It’s another shocker on the dancefloor when the couple danced two times, and the judges handed their season’s first score that was perfect and they snubbed the entire thing to make one of the most popular season celebs.
Here’s a jaw that wasn’t closed following tonight’s results on Dancing with the Stars, with America choosing to take home a star who has been awe-inspiring throughout the entire season and who scored one of the top performers that night. Do judges’ scores even matter?
Paula Abdul joined the panel for “Music Video Night,” without inviting the MC Skat Kat from her “Opposites Attract” video? It’s among the most famous music videos ever We’re sad that there wasn’t at a minimum, a brief appearance.
The night was filled with the two competition rounds and the remaining couples split in two to play the Team Round that unexpectedly became a contest between generations. The night also had the first ever perfect score for the season and it’s even more amazing considering the number of stars who were able to see their scores decrease from the previous week.
It was a tough night of contest, with lots of jazz shows interspersed throughout. For the couple that were able to overcome the odds and earn the highest score of the night in one round they’d be eligible for exempt from the next dance-off round. Of course, they’d have to make it through the night, and considering the way the voting went in this particular year … it’s true it’s not a guarantee.
Who do I believe I am? You may ask. The truth is, I spent more than 10 years of my life bloody and sweating to the beat of dancer. As a child, I learned the shuffle-ball-change, to working as a member of the St. Louis Ballet Company I was a part of the highs and lows from one of the physically demanding sports in the world. At the time I was also an active member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and also an athlete, writer and cartoonist. I was full of energy during my youth. The last 20 years analysing and critiquing reality-based competition shows for different media outlets. I’ve come up with this.
Fair warning, because I’m at home and safe I’m likely to be a bit harsher than my coworkers Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, Paula Abdul, and Bruno Tonioli. However, I could be kinder as well. Maybe.
ROUND 1: MUSIC VIDEO NIGHT
Lele Pons & Brandon Armstrong
Salsa Salsa “Whenever, Wherever,” Shakira) One of the most unique dancers in the world of music Shakira’s hips won’t lie and they’re not a joke. It’s difficult to duplicate her unique style, but that’s the goal of the dance of this week. It was certainly helpful the fact that Lele is a massive Shakira gorgeous, and even has an adorable footage of her crying and completely freaking out when she was able close to her. Thanks for the praise, Lele did a good job on the solo part in the final part and did a great job with the body and hip movements in the final. But she was not so confident like Shakira and it was evident the lack of confidence in her timing. In the groupwork, the lifts were slow and uncertain which showed a lack confidence or confidence. It sucked us away from the narrative every time. This was an amazing choreography, however it could use more practice time to smooth out the nerves.
Judges Scores: 9, 8, 8, 8
My Score: 7
Ariana Madix & Pasha Pashkov
(Cha-cha-cha Cha-cha-cha “I’m a Slave 4 U,” Britney Spears) “It’s been my life’s goal to be best friends with Britney Spears,” Ariana laughed — – or was it? during the introduction package. The pop star is credited with inspiring her to perform. The credit is due where it’s due, however Ariana wasn’t Ariana herself who contributed many things to the show. Not only did she was able to perform the correct technique for cha-cha, but also the extra personal touches she brought to the dance. A slight delay to her movement of the slide, the slits on her hips and and the posture. She wasn’t just performing the dance, she was embodied from within. She was about to go toe in toe with Pasha who brings the best of her. Carrie Ann said she’s got the chance to win, and after watching her performance in week 7 we’re inclined be in agreement.
Judges Scores: 9, 9, 10, 9
My Score: 10
Harry Jowsey & Rylee Arnold
(Jazz”Take on Me” by JAZZ “Take on Me,” a-ha) Jason faced a new issue this week. He was required to collaborate with professional dancer Koko Iwasaki at rehearsals as Daniella injured her ankle. She is able to dance, but for a short period of time. It was fortunate that she was present to conduct rehearsals and to lead the rehearsals, but it was significant change that occurred at an important point during the competition. They certainly captured the spirit of fun that was present in the original, however we noticed an absence of clarity in Jason’s moves when compared to Daniella. Jason wasn’t flicking as fast to emphasise the conclusion of each move before stepping into the next. It’s all about finishing each step with completeness so that every one of those moments are allowed to take in and paint the picture before moving on to the next. It was, however, an impressively executed piece, with an abundance of energy and a soaring sweetness that was evident throughout the entire piece.
