Hey, kids! We’ve gone almost coast to coast with theme nights this week…we’re leaving New York behind to head to Las Vegas for the second night of competition this week. Unlike last Tuesday, when only about half the couples had to dance, this week’s second show requires all the couples to do another routine.
In addition to that, we’ve got pop-ins from Blue Man Group and a brief performance from DWTS Juniors pros and hosts Jordan Fisher and Frankie Muniz. The show premieres Sunday at 8, if you want another two hours of competitive ballroom this week! ABC is really getting its money’s worth on this franchise, huh? How’d everyone do and whose journey was cut short? Read on to find out!
Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke (26) They have a very steamy foxtrot, set in a hotel suite from old time Vegas. It’s very entertaining and keeps up a strong pace, no pun intended. Len wants a stronger frame and neater footwork, but said it was good. Bruno thinks they’re sultry, but has a lot of trouble with the word “slickness”. Carrie Ann calls his movements “seasoned” and then makes weird gropey hand motions that I think got Al Franken kicked out of the Senate.
Milo Manheim and Witney Carson (26) Their tango has me riveted the whole time…this kid is just loaded with potential and charm. Bruno calls it focused and powerful, calling Milo a leading man. Carrie Ann says he has such a range and is good at matching shapes with Witney, considerng their height difference. Len says he’s dancing “down” and causing his “bottom to stick out”, even though the routine was good overall.
Danelle Umsted and Artem Chigvintsev (19) Season 9 champ Donny Osmond is onboard, singing “Luck be a Lady Tonight” to accompany their dance, and he’s in very strong voice. There’s a lot of Casino business before Danelle is delivered down the stairs to Artem for a short quickstep, but again, the fact that this is even happening is amazing. Danelle is a very brave and confident woman to even be willing to step onto this stage. When it’s over, she is beaming with pride. Carrie Ann calls her fluid, graceful and elegant. Len mentions a specific step Danelle did well, and says they used the space well. Bruno says it was “well played”.
Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten (24) These two have a salsa that involves lots of tricks and lifts and splits at the end. Len says it had plenty of rhythm and calls her a great dancer. Bruno calls her “bendy” and Carrie Ann says her innocence is refreshing and she has great lines, but needs to keep her core tight. I have no issue with Alexis, but she’s coming off as competent and bland so far, no more, no less.
John Schneider and Emma Slater (20) They play jiving Elvis impersonators and while it’s not the rollicking jives more athletic celebs do, it’s solid. There are several extra troupe members, which does distract a bit from our focus on John’s moves, but it’s entertaining. Bruno says it was good entertainment, while Carrie Ann wants “bigger arms” from John. Len calls doing two dances a challenge and says very little else, which is a bit of a backhanded compliment.
DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold (23) DeMarcus is adorably freaking out about dancing while Boyz II Men sing in person to their quickstep. It’s athletic and lovely at the same time. Carrie Ann says he needs to open his shoulders. Len talks about DeMarcus keeping his elbow up and his hand closed, which are the kind of specific critiques he gives to contenders. Bruno calls him dashing and says he has star quality.
Joe Amabile and Jenna Johnson (18) Their jazz routine to “The Gambler” is light on actual dancing and heavy on set pieces. Len said it held his interest, and calls out Jenna’s awesome lift. Bruno calls it a good story, but says Joe has to come out of his shell. Carrie Ann says Joe seems proud of what he’s done and Joe doesn’t agree. Um, OK? She continues that it’s a little off tempo, but he is extending through his movements. She tells Joe to own his improvement!
Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe (24) It’s a complex jive with lots of content, and at times Evanna looks like she’s working a bit too hard and getting ahead of herself. Bruno says she’s full of energy. Carrie Ann says she milked every movement, but was a little ahead of the beat. Len says it was athletic and “right on time”.
Bobby Bones and Sharna Burgess (19) They have a quickstep that plays a little awkward, and definitely breaks hold (which used to be a cardinal sin), as there’s a magic trick in the middle. Bobby is still all wild and crazy at every opportunity. Carrie Ann wants him to channel his energy into dancing. Len calls it entertaining. Bruno wants him to be more gentle with Sharna, saying he’s pulling on her. Yikes!
Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy (20) They have a paso doble that is probably Nancy’s best dance so far. She has the character part nailed. Len says it was full of attack and energy but lacking finesse. Bruno wants to work on her shapes more. Carrie Ann disagrees and thinks she held her own with a bunch of male professional dancers.
Tinashe and Brandon Armstrong (26) They cha cha and it’s very futuristic and funky, Bruno calls it mesmerizing and splendid. Carrie Ann loves her musicality and says she generates momentum as the routine goes on. Len says there’s a sameness to their routines; he wants them to shock him with something different next time.
Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber (24) They have a fun samba to “Copacabana” and it’s pretty strong, and impressive given all of Mary Lou’s aches and pains from previous gymnastics injuries. Carrie Ann says she nailed it. Len calls it a proper samba, his highest compliment. Bruno calls it a perfect ending to the night.
With precious little time left, we get to the elimination. Only John & Emma and Danelle & Artem are put in jeopardy; everyone else is safe to dance another week. Danelle and Artem are eliminated. Well, she did an incredible job, but unfortunately her lack of name recognition probably did her in here. Can we get rid of Joe next time? See you next week!