Pop Culture

'Dancing With the Stars' semifinals shocker? Senseless scores

Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy on "Dancing With the Stars."

Last week, the quarterfinals round on "Dancing With the Stars" delivered a jaw-dropper when head judge Len Goodman lost his cool. This week, the semifinals saw another shocker when Len and his fellow panelists simply lost their senses.

The first sign that something was amiss came right after Ingo Rademacher danced a stiff, bounce-free samba that received mixed reviews from the judges.

Len liked it, but he wasn't crazy about the oddly intense hip action. Bruno Tonioli noticed that the timing was off. Carrie Ann Inaba was taken aback by the inconsistency of it all.

But when it came time to deliver the score, they all agreed the dance was somehow worthy of a matching set of 8s.

A generous score, but not quite over the top -- yet.

When Ingo came back to perform a sloppy Charleston that featured a "few booboos" (per Carrie Ann), somehow his score went up. There were 9s all around.

Ingo's inflated scores weren't the biggest shockers of the night. They just set the bar for the real surprise.

See, the problem with giving bad dancers decent scores is that much better dancers suffer for it. Zendaya, last week's leaderboard topper and one of this season's undeniable "Dancing" queens, flubbed a little of the footwork in her lightning-fast quickstep on Monday night.

As a result, Len and the gang gave her 8s and a 9, a score that put her on par with Ingo for a dance that was way out of his league.

Later Zendaya rallied with a hip-hop routine that had the judges raving and raising their "10" paddles, but by then, the damage was done. The Disney Channel star slid from first place last week to fourth this week.

The truth is Zendaya's spot in the rankings wasn't just hurt by Ingo's odd scores (or her own quickstep stomps). The scores seemed off across the board.

Kellie Pickler certainly earned her perfect score in the Argentine tango -- it was easily the best routine of the night. But her flamenco follow-up? It lacked the sort of fluidity and content to really rake in the 28 points she nabbed.

And sure, it's hard to argue about Aly Raisman finally getting a perfect score after she wowed the crowd with her precise and romantic rumba. However, the same couldn't be said about the out-of-synch, tribal-style Afro jazz routine she performed later. It looked like a poor imitation of Shawn Johnson's samba from last season, but somehow earned 3 points more than that one did with a 29.

The story repeated itself again with Jacoby Jones, who earned his 30 points in the Argentine tango, but the 29 he got for huffing and puffing through the lindy hop was harder to understand.

It's all in the hands of the fans now anyway. The judges had their say -- even if they didn't always (or even often) make sense. Will viewer votes go the same way? Only Tuesday night's results show can answer that.

What did you think of the scores? And who do you think should move on to the finals? Share your thoughts in our comments section.