‘Dancing with the Stars’ Janet Jackson Night recap: Who got to stay in the ‘Rhythm Nation’ after double elimination? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

The good news for “Dancing with the Stars” contestants was that Monday night gave them the opportunity to perform to the music of Janet Jackson. The bad news was that it was also a double elimination night, which meant that a quarter of the remaining contestants had to go home when all was said and done. Who were the unlucky celebs on the chopping block. And who advanced to next week’s semifinals? Scroll down for our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments and commentary throughout the night.

The celebs had to perform twice on “Janet Jackson Night.” In the first round they performed new routines with their pro partners to classic Jackson hits: cha chas for Jimmie Allen (“Escapade”) and Iman Shumpert (“Rhythm Nation”), paso dobles for Melora Hardin (“If”) and Cody Rigsby (“Black Cat”), salsa for JoJo Siwa (“Feedback”), Argentine tango for Olivia Jade (“Any Time, Any Place”), samba for Suni Lee (“All for You”), and jazz for Amanda Kloots (“Miss You Much”).

Then came the dance-off round where celebs performed head-to-head in the hopes of receiving two bonus points from the judges. Allen and Lee danced dueling salsas to “Made for Now” (judged by Bruno Tonioli). Siwa and Jade were pitted against each other on rumbas to “That’s the Way Love Goes” (judged by Carrie Ann Inaba), Shumpert and Hardin battled with foxtrots to “Again” (judged by Derek Hough). And Kloots faced off against Rigsby with cha chas to “Together Again” (judged by Len Goodman).

And every point counted. Just last week Jade received four bonus points for her relay dance, which pushed her ahead of Siwa to the top of the judges’ leaderboard. The result: Jade was safe, while Siwa shockingly ended up in the bottom two. The judges voted to save Siwa and eliminate The Miz instead, but that wasn’t a double elimination night. So no one could count on being safe in the Rhythm Nation. Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

Cordell Martin, 8:00pm — Let’s go, Janet Week!

Daniel Montgomery, 8:02pm — Ooh, and kudos to Britt and Brandon for choreographing the opener! And Janet herself is on hand on webcam to talk about how “honored” she is to have the celebs dancing to her music tonight.

Jimmie Allen and Emma Slater (Cha Cha, “Escapade”)

DM, 8:05pm — “It’s only fitting we get to honor her on ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” says Jimmie during their clip package. They don’t exactly seem to have a genre in common, but he’s thrilled to perform to the trailblazer’s music. And the package highlights the relationship between Jimmie and his “friend for life” Emma.

CM, 8:08pm — Great way to start the night.

Jeffrey Kare, 8:09pm — I thought that was excellent!

DM, 8:09pm — Jimmie has really matured into a confident performer. He seems totally on point with that.

CM, 8:10pm — Expect the judges to go hard on the male celebs tonight.

JUDGES — Len didn’t like the heel leads, and though he thought it was a nice dance, he’s not sure yet if it’s enough to get him to next week’s show. Derek is once again wowed by sparkly outfits, but didn’t think this was Jimmie’s best performance. He was a little stiff. Bruno thinks his fluidity has improved, but he was also mad about those heel leads. Carrie Ann thought it was “fun” and a great way to start the night, but the shoulders were up and the rib cage needs to stay in.

CM, 8:11pm — I think he’s getting all 8s.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Derek (8), Bruno (8) = 32

JK, 8:12pm — And that’s exactly what he got.

Suni Lee and Sasha Farber (Samba, “All For You”)

DM, 8:15pm — I’m always rooting for Suni. She’s such a sweetheart and had to run off the stage on live TV to go throw up after her dance. She did an incredible job for someone who was fighting nausea, and now she’s gotta do samba rolls. Apparently she had haters online telling her she didn’t deserve to be on the show? Don’t let the bastards get you down, Suni.

CM, 8:19pm — Suni might get some sympathy votes this week.

JK, 8:20pm — And they would be genuinely deserving. Terrific work this week.

CM, 8:20pm — That was much better than I expected. It was fun, light and vibrant.

DM, 8:20pm — Aside from that one bobble, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Suni look that smooth and at ease.

JUDGES — Derek thought she had new confidence and did a tough samba “so beautifully, so gracefully.” Bruno thought she was “high-octane” and could have been one of the pros. Carrie Ann thinks this is the Suni they’ve been waiting for all season. Len thought it would get “A-one” health rating.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Derek (10), Bruno (10) = 40

CM, 8:21pm — Wow, Melora better bring it.

Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev (Paso Doble, “If”)

DM, 8:22pm — Uh-oh, Melora is getting a tense edit where she’s arguing with Artem about how harshly he’s criticizing her while training (and he is being kinda rough in those clips). A negative clip package never helps on this show, so I hope she nails this routine, but maybe the tension will actually help on an aggressive paso doble.

CM, 8:24pm — She brought the heat.

JK, 8:25pm — Imaginative production values. Great use of backup dancers. Incredible performance.

CM, 8:26pm — She even did the Skai spin LOL. I smell another 40.

DM, 8:26pm — She really nailed that dance. I think the tension probably helped. She was one of the few celebs this season to get the character of the paso doble down.

JUDGES — Bruno thought she was a “ferocious” “queen of mean,” and she also had the “artistry” and “beauty.” Carrie Ann thinks she’s kicking the balls out of the ballroom, especially for a woman in her 50s. Len thought it was a “well done,” “great performance.” Derek thought she “absolutely slayed that paso.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Derek (10), Bruno (10) = 40

DM, 8:29pm — I absolutely love Melora bringing the same passion to thanking the makeup, hair, costume, and sound artists on the show. That’s a TV professionals who appreciates everyone at the heart of the business.

DM, 8:30pm — With these scores you can also kinda feel the judges trying to put together the semifinals they want. But somebody’s gonna go home they don’t want to go home. I’m almost certain of it.

Olivia Jade and Val Chmerkovskiy (Argentine Tango, “Any Time, Any Place”)

DM, 8:31pm — Olivia didn’t think she’d make it this far, and she was thrilled to have such a huge night last week. She even has a family connection to Janet since her dad appeared in one of her videos in the early 1990s before Olivia was even born.

JK, 8:35pm — Exquisitely steamy.

DM, 8:35pm — The night was already going great, and I think this was the best of the night so far. Such great musical interpretation and perfect, fluid movement.

CM, 8:36pm — Another solid routine by Olivia. Four 9s.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann wanted to see more heat, but it was well-danced. Len liked the moments of speed and moments of softness, but he wasn’t a fan of the bit on the table. Derek also thinks Len should try it on a table, and Derek can sense her joy in the “beautiful” dance. Bruno thought it had great leg work, but he also wanted to see more passion.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (9), Derek (9), Bruno (9) = 36

JK, 8:37pm — First non-perfect score of the night since the first.

DM, 8:39pm — And the judges have agreed on all the scores tonight. I thought Olivia’s routine was pretty perfect, while Suni had a little wobble they overlooked. Feels like the judges had a good idea where they wanted to place the celebs before the night started.

Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke (Paso Doble, “Black Cat”)

DM, 8:41pm — Cody is a huge Janet Jackson stan, and this reminds him of his mom, who took Cody to his first Janet concert. But he’s got some heavy lifting to do on this paso doble since he has to follow Melora’s perfect dance in that style.

CM, 8:44pm — I dunno.

DM, 8:44pm — Not perfect, but I kinda expected Cody to struggle on that, and that was actually pretty good for the most part.

JK, 8:45pm — That was probably the most exciting routine they’ve performed in the competition so far.

CM, 9:45pm — I thought it was good but I’m afraid he’s about to get over-scored.

JUDGES — Len thought it was big, bold, and no-nonsense dancing, so much that he didn’t even notice Cheryl. Derek felt he stepped it up with this routine with his lines, power, and presence. Bruno thought he “unleashed the beast within.” Carrie Ann thought it was “fantastic” and he’s “bringing it all together.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Derek (9), Bruno (9) = 38

CM, 8:50pm — I agree with those 9s

JK, 8:50pm — I’m glad he didn’t get a perfect score, because that would’ve been much in my opinion.

DM, 8:50pm — I don’t know where those 10s came from.

Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten (Jazz, “Miss You Much”)

DM, 8:51pm — Another conflict edit. Amanda and Alan are fighting over his tutelage while training. And Alan is coming across as harsh, which is weird since Amanda is a Broadway performer, and I’m pretty sure jazz is going to be right in her comfort zone.

JK, 8:54pm — All around incredible!

CM, 8:54pm — Okay Amanda. She better get her perfect score

JUDGES — Derek is slow-clapping and standing. He thinks she was “a leading lady from start to finish.” Bruno thought she was in charge from beginning to end, including Janet references but making them her own. Carrie Ann comes from behind the judging table to hug Amanda, telling her she’s so proud of her. And Len called it “amazing.”

