"DWTS" Week 9 Recap: The Semi-Finals End in a Seriously Shocking Elimination

Even the judges couldn't believe it. (ABC)

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER right up front, guys, because we can't not talk about what happened at the end of last night's "Dancing with the Stars" episode:


Simone Biles went home.

Correction: Simone Biles, AFTER EARNING TWO PERFECT SCORES, went home.

The world is a weird, confusing place right now.

But let's back up for a second, and return to a time when our favorite gymnast was still in the running toward becoming America's Next Top Pseudo-Ballroom Dancer. In last night's semi-finals episode of "DWTS," the four remaining couples faced two rounds: the Judges' Challenge, in which each couple was assigned a judge to give them some intense training, and a second round in which the duos tackled dance styles they hadn't tried yet. There were tears. There were laughs. There was Julianne Hough's borderline-creepy obsession with David Ross's butt. It was all semi-finals business as usual, in other words...until the last five minutes.

Obviously Simone and Sasha Farber gave standout performances—more on that in a minute—but the highlight-iest of highlights came courtesy of Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy. Their jazz routine, which was inspired by Normani grappling with her mother's breast cancer diagnosis shortly after Hurricane Katrina, managed to be emotionally affecting while remaining upbeat. Standing O's and perfect scores all around.

Now, about those #TeamSashmone (no?) routines: They were fabulous, you guys. Their rumba showed exactly the kind of connection the judges had been looking for, and their lively jive was the perfect showcase for Simone's sassy side. You don't have to take our word for it, either: Both performances earned perfect scores.

Alas, all those 10s were in vain. Simone was sent packing, dashing our dreams of a Team USA "DWTS" two-fer. We'd say Normani has this competition in the bag, but honestly? We're not sure anybody can predict anything anymore, not in the bizarro place this universe has become.

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

Read Darriel's profile here

Read Diego's profile here

Read Emma's profile here

And then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)

It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)

All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.

Keep Reading Show less
Dance on TV
Photo by Erin Baiano

When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.

Keep Reading Show less
Fitness

Video

mailbox

Get Dance Spirit in your inbox

Giveaways