It's the semi finals live from Hollywood!
That's right gang. We're just one week away from the finale. This week our 5 remaining couples have two dances again. One round features songs from Michael Jackson's Bad album, celebrating 25 years since its release. Another round features the dance styles and themes our pairs picked for each other during last week's results.
Our Dance Troupe and some guest dancers lead off the show with a great routine to Smooth Criminal and The Way You Make Me Feel.
OK. First round is the wacky dance styles and themes.
Here's our leader board after the first round:
30.0 Shawn and Derek
27.5 Melissa and Tony
27.0 Emmitt and Cheryl
27.0 Apolo and Karina
25.5 Kelly and Val
Now our second round features music from MJ's Bad.
Melissa and Tony dance Argentine Tango to Dirty Diana. I'm surprised they didn't redesign some of those lifts because of Tony's back. But if they hadn't said he was injured, I never would have been able to tell during the dance. Everything was smooth and seamless. The transition into those lifts and tricks was excellent. And that complicated thing at the end was perfect. That had the potential to really go wrong. But they nailed that routine. They had a bit more space between them in hold than I would have liked, but that's just picking nits. This was an outstanding performance with energy and precision, hi-lighted by those amazing lifts. Well done. Judges say 10s across for a total of 30. Yup.
Shawn and Derek dance Argentine Tango to Bad. I love the kick walk down the stairs. This song really lends itself to the stalking quality I love to see in a Tango. Derek used the tempo change really well in his choreography. This dance wasn't as reliant on the lifts as Melissa and Tony's. This choreography was more about the lines and style, as well as crisp footwork and leg hooks. The flavor was more elegant and the shapes were great. I thought the dance interpreted the music really well. Carrie Ann thought it lacked the passionate connection between the two of them, but I thought it had more than enough flair and drama. Judges say 9,10,10 for a total of 29.
Apolo and Karina dance Rumba to Man in the Mirror. I've been wanting to like his dancing for the last 3 weeks. Now he has finally given me something to like. I thought he was completely relaxed and in the moment. He didn't look concerned about the steps or the movement. The connection with Karina was the best I've seen all season. This was the time for him to bring his A game and he did. This was one of those performances that invites you into the dance and lets you experience the emotion. It was sensual and romantic, and it also had an elegant quality. There was a freedom in Apolo's dancing that has been missing since the first week. He was calm and in control. Excellent work. Judges say 10s across for a total of 30.
Emmitt and Cheryl dance Tango to Leave Me Alone. Emmitt threw down with a little MJ step to begin the dance. They definitely have the attack attitude. I like Cheryl's choreography. She's had to step up the difficulty and Emmitt responded to it. I'm not sure if he took complete control as the lead in the dance, but he was quite strong and intense. There were issues with technique and footwork. With straight Tango, the hold is really important. There isn't as much freedom, and Emmitt is always at his best when he can dance relaxed. Plus, he can't fall back on his charm in a dance like Tango. I enjoyed the performance, as I usually do with Emmitt and Cheryl. Judges say 9s across for a total of 27.
Kelly and Val dance Rumba to I Can't Stop Loving You. I like the intimate staging with the lights in the round. I have to give it to Kelly. She has really developed into a credible performer. And Val has proven that he can be a strong teacher and choreographer. This choreography is a celebration of the friendship they have developed between them. They have had tremendous chemistry all season, and it has shown in almost every dance. It was definitely front and center in this dance. It was passionate and emotional without being overwhelmingly sexual. That's the line you walk with Rumba choreography. They controlled the quick-slow-quick. Len calls it light and shade. It's what emphasizes the moments and the shapes. Nice work. I really enjoyed the piece. Judges say 9.5s across for a total of 28.5.
Here's our final leader board after both dances:
59.0 Shawn and Derek
57.5 Melissa and Tony
57.0 Apolo and Karina
54.0 Emmitt and Cheryl
54.0 Kelly and Val
We voted for S&D, although if we'd had more votes we would have thrown some to M&T. It's time for Tony to win. He and Melissa are dancing so well right now.
It's a double elimination tonight. We're skipping a Final Four and going straight to 3 couples for next week's finale. I think it's anybody's game. We'll see which fan bases come through.
You know the drill. Tune in tonight for results and then check back here for my encores and results recap. Just one week until we find out who dances away with the Glittering Globe of Glory.