Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3 Review: 2603

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There are no two ways about it. After Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3, you were either thrilled or devastated as three couples made it to the finals...

And three were sent packing. 

Who had danced their way to the top of the leaderboard, and who had to pack up and head home?

Let's break it down.

Mirai Nagasu in Gold - Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3

Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten came out first with a sassy 1940s inspired Quickstep to “Bo$$” by Ray Chew Live.

I love Mirai. I loved that gold dress and her dancing was spot on, but I'm afraid she loses the audience when she tries to trash talk her buddy, Adam Rippon. I know it's all in good fun, but Adam generally cheers her on, and the imbalance simply doesn't play well. 

Plus Mirai is quieter, which doesn't always add up to more votes.

On the flipside, I loved seeing her parents and hearing Carrie Ann speak to Mirai's mom in Japanese. 

No one can fault Mirai's dancing. As Tom Bergeron said when it ended, "Wow!"

Len said she lost her posture a bit towards the end but that was him stretching to be critical. Bruno thought she looked like a firefly in full flight. I'd assume that's a compliment.

Carrie Ann told her she was in the zone and guest judge and former Dancing competitor David Ross called her a boss. 

Total score = 35 out of 40.

Jennie Finch Daigle in Pink - Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3

Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo Motsepe hit the dance floor with a Viennese Waltz to “The Rest of Our Life” by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill.

The video of Jennie and her husband Casey, her MVP of the night, was lovely, and I loved that Casey sent her four dozen flowers after watching her pitch for the first time.

Unfortunately, Jennie's dancing fell a bit short. I love Jennie, but her arm movements still look like she's trying to throw a softball. 

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Len liked the soft, sweeping movement of the dance but said Jennie needed more fluidity through the arms. I can’t argue with that.

Bruno noticed that she's started to trust her partner more and he’s right, but I fear it's too little too late for this pair.

Carrie loved the joy in this dance and Dave said Jennie reminds him of his journey on the show. She’s growing each week and has the support of her family.

Total score = 29 out of 40

Chris Mazdzer Honors Him Mom - Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3

Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson were up with a Foxtrot to “I Got Rhythm” by Ray Chew Live.

I loved Chris and Witney's dance in week one, but it's been going down hill from there. However, Chris bringing his mom, who happens to be a Dancing With the Stars megafan, on stage was really sweet. 

Bruno loved it, even though he admitted it wasn't perfect. Carrie said he looked nervous in the beginning, which he did, but after that it was "beautiful balls to the wall." Just try forgetting that line. 

Dave commented on the great catch Chris made when Witney slipped during a lift, and Len thought Chris was a little wooden. 

Total score = 33 out of 40.

Tonya Harding's Tribute To Her Dad - Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3

Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber take on a Rumba to “See You Again” by Tyler Ward.

Every week Tonya makes me either laugh or cry and this week there were definite tears when she spoke about how her dad was there for her no matter what. 

The three things that I’m having trouble with are my feet, my hands, and my hips, which is basically everything.

Tonya Harding

I know all of the Tonya haters out there will pick apart her performance, but she puts so much heart and soul into this dance that I loved it from start to finish. 

Tom was impressed because he could see her in tears, even before she started the dance and she still gave it her all out there. 

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Carrie was impressed by how much love she showed in that dance. David agreed and commented on how people have no idea how hard it is to watch that video package and then come out and perform.

Len loved the slow to fast to slow pace, but he’d like more hip action out of Tonya, and Bruno enjoyed the emotion she showed and how much she's grown as a dancer in just a few weeks.

Total score = 34 out of 40.

Adam Rippon Honors His Mom - Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson performed a Contemporary dance to “O” by Coldplay.

I've seen Adam figure skate to this song, but I think I loved this even more! The performance was breathtaking. Intricate, detailed, and just amazing. Between Adam's dancing and Jenna's choreography, it's hard not to be blown away by this couple.

Add in that his mom was his inspiration, and I don't think you could make it more perfect. 

The judges couldn't have gushed over this contemporary dance more...except for Len, who was just being Len and was the only judge who didn't give them a perfect score.

Total score = 39 out of 40. 

Josh Norman Honors His Brothers - Dancing With the Stars: Athletes Season 26 Episode 3

Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess performed a Contemporary dance to “Stand By Me” by Bootstraps.

Watching Josh with his four brothers was fun, but it felt like his mom should have gotten high honors for raising all of those boys!

I didn't love Josh's performance quite as much as Adam's, but that's a high bar. Josh's contemporary dance was still highly entertaining and one of the best of the night. 

David was right, the best word to describe Josh was smooth. He was strong, assured, and confident and every lift was impeccable. 

Total score: 36 out of 40.

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Then we got down to the Ballroom Battles which was both frustrating having to watch the split screen, and entertaining, as the dances were that good. 

Tonya and Sasha beat out Jennie and Keo. Adam and Jenna won out over Mirai and Alan, and Josh and Sharna topped Chris and Witney. 

I actually went back and watched Adam and Mirai's joint performance again before writing this review. It was that good!

Finally, we got down to the eliminations...

Going to the finale:

Adam Rippon and Jenna Johnson

Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber

Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess

Going home:

Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson

Jennie Finch Daigle and Keo Motsope

Mirai Nagasu and Alan Bersten

So you tell me TV Fanatics, did the right couples make it to the finale? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

And if you missed a minute of any performance, you can watch Dancing With the Stars: Athletes online here at TV Fanatic!

2603 Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
  • 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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Dancing With the Stars Season 26 Episode 3 Quotes

Tom: Once you go glitter…
Erin: You're never going back.

It's all very well getting it up, but it's the dismount that's hard.