The two-hour season 27 finale of Dancing With the Stars is here!
ET is live blogging all the action in the ballroom Monday night, as the “Thanksgiving Spectacular” show kicks off with an epic opening parade, followed by performances from Avril Lavigne, Dan + Shay, Lauren Daigle, John Schneider, Robin Thicke and Tinashe.
But before hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews announce the season 27 winners, the remaining four couples will each perform two dances. The first will be a redemption routine, where the duos will perform a piece they danced to earlier this season, along with a new, freestyle performance. So be sure to follow along with us here, on Twitter and Facebook as we recap the night’s many epic numbers.
Avril Lavigne Performs New Single for Alexis and Alan
The singer recently came out of lengthy hiatus to release new music, and joined Alexis and Alan for their freestyle routine, where she performed her new song, “Head Above Water.”
The number was filled with passion, grace and beauty, and the pair couldn't have pulled off a more beautiful display of drama and theatricality.
The judges absolutely loved what they were able to accomplish, praising the dance for its story, its choreography and its raw emotion.
They joined host Erin Andrews on the balcony, where the couple reflected on the fact that it was their last dance together.
“Thank you so much. This has been the best experience of my life,” Alexis said, hugging Alan, and making the whole audience swoon.
For their efforts, the pair were rewarded with a perfect 30 out of 30, for a combined score of 57 out of 60. Will it be enough to earn them the Mirroball trophy?
Juan Pablo and Tinashe Prove They Should Be in the Finals
Juan Pablo and Cheryl should be competing in the final. They just should. It is an objective fact. So, when they took the dance floor for a performance that was as good (if not better) than anything we've seen so far, it really rubbed it in.
Afterward, Tinashe took the stage in a stunning red ensemble to sing a super sultry cover of the Peggy Lee classic “Fever,” and she brought more magnetic energy to this appearance than many of her numbers on the show. It's still a shame she got eliminated in week 4!
Wow, That's a Lot of Stars Joining the Tour
Every year, a few of the stars who competed on the show end up joining the Dancing With the Stars Live Tour. This season, they tapped five guys, and it's kind of hard to believe.
Bobby, Milo and Joe will be joining John Schneider and Juan Pablo for a tour that is certainly going to be interesting.
Even if some of the stars didn't wow each week on the dance floor, they've certainly had enthusiasm in spades, and hopefully that will translate to their live stage shows in the coming months.
Robin Thicke Plays Live for Milo and Witney's Epic Charleston
“When I was seven years old, me and my mom would sit down and watch this show,” Milo reflected in the pre-taped package before his performance, hammering home the fact that if he wins, he'll be the youngest contestant to ever take home the Mirrorball trophy.
For their repeat dance, the duo decided to try and recreate the magic of their New York City-themed Charleston, and this time around they got a little help from Robin Thicke!
The singer performed on the piano as the pair dominated the dance floor, and the electric energy of a live performance gave them even more bounce in their step.
The accompaniment from Thicke was even more special considering the singer recently lost his home in the Woolsey wildfire, and Tom made sure to share his appreciation.
When Milo and Witney faced the judges, they loved the dance even more than the first time around, and with a perfect score of 30 out of 30, Milo might just have a chance at making DWTS history at the end of the night.
Emma Watson Sends Evanna a Special Message
As if getting a perfect score wasn't exciting enough, after her dance, Evanna was surprised with a special video message from her Harry Potter co-star, Emma Watson, praising her for her incredible DWTS journey and wishing her luck in the finals
“She's a woman who inspires me so much,” a beaming Evanna told host Tom Bergeron after watching the message, “so that means a lot.”
Evanna and Keo Heat Up the Dance Floor
No dancer in the finals has grown as much as Evanna, and it was clear just how much she's managed to come out of her shell, so to speak, with the repeat dance she chose to perform.
The pair hit the dance floor to recreate their tango from week 6 — set to “Disturbia” by Rihanna — and there was more fiery energy and undeniable chemistry between them than ever before.
It was a bold choice to pick this tango, as they previously earned a 29 out of 30, which doesn't add a lot of room for improvement. However, their quest for perfection paid off! The pair earned a flawless 30 out of 30 this time around.
'DWTS' Doubles Down on Insane 'Bachelor' Dance
Despite getting kicked off last week, Grocery Store Joe couldn't just leave without some sort of fittingly insane finale.
So, in one of the weirdest (and most shirtless moments) in recent broadcast TV history, Joe and some of his fellow Bachelor Nation stars — including Eric Bigger, Dean Unglert, Wells Adams and Nick Viall — recreated their “I'm Too Sexy” number from earlier this season, and it was just as bonkers this time around.
All the guys ripped their tops off, Jenna Johnson rocked super tiny shorts and grinded up against her fiance, Val Chmerkovskiy, and the only thing missing was the shower.
Luckily, Bruno, Len and Carrie Ann didn't need to judge this dance so they were able to just sit back, relax and keep their thoughts to themselves.
Dan + Shay Make Sharna and Artem Look More Regal
Country music duo Dan + Shay performed their hit song “Speechless,” which served as the backdrop for a jaw-dropping routine performed by Sharna and Artem, and it is definitely going to be one of the highlights of the night.
Side note: It's pretty obvious why “Speechless” is so many peoples' go-to wedding dance tune.
'DWTS' Pros Make a Great Song Even Greater
Alice Merton's “No Roots” is one of the best songs of the year, and the DWTS pros are some of the best dancers you could imagine. So having them dance to the awesome track makes for a pretty good combo.
Bobby Bones Gives Hammer Dance Another Shot
Sharna summed up the question on everyone's minds during the pre-taped package when she asked, “How did we get here?”
It's admirable how much effort Bobby has put into this DWTS journey, and it's pretty clear how his infectious energy and excitement has carried him further than his scores would necessarily suggest.
However, for their repeat dance, they decided to redo his cha cha — set to “U Can't Touch This” by MC Hammer — that earned them a disappointingly low score during trio week, and it was a bold choice considering how little the judges liked the routine the first time around.
After the dance, Bobby took his shoe off and hilariously got all three judges to sign it, and made sure to share some kind words about the trio.
“They have been so nice to me while giving me bad scores, and I love them,” Bobby declared.
While it's clear Bobby isn't as skillful as some of those he's competing against in the finals, his charm earned him a lot of appreciation. The talented pair earned a 24 out of 30 for the dance, which is a full four points higher than the first time they did it.
Alexis and Alan Recreate Their 'Swan Lake' Magic
For the duo's repeat dance, Alan decided that they should recreate their Swan Lake performance from Week 2, which featured one of their most beautiful numbers, but also a minor wardrobe malfunction.
So the pair hit the dance floor (after a pre-taped package that featured a montage of their showmance moments) to perform an even more incredible tango than before, and they really pulled off something special.
