Thursday, November 25, 2021

Survivor 41 S41E10: Baby With a Machine Gun


‘Survivor’ gets emotional and enthralling as we get closer to the endgame.
by Jeremy Fogelman

As we dry our tears and clean up our snakeskins, we ask the perennial question: Why did Shan lose? Of course, Shan has been a dangerous person the entire game, and has certainly been a potential target for just as long. She’s built connections and plotted mightily, with a lot of charged back and forth alliance talks with Ricard and Deshawn. And all the while, those two always knew that they could never really go to the end with her. Right?

The path to Shan getting voted out was a series of steps, with only one true “mistake” I could see on her part. At first Shan and Ricard are shown explaining that although they are close, they know it’s “trust until you aren’t” for the two of them. Then Deshawn gets an idea from Erika to target Shan, and he doesn’t reveal this tidbit to Shan.

We also get one of several highly emotional moments this episode then, as Deshawn gets choked up feeling conflicted about wanting to be with the other three “for the culture” referencing the rough year that was 2020, but what about his own game? Then Ricard picks cleverly at the reward challenge, raising Danny’s paranoia at his jury management skills -- and they bring up the idea to vote out Ricard and simply not tell Shan (which is ultimately a reverse of what actually happens, since they vote out Shan and don’t tell Liana).

The episode teases us by having Heather call out Shan singing her theme song out loud, but hey, mayhaps that’s a portent of the future -- that finally Shan is no longer hidden? But the next step is that Liana (in tears) decides to tell Shan about the plan, and they decide to target Deshawn instead (although this fake plan will eventually change). At the immunity challenge, the camera made sure to notice when Shan smiled after Deshawn dropped his ball, before she immediately shifted into a fake grimace.


But since Ricard won, the Danny/Deshawn plan was off the table, and then Shan reveals to Ricard that he was a target. Using this as ammunition, Ricard decides that now is finally the time to get his longtime ally out -- and brings up this betrayal of trust to Deshawn. It’s funny, because Ricard was the target of Deshawn, but since Ricard didn’t betray anything, it changes things -- and suddenly Deshawn is on board, if still conflicted.

Erika is entirely on board, wanting to split the votes between Shan and Liana -- and now nearly everyone has the plan, except the targets, Shan and Liana. At tribal council, both Deshawn and Danny say kinda shifty things, and I thought maybe Shan picked up on it -- but if she did, she didn’t do anything about it. That was her one mistake; I think there were signs of a betrayal, but she felt too safe and went home with an idol in her pocket.

But getting to that point though, wow, what a great episode of back and forth, everchanging strategy. The connections built between these people make things much more interesting when they have actual conflicts to worry about internally and definitely interesting when they finally turn on each other. Shan has been a frontrunner in the game for most of the show, but she has gotten some negative editing here and there -- she wasn’t a perfect player by any means, but boy, was she great at the game she played. Definitely an all-star for sure.

Next time on Survivor, Liana gets quite angry, Erika is a target and targeting, and there’s some twist.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Dancing With the Stars S30E11: Finale


Dancing with the Stars' season 30 finale felt a little like a consolation prize
by Kim Krober

Dancing with the Stars' season 30 came to a close, as the four remaining couples battled it out for the Mirror Ball trophy. I loved the opening sequence with all the former contestants returning to strut their stuff, especially when Martin Kove pretended to knock out The Miz. It was also good to see Melanie C from The Spice Girls and country singer Jimmie Allen return to perform. Notably missing was judge Derek Hough, who revealed he was diagnosed with a breakthrough case of COVID the day after Semi-Finals. His sister - DWTS darling Julianne Hough - was on-hand to fill in his judging shoes for the night. However, this felt like a consolation prize. And really the entire finale felt a bit like a consolation prize after so many of my favorites had already been knocked out of the competition.

From the beginning of the season, it seemed the judges were rooting for pop star JoJo Siwa and her pro partner Jenna Johnson. However, The Talk's Amanda Kloots and partner Alan Bersten certainly gave them a run for their money. The biggest surprises this season were seeing NBA star Iman Shumpert and partner Daniella Karagach and celebrity fitness guru Cody Rigsby and partner Cheryl Burke also make their way to the finale. Would an underdog capture the hearts of voters and take home the trophy or would it be awarded to the same-sex couple predicted to win from the start (not that they're undeserving of the title, but it felt like most of their stronger competition was missing)?

During the first round of competition, the couples were tasked with a Fusion Dance of two seemingly unrelated dance styles. Then it was time for the ever-popular Freestyle Round, which is often what makes or breaks a champion. Let's see how your favorites fared on this final week of competition:

Fusion Dance Round
Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble

Amanda and Alan's fusion Viennese Waltz and Paso Doble to INXS' "Never Tear Us Apart" was a mesmerizing beginning to the show. Julianne complimented Amanda for such a beautiful journey. Bruno enjoyed the airy Viennese Waltz combined with the fiery Paso Doble, admiring their passion and intensity. Carrie Ann commended them for their quality, although she detected a bit of a stumble at the end. Len called her a total eclipse of the sun - a dancer that doesn't come around very often.
Total: 38

Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Paso Doble and Cha-Cha

Cody and Cheryl's fusion Paso Doble and Cha-Cha to En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" was a fitting showcase of Cody's strengths and determination. Bruno and Carrie Ann praised Cody for making it to the finale and proving himself a worthy contender for the Mirror Ball trophy. Len said it was full of vigor and vitality, though it could have benefited from a bit more shaping. Julianne could tell his footwork had vastly improved from last week, calling him a big fish in a global pond..
Total: 36

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Tango and Cha-Cha

JoJo and Jenna's fusion Tango and Cha-Cha to Icona Pop's "I Love It" was fun and spirited, much like their other dances this season. Carrie Ann loved seeing her transform into a leader throughout the competition beyond just being a good dancer. Len said she proved it doesn't matter if it's two women or two men dancing - if it's good dancing, it's magic. Julianne admired her for showing the world anything is possible. Bruno called it nuclear fusion with perfection from every angle.
Total: 40

Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Cha-Cha and Foxtrot

Iman and Daniella's fusion Cha-Cha and Foxtrot to Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" was enjoyable, showcasing Iman's positive energy and suave presence. Len said sometimes underdogs bite back, and that's what Iman did tonight. Julianne never thought he was the underdog, saying she always liked watching him integrate himself into every dance. Bruno said the eagle had risen to new heights with a complete transformation to King of the Ballroom. Carrie Ann called him special from day one.
Total: 40

