Hi, my name is Maggie Fremont, and I cried during that opening video montage. Not my finest moment, but as we lose more and more contestants, everything just seems so heightened. The first shot of the six couples left standing together is a bit shocking — last week’s double-elimination has really made an impact. That stage is so empty! It is more evident than ever that every celeb left standing has their eyes set on the semifinals and they aren’t messing around.
Also not messing around? Mandy Moore. How great was that opening number? The sexy walking! The giant glowsticks! The confirmation that I am not the only woman who desires a man who can dance, not one I can talk to. That stellar routine is foreshadowing for what proves to be an outstanding night of competition. We’re also treated to a new challenge: the Judges’ Team-Up. Each judge will be given a team made up of two couples and will select the dance style, song, and concept. Oh, and at one point, the celebs have to dance with one another. Can we keep this challenge?
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd
Paso Doble | “Victorious” by Panic! At The Disco
Maybe not everyone was crying during the opening montage, but if Nyle and Peta’s paso didn’t leave you in tears, check your pulse. We’ll all wait. Peta wants to somehow show the audience what Nyle’s world is like when he dances, so she decides that part of their dance will be done in complete silence — no music, no applause, nothing. The routine itself is pretty great. Len calls Nyle out on his frame again, but it’s a sharp, passionate, confident paso doble. What puts it over the edge, though, is that silent section. It was so profound that it had the power to make a grown woman audibly sob almost instantaneously. Like, I’m really sorry I messed up the silent thing, but the overwhelming emotion within that section was too much to handle. It was all too much and also not enough. In case you forgot: This was the first dance of the night. Time to strap in.
Judges Score: 29/30
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess
Viennese Waltz | “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna
Week after week, the judges have harped on Antonio’s lack of technique, and Antonio knows he needs to work on perfecting the details if he wants to move up on the leader board. He especially knows it now since Tom and Erin inform the couple that they are in jeopardy this week before they even take the floor. No pressure or anything. Pressure seems to be a good thing for Antonio. He’s showing up early for rehearsal, he is being tougher on himself than we’ve ever seen him be, and he is committed to learning how to pronounce Viennese waltz. Everything’s coming up Antonio! The hard work pays off, and Antonio and Sharna put out a sultry, sexy routine. AB’s never looked so good! Len still rags on the last football player standing for losing hold a little, but overall the judges see a marked improvement. Antonio is improving at just the right time.
Judges’ Score: 27/30
NEXT: Everywhere you look there’s a 10