If three's company, is four a crowd? That was the question on Monday night's "Dancing With the Stars" when the celeb couples danced side by side with pro dancer pairs in Len Goodman's "Side-by-Side Challenge."
The mood was somber amid the aftermath of tragedy at the Boston Marathon earlier in the day, and for Bostonian Aly Raisman, it hit especially close to home. But the show went on for the stars and pros, many of whom dedicated their dances to the victims and their families.
For the side-by-side dances, the pro couples started off the first part of routine, and this season's stars joined them for 15 seconds before finishing off the rest of the routine solo. The couplings made for all sorts of interesting combos, especially with the return of pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who was back to the ballroom for two highly personal dances: Not only did he dance alongside his brother Val, but he also traded moves with his ex-fiancée Karina Smirnoff.
While the reunion between Maks and Karina -- who had a not-so-amicable breakup in 2009 -- had the potential to be awkward, it caused no drama on the dance floor. Val told The Clicker, "It was a terrible breakup, but that's water under the bridge. That was a long time ago."
But when it came time for his dance, Val let celeb partner Zendaya Coleman in on a little secret: He has never danced an Argentine tango in his life. So who better to show him the ropes than his big brother? Anna Trebunskaya rounded out the foursome, which resulted in a flawless dance and the ultimate compliment from two of the judges. Bruno Tonioli told the Disney star she was the "ultimate femme fatale" and said she was "as good and as strong as Anna" in the side-by-side portion of the dance. The dance earned the couple the first two 10s of the season and an almost-perfect score of 29 points.
See Zendaya and Mark's performance:
On the other end of the leaderboard, two comics tied with 18 points.
While D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke's collaboration with Chelsie Hightower and Sasha Farber produced a tango with a twist, Carrie Ann Inaba said she could see the difference with the side-by-side dance: "The lack of technique was very evident," she told the comedian, before the judges doled out a round of 6's. D.L. got the last word in, however. "The side-by-side looked different?" he asked. "Was it the hair that gave it away?"
Meanwhile, Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess landed in the same boat with their Paso doble with pro couple Emma Slater and Sasha Farber. Despite an impressive zipline entrance (Carrie Ann called it the "best entrance ever" on the show), Andy's Zorro-themed paso fell flat and ended with a confusing cape crusade that had Bruno dubbing the dance "The Attack of the Killer Cape." Ole!
So how did the remaining dancing duos do?
Before the show, Aly said dancing side-by-side with professional dancers who've been dancing their whole lives was difficult. The Olympic gold medalist told TV Guide, "That's like me doing a tumbling competition with someone who just started gymnastics two months ago. It's not the same level at all." Indeed, Aly's scoreboard lead went down a few notches after she and Mark Ballas took on a samba with Tony Dovolani and troupe member Witney Carson. Carrie Ann noticed that the Olympic champ's confidence wavered when the pro couple left the dance floor, and she took a hit with her scores (although 25 points is nothing to sneeze at).
[Related: Watch Aly and Mark's Samba]
"General Hospital" star Ingo Rademacher and his partner Kym Johnson teamed up with pro couple Tony and Emma for a cha cha that came complete with fedoras and feathers. Ingo's plan for his side-by-side stint with last year's mirror ball champ? He asked Tony to "tone it down." (Good plan!) Judge Len told Ingo, "You've got the flair, we need the care," while Bruno critiqued his rigid hip action. Carrie Ann gave his pelvic thrusts a thumbs-up, but warned, "Watch below the belt."
Jacoby Jones and Karina's jive with Maks and Anna featured a dazzling display of fancy footwork, including flicks and kicks that culminated with the NFL star leaping over Karina's head. But Len slammed Jacoby for not pointing his feet: "You'll never get a nine out of me with those feet," he warned. The Super Bowl champ reminded him, "Hey Len, with these feet I ran 108 in 11 seconds!"
Boxer Victor Ortiz got knocked out a bit this week -- he was dealing with a bad breakup -- but he channeled his frustrations into his Viennese waltz with pro pair Emma and Tristan MacManus. Carrie Ann docked him a point for a lift (or two!), but still deemed the dance "a victory."
Sean Lowe's quickstep with Peta Murgatroyd and pros Tristan and Chelsie ended with a backhanded comment from Len. After Bruno told "The Bachelor" star he turned into "a swan" this week, Len one-upped him with, "Last week a statue, this week a pigeon." (To clarify: That was a good thing.) Len deemed it Sean's best dance so far.
Watch Sean rehearse with Tristan:
And it was a foxtrot faceoff for Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough when Henry Byalikov and Anna joined them on the dance floor. Len gave the "American Idol" alum a nine and this critique, "You put the 'oo' in smooth." Oo la la!
Here's the full list of scores from Week 5 of "Dancing With the Stars":
- Zendaya Coleman and Val Chmerkovskiy: Argentine tango, 29 out of 30 points
- Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: Foxtrot, 27 out of 30 points
- Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: Jive, 26 out of 30 points
- Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: Samba, 25 out of 30 points
- Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: Quickstep, 24 out of 30 points
- Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold: Viennese waltz, 21 out of 30 points
- Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: Cha Cha, 21 out of 30 points
- D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke: Tango, 18 out of 30 points
- Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: Paso doble, 18 out of 30 points
The next episode of "Dancing With the Stars" airs on Tuesday, 4/16 at 9 PM on ABC.