The episode opened with last year's winner, Nick Lazzarini, performing a solo dance.
Then, Cat introduced this episode's judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Dan Karaty. She also announced that this year instead of drawing a partner every week, the partners were randomly assigned and will stay together until one of them is eliminated.
This week's pairs danced together: Benji and Donyelle, Ivan and Allison, Jason and Aleksandra, Jamyz and Jessica, Stanislav and Erin, Dmitry and Joy, Ryan and Heidi, Ben and Ashlee, Travis and Martha, and Musa and Natalie. Afterwards, voting was opened up to the audience.moreless