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Dancing With The Stars recap: Seriously, what DOES the fox say? Anyone?

Tom Bergeron said at the end of this week's second group dance - in which the men were dressed as foxes (see above) - that he hoped someone who'd never watched the show had chosen to tune in right then. And then Carrie Ann compared what she'd just watched to an acid trip. So needless to say, this week's Dancing With The Stars did not lack in the "WTF?!" component. Shall we run down the rest of the 2-hour dance-a-thon for you? I think so:

Ummm, wardrobe? I feel like I saw a little too much of Brooke Burke in that dress. Whatever happened to slips? Those should be a thing again. #WishfulThinking

Is there an echo? Technical issues and another guest judge: At the top of the hour, there seemed to be an issue with our DWTS hosts’ mics. Which means when they announced Cher would be guest-judging and performing next week, we heard it echoed back a couple times. Cher…cher…cher…cher….!

Too much schtick: Val and Elizabeth’s quickstep routine started when them miming shock at a 1960s-era (50s? I’m not sure – hit the comments) news report that went 12 seconds longer than it needed too. But their dancing was solid (though slightly lackluster compared to last week’s routine.) Judges’ score: 27/30

Landed the recovery:
Brent must have been the cutest pupil back in elementary school! And hopefully he also wore red suspenders and a bowtie then too. He did his jive homework, but that wouldn’t steel him against a slip on a hastily discarded poodle skirt. All in all, we got a high energy routine that was filled with some of the greatest facial expressions ever from Brent. Judges’ score: 27/30

Of note: 27 minutes into this week’s episode and I already considered bailing on the whole thing due to the sound issues. Hearing the judges echo their enthusiasm is not what I call quality entertainment. Is it just my TV? Was I the only one who felt like I was living in a cavernous…uh…cave?

Upping the ante: Leah’s was feeling the pressure of Tony’s salsa choreography in their rehearsal package but she killed it with all her shakes and shimmies to Pitbull’s “Calle Ocho (I Know You Want Me).” If we’re being honest here, the tricks went fine; it was the footwork that tripped Leah up a little. BUT only a little! Judges’ score: 26/30

Famous faces spotted: Chelsea Handler (cheering on Leah Remini and making Tom Bergeron blush), Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. WHERE ARE ALL THE JERSEY SHORE KIDS?! And for the love, will someone drag Mark-Paul Gosselar out to cheer on Jessi Spano!? I don’t ask for much, but I ask for that.

Boys + suspenders = jive routine: Things I’ve learned from Brent and Jack’s routines this week. I’m all for it as in my mind, it’s historically accurate. (Later, Corbin also sported suspenders but for a cha cha – so I’m ignoring that.)

Intense close-ups and going country: Jack and Cheryl’s rehearsal pre-roll had a lot to do with Jack suffering from MS fatigue (it was dramatic and framed Cheryl’s freckles perfectly). And then their jive routine got off to an awkward, slightly off-tempo start. But Jack gave us the quote of the night with, “I’m built for comfort, not speed.” Me too, Jack. ME TOO.  Judges’ score: 27/30 (Carrie Ann broke her 10 paddle giving that insane score.)

Worn down: Derek’s back is killing him; Amber’s shoulder isn’t feeling it; this pasodoble’s got “uh oh” written all over it based on the rehearsal footage. Which means, they killed it when they got on the dance floor. Why? Because they’re G*****N PROFESSIONALS. This is why I’m okay with Hough winning an Emmy this year. He knows when to whine and when to shut up and be a champ. (Sure, he won it for choreography but whatever.) Play with pain. Judges’ score: 29/30 (Bruno, what gives?!)

Tom Bergeron’s flabbergasted face: It happens whenever he sits down ringside (Courtside? Floorside?) to chat to “Snookole.” In this case, Snooki/Nicole compared herself to a Chihuahua or a squirrel monkey or something. A true delight.

Viva Las Engvall: Bill and Emma took on the quickstep with the help of the king: Elvis. The redneck has become adorably light on his feet over the weeks and was positively floating around the floor. In fact, I’d have to say his quickstep was head and shoulders above his Elvis moves/impression. Unfortunately, it seems “his hold” was under scrutiny by the trio with those scoring paddles. Judges’ score: 23/30


Sure, it’s blurry because I had to take a photo of my TV but you get it. Tom’s face is priceless. Additionally, while not captured, BRUNO DID A TURN. It basically belonged in a figure skating routine. I can’t.

Hey Mama: If there was any place that Snooki would feel comfortable, it’d be dressed in sparkly leopard print and heels, and shaking it with a samba to a Black Eyed Peas track. Based on her routine, I was not wrong. She said she felt like a turtle – not the squirrel monkey she was hoping to channel. Judges’ score: 27/30 (Ostensibly, this was the score of the night.)

Can you do a flip? AND THEN CORBIN DID ONE. Well done, Disney’s High School Musical – you trained your kids impeccably. Aside from some distracting faux rain effect, Corbin and Karina just SMOKED the competition with that cha cha. There’s nothing to hate on here. Judges’ score: 29/30

Team #SpookyBomBom: Their routine was the only Halloween reference of the night (THANK GOODNESS). Nicole’s killer gymnast abilities certainly helped bring some extra wow to the group’s efforts. Personally, it was Leah who was the weakest link; yeah that’s right, I said Remini and not Bill Engvall. And the judges were with me! “I never thought I’d be saying this: Bill, you were the glue that held performance together.” – Carrie Ann. Judges’ score: 27/30 (she typed for the billionth time that night).

Team #FoxingAwesome:
A+ to Jack Osborne whose tattoo “sounds a lot like ‘foxing awesome’” and therefore inspired this team name. The More You Know moment: Derek has NEVER lost a team dance. Whaaaaa? No pressure there. In other news, I cannot bring myself into acknowledging that "What Does The Fox Say?" is a major viral hit. I CANNOT. (I know it is already, but I still REFUSE.) Judges score: 30/30 (and Derek's record remained unblighted and the whole team was deemed safe this week.)

Taking their final bow: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi (and her partner Sasha). Not the greatest reward after she was just tossed to the heavens in her group number. BUT: further proof that there are more American rednecks voting on this show versus American guidos and guidettes. So that's...something...? I'm sure the US census has official numbers that you can look up.

Hit the comments with your thoughts on Nicole's departure, the group dances, what the fox actually says, and anything else that comes to mind -- provided it's remotely related to DWTS, of course.

Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m., ET, on CTV Two and ABC.


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