‘Dancing With The Stars’ Week 9: Record Number Of Voters Send Someone Home On Taylor Swift Night

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Admit it: you started this episode knowing who was going to go home, right?

If you are a true student of Dancing with the Stars, you should be able to predict the order in which the celebs are given the boot. Sure, there is the occasional misstep; many of you thought Barry Williams would be toast long ago, but the chipper senior actually made it to week 8, along with the inexplicably fortunate Harry Jowsey.

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Williams is gone now, but Jowsey is not. Will his great luck finally run out tonight?

But wait! I should be saving space for the real star of the ballroom — Taylor Swift! Alas, the recording star didn’t show up in her Danskins. Instead, we got her music, her choregrapher Mandy Moore as a guest judge, and a pre-taped sorry y’all from Tay Tay herself: “I so wish I could be there, but I’m on tour in Brazil. Sending you all my love and best of luck to the contestants.”

Now if only ABC would stop running those gut-wrenching promos for The Golden Bachelor finale so we can stop choking up and enjoy some T. Swizzle, instead!

Actress Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother) with partner Sasha Farber.  Hannigan was one of the 2 billion people who attended The Eras Tour were her daughters, so she was particularly hyped to dance the cha cha to “You Belong to Me.” But her big toes were achy from all those rehearsals, and it showed on the dance floor. Girlfriend just couldn’t stay on the beat. “Alyson your charisma and joy always lights up this dance floor, you have improved so much from week one,” said judge Derek Hough. “The timing was off, my love, in some of those moments.” Score: 29 out of 40

Reality TV star Harry Jowsey (Too Hot to Handle) with partner Rylee Arnold. “How can I stand out this week?” asks Jowsey. Well, try not to look like a tree trunk! Damn that Billy Porter for putting that (accurate) image in our head. The reality star was little more fluid this week in his rumba to “August” — it helps that he and Arnold are clearly smitten with one another — but the dude with the “blank face” really needs to go. “I am having a lot of feelings about this dance,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “There is a lot of content, more than you’ve ever done. I believe you are here for a reason. You are showing a lot of people what it is to not have a lot of experience. I’m proud of you but you still have work to do.” Score: 30 out of 40

Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, Mandy Moore, Bruno Tonioli (Disney/Eric McCandless)
Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, Mandy Moore, Bruno Tonioli (Disney/Eric McCandless)

Ariana Madix (Vanderpump Rules) with partner Pasha Pashkov. Madix has been sleeping on a “cardboard box gurney” because her back’s an aching mess and needs some support. So she bristled at her partner’s order that she soften her spine for their rumba to “Cruel Summer.” She mastered the number though, with the judges raving about her technique. “You did command that stage,” said Moore. “You are a superstar. My favorite part was that you were matching the beautiful melodic quality [of the song]. You did it with your body. Really well done.” Score: 37 out of 40

Charity Lawson (The Bachelorette) with partner Artem Chigvintsev.  Her Argentine tango to “Look What You Made Me Do” was a lift-a-palooza! When she wasn’t up in the air, she was exquisitely erect, though Inaba took a swipe at the relatively blank look on her face. “This was clean, clinical, precise, stunning. You have the best legs,” said Hough. “Your extension, the way your feet point. That was a difficult tango and you did a sensational job.” Score: 38 out of 40

Actress Xochitl Gomez (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness) with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. So we learned tonight that Gomez’ mom Jennifer has been to every freakin’ rehearsal. Wow. Maybe she’s the 17-year-old’s secret weapon? The front-runner danced a impeccable and joyful quickstep to “Paper Rings.” “So my dear friend Taylor is a poet with her lyrics,” said Moore. “I feel like you guys were poetry in motion.” She then gave Gomez a friendship bracelet. Score: 38 out of 40

Singer-songwriter Jason Mraz with partner Daniella Karagach. Mraz started this week feeling pretty vulnerable because his scores have consistently dropped. To help prepare for his Argentine tango to Swift’s “Don’t Blame Me,” Karagach called in her hubby Pasha Pashkov to show Mraz the right way to perform the stylistic moves. His advice worked; the judges gave Mraz a standing O. “You are back with a massive hit as a true leading man! Technically it was a tour de force,” said judge Bruno Tonioli. Perfect Score

Sasha Farber, Alyson Hannigan (Disney/Eric McCandless)
Sasha Farber, Alyson Hannigan (Disney/Eric McCandless)

Dance relay. Winner earns an additional 3 points.

Madix v. Gomez. The women had to perform a Viennese waltz to “Lover.” Madix was far more elegant; her maturity helps. Gomez was highly technical but didn’t pack the same, gorgeous punch as her blonde rival. The judges felt differently, though. “Talk about woah, tight,” said Inaba. “Two completely different interpretations.” “It’s like choosing between diamonds and pearls,” added Tonioli. Winner: Gomez

Jowsey v. Hannigan. They performed a jive to “Shake it Off.” The tree trunk commanded more attention because 1) he and his partner wore sunny yellow and 2) youth is so bloody cute. But there was far more jivin’ in Hannigan’s bubbly routine. “Alison how much sugar did you have tonight?” said Tonioli. “I have choreographed this song and I understand how fast it is. I felt for you,” added Moore. Winner: Hannigan

Mraz v. Lawson. They had to perform a cha cha to “Lavender Haze.” Mraz gave crazy face during his performance; ‘memba how Billy Porter hated when he mouthed the lyrics? But he was just more enjoyable to watch than the lovely Lawson, who donned her fringe pants again. “Another really close rally dance off,” said Hough. “Those fringe pants are working! Jason, those cha cha locks, all the technique in that. We just don’t see that. That was insanely impressive.” Winner: Mraz

Host Alfonso Ribeiro said they had more votes Tuesday than any other night this season. Blame it on the Swifties?

Hannigan, Lawson and Jowsey were the last three left on stage.

Jowsey is going home. “I can’t believe we made it this far,” he said. Ya think?

Next week are the semi-finals!

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