Freestyle Round
Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Freestyle

Cody and Cheryl's Freestyle to a medley of "Beethoven's Fifth" and Todrick Hall's "Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels" felt as extra and special as Cody himself. I absolutely loved Cheryl's glittery rainbow skirt, and it was so colorful from start to finish! Julianne enjoyed seeing the freak flag fly and watching him express himself so freely. Bruno compared him to J. Lo in Hustler and admired him for being out loud and proud. Carrie Ann called it the most flamboyant Freestyle they've ever seen, including some moves (twerking) this ballroom has never seen. Len said it was wild, wacky, and wonderful. Cody finally earned a perfect score from the judges, and he's never looked prouder.
Total: 40

Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Freestyleo

Amanda and Alan's Freestyle to Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" was such a beautiful, exciting end to their partnership this season. I loved watching them week after week. Bruno said they watched a star be reborn before their very eyes the past 10 weeks, saying she's never shined brighter. Carrie Ann called her hope and resilience personified. Len praised her for beautiful lyrical dancing all season. Julianne enjoyed watching her open her heart and letting the universe in through dance.
Total: 40

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Freestyle

JoJo and Jenna's Freestyle to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" was the perfect celebration of their unique flavor and energy this season. Carrie Ann said it was beyond amazing, calling the future brighter and safer with positive role models such as JoJo in it. Len appreciated the elements of Salsa and other dance styles, calling them a stand-out couple the entire season. Julianne enjoyed seeing her freedom of expression, calling her an inspiration. Bruno said it was another smash hit and said he wished he'd had role models like JoJo to look up to when he was a child.
Total: 40

Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Freestyle

Iman and Daniella's Freestyle to a medley of Missy Elliot's "Lose Control" and DJ Clent's "Bounce" was the most hip-hop Freestyle I've ever seen on DWTS. Len called this season a fantastic book with twists and turns along the way, saying the final surprises on the last page were minutes away. Bruno said they brought the house down with their fancy Chicago footwork. Julianne proclaimed it her favorite Freestyle in 30 seasons of performing, judging, or spectating. Carrie Ann said it was so sick it was good and applauded him for letting his dance pro partner shine in this Freestyle.
Total: 40

And the winners are...

As the finale drew to a close, it was anybody's guess as to how America's votes would affect the results. In fourth place were Amanda and Alan, in third place were Cody and Cheryl, and, in a shocking turn of events, second place were JoJo and Jenna. Iman and Daniella did the impossible and won the Mirror Ball trophy. And I'm not even mad at that - I love a good underdog upset! But seriously, I think all four remaining couples deserve a pat on the back for their progressive journeys. Until next time, Dancing with the Stars!

Do you think the right couple took home the Mirror Ball trophy this season?

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Survivor 41 S41E09: Who's Who in the Zoo?


‘Survivor’ loses two faves because at this point almost all of them are.
by Jeremy Fogelman

As the twin councils disappear from view and the voted out castaways get weighed and fed, we ask our perennial query: Why did Naseer and Evvie lose?

In both cases, it was a situation of threats and missing the danger right in front of you. Starting with the episode’s little twist, I thought it worked well -- both teams competed for immunity against each other, with two people going home and one slightly better team getting food. The start of the episode had Shan and Deshawn at odds then better then at odds again, while Deshawn was creating a new ally with Evvie.

At the same time, Naseer and Heather were at odds of a sort, although Naseer was as always, unfailingly polite. I cackled out loud when he said “Do I buy that? I do not” in response to Heather. And all the while, Xander and Erika plotted to take out the big power five while Shan kept complaining about finding Erika untrustworthy, for a reason I still don't understand. We also got a nice little moment where Ricard discusses his issues being hard of hearing while the show actually gives us the muffled sounds so we can understand how it might be for him.

But as for Naseer, he was voted out because Ricard and Shan changed their “vote out Heather” plan to vote out Naseer instead. Why did they do this? Because Erika, the target they wanted, was immune and because Ricard wanted to remove a threat and someone he probably thought was more loyal to Shan. Shan did as her ally asked and played an extra vote on Naseer, who unfortunately did not play his vote -- but although Naseer always understood the game (like knowing never to have his name as a decoy vote), there are subtleties especially with the other people he may have missed.

Naseer was absolutely one of the most fun and engaging players in years, and I’d be more than happy to see him again. His energy and competency was always fun, and it gave us one of the great moments when he had his “confused as a goat on astroturf” speech. As for our other fave, Evvie was also a threat -- winning an immunity and clearly being both a superfan and being extremely level-headed (which stands out among the hotheads this season). I also don’t really think Ricard and Shan made the right move since Naseer was so loyal to them, but hey, it’s not my game.


Evvie likely only could’ve stayed in the game if Xander had played his idol, and why didn’t he? Did he not see it coming? I don’t think he did, or maybe he was just playing it a bit safer for his own game, even though Evvie was one of his only real potential allies. Xander still has his immunity idol but for how long? Still, he does have one thing that does help -- the conflicts that still exist with everyone else.

But despite losing two faves, it was a pretty fun episode, with good plays and bad, chaos and order, and no game breaking twists to really overcomplicate things. Alas for poor Heather, she has no chance to win, but otherwise... it may really be anyone’s game.

Next time on Survivor, Danny and Deshawn want Ricard out, Liana cries to Shan, and suddenly Shan wants to vote out Deshawn.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Dancing With the Stars S30E10: Semi-Finals


Dancing with the Stars' Semi-Finals Night offered a shot at redemption but ended in heartbreak
by Kim Krober

The pressure was on for the six remaining couples on Dancing with the Stars as they battled for spots in next week's finale and the chance to take home the coveted Mirror Ball trophy. During the first round of Semi-Finals Night, each couple had the chance for redemption by redoing a dance they previously struggled with during the competition. During the second round, each couple danced a remaining dance style. Most of these ended up being Contemporary dances, which gave the couples the opportunity to shine with many near-perfect judges' scores at a crucial point in the competition. I also enjoyed the special Sing 2-inspired performance from the pros halfway through the night.

