Erika’s recap: Week nine of Dancing with the Stars, ‘The Semi-Finals’


Photo from Instagram

By Erika Hollis
The Carolinian

All five stars were dressed in (fake) black leather. Scenes from practices this past week paired onscreen with voiceovers from all the stars. The semifinalists were introduced over background music.

In the first round, couples danced to professionals’ picks and in the second round, the couples recreated dances from past seasons.


Emma and Drew:  
1st Dance: Emma picked a song to represent Drew’s perseverance and Scottish roots. He was excited to be dancing to this song and said, “you don’t have to be Scottish to know this song”. Emma loves that he put forth a ton of effort to make this dance packed-full of dancing. She noted that she was proud of his determined spirit and for putting up with her all-season long. They started their dance in the red room with a fake men’s quick-change door. Loved her dress, a sparkly, tartan top with a tartan kilt on the bottom. The dance had more of a Scottish feel to me than a tango, and it seemed slow at times.

2nd Dance: They recreated Karina Smirnoff and Corbin Bleu’s jazz dance. Drew wanted to do it the same as Corbin, but Emma told him he wouldn’t be able to do it like he does it – that it had to be his own dance, not a carbon copy of someone else’s. They did a great job in the dance by making it their own.


Val and Victoria:
1st Dance: Their set opened with a story about Victoria’s mom taking her daughter home from the hospital after being told her daughter would not survive. The dance was a “thank you” to her parents for not giving up on her. Loved how Val and Jenna are in gray and acting as her parents, and Victoria is in color to represent the main person in the story. It was amazing, I almost cried watching it.

2nd Dance: They had to recreate Derek Hough and Amber Riley’s Charleston. Victoria had to show facial expressions in this dance. Val was worried about her legs, but she was not worried about that. I loved how it was a regular train and then, suddenly, a modern train was outlined and the lights were going off.


Lindsay and Jordan:
1st Dance: Lindsay picked a song to represent Jordan as a big brother. Jordan has a younger brother and sister. He expressed that he wants to be a role model for his younger siblings. Lindsay got hurt Sunday while rehearsing a professional number, but she really wanted to dance with him. I loved the dance, but two out of three judges thought it was not a “proper” dance. The music was helping tell the story of the dance, but two of judges ignored that. Monday during dress rehearsal, Jordan’s eye got scratched by Lindsay’s finger nail

2nd Dance: The couple recreated Mark Ballas and Paige VanZant’s Jive. They went all out with this dance. Lindsay said Jordan’s joy and excitement made everything worthwhile. Wow, that was better than the original dance. Loved how they started in the exact same outfits but then, when the music got faster, they ripped them off and were wearing gold outfits. The lighting differences worked well, too.


Mark and Lindsey:
1st Dance: Mark choose their song for Lindsey because she has been resilient throughout her life. Mark and his wife, BC Jean wrote the song about perseverance together. People have told her “no” all throughout her career, but she did not listen to them. Wow, their dance amazed me. They started the dance living on a mattress in a small, one bedroom with no furniture. Then, the song encouraged her to keep going and to not give up just because she did not have everything that she wanted. Then a big storm came, but Lindsey made it through it and is stronger for it. Their clothing was torn and tattered.

2nd Dance: They are recreating Maks Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis’s Tango (and yes, this has been my favorite season and couple so far on DWTS). Lindsey knew she had a lot to live up to in their dance. So, it was not as great as Maks and Meryl’s Tango but brought back Maksyl feelings for me. They used the same lighting, concept, and costumes for the dance.


Witney and Frankie:
1st Dance: Witney picked the song to show that Frankie is confident and that he can dance. Also, he had to take his shirt off at the end. She wanted him to stop saying that he is not a good dancer. He did very well dancing with the professional male dancers, and I especially liked when he twerked. I also loved the story line – the woman chooses him instead of the other guys.

2nd Dance: They must recreate a dance from Julianne Hough and Apolo Anton Ohno’s Paso Doble. Frankie has bad knees to begin with, so the knee slides were hard for him. It was great, and they did not make a mistake. Frankie was happy with his performance which is hard for him, because he is a perfectionist.

ELIMINATED: Victoria and Val