Disney Week dazzles fans, judges on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Mr. Walt Disney himself would have been proud of the performances and heart displayed on the dance floor Monday.

Fans were treated to the best routines of the season on
Fans were treated to the best routines of the season on "Disney Week," with Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas at the top of the leaderboard. Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, April 11, 2016 – Disney themed dances seem to bring out the best in the competitors and Season 22 was no exception. Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and guest judge Zendaya dished out the highest score of the season so far. But unlike past Disney Weeks, not a single couple received a ten. We will need to wait another week for the first ten of the season.

But the entertainment value was a 10 throughout, if not the dancing. Couples performed Sambas, Quicksteps, two Jazz routines, a Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Waltz and Viennese Waltz.

If you want to learn who left, scroll down to the bottom of our column.

Wanya Morris channels his best "Lion King" with a little help from a Mirror Ball. Photo: ABC
Wanya Morris channels his best “Lion King” with a little help from a Mirror Ball. Photo: ABC

Reviews in order of appearance on the show:

Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess reinvented Aladdin as a Jazz Age Genie in a sharp suit. Antonio needed to step up his game this week or risk going home, and he did. Antonio performed with style and just the right attitude backed by four of the male pros to start the routine, and had plenty of energy dancing with his “Genie” Sharna. They received a score of 35 points including three nines from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and guest judge Zendaya.

Marla Maples and Tony Dovoloni danced with elegance as Ariel the mermaid and her prince from “A Little Mermaid.” Zendaya offered good advice to Marla from her own perspective as a former competitor, to “let it go” and not forget to enjoy the process. Marla is still thinking a little too hard to really be fluid. The two received a score of 28 points.

Marla Maples made a lovely Ariel the mermaid in her Waltz. Photo: ABC
Marla Maples made a lovely Ariel the mermaid in her Waltz. Photo: ABC

Carrie Ann Inaba asked Nyle DiMarco the question for all of us after playing Tarzan to Peta Murgatroyd’s Jane: “What can’t you do?” Their Samba routine delivered serious Samba content, with the Samba bounce, Samba rolls, and hips swiveling in all directions. Just a slight misstep at the start kept it from being perfect on the scoreboard, but it couldn’t’ have delivered more entertainment and style. The score was 34 points.

Call it the cures of “Mary Poppins.” Stars who draw a song from this beloved Disney film seem to crash and burn. Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff struggled with their Jazz routine. Doug had problems with his hat early, and had to maneuver the cane. By the time the routine was near its end they had recovered but it was a little late. Carrie Ann Inaba gave them credit for the effort, but it just didn’t deliver. The scores were all sixes for 24 points.

To the surprise of the viewers, host Tom Bergeron told Doug and Karina right there and then they were safe from elimination. Karina let out a squeal, and so did the fans. They were at the very bottom of last week’s leaderboard. It meant another couple would be going home at the end of the show.

Kim Fields and Sasha Farber raised the ballroom’s energy with a “Jungle Book” inspired Quickstep. Kim seems to be enjoying every minute on the show, something many of the other competitors could learn from. Her enthusiasm is infectious and helping her performances. The routine received 32 points.

Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe lightened the mood from last week’s emotional performance with a Cha Cha. Jodie had the hip sway and the attitude, but she had a lot of trouble with the choreography. She said she stumbled and she had trouble hearing the music. But she kept going and kept a smile on her face the whole time, which goes a long way. Later on the All Access show, a sheepish Jodie said “I think everyone has just one night where they go blah!” The judges gave them 27 points.

A look at how DWTS costume designers create costumes like this Cinderella gown for Witney Carson. Photo: ABC
A look at how DWTS costume designers create costumes like this Cinderella gown for Witney Carson. Photo: ABC

Von Miller went from “drab to fab” as Len Goodman put it, channeling a classic Prince Charming with his Cinderella Witney Carson in a lovely Viennese Waltz. Von was graceful with strong lines, which is tough for the bigger men to achieve. He was rewarded with 32 points.

Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy danced a Beauty and the Beast theme Quickstep which looked as it it could have come straight from the Broadway musical version. It was light and light hearted, full of joy and effervescence along with razor sharp dancing. This might end up as one of those “turning point” routines in a season for Ginger and Val. The judges rewarded them with 36 points, the highest score of Season 22 so far.

Lindsay Arnold and Wanya Morris embraced their fierce side for a Lion King Samba. Photo: ABC
Lindsay Arnold and Wanya Morris embraced their fierce side for a Lion King Samba. Photo: ABC

Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold danced an Afro-Caribbean flavored Samba to The Lion King, dazzling the judges and fans alike. It was creative and tribal but didn’t give up on true Samba content including roaring good Samba rolls. Wanya never holds back and it’s going to take him right to the end this season. Score was 35 points; Carrie Ann Inaba thought Wanya was a little too fierce and out of control when the dance began.

Show producers knew what they were doing when they had Mark Ballas and UFC champion Paige VanZant close the show. Ballas seems especially inspired with the Disney theme, and came through once again with an athletic and charming Quickstep routine to “You’ve Got A Friend” from Toy Story. “To Infinity and beyond!” said Bruno Tonioli. “You reach a peak of creativity, even Mr. Walt Disney himself would be proud.” It received 36 points, tied for the high of the night.

So with Doug and Karina called safe, only two couples were announced in jeopardy at the end of the show: Marla and Tony, and Jodie and Keo. It was Marla and Tony going home. Antonio and Von’s fans came through for them.

Tony could not hide how stunned he felt, but kept it together, saying to host Tom Bergeron, “After 21 seasons, I’m still having a good time. That says something about our show. Keep watching because we are something that’s positive.” Hear hear! But later on the live online All Access show following the broadcast, it was painfully evident just how devastated he was.

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for Week 5 with the infamous Switch Up week on Monday, April 11 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network.

Week 4 Results

Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: Foxtrot, 9-9-9-9 = 36 points
Phone: 800-868-3404

Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: Quickstep, 9-9-9-9 = 36 points
Phone: 800-868-3410

Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: Samba, 8-9-9-9 = 35 points
Phone: 800-868-3412

Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: Jazz, 9-8-9-9 = 35 points
Phone: 800-868-3401

Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: Samba, 8-8-9-9 = 34 points
Phone: 800-868-3409

Von Miller and Witney Carson: Viennese Waltz, 8-8-8-8 = 32 points
Phone: 800-868-3411

Kim Fields and Sasha Farber: Quickstep, 8-8-8-8 = 32 points
Phone: 800-868-3406

Marla Maples and Tony Dovoloni: Waltz, 7-7-7-7 = 28 points ELIMINATED
Phone: 800-868-3407

Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe: Cha Cha, 7-6-7-7 = 27 points
Phone: 800-868-3405

Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff: Jazz, 6-6-6-6 = 24 points
Phone: 800-868-3402

“Dancing With the Stars” returns for the infamous Switch Up Week next Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network.

Voting information: Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday nights 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 +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2016 by Falcon Valley Group


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