Whether it's the chemistry between them or Alexis' evolution as a dancer or Alan's growing strength as a pro, there was a spark between the two that brought the dance to a whole new level.
The judges seemed to really appreciate the number, as well as Alexis' ever-increasing confidence, but had a few minor critiques regarding some hyper-technical aspects of the dance, meaning a perfect score was likely out of the question.
However, the two did earn a 27 out of 30, which topped their first attempt at the Swan Lake tango by two whole points.
'DWTS' Kicks Things Off With a Thanksgiving Parade!
The finals got off on a festive foot with a pre-taped Thanksgiving Spectacular parade, in which the four couples competing tonight reunited with this season's eliminated cast members for an opening number that featured a fun Mirrorball trophy float, a marching band, tons of troupe dancers and so much holiday spirit!
Previously on 'Dancing With the Stars'…
Following last week's thrilling semifinals, three couples found themselves in jeopardy: Alexis and Alan, Juan Pablo and Cheryl as well as Joe and Jenna.
In one of the most genuinely shocking eliminations in DWTS history, Alexis and Alan were declared safe, meaning Juan Pablo and Cheryl got the axe! And on the same night in which they earned two back-to-back perfect scores! The three judges were so surprised by his departure they were nearly in tears and Len even delivered a fiery speech about the injustice of the results.
Meanwhile, Joe was also sent home, but even the Bachelor in Paradise star was pretty candid about how shocking it was that he made it to the semifinals.
So, tonight we'll see the final four stars — Evanna, Milo, Bobby and Alexis — duke it out for the coveted season 27 Mirrorball trophy!
A Note on How the Votes Will Work Tonight
While most DWTS finales have been two-night extravaganzas — where the stars dance on night one and votes are tallied and revealed on night two — this season, the whole event is one night only! Which presents some weirdness when it comes to voting.
According to the press release, the combined judges' scores for both of the night's dances will be combined with the viewers' votes from last week. However, there's a third element incorporating live online votes cast during the show. Here's how the show explained things:
“Viewers will be allowed to participate in an online-only live vote at http://DWTSLiveVote.com. Voting will open at the beginning of the live broadcast and close approximately five minutes after the last dance. The live vote will only be available during the live broadcast in the Eastern and Central time zones. However, any individuals with access to http://DWTSLiveVote.com will be permitted to vote while the vote is open, regardless of their time zone (provided they are voting from within the U.S. and Puerto Rico).”
So that means people on the West Coast will have to vote for their favorite couples without even getting the chance to watch their finale dances.
Check out the video below for highlights from last week’s semifinals.
The competition will be getting tighter as the remaining contestants and their pro partners take the stage for an evening of jaw-dropping routines set to classic country tunes. From what we’ve heard from the couples, fans can expect a lot of flannel, some denim and a whole bunch of cowboy hats — not to mention some exciting live musical performances and the long-awaited Team Dances!
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC
After romance rumors linking Alexis Ren and her Dancing With the Stars pro partner Alan Bersten began swirling weeks ago, the pair finally admitted to having feelings for one another during Halloween Night on Monday.
During a pre-taped package that aired before their live performance, both Ren and Bersten addressed “the elephant in the room,” which is the fact that they like each other. After which, their chemistry carried through onto the dance floor for their high-scoring jazz routine.
After the show, ET’s Katie Krause spoke with the pair backstage, and they opened up about their emotional connection and how and when their feelings developed.
“I don’t really have specifics on that,” Ren said, sheepishly.
“I mean, we rehearse 24/7,” Bersten chimed in. “You become best friends with your partner.”
While the pair continued to play coy about the actual nature of their romantic connection, Ren said that her appreciation for her partner was present from the start of the season.
“I thought he was awesome from the beginning,” the 21-year-old Instagram personality offered.
However, since the cat is now more or less completely out of the bag regarding their affections, the 24-year-old Bersten said that having that kind of connection has actually made their partnership stronger in terms of competing for the Mirrorball trophy.
“We’re more open with each other and we trust each other a little bit more. We can just have fun and not have to worry about hurting each others feelings as much,” Bersten shared. “And, to be honest, the transparency is what makes it easier.”
For Ren, having a romantic connection with her partner, and being open about the connection, has generally just made the whole experience better. “It makes it more fun,” she shared.
Bersten also revealed one of the sweetest things Ren does for him during their time together in rehearsals, explaining, “She comes in and gives me massages every day.”
“She’s like, ‘Hey Alan,’ and massages me, and it’s so sweet,” Bersten teased, giving Ren a gentle shoulder rub.
According to Ren, back rubs are the key to the dancer’s heart. “That, and food,” she quipped.
On Monday, for their Halloween Night routine, the pair delivered a jazz routine set to Christina Aguilera’s 2006 single “Candyman.” The fun, high-energy number saw Bersten playing a Willy Wonka-esque character and Ren playing an adventurous young woman exploring his candy shop.
The dance earned the pair some serious praise from the judges, as well as a formidable score of 27 out of 30. However, the pair still found themselves on the chopping block at the end of the night, alongside Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber, who were eliminated.
“We’re having so much fun out there, [but] it’s such a damper on the night when we’re in the bottom,” Bersten told ET as Ren hugged his arm tightly. “But, you know, we’re safe and that’s all that matters. We get another week and we get another chance to dance for America.”
For more on Ren and Bersten’s burgeoning romance, check out the video below.
Dancing With the Stars returns for Country Night next Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Get ready for plenty of tricks and treats… it’s Halloween Night on Dancing With the Stars!
The ballroom is getting spooky as the nine remaining contestants and their pro partners put on their best costumes and perform dances inspired by the horrifying holiday.
And the Star Going Home Is…
The bottom two couples who found themselves in jeopardy were Mary Lou and Sasha, as well as Alexis and Alan!
The tension was palpable as they waited to hear who would be getting the axe.
Ultimately, it was Mary Lou and Sasha who were eliminated, bringing the Olympian's DWTS journey to an end.
“This has been the time of my life. I hadn't challenged myself in decades, and now I challenged myself,” Mary Lou told Tom and Erin after the elimination. “I'm off to a fresh new start.”
While it's sad to see Mary Lou go, the true shock is that there wasn't a double elimination, meaning eight couples are moving on to next week's country night.
Additionally, with Mary Lou getting sent home, this marks the fifth woman in a row to get eliminated this season, which has never happened in the history of the show. It also means this season's gender balance has been tipped even further in the favor of the men.
Juan Pablo and Cheryl Party Down
According to the pre-taped package, Juan Pablo is the first DWTS contestant to ever design his own costumes for Halloween Night, and he did a pretty spectacular job.
