Dancing With The Stars Season 30: Pairing Couples & Route To Finals


Janet Jackson’s music served as Dancing with the stars‘ soundtrack on Monday night… but by the time the broadcast ended, four dancers had booted from Rhythm Nation.

With only three weeks to go in Season 30 — and Hihow could that happen so quickly? — six couples advanced to next week’s semifinals, while two duos ended their hunt for the Mirrorball for good. But before we get to that double elimination, let’s revisit Monday’s performances, which may have yielded at lots of perfect scores, no?

Dancing With The Stars Season 30: Pairing Couples & Route To Finals

Jimmie Allen and pro Emma Slater (Cha-Cha to “Escapade”): I wanted to keep my focus on Jimmie during this cha-cha, but how could I when Emma was screaming the steps at him so enthusiastically throughout the routine? (If she’s guided him so thoroughly at every gig, she’s been much more subtle about it in recent weeks.) is kind of miraculous that Jimmie has been touring so consistently this whole time, so maybe we can attribute this to an overdue week off for him; the footwork and hip work definitely needed a bit though oomph. Jury score: 32/40

Suni Lee and pro Sasha Farber (Samba to “All for You”): You should know in advance that, yes, I feel like a monster for criticizing Suni after 1) she felt ashamed for getting sick on last week’s show, and 2) the Twitter trolls attacked her unnecessarily after that illness . But when it comes to the difference between the quality of the performance and the judges’ scores, I haven’t been so surprised at the positive comments across the board since Ally Brooke’s season 28. Suni’s balance seemed a bit wobbly during the samba (including that one-legged trick that maybe just watched as a mistake; didn’t she have to replant her foot and try again?), and I felt that Suni didn’t bring enough power into that opening solo. That hair transformation though? Ten out of 10. Jury score: 40/40

Melora Hardin and pro Artem Chigvintsev (Paso Doble to “If”): Melora’s commitment to a new character every week remains one of my favorite parts of Season 30, but I really think she could have pulled back the theatrical expressions a little bit here. That said, her choreography performance was powerful and confident, and I’m an absolute sucker for a perfectly timed, performance-ending floor spin like the one Melora gave us here. Jury score: 40/40

Olivia Jade and pro Val Chmerkovskiy (Argentine Tango to “Any Time, Any Place”): Olivia’s legwork was so sharp and precise during this Argentine tango that it’s a real shame she looked so sheepish when it came time to be a little seductive with Val. Plus, given Olivia’s skill with the steps, that last section at the table seemed like a filler-y waste. Jury score: 36/40

Cody Rigsby and pro Cheryl Burke (Paso Doble to “Black” Cat”): Even with the support of every Peloton user behind him, Cody really needed a breakout routine for the semifinals, and it came just in time. Except for one extremely clunky-looking trick – when Cody towered over Cheryl and then lifted her by her…neck off the floor? — the routine was strong without appearing jerky, and I was impressed by Cody’s intensity. Also the! Knee! slides! Jury score: 38/40

Amanda Kloots and pro Alan Bersten (Jazz to “Miss You Much”): First, as much as I cringe when I see couples bickering during rehearsal, I still haven’t recovered from the moment when Amanda practiced a few steps in front of Alan, and he replied with an icy, “new.” It was cold, but it was iconic. Anyway! The elevators at the end of this jazz looked a little clunky, like Amanda and Alan were a little scared internally, but overall I’m really glad Amanda had more fun with this performance, letting her personality shine through more than in previous weeks. Jury score: 40/40

Iman Shumpert and pro Daniella Karagach (Cha-Cha to “Rhythm nation”, pictured): It was a risky move for Daniella to surround Iman with the company, as it could have accentuated his weaknesses. Instead, Iman kept pace with the many dancers around him, touching those poses difficult. (There were even some isolations in there!) But as adept as Daniella is at choreographing her partner’s strengths, even Iman’s boundless charisma couldn’t distract from the fact that there was barely any cha-cha content here. Jury score: 35/40

JoJo Siwa and pro Jenna Johnson (Salsa to “Feedback”): On the one hand, JoJo and Jenna’s last few routines all felt like jazzes with a light some ballroom in it, and this salsa sometimes fell into that category too. On the other hand, JoJo is magnetic to watch every time, and her chemistry with Jenna is arguably the most blistering of the season. Jury score: 39/40

After the individual performances it was time for the once-a-season dance-offs, in which two couples played the same song at the same time, in the same style. Nothing but An judge criticized each match-up and awarded two bonus points to the pair that impressed him or her the most. This is how those points fell out: Suni and Sasha beat Jimmie and Emma in salsa; JoJo and Jenna beat Olivia and Val in the rumba; Melora and Artem defeat Iman and Daniella in the foxtrot; and Amanda and Alan narrowly defeated Cody and Cheryl in the cha-cha.

And now the elimination results:

CONTINUING TO SEMI-FINAL (in order of announcement)
Suni Lee and pro Sasha Farber
JoJo Siwa and pro Jenna Johnson
Amanda Kloots and pro Alan Bersten
Cody Rigsby and pro Cheryl Burke
Iman Shumpert and pro Daniella Karagacho

Olivia Jade and pro Val Chmerkovskiy
Jimmie Allen and pro Emma Slater
Melora Hardin and pro Artem Chigvintsev

Olivia Jade and pro Val Chmerkovskiy (automatically eliminated with lowest combined scores and votes)
Jimmie Allen and pro Emma Slater (after all four judges saved Melora and Artem)


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