“Dancing with the Stars” - Episode 5 & 6 Review

Story posted October 26, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Kaitlyn Murphy.

This week’s “Dancing with the Stars” two-night special was filled with more twists and turns than an Argentine tango.

The theme of Monday night’s episode was the stars’ “most memorable year,” and Tuesday’s was “prom night.”

Every season, the “most memorable year” night is extremely emotional for the dancers. Many of the dances are odes to the hardships they’ve faced in their lives, and representative of how they overcame them to end up on the show.

Bachelorette star Gabby Windey and her partner Val Chmerkovsky danced a gorgeous foxtrot to JP Cooper’s “If the World Should Ever Stop,” which was a tribute to Gabby’s experience as a nurse during the coronavirus pandemic. The judges and hosts all thanked Gabby and every essential worker for their service during 2020, a year when the world did seem to stop.

Another highlight of the special episode was Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart’s contemporary routine to “Both Sides Now” from the Oscar-winning movie “CODA.” Daniel’s most memorable year was 2019, when he started filming “CODA” and broke his three-year streak of no acting jobs.

His dance incorporated sign language, which made for a beautiful number that spread love to the deaf community and let deaf actors know they should not give up on their dreams.

At the beginning of the episode, co-host Tyra Banks mentioned an announcement would be made at the end of the show that would alter the competition completely.

*Spoiler Warning for the end of the episode*

It was revealed that actress Selma Blair was dancing one final time, and then exiting the show due to complications with her chronic illness, multiple sclerosis. Every person in the ballroom erupted into cheers after her graceful performance, and almost the entire cast was in tears.

Selma’s exit was of course very emotional, but also a powerful display of the love and respect the “DWTS” community shows for the competitors.

Tuesday’s “prom night” episode was a bit more lighthearted, showing embarrassing prom photos of the contestants, judges, and hosts from the 1980’s, 2010’s and everywhere in between.

Co-host Tyra Banks opened up the show in a larger-than-life hot pink poofy prom dress that was seemingly an ode to her 90’s prom, but when her prom photo was shown, she was in a simple sleek black gown. It was kind of hilarious.

The “prom night” episode had a special format, with the first portion of the show dedicated to the traditional couple dances, and the second half taking the form of a dance marathon. Every couple would take the floor together, and when the judges sent someone to tap their shoulder, they would be out.

For the traditional part of the epiosde, actor Wayne Brady and Witney Carson danced a samba to “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock that had the entire ballroom bopping along, and earned them 10’s across the board.

Everyone was shocked to learn that actor Trevor Donovan had an emo phase in high school, leading him to don a scandalous amount of guyliner for his dance with Emma to “Basket Case” by Green Day.

*Spoilers for the dance marathon and elimination*

The juicy part of the episode came with the dance marathon, as some of the top scorers were slowly picked off one by one. Surprisingly, the prom king and queen of the marathon were Jessie and Alan, who were towards the bottom of the leaderboard to start the night.

Every couple earned bonus points based on how long they lasted, and the end of the marathon led straight into the elimination.

At the bottom of the leaderboard this week were Vinny and Koko, so it was an absolute shock when they were the seventh couple announced to be safe. After more narrowing, the bottom two were Heidi and Artem, and Joseph and Daniella.

By a vote that came down to Len, Joseph and Daniella were eliminated from the competition.

This two-night “DWTS” special was extremely entertaining, and the tight eliminations kept the viewer on the edge of their seat. As the cast narrows down, it’s hard to see anyone leave.

Rating: 5/5


Kaitlyn Murphy is a first-year studying digital and print journalism. To contact her, email kvm6255@psu.edu.