Ariana Greenblatt has been one of the strongest contestants in season one of “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors,” but she had a scare on Halloween Night, getting her lowest score of the season for what I thought was a pretty darn good paso doble (watch it above). Were the judges right to be so tough on her, or were they “Wicked” for no reason?
Mentor Brandon Armstrong cracked the whip when training Greenblatt and her partner Artyon Celestine for their paso doble — which Greenblatt thought sounded more like “Picasso.” But she got the job done when it counted, bringing lots of intensity to their dance to “Ways to Be Wicked” from the Disney Channel musical “Descendants 2.” However, judge Adam Rippon wanted to see more emotional “range” from the young dancer, Mandy Moore thinks she needs to be challenged more, and Val Chmerkovskiy wanted to see more proper choreographic content. But I for one saw plenty of proper paso in that routine.
Greenblatt ended up scoring 7s from Chmerkovskiy and Rippon and an 8 from Moore, giving her a total of 22 out of 30. That was just one point ahead of Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson and Akash Vukoti, who were at the bottom of the leaderboard with 21 out of 30. Chmerkovskiy and Rippon actually gave the same scores to Greenblatt and Thompson, even though Greenblatt had more difficult choreography and more polished technique.
Perhaps the judges are holding her to a higher standard after three standout weeks for the “Avengers” actress. She topped the leaderboard for the first two weeks of the competition (24 out of 30 both times), and though she wasn’t in first place in week three she got her personal best score of the season thus far (25 out of 30). Not only was this a significant step down from her previous scores, it was also the first time she has ever gotten 7s from any judge.
Luckily, Greenblatt had enough support when judges’ scores were combined with studio audience votes to stay in the competition — Honey Boo Boo was eliminated instead. Will she get her revenge when she takes to the dance floor again?
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