We have already reached the Semi Finals of this pretty drama free season!  There are two rounds tonight: In Round One, the pros pick a song they feel represents their star. In Round Two, each pair must reprise an Iconic Dance from seasons past.  I wonder if I’ll even remember them because my brain is like Swiss cheese anymore. Let’s get on with this, shall we?

Drew Scott and Emma Slater (24 + 24 = 48)  The night kicks off with a tango set to “500 Miles” by The Proclaimers, one of those 90s songs I find annoying and my teenage daughter inexplicably loves.  The song is for Drew’s Scottish heritage, apparently, and ends with Drew and the troupe men lifting their kilts to flash the band. Len criticizes Drew’s loss of technique in the midst of all of his attack. Bruno says he made the dance style a little too “skippy”.  Carrie Ann calls it “steppy” but gives kudos for the kilt.

Their iconic dance is Corbin & Karina’s jazz routine from season 17. Drew’s a little stiff and I was genuinely worried that he was going to crack Emma’s head open on the helicopter spins he executed. Len enjoyed it but wants more finesse. Bruno is just happy that Emma survived re-entry. He says timing and sharpness are not Drew’s strengths.  Carrie Ann applauds his different approach but says the lifts were sloppy and she was afraid for Emma! Erin shouts out the Pamchenko from The Cutting Edge and reaffirms that we could totally be best friends.

Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy (27+29 = 56) Their contemporary routine is a tribute to her parents, for all the years they took care of her when she was in a vegetative state and not expected to survive. As the routine progresses, Victoria is able to walk and then to run and even soar, metaphorically. Because I am a professional, I don’t start to tear up until it’s over.

Their iconic dance is Amber & Derek’s Charleston from season 17. This one I do remember, and Victoria acquits herself quite nicely.  Bruno compliments Victoria’s acting and timing.  Carrie Ann calls it uniquely theirs.  Len says it was full of “razamatazz” and applauds the performance. Tom reveals that Victoria had another leg spasm in rehearsal and it’s just remarkable that she can dance at all.

Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold (28+ 30= 58) Their Argentine tango is captivating from start to finish, but it’s not necessarily all that sexy.  Carrie Ann disagrees with me…she says it wasn’t his best. Len says he’s a fan of Jordan’s but basically says the dance wasn’t hot enough. (Is that the first time LEN has ever pointed that out?) He also says there’s was too much story and not enough dance.  Bruno’s on my side, saying he was strong and stylish.  There’s also an injury report: Lindsay hurt her knee in dress rehearsal and is wearing a wrap, while Jordan has a scratched cornea from one of Lindsay’s nails!

Their iconic dance is Paige & Mark’s jive from season 22. They absolutely nail it, right down to the double cartwheel that was in the original.  These two are just my faves.  Carrie Ann goes nuts and applauds the incredible effort. Len calls this the new yardstick for all future jives on the show. Bruno says it topped the original, with Jordan combining Mark Ballas and Derek Hough into one routine.

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas (29+ 28 =57) This might be the first time a routine has featured flying debris coming at the couple, which I guess signifies Lindsey living through a storm. Len calls it fabulous.  Bruno says it captured what it means to be free. Carrie Ann says Lindsey’s evolved into a primal “earth mama”.

Their iconic dance is Maks & Meryl’s tango from season 18. It’s really good, but I keep thinking of the original and wishing for this one to get more exciting.  Len loved her head position in promenade, but felt it was a little loose in hold.  Bruno calls them mirror images.  Carrie Ann points out the lack of sexual chemistry these two have.  She also says there was a lack of flow in turns but says she’s torn because so many parts were stunning. Maks shows up to lecture us about not comparing art, or something.  So pretty, so talented. But also so in love with his own genius.

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson (25 + 26 = 51) They have a salsa routine to a dance song about shaking and Frankie does fine, holding his own with the male troupe members, but it appears to me he loses timing once or twice.  When Witney rips his shirt off at the end, he’s in better shape than I was expecting.  Bruno calls it original and spirited, but reveals that Witney missed a “dance pass”.  Carrie Ann says he gave it his all, but wants him to stay in the beat, not above or ahead of it. Len wanted more hip action.

Their iconic dance is Apolo & Julianne’s season 4 paso doble, way back in 2007!  Their recreation seems pretty spot on, from the knee walks to the split to the hideous bolero jacket with a scorpion on the back. Bruno liked it except for Frankie’s shoulders.  Carrie Ann says he needs to breathe through his movements. Len says there’s a charm to him, but didn’t like Frankie’s shaping, or lack thereof.

Dancing in The Finals: Lindsey & Mark, Drew & Emma, Jordan & Lindsay, Frankie & Witney

Victoria and Val are eliminated and she is clearly heartbroken.  He heaps praise on her and says her future is bright.  I was impressed by Victoria each week and really enjoyed her personality, too.  I’d have preferred her in the finals over Drew, but I assume his social media following made a big difference here.  EJ and I will both see you next week for the finals of this 25th season!

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