‘Dancing with the Stars’ slugfest: Screwy ‘Disney Night’ scores and why James Van Der Beek is still the man to beat [WATCH]

o”It wasn’t very hard to read between the lines,” says Joyce Eng about the “twist” ending on “Dancing with the Stars” during “Disney Night.” No one was eliminated from the competition despite the judges and hosts keeping us in suspense all night. But Eng points out that even the press releases for the show didn’t mention an elimination on “Disney Night,” and the credits were already rolling when Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were starting to announce the results. However there were other surprises on “Disney Night” that were genuinely surprising. Watch Eng’s video slugfest with Daniel Montgomery and Cordell Martin above.

For instance, some of those scores were unexpected. Ally Brooke finished at the top of the judges’ leaderboard with the first straight 9s of the season for a total of 27 out of 30. The judges were slower to give out 9s than usual this season, but the 9s kept coming after Brooke’s dance. Are the numbers getting a little too high too fast now? “I like that the season started a lot more conservative with the scoring,” Montgomery argues, “but I feel like this week they kind of abandoned that. As soon as those 9s came out for Ally, the floodgates opened” and “we lost some of the perspective.”

Martin thinks the judges are just trying to keep things suspenseful. “What they’re trying to do is make it more competitive than it really is,” he theorizes. “[James Van Der Beek] and [Hannah Brown] are the two to beat, and they’re probably the ones running away with the fan votes, so the fact that they’re consistently lowballing them each week, they’re trying to play this competitive game that there’s more people actually vying for the Mirror Ball.”

However, if that’s the game the judges are playing, they haven’t convinced Martin, Eng or Montgomery, all of whom are still predicting James Van Der Beek will win the Mirror Ball Trophy even though he hasn’t been at the top of the leaderboard since week one. “I feel like he can handle whatever dance comes his way, and being an actor he can also adapt to the character in each dance,” says Eng. And Martin adds that he’s “the most well-rounded dancer … He has the personality. He’s confident, but he’s not arrogant or cocky.”

What did you think of those screwy “Disney Night” scores? And do you agree that Van Der Beek is the celeb to beat regardless of the high numbers other stars are getting right now?

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