Dancing with the Stars recap: Semi-Finals!

Dancing with the Stars recap: Semi-Finals

To quote Tom Bergeron, the Dancing with the Stars semi-finals was an emotional roller coaster. Never before have I cried in previous seasons as I did last night. For multiple contestants. Was it just me? Or did you find yourself dabbing a tear here and choking back a sob there? The remaining five contestants came to win. Moreover, they all could win. These are the seasons that go down as memorable. Next week is going to be FIERCE!

Sharna and James
Argentine Tango
“Santa Maria” by Gotan Project
We learned in James’ intro package that he is engaged to his high school sweetheart and has a best friend from childhood. This makes me love him even more because I translate that as James is a loyal person. We dipped into his car crash story once again. We’ve heard the gist of his awful experience, but this time he praised his Indy car for saving his life. He also praised Sharna for being there for him during this harrowing experience. It was a bit of a stretch, but everything made sense when Sharna decided that SHE would wear a blindfold the entire dance. Also, SHE’S BACK! It’s all about trust, people. And it’s all about forgetting that this blindfold has been done twice before. Just go with it like the weird diamond patch on Sharna’s lower back. James did a great job tapping into his natural chemistry with Sharna. Of course Carrie Ann nitpicked. I’m sorry, did she not see him execute a handstand on the chair at the end?

Terra and Sasha
“Scars to your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara
Terra’s “Let’s See If We Can Make Lincee Cry” moment involved her explaining how her parents adopted a little person sibling so Terra wouldn’t feel all alone with average size parents. Terra followed that with a sweet tribute to her brother and how he always supported her when she moved to L.A. to become a singer. Once Sasha started crying, I decided to join him. I admit, I was nervous about the rumba. I’ll also admit that it was all for naught. Terra has legit hip action. She also makes pretty shapes with her arms. The entire thing was very fluid. Unlike most rumbas, it was not seductive at all. It was more of a soft empowerment piece. The judges loved it.

Gleb and Jana
“Go Mama” by Wayne Beckford
Did anyone know that Jana was a figure skater from the ages of 5 to 16? I did not. She spoke again about her “bad relationship,” but this time praised her mother for being by her side as a model of strength. We all cried — me, Jana and her mom. That emotion quickly morphed into confusion when I saw Jana in a makeshift shoe store. Her big floppy hat was equally puzzling. One thing is for sure: Gleb and Jana’s ombre white and Pepto-Bismol pink outfits were perfection. I loved Jana’s long furry white neck thing and her glittery bodice. I loved Gleb’s Pepto pink shoes. The quickstep was all over the place (literally) but fun. It’s too bad Gleb stumbled at the end. The judges have no choice but to dock points for stuff like that.

Calvin and Lindsay
“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes
Sweet Calvin is loved by all. There isn’t anything he can’t do. All of his montage pictures showcased a different talent. Apparently he can play baseball, basketball, football and the trumpet. He has a very close family and values his own. That’s why he walked away from the Detroit Lions while he was in his prime. He wanted to be able to bend over to pick his kids up. Also, if his family gets in a financial bind, they can always sell his mom’s magical elixir that keeps her face looking decades younger than reality. Let’s call that Plan B. Lindsay took a risk at the beginning of the dance, choreographing this weird bit with hands coming out of holes in a wall that grabbed at Lindsay and Calvin. It did not land. Their dance did. Unfortunately, toward the end, our couple literally ran out of dance floor and Lindsay had to awkwardly swoop out of a hold in order not to bite it on the spectator’s lap in the front row.

Laurie and Val
“Hollow” by Tori Kelly
This one got me. I bawled like a baby. The camera followed Laurie as she visited her grandmother in a nursing home. She has Alzheimer’s. Laurie worked hard to follow her dreams because her grandmother did the same when she came to America from Puerto Rico. The day after the interview was shot, Laurie’s grandmother died. Val held her in his arms as she cried. I held myself as I cried when footage of her grandmother saying, “I am so proud of your Laurie!” aired right before this child danced a foxtrot. B-L-E-S-S. Toward the beginning of the dance, Laurie effortlessly wiped a tear from her eye. Then she crushed the dance floor with her talent. Sweet Tom Bergeron hugged her and wiped his own tear away. There were no words.

Jenna and Sharna and James
“Gimme Some Lovin’” by The Spencer Davis Group
First of all, this is the only song I recognized from the entire night. Second of all, jive has never been my favorite. I give all the props to James for sitting tall, with Jenna and Sharna flanked on either side, as he looks into the camera and says, “Welcome to our threesome.” Homeboy forgot it was called a trio. He laughed and then said, “I wanted Keo but he wasn’t available.” So dang funny. James wore a sparkly jumpsuit. Jenna and Sharna wore black panties, black bras with shoulder pads, one black knee boot and one gold knee boot. It was a look. Jenna knows how to work a camera. My eyes are always drawn to her for some reason. There was major hairography in this dance too. Again, jive is not my favorite, but I loved the pop of champagne confetti at the end of the dance.

Terra and Sasha and Artem
“Hideaway” by Kieza
Terra has a major crush on Artem and Sasha tries not to let it bother him. We all know it does. When he tells Terra that their dance is all about choosing between two men, Terra automatically responds, “Let’s go, Artem.” Then they cut to a dorky Three’s Company montage. I fast forwarded through it. I’ll further admit that I didn’t love this dance, but I do agree with Bruno that Sasha did an terrific job choreographing a routine that showcased Terra completely. She was the focus, if you don’t count Sasha and Artem’s fake tattoos.

Jana and Alan and Gleb
“Kill of the Night” by Gin Wigmore
Is Alan the younger Gleb? Who’s more attractive? Why would Jana want to pretend murder either of them in her routine? So many questions. I also didn’t get the weird branch motif going on. Was Jana supposed to be the queen of trees? Is that why her collar was made of sticks? You can’t say that she doesn’t have her “angry” face nailed down. And I did enjoy the part where Gleb flings her through both his legs and Alan’s legs. It didn’t feel like a paso to me, but I did appreciate the artistry and Jana’s total commitment to the role. The judges LOVED it.

Calvin and Lindsay, Witney
“Limbo” by Daddy Yankee
Sometimes I want to pull Lindsay and Witney to the side and encourage them not to project themselves as dumb blonds on national television. Then I rest in the fact that I’m sure someone in their lives has already tried to do that. Her name is Erin Andrews. Lindsay wisely used Calvin’s muscles as her secret weapon. She doesn’t care that 30 minutes ago her parter said that he was weary and that football takes a toll on your body. Lindsay wants that mirrorball trophy and if she and Witney have to use Calvin like a human jungle gym, so be it. There were insane lifts. All three were balls of lime green energy. At one point, Calvin jumped over both Lindsay and Witney who were balled together like tiny Havana Barbies. I could barely keep up. I guess that’s a good thing for a salsa?

Dancing with the Stars

Laurie and Val and Maks
“Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes
The brothers are together again. Val (BLEEPING) loves his brother and choreographed an entire homage to Maks. He is Val’s mentor and has always been his dance instructor. In what I thought was an extremely creative move, Val manages to utilize Maks as an instructor coaching Laurie and Val through a samba routine. It begins in a dance studio and transitions into a competition. There was a costume change somewhere in the middle that came out of nowhere. Laurie looked like she was having a ball! I know I was. It may have something to do with Val’s deep v-neck.

Because this is a live show, Tom and Erin had to scoot through the elimination portion of our night. Terra and Calvin were the last two standing, but it was Terra who didn’t make it through the next round. The entire cast covered her in hugs and kisses, which says a lot. She made quite an impact on the show.

It’s go time. I want to hear who you are rooting for? I vacillate between the remaining four. Right now, I would have to choose James. I feel like he works hard to learn the steps, but he has the most fun doing it. What do you think? Sound off in the comments section!

Photo By: ABC.com
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November 15, 2016 3:15 pm

Awww man, I cried and cried and cried and cried again, Terra’s sweet mom and adopting another little child!! Oh and the sad, sad story of Laurie’s grandmother!! And Tom Bergeron!! What a great cast this is!!! I’m rooting for James!! But I think Laurie will probably win!

