'Dancing With the Stars' Episode 6 Recap: A Surprise in the Bottom 2 (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 29, Episode 6 of Dancing With the Stars.]
Derek Hough may be a judge this season, but the 17-time pro and six-time Mirrorball champion took to the dance floor once again on the same night that DWTS Season 29 narrowed it down to the Top 10 pairs.
The episode opened with Hough "deciding" to perform again after discussing his work thus far this season in the open. Then, halfway through, he and girlfriend and fellow DWTS alum Hayley Erbert danced a special Paso Doble to "Uccen" by Taalbi Brothers.
Obviously there were high expectations going into it, and the couple exceeded them. It was pure art, from the impressive use of mirrors to the passion and sensuality in every single movement. The only way to describe it is "Wow."
Below, we're breaking down the dances and the scores. Read on to find out who impressed and who was eliminated.
Johnny Weir's dance to "On The Floor" by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull (Salsa)
After their near-perfect score in Episode 5, the Olympic skater and his partner, pro Britt Stewart, might have felt like they had a lot to prove when they stepped onto the dance floor. It was a fun dance and an entertaining way to kick off the night, plus Johnny looks more and more comfortable on the floor with each performance. But for the judges, Derek noticed a few misses, Bruno said it wasn't "quite right," and Carrie Ann found they got to a slow start.
Score: With sevens from Carrie Ann and Bruno and an eight from Derek, they scored 22 out of 30.
Nev Schulman's dance "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch (Jazz)
He and pro Jenna Johnson made their dance memorable from the beginning, with a pose you might expect to end it. As always, Nev got into the dance in a way that's unique from everyone else, and it's an entertaining performance (with a couple crazy lifts!) from start to finish. "It was deliciously bonkers, confusing and amusing," Bruno said before describing it perfectly with, "I don't know what it was, but it worked." "You were so clean. You guys were so together the entire time," Derek added. "I couldn't stop laughing and smiling in a good way."
Score: Carrie Ann and Derek gave them nines and Bruno an eight, for a score of 26 out of 30.
Monica Aldama's dance to "Have I Told You Lately" by Rod Stewart (Rumba)
It was a sweet dance for the Cheer coach and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy. (However, the song was a bit distracting, especially after the first two fast numbers.) And it was easily her best dance yet. "Wow. There's nothing more exciting than to watch someone come into their own," Carrie Ann said of the "beautiful rumba." "That was so refined, so sensual." "That was a classic rumba," Bruno agreed. "It had the right balance of sensuality and romance. It wasn't forced."
Score: With nines from all three judges, they received their highest score yet: 27 out of 30.
Skai Jackson's dance to "Say So" by Dojo Cat, featuring Nicki Minaj (Cha Cha)
With pro Alan Bersten, the Disney Channel star wasn't as smooth as in previous weeks and she had a few missteps but was able to continue on. And they did end on a nice pose. All three judges noted the missteps and her recovery (which Carrie Ann would give her a 10 for). Derek added there were moments of "proper cha cha action," and Bruno praised her for the sections she did well.
Score: With sixes from all three, Skai and Alan scored 18 out of 30.
Vernon Davis' dance to "Celebration" by Kool & The Gang (Cha Cha)
With pro Peta Murgatroyd, he once again made the dance sensual and was smooth pretty much throughout. But there were some mistakes, as the judges noted, with Bruno and Derek specifically pointing to his footwork (he should be using the ball, not heel of his foot). "I enjoy watching you dance," Carrie Ann said. "You have an ease about you that makes it very comfortable to watch." Derek added, "I'll give you 10 for joy every single time."
Score: With three sevens, they scored 21 out of 30.
Nelly's dance to "Humble & Kind" by Tim McGraw (Viennese Waltz)
With pro Daniella Karagach, he glided across the floor in an elegant Viennese Waltz and one during which you could feel the chemistry between the partners. Carrie Ann was speechless after, calling it "beautiful." Derek praised Nelly for "the softness and awareness" of his body and being a good partner to Daniella. "You've never been more charming and endearing," Bruno added. "It just was so nice to see you so inspired. "
Score: The judges all gave them eights, for a score of 24 out of 30.
Jeannie Mai's dance to "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree (Rumba)
We saw a more serious, powerful side to her, alongside partner pro Brandon Armstrong. And it worked in this dance, especially after hearing about her parents fleeing from Vietnam following the war. Derek called it "sensual" and "really, really good," while Bruno remarked on her "uncanny ability" to change her character with each performance. "What is so exciting about you is how much you give every single thing you do," Carrie Ann praised Jeannie. "You dance at your edge."
Score: They scored 25 out of 30, with two eights from Carrie Ann and Derek and a nine from Bruno.
AJ McLean's dance to "Mi Gente" by J Balvin and Willy William (Samba)
The Backstreet Boy may have been saying "sorry" to his partner, Cheryl Burke, all week in rehearsals, but no one was apologizing for this dance. They were on fire. "You're solid. You always deliver," Bruno praised. Carrie Ann thought the performance was a "breakthrough" for AJ. "When in doubt, shake it out, and you shook it. It was so much fun to watch," Derek said. "Samba's a tough dance, but you made it look easy."
Score: With three nines, they received their highest score: 27 out of 30.
Chrishell Stause's dance to "Stars" by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (Contemporary)
Paying tribute to her parents, Chrishell delivered the most emotional performance of the night (so far) with partner Gleb Savchenko. And the judges noticed (though did offer a few words of advice for some technical aspects of her dancing). "You poured your heart and soul into that dance," Carrie Ann said. "That was so emotionally engaging, so raw, so truthful, irresistible because you gave everything you have," Bruno added.
Score: With all eights, they received a score of 24 out of 30.
Kaitlyn Bristowe's dance to "Sorry" by Justin Bieber (Samba)
The Bachelorette, with pro Artem Chigvintsev, remains one of the most impressive dancers this season, and that was again true with this performance. With the fast footwork and controlled moves, it's no wonder it won over the judges. Derek said it was "a clinic of a samba," which Bruno echoed by calling it "exquisite." "It was well-executed, and I really can't take anything off for technical things," Carrie Ann agreed, but admitted, "I was not super impressed." Both she and Derek want to see Kaitlyn attacking more.
Score: All three judges gave them nines, for a 27 out of 30.
Justina Machado's dance to "She's Always a Woman" by Billy Joel (Viennese Waltz)
The One Day at a Time actress and Sasha Farber were just as engaging with a slow, sensual number as the faster ones. "Still on the crest of a wave. Smooth as silk. Light as a feather," Bruno complimented her. "You fill the floor with joy." "You are so reliable," Derek added. "You guys were perfectly in sync."
Score: They scored 27 out of 30, with three nines.
After combining the scores and fans' votes, the celebrities in the bottom two were Johnny Weir and Vernon Davis. Derek chose to save Johnny, while Carrie Ann picked Vernon. The deciding vote was Bruno's: Johnny. Vernon Davis was sent home.
What did you think of the latest elimination? Is your choice still in the running for the trophy?
Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC