‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Did Alfonso Ribeiro deserve perfect score for ‘the Carlton’?

Alfonso Ribeiro started season 19 of “Dancing With the Stars” with a bang, ending premiere night with the top score. Living up to those expectations in subsequent weeks has been a challenge for him, but on “Most Memorable Year” night, he finally made it back to the top of the leaderboard after breaking out one of his signature dance moves.

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Ribeiro dedicated his jazz routine to the six years he spent as Carlton Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” a role that both made his career and stalled it, since afterwards he struggled to be seen by casting directors as anything else. For his dance, he decided to incorporate his iconic character’s arm-swinging signature move, “the Carlton,” which earned him the night’s only perfect score: three 10s from the judges, and another 10 from viewers voting live at home, filling in for an absent Len Goodman this week.

That perfect score took our users by surprise. They had predicted last week‘s perfect-scorer Bethany Mota to return to the top of the leaderboard for the second week in a row (click here to see the breakdown of their odds), but the YouTube star ended up fifth after an anti-bullying rumba that moved the judges but lacked sufficient technical content.

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Ribeiro’s perfect score put him one point ahead of another of this season’s top contestants: Lea Thompson, who dedicated an emotional contemporary dance to her late father. She would have had a perfect score too were it not for stingy viewers, who gave her a 9 even though Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough, and Bruno Tonioli all gave her 10s. But so far our users are more generous; as of this writing, users give her best odds to win the mirror ball trophy (click here for her current odds).

Janel Parrish scored a perfect 40 last week, and this week scored nearly as well for her own emotional routine, dedicated to her late mentor, who died the year she moved from Hawaii to LA to pursue an acting career. Her touching, technically impressive rumba earned straight 9s, which was good enough for fourth place.

However, the night wasn’t without a few notable missteps, especially from Jonathan Bennett, whom the judges thought was flat-footed, erratic, and lacking in elegance during his “Mean Girls”-inspired samba. He finished at the bottom of the leaderboard with straight 6s and a total of 24, which might make this his most memorable week for all the wrong reasons.

But he should look on the bright side. No bottom-scoring contestant has been sent home yet this season, including this week, when Betsey Johnson was eliminated despite scoring higher than Michael Waltrip during last week’s show. Our users thought Waltrip was a goner, but he lives to dance another day.

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The top scorer among our users this week was Cordell Martin, who correctly predicted Johnson’s elimination and Ribeiro’s high score. He was wrong about the low scorer, though, picking Johnson instead of Bennett. Martin ranks fifth among all predictors for the entire season to date; user alokin leads overall (click here to see where you place on our leaderboard).

The remaining dancers scored as follows:

Alfonso Ribeiro – 40
Lea Thompson – 39
Sadie Robertson – 37
Janel Parrish – 36
Bethany Mota – 33
Antonio Sabato Jr. – 29
Tommy Chong – 28
Michael Waltrip – 25
Jonathan Bennett – 24

What did you think of this week’s performances? Did Ribeiro really deliver the best performance, or was Thompson robbed? Watch the videos of their performances below, then vote in our poll. And use our drag-and-drop menu below (or click here) to make your predictions for next week.

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