‘Dancing with the Stars 23’ review: On Laurie Hernandez, James Hinchcliffe, Calvin Johnson, and trios


There are two sets of dances on tonight’s new episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” but we’re also getting to a point now where it’s difficult to analyze everyone individually. It’s like saying “this is good, that is good, and that other stuff is good.” There’s not a whole lot of fun of writing that in particular.

What we will say about the first round of performances tonight was that Terra Jole MAJORLY stepped it up on a night where we thought there was a good chance going in she would be eliminated. She managed a perfect score with her rumba, and she and Laurie Hernandez were the only two who got that. What made Laurie’s score all the more gut-wrenching was how she recently lost a grandparent, but still she was able to go out there and deliver a foxtrot with poise.

The only other notable moment in round one to us was seeing some surprising struggles from Calvin Johnson at this point in the show. This is not a great time to get a 26 out of 30; we’ve thought his NFL following would be an asset for him, but they’re not necessarily going to save him at any cost.

Let’s get now to some of the trio performances, since this to us was the real highlight of the night. There were a ton of perfect scores handed out in here, so let’s talk concepts. We love what James Hinchcliffe did with Sharna Burgess and Jenna Johnson, going with the whole IndyCar-racing theme and a lot of excitement. Meanwhile, Terra ended up scoring a perfect score with a trio tango that brought so much fire to the stage! This is what we wanted to see the past two weeks.

Still, the concept for Jana Kramer, with the help of Gleb Savchenko and Alan Bersten, was one of the coolest things we’ve seen all season. Calvin Johnson’s dance with Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold — who almost looked like twins — was a lot of fun in its own right! The biggest takeaway that we had from this was that the show gave away a few too many perfect scores in the early going that it diminished the impact of this one.

Finally, why did Maksim Chmerkovskiy dance so little in his trio with Laurie and Val?

While there was a flurry of perfect scores tonight, we’d say that objectively, Laurie was the best overall of the night, with Jana probably in second as a whole. Terra may have been slightly overscored, and while Calvin’s second dance was our favorite on the night, his first was a mess.

Results – We’re going to have that reveal soon over at the link here. (Photo: ABC.)

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