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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

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The School Newspaper of Harriton High School

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Dancing With The Stars

Graphic by Amy Luo

Incredible dances, vivacious crowds, couples, and compelling controversy…..America’s favorite dance show has made its way back to the sparkling ballroom. It is the 32nd season of the iconic television series Dancing with the Stars, and this season is a must-watch! With a fascinating group of dancers and celebrities,​​ it is drawing audiences from Gen Z and beyond every Tuesday night as the captivating pairs take center stage. Vying for the prestigious Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy, a tribute to the former judge who sadly passed this year, the stars are enchanting the audience with their technique, style, and drama. 


The premiere night kicked off with an extraordinary performance by the dancers,  featuring a freestyle piece that was out of this world…. literally. Set to Dua Lipa’s song “Levitating,” a spaceship descended into the ballroom, setting the stage for a perfect start to the season. Starting off, former bachelorette Charity Lawson impressed everyone with her tango alongside partner Artem Chigvintsev, and earned the highest score of the night– a 22 out of 30. With her stunning lines and graceful movements, Charity appears to be on a path from roses to trophies. 


Fans of the show are eager to watch the newest pro, Rylee Arnold, take over the ballroom. Despite receiving the lowest score on premiere night, Rylee and Too Hot to Handle star Harry Jowsey’s cha cha to “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake has gone viral on social media platforms. However, despite the performance creating a spinoff TikTok dance, Harry Jowsey’s bashful and feeble performance was noticeable. Meanwhile, comedian Matt Walsh returned to the ballroom after leaving due to the WGA strikes, partnering with KoKo Iwasaki for a cha-cha. Unfortunately, they became the first pair to be eliminated, sparking suspicion among fans about the reasons behind Walsh’s swift exit. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said that it reminded her of
Old school Dancing With the Stars, where we had people who weren’t the best dancers, but gave us a good time!”


Latin night kicked off with thirteen couples ready to turn up the heat. From fiery salsas to intense cha-chas, Latin night was lively and enduring. ​​Singer and songwriter Jason Mraz and Daniella Karagach dazzled the audience with a passionate rumba, bringing fire to the ballroom and earning the night’s highest score of 24. However, not all couples were as fortunate. Zoey 101 star Jamie Lynn Spears and her partner Alan Bersten’s cha-cha, though sensual and confident, failed to secure their journey toward the Len Goodman Trophy, leading to their elimination. Despite this, Jamie claimed she had a sensational time performing with her new best friend Alan.


Week three took us back to the 1960s with Motown night, featuring rhythmic quicksteps, jives, and Foxtrots. Artists, such as the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and Stevie Wonder made appearances. Guest judge Michael Strahan raised the stakes with a maximum score of 40, putting more stress on the couples. Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix and partner Pasha Pashkov were unaffected by this pressure, seizing the spotlight with their quickstep, topping the leaderboard with a score of 34. Supermodel Tyson Beckford and partner Jenna Johnson performed a foxtrot to “Master Blaster Jammin” by Stevie Wonder. Due to his stiffness on the dance floor, Beckford was kicked off the show–a decision that many people, including Beckford, thought was ridiculous. He later commented that he was surprised to go home so quickly because he had seen other couples make bigger mistakes.  He quickly received backlash for these comments, as they were perceived as bitter and cocky.


Disney night on week four, a fan favorite, brought emotion, drama, and perhaps even budding romances to the stage. Starting the show was Brady Bunch star Barry Williams and his partner Peta Murgatroyd performing a Lady and the Tramp inspired routine. At 69 years old, Williams has proven you are never too old to try something new. However, in this jazz routine he almost dropped Murgatroyd while completing a lift, leading to timing complications and a loss of confidence throughout the rest of the dance. Nevertheless, it was surprisingly well-received by the judges; Judge Carrie Ann Inaba expressed that this was Williams’ best performance. Many felt strongly that this couple should have been the one to get eliminated instead of former NFL star Adrian Peterson and Britt Stewart. Their Viennese Waltz to “Baby Mine” from the movie Dumbo proved Peterson was as engaged in dancing as he was with football. Social media star Lele Pons showed her vulnerability to the comment made by the judges the previous week. After they told her she was too wild, Pons delivered an impeccable Disney-themed rumba which was very underscored, placing her in the bottom three. Entering Disney week, Too Hot to Handle star Harry Jowsey was caught holding hands with his partner Rylee Arnold while walking through a crowd. This behavior from the two is not uncommon. After they performed their Toy Story-inspired quickstep, Jowsey told the audience that Arnold is a very beautiful and understanding person and the host, Julianne Hough, described team Harry and Rylee as love birds. Does she know something that we don’t?  


Before week five’s Most Memorable Year Night, real estate broker Mauricio Umansky and partner Emma Slater were photographed outside of a sushi restaurant holding hands, despite their denial of any romantic involvement. The night began with a poignant tribute to Len Goodman, which left the judges in tears. It was incredibly moving. The dance had an glamorous, old Hollywood feel which Goodman would have adored. 


For the first time this season, Charity Lawson and actress Xochitl Gomez scored tens. Lawson performed a breathtaking contemporary dance to “Lose You to Love Me” by Selena Gomez. set to the evocative tune “Lose You to Love Me” by Selena Gomez, was a heart-wrenching portrayal of her journey from a toxic relationship. The inclusion of a jungle gym added to the emotional depth of the dance, vividly illustrating the feeling of entrapment she experienced. The judges felt this dance was the performance of the season, but Xochitl Gomez also performed a charming Viennese waltz which was comparable to Lawson’s performance. Inspired by her missed quinceanera, Gomez and partner Val Chmerkovskiy performed a beautiful and intimate dance. Xochitl exuded the grace of a princess and displayed remarkable control throughout the routine, proving her versatility as not just a singer and actress but also as a formidable dancer. Many people think that the 17 year old will walk away with the Len Goodman trophy. 


However, amidst these exceptional performances in week five, there were also moments of disappointment. Actress Mira Sorvino and partner Gleb Savchenko got kicked off the show. Sorvino dedicated this performance to the year 2004, the year her daughter was born. While it may have been the weakest performance of the night, it was also the most unique, as Sorvino’s daughter Romy made multiple appearances in the dance. 


From controversies to perfect scores and even potential romances, this season of Dancing with the Stars promises a captivating watch for all viewers.


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About the Contributor
Lily Kades
Lily Kades, Staff Writer
Lily Kades is a freshman at Harriton, who is excited to start her first year with the Banner. She hopes to experience writing in different styles and to have more experience as a writer. Outside of the banner, she is a part of student council, Simon’s Heart, World Language Club, and The Jewish Student Union. Another activity she likes to do is play lacrosse. She enjoys journaling and writing about trending topics.

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