I don't know about you guys, but I'm still #shook. Like, beyond shook. I mean, remember when this season's "DWTS" cast was announced? Remember when we basically called it that our former cover girl (and "Glee" superstar and Beyoncé backup dancer) Heather Morris was gonna win it all? Yeah, that's not happening—Morris and her partner, Maks Chmerkovskiy, were sent home last night. So while that news sinks in, let's talk about the amazing dancing that happened (because there was lots of it, despite the crazy elimination). On to the dancing and the stars!
Team Girl Group vs. Team Boy Bands
I'm a sucker for lots of things, but specifically coordinated outfits, giant neon signs that say "Ladies Night" and the iconic TLC masterpiece, "No Scrubs." Seeing as the Team Girl Group dance had all of those things, it's getting a big shoutout. Team Boy Bands gets one, too, because they were equally as amazing, and it's not their fault they had #NoScrubs to dance to.
Normani and Val's Salsa
To say this dance was a highlight is an understatement—Normani can bring the heat. She and Val were living their best life out there. Her dancing skills are amazing to begin with, but her performance skills are literally beyond. The duo easily executed some super-tricky partnering and flips for a score of 38/40.
Heather and Maks' Rumba
If you look up "Perfect Rumba," chances are the example would be this video. Maks Chmerkovskiy is the definition of an attentive and trustworthy partner. Seriously, this dance was incredible. Every moment was picture-perfect, every flick of the wrist and développé was precisely timed, and every step was fused with musicality. Naturally, the judges felt the same way and gave the pair a well-deserved 40/40.
But apparently, perfect scores mean nothing and everything is a lie: Heather Morris and Maks Chmerkovskiy, aka The Couple That the Entire World Thought Would Win, were eliminated. It's a whooooole new ball game in the ballroom, so be sure to catch next week's recap—it's bound to be a very interesting episode after this shake-up.
Yo current "Dancing with the Stars" competitors, we're really happy for you, and we're gonna let you finish, but last night Alfonso Ribeiro and J.T. Church had one of the best "DWTS" opening numbers of ALL TIME.
Seriously: If those two had a spinoff show in which they did nothing but dance their way through magical Disney fairylands, we would totally watch that. (And shoutout to J.T.'s equally adorable partner in crime, Gracyn French.) Thank you, Mandy Moore, for conjuring up this glitter-dusted Disney Night goodness:
On to the actual competition! In a surprise to pretty much nobody, rising favorite Normani Kordei continued her leaderboard domination, thanks to her ferociously fierce paso doblé with Val Chmerkovskiy to Mulan's "I'll Make a Man Out of You." For good measure, the duo was accompanied by Donny Osmond in his very sparkliest blazer, because why not.
Also unsurprising: The consistently excellent Simone Biles earned the second-highest score of the night for her contemporary number to "How Far I'll Go" from Moana. Strong and energetic as her performance was, though, we have to admit that we spent about 30 percent of it dying over singer Auli'i Cravalho, who's straight-up incredible.
While many of the other competitors gave fair-to-decent performances (we were especially into Heather Morris and Alan Bersten's sweet Frozen number), we'd like to use this space to discuss one of the stranger things we've ever seen on television: Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd as Not Sexy Pinocchio and Very Sexy Jiminy Cricket, respectively. Somehow it almost...worked? Never underestimate the power of a good pair of lederhosen, friends.
After the parade of Disney delights, Real Housewife Erika Jayne and partner Gleb Savchenko were sent packing—about right, but also a bit of a bummer after their strong Finding Dory-themed waltz. (Any Finding Dory performance that does NOT involve giant fish costumes is a win.) We cheered up quickly, though, when we heard that next week's theme will be Boy Band vs. Girl Group. 'Til then!
ABC might as well re-name this episode "All The Feels." Just about every dance was a genuine tearjerker—and, as a rule, I am so not a crier, y'all. That said, certain numbers stood out for amaaaaaaazing or awkward reasons. In keeping with the emotional roller coaster theme of last night, here are our (highly subjective) highs and lows from Week 4.
Low: Nick and Peta's rumba. Major props to Ms. Murgatroyd, not only for providing every last smidgen of the technique and sparkle in this bizarre Bachelor-themed version of "Shape of You," but also for putting up with Nick's gaze firmly fixed on the floor. Just when you thought things couldn't get more palpably awkward, Nick's fiancée Vanessa Grimaldi appeared at the end for a very long, very graphic smooch. No one wants to see that much PDA, "DWTS" producers. (But we love you, Peta. Keep fighting the good fight.)
