Grab your popcorn, because it’s movie night on Dancing With the Stars! After last week’s shocking elimination, which reminded viewers that no one was safe without fan votes, the remaining couples were determined to nail their biggest night yet. Guest judge Mandy Moore (the choreographer, not the singer/actress) was on hand to offer her professional two cents and, per usual, some couples rose to the occasion while others fell a bit flat.
The couple with the highest score from the standard routines earned immunity, while the remaining six competed in three dance-offs — and at the end of the night, two (yes, two!) couples were sent home. Here’s how it all went down.
Tonight, Normani Kordei and Valentin Chmerkovskiy were truly untouchable. Despite a back injury, the Fifth Harmony singer delivered a flawless Argentine tango with a foreign movie theme. “Outstanding!” Bruno Tonioli cheered. “That was really one of the classic dances that makes this show so special.” For her part, choreographer Moore praised Kordei for her growth as a dancer since the competition began. “For me, it’s in your legs and in your feet,” she specified. For their efforts, Kordei and Chmerkovskiy were rewarded with a perfect score of 40 — and immunity.
Right on their heels, however, were Simone Biles and Sasha Farber — who performed a silent movie-inspired Charleston — and Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater — who performed a horror-themed Paso Doble. Biles and Farber thrived in the silly, upbeat routine, while Jennings and Slater stunned with a clever concept and near-perfect execution that even impressed Len Goodman. “The music was epic and so was the dancing,” the notoriously tough-to-impress judge declared. They both earned 37s for their routines.
The lowest score of the night went to Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess, who put together a Western-themed Paso Doble that had a lot going on. Though the theme fit the bull rider perfectly, there was a lot of storytelling and not enough dancing to keep the judges happy. Even Carrie Ann Inaba called out the couple for the lack of content (which is normally Len Goodman’s territory). They ended the night with a 29.
Also near the bottom were David Ross and Lindsay Arnold. They performed a sci-fi salsa routine, which was less weird than it sounds. The highlight ended up not being their dancing at all, though — it was Arnold farting in Ross’ face during an upside-down lift in rehearsal. They landed near the bottom of the board with a 32, but hey — they had a good time.
The first dance-off paired Simone Biles and Sasha Farber against Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev doing the cha cha. Kerrigan did fine, but the viewer vote showed Biles ahead the entire time, so it was no surprise that she and Farber won that one.
Next up were Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater versus David Ross and Lindsay Arnold. Again, the pairings didn’t seem very even. Jennings basically danced circles around Ross and easily took those points.
The final round was Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd against Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess. This match seemed more even, and for the first time all night, when it came down to which couple won the dance-off, the judges weren’t unanimous. Still, it was Bonner winning over Nick, three to one.
At the end of the night, two couples were sent home. Though Viall and Murgatroyd had continued to show improvement, it ultimately wasn’t enough and they were sent packing. Joining them were Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev. “The whole experience has been amazing,” Kerrigan said, while Viall added that it was “one of the best times” of his life.
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