Dancing with the Stars aired its mandatory Disney Night last night. I liked Disney night when it premiered in season 18, but after 7 seasons with which they have jammed it down the viewer’s throats, I would like to see a change. It may not be as played out if Disney Night was done every other season. Don’t get me wrong; I like Disney, but not when it’s so repetitive that it seems like songs are being recycled repeatedly. The opening to the show was not needed. I was fine with the show making the first episode about Tyra since it’s her first season, but if I have to hear about how she’s the new host every episode, it may start getting annoying. While her hosting was not bad, her outfit was tacky.
The episode immediately kicked off with the dances, which are reviewed below for your reading pleasure:
Skai Jackson (partner: Alan Bersten)
Dance: Jive to “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog
Score: 18 (harsh)
Thoughts: I like how determined Skai is to be perfect after the mishap she experienced in last week’s Samba. However, I felt like she was holding back a lot of energy that the dance needed. I’m not sure if it was nerves or just the pace of the song, which was not fast enough for a jive, but I wanted to see more from her. That being said, I thought her movements were good and she improved from last week.
Monica Aldama (partner: Val Chmerkovskiy)
Dance: Viennese Waltz to “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid
Score: 21 (well deserved)
Thoughts: I like that Monica dedicated her dance to her family. Her dancing was much better than last week’s dance. I think she was the most improved out of the bunch and I wonder if she dances better to the ballroom dances as opposed to the Latin dances. Her movements were fluid and I felt like her and Val’s chemistry was on point.
Justina Machado (partner: Sasha Farber)
Dance: Charleston to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins
Thoughts: I like that she relates Mary Poppins to her upbringing and the relationship that she has with her brothers and sister (you can do anything). I thought she had a solid performance, but I felt like she was holding back. Her movements were on point, but I was expecting more of her energy to come through, especially for a dance like the Charleston.
AJ McLean (partner: Cheryl Burke)
Dance: Quickstep to “Prince Ali” from Aladdin
Thoughts: I love how the video package showed how AJ is as a father. The relationship he has with his daughters is adorable. AJ’s performance was good, he was able to get into character well, and his footwork was solid. However, I noticed his shoulders needed to stay down and would pop up occasionally, which is something he could easily improve on in the coming weeks.
Anne Heche (partner: Keo Motsepe)
Dance: Quickstep to “Zero to Hero” from Hercules
Score: 15 (a bit harsh)
Thoughts: The video package at one point showed Keo ripping his shirt open and Anne ogling him. This made me laugh out loud while I was watching. I thought that the performance was okay, but felt a little chaotic. I also thought the performance didn’t have a lot of quickstep content, but she hit every movement that was the quickstep.
Jeannie Mai (partner: Brandon Armstrong)
Dance: Viennese Wlatz to “Married Life” from Up
Thoughts: I love how the video package showed her relationship with her fiancé, Jeezy, and how cute they are together (wanting to grow old together). I was impressed with how controlled her movements were throughout the performance and she committed to the character well. Derek said that this was her best performance in the competition so far, and I adamantly agree.
Nelly (partner: Daniella Karagach)
Dance: Foxtrot to “It’s Alright” from Soul
Thoughts: I like how the video package tied the message of the movie into his journey to fame. The judges were impressed with his dance, but I have to say I wasn’t. He committed to the movements, but I felt like the movements were a little messy.
Carole Baskin (partner: Pasha Pashkov)
Dance: Samba to “Circle of Life” from The Lion King
Thoughts: I like that she provided the audience with some education about animals in captivity, which was something that she had hoped to do upon entering the competition. Her performance was horrible, though. She had no hip action or bounce in the dance. Carole did move her arms, which is a plus, but it was as if one part of her body wasn’t talking to the other. Also, the cat themed songs are becoming a little bit played out.
Kaitlyn Bristowe (partner: Artem Chigvintsev)
Dance: Rumba to “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
Thoughts: I like how she related the message of Moana to her own upbringing, specifically about small town dreams. Everyone has them. This was a beautiful performance even though she did get ahead of the music at times. I also thought it was a little ridiculous that the judges gave her guff for not wearing heels during the Rumba. It’s Disney Night and she was getting into the character, who lives on the beach. Cool it, judges.
Vernon Davis (partner: Peta Murgatroyd)
Dance: Quickstep to “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Best
Thoughts: Vernon’s video package had him talking about his children and I love that he was such a doting dad. I also thought it was hilarious when Peta burst his bubble in telling him he was going to the candlestick instead of the beast. Vernon’s performance was a big improvement from his last two dances. His footwork and posture were so much better and I can’t wait to see what he brings next week.
Nev Schulmann (partner: Jenna Johnson)
Dance: Argentine Tango to “Angelica” from Pirates of the Caribbean
Thoughts: Nev seems like such a happy person as a dad and in becoming Jack Sparrow, which showed in his video package. He delivered a solid performance, but I wanted to see his legs straighter than they were. Nev also got into the character well and I was impressed with Jenna’s choreography and story for the dance.
Johnny Weir (partner: Britt Stewart)
Dance: Rumba to “Reflection” from Mulan
Thoughts: I liked how Johnny showed some vulnerability while he was talking about the sacrifices his family had taken for his figure skating career. I think that may have been a breakthrough for him because I saw major improvements in him from the last two weeks. His movements were so fluid, and the shaping of his arms was great. The judges have said in past seasons that the rumba is difficult for a male, especially if you’re the male celebrity, but I feel like he killed it and had control of Britt so well.
Jesse Metcalfe (partner: Sharna Burgess)
Dance: Jive to “King of New York” from Newsies
Thoughts: Jesse’s rise to fame and feeling like the “king of New York” was nice to watch. His performance was much improved from last week as well. I felt like he got into the character well and he didn’t look down at his feet. His footwork was great too. I’m excited to see what he can bring next week.
Chrishell Stause (partner: Gleb Savchenko)
Dance: Waltz to “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella
Thoughts: I like how the rags to riches story of Cinderella also related to Chrishell’s upbringing. I think this related to her performance in a weird way too. I thought this was her best dance yet. She was a lot more graceful than the last two weeks and I hope that she continues to improve on a weekly basis.
I wasn’t sure if there was going to be an elimination this week since the last couple of seasons did not have an elimination for Disney Night, but alas, I was wrong. The bottom two contestants were Anne and Carole, which was not entirely surprising given their scores and performances. I was also not surprised that the judges decided to save Anne and eliminate Carole. I thought Carole would last another couple of weeks for ratings’ sake, but I think her dance did not do her any justice in keeping her in the competition.
I don’t believe there is a theme next week. The dances and songs for next week have not been released by ABC’s Public Relations Department as of this morning (Eastern Standard Time). It’s hard to say who will be eliminated next week. The competition is really anyone’s to take at this point.
(Picture courtesy of ABC/Disney)