‘DWTS’ Power Rankings Week 8 – It Takes Two Eliminations

Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess (Photo: ABC)

What!? Last week, the ballroom said farewell to fan favorite Willow Shields and her pro partner Mark Ballas in a shocking elimination. The duo became the sixth team booted from season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars.”

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Here is a recap of the total celebrity scores from last Monday’s “Eras Night,” including the points earned during dance-offs, in descending order: Nastia Liukin – 41, Noah Galloway – 38, Riker Lynch – 37, Rumer Willis – 37, Robert Herjavec – 31 and Chris Soules – 31.

For tonight’s “America’s Choice” episode, each of the remaining couples will perform individual routines with songs and styles chosen by online fan votes, followed by a “trio dance” with an eliminated pro or troupe member of their choosing. The trios are Noah/Sharna/Emma Slater, Robert/Kym/Jenna Johnson, Nastia/Derek/Sasha Farber, Riker/Allison/Brittany Cherry, Chris/Witney/Lindsay Arnold and Rumer/Val/Artem Chigvintsev. Tomorrow night, two couples will be eliminated based on the combined judges’ scores and audience votes from both last Monday and tonight. Phew!

Below are the Week 8 predictions and rankings from XFINITY.com editors Chelsea Badeau and David Onda, who are teaming up with #DWTSAllAccess host and former “Strictly Come Dancing” contestant Gethin Jones for a weekly dissection of the competition.

How Does It Work? Each week before the live performances, Chelsea, David and Gethin will rank the “Dancing with the Stars” couples from best to worst based on how they think the duos will finish in judges’ points and audience votes.  This week, no. 1 will be the safest couple, and no. 6 will be the couple most likely to be eliminated. The ranking of the eliminated couple will determine how many points Chelsea, David and Gethin will earn.

Chelsea still leads the pack with a total of 48 points, David holds on to second place with a total of 46 points, and Gethin gains another point on the leaders with a third-place total of 40 points.

Here are the power rankings for Week 8:

Chelsea’s Score = 48

Any questions for Chelsea? Drop her a line on Twitter: @ladybugchels

David’s Score = 46

Any questions for David? Drop him a line on Twitter: @david_onda

Gethin’s Score = 40

Any questions for Gethin? Drop him a line on Twitter: @gethincjones

1. Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: The rigor of the practice schedule is taking a toll on Rumer’s body, but being the fierce competitor that she is, she turned out a super-fun ’60s jive to Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband.” The judges gave her some admittedly nitpicky critiques about her arms. There will be two dances to get through tonight, so hopefully she can stay focused, but remember to still enjoy herself. 1. Riker Lynch & Allison Holker: It was the weirdest version of “Wiggle” I’ve ever heard, but Riker and Allison absolutely dominated their quick-step last week. Again, Riker proved that he is the most consistent star in this competition. He didn’t look as comfortable in hold as he has in the past – something he’s hopefully fixed for tonight’s Viennese waltz – but, as I predicted last week, the quick-step suited his famously fast feet. To be completely honest, this was not my favorite routine from Riker and Allison, but the technical skill shown was impressive. 1. Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Really tough to pick a couple for the top this week for many reasons. So, I’ve gone with these two based on the dances they have. Val had a bit of an epiphany this week based on how hard he’s been pushing Rumer. She’s been in great spirits this week, and I think their rumba will be classy, happy and traditional. The way Rumer can move makes me excited to see her dance this. Then, a full-on action paso with the “action men” themselves. Tops off, of course. Artem and Val have been seen at the gym in the early hours!
2. Nastia Liukin & Sasha Farber: Despite losing her partner Derek Hough to a bizarre double injury, Nastia nailed her dance and nabbed the top score of the night, which meant that she had immunity. Carrie Ann gave her a big hug and told her how proud she is of her because she’s “finally dancing.” Will Derek show up in the choreography again this week or will she fly solo with Sasha? I’m interested to see how this will play out.  2. Nastia Liukin & Sasha Farber: What is it with Nastia and her partners? I know I sound like a broken record, but again she had no chemistry with her pro. Sure, she and Sasha Farber – who is standing in for the injured Derek Hough – have only just begun their partnership, but acting is part of dancing. Fake it, Nastia! She was fun to watch alone, but was often lost in the shuffle of the 100 dancers on the stage, and simply didn’t connect with Sasha. There’s no way she deserved to win immunity or to score higher than Riker. I’m ranking them at number two only because of their high score. 2. Riker Lynch & Allison Holker: I’m impressed with this young man. After last week’s elimination, he’s the youngest of all now! He’s had some tough calls, been in jeopardy, put under pressure – but it never affects him on the dance floor. A Viennese waltz and a jazz number will be great for him. And Allison, as always, will make it a challenge for him. Always look forward to him dancing, and now, without doubt, he has enough to take on Willis and the gold medalist!
3. Riker Lynch & Allison Holker: He wanted to get Len’s first 10 and he got it with his baseball-themed quick-step. His footwork was amazing as always, and he did shake what his mama gave him. His frame could use a little work and he needs to be careful not to keep a surprised look on his face when he dances, but other than that, he’s golden. 3. Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess: Len Goodman is right. There have been more “group” dances this season than any other, and he’s been dropping hints at his annoyance for weeks. Typically, extra dancers in a routine are used to hide and/or accentuate weaker dancers, but Noah doesn’t need to be hidden or boosted. Noah is the attraction. His struggles and his missteps are also his most inspiring moments and I want to see all of it without smoke and mirrors. Last week’s jazz routine showed that Noah is becoming bolder with the risks he takes on his leg. The dance was full of content and I was thoroughly entertained. He lost his “pimp” character mid-way through the performance, but I didn’t mind. 3. Nastia Liukin & Sasha Farber: Based on the footage I’ve seen, she definitely prefers the paso to the jive! She’s an athlete who’s used to short, sharp sessions, and jive week cannot be underestimated. It’s so tough, physically. I think she’s cracked a bit under the pressure, but in fairness, she’s had no continuity throughout the season, with Derek’s schedule, injury and changing partners. A word for Sasha, who’s been sensational. Too good to not be here next week… but I said that about Willow.
4. Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess: Noah got a visit from Amy Purdy, and she wisely told him to make sure to show personality in his dances. Boy, did he take her advice! But first, can we talk about their costumes? Holy smoothness! And Sharna’s wig? The best! Noah really let loose in their ’70s jazz routine. His hip action and isolations are out of this world. I wonder what song America will choose for him tonight. 4. Rumer Willis & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: I worry about Rumer and Val. Previously a dominant force this season, the dynamic duo has slipped into somewhat of a funk. Val hasn’t been taking risks with his choreography and Rumer hasn’t shown the fierce, powerful, confident side of herself that fans fell in love with in those first few weeks. Last week’s “Dear Future Husband” jive was clean and looked good – and certainly far better than Week 6’s “Bootylicious” – but it was safe and boring. They were the final duo to be called “safe” last week, and that could be trouble unless they have a big night with the rumba. 4. Noah Galloway & Sharna Burgess: The “jungle gym,” as Sharna calls him, has had his work cut out this week, as he’s had two skimpily clad beauties climbing all over him. His strength is insane. And I’ll say it again – Sharna’s choreography has been clever beyond belief. This week will be the same. Interesting to see how he’ll deal with the tango, but I feel America’s hero still has a few chapters left this season.
5. Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson: It was hot and steamy on the dance floor between the (are they a real?) couple last week. Their sexy and stylish Argentine tango made Len happy, but Carrie Ann gave them a seven. A seven!! That was just uncalled for. I am worried about him this week with the double elimination. 5. Chris Soules & Witney Carson: Last week, Chris was just about as good as he was the previous week, which was leaps and bounds ahead of his performances early in the competition. The judges were spot on when they said that Chris looks comfortable when he and Witney are separate, but he scrunches up to become this insecure ball of humanity when they enter a hold. Still, I applaud Chris for his improvement. I’m dying to see what Witney creates for their contemporary routine tonight, and even more interested to see how Chris handles it. He’ll need an amazing performance to outlast the frontrunners. 5. Chris Soules & Witney Carson: Because there’s a double elimination, I think he could be in danger this week. But he’s a fighter who does not pig around. Well, that’s not entirely true when it comes to rehearsals! Making Witney eat his arm pit hair was one sweaty, tickly moment for them this week! See, that’s why I’ll miss the big man if tonight’s two dances are his last.
6. Chris Soules & Witney Carson: Chris sailed right past the elimination last week with his ’40s foxtrot. He hasn’t completely won me over yet, but I have to give props where they are due.  He is improving, and he’s peaking at the right point in the competition. As Carrie Ann noted, he is the underdog and people like to root for the underdog, but I can’t see him surviving a double elimination.  6. Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson: It’s not often that I agree with Carrie Ann Inaba, but she hit the nail on the head last week – and it’s exactly what I said in my Week 7 rankings – Kym Johnson is too much woman for Robert Herjavec. And it affects every performance, particularly one as steamy as last week’s tango. It was nice to see a different, less smiley side of Robert, but I thought he looked a little awkward for most of the routine and I was terrified he was going to drop poor Kym on her head during the lift. It’s interesting that he also has a contemporary routine this week. 6. Robert Herjavec & Kym Johnson: Genuinely has the feel of a man who’s proven a lot to himself on the dance floor. He has embraced and enjoyed every second of the show. Love his attitude and his energy. I think he’s most in danger based on a few steps going missing, and therefore low scores over the past few weeks. If this is true, this season’s “DWTS” will miss a lot of the fun and joy they bring.

Check out Gethin Jones live tonight on #DWTSAllAccess on abc.com starting at 8:00 p.m. ET. Gethin and his co-host will be interviewing the stars, couples and many more guests, as well as providing live commentary throughout the show.


The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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