Ballroom goes Broadway on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Ballroom goes Broadway on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

In a brand-new show theme, the six remaining couples will perform to a song from a Broadway musical with all the trimmings.

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy earned a perfect score for their Viennese Waltz last week. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy earned a perfect score for their Viennese Waltz last week. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

SAN DIEGO, November 6, 2016 – The six couples still competing for the Season 23 Mirror Ball Trophy on “Dancing With The Stars” are so close to the finals they can see the trophy in their hands. It is the toughest time to leave the show, just a week or two shy of getting the chance to compete for the win.

In a brand new theme for the show, “Showstoppers Week” gives each couple a song from a Broadway musical along with a dance style they haven’t yet performed. Each couple got to take a road trip to see the famous shows in person to get inspiration for their routines on Monday.

Each couple will perform a Samba, Argentine tango, Waltz, Charleston, Paso Doble, Contemporary, or Jazz. Shows range from longtime favorites like “Sweet Charity,” “The Wiz,” and “Jersey Boys” to the new Tony-nominated hit “Waitress.”

Laurie Hernandez and Jana Kramer will dance together in the "Team-Up Challenge." Photo: ABC
Laurie Hernandez and Jana Kramer will dance together in the “Team-Up Challenge.” Photo: ABC

Following the individual routines, the night’s second dance is the “Team-Up Challenge.” Pairs of couples will work together, and the two celebrities from each team must dance together without their pro partners. The dance styles are the Paso Doble, Contemporary, and Jazz. Points from both the “Showstoppers” individual routines and the Team-Up routines will be added together for the final judges’ scores.

Expect to see lots of backup dancers and singers, making the individual routines true Broadway style performances.

James Hinchcliffe and Jenna Johnson will dance together again this week. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
James Hinchcliffe and Jenna Johnson will dance together again this week. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

This week’s injury report: Sharna Burgess is still recovering from her knee injury. Expect Jenna Johnson to dance this week with James Hinchcliffe. Since James and Jenna received a perfect score last week, there shouldn’t be any concern about making the semi-finals. Sharna Burgess says she is confident she will be back for the semis.

Gleb Savchenko is also out with a knee injury. His partner Jana Kramer is rehearsing and may perform with troupe member Alan Bersten. Both Sharna and Gleb choreographed this week’s routines and are coaching their stars and stand-ins.

Gleb Savchenko is also on the injured list. Jana Kramer is rehearsing with Alan Bersten. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
Gleb Savchenko is also on the injured list. Jana Kramer is rehearsing with Alan Bersten. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

Week 9 Assignments:

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold: Waltz, “Memory” from “Cats,” featuring a performance by Leona Lewis
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James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: Jazz, “A Brand New Day” from “The Wiz”
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Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: Waltz, “She Used to Be Mine” from “Waitress”
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Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: Argentine Tango, “Cell Block Tango” from “Chicago”
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Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: Samba, “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” from “Jersey Boys,” featuring a guest performance by Mark Ballas and his “Jersey Boys” co-stars
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Terra Jole and Sasha Farber: Charleston, “If My Friends Could See Me Now” from “Sweet Charity”
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Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold seem headed for the semi-finals next week. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold seem headed for the semi-finals next week. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

Team-Up Challenge Assignments:

Team-Up #1: James and Sharna with Calvin and Lindsay, Paso Doblé to “No Good” by Kaleo

Team-Up #2: Jana and Gleb with Laurie and Val, Contemporary, “Bird Set Free” by Sia

Team-Up #3: Marilu and Derek with Terra and Sasha, Jazz, “Big Noise from Winnetka” by Bette Midler

Some of these assignments are far better than others. Sambas are tough enough without dancing to a 50s classic, and no amount of distraction from longtime pro dancer and singer Mark Ballas and his fellow Jersey Boys will help Marilu and Derek. Laurie and Val should have a great week with their “Chicago” Argentine tango.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough will need help from fan votes to make the semi-finals. Team-Up Challenge Assignments: Team-Up #1: James and Sharna with Calvin and Lindsay, Paso Doblé to “No Good” by Kaleo Team-Up #2: Jana and Gleb with Laurie and Val, Contemporary, “Bird Set Free” by Sia Team-Up #3: Marilu and Derek with Terra and Sasha, Jazz, “Big Noise from Winnetka” by Bette Midler Some of these assignments are far better than others. Sambas are tough enough without dancing to a 50s classic, and no amount of distraction from longtime pro dancer and singer Mark Ballas and his fellow Jersey Boys will help Marilu and Derek. Laurie and Val should have a great week with their “Chicago” Argentine tango. Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold seem headed for the semi-finals next week. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
Marilu Henner and Derek Hough will need help from fan votes to make the semi-finals. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

Some of these assignments are far better than others. Sambas are tough enough without dancing to a 50s classic, and no amount of distraction from longtime pro dancer and singer Mark Ballas and his fellow Jersey Boys will help Marilu and Derek. Laurie and Val should have a great week with their “Chicago” Argentine tango.

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold seem headed for the semi-finals next week. Calvin and Lindsay have a “love it or hate it” song from “Cats,” but there isn’t a song in the world that the talented Leona Lewis couldn’t make enjoyable.

James and Sharna also drew a high-energy favorite and James can put his acting skills and charisma on display in this routine from “The Wiz.” Normally a Charleston doesn’t do anyone any favors, but if there was ever a competitor who could rock the Charleston, it’s Terra Jole.

Expect James and Calvin dancing the Paso Doble to bring the house down in the Team-Up Challenge.

Broadway star Idina Menzel will be a guest judge and perform on the show. Mark Ballas and the cast of “Jersey Boys” will also offer a special performance. It’s a two hour show and there is plenty of time to fill.

At the end of the night, one couple will be eliminated, and the five remaining couples will advance to the semi-finals. It’s going to hurt leaving this close to the semis.

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No pairing has ended up being as much of a delight as Terra Jole and Sasha Farber. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless
No pairing has ended up being as much of a delight as Terra Jole and Sasha Farber. Photo: ABC/Eric McCandless

Voting information: For week nine, viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday night during the show and up to one hour after the end of the DWTS broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Tuesday evenings.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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