Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas: 30/30 plus 8 (3rd place) for the swing dance marathon = 38/40 Before he took over hosting duties for Tom and Brooke, Derek promised he'd be back dancing next week -- but with his herniated disc injury (doctors are begging him to have surgery already) it really is still up in the air. Meanwhile, poor Shawn had to deal with two backseat choreographers all week because Derek and Mark weren't quite sure who'd be dancing with her (and probably enjoyed immensely the process of thoroughly confusing her for the sake of their art). Derek and Mark's series of beeps and bops and bah!s -- shared over a private frequency indecipherable to humans -- is possibly the closest glimpse we've ever gotten of the true, mysterious native language of Planet Mirrorballus.
Anyway, it seems like Shawn prefers Derek as a partner, but what viewer could complain about Shawn and Mark's stellar tango/paso combo? She's just on fire this season, no smoke machine necessary. Not only did Shawn look amazing with those black hair extensions, her gown's slit up to her hip, and deep V shielded by a strip of nude fabric (not a DWTS first by a long shot), but this new partnership proved she's a winner without the use of extra gymnastics tricks and Derek's magical presence. I couldn't even tell the tango and paso apart (not that I ever can), that's how well they were fuuuuuuuused together. And I agreed with all of Carrie Ann raves about this dance, minus the use of the term fantastique.
Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 27/30 plus 9 (2nd place) in the s.d.m. = 36/40 Val admitted that despite their obvious chemistry, when it comes to rehearsal frustration, he and Kelly are "a hairline away from just ripping each other's faces off." I'm pretty sure he meant clothes, but whatever. They don't need to keep faking those dramatic Bachlorette-esque fire pit chats to convince us that yes, yes, these two totally wanna do it! Val wants to have, like, 10,000 of Kelly's babies. #ShirtlessBabies.
Anyway, despite a "tiny loss of balance in the first section of foxtrot" according to Bruno, Kelly and Val executed a really tight and more-lighthearted-than-usual foxtrot/cha cha combo that ended with him proposing to her on one knee in front of a flowery fountain. Don't do it, Kelly! This staid garden had clearly not yet been blessed by the local smoke monster. The marriage would be a sham!
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke: 27.5/30 plus 7 (4th place) in the s.d.m. = 34.5/40 I am really surprised Emmitt outscored Apolo this week, but I will say Cheryl's choreography for their rumba/samba fusion was one of the most fascinating to watch. Add the various ways in which the spotlights hit Emmitt's two-toned yet totally pink outfit, and you've got yourself a classic Dancing With the Stars viewing party. Bruno and Carrie Ann complained about Emmitt's shoulders, but Len (also a member of the Pink Ladies tonight) was all raves, claiming he might have taken Emmitt's place but in the end, didn't think he could've "done it as good as that." Oh, silly DANCMSTR. Show, don't tell. I wanna see you dance. In love. And dance. Again. (Like J. Lo.) (And Val.)
NEXT: Apolo gets underscored... #VoteShirtless