All four remaining couples brought their A game to the Dancing With the Stars semifinals, which made it anyone's guess as to which pair would be eliminated before the two-night finals.
Riding the momentum from the night before, Tom Bergeron kicked things off with a quick chat with Noah Galloway and Jamie Boyd, who got engaged on live TV just 24 hours ago. The host revealed to Galloway that the producers had not told him what was going to go down "in case you changed your mind." But Bergeron wasn't the only one caught off guard. "I had no clue," Boyd said. "It blew me away."
For his part, the army vet revealed that he had asked Riker Lynch for permission to propose since the big moment would fall right before the R5 frontman's dance. According to Galloway, Lynch was "excited" and gave him his blessing.
Though everyone was still clearly basking in the afterglow of the engagement, it was time to find out which three couples made the cut and earned their chance to dance in the finals for the Mirrorball Trophy.
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: Safe
Lynch and his pro, Holker, were the first couple to learn that they had survived the elimination. While this wasn't particularly surprising news based on how much love the judges have shown them over the course of the season (and their two perfect scores last night), it was clear from their reactions that this pair hadn't taken anything for granted.
"I've been pushing Riker every single week, giving him these really hard routines and he has been there, every step of the way, 100 percent by my side," Holker gushed, while Lynch, a self-professed class clown, was practically speechless when he heard their fate.
While chatting with Andrews, Burgess reflected on the unique challenges she faced this season. "It's been different in almost every way imaginable," she began. "It's been an incredible journey and I've had to stretch myself creatively in almost every direction and that has been such a gift for me, to be pushed like that and to get to know Noah and be inspired by him every single day that I walk in that studio. It's been a blessing to me to be here."
Galloway and Burgess had the lowest combined score from their two routines last night, but apparently the voters offered them a big show of support. After first being told that they were in jeopardy, they then became the second couple to learn that they would be strutting their stuff in the finals.
Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Safe
Throughout the season, Willis and Chmerkovskiy scored consistently high, but at times it seemed they focused too much on the work and not enough on the fun. Last night changed all that when they were lavished with praise for not only their technique, but also their joy.
Reflecting on the fact that the Mirroball truly is within their grasp, Chmerkovskiy became uncharacteristically serious. "I would love to give her this gift of winning Dancing With the Stars. It would mean the world to me. I know it means a lot to her," he explained. "My whole life has been revolving around this show for the last eight seasons and it would mean the world to me to share that victory with someone like Rumer."
The actress was quick to add how much this experience has meant to her. "I have found a confidence and belief in myself that I never thought was ever possible," she mused. "I am so grateful and lucky to have been on this show, so thank you so much." Shortly after sharing these thoughts, she learned that her time on the series wasn't over yet and they would move on to the finals.
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough: Eliminated
In a surprising twist, Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough, who have consistently scored near the top of the leaderboard (even when Hough was badly injured), learned their time on the dance floor was up. Still, the five-time Mirrorball winner praised Liukin for being "incredibly resilient and adaptive," and gave her a big hug.
Though Liukin was visibly disappointed, she took the news of her loss with the grace of a champion. "I definitely wanted to make it to the finale, especially because last night was so great to be able to dance with Derek again, but I kind of thought — last night was kind of a magical night not just for us but for everyone here — and I just want to thank Len specifically for giving us that magical dance and to be able to finish my experience with that dance meant a lot."
She went on to explain the impact Hough has had on her life in the short time they've spent together. "Derek really helped me come out of my shell. I used to be Nastia Liukin, Olympic gymnast, and now, I'm just Nastia," she said with a smile.
Tell Us: Did the right team go home? Who are you rooting for in the finale?
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