Let's see how your favorites fared on this ninth week of competition:

Round One: Redemption Round
Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Salsa

Cody and Cheryl didn't get the chance to dance a Salsa in the ballroom due to their bout with COVID earlier in the season. Therefore, Bruno wanted to see a redemption Salsa. Bruno proclaimed the race to the finale started with a bang, complimenting them for the high energy and hip-shaking action. Carrie Ann called it the definition of redemption and loved seeing Cody really get into the movements. Len said it was an action-packed full-on Salsa, although Cody was a bit flat-footed at times. Derek said the last leg lift left him gasping, calling it a huge improvement from week two.
Total: 35

Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev, Rumba

Melora and Artem's Rumba on week two lacked hip action and rhythm, so Len challenged them to a redemption Rumba to Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait." Len thought it was terrific with interesting choreography (along with a few colorful comments about her booty). Derek admired the pureness of their Rumba, along with its flow and articulation. Bruno loved the pitch, saying she went from sexy to cheeky to romantic. Carrie Ann praised the technique but thought some expression was lost from her hands. The lift police also detected a lift, which she said forced her to knock a point from her score.
Total: 36

Suni Lee & Sasha Farber, Foxtrot

Carrie Ann wanted to see Suni and Sasha redo their Foxtrot, saying Suni lacked bringing personality to the dance the first time. Their redemption Foxtrot to "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble was easily one of their best. Carrie Ann praised her for blossoming and gaining momentum at this stage of the competition. Len called it a joyful, happy dance with terrific frame, although the footwork was suspect in parts. Derek loves Suni 2.0, telling her to be proud of herself. Bruno commented that this girl can certainly trot, commending her for managing to show connection and character within the dance. I think she's grown the most this season, coming out of her shell and radiating confidence.
Total: 37

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Argentine Tango

JoJo and Jenna's Argentine Tango on week three didn't have the sizzle Len wanted to see. Their redemption Argentine Tango to Gotan Project's "Santa Maria" had more of a sultry quality to it. Len called it bloody brilliant. Derek appreciated Len's mic drop and seeing two females dance such a clean, artistic Argentine Tango together. Bruno said he needed a rewiring because all of his fuses were blown by such an outstanding performance. Carrie Ann loved the passion and powerful clarity.
Total: 40

Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Tango

Derek challenged Iman and Daniella to make their Tango capitalize on Iman's size and frame to his advantage. Their redemption Tango to Martynas' "Telephone" was one of their best performances to date. I never would have predicted this guy to make the Semi-Finals at the first of the season, but he has won me over with his work ethic and for creating memorable moments. Derek praised him for debunking the myth that you can't have a beautiful frame with this big of a height difference. Bruno said it was smart, congratulating him for delivering the goods. Carrie Ann admired the frame and magic on the ballroom floor. Len called it a vast improvement from week three, saying it was brilliant.
Total: 37

Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Tango

Len wanted to see Amanda and Alan redo their Tango from week one with better body contact. Their redemption Tango to "Titanium" by David Guetta and Sia was a perfect way to end the Redemption Round. Len thought it delivered with attack, aggression, and fabulous movement across the floor. Derek praised her for being the most consistent dancer in the competition with beautiful frame. Bruno called it platinum, with the clear-cut precision of a diamond. Carrie Ann told her she danced the Tango like a boss, although she would have to dock her a point for lifting her foot from the floor.
Total: 39

Round Two
Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev, Contemporary

Melora and Artem's Contemporary dance to "Thunder" by Imagine Dragons was among my favorites of the night. I will be so disappointed if she doesn't make it to the finale. Len liked the way the dance mirrored every nuance of the music, saying it was full of attack and purpose. Derek loves seeing and feeling her love of dance come across in every performance. Bruno praised the sense of freedom and lightness. Carrie Ann called her the most beautiful lyrical dancer, putting everything out there on the dance floor for everyone to see. I was more than a little disappointed by four 9's from the judges.
Total: 36

Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Argentine Tango

Cody and Cheryl's Argentine Tango to "La Cumparsita" by Forever Tango proved why he's still around in this competition, albeit even if it lacked momentum at times. Derek loved the iconic opening image and seeing Cheryl working it overtime. Bruno called it a red-hot Argentine Tango. Carrie Ann admired the drama brought to the dance. Len complimented him for coming such a long way from week one. It was enough to garner four 9's from the judges.
Total: 36

Suni Lee & Sasha Farber, Contemporary

Suni and Sasha's Contemporary dance to "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles felt raw and powerful and utilized her gymnastics background well. It gave me chills. Bruno said gravity didn't apply, calling her jumps weightless. Carrie Ann called it magical, showcasing her versatility as a performer. Len could tell she danced it with feeling, calling it dramatic and passionate. Derek loved seeing her come to an inward realization and seeing her fully enjoy herself out there on the dance floor. I would concur.
Total: 38

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Contemporary

As someone else who lost a beloved grandparent within the past few months, it made JoJo and Jenna's Contemporary dance to Lewis Capaldi's "Before You Go" all the more poignant. Carrie Ann said it was an amazing demonstration of everything she represents. Len praised her for mixing artistry with athleticism, saying she dances with such maturity for someone so young. Derek was in love with her grandma and gave her a standing ovation for having the best Contemporary ever on the program. Bruno called it exquisite, comparing them to two angels and souls totally reunited.
Total: 40

Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Jazz

Iman and Daniella's Jazz routine to "Dark Fantasy" by Kanye West was surprising, much like most of what he has brought to this competition. If he makes it to the finale, he will have a flavorful Freestyle. Len said it had more lifts than Uber, but they were all spectacular. Derek proclaimed him the "Bench Press King" and Daniella the "Plank Queen," praising him for hitting the lines and timing. Bruno had body envy, calling the lifts heart-stopping at times. Carrie Ann admired him for bringing something dynamic, athletic, and artistic to his dances. He received two 10's and two 9's from the judges.
Total: 38

Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Contemporary

Amanda and Alan's Contemporary dance to Lenii's "Live Your Life" was dedicated to her husband Nick Cordero who passed after a lengthy COVID coma last year. It made me cry, especially when her partner Alan cried. It was such a beautiful ending to the show. Derek said she did this dance for herself, not the audience or the judges, calling it a wonderful moment. Bruno said she touched the heart of the nation and it was beyond critique. Carrie Ann saw her disappear and transcend to perfection. Len appreciated seeing two very different but fantastic dances from her tonight.
Total: 40


After watching everyone's shot at redemption, it was difficult to come to the realization that Semi-Finals Night was going to close with another heart-wrenching double elimination. It came down to Amanda and Alan, Suni and Sasha, and Melora and Artem in the bottom three. Melora and Artem were eliminated automatically, which really made me really mad, as she was one of the best and most consistent dancers on the program. The judges were then given the unenviable task of choosing between Amanda and Alan and Suni and Sasha. Ultimately, the judges voted to save Amanda and Alan. It broke my heart for Suni and Sasha, who had also worked so hard to make it to the finale. I had a sinking feeling these two would be eliminated tonight, but it still felt a bit surreal.

