“Disney Night” is always a special night full of surprises on Dancing with the Stars. I love to watch the celebrities and their dance pro partners make some of my animated favorites come alive through the art of dance. One can only fantasize what Disney character and costume beloved ’80s icon Mr. T would have donned this week had he not already been eliminated. Alas, that’s fan fiction waiting to happen in my head.
DWTS favorite Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) opening the gate and singing that magical opening ditty to the kids was an amazing touch that perfectly set the feeling of unbridled wonderment of the night. Let’s see how your favorites did on this fun-filled fifth week of competition:
Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater, Foxtrot
Rashad and Emma danced a majestic Foxtrot to Josh Groban’s “Evermore” from Beauty & the Beast to the envy of probably everyone else in the ballroom. Not only is that the hit movie from Disney right now, but you couldn’t ask for a prettier song or costumes. Len said the Beast has turned into an elegant Prince Charming, though Rashad’s footwork continues to be suspect here and there. Julianne admitted it was a hard song to keep time to but said the dance itself was timeless and beautiful. Bruno liked the classic, romantic essence, saying Rashad danced to the beat of the story despite its tricky musical phrasing. Carrie Ann thought his movements felt a bit more constricted than weeks past but told him to keep his passion on the dance floor. The second surprise of the night came when Erin Andrews told the couple they were safe from elimination just after they received their mixed judges’ scores.
Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd, Jazz
Nick and Peta danced an adorable Jazz routine to “I’ve Got No Strings” from Pinocchio. This was Nick’s best dance by far, and it’d be a shame to see him go out on such a high note. Julianne said it was so much fun and praised Peta for the amazing choreography. Bruno proclaimed, “You’re alive! You’re alive!” He was a fan of the spontaneous child’s play of the dance and noted that Nick was obviously more at ease this week. Carrie Ann called it a breakthrough performance, while Len said it was “feel good fun.”
Erika Jayne & Gleb Savchenko, Viennese Waltz
What a gorgeous dress! Dancing their Viennese Waltz to “Unforgettable” from Finding Dory was a smart choice for Erika and Gleb, but was it too little too late? Bruno felt like he met Erika for the first time tonight, commending her for her ethereal movement and honest performance. Carrie Ann said it’s always darkest before the dawn and thought this week’s dance was very profound. Len told her she’s a lovely dancer, and he loved the terrific routine. Julianne applauded her for applying the “just keep swimming” ethic of Dory and for her outstanding effort this week.
Heather Morris & Alan Bersten (filling in for Maksim Chmerkovskiy), Jazz
Although he continues to watch from the sidelines due to injury, Maks remains an active participant on DWTS. He choreographed Heather and Alan’s lively Jazz routine to “For the First Time in Forever” from Frozen. Carrie Ann thought it was adorable but felt it was a bit underwhelming choreography-wise. Len said it was fun even though it wasn’t exactly his cup of tea. Julianne completely disagreed, calling it amazing and saying Heather truly embodied the story and character. Bruno called it an alive, character-driven performance with perfect nuances of portraying Anna’s world. I loved it, but it was an even split among the judges (though their scores weren’t that polarized).
Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess, Tango
Who knew that dancing to a video game would revitalize Bonner Bolton so much? Bonner and Sharna sizzled with their Tango set to “When Can I See You Again” from Wreck-It Ralph. They remain one of my favorite couples to watch even if Bonner looked a little stiff this week. Len admired him for not taking the easy way out – he said it had plenty of difficult movements in hold. Julianne loved the outfits, saying Bonner embodied the character while also nailing the Tango. Bruno admitted there are still a few bumps and cracks here and there, but overall he didn’t wreck the Tango. Carrie Ann thought he was incredible when in hold but would like to see more dynamics in his dancing. For such positive comments, why did Bonner receive such low scores?
Normani Kordei & Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Paso Doble
I’ve lost track of how many surprises there have been on Disney Night so far, but former DWTS champ Donny Osmond was suddenly on-hand to sing “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan for Normani and Val’s combat-filled Paso Doble. Normani proved she’s a fighter through and through this week. Julianne commended her for the dance’s content, choreography and strength. Bruno called her the “fierce, all-conquering Paso Doble Princess” and admired her gorgeous lines. Carrie Ann proclaimed it epic, calling the dancing perfection. Len didn’t feel like going overboard on his praises, though he did enjoy the Paso Doble technique and the attack in which it was delivered. Yay for 3 10’s with Mickey Mouse ears (grumpy Len was the only holdout with a 9)!
David Ross & Lindsay Arnold, Jive
He may not be the best dancer left in the competition, but what he lacks in technique, David Ross makes up for in his enthusiasm. David and Lindsay danced an adrenaline-fueled Jive to “Ride” from the upcoming Cars 3, as performed live by ZZ Ward. Bruno said David’s Jive was a bit lacking in precise footwork, while Carrie Ann applauded him for not noticeably missing any steps. Len said it was a tough dance but admired it for being high energy. Julianne said it was a little flat-footed but noted that David’s top half didn’t miss a beat. Unsurprisingly, he received the lowest scores of the night.
Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev, Jazz
It was good to see Nancy’s fun side finally emerge this week, as she and Artem performed a lighthearted Jazz routine to “That’s How You Know” from Enchanted. Carrie Ann called it a fantastic routine full of grace and exuberance. Len thoroughly enjoyed it, while Julianne got caught up in the moment. Bruno said it was delightful and admired how Nancy held her own as a leading lady despite having so many professional troupe dancers around her. Nancy looked like a true Disney princess and received all 9’s from the judges for her efforts.
Simone Biles & Sasha Farber, Contemporary
I always enjoy a well-rounded Contemporary routine. Simone and Sasha dazzled with their performance set to “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana with Auli’i Cravalho singing it live. Len said it was a great routine and “another smasher from Sasha.” Julianne loved seeing her passion for gymnastics come across in the dance. Bruno called her a triumphant goddess that gravity doesn’t apply to, while Carrie Ann said it was executed in an uplifting, poetic way. The night certainly ended on a high production note.
After such a footloose and fancy-free night (although doesn’t it feel like they’re starting to scrape the bottom of the Disney barrel for songs to choreograph?), it was time for another somber elimination on Dancing with the Stars. It came down to Erika & Gleb, Nick & Peta and Normani & Val in jeopardy. Ultimately, it was happy trails for Erika & Gleb. I felt like that was the right decision. Next week we’ll see how the stars and their pros fare as they take on Boy Bands vs Girl Groups.
Did the right star go home? Who is your favorite? Who do you think deserves to go home next week? Tell us in the comments below!