'DWTS' Week 7 Preview: 'A Night at the Movies,' Double Elimination, Dance-Offs & More!
Week 7 of Dancing With the Stars is here, and it will feature a double elimination!
We’re only four weeks away from the finale, and who will take home that mirror ball trophy is still up in the air. The bar has been set high, and the seven remaining couples are really going to have to step up their game in the ballroom in order to stay in the competition.
ET breaks down everything you need to know ahead of Monday’s show, themed “A Night at the Movies.”
Who’s on top of the leaderboard?
1. Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy: 38/40
2. Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater: 37/40
3. Simone Biles & Sasha Farber: 35/40
Who’s in danger of elimination?
After last week’s shocking elimination (Heather Morris and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were sent home following a perfect score for their tango), it’s hard to say what will happen, and proves the importance of voting! But based on scores, we’re guessing Nick Viall and Peta Murgatroyd (28/40) or David Ross and Lindsay Arnold (29/40) will leave Monday night.
What is the new “A Night at the Movies” theme?
According to ABC, “each couple will attempt to capture the spirit of a specific movie genre — western, romance, silent films, action, horror, sci-fi and foreign.” The pair with the highest judges’ score from their first dance of the night will receive immunity, keeping them safe from both elimination and the dance-off challenge.
How does the double elimination and dance-offs work?
The pairs that do not receive immunity will have to battle each other in an attempt to boost their scores. At the end of the night, based on the evening’s judges’ scores and votes from last Monday, two couples will go home.
ET recently caught up with Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater during one of their dance rehearsals, where they explained “the pressure is on” this week.
“You don’t know who you are going to be going against,” the NFL pro explained. “You don’t know what dance [genre] you are going to do, so you have to be prepared for all of them.”
“I think right now, everybody is kind of feeling the pressure and they are going to bring their A-game this week especially, so it doesn’t matter who we go against,” he added.
Mandy Moore is this week’s guest judge.
The mastermind behind the stunning dance moves in La La Land will be joining Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel this week as a temporary fill-in for Julianne Hough. Additionally, you’ll see her choreography unfold in the ballroom, as she’s put together a fun opening number to “Let’s Go to the Movies,” featuring all of the couples and troupe dancers.
Additionally, there will be a stage performance by the cast of Disney’s Descendants 2!
“We have a little ‘Ways to Be Wicked’ / ‘Rotten to the Core,’ Descendants 1 and 2 mashup,” actress Dove Cameron teased when ET caught up with her at the Radio Disney Music Awards on Saturday. “Let’s just say that we’ve been rehearsing, and all of our muscles are in screaming pain, so it’s very much what you would expect from the Descendants. It’s very rough and tough.”
What genres are the couples dancing to?
Simone Biles & Sasha Farber – SILENT FILMS
Charleston, “Charleston” by Bob Wilson & His Varsity Rhythm Boys
Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess – WESTERN
Paso Doblé, “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes” by Aaron Copland
Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater – HORROR
Paso Doblé, “O Fortuna” by Carl Orff
Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev – ROMANCE
Tango, “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison
Normani Kordei & Val Chmerkovskiy – FOREIGN
Argentine Tango, “Quizàs, Quizàs, Quizàs” by Andrea Bocelli featuring Jennifer Lopez
David Ross & Lindsay Arnold – SCI FI
Salsa, “Universal Mind Control” by Common
Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd – ACTION
Argentine Tango, “Dangerous” by David Guetta featuring Sam Martin
How does each celebrity plan to stay in the competition?
ET caught up with all of the contestants backstage at DWTS following their performances last week, where they opened up about what they’re doing to avoid elimination.
Simone is working on her sexy!
The always bubbly, petite gymnast has been teased a few times for not being able to break out of her cute shell, but she said it’s something she’s trying to work on with Sasha.
“I don’t know [what sexy means],” she adorably confessed. “I’m still trying to figure it out.”
Luckily, she has a lot of support from the other fierce ladies vying for the mirror ball trophy.
“I feel the love day in and day out,” she said. “We text each other. We have a really good relationship and bond. And I think together we’re more powerful.”
David is staying positive.
During last week’s interview package, the former MLB pro appeared to be having a difficult week, caused mostly by heightened stress from traveling and, of course, the pressures of long rehearsals, which every pair faces at least once in the competition. He and Lindsay had a minor disagreement, but they said they moved on from it fast.
“I think the week just caught up with me,” David explained. “They showed her barking at me but I was the one in a bad mood. I had no energy last week, no entry.”
