First perfect score for Cirque night on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

The Cirque magic didn’t always translate to the ballroom, but one couple slayed it with the first 10 paddles of Season 23.

Fans felt Marilu Henner and Derek Hough were underscored for their fierce Tango. Photo: ABC
Fans felt Marilu Henner and Derek Hough were underscored for their fierce Tango. Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, October 3, 2016 – Fans weren’t sure what to expect from the Cirque de Soleil inspired edition of “Dancing With The Stars.” Would there be a lot of acrobats and wild costumes? Plenty of tricks and flips and athletic feats?

In the end it proved a bit underwhelming. All of the assigned ballroom dances were inspired by a specific Cirque show, including KÀ, Zumanity, KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities, PARAMOUR, Michael Jackson ONE, “O,” The Beatles LOVE, Mystère and La Nouba. In several cases, Michael Jackson songs were used which could have come from anywhere.

The dance order for tonight: Calvin, Maureen, Jana, Marilu, Amber, Ryan, Babyface, Terra, Laurie, Vanilla Ice, James.

Calvin Johnson, last week’s surprise leader, danced a steampunk themed Charleston for his routine with Lindsay Arnold. At 6 foot 7, Calvin’s speed in his footwork is impressed. Lifts were used to good effect. Although he slowed a little bit near the end of this week’s longer routines, Calvin’s performance level is much higher than when he started. Calvin called the routine “a beast” and that’s saying something for a former NFL wide receiver. They scored 23 points.

Maureen McCormack and Artem Chigvintsev danced to music from "Mystere." Photo: ABC
Maureen McCormack and Artem Chigvintsev danced to music from “Mystere.” Photo: ABC

Maureen McCormack and Artem Chigvintsev had one of those rehearsal weeks full of drama and tears getting their Argentine Tango together. But it did come together, with nice intensity and pretty lines. The judges asked for more snap on the footwork but loved it overall and gave Maureen and Artem their highest score, 24 points. This was one dance where the Cirque acrobate dressed like a firebird was a significant distraction.

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko paid a visit to the Cirque “LOVE” show set while Jana was performing in concert in Las Vegas and rehearsals took place on the road for their Foxtrot. Their dance to the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” was a pretty flower child Foxtrot with not a lot of “Cirque” to it. The plus: the focus was all on the couple. The minus: it was a little underwhelming. The score was still a solid 23 points.

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough danced an ambitious, dramatic Paso Doble covering the whole stage. The judges loved the drama and the choreography, but encouraged Marilu to dance with more emotion. Often the judges are tougher on a competitor who has the ability and potential for serious improvement. It’s worth reminding ourselves Marilu is 62 years old and dancing right in the mix with her younger competitors. The “tough love” score was 21 points.

A VIP visitor to the DWTS set tonight: former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, with judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. She is a big DWTS fan. We predict she'll compete on Season 24. Photo: ABC
A VIP visitor to the DWTS set tonight: former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, with judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. She is a big DWTS fan. We predict she’ll compete on Season 24. Photo: ABC

Amber Rose and Maks Chmerkovskiy brought the heat in their Tango to the Cirque show “Zumanity.” Judge Julianne Hough said Amber let her “true essence” shine and the judges rewarded her with a score of 24 points, her high score so far.

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke danced a Viennese Waltz and the judges liked the improvement they saw in Ryan’s performance. They encouraged him to keep working hard. He received his highest score so far, 22 points.

Babyface Edmonds and Allison Holker staged an ambitious Tango to the Beatles “Come Together” with lighting effects that were challenging during rehearsal. It didn’t come off as they hoped and it was a distraction both for the audience and for Babyface. He knew it, the judges knew it, and the score was a disappointing 18 points.

Terra Jole and Sasha Farber had a breakout with last week’s Viennese Waltz. This week they drew a Samba to music from “O.” The dance couldn’t have been different, but Terra showed she is in it to win it. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba says Terra’s dancing fills the entire room and changes the energy. Terra is one of the few competitors who dances without seeming self-conscious and dances just as well alone as with her partner. She received the first nine of the season, with 25 points total.

Laurie Hernandez channeled her inner Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Jennifer Lopez in her Jazz routine to “The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson. Laurie has no peer on the show at this point and it was like watching a professional Broadway routine. Best of all, Laurie didn’t rely on any gymnastic tricks. Laurie and Val received the first perfect scores of the year from every judge, for 30 points.

Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson had a tough job following their performance, but their quirky Viennese Waltz played well to Vanilla Ice’s personality. He’s turned out to be an enthiastic participant with a delightful positive attitude. The judges loved his effort and rewarded him with another improved score of 23 points.

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess closed the show with a showstopping Quickstep from Cirque’s Broadway production “Paramour.” James is one of the show’s big surprises, never holding back. He’s got the timing, the acting skills and the charisma behind excellent moves. Although he made a small mistake, the judges gave the routine 28 points, with a ten from Bruno Tonioli (who admitted he didn’t catch the mistake).

There will be a double (gasp) elimination at the end of the two-hour recap show on Tuesday night. Every vote from fans will be at a premium this week. If you don’t want your favorite going home, get busy.

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold at their steampunk best. Photo: ABC
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold at their steampunk best. Photo: ABC

Week 4 Results (only three judges in Week 4):

Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jazz, 10-10-10 = 30 points

James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: Quickstep, 9-9-10 = 28 points

Terra Jole and Sasha Farber: Samba, 9-8-8 = 25 points

Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev: Argentine Tango: 8-8-8 = 24 points

Amber Rose and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Tango, 8-8-8 = 24 points

Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson: Viennese Waltz, 8-7-8 = 23 points

Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Arnold: Charleston, 8-7-8 = 23 points

Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: Foxtrot, 8-7-8 = 23 points

Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke: Waltz, 7-7-8 = 23 points

Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: Paso Doble, 7-7-7 = 21 points

Babyface Edmonds and Allison Holker: 6-6-6 = 18 points

Voting information: For week three, viewers may cast their votes for only the six couples in jeopardy 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 and on Facebook at 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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Copyright © 2016 by Falcon Valley Group



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