When he and Cheryl took to the dance floor for their Egyptian-themed jive — set to “Dead Man's Party” by Atwater Men's Club — the pair put the costumes to good use by delivering a show-stopping routine that managed to upstage the full-on laser show and impressive sets that backed them.
From Juan Pablo jumping into the splits to Cheryl using the beaded fringe of her flapper-inspired costume to add awesome layers to her dance movies, every moment was epic.
Carrie Ann called the dance “sheer perfection,” while Len admitted that he didn't see a single step he didn't like. All that love resulted in the night's second perfect score, 30 out of 30, placing them at the top of the leaderboard alongside Milo and Witney.
Grocery Store Joe Is a Perfect Frankenstein's Monster
Throughout the season, Grocery Store Joe has danced like someone who is just learning how to walk for the first time.
So, for Halloween, embodying the lumbering menace of Frankenstein's Monster was a perfect fit.
Joe and Jenna performed an admirable Argentine tango set to “El Tango de Roxanne” from Moulin Rouge, and ironically, Joe's best timing of the season came when he was playing an undead corpse!
Seriously, the judges were honestly impressed with the routine, with Len calling it his best dance of the season. Carrie Ann even awarded them an '8' which is something they haven't earned all season.
The pair ended up earning an impressive 22 out of 30, which is by far their best score ever. Does this mean the Bachelor in Paradise star earned him a few more weeks on the show?
Double Date Night!
For Joe and Jenna's pre-taped package, the pair went on a double date with their actual significant others.
Jenna and Val sat opposite Joe and his fiancee Kendall Woods at a haunted hayride and it was simply adorable. This fun DWTS moment just needed to be celebrated in it's own right.
Winter Is Coming (and So Is Val)!
The DWTS pros who make up the cast of the DWTS: Live! Winter Tour delivered an incredible haunted house-themed routine, shot and performed on a set that looked like the hallways of a creepy hotel.
After the mind-blowing number, fans were in for another surprise: Val Chmerkovskiy is joining the Winter Tour! If that doesn't get people to buy tickets, what will?
Alexis and Alan Just Can't Stop Smiling Over Each Other
This showmance keeps escalating!
In the pre-taped package, Alexis marveled over her connection to Alan, and admitted that she's “developing feelings for Alan” but still “trying to process” her emotions.
Then, they talked. Like, about their chemistry. And it was the blush-fest everyone knew it would be. Both Alexis and Alan couldn't keep their emotions in check, but it was plain as day that they have feelings for each other.
So when they hit the dance floor for their jazz routine, set to “Candyman” by Christina Aguilera, their chemistry was absolutely off the charts.
Also, it added an extra meta-layer to all the dance moves that involved them getting very up close and personal. And, as the dance ended, it felt like everyone was hoping they would kiss (but they didn't.)
The judges largely focused on the content of their dance instead of their burgeoning romance, and all three of them had nothing but effusive praise for the number.
While speaking with Erin Andrews on the balcony, the co-host pushed the couple to comment definitively, badgering Alan to confess his feelings until he was saved by the judges scores.
While their romance stole the spotlight, the couple also earned an impressive score of 27 out of 30, putting them in second place for the night.
Mary Lou Makes School Look Scary
After getting emotional and candid about her painful divorce during her pre-taped package, Mary Lou hit the DWTS stage with a vengeance as a demonic school teacher.
The Olympian delivered a spellbinding tango — set to “Shame” by Elle King — in which her pro partner, Sasha, played a disrespectful student at a private school who incurs the wrath of his possessed instructor.
Mary Lou's super creepy make-up, paired with the dance's fantastic content, earned the pair some high praise from the judges, and they walked away with a 24 out of 30.
Stephen “tWitch” Boss and Allison Holker Get Wonderfully Creepy
While it mainly served as product placement for the Freeform channel, this was honestly one of the best guest performances of the season.
The dance was “inspired by Freeform's 31 Days of Halloween,” which basically just means it was inspired by the holiday itself, but independent of all that it was simply amazing to see the raw and undeniable talent on the stage, and the horrifying costuming and makeup really sold the whole thing.
Bobby Bones Seduces Sharna
Bobby and Sharna performed an Argentine tango to what might be the most disturbing cover of “Mr. Sandman,” reimagined by SYML, that you could ever imagine.
In the story of the dance, Sharna stars as a woman getting ready for bed when she's suddenly seduced by a strange man in black who dances with her in her bedroom before straight-up snapping her neck.
He ended things like a creepy psychopath, smiling directly into camera. It was, for lack of a better word, unsettling.
While the storytelling aspect of the dance was absolutely enthralling, the judges had some qualms about the lack of traditional Argentine tango content in the routine.
However, Carrie Ann said it was Bobby's best dance of the season thus far, and all the judges praised the number's chilling atmosphere.
The pair earned a score of 22 out of 30 for their efforts, which is their second-highest score of the season thus far.
The Jabbawockeez Are Terrifying
DWTS came back from a commercial break with a performance by The Jabbawockeez, which was absolutely incredible. Their talent is undeniable.
That being said, their featureless masks are easily creepier than any of the stars' Halloween costumes during this week's routines.
Evanna and Keo Get Sexy in Leather
While all the pre-taped packages have focused on goofy halloween puns, Evanna's was mostly about how disappointed she was at her low scores last week, and it was legitimately heartbreaking.
So, for Halloween Night, the Harry Potter star decided to show her sultry side in a sexy, black leather cat costume. Meanwhile, Keo was dressed up as a handsome man in a leather jacket.
The pair owned the floor with their passionate tango, set to “Disturbia” by Rihanna, and the unbelievable roar of support from the crowd at the end of their routine made it clear that this dance was something special.
The judges' feedback was just as overwhelmingly positive and the pair earned the kind of score they were hoping to get last week: 29 out of 30! Hopefully, a score that impressive can keep them off the chopping block.
DeMarcus and Lindsay Get Sexy in a Cemetery
For DeMarcus and Lindsay's fun, funky and downright weird salsa — set to “Under Your Spell” by Leo Soul — the former NFL star plays a man in a weird yellow tuxedo who gets dance-attacked by a zombified Lindsay.
It was hard to tell what was going on, from a narrative standpoint, but it was also hard to care because it was just so much fun.
The final move of the dance featured Lindsay jumping on DeMarcus' shoulders like a crazed spider monkey and snapping his neck with glee.
The judges all loved the choreography, the energy and the execution, and the pair took home an impressive 26 out of 30.
John Doesn't Quite Understand History
For John and Emma's Halloween-themed paso doble — set to Danny Elfman's iconic “Main Titles” theme song from Beetlejuice — the pair appeared decked out in costumes so wild, they would've definitely earned Tim Burton's seal of approval.
