Dancing with the Stars showcases Nick Lachey's passion for romcoms

Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars” focused on “guilty pleasures,” which -- in its all-singing, all-dancing, all-smiles-and-sparkles reality -- apparently include such benign pastimes as baking, spending time with friends and breakdancing. Did someone corner Sasha Pieterse at some point in her life and ritually shame her for baking too much, or is baking just way easier to build a dance routine around than anyone’s real guilty pleasure?

Call us when you have the artistic integrity to choreograph dances about hate-following various Kardashians on Twitter, ABC.

DWTS, itself a genuine guilty treat, delivered a night about on par with its various pleasures: Tame, fluffy and pretty unsurprising. 

Lindsey Stirling and Jordan Fisher continued to dominate the competition, with Stirling earning a season-high score of 27/30 for her jive to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” 

Sasha Pieterse dropped to the bottom of the leaderboard at 19/30 for her baking-inspired routine with Gleb Savchenko. And Bruno Tonioli was the same Bruno he’s always been but more so, which you might find either overwhelming or endearing. It all depends on whether bombastic Italians shouting the phrase “yummy mummy” makes your skin creep. Is Bruno himself a guilty pleasure?

Our Cincinnati couple, Nick and Vanessa Lachey, continued their trajectories from the last two weeks: She slayed (slew?) and he…looked really handsome. 

He tried, okay? He’s trying.

Vanessa’s jazz dance to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” despite prompting Bruno to use the phrase “yummy mummy” again, was adorable and incorporated her dubious guilty pleasure -- girls’ nights -- by including a trio of backup dancers with whom she grooved in sync. She netted a 23/30, tying her with Property Brother Drew Scott for third plave.

Nick’s jazz dance to “Jump (For My Love)” was theoretically based on his love of romantic comedies -- he and Vanessa reenacted a pair of scenes from “The Notebook” and “Love Actually” in a cute pre-performance skit -- but really seemed aimed at judges’ past criticisms of his stiffness on the floor. True to the song title, the routine incorporated leaps and bounds, and Nick performed them in a sequined unitard.

It earned him a 21/30 and a five-way tie for fifth place with Terrell Owens, Derek Fisher, Frankie Muniz and Nikki Bella.

With all scores combined, Nick is also tied with Derek Fisher for eighth place among the nine remaining contestants. He was on the chopping block last Tuesday -- will he have to jump for a life-saving swell of votes again? 

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