Do you think the right contestant went home? Keep voting for your favorites!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Harry Potter Cast Reunites for 20th Anniversary Special on HBO Max

© Warner Bros. Pictures

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson join filmmaker Chris Columbus and other esteemed cast members across all eight Harry Potter films as they travel back to Hogwarts for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which premiered 20 years ago today. The retrospective special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will tell an enchanting making-of story through all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations, inviting fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. The highly-anticipated retrospective will be a capstone event of the holiday season, dropping as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, on HBO Max. The special will also debut on TBS and Cartoon Network in Spring 2022 ahead of the Warner Bros. Pictures theatrical debut of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and will roll out globally with more details to come.

Alumni of the film franchise will join the memorable tribute, including Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, and Ian Hart, among others. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will honor the magic behind the making of the films and the beautiful family created at Warner Bros. Studios London two decades ago. It will also celebrate the unparalleled legacy of the Harry Potter film franchise and its indelible impact on the hearts, minds, and imaginations of families and fans around the world.

“It has been an incredible journey since the debut of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, and witnessing how it has evolved into this remarkable interconnected universe has been magical to say the least,” said Tom Ascheim, President, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics. “This retrospective is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon—from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later.” 

“There’s magic in the air here with this incredible cast, as they all return home to the original sets of Hogwarts, where they began 20 years ago. The excitement is palpable as they prepare to take their fans on a very special and personal journey, through the making of these incredible films,” said executive producer Casey Patterson. 

Produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Warner Horizon at the iconic Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is executive produced by Casey Patterson of Casey Patterson Entertainment (A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote) and Pulse Films (Beastie Boys Story).

Fans can jumpstart their Wizarding World celebration and gear up for the retrospective by checking out the 20th anniversary hub content on An exclusive first look at the special will debut during the premiere of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses on Nov. 28 (8:00 p.m. ET/PT) on TBS and Cartoon Network. The bracket-style quiz competition, hosted by Helen Mirren, will feature fans competing to take home the Tournament of Houses championship trophy and will feature magical cameos by Harry Potter film alumni Tom Felton, Simon Fisher-Becker, Shirley Henderson and Luke Youngblood, as well as superfans Pete Davidson and Jay Leno. The epic, four-part competition event will also begin streaming on HBO Max on Jan. 1.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Survivor 41 S41E08: Betraydar


Survivor gives us a jam packed post-merge scramble as the endgame arrives.
by Jeremy Fogelman

As the dust of the merge settles and the rice is no longer missing, we ask our regularly scheduled question: Why did Tiffany lose and get voted out?

I will certainly miss Tiffany the Player, with her hilarious asides and Eliza Orlins level of mugging for the camera. She played hard and often decently smart, even if she ended up in a minority alliance not really of any real fault of her own. But I am also looking forward to Tiffany on the Jury, where she can be even less filtered.

The majority alliance was quite a big one this time around, with former tribesfolk Deshawn, Danny, Erika, Heather, and Naseer working together while at the same time bringing in Liana and Shan with the most recent sub-alliance with Ricard as a connected member originally through Shan. Thus we are left with Tiffany, Evvie, and Xander as the people without any real support.

Evvie started the episode as a major threat but with minimal allies, as we saw Liana and Shan plot to target the superfan. But then Evvie killed it both in the reward and immunity challenge, and suddenly we are left with Xander (with two advantages) and Tiffany (with none). Sure, you could target Heather, who is no threat, but why bother? You could target Naseer, who has an idol and is a sweetheart, but he also loves the game and definitely wants to win -- although as Shan notes, he is also loyal and a great provider.

Naseer tells us himself that he trusts Shan and Ricard, and he also trusts his former tribe too -- so why lose him just because his immunity idol? This is the subject of a break of heart between Shan and Deshawn as they argue who to send home -- and Deshawn is highly touchy and sensitive about it while Shan is conciliatory if a bit condescending. Not a great look for either, although I suspect Shan is losing it a bit due to her hunger (as she also snaps at Ricard too).


So unfortunately this leads back to our initial question? Why did Tiffany lose? Because she couldn’t get enough of an alliance together and her former allies no longer would sacrifice for her -- because the only thing that would’ve saved Xander is he both used his extra vote to target Heather and his idol on her -- and that’s really too much to ask even of an ally.

But other than losing one of my faves, it was a pretty fun episode -- we even finally heard a confessional from the mysterious, enigmatic Heather, who... exists! Great news for her. Not great news for her game, though -- and her gambit at tribal council failed, so it’s not looking great for her either.

I also enjoyed both Jeff hiding the advantage and Xander totally missing it -- so both we at home and Jeff in the TV were frustrated by it. Honestly it’s a pretty compelling cast this season, and there are a lot of interesting back and forth situations that could be quite interesting going forward. Nobody currently looks like a “winner”, as even the savviest players have made blunders.

Definitely an open game going forward and that’s what I like to see.

Next time on Survivor, people are fighting with each other, and things are shaking up.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Dancing With the Stars S30E09: Janet Jackson Night


'Dancing with the Stars' Janet Jackson Night was full of rhythm & heartbreak
by Kim Krober

As the eight remaining couples twirled closer to the Semi-Finals on Dancing with the Stars, this week brought a tribute to Janet Jackson and another surprising double elimination. It was an interesting first for the program to see the dance pros challenged with choreographing ballroom dances to the innovative hits of Miss Jackson, but they rose to the occasion admirably. The opening dance to "Nasty" set the tone for the evening, and I almost didn't recognize Tyra Banks in her Janet outfit!

