It’s the night of the semifinals Dancing with the stars! We have to wonder how many people watched with us during the 31st season. Disney+ has yet to release ratings for the former ABC show, which isn’t an encouraging sign. And that’s a pity: DWTS under Executive Producer Conrad Green has once again found its glory, from inspiring contestants like Selma Blair and Daniel Durant, to the refreshing way it has returned to the spotlight ballroom dancing.
Example: Throughout the season, the judges have given us “masterclasses” on how to perform a perfect genre of ballroom dancing. On Monday, for example, Pasha Pashkov and Daniella Karagach performed an impeccable Viennese waltz, while Derek Hough and Len Goodman provided illuminating commentary. That’s why we love this show so much! Thanks for the much needed reminder, Mr. Green.
Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. Slater dislikes her chances in the semifinals; the last three times she has performed cha cha with her celebrity partner, she has been eliminated. Tonight may be no different: the judges weren’t quite sold on his shirtless performance. (Will he only dance in briefs if he makes it to the finals?) “It’s incredible to see how much you’ve progressed,” said Hough. “It’s always so much fun to watch you and you always make me feel insecure about my body.” To score: 32 out of 40
Daniel Durant and Brit Stewart. The CODA actor feels like he’s in the cool club after last week’s stellar scores. What could be better than the cool club, the divine dancers guild? Because Durant’s Viennese Waltz should qualify him for immediate membership. “You really are Prince Charming,” said Bruno Tonioli. “Everyone here has fallen in love with you. What brings you to the dance floor is absolutely fantastic. You sailed across the dance floor.” rating: 35 out of 40
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko. No one seems to have more fun in this match than Shangela, who has never broken down in rehearsals or complained about her partner (who, to be fair, seems like a great guy). Tonight Shangela was more dizzy than ever as she danced the Paso doble to Lady Gaga’s “The Edge of Glory.” “It’s so easy to love you for everything you do,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. “You don’t dance fear. You are never afraid to fail and I love that. It makes your performance so exciting.” To score: 36 out of 40
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. Okay this is tricky; the Let’s make a deal admitted during rehearsal that he once looked fondly at another woman during his marriage. He didn’t act on it, but he had something to do with his wife. To make a short story even shorter, they eventually divorced. Oof. Anyway, that was his inspiration for his Paso doble. Secure? “Great first dance,” Hough said. “We have to be very picky. Your shoulders rolled forward a little bit. It felt a bit too angular for me. It’s semifinals. But overall it was still a strong dance.” Oh, and Carson announced she’s expecting baby number 2! To score: 36 out of 40
Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy. The bachelorette talked about her recent breakup with Erich Schwer and how she wants to channel her parents’ relationship — not her failed showmanance — into her Viennese waltz. It worked! “You really looked like you came out of a dream,” Tonioli said. “We have seen a Viennese waltz before that was amazing. This was equally beautiful in a different way. The way you used the tempo changes…. beautiful my dear!” Perfect score
Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas. The leader’s body finally breaks down. Maybe it just happens with her feet. Actually, we’re talking about one toe: it has an ingrown nail! But it certainly didn’t get in the way of her Viennese waltz with her very much alive pro partner. It even made Inaba cry! “That was perfection on top of perfection, just so open and so powerful!” she said. “Mark, I know I put pressure on you, but you brought it to this dance floor tonight. That was more than spectacular.” Perfect score
Goodman started the second hour of DWTS by announcing sad news: this season will be his last! The head judge would like to spend some time with the grandchildren, but he will certainly miss the beautiful hoofers. “I can’t thank you enough, the DWTS family,” said Goodman, who has been a part of the show since its inception in 2005. “It’s been such a great experience for me. I’m looking forward to next week’s final. I’m sure it’s going to be absolutely brilliant.”
Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. The actor has pooped pretty crazy; he kept forgetting the steps in rehearsal and he feels the weight of this season’s underdog. But the jury liked to throw him a bone after his graceful Viennese waltz. “What I liked was that there was a nice amount of money in the holding,” Goodman said. “A bit skippy at times, and it could have had a more fluid movement. Dancing isn’t easy for you. But I enjoyed seeing your progress throughout the season. Well done.” rating: 33 out of 40
Daniel Durant and Brit Stewart. Seriously, how did he do that? The actor’s samba was not only on the beat, but … as Inaba said, “had swagger.” “Oh my god, samba is the hardest dance on this show,” said Hough. “It has so much content. So fantastic, there was a moment when I was in awe of the technique.” rating: 34 out of 40
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. Brady chose “It’s a Man’s World” to perform the Viennese waltz because it reminded him of the important women in his life! It also got him all choked up when he talked to Alfonso Ribeiro. “Well this is a man’s world, I wish someone would tell my wife,” Goodman said. “A polished performance as always. As always, you really give everything you have.” rating: 37 out of 40
Shangela and Gleb Savchenko. The drag queen got an adorable close-up before performing a silky smooth (and acrobatic!) Viennese waltz to Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” “I love it when you show your vulnerability,” said Tonioli. “Elegant, sophisticated. You are class, and it shows.” rating: 37 out of 40
Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas. The leader does not understand how the Paso doble works. If Ballas is the matador, isn’t she the bull? No! She is the cloak and Goodman is the bull, says Ballas! Awww, that’s not fun the night he quits! Goodman probably wouldn’t mind. On to another great performance from the social media star. “Perfection is different for everyone,” said Inaba, who began her critique with a hug for both D’Amlio and Ballas. “I do believe that your perfection is another level, ma’am. It’s unbelievable.” Perfect score
Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy. The pro thinks his partner is super fun, but he’s a little worried about her ability to come across as battle-packed during the Paso doble. No more silly Gabby, he insists! Windey left the hijinks backstage, but it sure would be nice if her face showed a little more emotion. Still, the judges were impressed. “That was a dramatic build-up to the full end,” said Tonioli. “I was like a pressure cooker about to explode. Another great job, Val. That was genius!” Perfect score
Donovan and Slater were immediately sent home for having the lowest number of votes and the lowest jury scores on Monday.
Durant/Stewart and Shangela/Savchenko stayed with the last two. Tonioli, Inaba and Hough saved Shangela and Savchenko so Durant goes home. What a great run for the CODA actor!
Windey/Chmerkovskiy, D’Amelio/Ballas, Brady/Carson and Shangela/Savchenko are on their way to next week’s final.