There’s just one week until the Dancing With the Stars semi-finals, and the competition is heating up. The first round of the Nov. 9 episode will feature the couples dancing a style they have not yet performed this season as they pay tribute to their musical icons.
The first couple up is Justina Machado and Sasha Farber. They dance a sweet rumba to “Crazy For You” by Madonna. Derek Hough tells Justina that it was a “beautiful rumba” but wants to see a bit more. Bruno Tonioli agrees with Derek that the “content was there” but Justina needs to “push it a bit further.” Justina and Sasha’s scores: Carrie Ann = 8; Derek = 8; and Bruno = 8. Total score = 24 out of 30.
Next up, Nelly and Daniella Karagach take on jazz to Tupac’s “California Love.” Nelly decides to redo the iconic song and dance to it. He kicks off his performance with a wild backflip and has a blast with Daniella. Bruno notes that Nelly missed a couple of steps but Nelly was “cool, confident” and in his element. Carrie Ann Inaba and Derek both rave that Nelly was “so much fun” to watch even with the missteps. Nelly and Daniella’s scores: Carrie Ann = 8; Derek = 8; and Bruno = 8. Total score = 24 out of 30.
AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke are paying tribute to AJ’s ultimate icon, Freddie Mercury. They dance the Viennese Waltz to Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” AJ has a few noticeable missteps early on in the performance, and the judges notice. Carrie Ann does tell AJ that he had a “good comeback,” while Derek notes that when AJ was in frame it was “beautiful.” Bruno believes AJ will be back and will do better next week. AJ and Cheryl’s scores: Carrie Ann = 7; Derek = 8; and Bruno = 8. Total score = 23 out of 30.
Kaitlyn Bristowe is a Britney Spears stan, so it’s no surprise she’s honoring Ms. Spears on Icons Night. Kaitlyn and Artem Chigvintsev dance a perfect Argentine Tango to “Toxic.” Derek has to stand up and give her a slow clap. He raves that the performance was “beautiful.” Bruno says Kaitlyn’s focus and intensity are better than it’s ever been. Carrie Ann, after weeks of tough criticism, gives Kaitlyn a standing ovation! “Everything about it was amazing,” Carrie tells Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn and Artem’s scores: Carrie Ann = 10; Derek = 10; and Bruno = 10. Total score = 30 out of 30. Kaitlyn and Artem’s first perfect score!
Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart hit the ballroom to dance an amazing quickstep to “Valerie” by Johnny’s icon of choice, Amy Winehouse. Bruno stands up and applauds Johnny and Britt for their “unique, groundbreaking” quickstep. Carrie Ann admits she’s never seen a quickstep like this, and they pulled it off perfectly. Johnny and Britt’s scores: Carrie Ann = 10; Derek = 10; and Bruno = 10. Total score = 30 out of 30.
Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten return to the ballroom after landing in the bottom two last week. Skai’s not letting last week get her down and wows with her paso doble to “If” by Janet Jackson. Carrie Ann tells Skai she loved her “fierce paso doble.” Derek agrees but just notes to watch her arms. Bruno is all about Skai’s purpose, strength, and power in this performance. Skai and Alan’s scores: Carrie Ann = 9; Derek = 9; and Bruno = 9. Total score = 27 out of 30.
The final performance before the dance-off challenge is Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson’s jive to “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” by Elton John. Derek notes that Nev and Jenna’s jive had “so much content” in it but wishes there was a “little more pump” in the performance. Bruno says he loved the “structure” of the dance. Carrie Ann makes a slight criticism and tells Nev to point his feet. Nev and Jenna’s scores: Carrie Ann = 9; Derek = 9; and Bruno = 9. Total score = 27 out of 30.
It’s time to transition into the second round, the dance-off challenge. Two at a time, the couples face off against one another in the ballroom as they dance head-to-head in the same style at the same time. Nev and Jenna have been granted dance-off immunity based on the leaderboard from last week and the highest cumulative score over the season. They’re also getting 2 bonus points.
First up are Justina and Sasha vs. Kaitlyn and Artem. They’re dancing the cha-cha to “Telephone” by Lady Gaga featuring Beyonce. Both pairs bring something totally different to the ballroom. Justina brings the spice, while Kaitlyn brings the sugar. The judges are torn. In the end, Justina wins the dance-off and the two bonus points. The next dance-off has Nelly and Daniella facing off with Skai and Alan. They’re dancing the salsa to “Cup of Life” by Ricky Martin. Skai wins the dance-off!
The final dance-off is AJ and Cheryl vs. Johnny and Britt. They dance the jive to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham. AJ ends up winning this dance-off.
Now it’s time for the elimination. Johnny and Britt are in the bottom two, along with AJ and Cheryl. The judges have to decide who to send home. Bruno chooses to save Johnny and Britt. Derek saves AJ and Cheryl. It’s all down to Carrie Ann. She chooses to save Johnny and Britt, which means AJ and Cheryl have been eliminated.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.