Dancing with the Stars is reaching the halfway point of season 24, and to celebrate the show is bringing back Disney Night. The popular theme sees the couples recreate memorable Disney characters and this year will usher in newer entries like Moana, Finding Dory, and Cars 3, which doesn’t even come out until this summer.
One couple will go home at the end of the night, though it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Erika and Gleb being eliminated. But will we see our first perfect score of the season? Will Bonner Bolton be good or bad? And can anyone stop Rashad and Simone from inevitably being the final two this season?
LIVE…from Hollywood…this is Dancing with the Stars!
Alfonso Ribeiro opens the show with a delightfully original musical number about magic. It’s a great way to start a fun, family-friendly night. Also, it seems we’ll be getting results throughout the night instead of waiting until the end.
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: Beauty and the Beast Foxtrot
Despite this being her seventh season, last week Emma got her first-ever 10s, so now she knows what it’s like to be the frontrunner. Apparently, he’s one of the only people in America who hasn’t seen this new live-action Beauty and the Beast before this week. It’s nice, elegant, and romantic, but a little slow for me. Still, Rashad has that Hinch magic, able to play a wide range of characters. The judges blame the song for making it hard to keep time and Len Goodman saw some footwork flaws and Carrie Ann Inaba thought he was too constricted.
Judges’ Scores: 7+8+9+8=32
After a 39 last week, that’s a big letdown.
Also, Rashad and Emma are…SAFE!
The second couple SAFE is…Heather and Alan!
The third couple SAFE is…Bonner and Sharna!
The first couple IN JEOPARDY is…Erika and Gleb!
The second couple IN JEOPARDY is…Nick and Peta!
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd: Pinocchio Jazz
He’s getting better every week, but they’re still at the bottom. It’s kind of fitting that a Bachelor guy is playing a puppet, but he’s worried about being a silly little boy instead of the sexy man from last week. The dance is incredibly goofy and silly, but he actually does a really good job at playing an awkward puppet. It works because he committed 100 percent to playing the character. The judges loved the childlike weirdness of the routine.
Judges’ Scores: 9+8+9+8=34
His scores have increased every week, which is impressive.
Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko: Finding Dory Viennese Waltz
Erika gets emotional because she’s not used to struggling so much. The dance is fine, I suppose, more classy than sexy, but unlike the song title, it’s very forgettable. They really got screwed with a subpar song that doesn’t really come with a fun concept. The judges praise that she was more authentic and didn’t hide behind her sexiness. They loved her lines and vulnerability.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32
That’s a good score, but I still think/hope she’s going home tonight.
Heather Morris and Alan Bersten: Frozen Jazz
Maks is still in rehearsals to come up with the choreography. Heather says what we’re all thinking, which is that she’s very comfortable doing Jazz. It’s a fun little routine, very theatrical. Carrie Ann just thought it was all spins and lifts. Carrie Ann and Len were underwhelmed and expected more for a Jazz routine from a professional dancer while Julianne and Bruno loved that she captured the spirit of the film.
Judges’ Scores: 8+8+9+9=34
In her interview with Erin Andrews, Heather admits that there wasn’t a lot of dancing in the routine, with Carrie Ann nodding her head in agreement. Oh, and Maks fires Alan because he’s coming back next week. Meh, that’s going to be awkward since we’ve only seen Maks do one dance this season while Alan did four.
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess: Wreck-It Ralph Tango
He’s more confident after last week and now they’re going full video game. I love the song, movie, and concept, but Bonner doesn’t quite capture the character as much as I’d want him to. He’s most of the way there, but I just think about how amazing James Hinchcliffe would’ve been. He moves nicely and Len loves that there was a lot in hold and they didn’t wuss out because of the theme. Basically, they focused so hard on technique that it didn’t leave much room for performance.
Judges’ Scores: 7+8+8+7=30
Ouch, that’s a bad score for tonight. I could see them going home next week.
The fourth couple SAFE is…Simone and Sasha!
The fifth couple SAFE is…David and Lindsay!
The sixth couple SAFE is…Nancy and Artem!
The third couple IN JEOPARDY is…Normani and Val!
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: Mulan Paso Doble
Now that the traveling is done, Val promises to give Len what he wants. Also, Donny Osmond is singing his song during their combat-like routine. There’s a lot of fantastic movement and some very cool fight sequences. It feels a little disjointed at times, mostly when they pick up their sticks near the end, but it still has a lot of great content and moves. The judges love it and so do I, which is no surprise because Val always excels on Disney Night (his Beauty and the Beast routines with Danica McKellar and Ginger Zee or his Ursula dance with Rumer Willis). Julianne especially loves the female empowerment angle.
Judges’ Scores: 10+9+10+10=39
Welcome back to the competition, Normani.
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: Cars 3 Jive
It’s weird to perform to a song and movie that haven’t even been released yet. It’s also hard for an older guy to do such a fast style. It’s energetic and he tries his hardest, making an enjoyable routine. But it’s not the best and he doesn’t quite have the stamina to keep up with Lindsay. It gets a little sloppy in parts with his feet, but the judges like him. Julianne defends Len by agreeing that it was flat-footed.
Judges’ Scores: 7+7+8+7=29
Yikes, the bottom of the leaderboard. But he has a great attitude and personality, which could save him next week. Also, this means Nick is the best guy tonight in terms of scores, which is just strange.
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev: Enchanted Jazz
Artem wants to show Nancy’s fun side and they’re also doing a much bigger production than she’s used to, and dancing with these young and talented troupe members brings back her self-doubt. Like Heather, it’s very theatrical and true to the film version. The concept is delightful and her smile is beaming. Carrie Ann loves how exuberant it is and how Nancy is the most like a princess. The judges really love her.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+9+9=36
Other than Nick, she’s the only star whose scores have never gone down.
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: Moana Contemporary
He’s pushing her very hard in rehearsals because he knows he can actually win for the first time. She tells him that she can sometimes be a little scared of how intense he is. The girl from the movie is here to perform the Oscar-nominated “How Far I’ll Go.” The dance is beautiful, empowering, and very acrobatic with a ton of superb tricks and moves. Simone captures the spirit of the movie and this is her official “I’m going to win!” performance.
Judges’ Scores: 9+9+10+10=38
How is that not a perfect score? How are they lower than Normani?
Heather and the five athletes are safe, but the three reality TV stars from The Bachelor, The X Factor, and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are in jeopardy. It’s funny how that works.
The next couple SAFE is…Normani and Val!
Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko ARE ELIMINATED!
Yeah, we all saw this coming. And it helps make the genders even going into next week’s Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups team dances.
39: Normani Kordei
38: Simone Biles
36; Nancy Kerrigan
34: Nick Viall, Heather Morris
32: Rashad Jennings
30: Bonner Bolton
29: David Ross
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Next week will be the team dances, featuring Boy Bands vs. Girl Groups.
(Image courtesy of ABC)