This week’s theme was “Movie Night” on Dancing with the Stars, but it had a slight twist from Movie Nights past. Each remaining competitor and their partner was asked to dance a routine reminiscent of a genre of movie rather than a song pertaining to a specific one. I loved the regal opening dance number with the feathery dresses and tuxedo tails because it felt like an old Hollywood movie. My other favorite moment was “Len Goodman Presents” in which head judge Len Goodman did an Alfred Hitchcock shadowy opening when revealing a couple’s dance style.
It was revealed that each couple would be dancing for immunity from the double elimination that would take place at episode’s end, as well as dancing in a Dance-Off Challenge against another remaining competitor. Regular DWTS choreographer Mandy Moore was on hand as a guest judge, filling in for Julianne Hough.
Let’s see how your favorites did on this steamy seventh week of competition:
Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess, Paso Doble
Of course Bonner and Sharna were given the Western theme! It was nice to see Bonner so involved in the creative process this week, as I think that had a positive impact on his performance. Dancing to “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes” by Aaron Copland, their Paso Doble was colorful. Len congratulated him for making it this far in the competition, saying Bonner came out with all guns blazin’. Mandy commended him for growing in this competition, saying he held his own with a commanding presence. Bruno said his hard work has paid off, but it still needed a little oil in the joints. Carrie Ann felt he got a little lost in this number and she would have liked to have seen a little more Paso Doble content, but she loves how elegantly he moves on the ballroom floor.
Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev, Tango
Dancing a romantic Tango to Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman”, Nancy and Artem totally redeemed themselves this week, proving why she deserves to remain in this competition. Mandy told Nancy that she looked stunning and praised Artem for such a storied choreography. Bruno called it a grand entrance from a grand lady, saying it was a glossy, cheeky 5-star Tango. Carrie Ann noticed how much more relaxed Nancy appeared from weeks past but cautioned her to watch her arms more. Len enjoyed the quantity of steps and the quality of content. Kudos, Nancy!
Simone Biles & Sasha Farber, Charleston
I was really looking forward to a dance based on the silent film era, and Simone and Sasha did not disappoint! Their Charleston was set to Bob Wilson and His Varsity Rhythm Boys’ “Charleston”, and it was adorable from start to finish. Bruno said it had the sparkle of the Roaring ’20s, admiring all the tricks and entertainment value. Carrie Ann commended them for how difficult the routine was but told Simone that she makes everything look so easy. Len thought it had a lot of fun and characterization, saying it was a joy to watch. Mandy wanted to know what Simone thinks about during her performances because she said it felt like she was on automatic pilot at times. I thought it was her best dance to date.
Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd, Argentine Tango
Nick and Peta danced an action-packed Argentine Tango to David Guetta’s “Dangerous”. Their secret weapon was bringing in Peta’s main squeeze Maks to assist with the choreography. I liked him better this week – it’s obvious he’s improving. Carrie Ann said it was very hot and enjoyed several moments of extreme brilliance, though she noted there were still a lot of missteps. Len liked seeing Nick’s improvements, saying he came out and sold it. Mandy loved the storytelling and applauded Nick for finally looking like a dancer. Bruno said he’s earned the license to thrill, calling it his most mature performance to date. He finally earned two 9’s from Mandy and Bruno.
Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater, Paso Doble
The Paso Doble lent itself well to a horror theme. Dancing to Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna”, Rashad and Emma were absolutely spellbinding. I’m still rooting for him to win this season. Len said it was “thunderbolts and lightning and very, very frightening,” but he loved the dance’s much-needed passion and aggression. Mandy complimented him for how far he’s come in the competition, while Bruno called it a “monster smash” that was as rich, lush and Gothic as an Anne Rice novel. Carrie Ann said the storytelling was incredible, but noted his lines could have been better.
David Ross & Lindsay Arnold, Salsa
David and Lindsay danced a Sci-Fi Salsa to “Universal Mind Control” by Common, and I loved their out-of-this-world costumes! I think David has surpassed everyone’s expectations for how far he’s come in the competition. This week was much better despite Lindsay farting in his face during rehearsals (David joked that made them friends for life). Mandy complimented Lindsay on the choreography but told David he was a little flat on his feet. Bruno said it was like watching “Guardians of the Salsa,” though he compared David’s hip action to R2-D2 meets C-3PO (it was a little robotic). Carrie Ann said it wasn’t the smoothest Salsa, but she loved how he executed every move without mistake. Len felt it was fun and praised David for being so entertaining.
Normani Kordei & Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Argentine Tango
The foreign film category seemed a bit hard for me to visualize, but Normani and Val killed it with a dramatic Argentine Tango set to “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas” by Andrea Bocelli and Jennifer Lopez. The way she moved you couldn’t tell she was suffering from an injury. Bruno awarded her the Academy Award for Best Dance, saying it was classic and special. Carrie Ann said she was deserving of immunity tonight, admiring her artistry and telling her it’s always an honor to watch her dance. Len asked Val what scores he felt the dance deserved, then surprised them by saying it was the best dance of the night. Mandy was impressed by her leg action. It was a well-deserved perfect score, and Normani and Val were granted immunity from the double elimination.
Dance-Off Challenge 1 – Simone and Sasha vs. Nancy and Artem, Cha Cha
Simone challenged Nancy to the first dance-off (I was surprised she didn’t choose Rashad) and Nancy selected the Cha Cha. Both couples looked confident, but I felt Simone and Sasha looked slightly more enthusiastic. Len thought they both came out and performed well, while Mandy felt one was a teeny bit sharper. Bruno admitted it was two very different styles of Cha Cha, with Carrie Ann echoing that, saying one was very classic and belonged to DWTS and one was very modern and looked like it belonged in a Latin dance competition.
Winner: Simone & Sasha (America agreed with the judges)
Dance-Off Challenge 2 – Rashad and Emma vs. David and Lindsay, Jive
There was no possible way David could win this Jive dance-off against Rashad, though he came out and gave it his best effort. Mandy felt both couples brought a lot to the floor, while Bruno likened it to “The Clash of the Titans” saying how much fun it was. Carrie Ann enjoyed seeing them both pull out their signature moves, while Len applauded them for being able to dance that many dances tonight with such precision.
Winner: Rashad & Emma (America agreed with the judges)
Dance-Off Challenge 3 – Nick and Peta vs. Bonner and Sharna, Rumba
This was the hardest dance-off to judge in my opinion because I felt both couples looked beautiful, though if pressed, I’d award it to Bonner for being slightly better. Bruno felt they both peaked at the right time in this dance and thought both were adorable. Carrie Ann said both were magical. Len thought both possessed plenty of hip action and admired their musicality, while Mandy felt a lot of emotion emanating from both couples. This was the only dance-off to not get a unanimous reaction from the judges with Bruno choosing Nick & Peta as the winners but majority rules.
Winner: Bonner & Sharna (America agreed with the judges)
Although there was a double elimination, nothing could possibly be as shocking as last week’s elimination of Heather and Maks. Ultimately, it was Nick & Peta and Nancy & Artem who were sent packing. I was a little surprised that it was Nancy instead of David but not completely shocked. I’m more proud of Bonner for making it through another week! Who do you think will make it to the Semi-Finals?
Did the right stars go home? Who is your favorite? Who will fall short of the Semi-Finals? Tell us in the comments below!