Eight couples will compete this week on “Dancing with the Stars” in this shortened season; and it’s already the halfway point of the season. And in a night when the nine and 10 paddles made their debut, two more couples would be eliminated.
Joining head judge Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli is DWTS season 24 champion and football player Rashad Jennings.
This week the couples will perform two dances – a solo round and the group dance.
Getting the night of dancing started off are last week’s top scoring couple Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess with a Paso Doble and earned rousing applause from the crowd. Rashad said that Josh took control and did a great job. Len said that Josh came out full of aggression and attack in the dance. Calling it a great performance, Bruno loved the strength and power in the dance; adding that Josh had some great shapes. Carrie Ann said that the dance was grounded, effective, and strong. Sharna called Josh a star; adding it was the best he has ever done. Josh and Sharna scored 30 points for their dance.
With the exception of special themes, the dancers have no input as to the style of dance and the song they dance to. This week Jennie said that she couldn’t dance to their chosen song. She went to the producers to see if they would change it; they did but in meant that Keo would also have to change the choreography. On Thursday, Jennie and Keo began working on their new Cha Cha. Calling it a very competent performance, Len liked the crispness in the moves but noted that Jennie lost the rhythm at times. While he thought that Jennie looked great, Bruno noted that her timing was off and needed to work on her hands. After saying that she applauded Jennie for standing up for what was right for her, Carrie Ann felt a lack of connection to the music and thought that the changes held her back. Rashad said that Jennie performed well and with confidence. Jennie and Keo scored 26 points for their dance.
Kareem and Lindsay performed a Salsa that paid homage to his Dad – a former Jazz musician and dancer at the Savoy in Harlem. Lindsay told Kareem to channel his Dad and his passion for music. When the dance began, Lindsay was nose to nose with Kareem – DWTS Troupe member Haley was supporting Lindsay on her shoulders and dancing blind. The performance brought the duo rousing cheers from the audience. Host Tom Bergeron gave a shout out to Haley for her contribution to the dance. Bruno said that being eye to eye was clever and well constructed with creative choreography. Bruno called the dance Harlem at its best. Calling it a lovely tribute to his father, Carrie Ann said that it was Kareem’s best dance so far. Rashad said that Kareem was standing taller and his father was looking down proudly. Len said that the dance was far more fun, had rhythm, was full of content, and brought the party to the Ballroom. Kareem and Lindsay scored 26 points for their dance.
Chris and Witney performed a Viennese Waltz that Tom said was so smooth; adding that he was impressed. An impressed Carrie Ann called the performance outstanding. Rashad was amazed at how Chris controlled his body. Len admired Chris’ sway in hold; adding that he had good footwork and gave a very confident dance. Bruno called Chris a leading man and a Waltzing heartthrob; adding that they used the space on the dance floor very well and sustained his lines beautifully. Getting the first nine of the season from Carrie Ann, Chris and Witney scored 33 points for their dance.
Showing another side of herself, Tonya and Sasha performed a Quickstep to Gretchen Wilson’s “Redneck Woman”. The duo got a little help from a Dancing Bear. Rashad loved the performance. Noting that the dance was fast, Len liked the routine and the energy; adding that it made him feel good. Noting that Tonya’s frame is better, Bruno called the dance great fun with high energy. Saying that she loves watching Tonya dance, Carrie Ann noted that the dance was very strong and powerful. Getting a nine from Rashad, Tonya and Sasha scored 33 points for their dance.
After a trip to Disneyland, Mirai and Alan performed a Foxtrot to the music of “It’s a Small World”. Len said that the dance was sprinkled with a little Disney magic; adding that it was her best dance so far. Calling the performance gorgeous, Bruno said that Mirai embodied a fairy tale princess and was right up there with the best of Disney tradition. Carrie Ann called the performance gorgeous; adding that it was what she thought Mirai was capable of. Rashad said that it was a great dance with great choreography and grace; adding that he felt like he was at Disneyland. Getting the first 10 of the season from Rashad, Mirai and Alan scored 37 points for their dance.
Taking a break from his judging duties, Rashad and Emma danced to the Bruno Mars hit “24K Magic”.
After wearing flat shoes last week, Arike donned a pair of heels for a Foxtrot with Gleb. Bruno said that the heels did the trick; adding that her posture was much better and showed off her beautiful self. Bruno noted that Arike made a wonderful connection with her partner and the music. Calling Arike magic, Carrie Ann said that Arike touched her and made her cry. Rashad called Arike a powerful and beautiful woman. Saying that she did a great job, Len loved the content of the dance and felt that Arike did some fantastic footwork. Arike and Gleb scored 33 points for their dance.
Finishing out round one, Adam and Jenna performed a Quickstep that had Adam beginning the dance in the audience. Carrie Ann said that the choreography was tight and they were exactly in sync. Rashad called the dance stunning; adding that he loved the routine…and the chemistry between the partners. Saying that Adam had clarity in his movement, Len noted that the dance had a lot of content and speed. Saying that there was no messing about, Bruno noted that Adam had impeccable timing, fantastic dancing, and some outstanding partner work. Adam and Jenna scored 37 points for their dance.
Solo round scores:
Jennie and Keo – 26
Kareem and Lindsay – 26
Josh and Sharna – 30
Chris and Witney – 33
Tonya and Sasha – 33
Arike and Gleb – 33
Mirai and Alan – 37
Adam and Jenna – 37
Since all of the “stars” are athletes, it is fitting that the group dances have sports themes – tennis will battle football for the group dance competition.
Up first was Team 50’s Tennis – Kareem, Lindsay, Josh, Sharna, Tonya, Sasha, Chris, and Witney. Len loved the tennis references in the dance; adding that the dancers were tight and together in their movements. Bruno called the dance witty, imaginative, and creative; adding that the sync wasn’t bad. Saying that it felt like a group dance, Carrie Ann love the camaraderie in the dance. Rashad said that it looked like everybody worked together. The group scored 33 points for their dance.
For Team Seventies Football – Mirai and Alan, Jennie, Keo, Arike, Gleb, Adam, and Jenna – none of them were alive during the seventies. The team only had one performance together as a full group because Arike had to get back to class and prepare for finals. At the end of the dance, two of the guys brought out a bucket to dump over Tom Bergeron – it was filled with silver confetti. Bruno called the dance so much fun; adding that they threw everything at it they had. Calling the dance so much fun, Carrie Ann said that the dance kept getting better. Calling the dance entertaining, Rashad said that if the franchise was for sale, he would buy it. Len loved the dance; adding that all of the dancers did a fantastic job tonight. Team Seventies Football scored 37 points for their dance.
Team 50’s Tennis – 33
Team 70’s Football – 37
Kareem and Lindsay – 26 + 33 = 59
Jennie and Keo – 26 + 37 = 63
Josh and Sharna – 30 + 33 = 63
Chris and Witney – 33 + 33 = 66
Tonya and Sasha – 33 + 33 = 66
Arike and Gleb – 33 + 37 = 70
Mirai and Alan – 37 + 37 = 74
Adam and Jenna – 37 + 37 = 74
In this week’s results…
Kareem and Lindsay, Chris and Witney, and Arike and Gleb were all in jeopardy with the remaining couples safe for another week.
Host Tom Bergeron named Chris and Witney as the final safe couple; leaving Kareem and Lindsay and Arike and Gleb as the two couple going home this week.
Next week, Grandpa Ross returns when David Ross joins Carrie Ann, Len, and Bruno at the judge’s table.