By Maggie Fremont
December 02, 2018 at 09:28 PM EST
Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Welcome to the semi-finals of everyone’s favorite tiny tot dance competition! For the first time on DWTS Juniors, the four remaining couples will be performing twice. First, they have an individual routine in a style they haven’t done before and then they’ll be paired up with another couple for a routine that fuses together two different dance styles. It’s your typical DWTS Fusion Round, baby. We’re so close to the finish line, let’s see who pulls ahead.

Mackenzie Ziegler and Sage Rosen
Mentor: Gleb Savchenko
Paso Doble, “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga
Mackenzie and Sage are a little bummed after their ’80s-themed jazz didn’t completely wow the judges. Still feeling like they’ve yet to fully win the panel over, Team Gleb is pushing it to the limit with their paso. What does that mean, exactly? CAPE. WORK. Listen, working a cape in the middle of the routine isn’t easy for an adult, imagine having much smaller arms. No seriously, IMAGINE IT. Mackenzie nails the cape portion of the routine and pretty much the rest of it, too. It’s all very sharp and intense and the judges go crazy for it. They reward her accordingly. I’m sorry, is Gleb tearing up a little when his tiny dancers receive the first perfect score of the season?
Judges’ Score: 30/30

Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Sky Brown and JT Church
Mentor: Alan Bersten
Argentine Tango, “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons
Sky and JT are handed their biggest challenge yet: the lifts of the Argentine tango. Alan isn’t going easy on them — and it starts to get to Sky. She cries! Don’t worry guys, all she needs is a hug and some reassurance from Alan. Do Alan’s hugs have magical powers? Please discuss! All signs point to yes since his dancers come out and nail all of their lifts. These are not easy lifts! Even Val points out how difficult the choreography is. Yet still, they hit everything with ease. Mandy again gives Sky some notes on her floppy feet (this time only when up in lifts), but overall, the judges think Sky’s a winner.
Judges’ Score: 29/30

Miles Brown and Rylee Arnold
Mentor: Lindsay Arnold
Cha Cha, “Shake Senora” by Pitbull featuring T-Pain & Sean Paul
Miles is a rockstar. He has zero time to rehearse this week because he’s filming Black-ishnot just “a little time,” zero time. His first in-person rehearsal with Rylee is the day of the show. And still, somehow, he dances the way he does. You guys! Miles looks like a pro dancer. Mandy feels pure joy when she watches him, Adam can’t believe the amount of energy he puts out every single performance, and although Val wants a little more connection with Rylee, he too commends Miles for the power he put into that cha cha. The kid cannot be stopped.
Judges’ Score: 28/30

Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Ariana Greenblatt and Artyon Celestine
Mentor: Brandon Armstrong
Foxtrot, “We’re All in This Together” by High School Musical cast
The pressure is getting to people! Ariana is having a tough time getting the hang of the technically precise foxtrot. That ballroom frame is a killer! Perhaps they’ll find motivation in their High School Musical song choice. Val comments that he wishes his middle school were like the mini-dance school Ariana and Artyon brought to the ballroom — don’t we all, Val? LIFE SHOULD BE A MUSICAL. Ariana does well with her frame and footwork, although there’s a little passion missing from the routine overall. The girl nails the elegance of the dance style and also made me want to invest in a plaid skirt, so, mission accomplished?
Judges’ Score: 28/30


Mackenzie Ziegler and Sage Rosen & Miles Brown and Rylee Arnold
Samba-Jazz Fusion, “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus
Let’s cut to the chase here: The judges deem this routine “the best performance of the season.” What else matters? This foursome is faced with the same issue from earlier in regards to Miles’ lack of rehearsal time, yet, somehow they come out and perform like they’ve been dancing together all season. The judges love that the routine was stripped down to simple, incredible dancing, from the stairs to the ballroom floor, there was no filler — just dance. Also, shout out for little Rylee who seems to get emotional after every performance. She is my soul sister.
Judges’ Score: 30/30

Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Ariana Greenblatt and Artyon Celestine & Sky Brown and JT Church
Jive-Foxtrot Fusion, “369” by Rhett George
As if the tiniest competitors left weren’t going to be paired together, if only so best buddies Alan and Brandon get to hang out (seriously, they are a comedy duo, pair them up for everything). Team Small (they named themselves because they are adorable) is handed the tough combo of jive and foxtrot — so much of the success of this routine depends on the choreography. It ends up being a pretty seamless fusion, but it doesn’t feel as polished as the first Duo Dance was. Mandy points out some timing issues, but other than that, the judges applaud Ariana and Sky’s ability to take on some pretty difficult content. Tiny People Power!
Judges’ Score: 28/30

Jordan and Frankie make a whole show of getting everyone geared up for a tough elimination ahead of the finals but come on, guys — no one is going home tonight! All four couples move on to the finale. Kids weep with joy. No, seriously, it’s a lot.

Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

Episode Recaps

Dancing with the Stars: Juniors

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