If you’re still feeling down about losing Tinashe and Brandon after Trio Night, this Disney Night opening number might be the trick to finally cheer you up. It is, as they say, a production. There are a lot of moving parts, it’s fun, and it is very Disney. Just the sort of joyful dance to get you amped up for the performances to come — including several from Jordan Fisher and the DWTS Juniors crew. And hey, if you’re more of a crier, Andrea Bocelli and his son Matteo Bocelli perform their new song “Fall on Me,” from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, accompanied by some of our pro dancers — the whole thing will leave you in tears. So yeah, it’s an emotional roller coaster on Dancing With the Stars. What else is new?
Alexis Ren and Alan Bersten
Foxtrot, “Just Around the Riverbend,” from Pocahontas
Oh, friends. I was really hoping to get through this season without the dreaded showmance — they are always awkward and distracting and over-produced — yet here we are. What Alexis takes away from the Pocahontas character she’s portraying this week is that she “found love and freedom” and Alexis wants that too. (Don’t read a history book, Alexis, it will ruin your dreams.) Perhaps it will come in the form of her partner, the person who believes in her the most? Hard pass. Can we just dance? Silly showmance aside, this foxtrot is quite lovely. It’s smooth and fluid, and Bruno loves how lyrical every movement feels. Carrie Ann declares it Alexis’ best dance of the season. So the showmance probably isn’t going away anytime soon.
Judges’ Score: 29/30
Juan Pablo Di Pace and Cheryl Burke
Viennese waltz, “Gaston,” from Beauty and the Beast
Can Juan Pablo wear a ponytail every week? More hairography, always. Juan Pablo would be on board with this idea — he is obsessed with his Gaston pony. He’s also obsessed with Gaston and Beauty and the Beast, and, well, all things Disney. He’s living out his childhood dreams tonight, and all he wants to do is have fun. He succeeds. He’s dancing on tables, swinging on chandeliers, and hamming it up as the arrogant Gaston. This kind of production is what Disney Night is all about! Oh, and the technique is pretty great too. Carrie Ann loves both the way he leads Cheryl and the nuances he puts into his movement. No one adds flair to their dancing like Gaston, er, Juan Pablo.
Judges’ Score: 29/30
DeMarcus Ware and Lindsay Arnold
Charleston, “A Star is Born,” from Hercules
Before we even get into this lift-spectacular: You guys, DeMarcus calls Lindsay “coach,” and my heart is soaring. Is it just Disney Night getting to me? Have I lost my mind? I don’t care, I’m loving this partnership. It’s a good thing DeMarcus and Lindsay seem to get along because this Charleston is all about showing off DeMarcus’s strength — he is portraying Hercules, after all — by seeing how much he can toss Lindsay around. Um, how about that lift where he catches Lindsay and then throws her right into some sort of flip? If that’s not your thing, maybe that time he lifts her above his head and then basically bench presses her will. Still no? Okay, that insane double-windmill thing has to blow your mind. The entire routine is such a good time, do we really need scores? Oh, we do? Cool, cool, cool.
Judges’ Score: 26/30
Evanna Lynch and Keo Motsepe
Jazz, “When Will My Life Begin?,” from Tangled
Breaking news: Keo is afraid of heights, and it is adorable. He has a terrible time in Disneyland except for the moment when he and Evanna just start doing a ballroom routine in the middle of the park. Like, can you imagine if you don’t watch the show and you walk by that? It would probably be awesome. Or scary! That’s Disneyland. In other breaking news: The judges continue to be hard on Evanna! She and Keo dance a delightful jazz routine that leaves me smiling — no, it’s not a big production number like others we’ve seen so far, but that shouldn’t mean a major point deduction. These two dance so well together, here’s hoping they stick around.
Judges’ Score: 24/30