We're now at the half-way point, and they pulled out something incredibly new, innovative, and clever: the Len Side-by-Side Challenge, where each couple will dance with a pair-duo. First the duo-pair comes out and dances, then they are joined side-by-side with the celeb & their dancer, then the dance finishes with just the celeb & pro. It was great to see some returning favorites, and it's ALWAYS great to see pros dancing together! Unfortunately, things were a bit tempered by the Boston Marathon Tragedy: both host Tom Bergeron and celeb Aly Raisman are from the Boston area.
Side note: Tom Bergeron is now officially the absolute best show host in the modern era, being able to carry the show and not miss a beat, even though his heart must have been breaking.
Zendaya Coleman danced an incredibly intense Argentine Tango. While this particular style is not among my favorites (the little stand still and flick one leg a few times move bugs me) I couldn't take my eyes off of them. Zendaya and Val were joined by Maksim chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya. Side-by-side you really couldn't tell the difference between the pros and this kid. She got - and deserved - the first 10s (2) of the season.
Andy Dick had the Paso Doble with Sasha Farber (who is UNBELIEVABLE) and Emma Slater, both from the troupe. Dressed as Zorro, he ziplined in, then fought with a cape.
D.L. Hughley danced a rather humorous Tango; he and Cheryl were paired with Sasha and Chelsie Hightower. The side-by-side was almost painfully obvious, but you could tell that he had the basic technique down. He was mostly just a bit too stiff and bouncy. (Side note: the show opened with everybody coming out dancing, and DL & Cheryl were actually dancing on the judges' stand! He totally rocked it, too!)
Jacoby Jones got Jive, which was perfect for him and his larger-than-life personality. He and Karina were incredible, and paired with Maks and Anna, matched move for move. He did one absolutely jaw-dropping move: he leaped over Karina, but he did it without leap-frogging (using her shoulders to boost himself up) or her ducking her head! Jacoby said that he really wanted to be asked to do the encore...and the judges complied...and he did the leap AGAIN!
Sean Lowe danced a quickstep, and while he kept up the speed, and did all of the moves correctly, the musicality still isn't there. He still seems to me to be like, "OK, one...two...three...turn here...kick...one..." At least he toned down the "aw, shucks" factor a bit. He and Peta were paired with Tristan MacManus (with whom Sean seemed obsessed) and Chelsie.
Victor Ortiz moved back up a notch with a sweet Viennese Waltz. His form is improved, but he seemed distracted by a personal problem (he found out that his girlfriend was seeing someone else). He and Lindsay had Tristan and Emma.
Kellie Pickler kind of ended up as part of an ad campaign for the movie "Gatsby", which is coming out soon. Her and Derek's Foxtrot was themed very much like it. That said, I loved her routine, with its typical Derek Hough flair for both dramatic and comedic. Again, next to pros Henry Byalikov and Anna, it was hard to tell she wasn't one of the pros. I felt she was robbed of at least one 10.
Ingo Rademacher danced a slightly sedate Cha-cha-cha. While technically very good, he really didn't put his all into it, and it showed. I'm disappointed, because I feel that he is easily the second best of the men (following only Jacoby). He and Kym were set up with Tony Dovolani and and Emma.
Aly Raisman danced a fun and fiery Samba, which was good because she was doubly distracted: not only is she from the Boston area, but she was initially asked to be the Grand Marshall of the Marathon, which would have put her smack-dab in the middle of the trouble. It didn't hurt her too badly score-wise, tho, and her and Mark's side-by-side with Tony and Witney Carson was a lot of fun.
The Results show went back to the traditional "safe/jeopardy" format. The musical guests were the Band Perry (whom I muted; I don't care for them), a pianist/singer named Kerli who was very good, and Selena Gomez, who put on a great show although her mic sounded a bit odd. When it got down to the final three, it was: Ingo Rademacher, D.L. Hughley, and Victor Ortiz. Ingo was called safe (and I feel he shouldn't have been there to begin with). The one eliminated this week is...D.L. Hughley!
Zendaya Coleman - Disney Star ("Shake It Up!")
Andy Dick - Comedian
Dorothy Hamill - US Olympic Gold Medal Figure Skater (1)
D.L. Hughley - Actor/Comedian/Writer (4)
Jacoby Jones - Football player/Super Bowl Champion (Baltimore Ravens)
Wynonna Judd - Country Singer (2)
Sean Lowe - Bachelor
Victor Ortiz - Champion Boxer
Kellie Pickler - Country Singer
Ingo Rademacher - Soap Star ("General Hospital")
Aly Raisman - US Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team Captain
Lisa Vanderpump - "Real" Housewife (3)