The Chronicles of Narnia – Book Review (2018 Archive)

The Magician’s Nephew

I first read this series as a middle schooler, maybe a 9th grader. I really enjoyed it. It was one of the first series’ I read (though I didn’t finish it 🙈) & part of the reason why I fell in love with reading. There’s something to be said about reading it (or listening to it as an audiobook) again as an adult. I grew up in the church. Never once did I ever think about leaving. I take pride in my Christian faith. It is the very best and only truly good part of me. So, to read a children’s series that was written as an allegory to the Christian faith is awesome, especially when I didn’t quite pick up on the allegories when I read them as a kid. I really appreciate how C.S. Lewis imagined creation in this book. Of course, none of us could ever know how the universe was truly created, but the allegorical telling of creation in this book is so beautiful, I don’t think another human could possibly imagine it better! I also really like how he represents temptation!

4 out of 5 ⭐️ only because I’m not a huge fan of the first part of the story, even though I know it’s necessary.

The Lion, The Witch, the Wardrobe

As I said before, I read these books for the first time as young teenager, and now I’m of the firm belief that everyone should read these books first as a child and then as an adult. If it’s too late to read it as a child, every adult should read it anyway! I haven’t read any of the books since I think 2010 when the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie came out. I’m glad I’ve decided to read them again as an adult. I didn’t realize, or at least didn’t remember, that CS Lewis wrote an allegory for the crucifixion in this story! I’ve seen The Passion, I’ve read the Gospel several times, and I grew up in the church. I know the story of the crucifixion. To hear it (audiobook) told as an allegory in an innocent children’s story really struck home in a way it hasn’t before. Don’t get me wrong. The death of our actual in the flesh Lord and Savior is far more tragic than a fictional character. I know and have always known that Jesus was/is perfect and innocent of any crimes counted against Him. It breaks my heart every time I think about it. But again, to read/hear it in an innocent setting when I wasn’t expecting it really drove home Jesus’ innocence for me. He was/is perfect. He didn’t deserve any of the things done to Him, but He quietly and solemnly took it without a fight, because He loves me. This allegory really showed that to me in a new light and I’m grateful that CS Lewis tackled so many serious Christian topics with such grace that a child can read it and know the severity, but not be scared from too much knowledge and gore too quickly. It was done in a very tasteful (if that word can be used for the representation of Christ’s death) and respectful manner while still keeping the severity and importance intact!

I also really appreciate the depiction of temptation, sin, and betrayal in this book as well!

5 out 5 ⭐️’s.

The Horse and His Boy

I don’t remember reading this whole book the first time I read the series. I must have though, because I had a vague memory of it this time. 🤷🏼‍♀️ All the same, I like that this book teaches that we may understand the past in hindsight, but the future is to be seen when it becomes the present. I also like that it shows that sometimes God—analogically Aslan—always works things out for our good, even when we face bad things. And that we must always face the consequences of our decisions.

DCOM #4 – Halloweentown – (100 DCOMs Binge and Blog Challenge)


I grew up in a Christian home. As is common for Christian homes, or at least for the ones my friends and I grew up in, my parents started off with super conservation guidelines on what I was and was not allowed to watch and listen to as kid. One of the longest lasting rules in my home was that we were not allowed to watch or read anything that had to do with magic or Halloween. Therefore, “Halloweentown” was obvious not allowed to be watched in my house. By the time my parents decided it would be a case by case rule, I wasn’t interested in watching most Halloween themed things, so this moment right now is the last moment in which I will have never seen “Halloweentown.” In a matter of seconds, I will press play on my Roku remote so that I can watch the fourth DCOM for the first time. I’m kind of excited! I hope it’s worth the wait!

Ooh! Creepy music with a touch of magical charm! They just blew out the lights! It’s dark! I feel you Marney! It’s a struggle sometimes not to be able to participate with the other kids for Halloween! To be honest, I never really cared about Halloween, but I did care that I didn’t get to participate with other kids for Halloween events! Okay. I see where this is going. This old magic lady must be related to Marney and her family someway. Yup! Definitely! The little girl just used magic to bring herself a cookie! She didn’t know it, but she did! Mom is worried about them finding out about their powers, am I right? Of course! The old lady is her mother. Now there’s something special about Marney’s thirteenth birthday?

“Normal is vastly over rated,” says the grandmother. Yes! I totally agree! Time to learn about Halloweentown! She’s telling the kids about it! All creatures live in peace in Halloweentown. She made a book about Halloweentown appear out of nowhere so she could keep her word to her daughter, but at the same time, she showed Marney on a broomstick. Grandma starts to tell Marney about who she really is after all. The mother tells the grandmother to wait for her in the kitchen while she puts the kids to bed. Marney is a witch. She overhears her mother and grandmother discussing their powers. Then she sees Grandma turn fried chicken into a live chicken. She continues to hear Grandma discuss that something seems to be wrong in Halloweentown and that she needs her daughter’s help to stop whatever is wrong. Apparently, there’s something very special about the Cromwell bloodline especially for girls.