John and Emma play the ghosts of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn — maybe, it was hard to tell — for a lively dance that was a full of fun. It ended with them killing each other off with giant swords. Unfortunately, the routine was riddled with problems.
Carrie Ann said the number broke her heart because it was clear how hard they worked, but John made so many mistakes that it ended up being one of their “roughest performances.”
John and Emma took the critiques in stride, and some of the kindest feedback, surprisingly, came from Len, who actually had some compliments for their dance (but a fair bit of criticism as well).
The pair ended up getting a score of 19 out of 30, placing them at the far bottom of the leaderboard. However, Grocery Store Joe has made a place for himself as the lowest scorer each week, so it's possible he'll give them a run for their money for last place.
Milo Is a Zombie (Because Of Course He Is)
In case you didn't hear it the first 1,000 times they mentioned it this season, Milo was the star of the Disney Channel movie Zombies. So, for Halloween, the choice was obvious.
However, for Milo and Witney's stunningly great contemporary routine, set to an amazing cover of Britney Spears's “Toxic,” they added a super creepy insane asylum angle, making Milo not just a zombie, but a zombie in a straight jacket. Meanwhile, casting Witney as a sadistic nurse was a great choice.
The dance absolutely set the dance floor on fire and got heaps of praise from every one of the judges, including Len, who openly admits his disdain for contemporary routines.
The pair earned their first perfect score of 30 out of 30 (which is only the second perfect score of the season), setting the bar insanely high.
It will be interesting to see how a perfect score this early in the night could mess with the rest of the couples when it's their turn to take to the stage.
The Judges Get Spooky
It's nice to see the judges get into the spirit of Halloween! We've got Carrie Ann Inaba as Morticia Addams, Bruno Tonioli as some sort of swashbuckling lothario and even the stuffy ol' Len Goodman agreed to dress up as Dracula (with the caveat that he didn't have to wear anything but a black cape).
Flying Purple People Dancers
Tonight's show kicked off with a wild group number, inspired by the song “Purple People Eater.” Featuring performances by The Jabbawockeez, Stephen “tWitch” Boss (who also choreographed the routine), Allison Holker and the cast of the DWTS: Live! winter tour, it was the perfect bombastic beginning to what is routinely one of the best themed weeks of the competition.
We got some shadow puppetry, pumpkin bowling, and a free-spirited general madness that set the right tone for what we're all in for tonight.
Where We Left Off Last Week…
After a night of magical performances during Disney Week, the two couples who found themselves in jeopardy were Alexis and Alan, as well as Evanna and Keo, despite both pairs landing near the top of the leaderboard.
However, the whole thing turned out to be a ruse! Host Tom Bergeron revealed that there would be no elimination (presumably because all Disney-related things need to have happy endings.) So, there's a strong chance that we might be getting a double elimination tonight.
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Sometimes high scores aren’t all you need to go the distance on Dancing With the Stars.
This was the case for Tinashe and her partner Brandon Armstrong, a first-time DWTS pro, when they ended up getting eliminated at the end of Monday’s Trio Night.
ET’s Katie Krause caught up with the “2 On” singer and her partner backstage after the show, and the pair reacted to getting the axe in the fourth week, despite routinely earning some of the highest scores among the contestants.
“I feel like we did our best every week so that’s what’s really important,” the 25-year-old singer shared. “We had fun so that’s all that matters. It happens.”
Despite not getting the love she needed from viewers at home, the singer was clearly appreciative of her time on the show and of the fans that got her to this point in the competition.
“Thank you to everyone who did vote for us. It was really fun honestly. We appreciate all of the support,” she said. “[It’s] very humbling, very sweet. It was a great experience so that’s really nice of everyone.”
On Monday, Tinashe and Brandon earned the second-highest score of the night, a 26 out of 30, for their trio tango — set to “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar — alongside paralympian and former DWTS finalist Amy Purdy.
Despite their impressive scores and well-received routine, the pair found themselves in jeopardy alongside Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch and her pro partner, Keo Motsepe, and were ultimately eliminated.
Tinashe managed to keep her spirits high as she and Brandon took center stage for their final bow, and were embraced in a big group hug with her fellow cast members.
Before season 27 kicked off, ET caught up with Tinashe and Brandon in the rehearsal studio, and the pair shared their strategy for trying to take home the Mirrorball trophy. Check out the video below to hear more.
Dancing With the Stars is back and tonight it’s Most Memorable Year Night!
The 11 remaining contestants and their pro partners are performing routines inspired by a year that marked a truly significant time of their life.
Evanna Lynch will commemorate the year she learned she would play Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter franchise, while DeMarcus Ware will celebrate through dance the year he won the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos, and we’ll see everyone’s emotional reflections on their past.
ET is live blogging all the ballroom action, so be sure to follow along with us here as we break it all down! And don’t forget to have some tissues handy, as this week always tends to be extra emotional as we learn more about the stars’ personal lives.
And the Couple Leaving Is…
At the end of the emotional episode, the two couples in jeopardy were Nancy and Val and Tinashe and Brandon.
After all the votes and scores were considered, it was Nancy who ended up getting the axe, leaving Tinashe to fight on another week.
Nancy was left speechless by the elimination, and had a hard time fighting through her emotions before the show came to a close with a big, emotional group hug.
DeMarcus and Linday Define Argentine Tango
The pair came out in fiery ensembles for a jaw-dropping Argentine Tango — “Lux Aeterna” by Clint Mansell & Kronos Quartet — for one of the greatest displays of strength we've seen on the show, ever.
While the judges loved the passion and showmanship, they knocked them for a few technical missteps and the pair earned a still very formidable 26 out of 30.
Although, it's hard to imagine he was disappointed after his adorable kids ran up to him on stage to hug him after the dance. After a moment like that, everything else falls by the wayside.
DeMarcus Gets Emotional About Winning the Big Game
The former NFL star chose 2016 as his Most Memorable Year, because it's when he won the Super Bowl. So, yeah, that makes sense.
In the pre-taped package, DeMarcus explained how it felt to deal with challenge after challenges — including three miscarriages with his ex-wife — on the path to the big game.
He reflected on how they adopted a little girl and then finally welcomed a little boy, and his family got to watch him win the game.
Watching DeMarcus tear up might have been one of the emotional highlights of the night.
Tinashe and Brandon Dance Modern Rumba
When Tinashe took to the stage — looking undeniably amazing in a shimmering blue dress — she and Brandon managed to pull off rumba with, as Bruno put it, a “liquid fluidity” that was stunning.
Their routine was set to a soulful rendition of her own hit song “2 On,” and it provided the perfect tone for their sultry, beautiful number.
After the dance, as the pair spoke with Erin, the cameras cut to her dad in the audience, and his confused reaction was the icing on the cake.
