It's almost time for Dancing With the Stars' semifinals. Monday night's episode will feature all of the competitors performing two dance routines, one redemption dance and a second routine in a style that they haven't tackled before during the competition. Ultimately, two couples will go home during the episode, cutting short their dreams of earning the Mirrorball Trophy. In advance of the semi-finals, each of the couples spoke with Entertainment Tonight to share the strategies they are utilizing to try to nab themselves the win.
Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe and her partner Artem Chigvintsev are coming off of a high from last week, as they received their first perfect score of the season. The pair are hoping to keep that hot streak going as they head into the semifinals. Bristowe explained, "This is a competition, and this is something that shouldn't be easy. Those tough times and the tough critiques always make the reward that much better. So those 10s wouldn't have felt as good — OK, yes, they would have! — but they wouldn't have felt as good without the hard times first." As for rapper Nelly and his partner, Daniella Karagach, they're planning on focusing on the technical side of their routines to hopefully receive some high scores from the judges.
"We have the Jive for the Redemption Dance and I feel like this could be a really great dance for us. It is just going to give us another opportunity to show Nelly in the ballroom," Karagach explained. "This is going to be more true to technique, no lifts, so we're taking it back to classical ballroom, which I love." When it comes to actor Justina Machado and her partner, Sasha Farber, they're simply focused on growing and nailing their routines so that they can earn their place in the finals. Farber shared, "You have to keep growing, and I feel like Justina, from week one to now, she's grown so much and I love that. That's what the show is about. You want your celebrity to A, walk out not in a wheelchair, and B, just walk out with so many memories."
Figure skater Johnny Weir and his partner, Britt Stewart, also received a perfect score during the ABC series' last episode. However, they still found themselves in the bottom two. Even though they didn't get the exact outcome that they wanted last week, being in the bottom two is only pushing them to work harder going forward. "It fires us up to work even harder for next week," Weir said about being up for elimination in the prior episode. "We've got a big dance with a big story and we're really excited about that. And honestly, even if I didn't get the public's vote, I'm so honored to still be in this competition. I'm so happy every day when I get to go in and work with [Britt]. It just makes me so proud that we're continuing on."
Disney star Skai Jackson and her partner, Alan Bersten, have had an interesting DWTS journey. The pair has remained positive throughout it all, and it's that exact attitude that they'll be bringing to the semifinals. "We're gonna kill it!" Jackson said. "This whole journey has taught me so much. And, yeah, it's crazy that you can be at the top of the leaderboard [one week] and the bottom another. But I think the most important thing is just having fun, having a positive mindset and that's what I'm going to take to the semifinals." When it comes to Nev Schulman and his partner, Jenna Johnson, the two have been at the top of the leaderboard for weeks now. Despite being one of the frontrunners, the Catfish star explained that he's not entirely confident, especially considering that strong performers AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke were eliminated the week before. However, he's still going to give it his all. He said, "I don't know about confident because AJ went home and I think we all thought he was a shoe-in for the finals. So we've got to bring our A-game."