Dancing with the Stars Recap: Who got the boot in the semifinals?

Dancing with the Stars recap: Season 22 Semifinals

Five go into the Dancing with the Stars semifinals, but only three will come out. There isn’t any time for those pesky JV dancers to open the show with a stellar Mandy Moore number. These couples are dancing for their lives with the hope that the double elimination won’t force them to thank millions of fans via social media for the “incredible journey” known as the last nine weeks of their existence. Let’s go ahead and put them out of their misery, shall we? Here’s what happened in the trio round:

Paige, Mark and Alan
“Hip Hip Chin Chin” — Club des Belugas
Mark chooses Alan to join the trio because he and Paige had palpable chemistry in week 2 when Alan had to step in due to Mark’s back injury. In fact, that chemistry sizzled so much that the producers ask if Alan and Paige have a thing on the side. They giggle it off, which is a smart move, because romantics like me latch onto the possibility of a love story whenever I can get it since the movies refuse to make them on a regular basis like they used to.

I interrupt this recap to bring you this phenomenal trailer:

Moving on. The trio dress as peacocks and both boys shake their tail feathers, hoping Paige will notice them. Paige drops a Notebook like on Alan (“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” and my heart melts. Their set is a knock-off from the Broadway version of The Lion King. It had Coming to America elements mixed in for good measure. They even do a trio version of the samba roll which was seductive. I have to admit, I watched Alan more than the other two. He’s just so pretty. It was a show stopper. Erin tried to get Alan to profess his love for Paige on national TV, but he refused. Prove that romance is not dead, Alan. Make this happen.

Sharna, Antonio and Hayley
Argentine Tango
“Mi Confesion” by Gotan Project
Sharna explains to Antonio that he has to command two women on the floor. He smiles. Sweet Antonio is like the male version of Ginger. He can’t really pull off sultry in my opinion. The choreography definitely played to Antonio’s strengths. He tosses Sharna around like pizza dough. Then he bench presses Hayley. Literally. Above his head while standing. I was impressed. The dance ends with one of Antonio’s hands on each of his partner’s butt cheeks. When Carrie Ann started talking about how he tries really hard on the show, I knew his score wouldn’t be a perfect one. Critics with the word “journey” in them rarely end in a 10.

Wanya, Lindsay and Witney
Paso Doble
“Explosive” by David Garrett
Lindsay and Wanya have a conversation about how this competition is fierce. Both are still upset (meaning, there were tears) that they screwed up last week. Wanya decides that he’s been focusing too much on the work. He wants to remember the fun. PS: He doesn’t want any props this time. All he needs is a big black floor with weird red lighting, two girls in red Victoria’s Secret underwear with Superman capes wrapped around their waists and a will to survive. He looks fierce. The choreography is really good. It’s so good that Carrie Ann hugs Wanya (I had to hide behind the couch during that part) as Len gives him a standing ovation.

Peta, Nyle and Jenna
“Hit the Road Jack” by the Hermes House Band
Jenna knows American sign language which thrills Nyle to no end. It’s really cute how Ramone feels left out. For that matter, so does Peta. I personally did not love their dance. I think fast feet numbers are the hardest for Nyle, especially when he isn’t in hold. He messes up a few times but tries to make up for it with lots of gyrating. At one point, he even hugs Peta’s butt. Then Jenna grabs his crotch during a between-the-legs move. The choreography was campy and theatrical. This is not Peta’s wheelhouse. And the score prove my point.

Ginger, Val and Artem
Paso Doble
“Shot Me Down” by David Guetta
Val loves Artem. He warns Ginger that Artem is a sweetheart and will have a lot of patience where he has none. He tells the camera that he is the mustard, Artem is the honey and Ginger is the chicken nugget. Without missing a beat, Ginger responds, “And I’m going to dip into them both.” CUE THE LAUGHTER! Val sets the routine in the Old West. Ginger is a girl in a tattered, white lace dress who watches as two lovers fight to the death for her hand. The boys dress like men you’ve seen in most old westerns on TV. They have high waisted pants that are a bit too short, suspenders and open white shirts that reveal freshly waxed, chiseled chests. Just like John Wayne. Their hats are divine, the boots are scuffed and they are both covered in dirt road dust. I’ll allow it. I don’t remember much of the dance, but I believe she died at the end.

