"DWTS" Week 9: The Semi-Finals

Well hey, this is fun: For the first time in a loooong time, there's not really a clear front-runner going into the final week of "Dancing with the Stars." Even the two eliminations announced during last night's semi-finals round were far from obvious—the top five couples were all on relatively equal footing after last week's performances. But there's nothing like an intense Trio Round to separate the "DWTS" finalists from the also-rans, amirite? And with every couple performing not just a routine featuring a third dancer, but also a full-on second routine, "intense" is definitely the right word for last night's craziness.

First, let's talk about Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas' trio samba with Alan Bersten. We were feeling the sultry jungle vibe of the routine—and so were the judges, who gave it a perfect 30/30. But we were also partial to this one because it featured Club Des Belugas' "Hip Hip Chin Chin," which meant we kept having delightful flashbacks to one of our all-time favorite "So You Think You Can Dance" numbers (DANNY TIDWELL 4EVERRR):

Also earning a perfect 30/30 was Wanyá Morris and Lindsay Arnold's passionate paso doble trio, with Arnold's bestie Witney Carson as guest star. In a way their stellar performance wasn't surprising, given the magic Arnold and Carson worked with Alfonso Ribeiro in that epic "Turn Down for What" paso trio two seasons ago:

Wanyá was straight-up on fire last night. His second routine, a charming Charleston, couldn't have been better suited to his personality, and earned him and Arnold yet another perfect score (plus infinite bonus points for the sequined bow tie):

The final members of last night's 30/30 club? Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd, whose romantic Argentine tango included a steamy blindfold sequence. Kudos to Murgatroyd for recognizing that Nyle tends to do best in these kinds of emotional, story-driven routines:

We all knew the elimination was coming, and we all knew it'd be a toughie. But while sending Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess home felt about right after their middle-of-the-pack performance last night, the Wayná-Lindsay shocker was extra painful in light of all those 10s. Saaaad faaaaaace.

Now, though, it's anybody's game! Who do you think will take home the mirror ball trophy? Let us know in the comments, and check back here next Tuesday for our recap of the grand finale.

Want more Dance Spirit?

Latest Posts

Alex Wong (Collette Mruk, courtesy Alex Wong)

6 AAPI Dancers Share Their Stories

Last year, anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 150 percent in many of America's largest cities. And last month, a mass shooting in the Atlanta area took the lives of eight people, six of them Asian women. Since then, the attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have continued, sparking a national movement to stop AAPI hate.

In light of this, Dance Spirit wanted to help amplify the voices of AAPI dancers. We asked six to share their thoughts about anti-Asian racism and how it appears in the dance world. Here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
William Zinser works with a dancer at The Joyce Theater (Kristin Stevens, courtesy William Zinser)

How to Beat 5 Common Cheats Dancers Commit

Y'all, we get it. Dance is really, really hard. So what's the harm in taking the easy way out on a technical correction? Answer: an increased chance of injury, and a whole slew of new technique problems that could take a loooooooong time to fix.

Lucky for you, Dance Spirit has enlisted the expert help of Dale Lam, artistic director of CCJ Conservatory in South Carolina, and William Zinser, certified athletic trainer at the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in NYC, so you can start leveling up your technique the honest way.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
What happens if you are passed over for the opportunity when it feels like your time? (Getty Images/kf4851)

What to Do When Your Dance Teacher Says You're Not Pointe Ready

Since the day you pulled on your first leotard, you have no doubt been dreaming of the day you would attend your first pointe shoe fitting. Going on pointe is a rite of passage as a ballet dancer, and the result of years of hard work.

But what happens if you are passed over for the opportunity when it feels like your time? It's totally understandable to be disappointed and frustrated if your teacher doesn't move you on pointe, but don't lose faith in yourself. "I've seen a lot of dancers go on pointe over the years," says Josephine Lee, professional pointe shoe fitter and founder of The Pointe Shop. "I don't think I have ever seen a dancer who was held back from pointework feel like they were behind in the long run."

Ideally, your teacher has laid out clear guidelines for what makes a dancer pointe-ready. But if they haven't, there are some milestones that ballet professionals are looking for to give the green light for your first pair of shoes. Factors like your age, technique level, range of motion and strength all come into play. And the good news is that if going on pointe is a goal for you, there are proactive ways that you can get there.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search