie, “Magic Mike.” His chiseled abs definitely didn’t disappoint the audience, or the judges. Tonioli, for one, went wild. “You’ve answered my prayers,” the judge said, fanning himself. Newton-John said she was speechless after the performance. “I think maybe you missed your calling,” she quipped. “There’s a place for you in Vegas if you ever want to go there.” Hough agreed, calling it “the sexiest rumba” she’s ever seen.
Hayes Grier and Emma Slater: 38
Andy Grammer and Allison Holker: 40
Alexa PenaVega and Mark Ballas: 30
Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough: 40
Paula Deen and Louis Van Amstel: 24
Carlos PenaVega and Witney Carson: 38
Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess: 39
Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold: 30
Tamar Braxton and Val Chmerkovskiy: 40