Len called the number their best performance, which Carrie Ann and Bruno apparently agreed with because their earned their highest score of the season thus far: 27 out of 30.
Tinashe Was an Adorable Baby
Tinashe looked back over her parents' support, and the pre-taped package included some adorable childhood video of the pop star, and also included a sweet visit from her parents.
Also, she apparently wrote her first song when she was 6, and that's just adorable.
Bobby and Sharna Share Their Dreams Through Dance
Bobby's performance tonight is way different than those we've seen from him in the past.
The radio star and his partner performed a beautiful, inspirational contemporary routine that was a perfect fit for the beautiful performance of “A Million Dreams,” from The Greatest Showman soundtrack, and it blew everyone away.
Bobby was brought to tears after the dance, and had a hard time finding his words as he shared his inspirational words for those watching to keep trying, no matter your circumstances.
The judges were especially supportive (with Len even calling it his best dance of the season), and the pair earned a 23 out of 30, which is their best score by several points.
It was great to see the human side to a man who has been so over-the-top energetic, and hopefully it translates into votes.
Bobby Bones Appreciates Being a High School Graduate
In 1988, Bobby became the first person in his family to ever graduate high school, which is why he choose that year as his most memorable.
Bobby opened up about the challenges he faced as a teenager — including a troubled mother and an absentee father — and it brought a lot of context to his drive to make people happy and bring joy to the world.
Watching Bobby react to his powerful package was interesting, because it showed a somber side to the energetic star we haven't seen thus far.
John and Emma Deliver Moving Waltz for His Mom
John and Emma used their dance this week — an elegant waltz set to a cover of “Smile” by Ray Chew Live — to pay tribute to John's late mother, and it was a powerful, gorgeous celebration of his love for her.
After the dance, John and Emma joined Erin on the balcony, and John had a hard time fighting back his tears, but admitted that his dance and the support from his family made him truly happy.
The judges were impacted by his emotions, but also had some criticism of his posture. The pair walked away with a score of 21 out of 30.
John Schneider Tears Up
The Dukes of Hazzard star also chose the year he lost his mom as his most memorable, and got choked up thinking about his loss.
It was a deeply touching pre-taped package that brought John to tears as he watched live in the studio, but it also seemed to bring him some emotional motivation for his performance.
Juan Pablo and Cheryl Dominate the Dance Floor!
The pair hit the stage with a steamy samba — set to “Ni Tu Ni Yo” by Jennifer Lopez feat. Gente de Zona — and to say they killed it would be an understatement.
After performing a dance that was so far beyond anything we've seen this season, the pair faced the judges who were effusive in their praise.
After Len, Bruno and Carrie showered them with compliments (including Carrie calling it one of the best sambas ever performed on DWTS) the judges revealed their score paddles, and the couple got '10's across the board for a perfect score of 30 out of 30.
They earned the first '10's of the season AND the first perfect score of the season at the same time, and just took a commanding lead during tonight's show.
Juan Pablo Di Pace Gets Candid About Bullying
In his pre-taped package, the Fuller House star said he was bullied as a child for being awkward and artistic, but found support when he entered show business.
It's hard to imagine someone like Juan Pablo ever being awkward, but it was a personal and emotional story that made him a serious contender.
Val and Jenna Take Center Stage
As DWTS came back from commercial, Lukas Graham was singing live while Val and Jenna expressed their love with a romantic dance that just radiated joy.
The gorgeous number ended in a kiss, and everyone can appreciate that sort of sweet PDA.
Joe and Jenna Get Some Backup for Their Sweet Performance
The pair took the stage to dance a Viennese waltz during a live performance of “You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott and Leona Lewis, who added some beautiful gravitas to their dance.
Joe is definitely growing as a dancer, but he has a long way to go, and it's actually kind of fun to see one of the contestants evolving.
The judges appreciated his effort — and acknowledged how hard it is to judge their dance when they like Joe as a person so much.
The pair earned a disappointing 18 out of 30, but it's not an undeserved score.
'Grocery Store Joe' Amabile Reflects on the Year He Is Currently In
Joe, like Milo, chose 2018 as his Most Memorable Year, and for good reason: He found fame through DWTS, and more importantly he found love on Bachelor in Paradise.
In the pretaped package, his girlfriend, Kendall Wood, showed her support and encouraged him to overcome his fears, which is why being on DWTS has been so important to him as well.
He's definitely charming, and he's got the fan base. Let's see how far those take him, because he brings a fun enthusiasm to the season.
Evanna and Keo Bring the Magic Once Again
Continuing from her emotional pre-taped package, Evanna paid tribute to the movie series that changed her life by performing a Viennese waltz set to “Hedwig's Theme” by John Williams from Harry Potter.
The beautiful, classy number had all the energy, enthusiasm and whimsy that you could hope for from a routine about magic and mysticism, and the judges were floored by it.
The pair earned a 27 out of 30 for the routine — making it their highest-scoring dance and tying them for the top spot on the leaderboard!
Evanna Lynch Recalls How 'Harry Potter' Gave Her Purpose
Evanna is going back to her role in Harry Potter, but in her case it doesn't feel the least bit forced.
The actress opened up about being in and out of hospitals for her eating disorder, and then finding a purpose and a love for life with the Harry Potter books.
Getting cast to perform in the adaptations was a beautiful full-circle moment for her, so it's understandable the impact the movies had on her.
Pros Recall Their Most Memorable Years
It's great to see the pros weigh in. They are people too (and arguably famous in their own rights) and it's great to hear the emotional stories of their most memorable years as well!
Alexis and Alan Honor Her Mother's Memory Through Dance
In a DWTS moment that recalled Bindi Irwin's tributes to her late father a few seasons ago, Alexis and Alan brought some real emotion to the stage for a powerful moment.
The contemporary routine, set to a cover of “How to Save a Life,” brought most of the audience to tears, and after it was done Alexis couldn't hold back her tears.
The pair got a great deal of love and emotional support from the judges and from her partner. For their tearful dance, the couple earned a 26 out of 30, which is their highest score of the season thus far.
Alexis Ren Tears Up Over the Loss of Her Mother
For Alexis, her Most Memorable Year was one of the most painful a person could ever deal with. It was the year her mother died after a battle with cancer.
Watching Alexis break down in tears felt raw and emotional. It's impossible not to feel for her when she reflects on how her mom would be proud.
However, for this story, the picture-in-picture feature felt a little… inappropriate? Maybe? Or manipulative? Maybe this new feature doesn't work for every star.
Val Expresses His Love for Jenna Johnson
Val and his fellow DWTS pro Jenna — who is dancing with Grocery Store Joe this season — got engaged earlier this year, and their love story has been an undercurrent through out the last few weeks.
