‘Dancing With the Stars’ Semi-Finals: Which Couples Are Heading to the Finale? (RECAP)
Going into another double elimination, the remaining pairs had the chance to redeem themselves with the first Redemption Dances of the season, with the judges assigning a style of dance they believed each pair needed to work on. After an electrifying performance from the DWTS pros, the second round of competition saw each couple bring something meaningful to them to the ballroom floor, from honoring lost loved ones to celebrating personal achievements.
Below, find out which two couples danced their last dance and watch the night’s performances to “I Don’t Want To Wait,” “Titanium,” “Gravity,” and more.
Cody Rigsby’s dance to “Danza Kuduro” by Don Omar & Lucenzo (Salsa)
Cody Rigsby and partner Cheryl Burke‘s first dance of the night was, as Carrie Ann put it, the “definition of redemption.” During their COVID-19 struggles earlier this season, their Week 2 salsa had to be judged based on a rehearsal tape as they were stuck in quarantine. The two were assigned their routine by Bruno, and they rose to the occasion, as Bruno exclaimed, “The race to the finale starts with a bang!” Cody got into the groove of the style with improved hip action, and Len called the Peloton instructor’s performance an “action-packed, full-on salsa.” Despite a few minor mistakes, the pair earned a solid 35 out of 40 points for their first performance of the night.
Melora Hardin’s dance to “I Don’t Want To Wait” by Paula Cole (Rumba)
After landing in the bottom two last week, despite earning a perfect score, Melora Hardin and partner Artem Chigvintsev looked to win the audience over with their redemption rumba assigned by Len. The head judge advised the Office alum to loosen up and work on her hips, ensuring that if they took his advice, “I think this rumba’s gonna be a wow,” and a “wow” dance it was. Along with a “mission accomplished” from Len, the judges loved the way they interpreted the dance, changing from romantic to sexy in the blink of an eye. While Derek loved Melora’s motion throughout the routine, Carrie Ann pointed out a slight lack of expression in her hands, as well as a moment when her foot came off the ground. With a lower score from Carrie Ann, the two received a coveted 10 from Len, bringing their total score to 36 points.
Suni Lee’s dance to “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Bublé (Foxtrot)
Suni Lee was surprised that she and partner Sasha Farber were able to make it to the semi-finals, even after earning a perfect score last week. For their redemption dance, Carrie Ann assigned the pair the foxtrot, after they last performed the style during Episode 3’s Britney Night. During rehearsals, Carrie Ann instructed that the gymnast take her newfound confidence and apply it to this week’s dance, as her lack of performance was what hurt their previous foxtrot. Suni brought her high spirits into the routine, and the judges loved watching another top-notch showing from “Suni 2.0.” The dance was everything Carrie Ann was looking for, though the other judges commented on some unintentional bounciness and messy footwork. The two ended the first round of competition with a score of 37 points out of 40.
JoJo Siwa’s dance to “Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)” by Gotan Project (Argentine Tango)
This week, Len challenged JoJo Siwa and her partner Jenna Johnson to improve upon their Week 3 Argentine tango. Originally critiquing the routine for feeling more like a ballroom tango, Len wanted to see more elements of the style come through, and the pair was ready to prove themselves and secure their spot in the finale. The pop sensation expressed how much she has loved her time on the show and how much it has changed herself and the way she sees the world, with Tyra adding that the show has changed how others see her. Len’s comments were brief but direct, simply stating the dance was “bloody brilliant.” Along with accolades from the other judges, the two earned the first perfect score of the night with 40 points.
Iman Shumpert’s dance to “Telephone” by Martynas (Tango)
Called the “Michael Jordan of the ballroom,” judge Derek Hough helped Iman Shumpert and partner Daniella Karagach prepare for their redemption tango from Week 3. The major comments surrounding the couple’s previous performance revolved around the athlete’s frame, with Derek encouraging him to use his size to his advantage. Iman certainly listened, as the pair turned in a vast improvement from their previous tango. Carrie Ann continued to applaud his magic in the ballroom, while Derek stated that he has come farther than any other NBA player throughout the series. However, Bruno and Len still noticed a few framework and squatting issues, but still brought home a high score of 37 points.
Amanda Kloots’ dance to “Titanium” by David Guetta ft. Sia (Tango)
One of three perfect scores last week, Amanda Kloots and her partner Alan Bersten were taking it all the way back to their first dance of the season for their redemption tango from Len. The judge stated that “the sky’s the limit” if the two followed his advice (to increase their body contact), and the pair succeeded, improving upon every mistake from their first-ever routine. Derek called The Talk host the most consistent dancer of the season, with Bruno comparing the clean-cut and polished routine to “a gem.” Despite noticing a foot come off the ground, Carrie Ann expressed how she danced the routine “like a boss.” With an almost perfect score, the pair ended the first round with 39 points out of 40.