Marney and her brother, Dylan, sneak out of the house and climb onto the bus they see their grandma board. Inside the bus, they see many creatures of different sorts. Dylan tries to logic it all away, but Marney won’t have it. Marney and Dylan’s little sister, Sophie, follows them onto the bus as well. They meet the town mayor once they step off the bus in Halloweentown. Grandma is at least 200 years old. The mayor gets a skeleton cab driver to drive the kids to their grandma’s house. Grandma tells the kids time passes much differently in Halloweentown than it does in the mortal world. Two hours in the mortal world could be two days or even two weeks in Halloweentown. The mayor’s name is Kalabar. He seems to think Aggie Cromwell, the grandmother, is crazy. I wish I didn’t know his name, because obviously I know the second movie is called, “Kalabar’s Revenge.” I would assume that means Mayor Kalabar is evil, and I would think so anyway since he seems to think Aggie is crazy, but who knows? Not I.

The kids’ mom shows up in Halloweentown. Aggie, Marney, and her mom get in a fight over whether or not Marney will learn how to be a witch or whether she will be human forever. When her mom tells her she’s grounded, Marney gets very upset. First she looks sad and then she walks away without hugging her mother who has her arms outstretched for her. A two-headed dude tells Marney’s mother, Gwen, that the bus won’t show up for several hours. It seems that Kalabar and Gwen knew each other as children. He is clearly in love with her. Maybe they dated before Gwen met the kids’ dad in the mortal world. Before the mayor can help Gwen and the kids, someone comes in with an important message for him, so he can’t help them right away.

A punk kid named, Luke, apparently causes a bunch of trouble in Halloweentown. He informs Aggie that whoever this evil creature trying to destroy Halloweentown is wants to reveal himself to her. Marney makes a valid point to her mother in stating that it’s not right for her to try to make her give up her powers, just because she decided to when marrying their father. The evil dude does reveal himself to Aggie. He freezes all the disappearing townsfolk in time so that he can use them when he’s ready to use them. Aggie has Merlin’s talisman and the evil dude needs it. Luke seems to be genuinely concerned that something bad will happen to the Cromwells. The evil dude freezes Gwen and Aggie, so now it’s up to Marney, Dylan, and Sophie to save the day for them all.

Earlier in the movie, Aggie showed the kids what her plan was to overthrow the villain. She even showed them the list of ingredients. Marney copied the list for herself, so they’re going to use it to create the potion for themselves. They need hair of a werewolf, sweat of a ghost, a fang of a vampire, and maybe something else. That’s hilarious! They go to a dentist to get the fang! I love it!

At the house, once they make the potion, they try to remember the spell, but Marney can’t remember. Sophie thought it sounded pretty, so she made a song for it. She starts singing it when Marney says she can’t remember it.

When Marney realizes she needs to go to City Hall to make the talisman work, Luke intercepts her and explains that it’s a trap. He didn’t know “he” was going to do something to her mom and grandma. He swore to Luke that he wouldn’t harm them. All he wanted was the talisman. Now we know Kalabar is in fact the villain. He reveals himself while Marney and Luke try to come up with a way to beat him. Apparently, the half-human, half-witch, aka Marney, is Kalabar’s biggest enemy. Luke and Marney make a plan for Luke to run away with Marney’s cloak so that she can beat Kalabar. He captures Luke just before Marney is able to get the talisman where it belongs and freezes her just before she places it where it in the jack-o-lantern. She’s able to drop it in its position though and saves the day for them all.

Kalabar apparently did it all because of his anger for losing Gwen to a human. Suddenly, Dylan is angered enough by Kalabar’s evil that he finds out that he has powers too. From the discussions the Cromwell girls have had throughout the movie, it seems that Dylan may be the first Cromwell warlock in a very long time, if not ever. Together, the five of them are able to get the talisman back from Kalabar after he initially takes it from the jack-o-lantern where Marney left it.

After they win, Marney remembers Luke and finds him under her cloak. He hides himself because he’s ugly without being under Kalabar’s spell. He helped her because he likes her. He’d love a chance to go on a date with her. She kisses him on the check and he mourns that he isn’t turned into a handsome prince. She tells him that he did that already by helping her save the day.

By the end of the movie, all is right between Marney and Gwen and Gwen and Aggie. Gwen even askes Aggie to live with them in the mortal world and announces that she will be the one to continue Marney’s training now that she’s officially a witch. All in all, it was a very cute movie. I honestly think way too much happened in too short of a time frame, but it was still a good movie. I hope the next three movies don’t feel as rushed as this one did.