Judges Scores: 8, 8, 10, 9
My Score: 7
Alyson Hannigan & Sasha Farber
(Quickstep (Quickstep) – “Candyman,” Christina Aguilera) Alyson really nailed that opening sequence that resembles the Christina’s three dance moves in the video. The retro-inspired vibe was perfectly suited to the quickstep, and we should give her complete praise for her ability to keep up with the action. For the most part she seemed to be in sync with the action. However, there was a moment however, where her upper body was not in her rhythm with Sasha’s (the camera wasn’t showing the dancers’ feet so we’re just guessing that she was a little off with her timing in that particular sequence). The frame was pretty decent throughout the entire dance, and that was a phobia of hers. The quickstep, as seen on this show, really is all about surviving it. Alyson has managed to make the show easy and enjoyable, with lots of personality.
Judges Scores: 8, 8, 9, 8
My Score: 8
Xochitl Gomez & Val Chmerkovskiy
(Quickstep Quickstep – “Candyman,” Christina Aguilera) Alyson really nailed that opening sequence that echoes Christina’s three Christina’s of the song. The retro style was perfect for the quickstep. We must give her all praise for her ability to keep on top of the dancing. In the majority of the time she appeared to be in sync with the action. However, there was a moment however, where her upper body was not in the rhythm of Sasha’s (the camera wasn’t showing the dancers’ feet so we’re just thinking she was off in her timing). The frame was pretty decent through the majority of the dance, and that was her biggest fear. The quickstep, in the shows mentioned, can be mostly about surviving it. Alyson was able to make it light and fun, with plenty of personality in the process.
Judges Scores: 8, 8, 9, 8
My Score: 8
Charity Lawson & Artem Chigvintsev
(Jazz”All for You” Janet Jackson) “All for You,” Janet Jackson) Charity seemed to be locked her knees throughout the performance, but it was about engaging the ground and loosening her lower back. You could tell the difference by watching the bouncing rhythm that her dancers backing her, juxtaposed with her more rigid movements. She had to lower her body a little and loosen every joint to allow her movement to flow through the entire dance. Her spine and hips were in the same manner which affected the lift flip that she and Artem performed, however not as smooth. It was actually a backwards step for Charity because she was not completely at ease and was just loosing up. There’s a sensual strut Janet is sporting in the video, but she didn’t completely relax into her feminine look.
Judges Scores: 8, 8, 8, 8
My Score: 7
Barry Williams & Peta Murgatroyd
(Quickstep”Quickstep” – “I’m Still Standing,” Elton John) Rocking a tiny bikini in the first clip appeared to be Bruno himself, and Bruno definitely has a thorough knowledge of the song and the music video. The song was not reintroduced in the bikini and Peta did not go through the ring as often as other quickstep performers. Instead, she used slow sequences that required precise moves. He was astonished by these but was not as precise when they ramped up the speed. He didn’t seem to be confident that the race was over when they crossed the final goal. There was plenty going on and we must give Barry his due for staying on track with the demands placed on him. It was unclear in the hops, however it was a great performance overall full of joy as well as a nod towards Bruno with sprinkles of dust from a pixie in his hair.
Judges Scores: 7, 7, 7, 7
My Score: 7
ROUND 2: TEAM DANCE
Harry and Alyson who had the lowest scores of last week, were team captains and helped build their teams that were competitive for this round. There was a plan in the assembling of these teams, as well. Who was more successful of strengthening their team to increase their scores the most? It’s just one option to determine (and learn the names of those they chose)
Team Young’n Style (Harry, Lele, Xochitl, Charity)
(Freestyle”Gangnam Style “Gangnam Style,” Psy) Applauds to Harry for choosing a stellar crew for this dancing. Their energy and youthfulness made for some fantastic momentsand what a great high-pitched scream of Charity at the midpoint! We loved his complete dedication to Psy’s dance segment as they all gathered and took on the challenge. He was not the strongest length during the couple parts, but there, he appeared more relaxed and confident than we’ve seen him before. It was evident that this dance was an absolute blast for all the dancers, with everyone playing their best. We thoroughly enjoyed this! Even Alfonso attempted to convince Harry to believe that it was the end of the story by telling Harry, “From now on, that’s how you dance.” First time ever, Harry demonstrated that he could accomplish this by letting go of overthinking every single thing.
