Dancing with the Stars, Season 25, Week Eight, Trio Night
Jordan & Lindsay take the perfect score with some help from Corbin Bleu; road ends for Terrell & Cheryl just as he gets a date.
No theme this night besides the trios. We get an average opening number which includes the six returning contestants, then the couples come out and each claims their third. Tom and Erin then confirm their names. But the trios are the second round again this time, after the first:
Terrell Owens & Cheryl Burke: Charleston; “Bad Boy Good Man” Tape Five feat. Henrik Wager
He shows some stress in the fluff, saying he doesn’t even know what the Charleston is, despite it having been danced this season already! Having the lowest score contributes to that, but he also speaks words about being down in the scores before on the field. Cheryl comes up with a good Charleston for him, surrounding him with the amount of speakeasy seediness that he works best with. His energy then does most of the rest. Len says it was “like a trip back to the 20s,” and Bruno calls him “King of the Cotton Club. They give him straight Nines for a total of 27.
Drew Scott & Emma Slater: Waltz; “Both Sides Now (Torch Songs)” Years & Years
He makes this number a tribute to his fiancée Linda, with Emma playing her role. Emotionally, Drew is right on point through this whole thing, the feeling increased by some stunning lighting and choreography, and his running to her in the audience afterwards. Except he doesn’t hit all of that choreography, and sometimes he’s got the fluidity of the waltz, but at other moments he doesn’t. Bruno chides him for his lack of consistency, and nearly covers Len when he gets carried away in his remarks! His Eight is the highest score; the other two judges both give them Sevens, so they total 22.
Victoria Arlen & Val Chmerkovskiy: Argentine Tango; “Down” Marian Hill
This is one with some alarming footage. Victoria suffers a muscle spasm during the rehearsal, though she’s still dancing tonight. Other than that, the fluff was basically about how she’s not used to be sexy. But she gets just a little bit of it into her dancing, and her connection with Val has much more impact. The effects of the muscle spasm don’t seem to have lingered; she looks strong. The judges do tell her good job generally. But they have their reservations In contrast to his remarks about Terrell & Cheryl, Len specifically says he wasn’t transported to Argentina “at times.” That translates to straight Eights and 24.
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas: Samba; “Morning Drums” Gregor Salto
Lindsey notes it’s a miracle she even got through last week’s routine, though they still have to deal with falling down the leaderboard. Thankfully she’s much recovered this week. This week they do a Cirque du Soleil style routine with use of a hoop, and a lot of fun and personality in general. She does it with a lot of energy, too, no doubt gotten from lack of pain. But Len though she wasn’t as sure-footed as usual, which Carrie Ann also agrees. It wasn’t his only objection, and he only gives it an Eight. But Carrie Ann and Bruno liked the creativity enough to break out the Nines, for a total of 26.
Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson: Viennese Waltz; “Perfect” Ed Sheeran
The fluff is pretty angsty, between the team dance damaging his score, his still thinking the others far better from him, and his now being investing in winning because he finally thinks he can. Witney meanwhile choreographs a number that’s just waltzing and sweetness. Frankie is very charming in it, and that’s a delight to watch. But no one claims he was flawless. Carrie Ann and Bruno cite minor quibbles, with the former calling his close to perfect. Then an indignant Len calls it far from perfect, making far more technical objections, including to the choreography. It’s an Eight from him and then two Nines again for another 26.
Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold: Quickstep; “Chuck Berry” Pharrell Williams
The fluff is mostly about the higher expectations, although Jordan also notes Lindsay’s the only pro left who’s never won. For the routine itself, Lindsay too has mostly content, although they do it on top of swirling circular light projections. Which actually might not have been the best of ideas, since makes it harder to see Jordan’s speed and sharpness. At one point when it cuts out and there’s only a red spotlight, it becomes much more obvious how good he is. The judges see enough of it, though. Bruno calls it the “the most demanding, intricate quickstep” he’s ever seen, and Len just stands and claps, then out come the straight Tens.
Then on to the trio round:
Terrell Owens, Cheryl Burke, & Kelly Monaco: Rumba; “Slow Hands” Niall Horan
Cheryl calls Kelly one of her best friends, and in need of a boyfriend. She agrees to go on a date with Terrell if they get three Tens. Their rumba has a hell of a lot of sexy appeal, Terrell having no trouble handling the both of them in that aspect. Bruno even praised them for bringing the sexy back. But they’ve all got technical issues. Carrie Ann says she wanted more from them. There’s also the issue of how much rumba choreography they actually had in there. It keeps the scores down to straight Eights, and he ends the night with 51. But they didn’t specify where the Tens had to come from, and three from the skybox result in Kelly agreeing to the date anyway.
