Dancing with the Stars 29 Semi-final Week 10 Recap and Live Blog

Hey Everyone :)

Welcome to week ten of season twenty-nine of Dancing with the Stars. We have arrived at the “Semi-Finals.” That’s right, in only a week’s time, new dancing champions will be crowned. But with six stars remaining, that means tonight is a dreaded double elimination. It will be two rounds of competition this evening to help determine our finalists.

Last week, AJ & Cheryl were eliminated, with Johnny & Britt joining them in the bottom two. One could argue neither deserved to be in danger with Nelly (the weakest overall dancer) and Skai (the most inconsistent) still remaining. But that’s how it went when the judges score and your live votes were factored in.

Anything can of course happen tonight but I feel pretty confident that two out of Johnny, Skai, and Nelly are heading home. It would shock me if Nev, Justina, or Kaitlyn were in any real danger this evening. Those three have seemed finale bound since the early weeks. Tonight’s dances are more important than ever. Speaking of…

The semi-finalists have to perform a redemption dance (with help via a judge) to improve on scores they received earlier in the competition in that style. They will then dance in a new style to close out the night. This is our first real double elimination of the season, so it will be interesting to see how the whole judges verdict portion works out.

I will include voting details under each performance review but remember, you can begin voting as soon as the show begins and ends during the final commercial break before elimination. For anyone wanting to vote right at the top of the show- go to ABC.COM to vote online or use the following information to vote via text.

Text JOHNNY to 21523 to vote for Johnny Weir
Text JUSTINA to 21523 to vote for Justina Machado
Text KAITLYN to 21523 to vote for Kaitlyn Bristowe
Text NELLY to 21523 to vote for Nelly
Text NEV to 21523 to vote for Nev Schulman
Text SKAI to 21523 to vote for Skai Jackson

The show begins with the semi-finalists calling actual fans and thanking them for voting. It is both funny and charming. Tyra enters and you must see this hat she is wearing. It is beyond. Just beyond. Anyways, voting is open now and the redemption round is up first.

Skai Jackson & Alan – Cha-Cha-Cha Redemption w/help from Bruno
So much stronger than her first go at this dance. No mistakes, no forgetting the steps, no deer in the headlights expression. And even more, she wasn’t totally depending on Alan by staring at him the entire time. She looked confident and she had the steps down. A fun and energetic cha-cha and one of her strongest dances of the season. I would say it is the right time to pull that out.

Bruno compliments her legs, saying she used them so much better. Carrie Ann is proud. Loves how tight she was. Derek mentions her confidence. He notes that he loves how she is dressed as well.
Carrie Ann- 9, Derek- 9, Bruno- 9 = 27/30

Justina Machado & Sasha – Tango Redemption w/help from Derek
An improvement but not by much. Justina still looks a little off doing a tango. A little off balance at times and too much leading by Sasha as if he is unsure she can do the steps well enough on her own. It was definitely less of a hop tango than her first, which should result in better points overall. I was also a little underwhelmed by the choreography.

Derek loved the intro, the attack, passion, and energy. He enjoyed the posture as well. Bruno was waiting for that. He liked the total change of intention. Carrie Ann saw a sensuality tonight.
Carrie Ann- 9, Derek- 10, Bruno- 9 = 28/30

Johnny Weir & Britt – Salsa Redemption w/help from Carrie Ann
Nice. Better than his first attempt. A few things- hands. He has got to sharpen those hands so they don’t look like throwaways. Next, work on those turns. When he and Britt and doing arm turns, he can look a bit lost. My eyes naturally gravitated more toward Britt in this but Johnny definitely held his own. Much better musicality throughout.

Carrie Ann feels Johnny felt stronger. She does mention a few missteps but she saw hard work. Derek calls it a tough routine. He loved the arms as none of them were missed. Bruno says he has the feeling of action and reaction and was more grounded.
Carrie Ann- 9, Derek- 9, Bruno- 9 = 27/30

Nelly & Daniella – Paso Doble Redemption w/help from Bruno
Better. Definitely better. More refinement for sure. In fact, those staccato paso moves help Nelly because he naturally dances like that on this show. But as opposed to the last time, this had some more fluidity in those steps so it looked better. It wasn’t perfect but it was a definite step up. Good job Daniella on the choreography here.

Bruno could see shapes and he could see lines. He saw restrained power. Carrie Ann says he danced it with control and that was impressive. She mentions he still has some flat footed moves. Derek agrees on improvement. He wanted more attack due to the music in parts.
Carrie Ann- 9, Derek- 8, Bruno- 9 = 26/30

Nev Schulman & Jenna – Foxtrot Redemption w/help from Derek
Nice. Lovely and elegant. I saw improved posture and hold. He tucked his bum in good and tight. Such a sweet dance too. Jenna has really been an excellent partner for Nev throughout this season, always choreographing him well.

Derek loved because it was classic and pure. It had control throughout. Bruno calls Nev a class act. He compliments the bum as well and says he interprets the music well. Carrie Ann thought the body contact was incredible. She feels Nev has become a ballroom artist.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem – Paso Doble Redemption w/help from Carrie Ann
Strong dance. Her movements are a whole lot sharper than the first time. And that was some stunning choreography there as well. Loved how classic paso it was. Absolutely no frills in that, just going hard and doing a classic and natural Latin routine. Excellent stuff.