November 15, 2016 3:51 pm

Fabulous and fun night. I had to wipe off a tear or two because there were very sweet stories. I love Laurie but I really, really ❤️ James. Love his personality, talent, and great talent. Wish it could be a tie this season so Laurie and James both could end up with a mirror ball trophy. I like Calvin and Lindsey is a fantastic choreographer, Janna and Gleb are great too. It’s been a fun season with lots of talent. It was time for Terra to leave, in my opinion it was a fair vote.

November 16, 2016 11:28 pm
Reply to  Liana

Took the words right out of my mouth. I agree with everything you wrote!

November 15, 2016 7:39 pm

I love Laurie so much, had never heard of James before this but he has turned out to be my favorite.

November 16, 2016 7:41 am

You are so right on Calvin’s mom!!! When she first came on screen I thought it was his sister. Needless to say, I’ll have what she’s having. As for the finals, Calvin & James are my favorites, so I’m hoping one of them wins.

Mollie A
Mollie A
November 16, 2016 8:23 am

I’m Team James or Team Laurie. James not being a natural dancer or gymnast has done SO well. But, i just love Laurie and Val. Torn!

November 16, 2016 12:32 pm

Team James all the way. I always root for the ones who do not come from dance/gymnast/cheerleading/figure skating backgrounds. They have way more work to do to become good dancers. Speaking of which, Jana was pretty quiet about her many years as a figure skater, wasn’t she? Calvin is my second choice. Laurie really is a wonderful girl and the best dancer, but its just like, so what, like its some big surprise? And I still believe Val was faking those tears a few weeks back to win votes when she slipped down the leader board. I do have to give the brothers props though. The trio dance was a really neat concept, and they all did it fabulously.

November 16, 2016 4:08 pm

Can we talk about Terra for a minute? I wasn’t completely sold when they debuted her on the show but now I don’t even see her as a little person and I want to be her BFF. The show taught me a mighty lesson

Haley Alexis
Haley Alexis
November 16, 2016 4:16 pm

I was touched by Terra’s and Laurie’s stories.

I would love to see Calvin win it (very doubtful), and I would be so happy for Sharna if James won. He is fantastic, yes, and he seems to be a natural performer and dancer. Sharna deserves a mirrorball for all of the seasons of her fantastic choreography!

I have a hard time believing Laurie won’t win based on her skill and talent, but I’m rooting for underdog Calvin and James, but because he’s paired with Sharna.

Is it just me or is anybody else just kind of detached from Jana? I don’t find her relatable for some reason. I get the same feeling when I see Gleb as well.

November 16, 2016 8:55 pm
Reply to  Haley Alexis

I agree that for an inexplicable reason Jana is not relatable. What is it? She acts pleasant and dances well.

November 17, 2016 7:39 pm
Reply to  Haley Alexis

I feel the same way about Jana this season. Not my fave!

November 16, 2016 8:51 pm

I love that you called Lindsay and Witney tiny Havana Barbies. So funny! Those girls may be dumb, but they make dumb seem adorable. I get such a kick out of them. And the trio dance with Calvin was so peppy and fabulous!

November 17, 2016 12:56 pm

That Samba with Laurie, Val and Maks might be my favorite dance ever choreographed on the show! I thought it was so creative, I love that song and they looked like they were having a ball. I didn’t want it to end!

I really want Sharna to finally win the mirrorball and I love Calvin, but I think Val does so well when he’s paired with younger contestants — his dance with Bindi during the switch-up week was my favorite she did all season, and no one can forget Zendaya. So I’d be really happy to see them win it too.

November 17, 2016 7:41 pm

Can’t believe the season is almost over now! It’s been such a great one. Loved watching Laurie and also James on Monday night. Calvin is also a favorite! I think I’m rooting for James to win, but Laurie is an extremely close second for me too. I’d be happy if either of them took the mirrorball trophy this year.

June 15, 2024 8:38 am

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