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