To the surprise of this writer, Harding edged out Mirai Nagasu, despite the fact that the figure skating bronze medalist from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics…
To the surprise of this writer, Harding edged out Mirai Nagasu, despite the fact that the figure skating bronze medalist from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics had higher scores than Harding and clearly performed better, even to this untrained eye.
There’s only one more episode – the finale next Monday, the 21st – in this special, shortened season. So after the third and semifinals episode Monday night, here are our biggest takeaways.
The Olympic figure skater opened the episode with a captivating quickstep, which she emotionally dedicated to her mom. Judge Bruno Tonioli said their stunningly synchronized movements decked out in sequined gold was like “watching a firefly in full flight,” and that’s exactly what they were. From the dance floor set to her partner, Alan Bersten, there was an abundance of gold, but it was impossible to keep your eyes off floating Nagasu.
As judge Len Goodman explained, they came out “all guns blazing,” but that wasn’t solely reserved for the dance floor. Afterward, Nagasu hilariously threw some shade at her fellow competitors. When co-host Erin Andrews how she handled the pressure of going first but still earning 35-of-40 points, the figure skater said:
“I wanted to start the night off with a bang so that my competitors have somewhere to go.”
She said she worked on her shade, perhaps with a little help from her BFF Adam Rippon. With the third-best score of the evening – behind Rippon and Norman – she 100 percent deserved to be in the finals.
…if he keeps dancing like that. With Nagasu out as his biggest competition – another reason her departure is disappointing – the Olympic bronze medalist has a clear path to the mirrorball trophy next week. He and partner Jenna Johnson beautifully performed a contemporary dance, embodying graceful birds intertwined with one another. It was like watching a true work of art come alive, and multiple judges called it the best dance of the night.
Tonioli described them as “enchanting” and “two birds of paradise,” while fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, “I just wanted to thank you because this is why artists create, to have moments like this where it’s just pure perfection.” If it were possible, their dance belongs in a museum for people to marvel at.
Dedicating his 39-of-40 high-score performance to his mom, Rippon emotionally said afterward:
“The only thing that I’m thankful for is that I’m a beautiful crier.”
He and Johnson were in another league, along with Nagasu and this next guy…
The Redskins cornerback is an impressive natural on the dance floor. He and partner Sharna Burgess have excelled through the show’s first three episodes, and they are, realistically, the only couple that could steal the trophy away from Rippon and Johnson in the finale.
They also performed a contemporary dance – which he dedicated to his four brothers – that was perfectly in unison with the grace of ballet dancers. With multiple lifts and a jaw-dropping flip that co-host Tom Bergeron called the “triple axel of dancing,” these two are just wonderful to watch. They had the second-highest score of the night with 36 out of 40.
The theme of the night was having the athletes honor their personal MVP, and in Harding’s case, that was her late father. She shared touching stories about how supportive he was of her, and she danced the rumba in a beautiful dress with partner Sasha Farber. After crying through her performance – although, she’s cried in every episode so far – she said she wanted to “show everybody what real love is. Stop hate.”
You want to believe she’s sincere, until you remember that from the beginning of the show, she’s been clear her goal is to change the public’s perception of her and redeem herself – as if a dance competition could make you forget her role in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan and the aftermath leading into the 1994 Olympics. She continues to play the victim, assuming no responsibility for her poor reputation, and it’s annoying.
And even more so, tying for the fourth-best score of the night with 33 out of 40 was not deserving of an appearance in the finals, and it’s hard to believe the undisclosed number of fan votes were voluminous enough to push her in. Judge Inaba said “there’s an authenticity” to her dance, and perhaps there is. But she also added, “We’re all in your corner now.” Why, though?
Unfortunately for him, it didn’t work, and he was eliminated along with Nagasu and Jennie Finch Daigle.
John Cena brought Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb to tears while speaking about his breakup
Nikki Bella on John Cena’s ‘Today’ show breakdown: ‘I’m speechless’
53-year-old fighter loses it when opponent misses weight by 28 pounds
Charles Oakley calls Charles Barkley a ‘clown’ as feud escalates
The Warriors are going to sweep the Rockets now, according to Charles Barkley