“It’s definitely hard, but I think it’s how you work through that that’s most important,” added Lindsay. “We just have to figure it out. We had our first little tussle as a relationship and we got through it and that’s all that matters.”
Rashad just wants to have fun!
“It is the most difficult thing in the world to do this show, I am telling you,” he dished. “[But] just like football, I dive into the work every single week, and whether we play on Monday, Sunday or Thursday I let that happen, and that is kind of what I am doing right now.”
“At the beginning I said, and I still feel this way, every single dance I’m going to come out here and have fun and that’s what I’m diving into,” he continued. “But the closer and closer and the more and more deeper you get into it, it’s like, ‘Man.’ But I’m keeping my head [up] and having fun.”
Emma has no doubt the star athlete has what it takes to win it all. “Rashad has it. Our rehearsals go by so quickly because I will go as far as my celebrity will go,” she explained. “With him I haven’t even found his limit, I don’t think I would find it even if we were to rehearse 10 hours a day … everything is so positive. It is a really amazing environment, and I think that attitude and work ethic is exactly what it needs [to be].”
Bonner is trying to avoid injuries.
The professional bull rider suffered a near fatal incident last year when he was bucked off the back of a bull. Due to the injuries and surgeries he’s had from that accident, he’s unable to perform some of the moves his competitors are able to execute.
Bonner pushed himself a bit too hard in rehearsals last week, causing him pain on show day. “[In] practice, I was jumping off the stage and the people that were coordinating the dance, myself included, weren’t really aware on what I was doing,” Bonner said. “I kinda landed wrong and it jarred my neck pretty bad, so I’ve been in a lot of pain and some things kinda got knocked out of whack. It’s tough, man.”
“My head weight stands right near the metal, right in the main nervous system of my body where all my brain function and body function goes to,” he explained. “All of that metal sits right here on the main pivot point of my neck, so with that jarring it, it’s just not good.”
Regardless of Bonner’s limitations, Sharna has faith in her partner, but knows that winning will all come down to getting fans to vote for them!
“[Voting] is everything and that’s what I tell Bonner,” she shared. “I said, ‘B, you gotta remember it’s not the dance, it’s us, it’s you, it’s your story, how hard you try and the effort you put in every week. And that’s what I think he is so amazing at.”
Normani wants a ’10’ from judge Len Goodman.
#TeamValmani has received nearly perfect scores a few times this season, but not once have they gotten a “10” from Len. When ET asked the Fifth Harmony star what she thinks it would take to get him to budge, her answer was simple: “I don’t know.”
Val chimed in, jokingly explaining that he’s “been bribing” Len for weeks now, “so it’s obviously not money.”
“My whole thing is, he needs to specify what he means by content because your content depends on the song,” he continued. “And if the song isn’t a salsa song, which this wasn’t, then how can you do a salsa syllabus? It has to be an interpretation of salsa. It has to be advanced salsa, something that can mold into a different song. I’m not going to do beginner choreography with somebody that’s capable of doing advanced stuff.”
Nick wants to improve for Peta.
While The Bachelor star would personally love to take home a win, he reiterated his desire to do this for Peta, who returned to the ballroom as a pro dancer just two months after giving birth to her first child, son Shai, with Maksim.
“[Last week’s dance] wasn’t our best performance, but I don’t wanna let Peta down,” he said. “She works really hard, and I wanna get better.”
“It’s one of those things, like, my parents tell me, ‘Nothing you can do, just try your best,'” he continued. “So, yeah. I want to see what I can do. But I still want to make sure I have fun.”
“That’s the thing with this show,” added Peta. “It’s not just a dancing competition. It’s a popularity contest.”
Nancy simply wants to win ‘badly.’
Those were her only words when ET asked her how much she’d love a victory this season.
Artem weighed in on her response, explaining, “You don’t want to be too over confident in saying that, but honestly this experience has been so amazing and overwhelming in a good way.”
“I would feel ashamed for Nancy if she didn’t go all the way because she’s got so much potential and I think when you look back at where we started and where we are now, how many characters how many different styles of dance we saw, [she’s a] chameleon,” he continued. “Keep changing every single dance gives a different character and I think that’s what the show is about. People see the difference.”
Social media teases.
Below, see more of the best moments the stars have shared over Twitter and Instagram as they gear up to take the stage to perform again on Monday:
Which pair are YOU most excited to see hit the ballroom this week? Let me know on Twitter (@desireemurphy_ ) or in the comments section on our official Facebook page! And be sure to follow all of our DWTS coverage all season long, right here on ETonline.com.