SAN DIEGO, November 16, 2014 – At this stage of competition on each season of “Dancing With The Stars,” it’s truly tough to see anyone go home short of the finals.
But someone did leave the ballroom tonight, much to everyone’s disappointment but not surprise. If you want to know who it is, scroll to the end of the column.
Janel Parrish and Val Chmerkovskiy drew two dance styles favorable to her strengths, the Paso Doble and Argentine Tango. Both routines were fierce, full of speed and attack. They received a perfect score of 40 for their Paso, 38 for their Tango, to put them on top of the leaderboard with 78 points.
Alfonso Ribeiro’s back injury was a factor, but not enough to derail his road to the Mirror Ball Trophy. His opening Argentine Tango was stiff and he was in obvious pain, but judge Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out it forced him to stand with perfect posture. His Contemporary routine was much more successful. Whether he was running on sheer adrenaline or was feeling warmed up, it was strong and passionate. Alfonso and Witney ended up with 36 points for the Tango, 39 points for the Contemporary routine, for 75 points.
You know it’s a tough night when two scores of 37 points and several tens leave you in fourth place, where Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas landed. Sadie had the same challenge in her Quickstep and her Argentine Tango as she did with last week’s Jive. She is so tall and so long-legged that it’s a challenge for her to move with enough snap. Nevertheless she is a riveting, natural performer and she did a lovely job.
Sitting last in the semifinals on the scoreboard but remaining America’s fan favorite, Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd have enjoyed an improbable ride all season. Chong breaks his own record every week as the oldest competitor in the show’s history to advance this far. Peta has done a brilliant job choreographing to Tommy’s strong performance skills and worldly wise “Most Interesting Man In The World” persona. Their Jazz routine to “Tainted Love” had a winking S&M flavor for 28 points. It was their touching Rumba routine that won them their highest score of the season with 34 points. Tommy played the puppetmaker and Peta his ballerina creation come to life. It was love found and love lost, and unexpectedly emotional for judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Julianne Hough, as well as Peta who found herself in tears.
Would “The Tom Tom Club” come through one more time to save their man? Not this time. The divide in the scores was simply too great this time, and it was the fair decision to send Tommy and Peta home. Tommy’s victories didn’t involve a Mirror Ball Trophy, and it was the fan’s victory to enjoy him this long in Season 19.
So it’s Alfonso and Witney, Janel and Val, Bethany and Derek, and Sadie and Mark into next week’s finals. One couple will go home at the end of Monday night, and the final three will dance one last time on Tuesday before learning who becomes the Season 19 champion.
Voting is all important this week. It will go a long way toward determining the winner.
Semifinal Week Leaderboard
Janel and Val
Paso Doble: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points
Argentine Tango: 9-9-10-10 = 38 points
Total: 78 points
Bethany and Derek
Samba: 9-9-9-9 = 36 points
Contemporary: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points
Total: 76 points
Alfonso and Witney
Argentine Tango: 9-9-9-9 = 36 points
Contemporary: 10-10-9-10 = 39 points
Total: 75 points
Sadie and Mark
Quickstep: 9-10-9-9 = 37 points
Argentine Tango: 9-9-10-9 = 37 points
Total: 74 points
Tommy and Peta (Eliminated)
Jazz: 7-7-7-7 = 28 points
Rumba: 9-8-9-8 = 34 points
Total: 62 points
Viewers can vote via phone starting at the end of the “Dancing with the Stars” broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook is open for 15 hours, beginning from the start of the episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT the next day. These votes count toward the results in the Finals.
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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