‘Dancing with the Stars’ recap: Who brought Mouse House magic to ‘Disney Night,’ and who (if anyone) went home? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

Another season of “Dancing with the Stars” means another celebration of cross-promotional synergy. I’m talking about “Disney Night,” of course. ABC is one of the many, many, many media companies owned by the Mouse House, which gave the celebs on “DWTS” plenty of options when it comes to paying tribute to classic entertainment. So whose performances were full of Disney magic, and who (if anyone) magically disappeared at the end of the night? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments as they happen.

Disney recently acquired 20th Century Fox, which means the company now owns a wide range of entertainment from “Avatar” to “The X-Files” to “The Simpsons” in addition to their previous acquisitions like “Star Wars” and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But this “Disney Night” focused on the animated films and musicals that are most closely identified with the company, including “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Mary Poppins.” It’s a bit disappointing we won’t be getting, say, a Scully samba or a Jedi jive, but maybe next season.

Two celebs performed the samba (Lauren Alaina and Karamo Brown). Two performed jazz numbers (Kate Flannery and Kel Mitchell). Sailor Brinkley-Cook danced a Viennese waltz. Hannah Brown got the foxtrot. Ally Brooke lucked out with a contemporary, typically one of the highest-scoring styles on the show. James Van Der Beek brought out his inner bullfighter with the paso doble. And Sean Spicer drew the difficult quickstep. How did they do? And did the judges decide not to eliminate anyone just like the last “Disney Night”? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

Daniel Montgomery, 8:02pm — Nice pre-taped opening at Disneyland choreographed by Zach Woodlee.

Cordell Martin, 8:03pm — Love the opening!

Sailor Brinkley-Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy (“Cinderella” Viennese Waltz)

DM, 8:05pm — An elegant dance style style to “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from “Cinderella.” Sounds like a pretty ideal fit of style, song, and dancer. The question will be whether Sailor can really bring out the kind of emotion we haven’t quite seen from her this season yet.

CM, 8:07pm — Calling it now: Sailor will probably be in the bottom two tonight.

DM, 8:09pm — A lovely dance, though I still don’t think she’s quite come out of her shell.

Jeffrey Kare, 8:09pm — That was lovely dance. They must’ve had ‘a ball’ doing it.

CM, 8:09pm — Cute dance

JUDGESLen Goodman thought it was “light and fluffy like a souffle,” though he would have liked to see more dancing in hold. He thinks she’ll definitely be back next week, though. Bruno Tonioli thought she was the “ideal Disney princess” and acted it well too: she “applies” herself to her dances, and her spins have much improved. Carrie Ann Inaba got “emotional” because of how well Sailor got in character — “that was an amazing dance.”

CM, 8:11pm — Don’t jinx her, Len!

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Bruno (8) — TOTAL: 24 out of 30

DM, 8:13pm — Great start to the night. I wonder if we might see any 9s tonight. If not, we might get another multi-car pileup of 8s at the top of the leaderboard.

CM, 8:13pm — James or Hannah will see the first 9s tonight.

DM, 8:14pm — I think Ally might too since she has contemporary.

Karamo Brown and Jenna Johnson (“The Lion King” Samba)

DM, 8:17pm — Karamo was “so emotional” to end up in the bottom two even after he got his best scores yet last week. He greatly improved, but tonight he’s got a samba, and a samba is often a kiss of death. But he connects to “The Lion King” as a father who learned later in life that he fathered a child with his one and only girlfriend when he was 15. He has two sons, and hopefully his emotional connection will help pull him through the routine.

DM, 8:21pm — I feel like this was a step back for Karamo. Again he had decent rhythm, but not great technique.

CM, 8:21pm — I agree.

JK, 8:22pm — Yeah, I might have to agree with that as well.

JUDGES — Bruno liked that Karamo attacked it like a leader when he was with the ensemble, but he needed better footwork and “elasticity” in hold during the samba portions. Carrie Ann liked the Afro-Cuban sections, but not as much the samba sections; she thinks Karamo and Jenna could connect better as a couple. Len thought it was “fun and joyful,” but “your feet are your problem” — too stompy and he went wrong.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Bruno (7) — TOTAL: 21 out of 30

DM, 8:25pmI’m surprised he didn’t get any 6s. He got 7s last week when his performance was stronger. Maybe they really want to keep him ahead of Sean Spicer.

CM, 8:26pm — I hope it doesn’t backfire on them tonight.

Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov (“Mary Poppins” Jazz)

DM, 8:30pm — Kate struggled to get into the character of her tango last week, but I think Fate dancing a jazz routine to “A Spoonful of Sugar” will be a better fit for her. She likes that jazz dances are “character-driven- syncopated and weird.” I think she could get back on track with this one.

