This article contains spoilers for the Nov. 21 episode of “Dancing With the Stars”
The remaining six couples danced to songs by Taylor Swift on Tuesday night of “Dancing With the Stars” and Eras tour choreographer Mandy Moore sat in as guest judge. Swift herself is on tour in Brazil, but sent a video thank you message that opened up the show.
Singer Jason Mraz, who lost momentum in recent weeks, did an Argentine Tango to “Don’t Blame Me” that had the judges on their feet. “Reputation restored,” yelled Bruno Tonioli, adding, “technically, it was a tour de force.” “My man Jason Mraz is back,” Derek Hough declared, while Moore pronounced it “grounded and epic.”
Mraz’s polished comeback dance earned his first perfect 40 out of 40 score and he also earned 3 bonus points from a relay dance-off Cha Cha to “Lavender Haze” against Charity Lawson. Carrie Ann Inaba said it was “the most competitive relay of all,” but handed the points to Mraz.
Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy performed a Quickstep to 2019’s “Paper Rings,” which Moore called “poetry in motion.” Tonioli said it was “light, beautiful and extremely enjoyable.” Inaba raved that the Marvel star is “the most animated and enthusiastic performer we have ever had,” but noted that she lost focus at times.
The judges gave the dance 38 out of 40. Gomez also picked up an additional three points in a Viennese Waltz dance relay opposite Ariana Madix, tying with Mraz in first place at the top of the leaderboard.
The star going home in Week 9 was Australian reality star Harry Jowsey, who had his highest scored individual dance to date for his “August” Rumba. However, he lost out to Alyson Hannigan in the relay dance, a Jive set to “Shake It Off.”
Co-host Alfonso Ribeiro said that this week’s episode drew the most votes of Season 32 so far, with Swifties who don’t usually watch the competition tuning in for “A Celebration of Taylor Swift.”
“Bachelorette” star Lawson and partner Artem Chigvintsev danced an Argentine Tango to 2017’s “Look What You Made Me Do” that earned 38 points. Hough said it was “sensational” and Tonioli dubbed it “picture perfect.” Moore said it “ticked all the boxes,” but wanted more “the unpredictability of a snake’s bite.” Inaba revived the familiar criticism that Lawson still needed to show more passion.
“Vanderpump Rules” star Madix and Pasha Pashkov danced a Rumba to “Cruel Summer.” Her back was still sore from last week’s energetic Paso Doble, but she said, “I’m just going to ignore the pain and hope I can get to the end.” The routine earned 37 out of 40 points.
Moore praised the “melodic quality” of Madix’s dancing. Tonioli, who gave the routine a 10, said that the restraint of the Rumba made it even more powerful. Hough admired how “sensual and refined” the dance was.
Hannigan, the biggest Swiftie in the ballroom, danced a sassy Cha Cha to “You Belong With Me” with partner Sasha Farber. Hough praised the actress’ “charisma and joy,” but noted she was off in some of her steps. Inaba challenged Farber to give Hannigan more footwork since her dancing has improved so much. Last week, the “How I Met Your Mother” actress earned her first 9, but was given three 7s and an 8 for the routine.
In the relay dances, Madix and Gomez went head to head with a Viennese Waltz to “Lover,” in a close competition that had the judges split. Tonioli said it was like “choosing between diamonds and pearls,” but the extra points went to Gomez.
In addition to the competitive dances, four pro couples performed a routine set to “Style (Taylor’s Version).”
LEADERBOARD WEEK 8
Judges’ Scores for Solo Dances
1. Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach: 40/40
2. Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev: 38/40
Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy: 38/40
3. Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov: 37/40
5. Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold: 30/40 [Eliminated]
6. Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber: 29/40
Total Scores After Relay Dances
1. Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy: 43
Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach: 43
3. Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev: 38
4. Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashko: 37
5. Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber: 32
6. Harry Jowsey and Rylee Arnold: 30 [Eliminated]
“Dancing With the Stars” airs live on Tuesdays on ABC and streams on Disney+ in local time zones and the next day on Hulu.
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