'Dancing With the Stars' Week 9 Recap: Jacoby Jones Gets in the Game
It's semifinals week on "Dancing With the Stars," and on Monday night the five remaining couples traded their typical tangos for dazzling dances that have never been done before on the show. (Afro jazz, anyone?) Not only that, but the 10s were flowing -- even from Len -- with four out of the five couples nabbing perfect scores for at least one of their dances.
Here's how the semifinal round panned out (hint: athletes ruled) and the scoop on which surprising couple choked in their first dance on the highest-scoring night of the season.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough -- Argentine tang/flamenco
What a difference a week makes! After Len Goodman's brutal bashing of their paso doble last week, Kellie Pickler and her pro partner, Derek Hough, danced a picture-perfect Argentine tango, complete with a silhouette section. Len told the duo, "What's happened in the past is of no consequence. The rest of the competition starts tonight." The "American Idol" alum received her first perfect score of the season, nabbing 10s from all of the judges. (Yes, including Len.)
Kellie and Derek's second dance, flamenco, featured clicks and claps, with Len proclaiming, "You just booked your place in the finals." But not so fast! Carrie Ann Inaba noticed that the country singer tensed up halfway through the dance. ("This dress weighs about 5,000 pounds," Kellie explained.) Meanwhile, the judges were so 10-happy that Bruno accidentally picked up his 10 paddle while he said, "Nine."
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson -- samba/Charleston
Ingo Rademacher knows he's the underdog, and Carrie Ann confirmed it. ("You have to step it up just a hair more," she said.) Still, the "General Hospital" star and his pro partner, Kym Johnson, decided to have fun with their samba this week, and it paid off. Bruno Tonioli told the soap star, "I love your determination. It's like a dog with a bone -- you don't give up."For Ingo and Kym's second dance, they broke out the three-piece suits and the flapper dresses (as well as the champagne) as they did the Charleston. Len said, "[The dance] was like that champagne. It was bubbly and full of fizz."
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas -- rumba/Afro jazz
Next up, teen gymnast Aly Raisman was all grown up for her rumba with Mark Ballas. Carrie Ann Inaba praised the 18-year-old's maturity, saying, "Every moment of that story, you drew us in." Score: a trio of perfect paddles.
For the Afro jazz, the Olympic gymnast told TV Guide that she and Ballas were excited to take on the little-known dance. "No one else wanted it, but we're not scared of it!" she said. "Mark and I love a challenge. It's never been done on the show... It's kind of like a tribal dance. It's not a smiley dance."
Well, the judges were definitely smiling after the high-energy dance. But while Len loved "the music and the enthusiasm," he dinged the duo one point for not being as connected as he would have liked.