“The Dancer believes that his art has something to say which cannot be expressed in words or in any other way than by dancing.” – Doris Humphrey
After being burdened with dancing first last week, Josh Norman played the waiting game Monday night and finished out the individual dance session in grand fashion.
For the third week of competition, the theme was MVPs. Norman chose his four brothers, filmed together again in a video feature at the family home in Roswell, Ga., prior to his dance. “You had to fight your way to the top,” Norman recalls of battles with his brothers, later becoming a “wolf pack” as they grew older together.
They were the inspiration for his contemporary and emotive dance to “Stand By Me,” a song that Norman said was “trying to express and show them that we’re going to be there for them. I do love them. I do care for them.” That was on display throughout his movements with partner Sharna Burgess, lifting and spinning her with strength and ease on top of a foggy floor.
In one sequence, Norman flipped and spun Burgess sideways and caught her smoothly, showing off his poise while keeping his bare footwork in step. Norman finished the dance in a dramatic pose, facing his four brothers, on stage to greet him once the music concluded. Some ribbing ensued.
Len Goodman told Josh he liked the dance “so much,” detailing the “beautiful fluidity” and that the “lifts were seamless.” Bruno Tonioli also used the word seamless, applauding how well he took care of Burgess throughout the lifts. Carie Ann Inaba agreed with Len, saying that every lift was “impeccable.” Guest judge David Ross had one word: smooth.
The judges gave 9’s across the board, the second-highest score of the night behind Adam Rippon.
They finished the night in a ballroom battle against luger Chris Mazdzer, getting some advice from Von Miller on how to perform the salsa. The dances were extremely hot, which is to say Bruno felt compelled to take off his shirt. This is a weird show sometimes. Three of the judges voted for Josh and Sharna, giving #TeamBackThatPassUp another victory and more points.
That would ultimately bode well. After Adam Rippon and Tonya Harding (I mean, seriously?) were announced to be moving onto the final round, Norman and Burgess got the last announcement of good fortune. They're going on to the last week of competition.
Norman danced the best he ever has in this competition. Now he’s one week away from potentially taking home the Mirror Ball.