It’s the quarterfinals of Dancing with the Stars season 22 and the heat is on for the six remaining couples. They will all perform twice, including the Judges’ Team-Up Challenge where two stars are paired together and coaches by one of the three judges.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: The Judges' Team-Up Challenge

At the end of the night, one couple will go home in sixth place. It seems almost inevitable that it’s between Jodie Sweetin and Antonio Brown, who are both competing for fifth place. Anything other than a Nyle, Wanya, Paige, and Ginger finale would be a disappointment.

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America is voting tonight with instant, live results, America’s scores will be the last one listed, but it’s only for the Judges’ Team-Up Challenge (where the choreographing judge won’t score it(. And next week, the Trio Challenge is back for the semifinals.


Nyle and Peta are…SAFE!

Wow, we’re getting to results right away. Since they were at the top of last week’s leaderboard, obviously they deserve to be safe.

Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: Paso Doble

They’re cutting the music for a portion of the dance to demonstrate what it’s like for Nyle, which makes it much harder for Peta and the troupe members dancing with them. The dance is fast and furious with a hard edge, just how I like my rocking Pasos. It starts with Nyle kicking down a fence and then he kicks some butt. The silent portion is striking and disorienting, but impressive. Len Goodman points out that it was a little hectic and lacked control. The silent section made Carrie Ann Inaba cry.

Judges’ Scores: 10+9+10=29

We’re in for some big scores tonight. And after some controversy in past weeks, this is the first time Bruno Tonioli actually gives Nyle a 10.


We get three results in a row!

Paige and Mark are…SAFE!
Jodie and Keo are…IN JEOPARDY!
Antonio and Sharna are…IN JEOPARDY!

That all makes total sense.

Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: Viennese Waltz

He’s showing up early to rehearsals because he knows he needs the help. He pronounces the style as Vietnamese Waltz. I’d like to see what that looks like. He moves well and captures the romantic spirit of the dance. Sharna is pretty fantastic at choreographing to her partner’s strengths because this is probably as good as he can be. The judges praise the classiness and attention to detail, particularly his footwork.

Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9=27

As always, 10s are exclusively for Nyle, Paige, Wanya, and Ginger.

Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: Jive

HOLY CRAP! BuddyTV gets a shout-out on the show! Sure, it’s Keo talking about our article about how he might be holding Jodie back, but still. The routine takes us to church with Jodie and Keo giving it their all with a ton of energy and a huge production. Carrie Ann shouts down the critics about Keo being a problem. The judges go crazy for it.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10=30

Hmm, did our criticism light a fire under them and inspire the judges to be so kind? Who knows.

Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: Viennese Waltz

He wants to make a blizzard in the ballroom like Jon Snow North of the Wall. This is Mark’s creativity at its best. There’s a beautiful flow to it, but also some animation, meaning robotic-like movements. Following Jodie and Keo, it’s clear the pros and stars are throwing everything into this week because this is another stellar routine. Bruno praises how they managed to go from flowing movements to stilted, frozen movements and back again. Carrie Ann loved the dimensions and emotion, even though Paige played an ice princess.

Judges’ Scores: 10+9+9=28

Um, that was worse than Nyle? I don’t think so!


It’s time to finish up the preliminary results.

Ginger and Val are…SAFE!
Wanya and Lindsay are…IN JEOPARDY!

Well, I did say that Wanya would be the only potential shocker.

Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: Argentine Tango

Val needs her to get dramatic and a little dirty, which is not her strong suit. These are new struggles for Val as he’s had actresses for the past few seasons. It looks cool, very striking, but that’s no surprise. Val is great at choreographing Tangos and Ginger is a great technical dancer. But I didn’t feel the passion. I must be in the minority because the judges LOVED it, especially the connection. Len also praises the pacing of the routine, fast and slow, light and dark.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+10=30

Another perfect score for them. The show is really pimping her for the win at this point. And Val has now officially surpassed Cheryl Burke for total perfect individual routines, putting him all alone in third behind Mark by one dance and behind Derek by a whole lot.

Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: Jive

I have no idea why they’re using an Old West theme. He’s already lost about 22 pounds from the start and it’s noticeable. It’s a weird dance and not particularly good. He sometimes loses control of himself and goes overboard with his moves. He trips on Lindsay’s bandana towards the end and gets very out of step. He has a lot of energy, but it’s unwieldy and this whole routine was riddled with mistakes. Even Carrie Ann points out that the slip wasn’t the only problem.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+9=25

Ouch. If he’s safe tonight, he could be in real danger next week and not make the finale.

Nyle DiMarco and Jodie Sweetin: Bruno Tonioli’s Argentine Tango

It’s time for the Judges’ Team-Up Challenge, where two stars are paired along with their pros in a routine created by one of the judges. Bruno wants to make it as dirty and sexy as possible, with same-sex dancing. It’s pretty slow and not all that sexy, except for when Jodie dances closely with Peta and then Nyle gets down with Keo. Everyone dances with everyone else and it’s supremely intense. I think I liked it conceptually more than in practice. It felt like an intellectual think-piece.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+9=29

Ha, America robbed them of a perfect score!

Wanya Morris and Ginger Zee: Len Goodman’s Samba

It’s weird that the best and worst scores of tonight are paired together. Len is excited about a Caribbean theme on an island and he wants to be a part of the dance at the end. This is his dream vacation. The whole thing is so goofy and cartoonish, then Len arrives in a grass skirt. I don’t think it’s especially good and they don’t work together that well, but it’s so charming and endearing because of how silly it is.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+9=29

That did not deserve 10s. And once again, America refuses to give a 10.

Antonio Brown and Paige VanZant: Carrie Ann Inaba’s Paso Doble

Since she got the two athletes, Carrie Ann wants to show off their power and strength. The dance is so strong and dramatic with a lot of intensity. There’s powder and rain and the whole thing works perfectly with their athleticism. It’s easily the best of the Team-Up dances.

Judges’ Scores: 10+10+9=29

That was a waste of time since everyone got the exact same scores for the Team-Up round.


It’s down to Jodie, Antonio, and Wanya.

Antonio and Sharna are…SAFE!

Bad news for Jodie.

Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe ARE ELIMINATED!

Ouch, going home after her best night when she’s on top of the leaderboard. She was great tonight, but she was last on the leaderboard last week, which is what this is based on. She had potential but often got in her own way. And despite the protests from the judges, I feel a little justified in our site’s claims of Keo holding her back. Based on how well she did in the Switch-Up, I suspect Jodie would still be around if Val was her partner.

But she got to go out on top and she starts production on Fuller House season 2 tomorrow anyway. And hopefully, Keo learned some valuable lessons this season about choreographing and how to play the game. Because this show is a game.


59: Ginger Zee
58: Nyle DiMarco
57: Paige VanZant
56: Antonio Brown
54: Wanya Morris

(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.