‘Dancing With the Stars’ Episode 4: Disney Week Night 1 Brings the Magic (RECAP)
Disney Night is back! The annual Dancing With the Stars special returned for Season 30 Episode 4, but this time as a brand new two-night “Heroes and Villains” event!
The episode opened with the cast on a magical trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” and the remaining 13 pairs transformed into everyone’s favorite protagonists while dancing to some of Disney’s most memorable music. As if the night couldn’t get any more special, pair Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke, as well as judge Derek Hough, made triumphant returns to the ballroom after COVID-related absences. The pandemic couldn’t stop the magic of Disney Night!
Additionally, Mickey Mouse himself introduced the first-ever Mickey Dance Challenge, in which the pairs had to include a series of moves in every dance, no matter the style. The couple that best incorporated the moves into their routine was rewarded two bonus points from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Hough, increasing their chances of escaping the next elimination.
Check out tonight’s “heroic” performances ahead of Tuesday night’s villains-themed episode, featuring music from Moana, Cinderella, The Incredibles, and Disney’s upcoming animated film Encanto!
JoJo Siwa’s dance to “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” (Viennese Waltz)
Sporting matching Mickey Mouse ears and backpacks at Disneyland, JoJo Siwa and partner Jenna Johnson felt the pressure of incorporating the Mickey Dance Challenge moves into their traditional Viennese Waltz. Stepping into Prince Charming’s shoes for the Cinderella routine, JoJo truly took on her role as the male dance part, earning tons of praise for her toned-down moves and structure. After being called “a dream come true” by Bruno, the pair earned the first nines of the season with a score of 35 out of 40 points.
Melanie C’s dance to “Step in Time” (Jazz)
From British pop star to British nanny, Melanie C channeled her mother as inspiration for her Mary Poppins jazz routine to “Step in Time” with partner Gleb Savchenko. Compared to an aerobics class by Tyra, the high-energy routine had the judges feeling “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” However, the pair were a little out of sync during their Mickey Dance Challenge moves, bringing their score to a total of 31 points.
Matt James’ dance to “The Incredits” (Quickstep)
In his first quickstep of the season, Matt James took on the speed of his favorite superhero Frozone from The Incredibles alongside partner Lindsay Arnold as the iconic fashion designer Edna Mode. Bringing his love for the character to the ballroom, the judges loved his work ethic and improved footwork but didn’t hold back from stating the need for technique improvement. The pair earned a score of 26 points, but not before Matt blurted the character’s most iconic line, “Where’s my super suit?”
Jimmie Allen’s dance to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” (Paso Doble)
Dancing the paso doble to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan, Jimmie Allen talked about his similarity to the titular character. Both he and Mulan had fathers in the military, and Jimmie emotionally dedicated his performance to his who passed away a few years ago. The judges loved his power and sentiment, as well as how his partner Emma Slater incorporated the Mickey Dance Challenge moves into the routine. They walked away with a score of 30 out of 40 points.
Amanda Kloots’ dance to “You’ll Be in My Heart” (Rumba)
As Amanda Kloots and partner Alan Bersten visited Disneyland with her son, Elvis, she shared memories of visiting the legendary theme park as a kid. Dancing the rumba to “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan, the song’s themes of mother and son relationships hit home for the single mom. While the judges loved Amanda’s rumba movements, the pair’s Mickey Dance Challenge was slightly out of sync, bringing their score to a total of 32 points.
Olivia Jade’s dance to “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” (Samba)
Gender-bending their roles as Simba and Nala from The Lion King, Olivia Jade and partner Val Chmerkovskiy continued their streak of success dancing the samba to “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” Tying for the second-highest score of the night with 35 points, the judges applauded their strong chemistry, with Derek calling her one of his favorite performers of the season so far.
