‘Dancing with the Stars’ Semi-Finals Recap: Who advanced to final 4 & who was eliminated despite a perfect score?

How competitive was this week’s semi-finals episode of “Dancing with the Stars”? Even a perfect score wasn’t enough to stick around. That was the bittersweet result for reality TV star Terra Jole, who delivered two perfect dances — her first perfect dances of the competition — but couldn’t avoid being sent home in fifth place.

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It was too little, too late for Jole because Monday night’s elimination was based not on this week’s scores of course, but on last week’s scores on “Showstoppers Night,” when Jole finished one point out of last place. Race car driver James Hinchcliffe actually had a lower score last week, but he has become a fan favorite this season, so he was able to elicit enough votes from fans to save him from the chopping block.

Most of our predictions contest entrants correctly predicted that Jole would be sent home (she had leading 4/9 odds), but no one — literally no one — anticipated that she would get the high score of the night. She actually tied with gymnast Laurie Hernandez as they both scored perfectly throughout the evening. We’ve come to expect great things from Hernandez since she had topped the leaderboard four times before (we gave her leading 2/3 odds of getting the best judges’ score), but Jole came out of nowhere with 100/1 odds — if you’ve got to go out, you may as well go out on top.

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“You take my breath away,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba in response to Jole’s first dance, a rumba with her pro partner Sasha Farber. Then Jole and Farber were joined by additional pro Artem Chigvintsev for a tango in which the male dancers “framed her so well … complementing her at every turn” according to Bruno Tonioli.

We actually predicted Jole would get the lowest score of the night (1/2 odds), so she sure showed us. Instead, the bottom spot on the leaderboard was occupied by football player Calvin Johnson. In the first of his two dances, a tango, he went so far astray at one moment that it looked like he nearly flung pro partner Lindsay Arnold into the stands. He rebounded in the second round, getting a perfect score for his acrobatic trio salsa with Arnold and Witney Carson, but he couldn’t make up the deficit on a highly competitive night when seven out of 10 dances performed received a perfect 30 out of 30.

Photo Gallery: ‘Dancing with the Stars’ past winners

What do you think will happen next week when “Dancing with the Stars” concludes its 23rd season? Our predictions center is open so you can start betting on next week’s “DWTS.” Refer to the judges’ scores below before making your picks:

Laurie Hernandez – 30 + 30 = 60
Terra Jole – 30 + 30 = 60 (ELIMINATED)
James Hinchcliffe – 29 + 30 = 59
Jana Kramer – 28 + 30 = 58
Calvin Johnson – 26 + 30 = 56

Photo Gallery: The 10 WORST ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestants ever

Gold Derby readers just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your forecasts throughout the week, just click “Save” when you’ve settled on your choices. You’ll compete to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, bragging rights and a place of honor on our leaderboard. Our racetrack odds change as you make your predictions, just as they do when you bet on the Emmys, Oscars, Golden Globes and more. Be sure to read our contest rules and sound off on the season of “Dancing with the Stars” in our reality TV forum.

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