Dancing With the Stars Week 5 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

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In the highly likely event that you’re still recovering from last week’s Most Memorable Year theme, Dancing With the Stars followed that up on Monday with the perfect chaser: Disney Night. (Thanks, corporate synergy!)

This week, it was once again time to bust out the Mickey Mouse ears and CGI’d woodland creatures, as each contestant performed a routine inspired by Disney’s box office successes. (In other words: literally any Disney movie.)

Below, let’s run through the evening’s strongest and weakest dances:

Normani Kordei and pro Val Chmerkovskiy (Paso Doble inspired by Mulan) — Combine the phrases “Dancing With the Stars” and “paso doble,” and you might have traumatic flashbacks to Rick Perry’s painful performance of that style with Emma Slater just last season. But, thanks to Normani and Val (and Donny Osmond!), those mental images have been replaced by something much more powerful and captivating. Although the paso doble can sometimes be comical in its intensity, the Fifth Harmony singer — armed with a perfectly styled ponytail — struck a marvelous balance between strength and elegance. Oh, and that martial arts interlude? Bad. Ass. Judges’ Score: 39/40

Nancy Kerrigan and pro Artem Chigvintsev (Jazz inspired by Enchanted) — Nancy and Artem may not have scored as high as other contestants, but there is something to be said for Nancy’s dependability, even in the face of nerves and self-confidence issues. Yes, the Olympian needs to work on her facial expressions; she’s not quite convincing us of how much fun she’s really having. And no, her movements are not as crisp or self-assured as Heather’s or Simone’s. But this dark horse delivered yet another solid, wholly enjoyable performance — and if the celebs at the top of the leaderboard aren’t careful, they’ll be dethroned by Nancy in no time. Judges’ Score: 36/40

David Ross and pro Lindsay Arnold (Jive inspired by the upcoming Cars 3) — Despite David’s video package indicating he was suffering from back and knee pain — enough to bring rehearsals with Lindsay to a screeching halt — the former MLB catcher really delivered on his jive, matching Lindsay and the backup dancers step for step. Even Carrie Ann Inaba, who not-so-secretly loves to dock points, pointed out David’s mastery of the choreography. And yet, after receiving praise of some kind from each judge, David and Lindsay earned… the lowest score of the night. Huh? Was David’s performance really sloppier than Nick Viall’s rough-around-the-edges jazz? Less energetic than Rashad Jennings’ forgettable foxtrot? After the pair received just 29 out of 40 points, Lindsay’s incredulous “Wow” just about summed things up. Judges’ Score: 29/40

Bonner Bolton and pro Sharna Burgess (Tango inspired by Wreck-It Ralph) — The odds seemed stacked against Bonner and Sharna from the get-go on Monday, what with the weak Wreck-It Ralph video game concept and remarkably annoying song that accompanied their performance. But, all scapegoats aside, Bonner just hasn’t been consistent enough from week to week. Give him a foxtrot or a waltz, and the pro bull rider will dazzle you. But when he’s asked to dial up the energy and have a little more fun on the dance floor, Bonner always looks like he’d rather be anywhere else. Judges’ Score: 30/40

And now, the results:

Erika Jayne and pro Gleb Savchenko
Nick Viall and pro Peta Murgatroyd
Normani Kordei and pro Val Chmerkovskiy

Erika Jayne and pro Gleb Savchenko

With that, I hand it over to you. Were Erika and Gleb the right choice for elimination? And which Disney Night performances might earn your vote? Drop a comment below with all of your thoughts.

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