'Dancing with the Stars' recap, Semi-finals

  • Leah Remini partners with Tony Dovolani on "Dancing with the Stars."
Leah Remini partners with Tony Dovolani on "Dancing with… (Craig Sjodin / ABC )
November 19, 2013|Amy Watts | For The Baltimore Sun

Semi-finals! With guest judge Maks Chmerkovskiy! What is up with all these Len absences? I do not approve. Oh, wait! Maks is there, but so is Len. Huh. Crowded judges' table. Maks is looking quite dapper in a suit WITH A SHIRT and a bow tie.

Leah Remini & Tony Dovolani

Paso Doble to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"

Leah and Tony make fun of each other's "sexy faces." I like it when the stars and the pros get this relaxed with one another.

Tom tells us that Maks, behind the judges' table, isn't wearing any pants. IF ONLY.

It's all very classic Paso, despite the song. There's a little bit of uncertainty in Leah's final move leading up to the closing pose.

Len says it was neat and precise, but he'd have liked a bit more shaping from her body. He also thought it was too careful to get into the finals. Bruno agrees that it was too tame, and also points out that she missed two turns.

Carrie Ann liked that she brought the drama, but says it was too controlled. She thinks that when Leah abandoned herself to the drama, she lost the control in her turns. Leah interjects that she just tripped on the dress. Maks liked it, despite the fact that it was basic. Maks says he's going to overlook the problems in the turns because she stepped on the skirt, so it wasn't a technical mistake.

Judges' Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Maks: 8; Bruno: 8

Corbin Bleu & Karina Smirnoff


Karina wants to put in a jump, while Corbin's worried that the judges will call it a lift and dock them. Karina insists it's not a lift, it's a jump. Corbin's still worried they'll call it a lift. Karina counters that with Maks being a guest judge, he won't dock them for the lift. Karina, honey, MATH - Maks is only 1 point, the other judges are 3.

Karina then says that she and Maks were engaged at one point, and that that could go either way in how he judges her and Corbin.  

There's a bit at the beginning with cloaks and a cauldron, but then the rest of the routine is all flame-themed, including the lights on the floor.

Bruno says that because of the passion, Corbin lost control sometimes. Carrie Ann says it was danced with fury, passion, intensity and speed. No mention of the lift, Tom points out.

Maks says dancing on DWTS is different than competition, so he's not worried about the frame. He also says he'll overlook that Corbin's butt was sticking out because he has the same issue. Len chides Corbin that it's not "Manic Monday," and says it was too full-on for a tango. Len says the dance should be about calmness AND attack and this was all about attack. He liked it as a performance but not a tango.

Judges' Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 8; Maks: 9; Bruno: 9

Jack Osbourne & Cheryl Burke


For their first dance, Jack & Cheryl are going with the time honored pairing of "pimp and ho." Sigh.

Jack started having MS-related problems with his vision this week. He explains they're breaking up his training more to let him take it easy because the MS is flaring up.

Oh, OK, their song is "Roxanne" so the pimp/ho thing makes more sense.

Carrie Ann says it was outside Jack's comfort zone because it was not in hold, like most of ballroom. She points out that his weight was held in a ballroom stance, not a jazz one. Len liked his commitment, but thought the dance lacked finesse. Bruno starts flirting with Maks. Bruno then explains the difference between jazz and ballroom in movement.

Judges' Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Maks: 9; Bruno: 8

Bill Engvall & Emma Slater

Cha cha cha

Bill is giving it his best, but the semi-finals can't be about "A for effort." They end the routine shooting off confetti things and Emma almost shoots Tom in the face. Whoops.

Maks opens with "Why? Why? Why? You're a lot of people's inspiration." He adds that he doesn't believe in talent, but in hard work. Maks says there were a lot of holes in the routine. Bill says, "You think?"

Len congratulates Emma on her choreography throughout the season -- that's high praise for a rookie pro. Carrie Ann says she has to be picky because it's the semi-finals and she's taking points off for footwork, timing and a whole bunch of other things.

Judges' Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Maks: 7; Bruno: 7

Those should have been sixes -- both for the quality of the routine compared to what else is being danced tonight, and to widen the gap between them and the better contestants so that fan votes can't save them.

Amber Riley & Derek Hough


Amber's doctor explains that there's no risk of permanent damage to her knees, so she's ready to go all-out. Nevertheless, Derek is doing intricate choreography that will still manage to spare her knees.

That choreography involves a lot of work with a table and two office chairs at the beginning of the routine. They're both wearing white gloves, the better to see their jazz hands.  That was a fun routine and I loved how into-it Amber was.

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