SAN DIEGO, November 21, 2016 – Three couples are now one step closer to their goal of taking home the Mirror Ball Trophy as “Dancing With The Stars” Season 23 champion after Monday night’s competition featuring two routines each.
if you want to know who left, scroll down to the end of our report.
The four couples performed their “Redemption Round” dances first. These are routines performed in a style the judges want to see again. Sometimes the choice is a dance from early in the season before the star improved their skills, other times It’s a routine that went wrong for some reason.
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold danced a Viennese Waltz. When Calvin performed it the first time, he surprised the judges and fans with his potential. He scored 24 points from three judges the first time. While all the judge praised his improved frame and posture, judge Carrie Ann Inaba penalized a point for a “lift” because Lindsay’s foot came off the floor during a spin. They received an eight from her, and nines from the rest of the judges for 35 points.
Jana Kramer and Glev Savchenko were asked to dance a Tango. The first time, Jana was injured. This week, Gleb had the flu, and had to back off rehearsal time to try and be ready for the finals. Judge Julianne Hough didn’t feel the same spark as in their first performance. But Judge Bruno Tonioli said, “I still think you’re hotter than hell!” Jana is the only non-athlete left in the competition, which Bruno notes. The dance has speed and power. Carrie Ann also saw another lifted foot, so another “lift” point deduction. Judge Len Goodman said a point should only be deducted if there is intent.
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy brought the precision and power to their Paso Doble, which they danced back in Week 5. This routine showcased the improvement in Laurie’s connection to Val, her determination and focus. Len Goodman praised the connection and focus. “There was nothing in that dance I didn’t like,” said Len. It scored tens from Len and Bruno, nines from Carrie Ann and Julianne for 38 points.
Wrapping up the Redemption round was the Foxtrot danced by James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess in Week 1. James and Sharna have undeniable chemistry and played the characters of the nerdy author and librarian. It allowed James to showcase his performance skills and charm along with his nimble footwork and overall improvement. Carrie Ann said it looked like James was ice skating. There was a small stumble in the routine which didn’t mar it a bit, but did prevent a perfect score. They received 37 points, with one ten from Bruno.
Then it was on to the make or break Freestyle routines. Jana and Gleb went first, performing a dramatic Contemporary routine to symbolize her personal journey, using the competition to rebuild her life and confidence after her marriage broke up. It was deliberately spare and clean on a bare stage, focusing on the story and simple but powerful movements which suited Jana’s style perfectly. It also means any little slip is obvious. But it was all about the emotion and the fearlessness. The judges gave Jana and Gleb a score of 36 points.
Lindsay Arnold built a Freestyle routine around Calvin Johnson’s physical strengths and unexpected charm, and she constructed the perfect routine to a Motown soundtrack. Lindsay has become a creative and clever choreographer. She used a treadmill and the best quick costume change in 23 seasons of the show. The troupe dancers alongside Calvin emphasized his skill and energy. “It was a blast, a true blast having the troupe with us!” said Calvin. The audience roared their approval and the judges gave it a perfect score of 40 points.
Val Chmerkovskiy set the Freestyle in a playground for Laurie Hernandez, depicting her youth and happy spirit. It was a visual depiction of joy and sunshine, bright and bubbly with tremendous energy. Laurie said she was able to relax, enjoy herself and be a kid again. It received a perfect score of 40 points.
The evening concluded with the story of James Hinchcliffe’s nearly fatal Indy Car crash told through his Freestyle, with partner Sharna Burgess playing the role of his Guardian Angel. The judges called it intelligent, artistic, passionate, creative, and poignant. Len Goodman said, “It showcased you as a dancer and a person,” and Bruno Tonioli added that it was “Unique, exceptional, beyond dancing, it was visual poetry. Real, honest, another ‘Dancing With The Stars’ memorable moment – and another perfect score for James and Sharna.
At the end of the evening, the fourth place couple was eliminated, and for Jana Kramer, it was not a loss but a significant accomplishment. She is the last competitor left who isn’t a professional athlete. She was under the radar all season, and sometimes the biggest victories on the show don’t involve the Mirror Ball Trophy. “Those people deserve to be there, it was our time,” said Jana. “I’ve learned so much about myself.”
On Tuesday, Calvin, James, and Laurie have one last night of competitive dancing, performing a “24-Hour Fusion Challenge” in which they must put together two different dance style into a single routine to score a few extra judges’ points.
After performances from musical guests and apperances from many of the eliminated Season 23 stars, it’s the moment all 13 couples worked for, but only one couple can achieve: holding the Mirror Ball Trophy in the air as champion of Season 23 outdoors as The Grove in front of a huge crowd of fans.
Join CommDigiNews final Season 23 Fan Chat as we see who is taking home the Mirror Ball – Laurie and Val, James and Sharna or Michael and Lindsay?
First Night Season 23 Finals Standings:
Laurie Hernandez & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Redemption Style: Paso Doblé, 9-10-9-10 = 38 points
Freestyle: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points 78 points TOTAL
James Hinchcliffe & Sharna Burgess
Redemption Style: Foxtrot, 9-9-9-10 = 37 points
Freestyle: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points 77 points TOTAL
Calvin Johnson Jr. & Lindsay Arnold
Redemption Style: Viennese Waltz, 8-9-9-9 = 35 points
Freestyle: 10-10-10-10 = 40 points 75 points TOTAL
Jana Kramer & Gleb Savchenko ELIMINATED
Redemption Style: Tango, 8-9-9-9 = 35 points
Freestyle: 9-9-9-9 =36 points 71 points TOTAL
Voting information: For the finals, 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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