It's Week 9 of Dancing With the Stars and we're only two weeks away from the finals!
Two routines, an individual dance and a trio dance, were on tap for Monday's show.
Judge Len Goodman was back in the ballroom with Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli at the judges' table. Kellie Pickler put in an appearance to plug her new album, but didn't sing. She'll be back during finals week to perform, she said. So it was dancing business as usual.
Bill Engvall has been lurking near the bottom of the pack every week. Would he go home tonight? Or would he survive to dance in next week's semifinals?
Here's how it all went down as the show whittled to five remaining celebs:
Corbin Bleu and partner Karina Smirnoff worked hard to perfect a traditional, slow waltz to cater to the judges' wishes for technically correct dancing. It was sweet, but slow dances show every little misstep. Carrie Ann said it was "dreamy" but quibbled about a turn. Len said it was "like poetry in motion" and quibbled about how his feet hit the floor. Bruno said it showed "flawless musicality." Scores: 9, 9, 10 = 28
Corbin and Karina formed a threesome with dancer Witney Carson (think Anna Nicole Smith) for a jazz dance. Sporting white and red gloves, they did a lot of jazzy hand movements during the routine which showcased a shirtless Corbin, always a hit with the ballroom audience. Carrie Ann said it "might have been the best routine she's seen in 17 years." Len said it all came together in "one fabulous" dance. Bruno said he lived up to Bob Fosse's standard. Scores: 10, 10, 10 = 30 Total: 58
Elizabeth Berkley danced a Viennese waltz with a bride and groom theme and lots of drama. Carrie Ann loved her lines and said she was out of sync just a tiny bit at the start. Len called her his "top dancer" but said the dance was dark. Bruno loved the contemporary touches she put in it. Scores: 9, 8, 9 = 26
Gleb Savchenko joined Elizabeth and Val Chmerkovskiy for their threesome. "Two dudes from Eastern Europe killing the salsa," joked Val. He said it was an "incredibly difficult" number, putting Elizabeth at the center. On the dance floor, she seemed to love being with the two guys. The crowd loved that the two men wound up shirtless by the end of it. Carrie Ann called her a "girl on fire." Len called her a "human Frisbee." Bruno said she "handled those boys" very well. Scores: 10, 10, 10 = 30 Total: 56
Jack Osbourne celebrated his 28th birthday this past week (Nov. 8) and partner Cheryl Burke gave him a little mirrorball trophy. "You get the best partner ever award!" she told him. Their Viennese waltz, done as smoke/fog swirled at their feet was lovely. Len raved. Bruno loved his spins, but not his hands. Carrie Ann said he had built his whole journey on technique and it's "amazing." Scores: 10, 10, 9 = 29
Sharna Burgess joined Jack and Cheryl for a wild,Jungle Book samba threesome dance. "They're both very bossy," Jack said of his dance partners during rehearsals. He wasn't sure if he liked the idea of them playing the bongo on his backside. But he —- they — pulled it off and rocked the house with a playful performance. Len said it was a "clever routine." Bruno said it was "so much fun." Carrie Ann said he seemed to get "overwhelmed" with the two women, but said it was "fun." Scores: 8, 8, 9 = 25 Total: 54
Leah Remini struggled with the posture part of the tango in rehearsals, but on the dance floor she brought plenty of passion. Her partner, Tony Dovolani, was pushing her all week to make sure she's a "contender" in the finals. Bruno was so excited about her dramatic and well-executed performance he called her "Lisa" but added that she was "stunning." Carrie Ann was "truly impressed with the growth" she has seen. Len loved it. Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27
Henry Byalikov joined Leah and Tony for their threesome. Their plan was to dance a jive that spoofed the judges. "I think they're gonna love it," predicted Leah. And she was right. It was lively, high-energy and really cute. Bruno raved, calling it "witty." Carrie Ann loved how Leah took "control." Len loved the concept, saying it was "fan-tastic!" Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27 Total: 54
Amber Riley, who vowed she is "in it to win it" is still battling knee issues, not a good thing when you've got to dance the quickstep. But the Glee star and partner Derek Hough made it all look pretty painless as they moved around the floor hamming it up, including Derek doing a one-handed cartwheel, keeping hold of Amber as he did it. But the snazzy moves didn't wow the judges enough. Len called the choreography "terrific" but said Amber was "loose in her top frame." (The crowd booed him.) Bruno said she was "dazzling" but noted a little problem with her feet. Carrie Ann said she had a "few mess-ups." Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24
For her trio dance, Mark Ballas, who has known Derek Hough since they were kids, joined their threesome. The two guys spent much of the week arguing about the steps, leaving Amber "confused." But Derek said the goal was for them to be her "backup dancers." Their salsa was as sassy and included the guys picking up her up on their shoulders at one point. The routine prompted cheers from the crowd. Len called her "smiley Riley." Bruno called her "irristitible." Carrie Ann said it was "like a dream team." Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27 Total: 51
Bill Engvall said he wants to take pro partner Emma Slater to the finals. And while their Charleston to Yakety Yak got the crowd clapping along as they hammed it up, the juges slammed him. Bruno said his timing was off. Carrie Ann said his feet weren't quite right. Len said it just "wasn't good." Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Bill was loving the idea of dancing with "two beautiful girls." (The camera cut to his wife in the audience just as he said that.) Peta Murgatroyd joined them for a Willie Wonka-themed "sweet" salsa threesome. "I get to dance with two gorgeous women. It don't get any better than this," he said during rehearsals. On the dance floor, he clearly had a blast. Bruno loved the slapstick, but said there was no "rhythm and timing." Carrie Ann called it "weird." Len it was "good fun." Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21 Total: 42
In the end, it came down to Bill and Elizabeth in jeopardy.
Sent home ... Elizabeth Berkley! There were moans and boos from the surprised audience. After all, she had gotten a perfect score tonight!
"I'm sad," said Berkley. "There were more things we wanted to do. But I'm, honestly, beyond grateful for this. ... I want to thank everyone, especially Val." The Saved By the Bell actress added, "I've learned so much, obviously dance, but (also) growth as a human being and partnership." She ended by thanking fans for voting.