JK, 8:34pm — That was a fun little routine. Though if they did ‘Step in Time’, that would’ve been a real showstopper.

CM, 8:35pm — Solid routine.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann says, “Kate is back!” She admired how in sync and well-timed they were. Then she lost her train of thought, Tom Bergeron moved a broom, and Carrie Ann fell down. But she concluded, “Well done.” Len liked seeing a little polka, Charleston, quickstep “all wrapped up in a sweet an delicious routine — you are back in the game.” Bruno says, “The medicine worked wonders,” and she brought her own personality to “Mary Poppins” that really worked.

DM, 8:37pm — I dug it. I liked that the judges are back in her corner.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Bruno (8) — TOTAL: 24 out of 30

JK, 8:37pm — Now they’re tied with Sailor and Val.

DM, 8:38pm — Yep, still no 9s, but I don’t think we’ve quite seen a 9-level performance yet. But the Kate/Pasha partnership is one of my favorites on the show this season.

Sean Spicer and Lindsay Arnold (“Toy Story” Quickstep)

DM, 8:43pm — Sean is playing a toy tonight, so maybe he’ll have an excuse if his performance is wooden. They’re dancing to “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and he’s dedicating the routine to his father, who died of cancer at the end of 2016.

CM, 8:47pm — Well he isn’t going anywhere.

JUDGES — Len says, “You’ve got a friend in me.” He watched it carefully and liked the heel leads, thought his frame was “pretty good,” there was a lot of dancing in hold, and it was a “proper dance, well done.” Bruno thought it was “better” and could see how much effort he put into it, especially with Lindsay coaching him extensively throughout. Carrie Ann thought this was his best dance and the quickstep suited him: “It took my breath away.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Bruno (6) — TOTAL: 19 out of 30

JK, 8:50pm — Interesting score he just received.

CM, 8:51pm — Oh hell, bye Karamo.

DM, 8:51pm — Come on, Carrie Ann with that 7.

JK, 8:51pm — That was probably too generous on her part.

Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber (“Beauty and the Beast” Contemporary)

DM, 8:56pm — Ally is the first dancer this season to get a contemporary, and she’s the only one dancing that style tonight. They practically gift-wrapped 9s for her because contemporary dances have looser choreographic requirements and they tend to emphasize emotions. Let’s see if she can deliver. She’s definitely capable.

JK, 9:00pm — That was breathtaking! Probably the best dance of the night so far (in my opinion).

CM, 9:00pm — This would’ve worked better as a Viennese waltz!

DM, 9:00pm — Lovely routine, spent too long on those stairs and I think Sasha could have pushed the choreography a little further, but lovely.

JUDGES — Bruno says she gave “one and a half minutes of absolute happiness,” and she throws herself into it “with fearless commitment.” Carrie Ann loves that she doesn’t have the trained dancer lines but still creates something unique and individual with her performances. Len thought it was “smooth as butter on a hot muffin” and a “cracking routine.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 27 out of 30

JK, 9:03pm — The highest score of the night so far!

DM, 9:04pm — Highest score of the season too. I thought she might get one or two 9s, but I’m surprised Len whipped out that 9 paddle so soon. He’s usually the last holdout.

CM, 9:04pm — Nice!

CM, 9:05pm — I hope Lauren does well. The samba is no joke.

DM, 9:06pm — Yeah, poor Karamo getting the samba didn’t help him.

Special Pro Dance: “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen 2”

DM, 9:09pm — Time for tonight’s obligatory “Frozen 2” commercial. I’m surprised there’s not a routine inspired by the process of subscribing to Disney+. Though I guess tonight’s whole show is kind of that.

JK, 9:11pm — The Lopez’s might’ve just won themselves their third Oscar with that song.

DM, 9:11pm — I dunno, not sure that song rises to the level of “Let it Go.”

Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko (“The Little Mermaid” Samba)

DM, 9:12pm — “Under the Sea” samba. I’m worried for Lauren after Karamo’s shaky samba earlier. And she’s following a contemporary routine that got 9s. Tough act to follow. Lauren explains that she won her first singing competition performing “Part of Your World,” but she’d never give up her voice for a man.

DM, 9:15pm — A little better than Karamo’s samba, but still a little rough around the edges.

JK, 9:16pm — I thought that was terrific!

CM, 9:16pm — That was a bit all over the place,

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks she makes a great Little Mermaid, and she had great bounce even though she got one of the hardest dances in the competition. Len liked that there was a lot of samba content amidst the “frippery and messing about,” but she went wrong in the running promenades and there was a little “too much going on on occasion.” Bruno thinks she’s “fabulous underwater and pretty hot on dry land,” though she “went a bit weird” and “lost count” a couple of times.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (7), Bruno (8) — TOTAL: 23 out of 30

CM, 9:20pm — Overscored.