Let's see how your favorites fared on this eighth week of competition:

Jimmie Allen & Emma Slater, Cha-Cha

Jimmie and Emma's Cha-Cha to "Escapade" was such a fun opening. I loved their sparkly gold outfits and seeing more of Jimmie's personality shine. He's been winning me over week to week. Len didn't like the heel leads, but he thought it was a nice routine overall. Derek also loved the sparkles but said it wasn't his best performance to date. Bruno appreciated the playfulness and backing vocals exhibited by Jimmie but echoed what Len said about the heel leads. Carrie Ann admitted that Jimmie always brings the fun, but said they're looking for more technical details this close to the Semi-Finals. Their casual escapades managed four 8's from the judges. Was it enough?
Total: 32

Suni Lee & Sasha Farber, Samba

After last week's antics, it was good to see Suni coming out and looking healthier and more glamorous than ever. Her and Sasha's Samba to "All For You" proved why she's still in this competition. Derek applauded her for her new look and confidence, saying she had a beautiful, vibrant energy and graceful magnetism. Bruno said the reboot running on high octane was brilliant, admiring her 100% authentic Samba. Carrie Ann was proud to see the real Suni, while Len called it a healthy Samba. Suni came out and rocked her first perfect score of the season!
Total: 40

Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev, Paso Doble

Melora and Artem's Paso Doble to "If" looked polished and purposeful, despite their stress-filled rehearsal package. I'm still rooting for these two to go all the way! Bruno called her the Queen of Mean, saying it was a ferocious energy coupled with beauty and artistry. Carrie Ann complimented her for kicking the balls out of this competition despite being in her fifties. Len wanted to know where all of her aggression and attack came from because she's usually so gentle, but he called it a brilliant performance. Derek commended her for coming out and slaying the Paso. Another perfect score!
Total: 40

Olivia Jade & Val Chmerkovskiy, Argentine Tango

Olivia and Val's Argentine Tango to "Any Time, Any Place" was unexpectedly sultry (not sure why the judges disagreed). Carrie Ann said it was a beautiful, refined performance although she would've appreciated a little more heat. Len loved the chemistry and interaction but wasn't into the table part of the routine. Derek admires Olivia's authentic joy every time she dances. Bruno called it seductive with great legwork even if it lacked passion. It was enough to garner four 9's from the judges.
Total: 36

Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Paso Doble

Cody and Cheryl's Paso Doble to "Black Cat" was awesome even it lacked a bit of the intensity exhibited by Melora and Artem. I like Cody far more than I ever expected and will be sad to say goodbye to him. Len called it big and bold and full of fire and ice with no-nonsense dancing. Derek could tell a switch had gone off, complimenting Cody for stepping it up with his lines and presence. Bruno said he unleashed the beast within, comparing it to Mortal Kombat. Carrie Ann said it was fantastic, praising him for bringing it all together and peaking at the right time in this competition.
Total: 38

Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Jazz

Amanda and Alan's Jazz routine to "Miss You Much" was the closest thing to Janet Jackson Night that I was picturing in my head before tonight. I loved their costumes and choreography. Derek came in with a slow clap, saying she was a leading lady from start to finish, completely owning the fellas. Bruno called it her own despite the obvious nods to Janet Jackson flavor. Carrie Ann just wanted to hug Amanda. Len simply called it amazing. It was Amanda's first perfect score of the season!
Total: 40

Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Cha-Cha

It couldn't get any more iconic than Iman and Daniella's Cha-Cha to "Rhythm Nation." I think Iman has shown the most growth in this competition, and he earned my votes this week. Bruno respected his take on such an iconic song and artist, although he thought the Cha-Cha content was a bit minimal. Carrie Ann appreciated the intricate choreography and his sharper precision this week. Len was captivated by the group section, but felt the Cha-Cha content was too few and far between. Derek praised him for delivering such a memorable performance. I would concur with that sentiment.
Total: 35

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Salsa

After their close call in the bottom two last week, JoJo and Jenna's Salsa to "Feedback" felt like redemption. It was mesmerizing to watch (although I'm still missing The Miz). Carrie Ann commended her for continuing to come out with "Cirque du Salsa" moves. Len called her an excellent dancer, saying she and Jenna make the Dream Team despite having some gimmicks that weren't necessary in the dance. Derek loved the beautiful opening lift and amazing highlights. Bruno called it drop-dead sexy, saying he likes that she dares to go there, pushing the limits as far as she can every week. It was almost another perfect score, except Len refused to give it up tonight.
Total: 39

Dance-Off Round

Aside from their solo dances, each couple was also tasked with learning a second dance for the Dance-Off this week. The remaining contestants were divided into four groups of two couples, with a different dance style and judge assigned to each who would award bonus points to the winners.

Jimmie Allen & Emma Slater vs. Suni Lee & Sasha Farber, Salsa

Bruno Tonioli was on hand to judge the Salsa Dance-Off between Jimmie and Emma vs. Suni and Sasha to a Latin version of "Made For Now." Was the show experiencing budget cuts - I was surprised the contestants didn't change costumes for the Dance-Off. Bruno called it a tough decision because both couples gave a great performance with a different flavor. Based on a balance of technique and performance, Bruno decided to award Suni and Sasha the two coveted bonus points.
Winners: +2 to Suni & Sasha

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson vs. Olivia Jade & Val Chmerkovskiy, Rumba

Carrie Ann Inaba was the judge to impress as JoJo and Jenna went head-to-head (or was it hip-to-hip) with Olivia and Val to a Rumba set to "That's The Way Love Goes." Apparently some couples were allowed to change costumes? Carrie Ann could feel the pressure, saying she couldn't believe that was the first time either of these couples had danced the Rumba. She said the passion between JoJo and Jenna was palpable, ultimately awarding the two bonus points to them for their efforts.
Winner: +2 to JoJo & Jenna

Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach vs. Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev, Foxtrot

Iman and Daniella faced off with Melora and Artem to a Foxtrot set to "Again," as judge Derek Hough looked on in the ballroom. Derek complimented Iman for growing and Melora for being so consistent. Ultimately, Derek decided to award the two bonus points to Melora and Artem.
Winners: +2 to Melora & Artem

Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten vs. Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Cha-Cha

Len Goodman was tasked with judging between Amanda and Alan and Cody and Cheryl, as both couples danced a Cha-Cha to "Together Again." Len said he was too old to take all of this pressure, but he praised both couples for coming out and putting the Cha into the routine. He said it all hinged on one step called the New York, ultimately giving the two bonus points to Amanda and Alan.
Winners: +2 to Amanda & Alan


Nobody enjoys the nastiness of a double elimination at this stage of the competition. With only a few weeks remaining, it's almost cruel to watch people's hopes of having a shot at the Semi-Finals crushed so completely. After combining the judges' scores and viewers' votes, the couple in last place automatically being sent home was Olivia & Val. The judges were then tasked with the difficult decision of choosing between Melora & Artem and Jimmie & Emma. All of the judges voted to save Melora & Artem, but you could tell it really broke some hearts to make this decision. I will miss Jimmie's contagious enthusiasm, but it was definitely the right elimination out of the two.

