Image credit: ABC
EXTRA TASTY CREAMY Peta and Brant make a mess.
Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd: 88 total points (27 + 30 tonight) This guy usually gets lost in the shuffle for me, but tonight he emerged as a real contender if people decide they want to vote for the dreamiest guy who had no idea how to dance coming into all of this. (Though believe it or not, Jack Osbourne's in the running for that title, too!) I l loved seeing the "home video" footage of Brant practicing his jive steps in his driveway/backyard thing. (It looked like a standard-size TV ballroom, to be honest. Just made of stone.)
Brant looked absurdly cute in his little ice cream man uniform (once I removed my horrified gaze from Peta in -- gasp! -- non-heeled shoes) and executed not only a cartwheel but that crazy jump up from a seated position that I'm always sure would snap my spine if I tried it myself. Plus his muscle memory on those jive steps had him in a more confident place than usual. The scientific term for Brant's whipped cream-anticipating bliss? "Frisky schoolboy sugar high," Bruno called it. Luckily the judges didn't seize the opportunity to mark Brant down after he slipped on part of (okay, all of) Peta's detachable skirt midway through the jive.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy: 86 total points (27 + 27 tonight) It was an intense week for these two, which is like saying the show took place on a Monday. Val's tough love reached a fever pitch, and Elizabeth is so "laser-beam focused" that she just gobbled his yelling right up. "It's never at you. It's just at." Val insisted re: his yelling. (At…the struggle.)
Elizabeth with the humble brag: "Val's just drilling it into me over and over and over… it's just extreme." #CelebrityProblems …."I know he just wants the best out of me." #Sparklebarf
I remember the crazy CGI UFOs better than their quickstep itself -- "The aliens wanted to beam them up, but the glitterific atmosphere of Mirrorballus was too much for the spacecraft to take," aptly sums up EW.com commenter icy treat -- but Elizabeth and Val won overall raves for their "utterly full-on" routine. They'd just lost a bit of body contact because of the speed, remarked Bruno. Carrie Ann had apparently been wound up about six espressos too high because she wouldn't stop raving (and really, it was going to be a dozen more euphemisms of the same concept -- "Your performance has caused me sexual pleasure" -- unless Tom helped to cut her off).
Hidden gem: Karina and Leah's "WTF is she even talking about?" sesh.
Val provided the night's breeziest interview moment (breeziest overall moment would of course belong to his shirtless self during the amazing Mandy Moore-choreographed opening number) when he opted to deliver the "politically incorrect" answer that yes, last week's 30 had them under more pressure this week. "I, personally, was very stressed." Atmosphere once again corrupted! Another alien has shifted the script!
NEXT: Carrie Ann beheads a '10' paddle, and it's not even Game of Thrones week