Warning: This recap of Week 5 of Dancing With the Stars contains spoilers.
Welcome to Dancing With the Stars‘ Disney Night, ABC’s annual plug for its parent company and an all-around magical time for all. Because who doesn’t love a spray-tanned Frozen character, a Bachelor star on puppet strings, or Julianne Hough in her best Tinkerbell bun? We’ll take one of each, please!
But first, we need to address a serious flaw in DWTS’ current schedule. It’s so frustrating to see a star have a “breakthrough” moment only to be sent packing minutes later because of the show’s one-night format, which bases the eliminations on the prior week’s scores. Why even dance? This week’s victim was Erika Girardi, who found out the hard way that the Dancing With the Stars ballroom is not always the happiest place on earth.
Forget Dory. Erika Jayne/Girardi/WhateverHerNameIs found herself this week. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star danced an unforgettable Viennese waltz with partner Gleb Savchenko, which caused Bruno Tonioli to say he felt like he met “the woman behind the mask” for the first time. Just in time to say goodbye, apparently.
Erika had little to say before she hightailed it out of Danceland to head back to the Hills and those Diamond and Rosé parties. “It was incredible,” she said of her limited time on the ABC dance comp. “I did have a breakthrough. I had a wonderful time. Thank you all so much.”
Hey, at least she went out on a high note, but there should still be a law against this sort of buzzkill on Disney Night.
Here’s how the survivors fared this week:
Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy: 39/40
DWTS Season 9 champ Donny Osmond was in the low-rent House of Mouse to perform his Mulan hit, “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” as Normani and Val paso dobléd. It was a bit of a homecoming for the Osmond bro, who was previously a guest judge on DWTS’ Disney Night in 2014. This year, Donny definitely helped this frontrunning couple make magic. Carrie Ann Inaba called the routine “epic,” while Len Goodman noted that there were “a lot of paso references throughout the dance.” The dance landed just shy of a perfect score thanks to Len, who clearly deducted a point for Val’s man bun.
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber: 38/40
Moana herself, Auli‘i Cravalho, performed the song “How Far I’ll Go” as Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles wowed the judges with a very athletic contemporary. A whole lotta leapin’ goin’ on. Len said the dance floated his boat (”Sasha, it was a smasha!” he told the choreographer), while Bruno raved to the gymnast: “My lovely little goddess, you were triumphant!”
Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev: 36/40
“Exuberant!” a judge said. “Joyful!” another judge exclaimed. And can we add “ah-ma-zing”? This season’s Disney princess was enchanting — literally — with a jazz set to “That’s How You Know” from the Disney flick Enchanted. Len told the Olympic skater that she “captured the feeling and spirit of Disney” with her dance. “It just was a joyful thing to behold,” he said.
Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd: 34/40
Bruno cannot tell a lie. After Nick Viall’s Pinocchio-themed jazz, the animated judge noted that “there’s something new here” with the Bachelor star. Minutes after he was told he was in jeopardy, Nick pulled some strings with Peta to pull off his best dance of the season. Sure, the outfit was emasculating, but it was worth it: Those whimsical, rouge-y cheeks melted the heart of even the grumpiest judge. Carrie Ann called the puppet-themed dance a “breakthrough” for Nick. As if ABC isn’t already his puppetmaster.
Heather Morris and Alan Bersten: 34/40
Still out with a calf injury, Micromanager Maks was on hand during rehearsals to help Heather and fill-in partner Alan Bersten make some magic. The Glee star had an edge: Jazz is her specialty, so she says. But Carrie Ann said she felt the dance, to the Frozen song “For the First Time in Forever,” was a “missed opportunity.” CAI kind of blamed it on the choreo (sorry, Maks), but Julianne and Bruno begged to differ, and they pulled out the (9) paddles to prove it: “That was a vibrant, alive, clearly character-driven performance,” Bruno said.
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater: 32/40
The obligatory Beauty and the Beast (in theaters now!) mention came early on, courtesy of this foxtrot. Yeah, Emma had a magic mirror and Rashad was in beast mode. A lot. “The beast has turned into Prince Charming. I haven’t seen you do a bad dance,” Len Goodman told the ex-NFL star, although all the judges agreed that the music was difficult to keep time to.
Bonner Bolton and Sharna Burgess: 30/40
No high score here. Bonner Bolton was excited to get his video game on for a Wreck-It Ralph tango, but Bruno warned the pro bull rider against being “two-dimensional” with his moves and urged him to aim for 3D. “I try to get as free as my body lets me!” Bonner fired back, reminding us all that his body is full of metal after the riding accident that temporarily paralyzed him last year. No matter. Bonner won the key to Len’s heart (or at least his No. 8 paddle), as Len praised the massive amount of hold in his dance.
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold: 29/40
Cars 3 is coming soon, so MLB star David Ross was revved up for a jive to the song “Ride.” “After this race, it looks like you need an oil change, a set of new tires,and an engine retune,” Bruno told him. But he meant that in the best possible way. Carrie Ann noted that Lightning McQueen didn’t miss a step, but Len pointed out that some of those steps were flat-footed. Hey, at least the costumes were winners.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Watch clips and full episodes of DWTS for free on Yahoo View.
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