So when Val gushed over the family he has and is hoping to grow with, it was genuine, heartfelt emotion that was truly swoon-worthy.
“I'm really excited. So far, it's been better than it even sounded from other people,” Val marveled. “I'm really excited to have a family and I'm really proud to have the significant other that I have.”
Nancy and Val Get a Sweet Serenade
When Nancy and Val took to the stage for their beautiful, classy rumba, they got some special help from Lukas Graham, who performed live behind them as they gracefully owned the dance floor.
Nancy looked effortlessly elegant in a burgundy dress that was a perfect compliment to Val's understated black ensemble, and the love she expressed for her family was evident in the joy radiating from their routine.
The judges appreciated the “tenderness” and “warmth” of the routine, and Nancy's growth as a dancer, but there was a bit of critique for the content of the choreography.
The joyful pair earned a formidable 22 out of 30.
Nancy Reflects on Her Family
The Facts of Life star chose 2006 as her Most Memorable Year, because it was when her family finally came together and became complete.
Nancy got emotional in her pre-taped package, while the Nancy we see in picture-in-picture couldn't help but smile as she looked at the beautiful segment.
Milo and Witney Graduate to the Next Level of Greatness
There is absolutely no question that Milo knows how to dance like a genius, and his graduation-themed routine tonight was absolutely stunning.
Milo and Witney performed a fast-paced fun jive set to “Can You Do This” by Aloe Blacc, and the judges were obviously falling in love with the young star.
After their energetic dance, which shone even brighter due to their silver routine, the pair took to the balcony to talk with Erin Andrews. Milo is young and charming (and maybe not the best teller of anecdotes), but he's definitely a contender this season.
The pair earned a wildly impressive 27 out of 30, which definitely puts them at the top of the leaderboard thus far.
Milo Manheim Is Very Young — Also, He Was In 'Zombies'
Milo's most memorable year is 2018. As a 17-year-old, it's not like he has a whole lot of years to choose from, so it makes a lot of sense.
The pre-taped package also featured supportive interviews from his mom, actress Camryn Manheim, and his Zombies co-star Meg Donnelly. DWTS isn't done reminding us that he was in Zombies, but that's OK.
Interesting, no picture-in-picture for Milo. They must not have been expecting many tears.
Mary Lou & Sasha Waltz Like Champions
When they hit the dance floor, Mary Lou and Sasha tapped into the importance of Mary Lou's legacy with a Viennese waltz set to a soulful rendition of “We Are the Champions.”
Dressed all in a regal blue, the pair owned the dance floor with a heartfelt routine that was a perfect showcase for the Olympian's determination and growth as a dancer.
Judges Len, Bruno and Carrie Ann had a lot of praise for the performance and for her enthusiasm (also, they are going to need a whole lot of tissue boxes for Carrie Ann, because she's getting the feels early tonight).
For their efforts, the couple earned a score of 24 out of 30. Not a bad score at all to kick off the night — but it's also harder for the judges to be critical during Most Memorable Year week, for obvious reasons.
Mary Lou Recalls Going for the Gold
Mary Lou won the Olympic gold in 1989, and it came months after undergoing surgery for her busted knee and having to relearn how to walk.
The story is emotional (especially considering the impact she had on American culture) and it reminds us why Mary Lou is a household name.
Also interesting is the picture-in-picture where we get to watch the contestants watch their own emotional pre-taped packages. They are really trying to capture as much crying as possible tonight.
Someone's Going Home Tonight!
With no show tomorrow night (because of the AMAs), another couple is getting sent home at the end of tonight's show. The elimination will be determined by last Tuesday's viewer votes, combined with tonight's judges scores (meaning the couple who gets eliminated tonight can't even benefit from the emotional power of their heartfelt Most Memorable Year story). It'll be interesting to see how that impacts the results.
Where We Stand Going Into Night Three
At the end of last week's Las Vegas Night (following two weeks of grueling rehearsals for the stars and their pro partners, who were all made to learn and perform two dances each week), it was time to send one couple home, and in one of the most disheartening eliminations in recent memory, blind paralympian Danelle Umstead and her partner, Artem Chigvintsev, were the ones to get the axe.
Following back-to-back nights of original dances and glitzy routines during week two of Dancing With the Stars season 27, it came time to cut eliminate the second couple, and the results were disheartening.
The elimination came down to Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider and his pro partner, Emma Slater, and Paralympic skier Danelle Umstead and her partner, Artem Chigvintsev. After (most) of the votes were counted, it was Umstead who ended up getting the axe.
ET caught up with the 46-year-old athlete — who is also the first blind contestant in DWTS history — after her emotional on-air goodbye, and she was still wiping tears from her eyes as she opened up about the disappointingly early elimination.
“I’m really sad that it’s ending this quickly,” Umstead shared. “But it’s been an incredible journey and I’m honored to have had Artem by my side.”
Umstead and Chigvintsev had one of the toughest challenges this season, considering the athlete’s retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder that has nearly entirely destroyed her vision. But through rigorous training, innovating teaching techniques and a closely forged bond of trust, they managed to pull off four separate, inspiring dance numbers in just two weeks.
On Tuesday, the pair performed a quickstep set to “Luck Be a Lady,” which was performed live by Donny Osmond, who even joined the couple on stage for a few steps of their routine.
“I’m so thankful for every minute he’s invested in me,” she said of her 36-year-old partner. “I appreciate him.” For Chigvintsev, the feeling is mutual.
“I can’t even describe with words, it’s been so humbling,” Chigvintsev said of her time and experience with Umstead. “It’s very sad. Because I’ve seen what kind of hard work she’s been putting in every single day, just even to live her life, [nonetheless] the fact that she’s dancing! You know, it’s incredible to witness and I’m so glad that I was part of it.”
The talented dancer and long-time DWTS pro, who has now competed on eight seasons of the ABC reality competition show, said he wished they’d gotten more votes, but didn’t regret anything they managed to accomplish.
“This was the experience we got and I’m very happy,” Chigvintsev reflected. “I wouldn’t change a bit and I’m very happy to be her partner.”
For more on this heated, wild season of competition, check out the video below.
Dancing With the Stars returns next Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
It’s officially week two of Dancing With the Stars‘ 27th season!
The dance competition show continues with two back-to-back shows airing Monday and Tuesday night on ABC, featuring an amazing lineup of entertaining dances and special guests. ET will be live blogging all the best moments from the ballroom, so be sure to follow along with us here (and on Twitter!) as we recap everything you may have missed.
The theme of Monday’s show is “New York City Night,” where the 12 remaining contestants and their pro partners will take on a new ballroom style set to songs inspired by the city that never sleeps.
Where We Stand at the End of Week 2, Night 1
For being the second week of competition, we saw some truly amazing performances tonight, and almost universal improvement from everyone who took the stage.
