'Dancing' recap: Ginger and Val wow the judges; surprising elimination sends Marla Maples home

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Tonight’s installment of “Dancing With the Stars” channeled the wonder and imagination of classic Disney films.

The opening number, “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and the Beast” featured appearances by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Goofy and the entire ‘DWTS’ cast, both contestants and professionals. Val Chmerkovskiy showed his versatility by playing the violin while dancing.

‘DWTS’ Season 16 second-place finisher and Disney Channel actress Zendaya served as a guest judge.

Tonight’s competition was proof positive how much weight viewer voting carries.

Last week’s bottom three – Antonio Brown, Doug Flutie and Von Miller – all of whom scored 20 points each, have survived to dance another day. Instead, in a surprise turn of events, Marla Maples was sent home.

Doug Flutie, who has the lowest score of tonight’s Disney competition – 24 points – was informed early by Tom Bergeron that thanks to viewer voting, he would not face elimination at the end of the night.

Performance Highlights

Wanya Morris, Nyle DiMarco and Paige VanZant have been high scorers all season, but Ginger Zee and Val’s Broadway-caliber, spot-on foxtrot to “Bonjour” from “Beauty and the Beast” awed the judges.

Nyle DiMarco continues to stun the judges with his phenomenal sense of timing and memorization of the choreography. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba asked DiMarco, “What can’t you do?”

NFL-er Antonio Brown had his best performance to date with a jazz dance to “Friend Like Me” from “Aladdin.” Brown even received a compliment from judge Len Goodman.

Kim Fields received her highest score to date, a 32, and was so excited about Bruno compliments on her improved posture she ran over to the judge’s booth and ‘dolphin dived’ across the desk to kiss him.

Most improved

Von Miller brought his A-game tonight as Prince Charming from “Cinderella.” I think he was fearful of being eliminated. The judges commended his improvement with a score of 32.

Here are tonight’s results:

  • 36 – 2-way tie between Paige VanZant and Ginger Zee
  • 35 – 2-way tie between Antonio Brown and Wanya Morris
  • 34 – Nyle DiMarco
  • 32 – 2-way tie between Kim Fields and Von Miller
  • 28 – Marla Maples
  • 27 – Jodie Sweetin
  • 24 – Doug Flutie

What are your thoughts about tonight’s elimination? Share your comments in the section below.

‘Dancing’ recap: Ginger and Val wow the judges; surprising elimination sends Marla Maples home

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