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Two celebrities get sent home on Janet Jackson night

Guest recappers here, fill in and what a week for it! Last week, Dancing With the Stars honored legendary rock band Queen, and wrestler The Miz and partner Whitney Carson ended up biting the dust. This week there was another icon, pop and R&B goddess Janet Jackson … and also a double elimination to set the stage for the upcoming semifinals. It was a tough competition throughout, but two couples were just being sent home when I met them. Let’s see who doesn’t come back to us … and why.

Jimmie Allen and Emma Slater: The country singer and his partner started with a cha-cha-cha to Jackson’s song “Escapade”. Emma was surprised at how excited Jimmie was to dance to Jackson and this song. Jimmie’s delight was evident in her performance as he sang along the song the entire time, but the joy – and the duo’s dazzling cream and gold outfits – wasn’t enough for the judges. Criticism Jimmie received included points about his shoulder movements and mistaken heel guiding. But one thing could have Jimmie landed well that night? A nickname for his dance partner: “Little Emma”. Score: 32 of 40

Suni Lee and Sasha Farber: The Olympic gymnast showed off her Olympic strength last week by dancing through an illness so bad she had to run from the stage to the bathroom as soon as she and Sasha finished their dance. This week she felt better, she looked different – with a new hairstyle – and the changes paid off. The judges had nothing but love for samba in Jackson’s “All for You”. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said to Suni, “That was what I was thinking inside you all along. We have all been waiting.” Score: 40 of 40

Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev: In rehearsals before this week’s performance, Melora and Artem had a number of interactions that reflected the push-and-pull nature of Melora’s The Bold Type with their staff: they bumped their heads together but had a delicate makeup Hug. But the actress seemed to channel the fire she felt during rehearsals into her performance as she used her acting skills with grim facial expressions to accompany her Paso Doble on “If”. Melora and Artem ended with an epic floor spin move. Derek Hough said, “You came out of here and absolutely killed that Paso Doble … you are amazing.” Melora then stepped out of the book and took a question from host Tyra Banks as an opportunity to thank everyone behind the scenes as if she had just won an Oscar. It was strange, but hey, maybe she earned a little more airtime, and for an honorable cause. Score: 40 of 40.

The story goes on

Olivia Jade and Val Chmerkovskiy: The beauty blogger, as Tyra called Olivia, discussed in her rehearsal video that dancing is something she associates with her father, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli. That’s one of the reasons why she really wanted to go to the semifinals. But first she had to get through this week’s Argentine tango set for Jackson’s “Any Time Any Place”. Judge Len Goodman praised the duo’s chemistry and general routine, saying it had “moments of speed, moments of softness,” but he resisted Val’s decision to include a table in the choreography. Hough expressed his support for the table and the dancers. Score: 36 of 4

Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke: This duo’s journey has not gone smoothly so far. There was a positive COVID test at the start of the season, ripped pants during Disney week, and other fights. But the peloton personality survived it all to be on stage this week singing the paso doble to the song “Black Cat”. As an avid Jackson fan, Cody was delighted. His mother took him to his first Janet Jackson concert when he was young, and he has attended several since then. His excitement seemed to carry over to his performance. Although it was the first time that the scores were not unanimous of the night, the judges showered Cody with praise and he picked up his first 10s of the season. “It was a sober dance, full of fire and ice,” said Goodman. “[You were] so dominant and so the Paso Doble should be – it’s a man’s dance and you danced it fantastic. ” Score: 38 of 40

Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten: Like Melora and Artem, Amanda and Alan were heated during rehearsals. This seemed like a side effect because the judges were tough on Amanda last week, but the duo shook off the stress and delivered a solid jazz dance set on “Miss You Much”. For me, this was one of the funniest numbers of the night, with particularly zippy choreography, and Amanda leaned in on the fun. Inaba stood up and hugged her in pride, and fellow judge Bruno Tonioli said to Amanda, “You were in charge of this dance from start to finish, absolutely directed it, and … you had all these types of Janet Jackson credentials, but you have it made your own, your personality showed, it’s your dance. ” Score: 40 out of 40 (first perfect score for the duo)

Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach: The NBA star and his partner were hired to dance the cha cha to one of Jackson’s most famous songs, “Rhythm Nation.” Daniella was concerned about the difficulty of controlling her limbs as the speed of the dance made the challenge of her height difference worse. But Iman welcomed the challenge. And it seemed like he was up to the situation, as the jury’s reactions were mostly positive. “What is really important [in this competition] is to be unforgettable, “said Hough.” Because people remember who they vote for and you guys did a really memorable performance. “Costumes.” Score: 35 of 40

JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson: JoJo and her partner went into the week following their most troubling night of competition. To the shock of many, the possible leaders last week were among the bottom two and had to be rescued by the judges. But this week they came out peppy. The duo looked stunning in matching black dresses with red accents for their performance of the salsa to Jackson’s song “Feedback”. A highlight of their routine was an impressive lift at the beginning and that pleased the judges and everything else they saw. Inaba said to JoJo, “This is the most intense competition we have ever seen in Dancing With the Stars history and a lot of it has to do with you because you keep coming here and doing incredible things.” Goodman called them a “fantastic dream team”. Score: 39 of 40

After the regular rounds and a break performance by last year’s competition winner Kaitlyn Bristowe and other dancers (as a promotion of the upcoming Dancing With the Stars tour), it was time for dance battles, with couples standing side by side for bonus points from a special judge. Suni and Sasha beat Jimmie and Emma for Bruno’s points in a salsa dance. JoJo and Jenna beat … basically their perfect counterparts Olivia and Val (Olivia and JoJo are the youth / influencers of the cast and Jenna and Val are married) in a rumba dance – a first for both celebrities – for Inaba’s Points.

Then Melora and Artem competed against Iman and Daniella in a foxtrot. Hough noted that the competition was tighter than he expected (which came as a surprise at Iman’s performance) but eventually awarded his points to Melora. Eventually, Cody and Cheryl competed against Amanda and Alan in a cha-cha performance. Goodman awarded his points to Amanda.

When the public voting closed and the votes were combined with the judges’ scores from the night, Suni was the first celebrity to reach the semifinals. The bottom three were Melora, Jimmie, and Olivia. The first cut of the evening wasn’t too surprising. That’s right, influencer Olivia Jade’s journey ended as she was the unsaved competitor in last place.

That meant the judges had to choose whether to save Melora or Jimmie. The writing was on the wall the entire episode as one had the lowest scores and the other was a consistent achievement. Unfortunately, country singer Jimmie Allen was sent home and that set the semi-final lineup. The remaining six celebrities and their professional partners will compete against each other next week to get one step closer to the mirror ball trophy.

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