'Dancing With the Stars' results recap: Guilty verdict
He’d grappled with some weighty competitors in the wrestling ring, but ultimately, this was a Journey that Chris Jericho couldn’t conquer. Turned out his and Cheryl Burke’s tango to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” was more guilty than pleasure on Monday night, earned the WWE star the week’s lowest scores from the judges, and effectively cost him his spot in the Season 12 competition.
Cheryl looked peeved when she found out that she and Chris and Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff were the last two couples in jeopardy, didn’t she? Chris looked resigned. After all, he had a royal wedding to attend. And kids to see. “At this point you have to be your best because at this point, everyone is evenly matched,” he said.
So true, Chris. As the filler recap show, “The Road to the Finals,” stated, this is the tightest race we’ve had in 12 seasons. It also showcased each remaining contestant’s strengths, featuring commentary from former winners and also-rans including Jennifer Grey, Donny Osmond, Gilles Marini, Bristol Palin, Kyle Massey and Drew Lachey; offered a play-by-play of their best dance, along with color from the judges (“look at the speed of those pivots!”); and showed that Tom can more than take on hosting duties all by himself.
The hour before the results hour also featured Hanson, returning to perform a brand-new upbeat single, “Give a Little,” with the “DWTS” Troupe dancing along for kicks. The ladies wore a yellow fringed number that was reminiscent of Kendra Wilkinson’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” outfit, which she trotted out and shimmied to again during the results show's encore performance.
So if Hanson was the opening act during this revived trip down memory lane, then NKOTBSB was the main event. The supergroup hybrid of New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys came out and performed “Don’t Turn Out the Lights” to promote their new tour and prove that they still haven’t lost their boyish good looks. I scoped out the crew to see which of these could be the next Mirrorball trophy contender, particularly after Lacey Schwimmer, Tony Dovolani and the rest of the “DWTS” Troupe had spun in circles around them. And then they came back on for a supermedley of big hits “I Want It That Way” and “Step by Step.” I was a bigger fan of the former, but NKOTB really had the right stuff (uh-oh-OH-oh-oh) with their high-energy “Step,” and sealed the deal when Season 1 finalist Joey McIntyre and future “DWTS” contender (maybe?) Donnie Wahlberg came out on the floor to dance it with Anna Trebunskaya and Peta Murgatroyd, respectively.
We got to know the “DWTS” Troupe a little bit better with a segment on what the group goes through to deliver their weekly performances. Turns out, it takes a lot of team effort and a lot of camera blocking. Though it still didn’t really distinguish one dancer from the other, besides the one with the cute Irish accent and the one with the Wolverine sideburns.
The Macy’s Stars of Dance performance was choreographed by Christopher Scott, though to say it was inspired in part by the royal wedding seemed a bit of a stretch. It showed a romance through its different stages, starting with two kids meeting cute at a park, a hip-hopping breakdancing wedding, and back to the park again as a couple at the end of their journey. Thank goodness it went back to the kids so the routine could end on an upbeat, hopeful note.
There was what Tom called a diplomatic exchange program with “American Idol”: First, "AI’s" Constantine Maroulis performed with the “Rock of Ages” cast on the “Road to the Finals” show. And then surprise "AI" evictee Pia Toscano appeared for an exclusive performance of the Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” with an accompanying dance choreographed by maybe boyfriend Mark Ballas and performed by him and third wheel Karina Smirnoff (how funny was it to see Karina fake-pouting in the celebraquarium when Pia and Mark stood arm in arm?).
There was another filmed segment that had all the competitors talking about how devastating it would be to go home. Ralph said he had a lot more that he wants to prove, Kirstie said the choice at this point is to either give up and go home, or stay with the intention of winning. Chris, presciently, said all that matters is having it all come together on Monday night. Chris also revealed that he doesn’t like it “when people rip me off, take what’s mine.”
Guess the coveted Mirrorball trophy wasn't his to begin with.
What did you think, ballroom fans? Did the right star go home this week, or would you have preferred to see someone else get the boot? Can you believe this was Chelsie Hightower's first 10 paddle ever? How happy were you to see NKOTB and BSB together? Was it like the first time you asked Halle Berry out and she said yes? Discuss.
— Allyssa Lee
Top photo: Cheryl Burke and Chris Jericho. Bottom photo: Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel. Credit: Adam Taylor / ABC