Hard to believe, but we’ve already reached the semi finals of season 24. As usual at this point, we have two rounds–judges challenge followed by a second round that isn’t given a fun, catchy title, but is preceded by each of the contestant’s emotional road to get here. We also got special performances by singer Callum Scott and Cheryl Burke showing us what she’s been doing while touring all around the world. (The answer: she’s been on a journey of love, people!) Let’s get to scores and find out who’s making the finals!
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy
Judge’s Challenge (36) Their Viennese Waltz, in which Len was looking for more attention to technique, is mesmerizing. The cool camera work, that turns everything to black and white except for Normani’s red gown, adds another artistic layer. It’s hard to tell who’s the pro and who’s the celeb at this point. Normani really is an incredible dancer. Len points out the sweeping movements and then nitpicks an error no one but he could have possibly noticed. Overall, he said they met his challenge. Julianne loved the concept, and says they dance as one. Oh, apparently, Julianne also saw this small error. Bruno and Carrie Ann both also point out this error, simply because Normani never makes them. And also because they need a storyline.
Round 2 (40) Their jazz routine to a fun arrangement of “Wonderful World” is pure joy. It looks like it could be a live adaptation tof a scene from The Princess and the Frog. Len calls it bucket loads of fun and gives them a rare standing O. Julianne calls it a celebration and applauds Normani’s humility. Bruno calls it virbant and exciting among other things. Carrie Ann lauds their teamwork and says Normani polishes the choreography into something special. Also, Normani’s grandma is beyond adorable and makes me actively miss my own.
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold
Judge’s Challenge (34) They’ve got a foxtrot, and Julianne’s challenge to him is to keep his butt tucked under, as that is always a problem area for him. They pull off a charming routine, but it’s awfully hard to follow Normani. Julianne is proud of him for “squeezing his lemons”, and says everyone is rooting for him. Bruno, Carrie Ann and Len all call him the “feel good” contestant in various ways. Len, in particular, throw cold water on the idea of it being a great dance.
Round 2 (36) They dance a tango that is very competent and fun to watch, even if it’s not as precise as it should be. Julianne gushes over his hard work and story arc, not that she calls it that. Bruno calls him driven and determined. Carrie Ann notes a lift. Len says no one has worked or tried harder, even thought there have been better dancers.
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber
Judge’s Challenge (40) Their jive is a lot of fun and Simone finally looks like she’s actually enjoying herself. Bruno is happy she “let it loose” and showed a different side of herself. Carrie Ann says it warmed her heart to see her tapping into that wild side. Len mentions her personality coming out. Julianne and Simone discuss the names of her various characters that she’s playing in her dances. Tonight we have Zoey (jive) and Sophia (rumba).
Round 2 (40) Their rumba is more intense than romantic, but definitely powerful. (Sophie’s a cool chick!) Bruno says she let the dance flow and that it was gorgeous. Carrie Ann says she danced with her soul. Len says there was nothing he didn’t like. Breakthrough!
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater
Judge’s Challenge (38) They have very sexy rumba that seems to do all the stuff that it’s supposed to, if you get my drift. Carrie Ann says it looked different tonight, with better lines and extensions. She says it was passionate and artistic. Len liked the light and shade of the routine, and the fluidity through the arms. Julianne felt like everything was improved from last week and that his ability to lead allowed Emma to express herself. Bruno makes some weird lion comparisons and goes from there.
Round 2 (39) They do a delightful quickstep that should definitely get him good scores. Carrie Ann calls the dance style a match made in heaven for Rashad’s skills. Len says he lost his frame a lot, and it was good, not great. Julianne calls him light on his feet and Len loses his mind. She loves the self confidence. Bruno hails his charisma and points out how well he’s mastered many of the actual dance steps.
Headed to the finals are Normani and Val, Rashad and Emma and…David and Lindsay?! Len and Carrie Ann freak out while Simone puts on a brave face. It doesn’t surprise me…fan votes are everything and David has the whole city of Chicago pulling for him. After Heather got voted out early, it once again confirmed that people who actually vote on this show often prefer to see a true non-dancer improve than watch a whole bunch of gifted dancers that they don’t feel like they can root for in this environment. I may also be overthinking this…he’s just a bit more likeable to middle aged chicks who vote. Simple. EJ and I will both see you next week for the finals and the grand finale!!