High: Heather and Alan's cha cha. This number had all the ingredients for a perfect "Most Memorable Year": touching backstory all about family (cue the awwwwwww's), a deep connection to the song and—oh yeah—some seriously flawless fancy footwork! Plus the brief cameo appearance by Morris's real-life husband was more natural than some others on the episode. (Yes, I am giving you serious side eye right now, Nick.)
- Rashad and Emma's contemporary (I'm not crying, you're crying!)
- Bonner and Sharna's foxtrot. Dance heals, y'all. For proof, check out the full video:
- Erika and Gleb's disappointing cha cha. Spacey "stage presence" and a general lack of confidence doomed what could have been an AMAZING Madonna tribute number.
- Mr. T getting sent home. I know he wasn't exactly slaying the competition, but what a cutie! I'll miss his enthusiasm and good-natured presence.
Ohhh, Vegas Night. We ❤️ you. The glitz. The glam. The flash. It's almost too much for our "Dancing with the Stars"-loving hearts to bear. Basically, ICYMI, last night's episode did not disappoint. The night kicked off with a fab opening number depicting a Vegas Bachelorette group and quickly turned into a super energetic dance party. Read on for our favorite moments.
First things first, I think we may have a new front-runner this season, ladies and gents. As much as we adore Heather Morris (and predicted a sweeping win for her), she may very well have some competition in fellow contestant Normani Kordei of Fifth Harmony fame. Kordei. Slayed. Last. Night. Her performance quality is insane and she's just so, so good. We dare you to watch her "Big Spender" foxtrot with partner Val Chmerkovskiy from last night and not be impressed.
That being said, Heather Morris (aka Brittany S. Pierce) gave us everything we ever dreamed of last night with her tango set to Britney Spears' "Toxic." Even the judges were awestruck and loved the musicality in the piece. Since Morris' partner Maks Chmerkovskiy is still out with an injury (pleaseee, feel better soon Maks! We miss you!), she danced again with Alan Bersten and their chemistry was significantly improved from last week. Provided Maks is able to dance again this season, I think it's safe to say that one of the Chmerkovskiy brothers will be leaving with that Mirror Ball Trophy (again).
At the end of the night, Charo and partner Keo Motsepe were sent home and we can't say we were surprised, but we sure will miss getting to watch Motsepe perform. What did you think? Was the right person sent home?
Tune in next week for the show's Most Memorable Year theme—which always promises to be a tearjerker—and check back here for our recap!
Guys, it's only week 2 and this season is already one to remember. ICYMI, last night's "Dancing with the Stars" episode had so many ups and downs it's hard to keep track.
But first, can we just say how heartbroken we are for Maks Chmerkovskiy? Finding out the pro suffered a devastating calf injury was definitely a low point last night. Rumor has it he might end up being out the whole season. 😭
Chmerkovskiy's injury meant that his partner, Heather Morris, ended up performing her jive with pro Alan Bersten. And despite the circumstances, our fave "Glee" star was fabulous, as per usual. After being criticized last week for showing too little personality, she performed full-force this time around (in a fringe-tastic little crop top), and scored a solid 30/40.
Another highlight was Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater's stunning Viennese waltz. Their chemistry was off. the. charts. And the judges took notice, giving them one of the highest scores of the night.
The evening's big breakout was Normani Kordei, who knocked her cha cha out of the park. After a so-so first week, she and partner Val Chmerkovskiy were pure 🔥🔥🔥. They just might end up being the couple to beat.
Hate to say it, but we were a bit underwhelmed by frontrunner Simone Biles' meh cha cha with Sasha Farber. It was fine, but it lacked the oomph Biles is known and loved for. Hopefully by next week she'll be shining like her true Olympic self again.
At the end of the night, comedian Chris Kattan became the first celeb sent packing. And while we so called that, we'll really, really miss getting to watch Witney Carson the rest of the season. What did you think? Did the right person go home?
Tune in next week, and then check back here for our thoughts!
Whew! "Dancing with the Stars" is always an emotional roller coaster, and no episode is as loaded as the finale. Even having a strong sense of who will win doesn't take away from the tension of a two-night, super-charged big finish.
The darling from down under, Bindi Irwin, took home the Mirror Ball trophy in a well-deserved win. Watching the stars improve week after week is the best part of "DWTS" and Irwin's adaptability, coupled with her too-cute-for-words smile, pretty much made her a shoe-in.
