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Dancing with the Stars, Season 22 – Semi-Final Double Elimination

DWTS051616We’re down to the semi-finals, and making it an even more difficult night is that it’s also a double elimination. Two of five couples will be eliminated tonight. At this point it would seem a shock for Nyle DiMarco, Paige VanZant, and Ginger Zee to not make it to next week, but that all depends on how their votes came in last week. Each couple will dance two times, as they are also working trios in this week.

First up is Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas for their trio dance. They’re adding Alan Bersten into their dance tonight since she had great chemistry with him when she did the salsa when Mark was out. They’re doing the samba, and Alan says she’s like the sexy bird who knows it. In true Mark  fashion, it’s great conceptually, and Paige really is the sexy bird. Len Goodman says you can file it under B for brilliant. Bruno Tonioli notes she really became the star attraction. Carrie Ann Inaba thinks Paige is unstoppable. Their scores are perfect 10s.

Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess are working with Hayley Erbert for their trio. Sharna picked her because she’s super fierce on the dance floor. They’re doing the Argentine tango, and Sharna wants him to be in the commanding male role. He starts the dance with some great ”tude. Bruno says he was in command. Carrie Ann believes that he has made the longest journey of all the semi-finalists. Lens agrees with her belief that his lines should be longer. The scores are all 9s.

Wanya Morris and Lindsay Graham of course pull in her buddy Witney Carson for their trio. They’ll be doing the paso doble, but first they have to shake off their slipup from last week. Lindsay wants to take him back to the beginning of the competition when he was just happy to be there. He  is so strong tonight and shows he is back with a vengeance. Carrie Ann hugs Wanya and tells him to stay there the rest of the night. Len gives him a standing ovation. Bruno agrees it was the comeback they were all waiting for.  His scores are three 10s.

Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd bring Jenna Johnson into their trio. She’s a step ahead here as she knows a little sign language. They’ll be doing a jive with the theme of him being on a date with one girl when he’s supposed to be with another girl. It’s a really cute dance, but his lack of hearing shows up when he’s a little off. Len notes that Nyle lost sync but was in it 100%. Bruno thought it had the innocent charm of child’s play and also notes him being out of sync. Carrie Ann agrees and believes it’s just because it”ss hard to stay in step during the jive when you can’t hear. This trios scores are three 9s.

Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy bring Artem Chigvintsev into their trio  because he’s an incredible performer, teacher, choreographer, and partner. They’ll be doing the paso doble, and she knows she has to dance better than ever before to keep up with the two professionals. It’s an interesting paso in light neutral colors instead of the dark red and black colors we usually see. Bruno thinks it was one of the most tense and surreal paso doubles he’s ever seen but notes she lost some shaping. Carrie Ann says she was living the drama but agrees with Bruno. Len found plenty of action.. Her scores are all 9s.

Before Paige and Mark’s second dance we go back to her childhood years. She took dance up until high school, then became a cheerleader and put up with bullying. Her family moved to Reno to get her out of that, and she then started to get into MMA through her dad’s love for it. They take on the Argentine tango, and she seems sexy and athletic at the same time. Len thinks the choreography and dancing was brilliant but a bit too hot and spicy. Bruno compares it to Basic Instinct with a sprinkle of Fatal Attrraction and Fifty Shades of Paige. Carrie Ann loves the layers of powerful, athletic, erotic, sensual, sophisticated, and dynamic. Her scores represent this praise as she gets 10, 9, 10.

Antonio grew up in a rough area and says he had to become a man quick. Life changed even more for him once his parents split up. He was an underdog in football going into college, but he was going to do whatever it takes and he went from underdog to top dog in the NFL. He and Sharna’s second dance is contemporary, and it is undeniably his best dance ever. Bruno notes his strength and connection with Sharna was off the charts. Carrie Ann says although he’s not the best dancer, he’s so dedicated and determined and lights up the room. Len says that dance will go down in the DWTS hall of fame for the most spectacular lifts he’s ever seen on the show. The scores are 9, 9, 10, but the crowd clearly feels it should be all 10s.

Next up is Wanya, and his mom notes he was only three or four months old when she realized he could sing. They used to call him Little Luther. He grew up in the projects so had fun but a lot of tribulation. His wife thinks it made him want to become something better. They put the Boyz II Men group together while they were in high school, and the rest was history once they signed with Motown. He and Lindsay are doing the Charleston, and that spirit he has in the beginning of the season comes out once again. Carrie Ann tells him he is her hero, making that comeback on top. Len says if natural dance talent were in the dictionary, there would be a photo of him. What Bruno liked was how they infused so many styles together, and that credit goes out to Lindsay. His scores are again perfect 10s.

Nyle chose to go to school at a university that is the only one for deaf people. He majored in math with a goal to be a math teacher, but then he ended up in America’s Next Top Model. He notes that his life has completely flipped, yet he still wants to inspire kids. We see his twin brother who looks nothing like him. For this Argentine tango with Peta tonight he’s going to do it blindfolded. So now he can’t hear or see, but it only lasts for a few seconds. Regardless, it’s a very powerful performance from him. Len says he never ceases to amaze him. Bruno was mesmerized with it all. Carrie Ann says he reminded us tonight to always push the boundaries. His scores are all 10s.

Ginger is another child of divorce. She was anorexic in her teen years in an effort to try to control things. After the divorce they spent a whole summer on Lake Michigan, and watching the storms is when she first became interested in meteorology. They do the quickstep  tonight, and she has just the right perk to take on this style of dance. Bruno can only talk about how hard it will be to see any of the final five leave tonight. Carrie Ann cays it was all going well, but there was a little catch in her dress. Len says there’s no I in team, but there is in Ginger, and there is in fantastic. Her scores are 9, 10, 10.

Two couples now need to be eliminated. The finalists moving on to next week are Ginger and Val, Nyle and Peta, and Paige and Mark. This sends Antonio and Sharna and Wanya and Lindsay home. Everyone hugs so much they only have seventeen seconds to say goodbye. We don’t get final words from them. 

So this one ended up exactly as I thought it would.  However, I’m not sure who will take home that mirrorball trophy next week. It could easily be any of the finalists. 

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