In Movies & TV Reviews

Drew Scott had a shockingly solid evening Monday night on "Dancing with the Stars."

"Dancing with the Stars" recap: Guilty Pleasures Night makes for a good time

After one of the worst days in recent memory – and that's saying something after the last year we've had – "Dancing with the Stars" was a sweet, silly salve Monday night.

There was no drama – especially since no one was even eliminated, resulting in some of the livelier, looser dances of the season. And after a solemn, brief opening message from Tom Bergeron (proving himself as one of the most underappreciated personalities on TV; see also doing a mime gag in public) and a short statement from Vegas resident Drew Scott, the night quickly dedicated itself to mindless fun and guilty pleasures – just what a lot of people needed. Even Len was in a good, carefree mood – so much so we saw him in the buff nomming on some bacon and eggs. So, that's an image.

In short, "Dancing with the Stars" picked a good night to have one of its season's best, most entertaining shows – complete with one of the season's best, most entertaining routines. The judges had their say; here are our rankings.

11. Sasha Pieterse

Dance: Jazz

Judges score: 19 out of 30

Our score: I know this is the lamest, worst critique, and if I actually tried, I'd break my hips in ways doctors can't even fathom ... but watching Sasha and Gleb's baking-themed jazz routine, I totally felt like I could do that dance. It felt more like simple synchronizing movement and just didn't show off what Pieterse, whose personality is showing through more and more during the routines, can do. At least the dogs in her pre-routine video package were happy licking away the aftermath of their food fight.

10. Nick Lachey

Dance: Jazz

Judges score: 21 out of 30

Our score: It's been a long time since I've sat through "Love, Actually," but I don't remember the part that took place in an '80s jazzercise class. Sure, the song ("Jump (For My Love)" might have been from the beloved rom-com, but I was disappointed the theme wasn't the 1985 John Travolta/Jamie Lee Curtis romance "Perfect," most famous for this GIF:

If you can pry eyes away from that – and fair enough if you can't; it's oddly mesmerizing – Lachey brought out more personality this time and a bit more finesse on the dance floor, but like Sasha, this jazz routine was more just movement than dancing.

9. Terrell Owens

Dance: Salsa

Judges score: 21 out of 30

Our score: With most athletes, their secret weapon is their sport's low-key reliance on fancy footwork, but with T.O., I think his secret weapon to staying alive on "Dancing with the Stars" is having Cheryl Burke as a partner. Not only is she a good coach or choreographer, but she's a returning fan favorite. So that helps make up for the fact that, sometimes when the former star receiver dances, he looks a little rusty – and a little lackadaisical, like he's taking some moves off. Still, the judges enjoyed it, and he is improving, something the show always looks for. It's just everybody else is improving too.

8. Derek Fisher

Dance: Cha cha

Judges score: 21 out of 30

Our score: How do you bring Derek Fisher's mom back on set and not have her speak? TRAVESTY! Thankfully, the former Laker star's "Fresh Prince of Bel Air"-themed cha cha was no travesty, filled with fun and loose movement (if maybe not a ton of cha cha content). The judges didn't ding him too hard, though, so I can't imagine those at home being too hard either.

7. Nikki Bella

A post shared by Nikki Bella (@thenikkibella) on

Dance: Viennese waltz

Judges score: 21 out of 30

Our score: Forget about the kinky holds and "50 Shades of Grey" approved whips and chains; the most dangerous part of this romance novel-themed Viennese waltz was performing those steamy steps in front of Bella's fiancee John Cena, a freaking muscle sequoia of a man. Artem impressively survived – Cena seems like he might be the coolest, nicest person alive, so that helps – and Bella impressed on the steps, even if the judges thought it was a touch too sharp and aggressive for their taste. She doesn't deserve to be punished for this solid, steamy number though.

6. Frankie Muniz

Dance: Samba

Judges score: 21 out of 30

Our score: Malcolm unfortunately fell back toward the middle this week with his stiff, stumbling boy band-themed samba. But at least he crushed the actual boy band-inspired part of the routine – and that denim-on-denim outfit. I mean, it could've been worse.

