There's something about Dancing with the Stars semi-finals week that makes you think anyone could win, even if America’s favorite dad David Ross is never going to win. Everyone feels like a winner, including Normani’s grandma, who got no less than three kisses from a Chmerkovskiy tonight. But even on a winning night, there are no words to describe the shock that set in as Simone Biles was eliminated, just shy of the finale.
Let’s talk about her perfect week and ultimate downfall.
Simone Biles and Sasha Farber
Judges Challenge: 40/40
Unlearned Dance: 40/40
Carrie Ann shows up to Simone’s performance to help her dial in to being “fun.” After last week’s iconic “Smiling doesn’t win gold medals” comment, this week’s challenge is all about having fun during the jive. Simone, sorry, her alt-ego “Zoe” nails it, and she lands her first perfect score. It’s Simone’s Rumba that truly exhibits the dancer she is.
"I was probably 4 years old before I started taking gymnastics serious."- Simone Biles on #DWTS, reminding me I've wasted my entire life— Justin Kirkland (@justinkirkland4) May 16, 2017
Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater:
Judges Challenge: 38/40
Unlearned Dance: 39/40
Bruno stops in to work on Rashad’s extremities. It’s as awkward as it sounds, but he has to finish those lines, especially in a Rumba. He manages to get those muscle arms a little more fluid, but in doing so, he loses a bit of detail in his feet. Despite any misgivings in his Rumba, he comes back fighting in his Quickstep. Rashad is a man, and he serves as the perfect frame for Emma.
Normani Kordei and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Judges Challenge: 36/40
Unlearned Dance: 40/40
Len comes to visit Normani for the Judges’ Challenge. He’s been exceptionally hard on Normani, but his request is simple—12 bars of uninterrupted Viennese Waltz in hold. Every Viennese Waltz should be soundtracked by Rihanna, even if you have to stay in hold. She stumbles just a hair, but it’s barely noticeable. For her second dance, Normani gives a jazz number to What a Wonderful World that makes her look like the professional. Len agrees with a standing ovation. In short, this is Normani’s season to lose.
Obviously Normani is the best dancer but her personality & humility has made her one of the most likable & easiest to root for #DWTS— Stormy M. (@Stormviking010) May 16, 2017
David Ross and Lindsay Arnold
Judges Challenge: 34/40
Unlearned Dance: 36/40
Julianne visits David and Lindsay on the tail of their best week yet. Her challenge is for David to tuck that catcher’s butt in, so Julianne brings him lemons to keep between his butt cheeks. We’re not lying. He does a beautifully tucked Foxtrot, and the judges award him with 8s and 9s. But it’s David’s family-dedicated Tango to Castle on a Hill that is truly David’s season perfect dance (even if Carrie Ann calls him for a lift).
don't get me wrong, i absolutely ADORE david ross❤but him beating simone biles to the finals is a COMPLETE shock😮 #DWTS— britney (@britneyahuna) May 16, 2017
At the end of the show, Simone was the one to be sent home. Her elimination comes as one of many shock eliminations this season. After Heather and Nancy's departures, it was almost certain that Simone would make the final considering her place in the final four. But half of the decision relies on America's vote, and even after a perfect 80 from the judge's, David Ross' votes outweighed Biles'.
For die-hard fans, it's reminiscent of Brandy's exit back in season 11. The only formidable option to take out fan-favorite Jennifer Grey, Brandy left in the final four after a near-perfect run on the show. The science and math of DWTS? Well, it just doesn't make sense sometimes.
USA TODAY Sparkle Points Podium
Simone Biles, Rumba: 5/5
Making a double appearance on the podium with a gold sash and yellow topaz one piece, Simone’s ensemble and dance set is a clear casting of shade on the (one) bronze medal she was awarded at the Olympics. The use of wardrobe to communicate angst is an absolute fire move.
David Ross, Foxtrot: 4.5/5
Here we are, again, guys. David Ross turns it out with bedazzled top hat and tails. He’s a genius performer — a true gentleman in jewels. No man has made rhinestones this lovable since Glen Campbell.
Simone Biles, Jive: 4/5
Diamond-encrusted bustier! Sparkly chokers! Pleather everywhere! Simone’s personality wasn’t the only thing that loosened up. It’s even fierce enough that even Erin Andrews notices.