It’s the most magical time of the year for Dancing with the Stars: Disney Night! The 10 remaining couples will all perform routines inspired by beloved animated films from the Disney catalog, but at the end of the night, one star’s carriage will turn back into a pumpkin.
Disney Night also brings season 22’s first guest judge in the form of Zendaya. The 19-year-old Disney Channel star was the runner-up in season 16 with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Will she soften the judges and give us our first 10 of the season? Can anyone come close to topping Riker Lynch and Allison Hoiker’s Pirates of the Caribbean Paso Doble? And with such a close leaderboard last week with the three football players tied at the bottom, who will be eliminated?
LIVE…from Hollywood…it’s Disney Night on Dancing with the Stars!
The opening starts with Mickey and Minnie Mouse as the pros dance to an EDM remix of “Be Our Guest” with Val playing the violin. Ginger is Belle, Marla is Ariel and Nyle is wearing a loincloth as Tarzan. Bruno Tonioli already gave him a 10. Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck help bring out the judges. Zendaya is between Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli, so she’s the third score.
Next week is the Switch-Up with guest judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy. So we get two weeks in a row of guest judges with a Val connection. And as usual, it seems there will be no elimination on Switch-Up night, with the scores and votes from tonight being combined with scores and votes from next week to send someone home in two weeks.
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: Aladdin Jazz
They dance to “Friend Like Me,” the same song Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke danced to on Disney Night two years ago. Antonio plays the “2016 pimp version of Aladdin,” as Sharna puts it, and gets to reuse her Jasmine costume from last year’s “Whole New World” with Noah Galloway. He dances with four guys from the troupe and does a whole lot of solo work. Sharna doesn’t even show up until about halfway through and even then she doesn’t do a lot of partner work with Antonio. It’s a one-man show, but he has a lot of energy and does a great job. The judges love it.
Judges’ Scores: 9+8+9+9=35
Seriously? If that gets 9s, we should be seeing lots of 10s tonight.
Marla Maples and Tony Dovolani: The Little Mermaid Waltz
They dance to “Part of Your World,” a beautiful song from a great movie. OK, we’re in for a great show. This dance is graceful and magical, perfectly capturing the song. Zendaya says “Yes, legs!” The judges like it but point out some technical issues about a lack of body contact and tentative hands and hold.
Judges’ Scores: 7+7+7+7=28
Ouch, that’s gonna be brutal tonight. She’ll be in real danger next week.
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: Tarzan Samba
He’s in a loincloth and is so into the character that it’s infinitely more adorable. He relates to Tarzan because when he first met Jane, they couldn’t understand each other. He starts with a backflip and everything after that is so freaking cute. He does an amazing job with the dance steps, but more importantly, he’s apart from Peta for most of the time and he doesn’t mess up. Usually, they’re so connected, but he can do it all. Len thought there was too much bongo stuff, but he did like the Samba that was there.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+9+9=34
Clearly, Zendaya and Bruno were swayed by the loincloth.
Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff: Mary Poppins Jazz
Bless his heart, but it will take more than “A Spoonful of Sugar” to make this dance go down well. He’s awkward and flat. He can’t keep up with Karina. They do some work with canes, but that only reminds me of Charlie White’s Mary Poppins dance which was a million times better. The judges are polite because it’s Disney Night and no one wants to be a downer.
Judges’ Scores: 6+6+6+6=24
Tom reveals that Doug and Karina are SAFE this week. OK, so he’s gone in two weeks.
Kim Fields and Sasha Farber: The Jungle Book Quickstep
They have a cute, friendly relationship in rehearsals along with some terrible acting as they run through the jungle. As always, the Quickstep proves to be too much dance for her. It really is the hardest style to do well. Her feet are just too slow and plodding to really make it work. She moved quickly, but her feet were a hot mess. Somehow Len calls it her best dance so far. If that’s true, it’s not a good sign for her long-term prospects.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32
We’ve reached the points where 8 is the default score.
Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: Cha-Cha-Cha
They get to take on the most current Disney film, Zootopia. They dance with an animated character, which makes it difficult. Her kids come to rehearsal and they’re super adorable. She fumbles a few times and it’s very tentative. She’s stuck in her head and I can see her thinking about every step she has to make. If she hasn’t gotten over that mental hurdle yet, she probably never will. It’s Alexa PenaVega all over again. Carrie Ann Inaba calls it underwhelming and Jodie explains that she couldn’t hear the music.
Judges’ Scores: 7+6+7+7=27
She needs to rely on Full House goodwill to survive.
Von Miller and Witney Carson: Cinderella Viennese Waltz
He’s determined to come back better than ever but has difficulty being a royal Prince Charming. His dancing is very gallant and dignified and, to my surprise, he doesn’t bend over or lean down a lot despite the massive height difference. He’s very suave and the judges love his elegance and fairytale-like quality. They’re all impressed with how much he’s improved from last week.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32
Much better for him. The amazing part is that, for their 4-week totals, Marla, Kim, Jodie, Von, and Antonio are now all within 3 points of each other. That’s a tight bunch-up below the Top 4.
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: Beauty and the Beast Foxtrot
She gets to be Belle to the song “Belle” and she loves it. The intro has too much pomp and not enough dancing, but once it gets going, it’s fantastic. It’s a huge production with Val hilariously playing Gaston. Len calls it the best dance of the season. I don’t know if it was that good because I felt like the theatrics and production overshadowed the actual dancing.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36
This only serves to highlight how wrong Antonio’s score is because this wasn’t just 1 point better.
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: The Lion King Samba
He loves the “Circle of Life” and Nyle getting the first 9 of the season has made him even more competitive. The dancing is spectacular as always, but I’m a tad distracted by the absolutely dreadful remix of the song and his massive lion costume. But he has amazing, hot, speedy moves and it’s full of attack. The judges rave, but Carrie Ann points out that he lost control at the start by going too hard and he got out of step, which Wanya agrees with.
Judges’ Scores: 8+9+9+9=35
Wow, it’s very rare for Carrie Ann to give the sole low score.
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: Toy Story Quickstep
She’s happy to finally have friends outside of the UFC, which is perfect for the song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” The performance is endlessly charming and playful as Woody and Jessie are surrounded by dancing Army Men. It’s danced beautifully. The judges love how effortlessly creative and refreshing it is.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36
And they’re tied on top of the leaderboard. But still no 10s.
We already know that Doug and Karina are safe, which is already a bit of a shock.
The first couple IN JEOPARDY is…Marla and Tony!
The second couple IN JEOPARDY is…Jodie and Keo!
Everyone else is safe. Yikes.
And once again, Tony doesn’t make it past week 5 for the fourth season in a row. I’m a little surprised none of the football players were in jeopardy. Either Jodie is consistently doing poorly with voters or the show is trying to scare people into voting for her.
Marla did a fine job, but this isn’t totally surprising since she was my second pick to go home behind Von.
Next week no one goes home and the deck gets shuffled with new partners for the Switch-Up.
36: Ginger Zee, Paige VanZant
35: Antonio Brown, Wanya Morris
34: Nyle DiMarco
32: Kim Fields, Von Miller
27: Jodie Sweetin
24: Doug Flutie
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 pm on ABC.