DWTS Season 23

Dancing With the Stars Week 9 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

Here’s a great distraction from tomorrow’s anxiety-inducing election: Let’s watch famous-ish people dance to Broadway show tunes!

Indeed, just hours before the clock strikes Election Day, Dancing With the Stars delivered a two-hour quarterfinals broadcast that was joyous, entertaining and — best of all — had nothing to do with politics. #blessed

Below, let’s revisit the most memorable performances from Monday’s “Showstoppers Night,” in which the six remaining couples paid homage to classic stage musicals.

Laurie Hernandez and pro Val Chmerkovskiy (Argentine Tango, Chicago) — Prior to Laurie and Val’s performance, I was ready to put their routine under the “Most Bizarre Song Choice” header and call it a day. And while that designation still applies — after all, Laurie is a 16-year-old, dancing to “Cell Block Tango,” a ditty about vengeful women murdering their adulterous husbands — the pair was so magnetic that the age difference hardly mattered. Not only was Laurie convincingly sexy, but she brought an incredible athleticism and power to her movements, heightening the innate drama of that particular dance style. Judges’ Score: 40/40

Jana Kramer and pro Gleb Savchenko (Waltz, Waitress) — Truth be told, I can’t listen to “She Used to Be Mine” without curling into the fetal position and sobbing — so I may or may not have had a built-in bias here. Still, there is something to be said for Jana’s deeply emotional connection to many of her performances, particularly this one about a woman coming to terms with her flaws. Jana has proven herself to be a stunning dancer regardless, but the sincerity behind her movements made the routine doubly memorable. Judges’ Score: 40/40 

Terra Jolé and pro Sasha Farber (Charleston, Sweet Charity) — With just a few weeks left in the competition, Season 23 has reached that tricky, uncomfortable milestone where a contestant like Terra is at a massive disadvantage. While her fellow contestants pull off show-stopping lifts and deeply intricate choreography, Terra physically struggles to meet the demands of Sasha’s routines, which have only recently gotten more complex. Still, despite the challenges posed by her stature, Terra totally embodied the cheeky confidence of “If My Friends Could See Me Now” — and she didn’t stumble on the fast-paced footwork nearly as much as her pre-dance video package suggested she would. Regardless of how much further she gets in the competition, it’s clear that Dancing has had a wonderfully positive effect on the reality star. Judges’ Score: 38/40

Calvin Johnson and pro Lindsay Arnold (Waltz, Cats) — Setting aside the fact that Calvin has yet to really connect with one of his performances (gah!), his waltz with Lindsay was the definition of aesthetically pleasing. Lindsay’s shimmering gown, the haunting light show, Leona Lewis’ soaring vocals… and, sure, even Calvin’s fur-trimmed jacket made the routine a joy to watch. Of course, it didn’t hurt that their waltz was elegant and fluid, too. Judges’ Score: 37/40

Plus, the six remaining couples paired off for three Team-Up routines, the results of which are denoted below:

* James/Jenna and Calvin/Lindsay — Paso Doble — Judges’ Score: 37/40

* Marilu/Derek and Terra/Sasha — Jazz — Judges’ Score: 36/40

* Jana/Gleb and Laurie/Val — Contemporary — Judges’ Score: 40/40

And, of course, the elimination verdict:

ADVANCING TO THE SEMIFINALS (in the order they were announced)
Laurie Hernandez and pro Val Chmerkovskiy
Terra Jolé and pro Sasha Farber
James Hinchcliffe and pro Sharna Burgess(/Jenna Johnson)
Calvin Johnson and pro Lindsay Arnold

Jana Kramer and pro Gleb Savchenko
Marilu Henner and pro Derek Hough

Marilu Henner and pro Derek Hough

Your turn, Dancing fans! Were Marilu and Derek the right choice for elimination? And who’s making a great case for a spot in the finale? Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts on Monday’s episode.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Bonesfan47 says:

    Why is Jana constantly in jeopardy lately when she is so amazing I really do not understand it people really need to vote for her more as she deserves to be in the finals!!!!!!!

    • Candace says:

      I cannot understand either??!! I mean Janna is Seriously as great of a dancer as the professionals and has been consistent since week 1!!! It is Mind blowing how she is not considered one of the front runners each week rather than always ending up being in jeopardy!!

      • TiggsBC says:

        The producers always put a front runner in jeopardy to get them votes. They’ve done it for them several times this season. The people in jeopardy are not necessarily in the bottom two. They’ve been setting Jana and Gleb up to win for ages.

    • Steve says:

      I would love to see Jana in the finals but I’m concerned she may not get the votes. I believe Laurie, Hinch, Calvin and Jana are the 4 best but Tara worries me as she may get more of the votes than Jana or even Calvin.

  2. Chris Lemnor says:

    Marilou is like 65 years old. She’s amazing for her age and lasted a long time!

  3. Stacie says:

    There are legitimately 4 teams that could win. I think Val/Laurie, Hinch/Sharna/Jenna, Calvin/Lindsay and Jana/Gleb all are deserving dancers to win the whole thing. There have been strong Final 4’s but not in awhile. I think Calvin/Lindsay are possibly the weaker of the bunch of those, but not by much, plus he is more popular ( I believe) that Jana and Hinch. I think Laurie has the biggest advantage in being popular and being unbelievable. But it could be an amazing Top 4. I think Terra has been outstanding, but she should be gone next week compared to the other 4. Honestly, it might just come down to who has the best night of finals by an inch, usually it comes down to entire season and fan base, I think it’s that close this season.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    It was hard to see Mailu voted off, but it has reached that point in the season where I don’t want anyone to leave. I am tired of always seeing Jana in jeopardy though, she deserves better.

  5. Some truly great dancing last night. Yes, the right couple went home. I think Marilu would have done better with a different choreographer. She looked relaxed last night and I think that says a lot. That said, the semi-finals has a great competition ahead and I expect the final three to be Laurie, Hitch and Calvin.

  6. Susan Herrell says:

    The right couple went home last night!

  7. Tara says:

    I. Was hoping Derek and partner would make it the fanail and win. But. I do like. Lindsay and sharan now that Derek is out I hope either sharan or Lindsay wins I hope it is Sharna and her partner that wins. I really like Sharna
    Partner this time hope she wins. I sure hope Derek comes back to. Season 24 along. With mark ballas

  8. Laura Salini says:

    I want her stay

  9. Tara says:

    No I don’t think Derek was the right choice for the one to go Terra and shasha should have gone instead. Mauliu would have been. More fun to watch that Terra Maybe Derek wouldn’t have won this time but he and mauliu should have been. In semi fainals over Terri I mean the Derek could have won but should have not been the 6 one to go over terra I could if he was standing next to Laurie but for them to go home over terra by one pointe that is hard to imagine

  10. Tara says:

    Why have America vote for the 3 pointe thing if. You don’t say it. At the start of the show I wasn’t ready if I had known I could vote for the 3 pointes I would have made sure Derek got it julliane please go home. You sent your brother home over the Cheryl why would you do that julliane you just sent your brother home and you could saved him you