Paige and Mark
Argentine Tango
“One Time” by Marian Hill
In this portion of the competition, we learn a little bit more about the remaining contestants’ personal lives. Paige’s mom is a dancer (now I get it!) and she grew up around the craft her entire life. She made Varsity cheerleader as a freshman, which sounds fun, but girls will be girls. Apparently Paige took the spot of an older girl and all hell broke loose. They actually threw trash at her in the hallway. Her family left for Reno to make a better life for their daughter. That’s where she found MMA. Mark loves that she has embraced her power and femininity. In fact, he showcases this side of Paige during the Argentine Tango. It was sensual and dynamic. I would have loved to see Alan dancing it with her. By the end of the dance, she was dressed in nothing but a black body suit. And, of course, looked phenomenal in it. I thought it was funny that she was still wearing the body suit at the end of the show during judgement.

Antonio and Sharna
“Hall of Fame” from The Script
Antonio had a rough childhood, but no one ever told him that. He was bitter that his father left, but “just because someone gives up on you, doesn’t mean you give up on yourself.” He started from the bottom and worked his way into the NFL. He’s not the fastest or the biggest, but he has grit. And he loves, loves, loves his kids. He claims the best gift he can give them is his presence. I love that. Sharna puts him in a pair of pajama bottoms and then makes him pick her up no less than 15 times during the entire dance. His lifts would make Johnny Castle jealous. It’s as if Sharna weighs nothing. I thought it was his best dance of the season, next to Footloose.

Wanya, Lindsay
“Shame on Me” by Avicii
Wanya grew up in the worst projects in Philadelphia. His adorable grandmother knew he was musically gifted. Shawn Stockman absolutely loves him and when he heard the boy could sing like Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, a star was born. Boyz II Men was also born and the rest is history. His Charleston is full of energy. Wanya looks perfect in a jaunty cap and grey suit. Lindsay knows how to partner well. She looks at Wanya the entire time, begging the audience to bask in his talent. Also, her legs are FREAKS OF NATURE. I enjoyed the entire routine from start to finish.

Nyle and Peta
Argentine Tango
“Unsteady” by X Ambassadors
Nyle used to be a math teacher at a university for the deaf. Then Tyra stole him away to become America’s next top model. Now he’s vying to be America’s favorite ballroom dancer. The one thing that sort of annoys me is Peta’s endless need to be gimmicky. She insists that Nyle dance blindfolded. I was pleased when that ended up being only a few eight-counts of the routine instead of the entire number. They did a decent job, but I’m not sure it was worthy of a perfect score. Especially the part at the end when they are both sitting and he puts his face directly into her crotch. As in, nose first. Odd.

Ginger and Val
“Fire Under My Feet” by Leona Lewis
When Ginger’s parents got divorced, she adopted an eating disorder that lasted four years. Then one day, she got angry at herself for choosing this path, so she decided to cope. She did that through chasing tornados and becoming a meteorologist. Everyone at GMA loves her. So does her husband. Although I don’t think it’s fair when a singing celebrity artists perform live while a contestant dances, I did think this routine was well done. Quicksteps are never popular, but I think Val choreographed a fun routine. Ginger looked gorgeous.

The time has come for Tom and Erin to tear up, thanks to the pending double elimination. Tom is quick to point out that he and Erin are just the messengers. He understands that the remaining five couples are all worthy of the mirrorball trophy. However, two must go home. And those two are Antonio and Wanya.

What did you think? Did the right people go home? I would have been happy with any scenario, other than Paige going home. I’m officially rooting for her to win Dancing with the Stars season 22!

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