OMG SHE'S SO HAPPY! (photo via Yahoo.com)
Her emotional performance on Monday night set the stage for her big win on Tuesday. She danced a contemporary routine with Derek Hough that had everyone in tears.
On Tuesday, former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter earned perfect 10s for his tango with pro partner Sharna Burgess. It was great to see him kick it up a notch for the finale—and absolutely redeem himself from his tango flub last week—and go out on a high note.
Alek Skarlatos came in third but apparently can't stop, won't stop: He's hitting the road with the Dancing with the Stars Live! Dance All Night tour.
What do you think? Did the right person win? Will Irwin continue to integrate dance into her super inspiring job as a conservationist? We hope so!
It's semi-finals week, y'all! Last night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars" was supposed to feature the five remaining star-pro teams—but thanks to Tamar Braxton's early exit over health issues, it ended up being a four-couple, guys-versus-girl (singular) showdown, with Bindi Irwin trying to outdance Carlos PenaVega, Alek Skarlatos and Nick Carter. (Pour a little out for Alexa PenaVega, whom the producers apparently considered bringing back into the "DWTS" fold after Tamar's announcement. Miss you, lady.)
Four finalists + two hours to fill = three different routines for each celebrity. Which, OOF. I was exhausted just watching our valiant finalists, and the overall quality of the performances suffered a bit from their obvious exhaustion. But that doesn't mean there weren't highlights. (There are always highlights.)
Seeing more of the fantastic pro dancers is inevitably a good thing—which is why it's no surprise that the trio routines, in which each star was flanked by two pros, featured the best dancing of the night. I was especially into Bindi, Derek Hough and Mark Ballas' high-caliber jazz routine, which looked straight out of Travis Wall's playbook:
Carlos, Witney Carson and Karina Smirnoff all tried out the Charleston for the first time ever and more than pulled it off; Bruno even compared Carlos to the great Ben Vereen. (Chicago last week, Ben Vereen references this week: Bob Fosse, you'll never cease to be relevant.)
Nick pretty much choked during his tango earlier in the evening, but once he teamed up with Sharna Burgess and Peta Murgatroyd for a fiery-hot salsa, he seemed back in his element:
And even though Alek is the weakest dancer of the remaining bunch, he managed to bring the sexy in a steamy Argentine tango trio with Emma Slater and Lindsay Arnold:
Alek actually had an all-around great showing last night. His waltz to "America the Beautiful" was a poignant choice in light of Friday's attacks in Paris, and it brought out the best in a guy known for his patriotic heroism:
The happiest news of the episode came in its very last moments: Nobody went home! All four remaining contestants will go on to perform in the finals, since Tamar dropped out. EVERYBODY DANCE NOW. As if it needs to be said, you should probably tune in next Monday and Tuesday nights to see how that all goes down.
We're nearing the end, guys! Last night, the six remaining "Dancing with the Stars" couples performed not once, but twice, with each pro-star pair doing both a standard duet and a dance with another couple. And speaking of double trouble: While "DWTS" is never NOT crazy, as this season ticks closer and closer to its finale, we seem to be getting twice as much drama-rama as usual, too. Trips to the hospital! A shocking elimination! REALLY AGGRESSIVE CHEST WAXING!
But let's start with the positive, shall we? Beginning, as we tend to do these days, with the impossibly adorable Bindi Irwin. This week, she upped the stakes during her elegant Viennese waltz by dancing blindfolded. Because there's pretty much nothing this girl can't do. Tens across the board, obvs.
The other perfect scorer was Alexa PenaVega, who opened up about her struggle with bulimia before performing a moving contemporary routine that earned her a big standing ovation. (Shades of Mia Michaels' "addiction" piece from "So You Think You Can Dance," yes?)
Bindi and Alexa also brought down the house in their joint routine, set to—be still, my heart—a medley from Chicago! Fosse-inspired choreo is never not fun, and it's especially fun when it involves a very glittery quick change and a chorus of ballroom pros getting their jazz hands on. So much YES.
Even though Tamar Braxton—who missed the first round of performing because she was still battling exhaustion in the hospital—earned the lowest scores of the night, it was Alexa who was ultimately booted from the "DWTS" train. Such a bittersweet moment, given her stellar performances. (And husband Carlos' heartbreaking reaction to the news—oh, lord.)
What did you guys think? Should we just call the competition for Bindi at this point—or will someone else have a last-minute surge and steal the Wonder from Down Under's mirror ball trophy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, friends.