Drew Scott, Emma Slater, & Rashad Jennings: Cha Cha Cha; “Get Up Offa That Thing” James Brown
Emma’s very glad to have back the guy she won with last season. Especially because this disco-themed cha cha cha requires Drew to be “swaggy,” and Rashad gives him instruction on that. For the routine, they then flood floor and the TV screen with disco balls, lights, and even artificial sparkling on their costumes. There’s so much of it it’s not easy to pay much attention to just how well their dancing. Bruno even says he was blinded, but he and Len note it he did have some difficulties. Carrie Ann calls him the “Prince of Soul,” and she gives them a Nine. With Eights from the men, he adds 24 to go up to 51.
Victoria Arlen, Val Chmerkovskiy, & Laurie Hernandez: Jive; “Magic” B.o.B. feat. Rivers Cuomo
The fluff talks about how similar these two Olympic gold medalists are; they even do some geeking out on Star Wars together! Val even benefits from Laurie helping coach Victoria. For the number, they start with footage of Laurie & Val’s win, then have Victoria join them for a victory dance. It’s a wonderfully warm number, showing off their ability to do well with each other while both slow and fast. Though Carrie Ann notes Victoria lost a little bit when she wasn’t dancing with either of them, and all three judges notes their jiving wasn’t as sharp as it ought to have been. It’s enough to keep their scores down to a second set of Eights, for 48 total.
Lindsey Stirling, Mark Ballas, & Kristi Yamaguchi: Jazz; “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” Seth McFarlane
Mark had already noted Lindsey reminds him of Kristi, while Lindsey’s a longtime fan. Mark comes up with a routine he calls a little “unorthodox” which mostly showcases how brilliant both women can be on the dance floor, and they both knock it out, sparkling both apart and together and along with Mark all the way. They can not go wrong with this “classic Hollywood movie style,” Bruno tells them. Carrie Ann even breaks out the word “perfect,” and then follows that up with the Ten paddle. Len and Bruno give them Nines, so they take 28, and Lindsey finished the night with 54.
Frankie Muniz, Witney Carson & Alfonso Ribeiro: Jive; “Good Place” Leo Soul
Witney describes these two as similar people who have similar dancing styles and also similar learning styles, which at least makes her work simpler. The jive’s a good dance for them. and she choreographs them one which allows them to steal spotlights in the way they’re both good at. They also prove strong in their movement and their counterpoint with each other, and there’s a bit of electricity in the air. But they weren’t quite technically perfect, though Bruno notes that synchronization was really difficult to get right anyway. Carrie Ann especially thinking the nerves got to Frankie a bit in this one. The scores are straight Nines, and Frankie adds 27 to total 53.
Jordan Fisher, Lindsay Arnold, & Corbin Bleu: Salsa; “Que Viva la Vida” Wisin
Corbin may be the one returning contestant who didn’t win, but Jordan calls him the most talented male contestant the show has had. We learn they’re longtime friends, and Corbin as a mixed-race individual on his TV screen was an inspiration to Jordan. And when they come out, Corbin proves himself able to match Jordan’s flawlessness. The most difficult synchronization in the world would likely be no problem for these two. They nail it, they nail it together, and the whole routine’s pure delight. Bruno declares that one will go down in Dancing with the Stars history after Len uses the word “perfect” and Carrie Ann the hashtag #Amazeballs, and Jordan ends the night with a perfect 60.
“Would that we could stop now,” says Tom, but the semi-finals are next week, and we’ve got to shrink the field down. The six couples line up, and our minds our put at rest over Jordan & Lindsay and Lindsey & Mark and their lower scores from last week: they made it in anyway. He raises the suspense by calling Victoria & Val and then Drew & Emma’s names, but they all turn out to be safe too. That leaves Frankie & Witney and Terrell & Cheryl. Given how crazy good the former was last week and the eleven-point difference, you would think there’s only one way this could go, but these days it seems anything’s possible on this show…
But for once it went the obvious way: Terrell & Cheryl are out. Erin, who’s known Terrell from their other jobs, takes over the exit interview to praise this new side of him he’s shown. He says simply, “I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The semi-finals lineup could’ve been a stronger one, but hopefully the two unexpected couples in it will at least partially deliver.