By Katie Murray
Dancing with the Stars honored The Big Apple last night, and the contestants really stepped it up! Despite new styles like the samba, waltz and more being introduced to the celebrities, each group seemed to command the stage a little bit more this week, putting their budding confidence on full display!
Feature Photo by ABC/Eric McCandless
Videos via Dancing with the Stars
DEMARCUS WARE & LINDSAY ARNOLD
These two have had our attention since week one! Viewers might not expect someone that constantly wears a helmet in his day-to-day job to have a lot of stage presence, but Ware proved once again proved he can dance with the best of them this week! Ware stepped into character and didn’t let hiding behind a mask 24/7 get in the way of letting us see his smile. Although this week’s routine wasn’t as spectacular as last week’s, it was still one of the higher scoring routines of the night!
DANELLE UMSTEAD & ARTEM CHIGVINTSEV
Umstead and Chigvintsev scored low for the second week in a row, which is a hard pill for viewers to swallow because we really want this team to be great! Umstead seemed a little lost during this week’s routine, which might be why she was counting throughout almost the entire piece. Even though this week wasn’t a huge hit, we’re still hoping this team can pull through!
JOHN SCHNEIDER AND EMMA SLATER
Schneider was one who impressed me this week. In the previous week Schneider’s performances weren’t bad, but they also weren’t great. This week I finally started to give #TeamSuperDuke the recognition that they have earned. Although Schneider struggled getting into the lift at the end of the routine, he compensated by strongly hitting the final pose.
NANCY MCKEON AND VAL CHMERKOVSKIY
After these two were placed in jeopardy just a week ago, viewers were probably hoping to see this team shock and amaze this week. McKeon looks a little nervous during the routines, but she did keep a smile on her face and exhibit clean footwork. While the two did improve score-wise from last week, I didn’t see any improvement from their last performance.
ALEXIS REN AND ALAN BERSTEN
After two consecutive high scoring routines, #TeamRenTen has been on my radar! This week Ren and Bersten performed a tango with a touch of ballet. No one can deny these two look great together on and off the stage, and this sassy routine was undeniably captivating, which is probably why they received yet another high score. (P.S. check out those shoes Ren is sporting!)
JOE AMABILE AND JENNA JOHNSON
This week’s routine seemed to work for Amabile a little more than those in the past. He is really starting to come out of his shell, and I think this routine was a good step in the right direction. Toward the end, Amabile surprised everyone with his strong but beautiful lift with his partner!
TINASHE AND BRANDON ARMSTRONG
At this point, it’s clear that these two know their way around a dance floor. The routine from this week was great, and Tinashe and Armstrong have some serious chemistry on stage. Tinashe might not have the best placement on each and every move just yet, but she portrays so much confidence that we can bear to overlook it. Apparently, the judges can too because they gave this duo another high score!
MILO MANHEIM AND WITNEY CARSON
Manheim and Carson might have made their claim to fame as a couple with this performance. The two performed a clean routine from beginning to end and even included a stunning flip into their ending pose! Last night’s routine was a step up from the previous week in my opinion, and I think these two will continue to score higher in the coming weeks.
MARY LOU RETTON AND SASHA FARBER
These two might have been a little discouraged after being placed in jeopardy last week, but they pulled through for last night’s performance and improved on last week’s scores. Accompanied by live music, Retton and Farber are classic, and so was this week’s #TeamStickIt routine!
JUAN PABLO DI PACE AND CHERYL BURKE
Tonight’s routine marked yet another great performance from this dynamic duo. Di Pace and Burke gave viewers a clean routine, but seemed to improve on their stage presence while dancing together. Di Pace is another contestant that truly shined this week, and I look forward to seeing what he has to offer later on in the competition.
EVANNA LYNCH AND KEO MOTSEPE
Last night’s routine from #TeamKevanna showed us just how fierce Lynch can be. The routine opened with Lynch and two other ladies strutting down the dance floor, before Motsepe made his appearance. Overall, the routine showed these two have great musicality and, arguably even more important, it showed that Lynch is a strong competitor this season.
BOBBY BONES AND SHARNA BURGESS
Bones can dance, but he can’t seem to calm himself down enough to ever completely finish a routine. This routine didn’t sit as well in comparison to the past week’s, and it could be because Bones expressions are all over the place. Above all, these two seem to enjoy what they’re doing, and we hope to see them pull through and make a comeback next week.
For the most part, everyone brought their A-game in last night’s episode, and it’s becoming more difficult to pick one favorite since everyone has improved so much. Who will be eliminated tomorrow night? Tune in to ABC at 8/7c tomorrow night to find out!
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Katie Murray is an undergraduate student at Appalachian State University majoring in Communication Studies with a focus in Media and minoring in Dance. Outside of dance team practice and class, she enjoys drawing, listening to Beyoncé and walking her dog.