The Miz’s dance to “Friend Like Me” (Quickstep)
Referred to as “Magic Miz” by Bruno, The Miz brought his magic to Heroes Night as Genie from Aladdin. He and partner Whitney Carson connected over their love of being parents during their day at Disneyland, as he loves being a dad to his two young daughters. Covered head to toe in blue paint, he completely embodied his role, earning much love from the judges for his improved control and commitment to the dance. They earned a total score of 31 out of 40 points.
Kenya Moore’s dance to “How Far I’ll Go” (Contemporary)
After finding themselves in the bottom two last week, Kenya Moore and partner Brandon Armstrong embraced the power of Moana for their contemporary dance to “How Far I’ll Go.” Disney Week brought up emotional memories for Kenya, as her young daughter is a big fan of of the princess movie. She recalled how her daughter Brooklyn is her “miracle baby,” stating, “Every move I make on that dance floor is for Brooklyn.” Len called the performance “first-class,” and the other judges agreed. With some critiques regarding the routine’s lifts, the pair still earned a solid score of 29 points.
Brian Austin Green’s dance to “Someday My Prince Will Come” (Waltz)
Real-life couple Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess looked as though they lept off a movie screen in their roles as Snow White and The Prince for their waltz to “Someday My Prince Will Come.” While their love for each other was present, the judges continued to state that their love is not an excuse for poor choreography. Specifically, Carrie Ann pointed out a small lift in the routine, stating how there are no lifts in a waltz. They walked away with the lowest score of the night with 25 points.
Suni Lee’s dance to “Colombia, Mi Encanto!” (Salsa)
Suni Lee and Sasha Farber got a sneak peek at the new Disney film Encanto before dancing the salsa to “Colombia, Mi Encanto!” She was able to relate to the film’s main character Mirabel, recalling how finding her gift for gymnastics felt like finding the magic inside of her. Praising another great performance, the judges loved seeing Suni continue to open up each week, with Len stating tonight’s performance was the most expressive she has been all season. The two earned a score of 33 points.
Melora Hardin’s dance to “I Wan’na Be Like You” (Quickstep)
During her trip to Disneyland with partner Artem Chigvintsev, Melora Hardin was joined by her husband Gildart to help prepare for Disney Week. Dancing the quickstep to the classic Jungle Book song “I Wan’na Be Like You,” the trio got in the jungle spirit during a ride on the famous Jungle Cruise. The pair’s amazing performance was hailed as the best quickstep of the season by Bruno, with Derek calling it the best dance of the night. Derek’s statement was correct, as the couple earned the highest score of the night with a total of 36 out of 40 points.
Cody Rigsby’s dance to “Stand Out” (Jive)
Cody Rigsby and partner Cheryl Burke couldn’t have been happier to return to the ballroom after spending two weeks away. Dancing the jive to “Stand Out” from A Goofy Movie, Cody was thrilled to feel like a kid again as the film’s fictional pop star Powerline. Back better than ever, the pair’s electric energy was applauded by the judges, though Len stated the dance didn’t include enough jive elements. Bruno gave them the benefit of the doubt, as they must work harder to catch up to where they left off before their COVID interference. With one of the lowest scores of the night, the pair earned a total of 27 points.
Iman Shumpert’s dance to “Let It Go” (Foxtrot)
The “Hero of the Hardwood” Iman Shumpert and partner Daniella Karagach ended Heroes Night with the Disney Princess power ballad “Let It Go.” Given that both of his daughters are huge Frozen fans, the NBA superstar was excited to bring the film to life with his foxtrot. During rehearsals, he talked about unexpectedly delivering both of his children and how being a parent is the best job he’s ever had. The judges continued to applaud his improvement, with Carrie Ann calling him a “hero in real life.” They earned a total of 30 points out of 40.
Mickey Dance Challenge Winners
Decided by the judges, the winners of the first-ever Mickey Dance Challenge were Jimmie and Emma for their powerful Mulan-inspired paso doble, tying them for fifth place with a new total of 32 points out of 40. All 13 couples will return tomorrow night, October 12, for Disney Villains Night!