Double elimination on Dancing With the Stars this week! After not eliminating anyone in week 5’s switch-up, two dancers had to be booted from the competition to keep up with the schedule.

In addition to the individual dances this week, every contestant had to perform in a group dance, with the male and female competitors split into two teams. Not one, but two dances? Not one, but two contestants eliminated? With three athletes remaining in season 22 of DWTS (two of which were in the bottom three of the scoring a week ago), here is how each them fared this week.

Antonio Brown: Tango

Coming off his best dance of the season, would Brown build on that performance and continue to show progress? Brown and partner Sharna Burgess danced to the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black,” which required the Steelers receiver to put away his constant smile and show his darker, serious side on the ballroom floor.

Brown’s personality and energy has helped him through most of the competition, and technique has not been his strength. But the tango requires sharp movements and rigid posture, and Brown seemed to have trouble maintaining that upright stance along with his footwork at times. There were a few places where Brown took the wrong step and had to catch up. Because of that, the dance didn’t appear as crisp and dramatic as it could have been.

Results: The judges certainly noticed Brown missing his steps and once again praised his energy, while knocking his lack of technique. Last week, Brown appeared to have a breakthrough, but the formal restrictions of the tango (and having to be serious) may have tripped him up here. All three judges gave Brown an 8, and his total of 24 tied for the lowest score of the evening.


Von Miller: Salsa

Miller should have gotten extra points for wearing Elvis sideburns (bold choice for a guy with a shaved head) while dancing to “A Little Less Conversation.” However, the very beginning of the routine, which had him alone on the dance floor going through some Elvis-like gyrations, was a little awkward despite Miller’s enthusiasm for looking goofy. His willingness to get into character has been one of the most fun reasons to watch Miller this season.

The Broncos linebacker showed high energy and quick footwork, and partner Witney Carson wanted to take advantage of Miller’s strength with some challenging lifts. But some of the transitions and spins weren’t smooth, which was more noticeable because so much of the dance had zip to it.

Results: Miller drew an 8 from each of the judges, likely because the routine had some stumbles. Early on in the competition, a score of 24 would probably be good enough. But as the contest progresses and some pairs draw 10s and perfect scores of 30, Miller is getting left behind.


Paige VanZant: Jive

Despite scoring a 28 last week, VanZant was in the bottom three and in jeopardy of being eliminated, probably due to the fan vote. That seemed to rattle her a bit, which is understandable because she’s clearly one of the best dancers in the competition. But the MMA fighter can only control what she does on the dance floor, and performing the Jive to Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary” was just the routine she needed.

The Jive is all about springy footwork, quick pace and high energy, and VanZant nailed every step, hitting every spin and bend, working in sync with partner Mark Ballas. When you watch her dance, you see just how far behind other performers like Brown and Miller really are in this contest. Maybe VanZant has had some formal dance training — that’s never been revealed — but she’s a clear step ahead and could very well finish as the winner.

Results: Perfect score, anyone? After VanZant and Ballas were finished, the feeling was that you wanted to watch them dance again. How could they draw anything lower than a 10? The judges agreed, with each giving VanZant a 10 for a perfect score of 30, tying for the top performance of the evening.



Brown and Miller also drew a combined 28 in the group dance for their James Brown-inspired routine, while VanZant scored a 25 in her Beyonce-influenced group routine. Those numbers are factored into each competitor’s individual scores.

Among the athletes, only Miller was in the bottom three of voting this week. But with the other dancers continuing to get better and Miller seeming to plateau, his time in the competition was getting shorter. It’s a shame to see him go because he was fun to watch each week, but at this point in the contest, someone relatively deserving is going to be nudged out.

Why Miller and not Brown? We don’t see the fan voting totals, but it’s fair to guess that Brown is receiving more votes. That, along with his performance last week, may have saved him over Miller. But Brown could be in danger of being eliminated next week.

You can read all of our Dancing With the Stars recaps here.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.