Dancing with the Stars competitors turned it up a notch (and in some cases two) this week as the remaining seven dancers did everything they could to avoid elimination. This was also the first week the dancers had to learn two dances in the single week. Each had to do a Latin number they had not done before and they also had to do a group swing.

The rankings were difficult this week, especially the top 3 because those could be virtually interchangeable. There’s also a pattern forming, at least in my rankings, except for flip-flopping John and Billy Ray in positions 6 and 7, the rest of the order is the same as last week. Here is my rundown:

  • Apolo is on top again this week. Julianne created a beautiful rumba for them. I hope this is the dance of the week because I would really like to see it again tonight on the results show. Tom took the words right out of my mouth when he said the routine broke the Tucker Carlson chair curse.
  • Laila and Maks (pictured above, from last week) also delivered last night with a fantastic cha-cha. It was great to see Laila put more of herself into the routine with a little funk infusion (even if Len didn’t care for it).
  • Joey seemed to be channeling Maks occasionally in his samba. Something about the moves Kym put together for him, just reminded me of the way Maks moves. It was a solid performance, but Joey’s missing something that keeps him out of the top spot for me. He’s close, but he’s just edged out the past two weeks
  • Heather and Jonathan were strong in the paso doble. I thought “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” was an odd choice for a song to perform a paso to, but the routine was good and it was one of the best pasos of the season.
  • Ian, Ian, Ian. Such a disappointment here. I agree with Len this is where he should have really broken out since he should have portrayed such a strong character in his paso. But again, he was stiff and a little dull. Cheryl has got to find a way to break this if she has any hope of becoming a champion a third time. Carrie Anne’s advice to become more like Billy Ray in terms of getting out there and putting his heart into the dance is a good call.
  • Billy Ray got good choreography from Karina this week. Her choice to give him just a little bit of the jive and to let him shine as a performer worked out really well. He looked like he had a good time, I enjoyed his performance even though it was a full-out jive.
  • John and Edyta were okay. He had a good time with the dance, you can tell that he tried to deliver a good mambo, but it just wasn’t quite there.

The group swing last night was fun, although a bit difficult to watch and actually judge. I thought the camera work was a little off, making hard to get an accurate picture of who was doing what. Apolo looked great as the swing really worked for him. His footwork looked really good. The other standout was Laila, who even carried Apolo and tossed Maks, which was very cool. If anything, the group dance farther drove home the same rankings I had above. I wish it had been presented better on TV so I could break it down more.

As for who is leaving… I think the voting public are going to put Heather and John into the bottom two this week (it pains me to say that because I like Heather a lot, but I think popularity-wise this is how it works out). I think John goes home this week.

Post Results Show Update: I was back inline with the voters this week, predicting that John and Heather were in the bottom two. But I am wildly disappointed that Heather was sent home (boo! bad choice, voters!). Good results show over all too. Joss Stone was fun and the Dreamgirls number was fab. Best of all, the group jive was named the dance of the week and danced again. Luckily the cameras captured it better this time and I enjoyed it all the more. Next week, two dances again for the remaining dancers. They will each have to do a ballroom and a latin number, so it will be a fun week!