'Dancing With the Stars': Rumer Willis's Judge's Choice Contemporary
Oh boy, dance fans! It's finally here. Finally? Who am I kidding? The season flew by! But here we are in the semi-finals with the final four couples: Rumer and Val, Nastia and Derek, Riker and Allison, and Noah and Sharna.

Resident choreographer Mandy Moore outdoes herself with an adorable opening number in a bowling alley, incorporating jive, peckin', and cute 1960s moves. Mark (who desperately needs a haircut) even bowls a strike, with a real ball and pins. Impressive.

It's a really jam-packed, exciting, and emotional night too, as the final four does two dances each: a regular competition round, and a judges' choice round. Yep, the judges are not only mentoring a couple this year, but they are making all the creative decisions in their dance, from costumes to concept, sets to styles. They're so nervous about it too; it's funny to see them relax when Tom Bergeron points that out to them. But everyone is using dance for its best purpose: movement takes over when words can no longer express emotion, and there is so much emotion being expressed tonight. It's beautiful and moving, heartbreaking, and tear inducing.

Let's get into My Top 5 Dances:

Riker & Allison's Contemporary: My goodness, this is so beautiful. My heart is full. This routine, this choreography, is why they hired Allison to be on the show, and Riker is a perfect partner for her, matching her with every step. Contemporary is definitely a challenge for him, and he could work on his extensions and flexibility, but he is such a natural dancer and a consummate performer. Yes, I know I wear my heart on my sleeve with Riker, but this is just so stunning. He's a beautiful dancer, and I really hope he continues to do it after the show is over. Tom Bergeron is absolutely right, again: It's good to do things that scare you. I'm also so glad the judges (read: Len) agree with me too, and award him a perfect Score: 40

Nastia & Derek's Viennese Waltz with Len: All Len had to do was explain the concept, and I nearly started crying. And again, it takes a lot to get me to cry watching television. But I absolutely relate to what Len is talking about, as so many of us do. I think it's especially hard for dancers when they're not able to do what they love, as we've seen all season with Derek's injury. The expression on Len's face when he finally joins Nastia in the dance tells it all: he looks so incredibly happy. This routine is gorgeous. It's simple, but classically elegant, and so beautiful. It's the perfect end to a very emotional evening. I do have to say though, I'm so bothered by the tweet they showed after the dance, saying how "cute" Len is. That just seems insulting and ageist. He is lovely, beautiful, sweet, emotional, touching, elegant. But cute? Ugh. Score: 30

Noah & Sharna's Paso Doble with Carrie Ann: What an incredibly strong, striking paso doble. Carrie Ann and Sharna really work to show Noah's strengths and hide his weaknesses, and the concept with Noah controlling the four bulls is brilliant. Noah loses his timing here and there just a tiny bit, but his performance, his execution of the steps and the concept, is incredible. The look on his face! Such strength and power (just the size of his arm! Wow!). And I love that gorgeous bolero jacket, and the very ritualistic way they put it on at the beginning. Great concept, great choreography, great execution. Great Score: 30

Rumer & Val's Viennese Waltz: This is hot! Rumer and Val do a "50 Shades of Grey"-inspired routine that is sexy and sultry while, as Bruno points out, still maintaining the lyrical, romantic quality of the Viennese waltz. I do think the soundtrack is the best thing about the movie, so for them to use this song to reference the film is very smart. I would like a little more waltz content, and it's a pretty slow tempo for Viennese waltz, but the choreography is really fun and very sexy. I really enjoy it. But yes, Demi Mom, that's what professional dancers do: they make it look effortless. Duh. Score: 38.

Noah & Sharna's Viennese Waltz: Oh my goodness! This is so sweet. Noah is truly remarkable. His story is heartbreaking, yet so inspiring, and his dancing incredible. He and Sharna dance a beautiful, sweet routine, and Viennese waltz is so difficult, especially when it's near impossible for Noah to capture that rise and fall, the main characteristic of the dance. This is just lovely, and I agree with all the judges: he looks natural and comfortable, and is clearly enjoying himself. When they both walked up the stairs at the end, I nearly started crying (and it takes a lot for me to cry watching television). And then, during Erin's Q&A-as if the routine isn't sweet enough-Noah actually surprises his girlfriend with a wedding proposal! Public proposals always make me nervous, because it can put a lot of pressure on the future fiancé, but this is just so wonderful. I love how all the women shown on camera afterward had the same reaction: their hands crossed over their chests and their mouths open in astonishment. I did it too. Score: 36

The Rest:

Nastia & Sasha's Quickstep:
Wow. This is a very long, very complicated quickstep with lots of content. I love how the routine builds with the music, getting bigger and grander as it goes on, and incorporating lindy hop and Charleston kicks. A difficult thing about the quickstep, especially for viewers, is that it's often danced to swing music, which can make the control and stillness of the quickstep seem stifled or lacking in energy. Building some swing movements into the routine can help with that. I will say, though, that the previous routines all had that sweet emotional component, and this one is more flash and technical brilliance, so it feels slightly lacking. The judges reward her with another perfect Score: 40

Rumer & Val's "Swan Lake" Contemporary Fusion with Bruno: Bruno came up with a (Black) Swan Lake concept for Rumer, again using that fancy quick change technology they used in the 10th Anniversary episode. I don't think it adds much to the concept to have her turn into a black swan; it's just a more recent reference. It's kind of an odd routine, mushing together tango, waltz, paso, ballet, and that great "Dirty Dancing" lift, but she dances it beautifully. I still want to see a little softness in her face and mouth. I also appreciate the backup dancers being on pointe. It's beautiful. Score: 30

Riker & Allison's Argentine Tango with Julianne: I hate to say this: I love Riker, and I love Argentine tango, and yet, this didn't do that much for me. As much as I love Julianne too, I don't think she should have danced with them. I feel that she made it more about her, and Riker got a little lost in there. I also did not care for the music, at all. There's definitely some interesting choreography in there, and the hat tricks are fun, but the concept is weak, especially compared to the others so far. Riker still dances beautifully and keeps up with the two powerhouse women very well, but I find the dance lacking a bit. Fortunately though, the judges didn't, awarding another perfect Score: 30

This finals competition is clearly going to be very difficult. Everyone is amazing, and they all really stepped up their game. I hate to say it, but as incredible as Noah is, he is not the same caliber as Riker, Nastia, and Rumer. He really makes a huge, impressive step forward in these semi-finals, but I think I'll be a little disappointed if he takes the place of Riker (especially), Nastia, or Rumer in the finals. It'll be exciting (and nerve-wracking!) to see tomorrow.

So, what do you think dance fans? Which are your favorite dances tonight? Did you cry too from any of the routines or other surprises? Will you go see the Perfect 10 tour? Who do you think will be eliminated tomorrow and who will go to the finals?

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