When Len visits, Kellie admits that it feels like the principal visiting. Then there’s a whole discussion of “nobblybits” that I don’t understand and am not sure I want to.

It starts with them on the stairs and Derek asking, “You ready to dance this quickstep, Miss Kellie Pickler?” and her answering, “I sure am, chicken.” Love it.  I love how fast and yet controlled this dance is. The quickstep is probably my favorite of all the ballroom dances anyway, so I love to see it done well. Derek has put in some great footwork sequences for them and it really sings. At one point, you can see Len in the background standing up and pointing at them.  I loved it!

Tom tells them, “Your nobbly bits were perfect.” Hee. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

Len gets alliterative to describe how much he loved it and particularly praises the closeness of their hold.  Bruno says it was a technical tour de force and they could not have put more content into the dance. Carrie Ann says the one thing she was looking for was an improvement in their body contact and she saw it.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 10, Bruno: 10

Zendaya & Val Chmerkovskiy
Samba

Zendaya says the only way she knows how to be better is to work harder. See? I knew I liked this kid. Carrie Ann is the judge visiting them and says the judges want it to have a little bit more of a samba feel. There’s some issue with her balance during a move in rehearsal and Carrie Ann points out it’s going to be even more of a problem when she’s in heels. Val asks her to put on her dance heels and Zendaya explains that she hasn’t worn heels in a couple of weeks – I hadn’t noticed. Carrie Ann is giving them A LOT of specific instruction and critique. I like that kind of participation from the judges.

She’s wearing what would be a very short dress on most other contestants, but she’s paired leggings with it. I’ve noticed all season a tendency to modesty in her costuming, which I think is perfectly appropriate.

I’m worried this doesn’t have the “samba” feel that Carrie Ann said the judges were looking for. And I guess it would be hard for them to do samba rolls, given that, in her heels, Zendaya looks to be 2 or 3 inches taller than Val, at least.

Carrie Ann says it was a perfect combination of samba and Zendaya’s own personality. Len goes rhyming again to tell Zendaya that she’s barely scratched the surface of her talent. He praises the amount of basic samba steps and mentions a favorite step that he hasn’t seen in years. I have no idea what he’s calling the step, but he says he hasn’t seen it since the “Falklands Crisis.”  Bruno said she had incredible technique, comparing her transition from the fast to the slow moves as being on par with professional dancers.

Apparently it was an elbow to the eye that injured Val in rehearsal. So much blood - which apparently, understandably, freaked out Zendaya.

Scores:  Carrie Ann: 10, Len: 10, Bruno: 10

Round Two
Cha Cha Relay

Apparently, all the couples will be doing the cha cha to the same song, back to back. Each dance will be about 40 seconds. The judges will rank the couples: 1st place = 5 points, 2nd place = 4 points, 3rd place = 3 points, and 4th place = 2 points.

Kellie, who knows they’ll be the first couple to dance, jokes that she could put some marbles in her dress and let them out to trip up the other couples. Hee hee. She’s cute.

Kellie & Derek start us off and there’s a moment where she looks like she freezes and forgets the step, but she recovers. Their final big move, Kellie in a vertical split while Derek drags her down the floor, looks a bit awkward.

Jacoby makes his entrance by jumping from the top of the steps over Derek and Kellie at the bottom of the steps getting ready to come up. Jacoby “Jumper” Jones.  He and Karina are in purple and black – if you saw my “Reason Why Jacoby Should Win” list, you’ll know I like his tendency to work Ravens colors into their costumes. I bet the Ravens front office likes it too.

Jacoby is so smoooooth during this andhas such a great connection with Karina through eye contact alone. They look like they might have stumbled a bit when Jacoby was swinging Karina through his legs as he also stepped over her. They recover and end the routine with Jacoby sliding through the legs of the next couple, Aly & Mark. He then gets in some wiggles while he’s on his back on the dance floor. Dancing it all the way through, he is.

Why does Mark always put extra moves in for himself that are fancier than what his celeb’s doing? It doesn’t serve his partners who CAN dance well. The show is “Dancing with the Stars” not “Dancing with the Pros.”

Zendaya & Val are last to dance and Zendaya is stunning in a short silver dress. This is the most bare leg we’ve seen from her all season. I think she kills this dance – she’s working her whole body on every move and it looks sensational. There is one slip, but it looks like it’s more a slippery shoe than a misstep.