JK, 8:55pm — It’s a good sign with Len warming up to her.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (10), Derek (10), Bruno (10) = 40

CM, 8:56pm — About dang time.

JK, 8:56pm — As they said when Susan Lucci eventually won her Emmy, “The streak is over.”

CM, 8:56pm — I think Olivia is in the bottom three.

DM, 8:56pm — Yeah, if she didn’t get a perfect score after the way scores have been going tonight, she might never have gotten them LOL.

Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach (Cha Cha, “Rhythm Nation”)

DM, 8:56pm — No surprise that Iman’s wife Teyana Taylor knows Janet and is such a big fan given that she’s also an R&B star. But cha cha is gonna be challenging for Iman being very tall, And the judges were very tough on Jimmie Allen’s cha cha, so we’ll see what happens with it.

DM, 9:02pm — That dance is definitely appealing to the audience because I didn’t see all that much cha cha in it.

JK, 9:02pm — Daniella and the backup dancers were outstanding. As for Iman, it looked like he was doing his best to catch up with everyone else.

CM, 9:02pm — Definitely a crowd pleaser. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of cha cha content

JUDGES — Bruno thought it was a great tribute, but there was “minimal” cha cha. Carrie Ann thought it was intricate choreography and he gave it his usual pizzazz. Len was impressed with the precision in the group section, but not enough cha cha. Derek thinks they’re a special duo because they’re “memorable.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (9), Len (8), Derek (9), Bruno (9) = 35

DM, 9:04pm — I’m with Len on this one. It was a 9 dance, but an 8 cha cha.

JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson (Salsa, “Feedback”)

DM, 9:04pm — JoJo is appealing to the Siwanators to keep her out of the bottom two this week. She’s appealing to her fans after they gave her so much support upon her coming out as queer earlier this year. But she’s got her work cut out for her tonight. Not only was she in the bottom two last week despite being top two on the judges’ leaderboard, she’s following already three perfect dances tonight.

JK, 9:07pm — Amazing!

CM, 9:07pm — JoJo does it again

DM, 9:07pm — That was sensational. Intricate, but it felt effortless, and she lifted Jenna like a badass. Better be perfect

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought it was “amazing” and she continues to give “incredible” performances. Len thinks she’s an excellent dancer and they’re a “fantastic dream team,” but he didn’t like the non-salsa gimmicks. Len thinks JoJo is a great partner and leader, and he’s speechless. Bruno thought it was “drop dead sexy.”

CM, 9:09pm — Really Len?

DM, 9:09pm — She gave Cody a 10, and he’s not gonna give her a 10, and that’s messed up.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (10), Len (9), Derek (10), Bruno (10) = 39

DM, 9:12pm — And it puts her right in the middle of the leaderboard. She’ll probably still bounce back after last week’s scare, but the judges aren’t helping. Wonky scores tonight.

CM, 9:18pm — We’ll see how strong Iman’s and Jimmie’s fan bases are this week.

Dance-Off #1: Jimmie Allen vs. Suni Lee (Salsa, “Made for Now”)

DM, 9:19pm — Jimmie is immediately intimidated by going up against an Olympic champion with great technical skills. They start with a staring contest that Suni wins handily. Following Suni’s samba tonight, I’d give her the definite edge.

CM, 9:22pm — That was a though one. My vote is Jimmie.

DM, 9:22pm — I think Suni’s got this one, but I’m not so sure given tonight’s scoring.

JK, 9:22pm — I thought both were groovy, but I’m giving the edge to Suni Lee.

DM, 9:23pm — And the winner of this dance-off is … Suni! So she’s is guaranteed to be at least tied for the top of the judges’ leaderboard.

DM, 9:25pm — I wonder if Jimmie is going to have a Miz moment tonight. Now he’s really stuck at the bottom of the leaderboard, and it’s going to test his fans more than ever before. With a double elimination, he might be out. I can see Cody taking his spot in the semis.

CM, 9:26pm — I’ll rather see Jimmie vs. Cody IMO.

DM, 9:26pm — Same, but the judges really held them to different standards tonight.

Dance-Off #2: JoJo Siwa vs. Olivia Jade (Rumba, “That’s The Way Love Goes”)

DM, 9:28pm — “We want to know, who put me up against JoJo Siwa?” And Val is also going up against his wife Jenna, so this should be an interesting pairing. The good news for JoJo is that even if Olivia wins the dance-off like she won their relay last week, the two points won’t be quite enough for Olivia to catch her on tonight’s leaderboard.

