Dancing With The Stars goes unplugged for semifinals, Monday 8 p.m. ET

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Peta Murgatroyd returns to dance a trio with her pal Sharna Burgess and star Nick Carter. Remember their trio with Tommy Chong? Photo: ABC
Peta Murgatroyd returns to dance a trio with her pal Sharna Burgess and star Nick Carter. Remember their trio with Tommy Chong? Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, November 16, 2014 – In just a little over a week, the Season 19 Mirror Ball Trophy winners will hoist that shiny prize over their heads on “Dancing With The Stars.” It may seem there is an obvious winner, but don’t get ahead of yourself. Nearly anything can happen between now and then.

Join our live chat for the semifinals Monday at 8 p.m. ET. Your columnist is just back from the DWTS ballroom last week with plenty of behind the scenes details to share.

The biggest concern for many fans is the back injury suffered by Alfonso Ribeiro, considered the heavy favorite to win with pro partner Witney Carson. How bad is the injury? He reportedly took a day off from rehearsals, watching Witney dancing with a stand-in to learn the choreography, but was back at it on Saturday.

Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson aren't likely to leave the competition at this stage. Photo: ABC
Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson aren’t likely to leave the competition at this stage. Photo: ABC

Very few competitors have gone out with injuries at this stage. There is always a workaround with small choreography and a determined star. Amber Riley suffered serious knee issues but managed to get through it thanks to partner Derek Hough working around it. They went on to win their season. We predict that Alfonso and Witney will see the competition to the end next week.


This week, the five couples in the semifinals will dance two different ballroom styles to the same song. One version of the song will be the original; the other will be an “unplugged” version.

The judges have their favorites, as do the fans. But fan votes make a big different at this point of the competition. Even though Tommy Chong and Peta Murgatroyd are at the bottom of the leaderboard on judges’ points, the fans love this pair. Don’t be surprised if they make it to the finals over a couple with fewer votes.

If they do, Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas seem likely to fall just short of the finale.

If Tommy Chong's fan came through with the votes, it could be Sadie Robertson going home before the finals. Photo: ABC
If Tommy Chong’s fans come through with the votes, it could be Sadie Robertson going home before the finals. Photo: ABC

Semifinal Week Assignments

Alfonso and Witney
Argentine Tango and Contemporary
Song: “Love Runs Out” by One Republic
Vote: 1-800-868-3401

Bethany and Derek
Samba and Contemporary
Song: “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 and Civil Wars
Vote: 1-800-868-3403

Janel and  Val
Paso Doble and Argentine Tango
Song: “Blame” by Calvin Harris
Vote: 1-800-868-3405

Sadie and Mark
Quickstep and Argentine Tango
Song: “Problem” by Ariana Grande
Vote: 1-800-868-3411

Tommy and Peta
Jazz and Rumba
Song: “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell and Hannah Peel
Vote: 1-800-868-3413

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 following week’s elimination.

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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