Going into the second night of Week 2, here's where the stars stand on the leader board.
Tinashe & Brandon — 26
Milo & Witney — 26
Juan Pablo and Cheryl — 26
Alexis & Alan — 25
DeMarcus & Lindsay — 24
Evanna & Keo — 24
John & Emma — 23
May Lou & Sasha — 22
Nancy & Val — 21
Bobby & Sharna — 20
Danelle & Artem — 18
Joe & Jenna — 17
Bobby and Sharna Do a Great Foxtrot that Ends In Madness
Setting aside the random introduction by Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa (which felt weirdly out of place), Bobby and Sharna hit the stage for the second time — this time channeling the class and charm of Frank Sinatra (instead of the madness of an insane cat hopped up on caffeine like the first night).
They did an elegant foxtrot set to Sinatra's “New York New York” that was all the timelessness and grace. Until the end, when Bobby decided to randomly just do the floss like a maniac, much to Sharna's embarrassment.
The bizarre dance at the end confused the hell out of the judges, and it seemingly may have impacted their scores. Especially with Len giving them a paltry '6'. The pair ended up with a 20 out of 30.
Evanna and Keo Bring High Fashion to the Floor
The Harry Potter star isn't content to just turn to the popular well of magic for her routine, and she clearly wants to challenge herself in ways she's never done before.
For their steamy Samba, set to “Can’t Touch It” by Ricki-Lee, Evanna brought some real sexiness in a short, white retro-futuristic dress and, as Carrie Ann phrased it best, she was just “fierce.”
Len praised Keo for letting Evanna's skills speak for themselves, and Keo had nothing but love for her when they joined Erin on the balcony, telling her how proud he is of her dedication.
It should be mentioned how much Keo also shined in a white-and-black ensemble that allowed him to show off his impressive abs. Not a bad way to kick up the heat for their second dance.
Their fancy footwork earned them a score of 24 out of 30 — not the highest of the night but definitely up there and a massive improvement over their first outing.
Juan Pablo Is a Rule Breaker to Cheryl's Chagrin
Juan Pablo in a white tux and tails? This dance started off great and just got better.
There's a definite chemistry between Juan Pablo and Cheryl, but it's hard to tell if it's a contentious relationship or one in which they just challenge each other, but either way it worked wonders for their routine.
Moving with speed and style while dancing the quickstep, set to “42nd Street” by Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Juan Pablo showed that, even when doing a dance with more structure and rules, he knows how to move.
Bruno even compared Juan Pablo's style to Gene Kelly's and Carrie Ann said it was one of her favorite quicksteps in recent memory.
The pair earned a 26 out of 30 for their impressive routine, making it a three-way tie for the top spot.
Mary Lou and Sasha Showcase the the Carole King Musical
Mary Lou's dance with Sasha was set to a very special performance by Sarah Bockel — star of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical — singing “A Natural Woman.”
While Mary Lou and Sasha's waltz was beautiful — and she looked stunning in a dark red gown — the live performance stole the spotlight.
However, the anthemic classic tune seemed to inspire the former Olympic gymnast to up her game during their routine, and the judges felt that shift in confidence and loved it.
The pair earned a score of 22 out of 30, which places them toward the middle of the pack tonight.
Milo and Witney Are the Ultimate Subway Buskers
Did you guys know Milo starred in Disney's Zombies? They really want to make sure people know.
But luckily, their Charleston, set to “Living in New York City” by Robin Thicke, didn't have anything to do with that. They danced in a subway set and set the rails on fire with their incredible set.
Carrie Ann couldn't believe that this was a Week 2 performance, and she could hardly contain herself as she showered the pair with effusive praise.
The pair joined Erin (and the other contestants) on the balcony, where the 17-year-old star (some might argue ringer) was energetic beyond belief.
And his enthusiasm just got crazier when the judges awarded them a 26 out of 30 — tying them with Tinashe and Brandon.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson Is Here, For Some Reason
I get having to incorporate advertisements for other ABC shows, but having Jesse Tyler Ferguson come on to give out pretzels to promote the return of Modern Family was just incredibly confusing.
At least Tom made it funny when he took a bite of the prop pretzel and admitted it was terrible. Sort of a metaphor for the entire bit, really.
Tinashe and Brandon Make Things Sexy and Futuristic
When Tinashe and her partner Brandon — a first-time pro — hit the stage, it was clear they were trying to up the sexy factor, but their dance also felt the farthest from the New York City theme of any couple this season.
The pair's Argentine Tango, set to “New Dorp. New York” by SBTRKT feat. Ezra Koenig,” was supposed to evoke the feeling of being in a nightclub in the Big Apple. Bruno described the routine best as “Barbarella landing in the hippest, coolest, New York high-tech club.”
However, for Len, the dance didn't have enough Argentina in its tango, and Carrie Ann even liked it (despite the lifts, and she hates lifts like nobody's business).
The couple earned the highest score of the night so far with a 26 out of 30, with the only '8' coming from Len.
Grocery Store Joe and Jenna Class Things Up a Bit
Last week, Joe — who somehow survived elimination due to his enormous Bachelor following — kicked their dance off by meeting in a grocery store.
This week, for their Foxtrot set to “New York State of Mind” by Matt Beilis, they toned things down and made things classier by taking things slower (intentionally) and gave it a grace that was lacking the first time around.
However, just because there was an improvement doesn't improve Joe's chances at taking home the Mirrorball trophy, but he might just make it much farther than even he expected.
The pair earned a disappointing 17 out of 30 which, while low, is still a four-point improvement over their premiere performance.
Alexis Is a Prima Ballerina (Despite Wardrobe Malfunction)
Alexis took to the stage with Alan for a stunning Black Swan-inspired Argentine tango set to “Swan Lake,” performed by Ray Chew Live.
Alexis brought some of her brilliant ballet background and incorporated it into a beautiful performance that allowed her to rock a tutu on stage.
Despite the fact that the tutu got a little stuck in the moment when Alan was supposed to rip it off, there was no denying that Alexis has incredible stage presence and knows how to move.
The couple earned the first '9' of the season from Len Goodman (of all people!?) and earned a score of 25 out of 30, putting them at the top of the leader board.
Jordan Fisher and Frankie Muniz Practice Hosting
Jordan, a former DWTS champ, and Frankie, who came in third during the same season of the show, are serving as hosts of Dancing With the Stars: Juniors when it kicks off next week.
So, to get some practice in, Tom Bergeron kicked back in a leather chair and gave the young pair a chance to get some hosting practice in by throwing the show to a commercial.
Not sure if it proved anything, but their charming energy just keeps making DWTS: Juniors seem like it's going to be a real fun time.
