Only five couples remained at the start of this week’s episode of Dancing With the Stars, with each pair performing twice.


Just one week away from the top four dancers, this week operated a little differently. There were two rounds of dancing – the first, Pro’s Pick, where each pro got to choose the song and style for each dance; the second, Trio Round. But this season, instead of the pro choosing the third person, the judges got to choose.

So we began with Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater doing a jive to “Shake a Tail Feather” by the Blues Brothers. Slater chose this style to show off Jennings’ happy, fun, upbeat side, and that it did. The routine is entertaining, but falters a little on Jennings’ clumsy footwork. They earn a 36/40.

Next up come Normani Kordei and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, fresh off a perfect score last week. This time, they take on a contemporary piece set to Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton‘s “Freedom.” Kordei has opened up on the past about terrible online abuse she suffered, so Chmerkovskiy choreographed an emotional dance about being free from all that. And once again, the power couple receives a perfect 40/40.

Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess are up next, and deliver an Argentine tango to “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. Similar to the last dance, this one is about overcoming pain and adversity, but this time with Burgess herself playing the character of Bolton’s pain. The routine proved too intense for Bolton, who struggled the whole way through. The judges score them with an unimpressed 30/40.

Then we see Simone Biles and Sasha Farber perform a fun foxtrot to One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” though at first the idea is met with an eye-roll from Biles. It seems, much to the chagrin of the judges, Biles really doesn’t let anyone get to know her, even off the dance floor. And the dance suffers because of it. Everything feels over acted and safe, but the dance itself is well done. 36/40.

Last to go in the first round is David Ross and Lindsay Arnold, who put together a moving waltz to Tim McGraw‘s “Humble and Kind.” It is clear that these two know each other the best of all the pairs. Arnold explains she chose this song because it was how Ross was raised and how he wants to raise his children. The emotion in the almost-daddy-daughter dance was palpable and the judges agree this is his best dance yet. They get a 36/40.

Next up is the Trio Round. We start with Jennings, Slater, and Witney Carson who perform an Argentine tango to “Dreams” by Gabrielle Aplin and Bastille. Jennings plays a man caught between an angel and a devil, and his moves are on point. Carrie Ann Inaba dubs it his best dance, and the trio receives a whopping 39/40.

Kordei, Chmerkovskiy, and Alan Bersten excite the crowd with a jvie to Earl St. Clair‘s “Feeling Alive.” Both the dancing and acting are wonderful, and they miss walking away with a double perfect score by just one point. 39/40.

Britt Stewart joins Bolton and Burgess for a raunchy jazz number to “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars. The whole routine is slightly uncomfortable and sexist, which does not help after his first dance. They score just a 28/40.

Biles and Farber get paired up with Brittany Cherry for a paso doblé to The Chainsmokers’ “Don’t Let Me Down.” The dance was performed well, but Biles looks miserable the whole time. “Smiles don’t win gold medals,” she announces, clearly tired of being criticized for her lack of emotion at every turn. They earn a 36/40.

Lastly, Ross, Arnold, and Hayley Erbert perform a paso doblé to “Gangsta’s Paradise” by 2WEI. The pairing works very well in this dance, though Ross lacks the proper technique. They receive a 29/40.

At the end of all this, it’s time to say goodbye to Bonner and Sharna, which was the obvious choice from the moment they stepped on stage tonight. Tune in next week to see the final four square off against each other. DWTS airs Mondays at 8 pm on ABC.

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