Time for the semifinals! During the Monday, November 15, episode of Dancing With the Stars, the final six couples danced two numbers each, as the first was a redemption dance one of the judges chose.
Everyone came ready to land a spot on the finale — and reflect on their emotional journeys. After her first number, Suni Lee opened up about becoming a whole new person during her time on the show alongside partner Sasha Farber. “I think I’m just gaining so much self-confidence in myself and I’m allowing myself to have fun,” the Olympian said on Monday’s show after their first number. She later also reflected on how “lonely” it was when she became a celebrity overnight, going from a gymnast to a gold medalist.
It was also an emotional evening for JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson. First, the pair redid their week three Argentine Tango for their first dance of the night with guidance from Len Goodman. After they completed the number, he was nearly speechless.
“I’ll tell you what that was: It was bloody brilliant,” the head judge said. Carrie Ann Inaba commended the pair on the “passion” that they have. “I was like you were an extension of one person,” she said. “There was this bravado that made it so powerful.”
After the dance, JoJo noted that not only has the show made her a better dancer but it’s also “changed me as a human.” The second dance, a contemporary number, was dedicated to JoJo’s late grandfather and Derek Hough said “that was the best contemporary dance we’ve ever seen on the show, ever.” The pair received two perfect 40s.
The judges were also very impressed with Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten‘s redemption tango. “You have been the most consistent dancer on this season so far,” Derek said. Carrie Ann added, “You danced that tango like the boss that you are.”
Plus, Amanda was proud of herself, noting that she could “never have done this tango week one,” and knows she has come a long way. While Carrie Ann took a point off for a foot lift, all the other judges gave her 10s.
For the second number, the pair took on a contemporary number to “Live Your Life,” her late husband, Nick Cordero‘s song. The Broadway star died from COVID-19 in July 2020.
“Wehn we made the decision to slowly take him off the machines, we played ‘Live Your Life’ all day and we slowly let him go,” she recalled during rehearsals, noting they wanted to dance “for everybody who’s lost somebody and for Nick.”
The judges were blown away by the emotional number, which had everyone in tears.
“When you’re greaving you feel so alone, but I had such an amazing support system,” the Talk cohost said through tears. “You have to find that community if you’re grieving. There’s something out there. You can connect with people.”
The number — the last dance of the night — earned the pair a perfect 40 and second place on the leaderboard behind JoJo and Jenna.
Still, two pairs had to go home and four advanced to the finale. JoJo and Jenna, Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach and Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke went directly to the finale — Cheryl’s first since season 17.
Scroll down for all of the scores: