UPDATE: Marilu Henner and Derek Hough spoke with Us Weekly after their elimination on Monday, telling Us how happy they were to go out on a high note. "It was great," Henner gushed. "We had a great time — two fabulous dances, my favorite costume and of course my favorite partner." Added Hough, "You went out with a bang, baby!"
Henner also shared what she learned from the experience: "You learn your strengths and you learn your weaknesses. Physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and you see what's important."
Original story below:
The neon lights are bright on Broadway, but they're even brighter in the ballroom! On the Monday, November 7, episode of Dancing With the Stars, the six remaining couples performed to famous songs from the Great White Way for Showstoppers Night. In keeping with the Broadway theme, Tony Award winner Idina Menzel served as guest judge (though she did more fangirling than actual critiquing, but that's to be expected).
After performing their individual routines, the six couples were then paired up for three "group" routines. While no one had a disastrous evening, some sparkled more brightly than others — and at the end of the night, another couple went home, missing the semifinals by just one week.
Laurie Gets Her Sexy On
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy performed an Argentine Tango to a hit song from the musical Chicago. Though Laurie's only 16, Val wanted her to be sexy. "Should we ask my mom first?" the Olympian giggled. "Huh?" Val asked, looking genuinely confused. "No." It was never clear whether they had consulted Laurie's parents or not, but she came out in a slinky dress and performed a sharp, seductive number that had the judges stunned.
"I am literally speechless," Julianne Hough said. Bruno Tonioli declared, "You're guilty of killing the tango!" Carrie Ann Inaba told Laurie, "You were working Val like he was the vault, the balance beam and the bar." For their foray into the sexier side of dance, Laurie and Val earned a 40 — but they weren't the only couple to receive a perfect score.
Jana and Gleb Enjoy the Sweet Life
While all of the other couples seemed to have really (really!) famous songs to work with, Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko got assigned a new number from pie-baking musical Waitress. Making matters more challenging this week, Gleb's knee was acting up and starting to swell.
Fortunately, he was able to dance through the injury, and they pulled off another emotional routine that had the judges head over heels. "I feel like I am watching a slice of your life unfold in front of us," Carrie Ann said. They too were rewarded with a perfect 40.
Terra and Calvin Come Up Short
Terra Jole is the shortest person in the competition, and Calvin Johnson is the tallest — but tonight they both ended up right in the middle of the pack. Terra and her partner, Sasha Farber, performed a Sweet Charity–inspired Charleston that made the most of Terra's acting abilities while downplaying her limitations with the actual dancing. Still, even her bubbly delivery could mask only so much of the reality that there were a lot of steps she couldn't quite do, and they got stuck with a 38 (which was probably on the high side).
Calvin and Lindsay Arnold did a waltz to "Memories," that superfamous song from Cats that never goes away once it's in your head. In preparation, they took a trip to New York City to dress up with performers from the actual Broadway show. Lindsay got a lot of joy out of the fact that Calvin neglected to wear his under-the-catsuit "support" garment. For their actual live routine, Leona Lewis was on hand to belt out the tune. Bruno compared Calvin to "a Siberian tiger," but Carrie Ann thought he wasn't connected enough to the music.
Marilu and James Bring Up the Bottom
Not everyone nailed Showstopper Night. It was pretty clear from their video package that Derek Hough continued to be annoyed with Marilu Henner, even though he also recognized that she was doing her best. They performed a samba to "Oh What a Night" from Jersey Boys (which is currently on Broadway starring Dancing With the Stars alum Mark Ballas).
Overall, the judges liked their efforts, but their results weren't enough to move them up the board. "It was as bright and sizzling as a midsummer's day," Bruno declared, while Idina basically just fangirled all over Marilu. They ended up with a 36, tying for the bottom spot with James Hinchcliffe and Jenna Johnson.
Yes, that's right — James, who has been at or near the top of the rankings since the beginning, was at the bottom this week. Sharna Burgess was still out with a knee injury, and while she was technically cleared to dance, she felt it was too risky and made the hard decision to sit this one out.
James and Jenna performed a jazz number to The Wiz, which was great except for a mistake at the very beginning that all of the judges caught. Asked by Tom Bergeron how he mentally recovered after that fumble, James said he just had to "rally through it" and keep going. They got a 36, but it felt like an obligatory score because of his error at the outset, so it was nothing for him to really worry about moving forward.
Laurie and Jana Dominate the Group Dances
Next up were the group dances. Laurie and Val, along with Jana and Gleb, performed the strongest routine by about a million miles. Their contemporary routine began with the two women in cages (and then getting released), and earned a perfect 40.
James and Jenna with Calvin and Lindsay came in second with a Westworld-inspired paso doble, while Marilu and Derek with Terra and Sasha came up short with the lowest score of all.
Marilu and Derek Get Eliminated
Finally, it was elimination time. While Marilu and Derek had had a reasonable night, it was getting pretty clear that her dancing just wasn't on par with many of the others still in the running, so it was no surprise when they were cut loose.
Marilu kept her smile on even though it was most certainly killing her, since she is such a superfan of the show. "I've had such a blast," she said as the wrap music began to play. "It's such an incredible family here." Derek didn't really say anything, but it's worth noting this is just about the earliest he has ever been cut from the competition … so it's hard to imagine he's happy.
Tell Us: Did the right couple go home?
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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