Do you think the right contestant went home? Keep voting for your favorites!

Friday, November 5, 2021

The CW Network Sets Its Midseason Schedule

The CW Network will begin rolling out its new midseason schedule with series debuts and season premieres throughout the winter and into the spring, including the new dramas NAOMI and ALL AMERICAN: HOMECOMING, and the return of The CW's hit series SUPERMAN & LOIS and KUNG FU.

Midseason comes early with all of the devilishly delicious drama wrapped in a holiday bow as DYNASTY returns for its new season on Monday, December 20 with back-to-back original episodes (8:00-9:00pm and 9:00-10:00pm ET/PT).

The CW will kick off the New Year in style by honoring the finest in both cinematic and televised/streaming achievement at THE 27th ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS airing LIVE on January 9, 2022 (7:00-10:00pm ET/PT - check local listings) from The Fairmont Hotel in Century City, Calif, and simulcast for the first time ever on TBS.

The Kent family returns for their second season on SUPERMAN & LOIS on Tuesdays starting January 11, 2022 (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT), followed by the premiere of The CW's newest superhero series, NAOMI (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT). From Oscar(R) nominee/Emmy(R) winner Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship ("Arrow"), and starring Kaci Walfall ("Army Wives," "Power," "The Lion King" on Broadway) in the title role, NAOMI follows the journey of a cool, confident, comic book-loving teenager as she pursues her hidden destiny. When a supernatural event shakes her small hometown of Port Oswego, Naomi sets out to uncover its origins, with a little help from her fiercely loyal best friend Annabelle (Mary-Charles Jones, "Kevin Can Wait"). She also has the support of her adoptive, doting parents, veteran military officer Greg (Barry Watson, "7th Heaven," "The Loudest Voice") and linguist Jennifer (Mouzam Makkar, "The Fix"). After an encounter with Zumbado (Cranston Johnson, "Filthy Rich"), the mysterious owner of a used car lot, leaves her shaken, Naomi turns to tattoo shop owner Dee (Alexander Wraith, "Orange Is the New Black"), who becomes her reluctant mentor. While unraveling the mystery of herself, Naomi also navigates her high school friendships with both military kids and local townies, including ex-boyfriend and high school jock Nathan (Daniel Puig, "The System"); Annabelle's longtime, loyal boyfriend Jacob (Aidan Gemme, "Deliver Us From Evil"); proud "townie" Anthony (Will Meyers, "Bad Education"); and fellow comic book enthusiast Lourdes (newcomer Camila Moreno). As Naomi journeys to the heights of the Multiverse in search of answers, what she discovers will challenge everything we believe about our heroes. Based on the characters from DC, NAOMI is written and executive produced by Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship, and executive produced by Paul Garnes of ARRAY Filmworks. Amanda Marsalis ("Echo Park," "Queen Sugar") directed and co-executive produced the pilot episode. The series is from ARRAY Filmworks in association with Warner Bros. Television.

TWO SENTENCE HORROR STORIES debuts its season three with back-to-back episodes on Sunday, January 16 (9:00-9:30pm ET/PT and 9:30-10:00pm ET/PT) following The CW's reimagining of the beloved competition series LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT).

The hit series ALL AMERICAN returns with original episodes on Monday, February 21 (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT) followed by series premiere of the next chapter in the "All American" saga, ALL AMERICAN: HOMECOMING (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT). From the executive producers of ALL AMERICAN, ALL AMERICAN: HOMECOMING is a young adult sports drama set against the backdrop of the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) experience at Bringston University, where Black excellence is a way of life. The series follows Simone (Geffri Maya, "All American"), a young tennis hopeful from Beverly Hills who is trying to fight her way back to great after some time away from the court, and Damon (Peyton Alex Smith, "Legacies"), an elite baseball player from Chicago who is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. After Simone's aunt Amara Patterson (Kelly Jenrette, "Manhunt"), a journalism teacher and activist, exposes a scandal that threatens to derail the school's beloved baseball program, new coach Marcus Turner (Cory Hardrict, "The Outpost") is determined to bring a championship back to Bringston the honest way - with Damon's help. Damon will adjust to his new normal with fellow baseball player and childhood friend JR (Sylvester Powell, "Five Points") by his side. Meanwhile, as Simone struggles to find her footing, she will get a little guidance from Thea (Camille Hyde, "Katy Keene"), the super-competitive queen bee of the Bringston tennis team, and Keisha (Netta Walker, "Come as You Are"), the school's unofficial mayor, who will help Simone learn how to live her best life. As they contend with the high stakes of college sports, Simone and Damon will also navigate the highs, lows, and sexiness of unsupervised early adulthood at a prestigious HBCU. ALL AMERICAN: HOMECOMING is written and executive produced by Nkechi Okoro Carroll, and executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, David Madden, and Robbie Rogers. Michael Schultz ("All American," "Black Lightning") directed the pilot episode. The series is from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Following their epic five-episode events this fall, both RIVERDALE and THE FLASH will return in March on brand new nights. RIVERDALE will make the move to Sundays, starting on March 6 (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT), while THE FLASH will race over to Wednesdays, returning on March 9 (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT) followed by the second season premiere of The CW's action-packed hit series KUNG FU (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT).

On Friday, March 11, CHARMED (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT) will continue to conjure up its beguiling magic with its season four debut followed by the return of original episodes of DYNASTY (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT).

