“Dancing with the Stars” standout Nev Schulman could rest a little bit on his laurels on “Icons Night.” There were two rounds of dancing, but Schulman had done so well thus far that he received immunity from the second round and automatic bonus points. So he only had to prepare one routine: a jive to Elton John‘s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” which married the perfect dance style and musical selection to Schulman’s outgoing personality. Watch his performance above, and see what the judges had to say about it below.
Derek Hough: “The thing I love about this show so much is exactly what you were talking about in the package: reclaiming a part of you and your passion. And brother, seeing you grow through this experience has been such a pleasure. It’s been amazing to see you just dance and perform, it brings a smile to my face every single time. That had so much content in it, so much charisma. I would’ve liked a little bit more pump in the action in the jive, a little stronger. But dude, I love you, man. Great job.”
Bruno Tonioli: “‘Rocket Man’ at its most entertaining! Elton on Broadway! I loved the structure. The theatricality of it and the characterization were delicious. You are an entertainer. You bring characters to life. Again, next week, semifinals — it is a jive, kicks and flicks [need stronger] retraction. I always [compare it to a] praying mantis. As a theatrical number, fantastic!”
Carrie Ann Inaba: “You’re just a pleasure to watch, and it’s fun to watch somebody who’s having fun. Your eyes are sparkling. I think you’re at the level now where you can sort of stylize your routine a little bit, which I see is happening, but there was one tiny thing — obviously you’re a great showman, everything they said is absolutely true — your feet, just a little bit, I’ve seen you point those toes a little bit more in the past. Today they were a little floppy-woppy.”
Given his formidable performances up to this point, the judges’ comments were more critical than I expected, but they still gave him straight 9s for a total of 27 out of 30. Schulman admitted that “DWTS” rekindled his love of performing, and with his vibrant personality, strong technique, and knack for portraying different characters, it’s not hard to imagine him hitting the Great White Way sometime in the future.
Host Tyra Banks asked Schulman if we might see him on Broadway when theaters finally reopen (they’re completely shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Schulman answered, “Now that we have a new president, maybe we’ll get Broadway open again, huh? How about that?” Of course, he’s referencing the fact that two days before “Icons Night” Joe Biden was finally declared to have beaten current White House super-spreader Donald Trump in the US presidential election. Maybe if we finally get the pandemic under control, we can finally get the “Catfish” musical we didn’t know we always wanted.
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