Nancy and Val Go Uptown in Style
Last week, the Facts of Life star was in the bottom two, so she had a lot riding on her dance this week, and her injured feet aren't helping.
In the pre-taped package, it was revealed that Nancy's foot is fractured from an old injury, however she didn't let that keep her from taking the stage for a fun, charming Cha Cha set to Billy Joel's “Uptown Girl” that oozed a Breakfast at Tiffany's charm.
Nancy was clearly in pain as walked over to the judges' table, but she had a broad smile on her face as the panel of judges praised her confidence and improved footwork.
The pair earned a score of 21 out of 30 for their efforts.
It will be interesting to see how Nancy's foot injury impacts her ability to compete as the season gets more challenging and the schedule gets more grueling.
Also, just a quick note about Val: Let's get him in an awesome leather jacket every week. He just looks too cool.
John and Emma Charleston it Up
The Dukes of Hazzard star get in the big city spirit for his second dance of the season. John and Emma busted out an impressive and technically competent Charleston set to “New York’s My Home” by Sammy Davis Jr.
With a big clock projected on the back wall and John rocking a train conductor's uniform, they recreated Grand Central Terminal through the lens of Broadway grandeur, and the judges all agreed that it was a big improvement over his previous offering.
The judges had nothing but praise for their routine — especially for John's impressive high-kicking ability, and awarded the pair a 23 out of 30.
The score is an enormous improvement over the meager 18 they got last time, and puts them one step below DeMarcus, who absolutely slayed the first dance of the night.
Danelle and Artem Bring Some Real Grace and Style
Danelle and Artem took to the stage with a graceful, elegant style for their beautiful Cha Cha set to Taylor Swift's “Welcome to New York,” and the paralympian shinned in a shimmering patina green gown that evoked Lady Libery herself, making it a wonderfully New York dance.
Danelle — who was also super sick all week to the point of needed to get an IV — did mess up one of the first big steps, but recovered beautifully and finished up with class and confidence.
The pair earned a lackluster score of 18 out of 30, but that's certainly nothing to scoff at considering the hurdles both she and Artem had to overcome just getting the dance on it's feet.
Mark Ballas Gives His Advice
“Take it step by step, take it week by week,” the former DWTS pro told the couples as he skyped in from New York, where he's starring in Kinky Boots on broadway.
You've got to admit, without Ballas, there's been a serious lack of terrifying costumes in recent weeks, and that's a real shame.
DeMarcus Did All That in Two Days!?
After their amazing foxtrot, DeMarcus and Lindsay spoke with co-host Erin Andrews on the DWTS balcony, and he revealed that, between his commitments and his coaching requirements, DeMarcus managed to learn that whole dance in just about two days!?
That's insane, and feels like the mark of a real frontrunner, for sure.
DeMarcus and Lindsay Start the Night on the Right Foot
After shining in their debut performance — so much so that they were asked to repeat their dance during the second night of the premiere — DeMarcus and Lindsay were the first to hit the dance floor tonight, and they set the bar pretty high.
The pair hit the dance floor for their foxtrot set to “Boy From New York City” by The Manhattan Transfer, and it had all the retro '50s NYC charm you could hope for from a fun opening routine.
The slower, more graceful performance was a far cry from the wild, larger-than-life number DeMarcus pulled off during the premiere, but it proved that the graceful former footballer definitely has range when it comes to his ballroom skills.
Len was the first judge to give feedback and he was effusive with his praise for DeMarcus' footwork, while Bruno compared his stylish kicking to the Rockettes.
Needless to say, the pair earned an impressive score of 24 out of 30 — which is a real high bar to clear for the rest of the couples.
The 'DWTS' Pros are Broadway Ready
Tonight's show is all about the beauty, the history and the regal elegance of the Big Apple, and the pros kicked things off just right with a classy, over-the-top musical group number set to “On Broadway.”
The routine was choreographed by the show's own Emmy-winning Mandy Moore and featured Tiler Peck, a principal dancer at the New York City Ballet.
A Quick Recap…
At the end of last week's two-night season premiere, five couples found themselves on the chopping block, and the bottom two pairs were Nikki Glaser and Gleb Savchenko alongside Nancy McKeon and Val Chmerkovskiy.
Ultimately, Nikki and Gleb got the axe, narrowing the field of competition down to the 12 stars dancing tonight.
From the first-week first-looks, it would seem that Tinashe and first-time pro Brandon Armstrong are the season's frontrunners, neck and neck with former NFL star DeMarcus Ware and 12-season pro Lindsay Arnold.
The full cast of competitors for the first season of Dancing With the Stars: Juniors was revealed on Tuesday, during the second night of the DWTS season 27 premiere, and it was clear from the young performers’ brief time on air that they’ve got more than enough charm and charisma to make the spin-off series a hit.
One of the biggest scene-stealers was 11-year-old Ariana Greenblatt, best known for playing Young Gamorah in Avengers: Infinity War, who made a real impression alongside her pint-sized pro partner, Artyon Celestine, also 11.
ET caught up with the beaming young stars after Tuesday’s show, and they opened up about their dynamic chemistry and even dished on their efforts to play matchmaker between first-time DWTS pro Brandon Armstrong — who is also their mentor on Juniors — and one of this season’s star contestants.
“We’re trying with Tinashe,” Greenblatt said, referring to Armstrong’s season 27 celeb partner. “Tinashe’s really pretty and he needs to date her because she’s nice and talented and so is he.”
“And they’re both single!” Celestine chimed in.
While Armstrong played coy about the possibility of romantic sparks between himself and his singer-songwriter DWTS partner, he joked about just how keen his young mentees are to see a love connection.
“If they have anything to do with it, it’s going to be happening,” Armstrong quipped.
“Ooh! Tinashe Armstrong. I’m feeling it,” Greenblatt said, beaming.
The effervescent young duo also dished on how excited they are that they no longer have to keep their involvement in the long-awaited spin-off series a secret anymore.
“It makes me feel amazing!” Greenblatt shared. “Just seeing the package [on the show] was like, ‘Woooohooo!!'”
“I’ve been waiting for them to announce her, because I’ve done like, videos and stuff and I can’t post it. I can’t post it because she’s in it,” Celestine said, referring to their time together in the rehearsal studios preparing for the show.
“In the studio, he was like, posting videos and being all funny and, like, I wanted to be in the video, but anytime I was like in a picture, they had to cover my face with an emoji!” Greenblatt recalled. “It was really sad.”
Check out the video below for more on the cast from the upcoming debut season of Dancing With the Stars: Juniors — which also includes Black-ish star Miles Brown, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, Bristol Palin’s son Tripp Palin, National Spelling Bee breakout star Akash Vukoti, singer Mackenzie Ziegler and General Hospital actor Hudson West, among others.
Dancing With the Stars: Juniors premieres Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.