We’ve reached the final three weeks of Dancing with the Stars season 23. But which five couples will advance to the semifinals? That’s what Showstoppers Night is all about.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Broadway Dances and Semifinalists Revealed

The six remaining couples will all perform routines inspired by Broadway musicals, with Tony-winning Idina Menzel serving as a guest judge. In addition, the couples will be paired off for a trio of team-up dances. And at the end of the night, one couple (probably Marilu and Derek or Terra and Sasha) will be eliminated.

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Jenna Johnson is still with James. Boo.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: Jersey Boys Samba

Mark Ballas is here to perform because he’s currently starring in Jersey Boys. Derek is still frustrated a little bit with how she keeps forgetting steps, but he appreciates that she’s a fan who is trying her hardest. It’s certainly a more joyful dance with a lot of content, but it’s rather unpolished throughout. It lacks a bit of fluidity, but it’s good enough. The judges love how much fun she was having.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

Honestly, I thought it deserved an 8 or two or three.

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold: Cats Waltz

They go to Broadway to dress up like cats. Calvin as a giant cat in a onesie without his dance belt (aka jockstrap) is hilarious. Sadly, they’re not actually dressed as cats for the performance. Still, it’s absolutely beautiful and magical. He’s so light on his feet and moves with ease and grace. It’s astonishing how great Megatron has become during the course of this season, and this is his best yet. The judges give a lot of praise, especially since there’s a big height difference. Carrie Ann Inaba thought he wasn’t very connected to the music.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+10+9=37

Julianne is right, that was better than Marilu.

James Hinchcliffe and Jenna Johnson: The Wiz Jazz

Sharna is still involved with rehearsals, but throughout the week she didn’t know whether she could dance yet. On Friday she was cleared to dance, but it was risky. Sadly, she’s still sidelined. James is the Wizard and they tell the whole Wizard of Oz story with all of the characters. He’s overflowing with energy and excitement, with lots of bounces. He’s so damn charismatic and naturally charming. However, there is one tiny yet obvious screw-up near the beginning.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

I know he made one mistake, but there’s no way on Earth that was equal to what Marilu did.

Terra Jole and Sasha Farber: Sweet Charity Charleston

He has to switch up the traditional Charleston choreography because of her size. The routine is very entertaining and quirky, but this style definitely highlights all of the limitations of what she can actually do. The judges all love her showmanship and her spirit. They praise her acting performance a lot, but not her actual dancing.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+9+9=38

At least Julianne and Bruno aren’t crazy.

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: Waitress Waltz

Poor Jana gets stuck with the new musical no one really knows. It really speaks to her personal journey of getting stronger and becoming more confident. Gleb’s knee is acting up this week, which is a problem because Alan has to step in during rehearsals. Jana has fallen comfortably into the token slot of the female dancer who is all about emotion. This is a powerful and stunning routine that captures her soul. The judges love the storytelling from the heart.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Another perfect score for them. Jana (and the judges) are fighting hard to get her into the finale.

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: Chicago Argentine Tango

Val wants her to be sexy, which is really uncomfortable because she’s still 16. The fact that Laurie giggles every time she says the word “sexy” makes it just plain weird. The routine is insanely fantastic, technically speaking. Her movements are killer, so quick and precise. But it doesn’t really have any passion or heat, which I suppose is a good thing because, as I wrote before, she’s only 16. I can appreciate her incredible dancing, but it’s still kind of weird. I do like that the judges just kind of ignore the whole sexy issue, except for Idina.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Technically, it’s very deserved.

After a musical performance by Idina Menzel, it’s time for the three team-up dances, where James and Calvin, Marilu and Terra, and Laurie and Jana each join forces.

James and Jenna with Calvin and Lindsay: Paso Doble

They’re going full Westworld with Calvin as the sheriff and James as an Old West bandit. James is a total goofball during rehearsals and they really play up the bromance between the last men standing in the competition. It’s very cool and a real battle between two great dancers who match up very nicely. The concept is so much fun.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+10+9=37

Man, these two are getting some bad scores, compared to the rest.

Marilu and Derek with Terra and Sasha: Jazz

Artem stepped in during rehearsals because Derek had other commitments. Marilu and Terra are both equally weird and positive. It’s a very unusual dance; like I’m on an acid trip. Marilu and Terra pretend to be one giant woman at some point, there’s Disco and it’s just all over the place. It’s crazy and off the wall, but not my thing. Bruno praises it as kooky and wacky.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

What happened to the 8s? This night desperately needed some 8s.

Laurie and Val with Jana and Gleb: Contemporary

Laurie and Jana are like sisters with a lot of love. However, they never really rehearsed together as one big team until yesterday. It starts with the two girls in a cage and then they are freed. There’s a lot of fantastic movement and brilliant moments, with lots of lifts and one part where the two men drag the girls who are sitting on clothes. They work so well together. It was raw and they played off of each other perfectly.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Well, they’re both in the finale if they survive tonight.


Now it’s time to find out which five couples will advance to the semifinals.

The first couple IN THE SEMIFINALS is…Laurie and Val!
The second couple IN THE SEMIFINALS is…Terra and Sasha!
The third couple IN THE SEMIFINALS is…James and Sharna!
The fourth couple IN THE SEMIFINALS is…Calvin and Lindsay!

So it’s either Marilu or Jana.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough ARE ELIMINATED!

Wow, it actually happened. This is the first time since season 6 (his second season as a pro) that Derek has failed to make the Final 5. But this is probably as far as they deserved to go.


80: Jana Kramer, Laurie Hernandez
74: Calvin Johnson, Terra Jole
73: James Hinchcliffe

Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.