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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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