The following is The CW's midseason schedule, including series debuts, season premieres, and midseason return dates:


  • 8:00-9:00pm DYNASTY (Season 5 Premiere)
  • 9:00-10:00pm DYNASTY (Original Episode)


  • 8:00-9:00pm PENN & TELLER: FOOL US (Midseason Return)
  • 9:00-10:00pm NANCY DREW (Midseason Return)


  • 8:00-8:30pm WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? (Original Episode)
  • 8:30-9:00pm WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?
  • 9:00-9:30pm WORLD'S FUNNIEST ANIMALS (Original Episode)




  • 8:00-9:00pm SUPERMAN & LOIS (Season 2 Premiere)
  • 9:00-10:00pm NAOMI (Series Premiere)


  • 8:00-9:00pm DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (Midseason Return)
  • 9:00-10:00pm BATWOMAN (Midseason Return)


  • 8:00-9:00pm LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE (Original Episode)
  • 9:00-9:30pm TWO SENTENCE HORROR STORIES (Season 3 Premiere)
  • 9:30-10:00pm TWO SENTENCE HORROR STORIES (Original Episode)


  • 8:00-9:00pm NAOMI (Series Premiere Encore)
  • 9:00-10:00pm 4400 (Midseason Return)


  • 8:00-9:00pm WALKER (Midseason Return)
  • 9:00-10:00pm LEGACIES (Midseason Return)


  • 8:00-9:00pm ALL AMERICAN (Midseason Return)
  • 9:00-10:00pm ALL AMERICAN: HOMECOMING (Series Premiere)


  • 8:00-9:00pm RIVERDALE (Midseason Return on Its New Night)


  • 8:00-9:00pm THE FLASH (Midseason Return on Its New Night)
  • 9:00-10:00pm KUNG FU (Season 2 Premiere)

FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2022

  • 8:00-9:00pm CHARMED (Season 4 Premiere)
  • 9:00-10:00pm DYNASTY (Return with Original Episodes)

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Survivor 41 S41E07: There's Gonna Be Blood


Survivor is chock full of advantages and ends up in a place that’s surprisingly predictable.
by Jeremy Fogelman

Previously on Survivor, Xander says the first secret phrase, Shan says the second secret phrase, and Naseer says the final secret phrase. Evvie allows an extra vote to Deshawn, Liana has her steal an advantage, and Erika is sent to Exile Island. There are concerns about Erika getting an advantage, and she indeed can reverse the outcome of the last challenge if she smashes the hourglass...

So as the dust settles from the latest Advantage-geddon on Survivor, we scratch our heads and ask the question: Why did Sydney lose? Part of it was not her fault, the part of Erika screwing her over (even though it did indeed seem that Erika wasn’t immune? It wasn’t really clear). Part of it was other people noticing her as a savvy player and also sort of an arrogant player (and Syd seems self-aware to accept both of those), but it was also because Danny and Deshawn were still terrified of the all women's alliance that doesn’t exist and drove the decision to vote a lady out.


Of course, it didn’t help that Sydney was abandoned by her former allies as they formed new ones -- Deshawn, Danny, Shan and Liana had their new alliance, Naseer and Erika were fine going along with them, and Ricard was immune. So it really left Evvie and Sydney as the potential targets, and it was almost Evvie voted out (who also lost some of an alliance but at least retained the loyalty of Tiff and Xander -- the same dude she’s been wanting to get rid of!).

Looking back, we see that Syd lost her 'Shot in the Dark' opportunity and thus her vote, but if she hadn’t, maybe Tiff would’ve played Xander’s gifted idol for Evvie and left Deshawn voted out. If she hadn’t played it, hard to say, but it was a tough spot to be in. And Deshawn used his own extra vote (which I think was wasted), while Tiff (from Xander) has two advantages and Liana has lost hers.


I think that Liana misread the Xander situation for the same reason she was complaining about him -- she said he’s been underestimating her the entire game, but instead she underestimated him while he correctly read her planned move. Of course, the only reason everybody knew about the Steal advantage was that Shan let it out in front of Tiff, and suddenly everyone knows everything. Xander may have played that one instance well, but he also weirdly trusted Danny, who immediately betrayed his trust.

It also seems that Erika’s big move may have been ignored by everyone, as she’s already voting with her old buddies. And Naseer still has his idol and Shan still has hers and the one she temporarily “lent” to Ricard -- so we still have another possible Advantage-geddon again in the future. But how was the episode overall?

Honestly I enjoyed it, a lot of things exploding with the various factions intersecting and going nuts, even if I feel bad we never really saw Sydney play more than being great for the camera and being correctly suspicious a lot. I’m still kinda iffy on the whole whispering at tribal thing, because it’s often too hard to follow what’s happening and it simply becomes chaotic. But we’re still left with a lot of great characters and players with mixed records -- it’s definitely one of those seasons that might go off the deep end, but so far I’m really enjoying it. I’m still not sure if I think it’s hilarious or silly that Liana’s overpowered advantage was entirely pointless.

Next time on Survivor, everyone wants someone out and Tiff doesn’t know what the plan is.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Dancing With the Stars S30E08: Queen Night


Couples brought their A-game to Dancing with the Stars' Queen Night
by Kim Krober

It was Queen Night on Dancing with the Stars, and the remaining nine couples brought their A-game to the ballroom in a glitzy blitz that would've made Freddie Mercury proud. Starting with the montage showcasing the judges singing along to "Bohemian Rhapsody" in their cars to the choreographed opening number to "I Want It All," it was a spectacular feast for the senses. I didn't even hate host Tyra Banks' outfit. I loved all the black-and-white and colorful patterned costumes this week!

Who should be called Mister Fahrenheit - dancing at the speed of light - and who crumbled under pressure? Let's see how your favorites fared on this seventh week of competition:

Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Jive

Amanda and Alan's Jive to "Don't Stop Me Now" was an energetic opening, albeit unmemorable. However, Alan's Freddie 'stache was among the best of the night. Len didn't appreciate the lift or Amanda's footwork, saying it didn't feel special. Derek praised the elegant opening, but he slightly agreed with Len that it felt too safe. Bruno (standing atop the table) thought it was so good it could have gone on and on and on, saying Freddie would have loved it. Carrie Ann appreciated the high energy and athleticism but said nothing felt surprising about it. It was enough for three 8's and a 9.
Total: 33

Olivia Jade & Val Chmerkovskiy, Quickstep

Olivia and Val's Quickstep to "Fat Bottomed Girls" was better than their rehearsal package would have had you believe. The brilliant pop of color made it enjoyable to watch. Derek called her genuine and infectious to watch, saying she hit every complicated step of the choreography. Bruno said there was not a speck of fat out there on the floor, calling it lean and mean. Carrie Ann complimented her for being light on her feet, saying it was the most rock 'n' roll Quickstep she's ever seen on the show. Len enjoyed the speed and control but would have liked more body contact throughout the dance.
Total: 38

Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Paso Doble

Iman and Daniella's Paso Doble to "Another One Bites the Dust" continued Iman's rise to the top - he certainly picked the right time to peak in this competition. Bruno praised him for becoming an accomplished dancer but cautioned him about extending his chest and improving his lines. Carrie Ann said she feels a spiritual connection within his dances. Len said it had plenty of attack and attitude, praising him for lighting up the ballroom. Derek wanted to borrow his abs and complimented him for the joy that oozes from him every week. The judges' scores were very mixed on this one.
Total: 32

Jimmie Allen & Emma Slater, Viennese Waltz

Jimmie and Emma's Viennese Waltz to "Somebody to Love" was beautiful from start to finish, and I loved learning how they make rehearsal time work in every city on his current tour. The rainbow in the background was my favorite. Carrie Ann called it incredible, commending him for hitting all of his lines. Len said it isn't how you start but how you finish - and Jimmie is finishing this competition strong. Derek loved its powerful energy and charisma. Bruno said he's become a true leading man.
Total: 38

Mike “The Miz” Mizanin & Witney Carson, Foxtrot

I loved seeing The Miz's dad (and toughest critic) giving him advice during their rehearsal package. Their Foxtrot to "Radio Ga Ga" was a little stiff but still mesmerizing, especially Witney's red sparkly dress. Len said the frame and hold were good, but his head became a little too fixed in its position, making it look more freaky than refined. Derek loved the rise and fall and footwork. Bruno blamed his muscles for making him look too stiff in the beginning. Carrie Ann could tell there was tension, telling him to relax and just have fun with it. He didn't seem as if he was enjoying it as much this week. Maybe his dad's criticisms got a bit too much in his head. Keep voting for him, America!
Total: 32

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Tango

JoJo and Jenna's Tango to "Body Language" was sultry, but it gets confusing knowing where to look sometimes when they dance. Derek praised it as a tantalizing Tango that felt very stylish and avant-garde. Bruno called it a supermodel Tango with slinky, sexy lines. Carrie Ann compared her to former fan favorite Zendaya, admiring how much she's grown in this competition. Len would have enjoyed more light and shade from the dance, but said she danced beautifully as always.
Total: 39

Suni Lee & Sasha Farber, Paso Doble

Suni and Sasha's Paso Doble to "We Will Rock You" showed more personality this week (I couldn't tell she was sick during that performance). She's a beautiful dancer - she just needs to show America more of who she is on the dance floor. Bruno thought she rocked the Paso Doble despite not feeling well. Carrie Ann called her an inspiration, telling her she needs to be confident. Len could tell she was a little hesitant but said she did a sterling job. Derek was proud of her for pushing through the routine, saying she's a champion no matter what in this competition.
Total: 33

Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Foxtrot

Cody and Cheryl's Foxtrot to "You're My Best Friend" was a poignant, uplifting tribute to Cody's best friend Oscar who passed away last year after a lengthy battle with addiction. Carrie Ann admired his joy despite the rough context. Len said his bum stuck out from time to time, but it wasn't his worst dance to date. Derek thought it was his best dance, saying it had a refreshing frame and an openness about it that was admirable. Bruno dug the Sonny and Cher vibes of their costumes, calling it a Foxtrot that was honest and spontaneous.
Total: 34

Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev, Foxtrot

Melora and Artem's Foxtrot to "Killer Queen" was a regal way to end the solo round of competition on Queen Night. Len said it had sophistication, style, and elegance and was an overall polished performance. Derek loved the costume and concept, calling her radiant and regal. Bruno said it was lethal with a full-performance package. Carrie Ann admired her for upping everything a notch in intensity after she called her out for being too safe last week.
Total: 36

Relay Dance Round

Aside from each solo dance, each couple was also tasked with learning a second dance for the Relay Dances Round. The couples were divided into three groups of three with the judges declaring a winner of each relay for coveted bonus points. Every point makes a difference at this stage in the competition when so many of the couples are neck in neck. Here's how the relays played out:

The Miz & Witney Carson, Iman Shumpert & Daniella Karagach, Cody Rigsby & Cheryl Burke, Jive

This group's Jive to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was super cute all the way. Len felt it was fun to watch and he enjoyed seeing all the different personalities. Derek loved all the charisma, saying it was almost too tough to call. Bruno admired the synchronization, while Carrie Ann praised all the couples for their technique. Carrie Ann and Derek gave their bonus points to Iman. Len and Bruno each gave a bonus point to Cody. No love for The Miz? It broke my heart because I thought his opening was fantastic ... and made me nervous about him going home for the first time all season.
Winners: +2 to Iman & Daniella and +2 to Cody & Cheryl

JoJo Siwa & Jenna Johnson, Olivia Jade & Val Chmerkovskiy, Jimmie Allen & Emma Slater, Foxtrot

This group's Foxtrot to "Under Pressure" was very polished, almost poetry in motion at times. Jimmie's hot pink velvet suit was fantastic! Derek thought it was beautiful with fabulous content. Bruno said all of them raised the bar so high with such quality choreography. Carrie Ann called it amazing with growth from all of the competitors. Len said it looked natural without any pressure at all. All four judges voted to give Olivia and Val a bonus point, for the maximum of four bonus points.
Winner: +4 to Olivia & Val

Amanda Kloots & Alan Bersten, Suni Lee & Sasha Farber, Melora Hardin & Artem Chigvintsev, Viennese Waltz

This group's Viennese Waltz to "We Are the Champions" was a poised and purposeful closing of the show. Bruno admitted it keeps getting harder to be a judge at this stage of the competition. Carrie Ann got up on the table awkwardly and called it amazing. Len loved seeing each of them side-by-side and one after another showcasing their unique talents. Derek said they were all sensational. Carrie Ann awarded a bonus point to Suni, while Derek voted to give a bonus point to Amanda. Len and Bruno both gave a bonus point to Melora.
Winners: +2 to Melora & Artem, +1 to Amanda & Alan, +1 to Suni & Sasha


In a surprising turn of events, JoJo and Jenna and The Miz and Witney were revealed in the bottom two. To the surprise of no one, the judges did not save The Miz and Witney (they'd already sunk him on the leader board and during the Relay Round by not awarding him any bonus points). It was a unanimous vote to save JoJo and Jenna. I don't expect them to go home ever this season. Next week promises Janet Jackson Night, a performance from Derek Hough with a reunion with Mark Ballas and his wife BC Jean, and what is sure to be another heartbreaking double elimination.

Do you think the right contestant went home? Keep voting for your favorites!