Milo Manheim has been a judges’ favorite all season on “Dancing with the Stars,” but his best weeks were during the middle of the season when he was routinely topping the judges’ leaderboard. But did he peak too soon? The judges were harder on him during Monday night’s Semi-Finals — unfairly so, I think. By nitpicking his dances so much, might they have cost him a chance at the Mirror Ball Trophy in next week’s season finale? Watch his Argentine tango above.
The “DWTS” contestants performed two routines, and things got off to a rocky start for Manheim right from the beginning. He performed an Argentine tango dedicated to his supportive mom, Emmy-winning actress Camryn Manheim (“The Practice”). But he had to follow a performance by Juan Pablo Di Pace in the same dance style that nearly had the judges convulsing with joy.
Honestly, I thought Manheim’s tango was as good as Di Pace’s, or at least close to it. But the judges just weren’t that into it. Carrie Ann Inaba thought it had a lot of “beautiful shapes.” Len Goodman praised Manheim for “staying true” to himself and bringing “lots of intensity.” And Bruno Tonioli called it “stylish, sharp and strong … Milo always delivers.”
But while their comments were all positive, their tone was a bit muted, and the scores reflected that. He got 9s across the board for a total of 27 out of 30. Those are solid numbers, no doubt, but this late in the competition it held him down on the leaderboard. After his second dance also got dinged by the judges for a couple of little stylistic problems, he ended up ranked fourth for the night with a total of 55 out of 60.
But if the judges were too hard on Manheim, then the viewing audience was way too hard on Di Pace. He performed two perfect dances during the Semi-Finals, and he’s the single highest-scoring dancer of the season up to this point … but he was eliminated at the end of the night in fifth place. So even though I think Manheim got a raw deal from the judges this week, at least he gets a chance for redemption during the season finale. Di Pace? Not so much.
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