Dancing with the Stars outdid itself with that dreamy opening sequence set to Disney’s “It’s a Small World” theme this week. I also loved the mid-show sequence set to The Mickey Mouse Club theme featuring the dance troupe in classic black-and-white, Mickey ears and all! A dream is a wish your heart makes when it’s Disney Night on DWTS with so many adorable costumes celebrating Disney through the ages. This season featured several familiar favorites from Snow White, The Little Mermaid, The Muppet Movie and even Steamboat Willie, the first Disney short film that launched the debut of Mickey Mouse. What I didn’t like was the new Kermit voice – he just sounded weird to me.
Let’s see how your favorites did on this fifth week of competition (it’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the season!):
Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy, Jazz
Dancing a Jazz routine to “Steamboat Willie” from Steamboat Willie, Victoria and Val dressed as classic Mickey and Minnie Mouse was a fun way to open the show! There’s a magic to dreaming big, as Victoria proves week after week. I loved everything about this duo this week. Len felt it was full of joy and sparkle and he liked seeing all of the Jazz content that Val threw in (even the twerking!). Bruno felt like he was on a Disney cruise, saying the childlike spontaneity was effortless and beautiful. Carrie Ann enjoyed seeing Val in the striped shorts and she also loved seeing them in perfect sync the entire performance.
Vanessa Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Waltz
Dancing a Waltz to “Un Jour Mon Prince Viendra” from Snow White, Vanessa and Maks’ dance was a little too sleepy for me, though I adored their costumes and the song choice. Bruno called it an enchanting, simply beautiful Waltz that captured the feeling of the movie. Carrie Ann loved that they went for a non-traditional Waltz with more intimacy, though she thought Vanessa stopped herself mid-movement several times. Len loved the understated choreography, saying it had a beautiful flow to it.
Lindsay Stirling and Mark Ballas, Foxtrot
“When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio is one of my favorite Disney songs of all time, and I was excited to see that Lindsay and Mark were dancing a Foxtrot to it. It had a dazzling, magical quality to it – and who else loved seeing Mickey accompany them on the piano? Carrie Ann commended them for not “going quirky” because it was a transformation for Lindsay to showcase her beautiful dancing without hiding behind a character. Len called it delightful with so many lovely nuances, while Bruno said he felt like he was bathing in stardust by the end due to the timeless elegance of the dance, which he called a cross between Fred Astaire and Disney. They were awarded the first 10 from Len!
Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd, Quickstep
Nick seems frustrated that he’s been in the bottom two the past two weeks. He decided to take it up a notch with a Quickstep set to “The Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book. It was cute, but it wasn’t as quick as I was expecting for a Quickstep. I think he may still be in jeopardy. Len thought the posture, hold and movement were alright and commended him for enjoying himself. Bruno loved the sense of fun and speed but noted that Nick lost his steps a couple of times. Carrie Ann felt like last week was cathartic for Nick, noting that he’s enjoyable to watch and he’s notably improving week to week.
Drew Scott and Emma Slater, Viennese Waltz
I absolutely adore “The Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie, and who better to dance to it than Drew? He was so cute doing his Muppets impersonations and I’m jealous they had custom Muppets made of Drew and Emma – I want one of me! I thought they captured the sweet sentimentality of the song in their Viennese Waltz, and how gorgeous was Emma’s sparkly, rainbow dress? It was easily my favorite costume in 25 seasons! Bruno said he’s getting more and more polished and he pulled it off despite his lanky height. Carrie Ann had high expectations because it’s a favorite song of hers and she said they’ve quickly become one of her favorite couples on the program because their movements are fluid and their connection is pure. Len liked the footwork, admiring Drew’s technique and performance. Kermit called it amazing, saying they floated across the dance floor like a pair of tadpoles who had just dropped their tails. Still not as odd as hearing a different person voice Kermit! Too bad Kermit’s score of 10 didn’t count on their final score.
Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko, Rumba
Just about every girl my age loves “Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid, so that was a wise choice to separate Sasha from the rest of the pack this week. You can really tell she’s lost nearly 40 pounds throughout the competition – she looks stunning! It was a childhood favorite done justice. Carrie Ann could tell Sasha felt more confident with broader, oozier movements and beautiful angles. Len said it was a well-crafted routine with great chemistry, while Bruno called her the “Enchantress of the Sea.” He loved her shapes and seeing her really go for it. She finally had a breakthrough!
Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke, Quickstep
Continuing to show improvement, Terrell danced a Quickstep to “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from The Lion King. I wouldn’t call him the king of the ballroom just yet, but it was entertaining. Len revealed that the judges have hidden monitors at their table (I never knew!), while praising Terrell for his improved posture. Bruno liked that he maintained his frame and commanded center stage throughout the routine, while Carrie Ann noted that he’s like a different person on the dance floor with a new connection to the storytelling. Receiving his first 9, he’s picked a great time to peak in the competition.
Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson, Argentine Tango
But I don’t want to be a pirate! Frankie continues to enchant with an Argentine Tango set to “Angelica” from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The set designers really outdid themselves with that misty pirate ship backdrop on this one. Bruno said he must have received tips from Orlando Bloom, loving the sizzling chemistry and choreography. Carrie Ann noticed a faux pas on Witney’s part, but she said it was like watching five Argentine Tangos in one dance, saying Frankie absolutely nailed it. Len called it a proper, swashbuckling routine capturing the mood of the dance and the flavor of the movie quite well. Frankie definitely pulled off sexy and fierce; I don’t think he’s as awkward as he seems to think. He received 2 10’s from the judges!
Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold, Foxtrot
Dancing a Foxtrot to his own version of “You’re Welcome” from Moana, Jordan dazzled in a way that he’s never dazzled before. He’s such a natural entertainer that I could watch him for hours and not get bored. Carrie Ann thought the routine was going a little long but she admitted he delivered it so perfectly that she couldn’t fault him for that. Len admired all the Foxtrot in hold, while Bruno said he had another Disney smash hit on his hands. It was awesome, but I was a little surprised that the judges decided this performance was worthy of the first perfect score of the competition. You’re welcome, indeed. Perhaps they just wanted an excuse to hold up those adorable Mickey Mouse paddles! I can’t fault them for that.
Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev, Jazz
I didn’t even realize Nikki was part Mexican … good for her for reconnecting with her roots for her Jazz routine set to “Remember Me” from the upcoming Disney Pixar movie Coco. Those costumes were beautiful, though I thought her dance was a little lacking in exotic flavor. I’m not sure that I’ll remember it next week. Len said it summed up the whole night because it was full of fun, calling it her best dance thus far. Bruno called out for tequila shots, noting it was a celebration of life and Nikki has never looked more beautiful. Carrie Ann commended them for the unique challenge of introducing the audience to characters and a story that hasn’t been told yet, as the movie comes out in November. Three 9’s from the judges? They must have seen something I didn’t.
After such a joyous night, the unpleasantness of an elimination brought the stars back to reality. It was revealed that Sasha & Gleb and Frankie & Witney were in jeopardy. Say it ain’t so! Ultimately, it was Sasha & Gleb sent packing, which was heartbreaking after she had such a breakthrough performance. Next week the program returns with “A Night at the Movies” and Shania Twain as a special guest judge. Who do you think will go home next?
Which dance made you feel like a kid again? Did the right star go home? Tell us in the comments below!