It’s Disney Night in the ballroom, and this one is always really fun. It starts with a big opening number led by Alfonso Ribeiro and all the remaining couples. The guys are almost all princes and the ladies are in a range of Disney costumes. When is Alfonso going to Broadway, by the way? Fresh Prince of Bel Air: The Musical, perhaps?
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater (32) They are dancing a foxtrot to “Evermore” from the new live action Beauty and the Beast, which caused my daughter to crack my eardrum when she heard. It’s definitely not as effortless as last week appeared, but it’s pretty engaging. Len says it had lovely flow and elegance, noting it was tough to keep proper time to the song. Julianne, dressed as Tinkerbell for some reason, congratulates him on nailing the timing. Bruno calls it beautiful and romantic while saying it could have flowed a little better. Carrie Ann calls Rashad a wild horse when he dances, saying that his movements felt a little smaller this time.
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd (34) It’s a jazz routine to “I’ve Got No Strings” from Pinocchio. Nick is the title character and Peta is something I never thought I’d see, sexy Jiminy Cricket. There’s a bit of everything thrown into this one, and I genuinely can’t tell if Nick is good or bad. Also, he had to shave his beard, and it’s a bit disorienting. Julianne says it was so much fun and loves that Nick committed fully to the character. Bruno, of course, points out the can can cross dressing bit that happened midway through. Carrie Ann calls it a breakthrough, saying Nick was a joy to watch. Len says it was like actually going to Disneyland.
Erika Jayne and Gleb Savchenko (32) They have a Viennese Waltz to Sia’s version of “Unforgettable” from Finding Dory. It’s finally less about sexy and more about classy and elegant for Erika, which is a nice change. Bruno says he could see her honesty and fragility, calling her movements light and ethereal. Carrie Ann says her lines were more elongated this week. Len says it was terrific. Julianne calls her powerful and strong, while Erika just generally looks annoyed.
Heather Morris and Alan Bersten (34) Maks handled the choreography for the jazz routine set to “For the First Time in Forever” from Frozen. It’s a sweet routine and the costumes are amazing but the overall routine is underwhelming. Carrie Ann says this exact word as I type it. She expected to be really wowed and wanted more. Len compliments them on the fun of the piece. Julianne says it was amazing and they embodied the characters. Bruno calls it a character driven performance and says that every nuance was perfect, while doing his best tribute to Bob Fosse.
During a waltz demo that used a French version of a Snow White song, this is what my daughter screamed at the TV: “It’s in French! Snow White’s from Germany!” She then claimed everybody knows that, which I can assure you, I did not.
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess (30) Their tango is set to “When Can I See You Again” from Wreck it Ralph and their costumes and the staging are great. The routine is relatively solid, though not exciting to me. Len is happy, because there was a lot done in hold. Julianne loved the character and his frame during the tango. Bruno echoes that, but wants him be more free in his performance. Carrie Ann says he was incredible in hold, but wants more dynamics in his performance.
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy (39) Donny Osmond is on hand to sing “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from Mulan while they dance a paso doble. Because of the martial arts aspect of the story, Val ditches the usual capework and exchanges it for some stick work. I feel like EJ is a wee bit disappointed. Julianne freaks out about girl power a bit, then calls it brilliant. Bruno calls Normani fierce while pointing out her gorgeous lines and complimenting the martial arts section. Carrie Ann calls it epic. Len enjoyed the attack and spirit of the routine.
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold (29) They’re doing a jive to a song from the upcoming Cars 3 called “Ride” that no one’s every heard before. Corporate Synergy! The pleather is in full effect for their costumes at least. David does an admirable job with a tough routine, full of lots of kicks and flicks, but you can tell he’s a little gassed (pun intended) by the end. Bruno says the jive footwork is tough, and he did his best. Carrie Ann says he didn’t miss a step. Len calls it high energy even though he was a bit flat footed. Julianne agrees with Len, but says his top half was exceptional.
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev (36) They have full on jazz recreation of the big “How Do You Know” number from Enchanted and it’s charming. Carrie Ann calls Nancy smooth, graceful and light on her feet. Len calls it a combination of nice dancing and the spirit of Disney. Julianne says she almost forgot to judge, then tells Nancy to focus on where she’s going and she’ll be great. Bruno says Nancy made herself the center of attention amongst all the other pro dancers, which is a feat.
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber (38) Accompanied by Moana herself, Auli’i Cravalho, to sing “How Far I’ll Go” from the movie, they’re doing a contemporary routine, which allows Simone to showcase all of her gymnastic strengths. It almost looks like a full on floor routine, but with a lot more dancing and loads of charm. Len says it floated his boat. Julianne says showcasing her gymnastics was a reflection of the spirit of Moana, who just cant help but be who she is. Bruno says gravity doesn’t apply to Simone. Carrie Ann says it was powerful yet poetic. It also gives me the opportunity to embed this video, which is probably the cutest thing you’ll ever see:
The elimination starts with three couples in jeopardy, including Nomani and Val, who are the first ones saved (and were likely in no actual danger of leaving). That takes it down to Nick and Peta versus Erika and Gleb, with Erika and Gleb being the next ones one to go. This surprises no one, including Erika, who has spent the whole evening looking perturbed. I, for one, won’t miss her.
EJ will be here next week to tell you about this new theme of Girl Groups vs. Boy Bands, which could be hilarious. I’m guessing he’ll need my help with a few song titles as well.