Carrie Ann feels like she did everything in that dance. She called it fantastic, fast, and furious. Derek feels she is the silent type in the dance and she sold Derek in that. Bruno says it was a hundred percent Paso Doble.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

Justina Machado & Sasha – Contemporary
We have three contemporary dances tonight so prepare for a lot of flailing around, emotions, and lifts. Sasha needs to do some research during the off-season to make his choreography more exciting. This was fine and perfectly danced but nothing to write home about. And it isn’t Justina’s fault. It was just very “seen it all before” even in prior Sasha contemporary pieces. But good on Justina for doing it so well.

Derek thanks Justina because he loves watching her dance. He feels like her gift is to make it look like it comes from within. Bruno loved the freedom of movement. Carrie Ann feels magic happened during that dance.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

Skai Jackson & Alan – Viennese Waltz
Where was this Skai all season? I never saw her look as confident as in tonight’s two routines. All that glancing over at Alan and depending on him is gone and she looks like an actual dancer who knows the steps and feels good enough to do them. Very lovely routine, with some great lines and fluidity. Really enjoyed that from start to finish.

Bruno says it was elegant. He says she managed to develop an emotional connection throughout the dance. Carrie Ann says Skai has elegance and determination. She saw vulnerability. Derek agrees with both his co-judges on the things they said.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

*HMM. Methinks the judges are going to just going to give everyone perfect scores in the second round and since they kept it relatively close in the first round, throw it over to America to make the tough choice.

Johnny Weir & Britt – Jazz
This show and its odd definition of jazz. LOL. That was a…contemporary piece of jazz if you will. But okay. It was a good dance for Johnny- lots of purpose and a chance for him to show strength and tenacity. Enjoyed the side-by-side stuff a whole lot and it was all in-sync. Very good job.

Carrie Ann says it felt like Johnny was on cloud nine. She says it had a feeling of hope. Derek compliments Britt on the routine. He feels a connection between the two of them. Bruno says clean and clear. He feels it was so unique to Johnny.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

Nev Schulman & Jenna – Contemporary
Aww. So sweet. That was a really pretty dance and when you think about the lyrics and how it can represent the times we are living in, it makes it even better. Jeanna is originally from that other dancing show on FOX so she knows how to put together a contemporary piece. And Nev danced it so well.

Derek loved watching it- he forgot to judge. He compliments Jenna on the work. Bruno was totally engrossed in the dance. He says Nev was talking through dance. Carrie Ann says Jenna didn’t tone back the choreography for Nev and Nev accepted the challenge.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

Nelly & Daniella – Jive
Okay, let’s see what the judges do here. That was not a 30 dance. It was great for Nelly- better than I ever thought he would do in a jive but we’ve seen stronger jives just this season. A few lackluster kicks and flicks and a little winded toward the end. Will the judges just throw critiques away and do another perfect score or grade this honestly? And at this point, Nelly has such a following on this show that he can clearly make the finale.

Bruno says Nelly nailed it. He says it was almost miraculous. Carrie Ann asks Nelly what happened. She tells him this was the breakthrough dance. Derek agrees Nelly nailed it.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

*UH-HUH. Yeah, the judges just want America to decide. Because there is no way in hell that dance if you look at it objectively, was a 10. A 9? Okay.

Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem – Contemporary
This is going to be an emotional dance for Kait as she is dedicating it to a friend who passed on. Very nice. Emotional but not overly so. Some powerful moves in there. I like that Artem didn’t actually go too much into the Kleenex to come up with this. It didn’t feel exploitative or anything. Just a really well danced and oddly uplifting contemporary piece.

Carrie Ann compliments every couple on how they did tonight. She tells Kait that her friend is looking down on her and is proud of her. Derek loves seeing people tell stories through dance. Bruno labels it powerful and beautiful. Bruno gives a shot out to the crew backstage. Amen to that.
Carrie Ann- 10, Derek- 10, Bruno- 10 = 30/30

Judges Scores (Out of 60)
Nev- 60
Kaitlyn- 60

Justina- 58

Skai- 57
Johnny- 57

Nelly- 56

Results Time!
The following couples are SAFE and will be dancing in the season finale: Nelly & Daniella, Nev & Jenna, Kaitlyn & Artem.

The couple with the LOWEST combined score (not facing the judges for a chance to be saved is)… Johnny & Britt.

The following couples are in danger: Skai & Alan and Justina & Sasha.

Derek SAVES Justina.
Carrie Ann SAVES Justina.
Bruno SAVES Justina.

Eliminated- Johnny & Britt and Skai & Alan

Well, the shock and not shock is Nelly. He has never been in the bottom so he obviously has fans. Does he have enough of them to get him the win? It’s going to be crazy. Johnny’s exit was obvious as he just didn’t connect with the audience for some reason. But he should proud of the job he did.

In seven days, join me as we bring this season to a close. Two more rounds of competition, including the FREESTYLE dances, special guests, and a look back at the entire season. We will crown our new dancing champions and bring the season to a conclusion. Thanks for watching with me tonight and see you guys next Monday. :)