Is it hot in the ballroom, or is it just Us? Dancing With the Stars' semifinals night on Monday, May 16, was packed with steamy choreography and sizzling execution as all five celebs set out to prove they belonged in the final three. Every couple performed not once, but twice — and the first routine involved adding a third dancer to the mix (to be clear: no easy task). While some stars sparkled more brightly than others, there were no major disasters in the bunch. Despite the strong showing across the board, however, two couples had to go home. Read on to find out who made the cut and whose road to the mirrorball ended tonight.
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold Get Perfect Scores — Twice!
After slipping on Lindsay Arnold's renegade bandana last week, Wanya Morris was more determined than ever to not get too caught up in the details and instead to just have fun. Fortunately, that wasn't too hard since Lindsay's BFF, Witney Carson, joined them for their trio dance. The group of three performed a paso doble that had the judges going gaga. Carrie Ann Inaba was so happy with what she saw, in fact, that she went out onto the dance floor and hugged Wanya when it was done. Bruno Tonioli called the Boyz II Men crooner an "electrifying force of nature," and Len Goodman argued that it wasn't about last week, it was about this week. (He was only partially right, since the scores that determined who would dance in the finals were actually based off of last week, but no one pointed that out.)
After watching a video package about how Wanya's mom encouraged his singing despite the fact that he was being raised in one of Philadelphia's harshest projects, the singer returned to the floor and performed a flawless Charleston with Lindsay that once again blew the judges away. And just in case that wasn't enough good news for Wanya, Kevin Hart sent a video message instructing him to "shake a tail feather" but warning him "not to twerk." After receiving perfect 30s for both dances, Wanya couldn't follow that advice and showed off some serious twerking skills.
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas Take Each Other's Clothes Off
It turned out there was a silver lining to the cloud that was Mark Ballas' injury earlier this season: Paige VanZant had already danced with Alan Bersten once, making him the obvious choice for him to join their trio. They performed a samba in which Mark and Alan were dressed like peacocks vying for the UFC fighter's affections. While it was a little odd (and lent itself to some awkward attempts at jokes by Erin Andrews about the size of the guys' "peacock feathers"), all of the judges agreed the dancing was perfection and awarded them with a 30.
For their second dance, an Argentine tango, Mark took the sensuality up a notch and choreographed a routine that basically consisted of the two of them crawling around on furniture and pulling each other's clothes off. Len called the choreography "brilliant," but said it was "too hot and spicy" for him. Naturally, Bruno disagreed. "It was like watching Basic Instinct with a sprinkle of Fatal Attraction and 50 Shades of Paige," he quipped before threatening to wear a Speedo to the show next week if they didn't make the finals. They missed a perfect score by one point, since Len couldn't handle the heat and gave them a 9. More important, however, Erin grilled Alan about whether there was any truth to the rumors that he and Paige were dating. Because he is a gentleman, or shy, or both, Alan refused to answer.
Good but Not Great
Three couples — Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess, Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd, and Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy — all had solid trio dances that just missed perfection and earned 27s as a result. Still, the judges praised Antonio for how far he'd come since the beginning, noting that of everyone left, he had the least dance experience (or talent) at the outset. As for Nyle and Ginger, the judges all seemed to agree that both celebs got overly excited at times and lost control of their dances. (Nyle had performed a jive with Peta and Jenna Johnson, while Ginger did a paso doble with Val and Artem Chigvintsev.)
See No Evil, Hear No Evil
Nyle and Peta made a stunning comeback during their second dance, an Argentine tango in which he was blindfolded for part of the time. After watching a video package that revealed that Nyle had wanted to be a math teacher for deaf students before competing on America's Next Top Model, he took to the dance floor with Peta to remind everyone how hot he is — we mean, how well he can dance. The pair had zero missteps as they moved as one, despite Nyle not being able to hear the music or see his partner. "You never cease to amaze," Len cooed, while Carrie Ann said he "reminded us to constantly push our boundaries." For their second effort of the night, the couple earned a 30. (Ginger and Antonio both fared better during their second passes than their first performances of the night, but neither hit perfection.)
Who Went Home?
As the evening came to its conclusion, everyone seemed to be getting emotional about saying goodbye to two of the couples — but the show must go on, and two couples had to go home. The quest for the mirrorball came to an end for Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold, as well as Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess. This meant that Paige VanZant, Nyle DiMarco and Ginger Zee had made the finals. Because time literally ran out, no one made any closing remarks. Instead, the audience's applause did all the talking.
Tell Us: Do you think the right three couples made the finals?
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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