DM, 9:20pm — Surprisingly high. The judges are 8-crazy tonight

JK, 9:20pm — Except for Len.

DM, 9:22pm — I think Len got it right this time. This season the judges started a lot stricter than usual, but they’ve jumped to giving scores too high too fast.I’m not sure how to differentiate these performances by their scores anymore. I think this should have gotten 7s, Karamo’s should have gotten 6s, Spicer’s should have gotten 5s.

Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson (“High School Musical” Jazz)

DM, 9:25pm — Another jazz routine, another dance style with looser choreographic requirements. So perhaps another opportunity for 9s. Kate Flannery got straight 8s with jazz, so I think Kel has the potential to even improve on that. “We’re All in This Together” and “High School Musical” mean a lot to him since he stayed out of trouble in Chicago as a theater kid.

JK, 9:28pm — I thought that was a pretty slick routine. Kel certainly showed off quite a bit of moves.

DM, 9:29pm — That was a really good freestyle — er, jazz routine.

CM, 9:30pm — Great job, Kel.

JUDGES — Len says, “That was a dance that really suited you.” Bruno thought he was “in the zone” and “graduated top of the class.” Tonight he was a “revelation.” Carrie Ann told him, “You led that number like the champ you are.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (8), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 26 out of 30

DM, 9:31pm — I thought that was a terrific routine, but I think all the scores have been inflated tonight. It’s only week five, judges!

Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten (“Aladdin” Foxtrot)

DM, 9:35pm — They’re performing to “A Whole New World.” Hannah loved the scene where Aladdin takes Jasmine out on that magic carpet — cue “Aladdin” clip that points out it’s available on home video! I wish the “Disney magic” were a little less “Disney corporate” on these “Disney Nights.”

DM, 9:38pm — See, if this dance gets 9s, I won’t mind. I think this was the strongest of the night so far.

CM, 9:39pm — I agree. This would’ve gotten a 10 in a previous season.

JK, 9:39pm — Definitely stunning.

JUDGES — Bruno thought it was “radiant,” and he assumes the footwork was good, but he couldn’t see it through the fog. Carrie Ann called it “stunning.” Len thinks she’s “fantastic in hold” and he wanted to see more of it in Alan’s choreography.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (7), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 25 out of 30

DM, 9:41pm — Where on earth did that 7 come from? I seriously thought he was kidding. I’ve liked Len being more conservative in general tonight, but that was just plain wrong. He’s given higher tonight to lesser dances.

JK, 9:43pm — Normally, he’d go one point lower than the other two.

James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater (“Pirates of the Caribbean” Paso Doble)

DM, 9:46pm — Emma wants them to show the judges how good they are as partners in sync. They’re closing the show, and I think James could really nail this especially after the passion he showed with his rumba a couple of weeks ago.

DM, 9:50pm — He nailed the character of that dance. It looked a little steppy to me at times, but I thought they sold the hell out of that.

JK, 9:50pm — What an excellent routine to finish off Disney Night with! That could almost blend in with “Riverdance.”

CM, 9:51pm — It’s official, James is the one to beat.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought it was “insane — the drama, the dynamics … the energy exchange was off the charts … This was your dance, truly.” Len called it “dramatic” and “strong,” with a “touch of aggression,” but a couple of steps could have been a little “sharper.” Bruno called it “grand spectacle,” a “powerful performance,” and a “big hit.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (8), Bruno (9) — TOTAL: 26 out of 30

DM, 9:53pm — I thought those scores were pretty much just right. They over-scored Ally a little. They under-scored Hannah a little. And I think they dialed their scores in just right with James. It’s the Goldilocks of judges’ scores.


DM, 9:57pm — Before the results, we’re hearing little clip packages of the contestants saying how badly they want to stay in the competition. I have a feeling this is going the non-elimination route.

CM, 9:58pm — Daniel, you might be on the money that this will probably be a non-elimination.

DM, 9:58pm — Yeah, they’re showing the dancers begging to stay. They’re building up to everyone’s safe. Disney magic!

DM, 10:00pmYep, when the credits roll while they’re starting to announce results, you know it’s BS. Indeed, everyone is safe, and there’s not even a bottom two.

JK, 10:00pm — Those were my thoughts exactly.

CM, 10:00pm — I want Spicy to get the SAMBA next week!


1. Ally Brooke — 27
2. Kel Mitchell — 26
2. James Van Der Beek — 26
4. Hannah Brown — 25
5. Sailor Brinkley-Cook — 24
5. Kate Flannery — 24
7. Lauren Alaina — 23
8. Karamo Brown — 21
9. Sean Spicer — 19

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