“DWTS” Week 10 Recap: Semifinals and the Season’s Most Shocking Elimination

November 29, 2023

It’s semifinals week on “Dancing with the Stars,” and 10 weeks later, we can confidently say that every single couple left in the competition is in it to win it. Last week was Taylor Swift night, but our stars and pros have only one thing on their minds—the mirror ball.

Last night’s semifinals brought tougher competition as each couple was expected to dance twice. That’s right, two dances for the price of one—one Latin style and one ballroom style. That’s 5 couples, 10 performances, and 1 shocking elimination. So if you missed last night’s episode, we’re here to recap all the dancing (and the drama).

In the first round of competition, the remaining five couples (Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov; Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach; Xochitl Gomez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy; Charity Lawson and Artem Chigvintsev; Alyson Hannigan and Sasha Farber) performed classic ballroom-dance styles. While all of the couples dazzled, only Xochitl Gomez and partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy managed to pull off a perfect score with their steamy samba.

After the first round of performances was completed, it was time for the five semifinalists to take on their second dances—this time, Latin dance styles. Naturally, the second round of competition turned up the heat.

Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach: Paso Doble

After last week’s triumphant return to the top of the leaderboard, it was up to singer Jason Mraz to prove that his most recent performance wasn’t a one-off. Luckily, he was able to do so comfortably, with a confident, content-filled paso doble.

Jason was challenged in this performance by his partner Daniella Karagach with some serious, severe choreography. But he nailed every last step, in particular, acing the challenging knee walks signature to the paso. We’ve seen serious dancers brought down by choreo of this caliber, but Jason wasn’t tripped up once.

The judges loved the performance, with judge Carrie Ann Inaba leaving her seat to give Jason and Daniella a hug, telling the two they delivered “magic.” The pair received three 10s, for a perfect 30 out of 30 possible points.

Xochitl Gomez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Waltz

Week after week, we’ve seen Xochitl and Val bring magic to the ballroom. Xochitl has dazzled us with her unbridled energy and her signature 1,000-watt smile. But this week, Xochitl and Val stunned with a simpler, subtler performance.

The pair performed a waltz set to Lady Gaga’s “La Vie en Rose,” and by the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. But the real heartbreak came when judge Derek Hough told Xochitl and Val that former head judge, the late Len Goodman would have loved the performance. We can’t help but agree.

The judges gave Xochitl and Val three 10s, for another perfect score.

Ariana Madix and Pasha Pashkov: Foxtrot

Reality star Ariana Madix has seen her fair share of challenges over the course of this season, facing down injuries, tough scores from the judges, and more. But coming into week 10, she was more than ready to fight for her spot in the finals—and she earned it with this fluid foxtrot.

Where we’ve seen Ariana grow the most this season has been in the fluidity of her movement. While in early weeks she struggled with stiffness, her performance this week was silky smooth, with not a single step out of place. And even as partner Pasha Pashkov challenged her with some serious choreo, she remained confident—a testament to how far she’s come since week 1.

The judges gave Ariana and Pasha straight 10s, yet another perfect score.

Once all the dancing was done, it was elimination time. In a twist that shocked the ballroom (and viewers at home), it was revealed that the two celebs at risk of being sent home were Xochitl and Ariana despite their stellar scores.

But in an even more shocking twist, hosts Julianne Hough and Alfonso Ribeiro revealed that the eliminated couple was…no one! That’s right, all five couples will be heading to the finals next week. And we can’t wait to see them save the last dance.