The Little Mermaid Live! is still a few weeks away, but ABC has already sprinkled some Disney magic, courtesy of Dancing With the Stars.
As is tradition — dictated by corporate synergy! — the competition series staged its latest Disney Night on Monday, featuring routines inspired by beloved films, as well as a whooole lotta promotion for the Disney+ streaming service. Did you know it launches on Nov. 12? And that you can pre-order right now? If not, Tom Bergeron will remind you!
And since it wouldn’t be a Disney production without a happy ending, Bergeron capped the evening by announcing that no one would go home. (Yay!) But next week’s broadcast will likely include a double elimination to make up for Monday’s good news. (Boo!) Before you tell us who should get the boot, let’s break down the highs and lows of Disney Night:
BEST OF THE NIGHT
Ally Brooke and pro Sasha Farber (Contemporary inspired by Beauty and the Beast) — I always get a little nervous when DWTS goes for a contemporary routine, because the style is abstract and athletic in a way that most contestants can’t handle. But Ally practically floated through this number, punctuating every movement with a graceful flourish or lovely extension. Plus, Ally’s acting has been consistently impressive this season; from start to finish, this contemporary was dreamy, romantic and juuust sultry enough. Judges’ Score: 27/30
BEST OF THE NIGHT (RUNNER-UP)
Kel Mitchell and pro Witney Carson(Jazz inspired by High School Musical) — I’ve been waiting all season for Kel and Witney to break out as real contenders, and I think this routine did the trick. (That could be my unabashed love of “We’re All in This Together” talking, but the dancing was solid, too!) It was nice to see Kel settling into the pocket a bit more, giving him a chance to showcase more personality and swagger than he’s displayed so far. I only hope he and Witney don’t get overlooked in this stacked crowd — and since they’ve hit the Bottom Two before, I worry about their chances. Judges’ Score: 26/30
Sean Spicer and pro Lindsay Arnold (Quickstep inspired by Toy Story 4) — Did you ever expect to get misty-eyed at the sight of Sean Spicer doing a quickstep in cowboy garb? I suppose anything’s possible on Disney Night, and I was pleasantly surprised by Sean’s technical competence in a style that has been the downfall of many a contestant. Paired with that emotional dedication to his late father, it seems like a foregone conclusion that Sean will stick around for another week. And while we’re on that topic… Sean is probably going to make the finale at this rate, right? If we’re grading on the Bobby Bones curve? I welcome your thoughts in the comments section. Judges’ Score: 19/30
Lauren Alaina and pro Gleb Savchenko (Samba) — Lauren has been one of this season’s most consistent performers, so it was disheartening to watch her stumble a bit through this samba. She seemed to blank out on the upcoming choreography more than once during her routine, and the whole number had a strange sheepishness to it, even with its fun Little Mermaid vibe. But I’m most disappointed in Bruno Tonioli, who made this skeezy comment after Lauren admitted to a wardrobe malfunction in which her skirt went up real high: “You’ll get an extra point for that, don’t worry!” Blech. Can we not, gentlemen? Judges’ Score: 23/30