Dancing with the Stars week eight saw fan favorite Barry Williams sent home, while Alyson Hannigan and Jason Mraz struggled to get out of the middle of the pack.
"What Barry did and especially going into this season, is not easy," writes former professional dancer Cheryl Burke in this week's HELLO! column. "The level from when Donny Osmond did it, for example, versus now, you can't compare. You can't get away with gimmicks now, you have to put in the content and the work."
Cheryl also had high praise for Alyson Hannigan – and some important advice. Read on for more of her thoughts after week eight….
Barry Williams' DWTS exit
Barry went home tonight and it wasn't as big of a shocker as last week and Lele Pons' elimination.
Obviously Barry is a showman and I don't think he deserves to go home but maybe it is a blessing in disguise because I know how physically demanding it is and how much pain Barry is in.
But he really is already a winner; it sounds so cliche, but it's so true. What Barry did and especially going into this season, is not easy. The level from when Donny Osmond did it, for example, versus now, you can't compare. You can't get away with gimmicks now, you have to put in the content and the work.
Frustration with the judges
I don't think Alyson and Sasha Farber were underscored, but if you were to just listen to the judge's comments then yes they were, and this is where my frustration lies because the judges have nothing but compliments to say.
I think the only constructive criticism in a way came from guest judge Billy Porter. He said, "Point those biscuits' (feet) and I think that is a great note.
For me, the note would be, again, to put emotion through the body more than the facial expressions. When she extends her arms, instead of just throwing an arm out there without emotion, it's got to come from the rib cage.
But in order for Alyson and Sasha to break into the nines and tens, I'm hoping that next week they are challenged to do an actual ballroom or Latin dance. When she did the quickstep, she nailed all the steps and that's how she got that nine.
It was a solid tango for Xochitl Gomez and her partner, but I would have given her a nine because, for me, tango is about the intensity and the attack, and it was a little too happy when it came to the expression on their faces.
But the quality of movement, the body contact, the frame – you couldn't compare it to any other couple tonight so they deserve the 40.
Guest judge Billy Porter
Billy Porter was an amazing judge this week. I thought he was one of the better guest judges as he did not go easy on them and what he said was right, even though maybe some of the words weren't necessarily spot on. But when it comes to his advice and what he wanted to see when it comes to intention, I think that is what a guest judge should be looking for.
I thought Paula Abdul was a great judge, but I prefer someone like Billy because he's so opinionated and he knows what he wants.
The final straight
As a professional it is now truly coming down to details and I think at the end of the day, you need to remind your celebrity partner that they are always the last dance. At this point, there's certain things now that are in these celebrities – muscle memories that they can't throw out the window – but what you need to do is really take to heart what these judges are looking for.
I think that's going to be hard for Alyson and Sasha because all of the comments were compliments so what are they going to do?
Jason Mraz's last shot
Jason started so strong but maybe the judges didn't score him right. Last week, I thought what he did last week with his jazz number was brilliant but this fall in scores is getting to his psyche a little bit. If he can just throw that out the window, get a new mindset, and have zero expectations, I think he can start over.
But I think this is his last shot though.
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