Image credit: ABC
STAIRWAY TO DISCO HEAVEN The standard purple steps were nowhere near "Strong Enough" to support Bill and Emma's appropriately absurd routine on their own.
Oh, God, I spoke too soon because during their rumba Dance Off, against Brant and Peta, Leah opted for the Fringe Monster full bodysuit to go along with the special ankle boots. Now, you may already be aware that I LOVE FRINGE. But I cannot seem to get behind hairy fringe-legs when the fringe dangles directly from the limb as opposed to from structured pant. Fringe wrapped in a candy cane-like stripe around one leg is okay. A decorative whim, really. But hairy fringe-legs just make me shudder and want to personally run up and shave people, which is a) disgusting and b) certainly disruptive considering the Bedroom Dance is supposed to be a private affair.
No matter: Cher loves a crazy costume, and she was still high from reliving her own romance earlier in the night. Leah and Tony won the Dance Off, potentially stealing Brant and Peta's spot in the competition. All's fair in love and flattery.
At least Brant and Peta went out on a triple-9 foxtrot that had Carrie Ann raving about Brant's "leading man" status. She then nit-picked something unclear involving his knees. Maybe she meant that Brant should get better TV roles. Was it just me or did Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson seem to barely recognize him during the two least lively high fives to ever take place on camera?
I still have no idea what the heck was on Peta's head -- note to self: when going with a full-length sparkly, backless orange robe, maybe nix the feathered mess on top -- or what a huge pile of presents had to do with "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)." But I loved their emphatic twirl-dips on the shoop-shoops and the couple's final aggressive lip-lock -- one last time, for good measure. And I knew exactly what Cher meant by their "two smiles that went together." It's what sold me on the dance, too, midway through.
I have something in common with Cher!
Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy: 25/30 Elizabeth annoyed her partner and her greatest enemy of all, herself, while struggling to learn a modified jazz routine after boldly switching songs late in the game. Cher's "Bang Bang" is one of her favorites -- mine too, plus I like anything that forces Val to fling his shirtless self against both a wall and the floor in mock-desperation. The problem, for Carrie Ann and Bruno, was that Elizabeth over-acted herself into a mode of only super-high intensity instead of allowing for the light and shade of the music to guide her along and remind her to breathe. Basically, she chewed up all that extra scenery she demanded.
Cher disagreed -- she loved it -- and endured one of the LONGEST BLEEPS EVER.
Damn that 10-second delay!
NEXT: 'The rough part'