Ariana Greenblatt’s Disney Night samba on ‘Dancing with the Stars: Juniors’ went off without a ‘Stitch,’ but lost her the top spot [WATCH]

Disney Night has been a tradition on “Dancing with the Stars” for the last few years, but there’s still fresh ground to cover as evidenced by Ariana Greenblatt on “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” She performed the first ever “DWTS” routine inspired by “Lilo and Stitch,” but unfortunately it led to her failing to top the judges’ leaderboard for the first time this season. Can she return to her perch in week four?

Greenblatt and her pro partner Artyon Celestine scored 24 out of 30 for both of their previous dances. In the series premiere that tied her with Mandla Morris for the top spot, and in week two it tied her with Miles Brown and Mackenzie Ziegler for the peak position. On Disney Night they performed a samba to “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” from the 2002 animated film about a girl who befriends a space alien, and despite falling out of the top spot the duo actually improved their score.

Val Chmerkovskiy thought Greenblatt gave an “incredible” performance with great bounce in her legs. Mandy Moore called it “awesome” and pointed out the strong choreography by their mentor Brandon Armstrong. And Adam Rippon admired her for consistently delivering “powerful” performances. Moore and Rippon gave her 8s, but Chmerkovskiy gave her her first 9, giving her a total of 25 out of 30.

Those were her highest marks of the season, but she wasn’t the only contestant to have her best night yet. Miles Brown and Mackenzie Ziegler also outdid themselves, scoring straight 9s for their routines for a total of 27 out of 30, the best scores anyone has posted this season so far. That left Greenblatt in third place just two points out of the top spot. But she’s still right in the thick of it, so next week she’ll be chasing some more 9s, and maybe even some 10s.

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