LOS ANGELES -- It's the midway point of Season 29 of "Dancing with the Stars" and as host Tyra Banks tells us, at this point, it's anybody's mirror ball. This round ended with a four-way tie for first place on the judge's scoreboard.
There was no specific theme for this round, so we saw eleven different types of dancing with eleven different types of music.
Here's a rundown of the night's scores, from highest to lowest:
JUSTINA AND SASHA
27 out of 30
Justina talked about all the positive messages she's been receiving from women, offering shout-outs for her curves, her figure, for showing an empowered, confident woman. Justina says she is honored that women relate to her, and tells them to live their lives to the fullest. Judge Bruno Tonioli told her she's riding the crest of a radiant wave, while filling the floor with joy. Carrie Ann Inaba said she simply feels good watching Justina dance and praised her emotion in this particular routine. Derek Hough called her reliable, consistent and in perfect sync with Sasha.
AJ AND CHERYL
27 out of 30
We get to be a fly on the wall when AJ talks about how much he jives with Cheryl's teaching style; they just fit. We get to see a bit of fun when everyone realized how many times AJ says "sorry" during one rehearsal session. They even put a counter up on the screen... it's in the 100s. Carrie Ann thought this was a break through dance, with the right balance in the right places. Bruno agreed it was a solid, strong performance. Derek said AJ makes it looks easy.
KAITLYN AND ARTEM
27 out of 30
The judges gave the duo three 9s last week. She really, really wanted a 10 this week. They showed a lot of stumbles in rehearsal, and she says it's the hardest dance she's learned so far. But it was all in check by the time they got to the ballroom. Kaitlyn told us about her nine tattoos, including one that is a rose to honor her Bachelorette days. She is holding out hope for a mirror ball tattoo in her future! Derek praised her perfectly placed arms and hips, but advised her to work on the attack of the dance. Carrie Ann agreed with the attack part but said she expects more out of her, technically. Bruno thought it was a first class samba.
MONICA AND VAL
27 out of 30
She's dedicating this dance of love to her husband of many years. They met in middle school! The two got married, had a good life... then a not so good life. They got divorced. Then they realized they really were meant to be together and got remarried. Monica says they vowed to never take each other for granted again. All three judges thought she nailed the rumba with Carrie Ann calling her refined and radiant. Bruno said it was a classic rumba, with just the right pitch of sensuality and romance.
NEV AND JENNA
26 out of 30
This couple had their work cut out for them by having to do a jazz routine to the song "Good Vibrations" from Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Nev got a good laugh when he realized Jenna didn't know Marky Mark and Mark Wahlberg were one and the same. Bruno called the routine "deliciously bonkers" but said it worked. Derek thought it was clean, and they made a tough situation work. Carrie Ann was thrilled to see Jenna put in every different kind of jazz step into the routine and it made her happy.
JEANNIE AND BRANDON
25 out of 30
Jeannie talks a bit about her family's back story and how they escaped Vietnam. Literally escaped on a boat in the dead of night - almost drowned and rescued by the U.S. Navy. Her parents wanted to come to the U.S. and build the American Dream. Jeannie's whole goal is to make her family proud. All three judges gave her good feedback, with constructive criticism about arms or transitions. Bruno said she danced with passion, and it was done right.
NELLY AND DANIELA
24 out of 30
They perform to Tim McGraw's hit, "Humble and Kind" and we learn Nelly and Tim are not only friends, they recorded a song together. Turns out Nelly loves all kinds of music, and wants to experiment and challenge himself with any genre. The routine left Carrie Ann speechless, and she told Nelly she loved seeing a different side to his storytelling. Derek agreed there was a softness to this dance, while maintaining masculinity. Bruno praised the gentleness and charm Nelly brought to the dance. Nelly let him in on a little secret: he was channeling Bruno for this dance!
CHRISHELL AND GLEB
24 out of 30
This dance is done in honor of her parent's memory. Both her dad and her mom died of lung cancer, one year apart. Chrishell says she would love to have taught her mother a few dance steps. But she feels her parents are always with them in the ballroom, so this dance was for Renee and Jeff Stause. Derek said he felt all of her love and intention, and thanked Chrishell for sharing it with us. Carrie Ann loved that she poured her heart and soul into the dance, but reminded her to point her toes!
JOHNNY AND BRITT
22 out of 30
They channel going out and lighting things up in the club with a routine to Jennifer Lopez's hit "On the Floor." Johnny dedicated it to his three best girlfriends who he says always have his back. Carrie Ann said it wasn't his best, with Derek agreeing it's hard to come back after a big week (two 10s last week!)
VERNON AND PETA
21 out of 30
Peta and Vernon make a pledge to not be in the bottom two again. Their song is "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang and that makes Vernon smile. He says the song reminds him of his grandpa, who raised him. This dance celebrated his life, his integrity and character. Bruno was enamored by Vernon's colorful, floral suit and praised his timing but wants Vernon to work on his footwork. Carrie Ann said she enjoys watching Vernon dance because he looks comfortable on the floor; Derek said he wanted to give them a '10' for joy, but there were some technical mistakes.
SKAI AND ALAN
18 out of 30
Skai has been at the top and at the bottom this season. She talked about her busy week with online school work (she's a college freshman) but positivity is her jam and she will always stick with her mantra: "get it girl!" There were a few mistakes in the routine and Derek cheered Skai on, telling her it happens to the best of us and commended her for carrying on after the obvious gaffe. Carrie Ann gave her a '10' for the recovery, and was proud that she found her way back after the mistake.
Time for the lightening round of eliminations!
Safe: Nelly, Jeannie, Monica, Chrishell, AJ, Justina, Kaitlyn, Nev, and Skai.
The bottom two: Johnny and Vernon.
It's up to the judges to save someone. They choose Johnny and Britt, so that means Vernon and Peta are sent home.
Next week, we'll kick off an early Halloween with "Villains Night."
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