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!

No comments:

Post a Comment