JK, 9:30pm — This is close for me because I thought both were so incredible to behold.

CM, 9:30pm — Another close one.

DM, 9:31pm — This one’s a toss-up for me, but I think JoJo had more passion.

CM, 9:31pm — I think she’s going for JoJo.

JK, 9:31pm — Wouldn’t surprise me.

DM, 9:32pm — Carrie Ann gives her two bonus points to … JoJo!

CM, 9:32pm — Well deserved. Olivia is in the bottom three.

JK, 9:33pm — I agree it was well deserved.

Dance-Off #3: Melora Hardin vs. Iman Shumpert (Foxtrot, “Again”)

DM, 9:37pm — This is an odd match-up. I think Melora has the edge since they’re doing a technical ballroom dance in hold and Melora is stronger in that regard, but Derek loves Iman’s showmanship, so I wouldn’t rule out an upset.

DM, 9:39pm — If Iman wins, he moves ahead of Olivia on the leaderboard, which could be the last nail in her coffin.

DM, 9:40pm — Okay, I think this should be a landslide for Melora.

CM, 9:40pm — Hmmm, not sure who he’ll pick

JK, 9:40pm — I thought both did solid work, but Melora’s performance to me had more fluidity.

CM, 9:40pm — Yeah he’ll pick Melora.

DM, 9:41pm — And Derek gives his bonus points to … Melora! So she’s also guaranteed to tie at the top of the leaderboard.

DM, 9:43pm — If Amanda gets the bonus points like I think we all expect her to, it’ll be a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with perfect scores, and I could easily see one of them ending up in the bottom three.

Dance-Off #4: Amanda Kloots vs. Cody Rigsby (Cha Cha, “Together Again”)

DM, 9:45pm — On paper, this is easily the most lopsided match-up of the night. A win for Cody would be a huge upset, especially on such a technical dance with a stickler for detail like Len judging this one.

CM, 9:47pm — Amanda better get those bonus points.

CM, 9:48pm — Amanda has my vote.

JK, 9:48pm — Amanda was outstanding. Cody looked like he was being upstaged by Cheryl.

DM, 9:48pm — Amanda deserves it, but Cody surprised me again. He kept up way better than I expected, and he had some really strong hip action.

CM, 9:49pm — Here we go!

DM, 8:49pm — Len gives his bonus points to … Amanda. No surprise there, but these results are gonna be dangerous with such a top-heavy leaderboard.


1. Melora Hardin — 40 + 2 = 42
1. Amanda Kloots — 40 + 2 = 42
1. Suni Lee — 40 + 2 = 42
4. JoJo Siwa — 39 + 2 = 41
5. Cody Rigsby — 38
6. Olivia Jade — 36
7. Iman Shumpert — 35
8. Jimmie Allen — 32

CM, 9:51pm — I’m going with Olivia, Jimmie and Cody for bottom three.

JK, 9:51pm — All three of those sound plausible.

CM, 9:51pm — I can see Jimmie and Iman surprise and we could see Cody, Olivia and maybe Suni?

DM, 9:53pm — I think there’s going to be a surprise. I’m gonna say Olivia, Jimmie, and Amanda land in the bottom three. Amanda was safe last week, so her fans might be complacent now. And she got so much praise from the judges tonight there will be no backlash against them to support her.


DM, 9:55pm — The safe celebrities are … Suni Lee (I thought she might be in trouble there), JoJo Siwa (no surprise she got the bounce-back after last week), Amanda Kloots (whew, I was worried there), Cody Rigsby (I had a feeling given his high scores), and Iman Shumpert (I figured). Sigh, Melora Hardin, Jimmie Allen, and Melora Hardin are the bottom three. I figured one of the top dancers would get hurt, sad that it was Melora, but the judges will easily save her.

DM, 9:58pmOlivia Jade is dead last, so she’s automatically eliminated, which I pretty much expected.

CM, 9:58pm — I knew Olivia was a goner.

DM, 9:59pm — Derek votes for Melora, Bruno votes for Melora, Carrie Ann votes for Melora as well, which makes it official. Jimmie Allen is out. Len would have saved Melora too, so it would have been unanimous.

JK, 10:00pm — Just when Jimmie was getting better, he’s gone.

CM, 10:00pm — Yeah the judges had it out for him.

DM, 10:01pm — It’s so weird that Jimmie has gotten inflated scores in the past, but tonight the judges inflated Cody’s numbers and pretty much guaranteed Jimmie’s elimination with their first-round scores.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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