Spring break forever! Dancing With the Stars had sexy, beachy fun for week 6’s performances, and the night was full of impressive moves, silly themes, and some shocking drama during rehearsals. This was also a big moment for the season as the first team dances put extra stress on the contestants, but gave bottom-of-the-leaderboard pairs a chance to redeem themselves in the bonus round. Unfortunately, those points weren’t enough to save one couple.
After their best week ever, Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev were eliminated. The pair shared a sweet embrace once the shocking news hit. Even though they won’t get to take home the Mirrorball Trophy, LaBelle said she found something even better: a friend.
“I am honored to be here as long as I’ve been. I’ve learned so much about me,” the legendary singer told co-host Erin Andrews. “I’ve never done this before in my life and I learned a few steps and I found a great friend in Artem. … To the judges, thank you so much. I’m happy!” Her partner also had heartfelt parting words: “I had the most incredible six weeks of my life with Patti because she’s such a role model for women out there and she inspired me,” Chigvintsev said. “Whatever she touches turns gold.”
Here’s how the rest of the couples fared in week 6:
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough
Song: “Summer” by Calvin Harris
How they did: All of the rehearsals, school, and traveling were “taking a toll” on Liukin. The Olympic gymnast was feeling exhausted and sore, but she pushed through for an impressive and intense performance full of sharp movements. The craziest move in their tango was when Hough threw her down and twirled her on the floor like a Twister spinner.
The judges were mixed on Hough and Liukin’s dance. “I feel like there’s a disconnect in your bodies together. Nastia was a bit smooth and you were a bit bumpy and you didn’t connect as a couple,” Julianne commented. Bruno disagreed, exclaiming, “That’s how you attack a tango!”
Score: 34 out of 40
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas
Song: “Tequila” by The Champs
How they did: The Hunger Games star and Ballas went for a fun concept by taking the movie Whiplash and turning it into a Spring Break dance, playing kids in a jazz band who start rocking out when the bell rings. The dance was silly and fun, but also hit all the technical moves a Salsa should.
“It was sassy, but you didn’t go sexy overtly,” Carrie Ann told the duo, calling it a very “mature” routine. Len said he enjoyed the “energy,” but hit them on some of their lifts. Ultimately, all of the judges told her that she needs to be careful about her legs, making sure to complete all of her moves without shaking or going too sharply.
Score: 34 out of 40
Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson
Song: “Surfin’ Safari” by The Beach Boys
How they did: Johnson thought their low scores from last week made them fight even harder to kill it in this performance, and but it didn’t quite show in their ‘50s-themed dance. The Shark Tank entrepreneur and his rumored love busted out some old-school moves and pretended to surf, but it didn’t feel very memorable overall, aside from their almost-kiss at the end.
“It’s just so fun to watch you dance together. You didn’t miss a step, but you weren’t in time,” Carrie Ann commented. Len added that it was “better than last week,” but it was clear that Herjavec being out of time for the entire performance messed up their chances at a comeback. Before they got their scores, Erin Andrews tried to get them to kiss on the lips, but they demurred.
Score: 28 out of 40
Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess
Song: “Waves” by Mr. Probz
How they did: It was tough for the pair to tackle such a slow dance because of Army vet Galloway’s limitations, and they fought because he felt he was being disrespected by Burgess in rehearsals. They were able to put it behind them for a stunning performance — with shirtless Galloway — that was smooth and sexy from start to finish.
“You never cease to amaze me,” Len said, in awe, saying the duo’s dance felt like a “conversation” because of the way they work together. Julianne said she struggled to find something to critique them on, but decided to tell him to be less “robotic” with his arm movements. Bruno called them “magic” because of how they communicate in an intuitive nature, telling them they have nothing to worry about.
Score: 29 out of 40
Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Song: “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child
How they did: The actress and her partner had fun with some Destiny’s Child-themed moves and got some help from some booty-popping dance experts for their sexy performance. Willis and Chmerkovskiy had some acrobatics in their sharp choreography, and the pro joked that he was nervous about her dad’s reaction. Sadly, Bruce Willis was not in the audience, but her mom, Demi Moore, cheered loudly from her seat.
Julianne admitted that her expectations were “so high” that she was “underwhelmed” because they had potential to do so much more. Bruno completely disagreed, saying their interpretation of the iconic dance was incredible. The wildest comment came from Len, who was apparently not into the raunchy routine. “It’s a ballroom, not a bedroom!” he exclaimed.
