VanZant makes it into final five of DWTS

Paige VanZant may not be in the Top 5 in the UFC strawweight division at the moment, but she and partner Mark Ballas are part of that exclusive group on Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars.

After collecting a perfect score last week and 10s from tough judge Len Goodman on back-to-back performances, Team Pow Right in the Kisser remains near the top of the leaderboard and capable of walking away with the championship mirror ball when the competition comes to a close in a couple weeks.

Building off their electric jive to Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” last week, VanZant and Ballas delivered a stunning Viennese Waltz to “Stone Cold” by UFC superfan Demi Lovato on Monday night, cementing their position as one of the top teams in advance of next week’s semifinals.

“The greatest compliment I can give you: you’re a terrific dancer,” offered Goodman, who gave the couple a couple small technical critiques.

“It was both chilling and thrilling,” raved Bruno Tonioli, who praised Ballas’ willingness to push the envelope with his choreography and the way he breaks down routines.

“This is the most emotional and multi-tiered performance from you,” Carrie Ann Inaba told VanZant. “You’ve proven you’re a fantastic dancer, but tonight you gave us 9,000 qualities of movement, which really set you up even higher in my mind. Well done.”

For the third straight week, they earned a 10, this one from Inaba, while Goodman and Tonioli added nines for a combined score of 28. Earlier in the season, that would have put them atop the leaderboard, but now that it’s nearing the end, the scores continue to climb, and dropping two points left Team Pow Right in the Kisser behind three groups – the teams of Jodie Sweetin and Keo Motsepe; and Ginger Zee and Val Chmerkoskiy, both of which pulled perfect scores, as well as Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd, who kicked off the night with a 29.

After last week featured a Men vs. Women team competition with scores that factored into each competitor’s total for the week, Monday’s twist was the Judge’s Team-Up Challenge, where pairs partnered up for a routine conceived and choreographed by one of the judges.

VanZant and Ballas were partnered with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and his pro Sharna Burgess, working with Carrie Ann Inaba on a Paso Doble, which VanZant and Ballas knocked out in their makeshift Octagon in Week 3. With the two other teams garnering 29s, Team Carrie Ann stepped up and matched the competition with a 29 as well.

While VanZant and Ballas were through, one team had to go home. On the chopping block were Brown and Burgess, Sweetin and Motsepe, and Wanya Morris and Lindsey Arnold, and despite crushing it this week and collecting a 30, it’s Jodie and Keo whose competition came to an end.

Next week is the semifinals and it will be a double elimination week to bring us to the final three.

Cast your votes and be sure to tune in next week to see if Team Pow Right in the Kisser can reach the finals.

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