The first half of the Dancing With the Stars 10th anniversary celebration featured each couple dancing based on a different decade in history. There were also a couple of changes: First, readers, you may have seen announcements that Derek was injured last week. He was replaced as Nastia’s partner by Sasha. The second change is that the double-elimination has been rescheduled for next week’s show.
Tonight’s competition began with Riker and Allison in a 1920’s baseball-themed Quick Step. It was a marathon dance with incredible stamina on Riker’s part. Even the little tapping section was brilliant! This piece is worth a watch if you missed tonight’s show. The judges agreed with 37/40 including the coveted “10” from judge Len Goodman.
Next up were Chris and Witney in a 1940’s Foxtrot with Chris portraying a sailor going off to war. Chris has really grown over the past few weeks. His facings and posture are so improved and he is now very fluid. The judges’ scores matched last week’s with 31/40.
Rumer and Val danced a 1960’s Jive. It was very sweet to see Bruce Willis drop in on rehearsals to support his daughter. After a little bit of a meltdown and some pain in rehearsal, Rumer made a brilliant comeback for the show. She has wonderful stage presence with the only glaring issue being arm placement at certain moments. Otherwise, the dance was fun and rather pristine. The judges awarded 35/40.
Noah and Sharna blew us all away with their 1970’s-inspired Jazz routine. The choreography played up all of Noah’s strengths and his understanding of time and tempo. He was so fluid and dynamic! The scores were a little mixed from the judges but Carrie Ann’s “10” brought the total to 36/40.
Robert showed a lot of improvement in the 1980’s setting Argentine Tango with Kym. He proved himself to be a really strong partner with the complex lifts. Robert also showed better musicality this time around. The pair scored 31/40.
Despite Derek’s injury, he worked himself into Nastia and Shasha’s Modern Charleston staged on a subway. Some of the dance was performed while seated (for Derek’s benefit) while serenaded by Andy Grammer who sang “Honey, I’m Good.” Nastia took last week’s critiques and became a dancer! She was so good that she blended in flawlessly with the pros. The couple’s score of 38/40 included two enthusiastic 10’s.
Willow and Mark’s futuristic ninja Jazz (“Nin-Jazz”) was really concept rich. The two ninjas balanced quick and slow movements even creating the visual illusion of scaling a wall. Was this Willow’s best performance? Definitely not. However, it was so visually interesting that one could not help but like it. Willow and Mark earned 37/40.
Nastia and Sasha had the highest score of the evening earning them immunity from elimination. The remaining couples competed in a dance-off to earn two additional points from the judges. Each pair had to learn all three dance styles (Foxtrot, Cha-cha, and Salsa) without knowing which they would be dancing and who would be their opponent.
Riker and Allison chose to go up against Willow and Mark who chose the Salsa. The judges-despite Twitter predictions that Riker and Allison would win-unanimously chose Willow and Mark as the victors.
Noah and Sharna chose competitors Robert and Kym who in turn chose the Cha-cha. Twitter users voted for Noah and Sharna and the judges tied but Len’s vote (Noah and Sharna) served as the tie-breaker. Noah and Sharna went away with the additional two points.
Chris and Witney were left to dance against Rumer and Val in the Foxtrot. The competition was surprisingly close. The judges were in agreement that Rumer and Val deserved the two points.
In a surprising twist the two couples in jeopardy this week were Willow and Mark along with Rumer and Val. And the eliminated couple was Willow and Mark with the lowest combined judges’ scores and viewer votes. Tom Bergeron’s “dad moment” when he hugged the tearful Willow was incredibly sweet.
Albuquerque viewers, make sure you catch the 10th anniversary celebration tomorrow with myriad special guests. The Tuesday night special airs at 7 p.m. (MST) on KOAT channel 7. Everyone should vote at ABC.com to keep their favorite contestants in the show!