Melora Hardin’s Round 2 dance to “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons (Contemporary)
Going into the second round of the night, Melora and Artem felt the pressure of the quick-approaching finals. They settled on a contemporary routine to the song “Thunder,” an homage to the children’s show she appeared on as a kid, which helped connect her to one of her closest friends, Hunter, who had been inspired by the show. The judges once again loved her joy and love of dance that shined through the routine, with Carrie Ann stating that she dances from her heart and soul. Earning a score of 36 points, the pair’s total for the night comes to 72 points.
Cody Rigsby’s Round 2 dance to “La Cumparsita” by Forever Tango (Argentine Tango)
Performing Cheryl’s favorite dance style, Cody was excited to bring his inner power and strength to their Argentine tango. Growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina, he never felt like he was able to be his true self until later in life, and was excited to be “extra” and “flamboyant” on the dance floor. As Carrie Ann said, the pair “brought the drama” to their performance. Len thought back to how he never gave the pair a score above six during the first four weeks of the season, but is happy at how far Cody has come in such a short time. They earned a score of 36 points for the round, making their total for the night a solid 71.
Suni Lee’s Round 2 dance to “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles (Contemporary)
For their contemporary routine to “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles, Sasha wanted to show off the “real Suni.” Never wanting to become famous, Suni recalled how the Olympics changed her world overnight and how she struggled to deal with the pressure, feeling like the weight of the world was on her shoulders. Her time on the show has helped her grow to love herself, and the pair looked to break through to the finale with their emotional and powerful routine. Applauding the dance’s high-flying lifts and tricks, Bruno stated, “Gravity doesn’t apply to this dance!” Carrie Ann joked that she feels like her mom, but not before hinting at giving her a 10. With more love from the judges, the pair earned a score of 38 points, bringing their total up to 75.
JoJo Siwa’s Round 2 dance to “Before You Go (Piano Version)” by Lewis Capaldi (Contemporary)
Dancing a contemporary routine to “Before You Go” by Lewis Capaldi, the song’s message brought up an emotional moment for JoJo, having lost her grandfather a few months ago. Dedicating the performance to him, her grandmother stopped by rehearsals to catch a sneak peek at routine, calling it and her granddaughter “beautiful.” The powerful dance was hailed by Derek as the best contemporary routine the show has ever seen, with Len applauding the pair’s ability to blend artistry with athleticism. Making her grandfather proud, the two earned the second perfect score of the night, rocketing them to the top of the leaderboard with a total of 80 points.
Iman Shumpert’s Round 2 dance to “Dark Fantasy” by Kanye West ft. Teyana Taylor (Jazz)
Looking to incorporate something sentimental into their last dance of the night, Iman and Daniella’s jazz routine to “Dark Fantasy” by Kanye West features the vocals of his wife, singer Teyana Taylor, as the song helped her land a record deal. As the underdog of the season, he brought his A-game to the dance floor, looking to become the first NBA player in the DWTS finals. The judges were once again amazed by the pair’s amazing lifts and impressive choreography. Bruno called out a “heart-stopping” moment in which he believed Daniella would fall, but knew Iman was there to catch her. Loved by Carrie Ann, she continued to praise his unique qualities as a dancer and how he has brought something different to the ballroom this season. With a score of 35 points, the couple ended the night with 75 points total.
Amanda Kloots’ Round 2 dance to “Live Your Life – Nick Cordero” by Lenii (Contemporary)
Marking the last dance of the night, Amanda had been looking forward to the moment she could honor her late husband, Nick, by performing to his song “Live Your Life.” In an emotional moment during rehearsals, she opened up to Alan about how difficult it was to be by his side, holding his hand as they played the song during his passing. Stating there is nothing more special than the power of holding someone’s hand, their emotional performance left the judges moved and speechless. Amazed, Bruno called the routine “beyond critique,” while Derek was happy she got to honor Nick in such a special way. Surrounded by her friends and family in the audience, Amanda and Alan earned a perfect score, making Nick proud with a total of 79 points for the night.
Perched at the top of the leaderboard, JoJo and Jenna went through to the finale, as did Iman and Daniella and Cody and Cheryl. The latter two couples mark two special DWTS occasions, as Iman is now the first NBA player to make it to the finals, and this season marks Cheryl’s first time in a finale since Season 17. With three couples through, three couples were left at the bottom, and Melora and Artem were the first to go due to having the lowest combined judges’ scores and viewer votes. In one of the most emotional decisions of the season, the judges were forced to select which couple would dance again between Amanda and Alan and Suni and Sasha. Amanda and Alan earned the judges’ pick (in a unanimous vote), meaning Suni and Sasha’s DWTS journey has come to an end. Who will take home the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy next week?