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‘DWTS’ Recap: Trios take over in the ballroom while semi-finalists revealed

Can you believe by the end of this month, a DWTS season 24 winner will be crowned?

The stakes were higher than ever week eight in the ballroom, as the remaining five celebrity contenders fought for a place in the semi-finals. Not only were two dances performed Monday evening, the trio rounds came with a new twist. The judges chose which troupe member or eliminated pro would be completing this week’s threesomes.

Rashad and Emma-Jive

With the pros responsible for picking songs that best describe their partners, Emma chose “Shake a Tail Feather” by Blues Brothers for Rashad, as he is an is an upbeat, positive and happy person who everyone gravitate towards. Their jive impressed the judges, with Len saying it was full of fun and energy, noting that Rashad needs to work on his feet moving forward. Julianne said the footwork could be a little bit sharper, but at the end of the day, is thrilled to see them fighting for the mirror ball trophy. Bruno expressed how much charisma Rashad possesses and is a joy to watch perform. Carrie Ann loved watching him entertain; however, also agreed that he needs to get his foot details down.

Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Julianne- 9, Bruno- 9 = 36/40

Normani and Val- Contemporary

Dancing to “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton, Normani and Val performed a breaking free-inspired contemporary piece that beautifully demonstrated the strength and self-love she has built over the years after being cyberbullied and thrown racial slurs. Julianne was mesmerized and said the dance was so profound and she was not just telling a story, but creating art. Bruno commended her extraordinary storytelling, advising her that no one will be able to break her. Carrie Ann said Normani go through another level of healing and thanked her for such a profound moment. Len thought throughout the dance, the duo was spellbound and admitted that so was he.

Carrie Ann- 10, Len- 10, Julianne- 10, Bruno- 10 = 40/40

Bonner and Sharna- Argentine Tango

In an attempt to have Bonner revisit a painful time in his life, the pair put an intimate take on a personal Argentine Tango to Imagine Dragon’s “Believer.” Bruno said Bonner made the most of what he got from Sharna; however, his steps were still a bit “clanky.” The judge does appreciate how hard the former bull rider works. Carrie Ann said tonight she recognized more motion and appreciates Bruno’s ongoing efforts. Although, she did say he lost a bit of connection during the performance. Len’s snide remarks expressed that Bonner’s DWTS journey has overstayed its welcome. Julianne understands Bonner’s week eight frustrations, but advises him to use that to his advantage. The dance may have not been where it should be, but she still noticeably saw improvement.

Carrie Ann- 8, Len- 7, Julianne- 8, Bruno- 7= 30/40

Simone and Sasha- Foxtrot

Sasha chose “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction as he and Simone’s foxtrot song, in efforts to showcase her vibrant personality and all of her stunning traits that go unnoticed. Carrie Ann said Simone’s skills her unquestionable, but believes there’s beauty without smiles too and would like her to manage her emotions. Len thought it was full of youth, which mirrored Simone’s age and personality. Julianne expressed that it was a pretty dance, but that is not necessarily a good thing as the performance was more on the “safe” side. In our defense, Simone spent fourteen years training in a gym, and as an Olympian, was told to put emotions at bay.

Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Julianne- 9, Simone = 36/40

David and Lindsay- Waltz

“Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw flawlessly pinpoints who David is as a person and Lindsay couldn’t have chosen a more fitting song for their waltz. Len said it was a little unsteady at times, but it was understated. “You attempted to get the right footwork, which most of the celebrities here totally disregard,” he told David. Julianne thought the pair’s waltz completely demonstrated what the show is all about and that David is the heart of this competition. Bruno pointed out that the routine executed a father-daughter dance, which evidently reveals the type of partnership David and Lindsay have. Carrie Ann told the pair to lose their “Lady and the Gramp” nickname and change it to “Lady and the Champ.” They rightfully earned their highest score of the season.

Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Julianne- 9, Bruno- 9 = 36/40

Rashad and Emma featuring Witney- Argentine Tango

Len said the three’s Argentine Tango to “Dreams” by Gabrielle Aplin and Bastille was so full of passion. It was a great way to perform a trio, restating yet again that Rashad does need to work on his footwork. Psh, footwork, smootwork. If you ask us, there was no denying how hot and intense their routine was. Julianne thought the concept and choreography was amazing and she adored the dynamics. Bruno couldn’t look at Rashad’s feet, because blood was flowing everywhere. Carrie Ann thought it was by far Rashad’s best dance. She disagreed with Len’s footwork comment during this number, as she found it to be spot on. We agree, and certainly fell in love with this mature storytelling masterpiece.

Carrie Ann- 10, Len- 9, Julianne- 10, Bruno- 10 = 39/40

Normani and Val featuring Alan- Jive

The three’s country-styled Jive simply slayed our existences. But, can you expect anything less from the songstress and these two charming, shirtless fellas? Julianne loved that Normani was able to really show a more smiling, youthful, sexy side of her. Bruno thought the performance was a glorious, all American jive that was so clever, as she managed to really pitch the country aspect without overdoing it. Carrie Ann said Normani is a true chameleon, also able to portray different roles really well and could definitely succeed as an actress. Len loved the contrast between her first and second routine. But, he did not like the whole “stand on the judges’ desk” part, calling it “wasted time.”

Carrie Ann- 10, Len- 9, Julianne- 10, Bruno- 10 = 39/40

Bonner and Sharna featuring Britt- Jazz

Two words: hot damn. Bonner and Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” are a combo that we are totally about. We immediately want to get ourselves a job at Bonner Bolton Enterprises. Carrie Ann said she felt like she needed to take a shower after watching their routine, as it was a little raunchy. She thought it was a lot, but not quite enough at this stage of the competition. Len too thought it was a little too raunchy; however, admires Bonner, who didn’t take one wrong step during the performance and continues to get out there and give his all. Julianne said she feels like she just watched the security tapes.

Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Julianne- 7, Bruno = 28/40

Simone and Sasha featuring Britt- Paso Doble

The trio’s Paso Doble to The Chainsmokers and Daya’s “Don’t Let Me Down” was a futuristic, energized performance. Carrie Ann saw improvement in emotion from Simone and felt the authenticity from her routine, but feels she dances too on beat. rolls eyes Ugh, we’re so over the judges attacking Simone for making everything look so effortless. Bruno said she hit her marks with such a ruthless artistry, commending her transformation. “You gotta lift your game up,” Len told Simone, after saying she’s his favorite to win and that the gymnast received more 9s from him this season than anyone else.

Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Julianne- 9, Bruno- 9 = 36/40

David and Lindsay featuring Hayley- Paso Doble

Something we never thought we would witness in our lifetime: a gladiator-themed dance to a cover of “Gangsta’s Paradise.” This was the first time we truly saw a serious side of David. Len did not like the trio’s Paso Doble at all to say the least, calling it rough. An optimistic Julianne thought their performance was strong and great; however, noticed that David lost a great deal of shaping, which is a huge asset to executing a successful Paso Doble. Carrie Ann felt like he put out his strategy more during his first dance, as this one felt clumsy. Bruno even hilarious compared David to “Godzilla chasing airplanes.”

Carrie Ann- 8, Len- 7, Julianne- 8, Bruno, 7= 29/40

Sorry to disappoint ladies, but at the end of the evening, we said goodbye to Bonner and Sharna, who just fell short of the semi-finals.

With a close race to the finish, who is your pick to go all the way? Tweet us your thoughts, @CelebMix.

Written by Cayla Masters

Music, pop culture and cheesesteak lover. Follow me on Twitter, @caylamasters