He's still too much of a charmer to be say "Bye, Bye, Bye" anytime soon though.

5. Drew Scott

Dance: Argentine tango

Judges score: 23 out of 30

Our score: You know, if they're looking for somebody to take over "Fixer Upper" for Chip and Joanna Gaines, Emma Slater might be right for the job. After all, she's certainly improved the curb appeal of Drew Scott's dancing. He might still have a few occasional balance issues, but the "Property Brothers" star looks infinitely better, dancing much more comfortably in last night's slinky detective show Argentine tango. It's hard to believe just a few weeks ago I called him "a wooden marionette puppet bouncing across the floor." Those days appear to be gone, though, replaced by a chance to make a good run on the show as one of the more popular faces and personable celebs (as his goofy fun pre-dance clip package demonstrated).

4. Victoria Arlen

Dance: Quickstep

Judges score: 22 out of 30

Our score: How does a schoolgirl costume on Guilty Pleasures Night add up to Chumbawamba and not Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time"? Not that I'm complaining about getting bonus "Tubthumping" in my life – or at least a cover, to which I say BOO, ABC! Get the real version! Chumbawamba could use the money, I'm sure.

While we ponder that, though, another question did get answered Monday night: How is Victoria dancing so well despite not being able to feel her legs? Apparently under her outfits are some braces and supports to help keep her upright. It's more than understandable considering her condition – and it makes her story and her moves no less impressive – but I do wonder if, now with a peak behind the curtain, viewers' enthusiasm will get knocked down. But then get up again. You never gonna keep me down. I get knocked down ...

3. Vanessa Lachey

A post shared by Vanessa Lachey (@vanessalachey) on

Dance: Jazz

Judges score: 23 out of 30

Our score: WHERE THE FLIP IS MAKS!? I swear to god if his calf has been murdered again – though apparently the trouble might not be with his leg but with his partner. OOOOOOOH, SUCH DRAMA! I bet it was Maks' idea to force her to dance alongside the pros.

While that gets sorted, however, Lachey still crushed it out on the dance floor, brightly performing one of the few jazz routines from the night that actually felt like a dance number and not just synchronized poses. It wasn't her most technically accomplished dance so far and having to dance solo with the professional troupe members is a brutal test for anybody, but the routine was bubbly and fun – so much so that Len transformed into a nice guy and Carrie Ann talked about improving Vanessa's mounting abilities. Uh, better go to Nick for that. Don't need your dance partner and your life partner both harrumphing somewhere offscreen.

2. Jordan Fisher

Dance: Charleston

Judges score: 25 out of 30

Our score: Yes, indeed, comic book culture – only the most popular brand of entertainment of the last decade – is DEFINITELY a guilty pleasure now. Listen here, whippersnapper – and I'm older than him so I can call him that – I remember (very, very vaguely) when liking comic books used to ACTUALLY be geeky. AND you had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow! Now get off my lawn. Millennials, amirite?

Anyways, Fisher's Charleston was predictably impressive (I'm still sad about his inevitable fate as a future Heather Morris-esque early exit). Len wanted more Charleston content, but I thought there was enough to engage me. Even more impressive, however, was the set, turned colorful and vibrant thanks to set clever comic book lighting. Less impressive? His makeup and costume, which made him look like Captain Planet, aka THE WORST SUPERHERO.

1. Lindsey Stirling

Dance: Jive

Judges score: 27 out of 30

Our score: Who breaks up with somebody while they're in the middle of a televised competition? That's just rude. That's like breaking up with somebody right before finals week (which is definitely something I haven't done *coughs, coughs, nervously pulls at collar*). And then having to do the jive, the happiest and peppiest dance in the book, with a broken heart? Brutal.

Or so you'd think. But instead, Stirling's jive was a total delight, from the sharp footwork to the peppy performance and phenomenally clever concept (having Mark Ballas back is a gift). Nabbing the highest score of the season so far may not mend a broken heart, but it should at least keep the very talented violinist safe from elimination for another week or so.

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