Judges Scores: 10, 10, 10, 10
My Score: 9
Team 4 Everybody (Alyson, Jason, Ariana, Barry)
(Freestyle”Freestyle” – “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” Backstreet Boys) The group from the past chose to add more ballroom to their tribute to BSB since they felt that it was their best chance to shine and stand out and also, the video has some ballroom, too. They also received the surprise visit of AJ McLean, which left Ariana screaming, as she watched how the music was developing. “It’s cute when young people think that they won’t get old,” Ariana said when she called the team Young’n’Style at close of the box. This was a battle between generations with Madix (at 38) being the youngest of the team. We’ll admit it that we enjoyed the energy of this scene and the ferocity of everyone. They clearly felt that they had something to prove and they certainly did. They all dominated their individual couple segments, and they came up with some imaginative choreography overall. The BSB choreo section could have been more engaging, with Jason leading the show however we were awed by the swaps of partners in the final segment and their dedication to each other. It was actually quite engaging.
Judges Scores: 9, 9, 10, 9
My Score: 8
In contrast to last week’s second round however, unlike the second round, Team Round did impact the final standings in a significant way for a few couples. The two bottom couples remained Harry Jowsey and Barry Williams but the poor Alyson Hannigan, after battling her way to in the top tier of competitors with her best dance, she was relegated to third place which puts her in danger for tonight. In the meantime, Jason Mraz fell from second to middle and is which was tied with Charity to finish fourth.
Of course, it was an increase of two points for all six top couples which means it’s not as huge the change it could appear. However, Ariana Madix, who was in sole position for first place which meant she didn’t have to compete in the dance competition next week ended up having to be pushed over to move to make room for Xochitl Gomez who was at the top.
Again, Harry is decidedly at the bottom of the pile. We initially thought that the judges were more harsh on Harry this week, in the hopes of helping him take his luggage and leave but we saw a number of couples that saw their scores decrease. The lower scores were certainly earned, as we witnessed our scores drop too.
The concern, however it is that Harry’s fan base will carry him for a bit longer and that could mean negative for Barry who is only one point ahead over Harry. Does Barry’s fan base outnumber Harry’s? Or will we be able to get another shocking surprise more impressive in the rankings, with the need to end the relationship with Alyson, Charity, or Jason? We were certain that it would be Barry and Alsyon the week before, and our money being on Alyson to leave. What did you accomplish?
The first celeb to be taken to the safety of the public was Ariana and then the astonished Harry and his followers have once more surpassed all the things they were supposed to tell them about how he’s doing in comparison to the rest of the crowd. Maybe they’re hoping his lack of enthusiasm during the group dance continues because that’s where he first proved his worth. He’s not far ahead of everyone else but is he able to turn around?
Xochitl was the next to hear the good news, and was followed by Jason and a horribly shocked Alyson. This leaves Barry at the top of the list alongside Charity as well as Lele. His score was lower than theirs, which means Barry wouldn’t cause as much of an outrage. He’s also loved by viewers by viewers of this show. Can Lele actually move up from third, one point from the top? Perhaps Charity from her fourth-place tie just one point further back?
Did they join these three couples together in order in order to take Barry home? They did not, because Lele Pons’ elimination only one point behind the top three on the leaderboard demonstrated that no one is in danger and judges’ scores may not be a reliable indicator in the slightest. All it comes down to is what America states. To say this is an uproar is an understatement. It’s awe-inspiring.
Dancing with the Stars welcomes guest judge Billy Porter for Whitney Houston Night on Tuesday, April 8 on the 8th of January at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and Disney+.