Score: 32 out of 40
Grade: A (Bey would be proud)
Chris Soules and Witney Carson
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Song: “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Olivia Newton-John
How they did: During the video package, we saw the newly engaged Bachelor working hard on his musicality and keeping on the beat, and it paid off in the romantic dance. The duo was pretty in pink as they waltzed around the ballroom, showing off some smooth moves as Soules’ fiancée, Whitney Bischoff, cheered from the audience.
Everyone was in awe of Soules’ big improvements — except Len. “You’ve got to work on the detail,” he said. Julianne, however, was overjoyed, and she jumped out of her seat and made him stare her in the eyes while she complimented him. “You were so confident out there. I am so proud of you. You were so musical,” she raved.
Score: 31 out of 40
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker
Song: “Want to Want Me” by Jason Derulo
How they did: R5 frontman Lynch and his partner lost almost half of their rehearsal time because they had to change their song last-minute. Missy Elliott‘s “Work It” was too “sexually explicit” for Lynch, but their energetic, fast Samba ended up pairing fantastically with the Derulo track.
“I’m totally fangirling out!” Carrie Ann exclaimed, and she wasn’t his only fan this week. Bruno loved the “striking” and “unique” individual touches that made him “absolutely adore” Lynch, and Julianne was wowed and called the performance “fantastic.” There was one hold-out from the fan club: Len, who claimed Lynch was “moving across the floor like Spider-Man half the time.” What does that even mean?
Score: 38 out of 40 (including two 10s from Carrie Ann and Bruno!)
Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev
Song: “Heatwave” by Martha and the Vandellas
How they did: Even though neither Chigvintsev or LaBelle ever had a real spring break, they pulled out all the stops for this dance. She was “in the best shape” that she’s been thus far on the competition, and it showed in the fun poolside routine. It wasn’t exactly quick, but she moved smoothly across the floor, even when she lost a shoe during her dance!
“I’ve always wanted to say this: it’s the best dance so far tonight,” Len joked. “I don’t care who else comes on — no one will give us more fun and entertainment as you just did.” Julianne echoed his sentiments, praising Artem for “playing to Patti’s strengths,” and Carrie Ann complimented her for being the most “consistent performer” of the season.
Score: 29 out of 40
Grade: B+ (bonus points for dancing with one shoe!)
Team members: Nastia Liukin (team captain) and Derek Hough, Willow Shields and Mark Ballas, Sharna Burgess and Noah Galloway, and Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson
Song: “Wipe Out” by The Beach Boys
How they did: Even though Liukin was out of town for most of their rehearsal time and Hough had to FaceTime in for some practice, the team was ultimately in sync with their instruments, beach balls, and dance moves during the performance. Shields and Ballas’ solo involved spins and acrobatics; Burgess and Galloway included impressive flips and lifts; Herjavec and Johnson got silly with their moves; and Liukin and Hough incorporated some gymnastic moves before shimmying and shaking.
Len said it was “tight, together, and terrific” from start to finish and Bruno commented that their structure was “superb.” He also called Shields super “hot” which made for a creepy and awkward moment during judging, but it was soon forgotten.
Score: 39 out of 40
Team members: Rumer Willis (team captain) and Val Chmerkovskiy, Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev, Riker Lynch and Allison Holker, and Chris Soules and Witney Carson
Song: “Trouble” by Iggy Azalea and Jennifer Hudson
How they did: The group worked together flawlessly during rehearsals for their Breakfast Club-meets-Grease routine, which was the opposite of Team YOLO. They were super confident going in, and their fun performance delivered some impressive moves. Willis and Chmerkovskiy went for spins; Soules and Carson included some crazy cheerleader routines; Lynch and Holker stole the show with fast-paced dancing; and LaBelle led the group both in her solo with Chingvintsev and the entire dance.
“That was so cleverly put together, and I have to say, Chris, this was your breakthrough night,” Bruno said. Carrie Ann was wowed by everyone, but loved LaBelle most of all. Len said that Lynch reminded him of back in 1959 when he was in high school and admitted to grinning through the routine. “That was so much fun, I was smiling,” he revealed with a grin.
Score: 39 out of 40
Tell Us: Did the right couple go home? What did you think of the team dances?
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