It’s the semifinals of Dancing with the Stars season 24 and anything can happen. Normani, Simone, Rashad, and David are all hoping for a spot in the finals, but one of them won’t get to perform a Freestyle.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: The Final 4 in the Semifinals

The couples will all perform twice tonight, including one dance where they get a specific challenge from one of the judges. And even though I’m predicting that David and Lindsay will go home, I’m fully prepared for anything to happen.

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The judges’ challenge round is up first.

Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Len Goodman’s Viennese Waltz

Len wants12 bars of Viennese Waltz in proper hold. He’s looking for classic content and technique, not pure entertainment and showmanship. The dance is classic Normani, with plenty of high kicks. It’s very intense and sexy, while I prefer a more elegant graceful Viennese Waltz. Len says they did what he wanted, but she had a little stumble coming out of her spin. The other judges also noticed the stumble, but Carrie Ann appreciates her constant movement.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

Wow, I didn’t think some of these judges were capable of giving her anything less than a 10.

David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: Julianne Hough‘s Foxtrot

Julianne wants him to keep his booty tucked in, so she gives him lemons to squeeze between his butt cheeks. That should make the farts smell better, at least. It’s fun and cute, but he’s definitely the worst dancer left. And maybe it’s because he’s so focused on his butt, but he looks a tad constipated at times. The judges love how he’s the epitome of this show because he tries so hard and he’s so grateful to be here. Len explains that his heart tells him to be nice, but his brain tells him that it’s just not a very good dance and doesn’t deserve a good score.

Judges’ Scores: 9+8+9+8=34

So the girls thought he was as good as Normani?

Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: Carrie Ann Inaba’s Jive

Carrie Ann wants her to do four counts of 8 as a solo to show off her freedom and imperfections. It’s a fun concept in an arcade and Simone is definitely a little dirtier, sexier and tougher. However, she seemed a tad sloppy and slow in parts. She lets loose and shows off some “reckless, sassy attitude” as Bruno says. The judges love the freedom and personality, plus her perfect technique. Julianne asks her to come up with a different name for the characters in her dances and embody them.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

She finally gets a perfect score!

Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: Bruno Tonioli’s Rumba

Bruno wants him to clean up his hands and feet. Bruno refers to Rashad as a “sport man,” which is hilarious. The dance is very sensual and beautiful, at least the parts I could see. The bright spotlights constantly shined into the camera and totally blinded the view. The judges loved the fluidity through his arms and the artistic passion of it, though Len saw some funny footwork.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+10+10=38

Good scores, but still no perfect scores for them.

Normani and Val: Jazz

Her grandma talks about how Normani comes from a long line of strong women. At 5, Normani’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and then their homes were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. Wow, this is a lot more revealing than anything we’ve seen from her all season. It’s all about her grandma, who is such a cool super fan.

The dance is fun, exciting and a great big production, with her signature high kicks of course. The only real complaint I have is that it’s basically her first attempt at a Freestyle. But it was a stellar celebration of dance. Len even gives her a standing ovation.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

She gets her third perfect score and Normani’s grandma gets kisses from Val.

David and Lindsay: Tango

His backstory is all about making it to the pros, which doesn’t give us any new information about him. Coming right after Normani dealing with her mom’s breast cancer and Hurricane Katrina, this “struggle” isn’t as powerful. We get it, he had a great baseball career.

It’s an adequate Tango and he does it as well as he can. He’s not the best technical dancer and he does better when he gets to be silly and entertaining, but it’s a strong and powerful statement about how far he’s come. The judges appreciate that he attacked the dance. Carrie Ann gets booed for calling a lift.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

He still hasn’t gotten a single 10.

Simone and Sasha: Rumba

She was always a happy and energetic kid. It was a tough decision to pursue the Olympics because she had to give up friends and any kind of “normal” life. Mary Lou Retton calls her “the best on planet Earth, period.”

The dance is very raw and emotional, a thing of beauty and different because she’s not smiling the whole time. The judges love the realness and simplicity of watching her dance with her soul.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

Fun Fact: Including team and group dances, this is the 250th perfect routine in the show’s history.

Rashad and Emma: Quickstep

He grew up in the shadow of his brothers but came into his own. His story is all about his determination and how he kept running and running until he became a pro.

It’s a great routine, very quick and full of steps. He’s extremely light on his feet and moves very well. The dance is full of enthusiasm and showmanship. The judges are blown away, except for Len who didn’t think it was great and complains about the slow start and falling out of frame.

Judges’ Scores: 10+9+10+10=39

Still no perfect scores for them.


It’s time for a cruel and potentially shocking elimination as one of these couples will not get to perform a Freestyle.

The first couple IN THE FINALE is…Normani and Val!
The second couple IN THE FINALE is…Rashad and Emma!
The third couple IN THE FINALE is…David and Lindsay!

Simone Biles and Sasha Farber ARE ELIMINATED!

Boo! I blame the judges for positively crucifying Simone last week for no damn reason while inflating David’s scores. And I blame the viewers who keep voting for David over much better dances who deserve to be in the finale like Heather, Nancy, and now Simone.

And now, like Aly Raisman and Nastia Liukin before her, a gymnast goes home in fourth place.


77: Rashad Jennings
76: Normani Kordei
70: David Ross

The Dancing with the Stars finale airs Monday, May 22 at 8/7c and Tuesday, May 23 at 8:30/7:30c 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.