‘DWTS 2016: Wanya Morris, Antonio Brown Booted in Season 22 Semifinals
(ABC) -- Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris and NFL player Antonio Brown had their bids for the mirror ball trophy cut short tonight when they were voted off “Dancing With the Stars” just one week ahead of the Season 22 finals.
Morris –- who finished in the top spot tonight with two perfect judges’ scores -- and Brown were eliminated based on their performance on last week’s show, where they occupied to two lowest spots on the leaderboard after two rounds of competition.
The men smiled and hugged their pro partners when their names were announced. They didn’t have time before the show ended to talk with co-host Tom Bergeron, but before the results were revealed, judge Bruno Tonioli said it would be “tragic” to see any of the couples go.
“Tonight really was a sensational night of dancing. You’ve all put so much into it and from what I saw, I really feel all five of you deserve to be in the final,” he said of the stars in the semifinals.
Morris was a fan favorite who started the competition strong and routinely landed at or near the top of the leaderboard, but a slip during one of his routines last week left him at the very bottom of the pack.
Brown started out very much as an underdog but he grew as a dancer, with judges praising his technical and artistic development and commitment throughout the competition. After last week’s routines, he was left in the penultimate spot on the leaderboard.
Model Nyle DiMarco, UFC fighter Paige VanZant and “GMA” meteorologist Ginger Zee advance to next week’s finals.
Before the results were revealed, the stars performed two separate routines – one with his or her pro partner, and the trio dance -- their second routine with the star’s pro partner plus a second pro dancer.
Highlights of the night included Paige VanZant’s saucy samba and steamy Argentine tango, and Nyle DiMarco’s Argentine tango. Ginger Zee had a misstep during her second routine, a quickstep, but she recovered from it and earned a near-perfect score of 29 points.
For the first time in the show’s history, viewer and scores votes from tonight’s routines will count toward the outcome of next week’s finale, Bergeron said.
Tonight’s standout moment: Nyle DiMarco, who cannot hear, gave himself another challenge tonight when he donned a blindfold for a portion of his tender Argentine tango with partner Peta Murgatroyd. Judges gave him three 10s, for a perfect score of 30 points. Tonioli said he was “mesmerized” by the performance.
Tonight’s high scorer: Wanya Morris had a perfect night tonight with two scores of 30 for his fiery paso doble and ebullient Charleston. Morris appeared energized after landing on the bottom of the leaderboard last week, and judge Carrie Ann Inaba came out on the dance floor after his paso doble to hug and congratulate the singer. “Welcome back, Wanya, that was wonderful!” she said. Head judge Len Goodman actually stood and applauded after the performance before handing out a rare 10. Tonioli said Morris’ Charleston was full of “brio, zest, pizzazz, razzmatazz.”
Judges’ Scores (1st dance; 2nd dance. Total)
Wanya Morris and Lindsay Arnold: 30; 30. Total: 60 (They were voted off tonight.)
Paige VanZant and Mark Ballas: 30; 29. Total: 59
Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd: 27; 30. Total: 57
Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkovskiy: 27; 29. Total: 56
Antonio Brown and Sharna Burgess: 27; 28. Total: 55 (They were voted off tonight.)