Julianne Hough returned to the ballroom Monday for Week 4 of Dancing With the Stars.
She didn't dance; she filled in for judge Len Goodman, joining Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. "Feel free to move Len's hemorrhoid pillow, if you want to," cracked host Tom Bergeron.
Hough promised to be "tough" on the celebs and the pros, including brother Derek Hough, if they deserved it. But she also assured the stars, "I'm totally on your side!"
She actually turned out to be completely in sync with the other two judges.
Here's how it went:
Amber Riley battled bad knees all week, and had fluid drained at one point. She and Derek were "way behind" in their rehearsing. A teary Amber vowed to do her "best." On the dance floor, their tango sizzled. Amber's dress was long enough to cover her knee brace for most of the dance. Carrie Ann said she and Derek were like "one person" and said the dance was "clean and passionate." Julianne said she was "hoping something would go terribly wrong." But no. "Holy cow," she said, "You were wonderful." Bruno said it was "classic. ... You're a magnificent dancer!" Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27
Corbin Bleu worked with partner Karina Smirnoff to perfect their paso doble. "This is cool. It hurts, but it's cool," he said during rehearsals. During the passionate performance, he threw off his vest and danced shirtless. Bill Nye was seen in the crowd saying, "Wow. Wow." The crowd went nuts for it. Carrie Ann said "the intensity was smoldering," but she still saw a little bit of hip-hop. Julianne praised him for "not doing gimmicks." Bruno said it was "the pure essence of paso doble." But he and Julianne quibbled about Corbin's hips not being quite right. Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27
Elizabeth Berkley spent some time staring deeply into pro partner's Val Chmerkovskiy's eyes during rehearsal. "What that was about, I have no idea," he said of Berkley's odd gaze. On the dance floor, she was focused as they impressed with their passionate and dark Argentine tango. Bruno called her a "bewitching fantasy creature." Carrie Ann called her a "sensuous" dancer, adding "every movement had meaning." Julianne said she "got chills" watching her. Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27
Christina Milian was frustrated during rehearsals as she tried to learn her foxtrot with pro Mark Ballas. "I'm a performer, this is what I do. I really want this to be good," she said. On the dance floor, she and Mark wowed with a gangster-themed dance. Bruno said it was "spunky" and "sultry." Carrie Ann told her to work on her shoulders. Julianne says we know she's a "fierce" woman, and now we need to see a softer side of her. Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24
Jack Osbourne, who said he "can't leave" the show because it's his first anniversary, bickered with pro partner Cheryl Burke while practicing their quickstep. "You're basically sprinting the entire dance, and it's taxing," said Jack, who was obsessing with Corbin Bleu's abilities, while Burke overshared that she was "PMS-ing!" On the dance floor, Jack and Cheryl pulled off their fast dance just fine. Julianne, who said it was "so good," told Jack to smile and show that he was having fun. Bruno said Jack's "footwork was incredible." Carrie Ann thought it was a "step up" from last week. Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24
Leah Remini said she was gunning this week for a 9 score after two weeks of 8s. "Can you come down a pole or something?" she asked her partner Tony Dovolani. "Wear something skimpy; show some skin!" Instead, she swiveled and shimmied in a sparkly fringed bodysuit for their fiery cha cha. Bruno said she was "channeling J.Lo." Carrie Ann said she was "in the zone." Julianne praised her footwork and told her to use her body to match her attitude. Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24
Snooki said she was "very sick" this week, which was tough because she and partner Sasha Farber had to travel a lot between Los Angeles and New Jersey to see her family. Their jive had a cheerleader theme, prompting Snooki to recall being anorexic in high school as a cheerleader. "It was a really, really bad time for me." Determined to make "positive new memories," she waved pom-poms and pulled off a back flip as part of her pumped-up dance. Julianne called her "my little nugget" and said she "loved it." She had a few little nitpicks about being sharper. Bruno cheered her, saying it was "brilliant." Carrie Ann recalled Len's line about her being a "pocket rocket." Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24
Bill Engvall said he was ready to samba with partner Emma Slater "and have a little fun." In rehearsals, he feared that the hip-grinding was making him look like "a creepy old man." On the floor, he hammed it up and laughed his way through the clunky hip-thrusting. "It's been a long week," he told Bergeron. Julianne noted the crowd "loved" it. Bruno said, "I thought I was going to wet myself. It had everything ... except timing and rhythm." Carrie Ann said he brought "joy" to the ballroom. Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Brant Daugherty continued to nurse a bad foot as he and partner Peta Murgatroyd rehearsed their salsa. She wanted him to lift her, but a different injury — a bad shoulder from an old bike accident — was making it nearly impossible. No problem. He got the crowd on his side by taking off his shirt, shimmying and shaking his hips, and jumping over Peta. The high-energy dance left him huffing and puffing as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Carrie Ann said the shirtless look worked against him because it showed that the salsa "was a little broken-looking." Julianne flirted a little, noting, "I'm single now!" but she was critical of his feet being a "little bit sloppy." Bruno thought he was "a good boy." Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21
Valerie Harper vowed to "do better" this week after getting low scores last week. She said, "I am not at all ready to quit." Her Viennese waltz with Tristan MacManus to fun.'sCarry On was sweet, although she missed steps again and seemed lost at times. Julianne was teary. She praised Valerie's "lines" and said she is "beautiful." Bruno said the dance was "so pretty" but told her she needs to cover it up when she goes wrong. Carrie Ann said there were "some beautiful moments," but her "mistakes stood out more." Scores: 6, 6, 6 = 18
But it all quickly ended with — oh no! — Valerie being sent home!
"It has been absolutely wonderful," she said, a tear visible at the corner of her eye as she addressed the ballroom and hosts Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet at the end of the night. "Completely unique. Like nothing else in the world that you would ever do. And it was an opportunity for me to carry a message to folks, not just with cancer, but with whatever challenge, like our song tonight — carry on, carry on." She then joked, "Carrie Ann! Carrie Ann!"
Her partner MacManus said with a heavy Irish accent, "Maybe me life was a little bit better since I met Valerie Harper."
Valerie added, "It's really a great thing to get out and dance!"