DCOM #3 – Brink! – (100 DCOMs Binge and Blog Challenge)


If you never had a crush on Erik von Detten, then you’re lying or you’re too young to be reading this post! Kidding, of course! Still though, Erik von Detten! Who didn’t crush on him for a while? I know I did! I still do! Any time I watch “Princess Diaries” and right now as I watch “Brink!” I crush on Erik von Detten! How could I not? Anyway, “Brink!” was the third DCOM to premiere and it’s also one of my personal favorites! One of the perks of being an obsessive girl is that it also means I’m a dreamer! I had a LOT of dreams growing up, but one of my most prominent dreams was to be a pro skater! This dream was due largely in part to my love for “Brink!” and of course for Erik von Detten! To this day, I still hope to become a decent skater one day. In fact, I think I’m going to go practice skating right now! Well, not now, now, because it’s 1am, but tomorrow when the sun is out!

Andy “Brink” Brinker and his friends, Gabriella, Jordan, and Peter are free spirited “Soul-Skaters.” The term “Soul-Skaters” refers to the fact that they skate for the love of skating and not for the money. Their biggest competitors, Team X-Bladz, on the other hand, skate for the money. Both teams, though competitors, attend school together in southern California. Resident jerk, Val, is the face of Team X-Bladz and he’s, well, a jerk. At the beginning of the movie, Team X-Bladz snakes what is called “The Pit” from Brink and his friends. Brink gets him back by telling a group of skateboarders that Val was talking crap about them. For that reason, the skateboarders go pick a fight with Val and Team X-Bladz.

On the first day of school, Val picks on the Soul-Skaters and throws Peter’s shoes on the telephone line. Gabriella, who is forced by her mother to wear a dress to school, gives up her shoes so Peter will have shoes to wear. To get Val back, the Soul-Skaters put worms in his sandwich. Then he challenges them to a skating competition on school property. They accept the challenge and race relay style. When Boomer, Val’s sidekick, takes a nasty fall, Brink gives up the lead in the race to help him. Helping Boomer meant finding a teacher and getting suspended, but that just goes to show Brink is a good guy!

The night he’s suspended, Brink learns his parents are struggling with finances. Because of the accident, Boomer can’t skate for a few weeks, so he’s out of an upcoming competition. Val knows Brink is an excellent skater, so he plots to get Brink to be on the team. To help his family, Brink joins the team. When Brink gets home after try outs, sister Katie asks what’s in his extra bag. In answer to her question, Brink pins one of my favorite lines from any movie. “None ya. None ya business!”

After being told by his father that he can’t have a job skating, Brink is forced to work two jobs a week and lie to his friends and family about being on Team X-Bladz. Brink tries to tell his friends the truth a few times, but something gets in the way each time. Of course, the lies all start to build up until there are too many to contain. When the truth comes out, trouble brews between Brink and his friends.

In a race against Brink and Team X-Bladz, Gabriella is hurt because Val sabotages her. After this incident, Brink confronts Val and quits the team just before dumping a chocolate milkshake on Val’s face. When Val stands up to beat him up, Boomer steps up and calls Val out on his crap. Then Boomer follows Brink and leaves Team X-Bladz. Peter’s skate busts. Then Brink shows up with a personal sponsorship from the dog grooming shop where he works. This act of kindness pushes the team to forgive their friend and ask him to skate with them again. With the new gear, they change their name to “Team Pup ‘n’ Suds.”

By the end of the movie, all struggles are fixed. Brink’s dad gets his job back, Boomer cheers for Team Pup ‘n’ Suds, and Brink and his dad share a special bonding moment. With a marginal lead, Team Pup ‘n’ Suds wins the race and proves that taking the moral high ground is what makes you a true winner.

There are a lot of things that define you. One of the things that defines you is what Brinks’ dad told him. “You are defined by the company you keep and how well you keep them. Skating is what you do; it’s not who you are.” That quote defines the whole movie.

Side Note: Gabriella was the first true Disney feminist. I’m not talking the obnoxious feminists of today claiming to want equality but really just wanting to be better than men. No. Gabriella just wanted a chance to have the ability to be as good as the guys. At the championship, she proves just that. She is as good as the guys and it’s because she works hard to be good, not because she whines about it.

#100DCOMsBingeAndBlogChallenge Twitter – @brittanyalex_5

Social Butterfly–Beauty and Brokenness

Aren’t butterflies beautiful? They come in all different colors and sizes. They’re friendly and curious little creatures that fly where the wind takes them. Often, we use them as examples of beauty. They are also used as examples of nervousness and excitement. I feel like I can relate to a butterfly fairly well. In high school, my friends literally called me the social butterfly. I knew at least one girl from nearly every volleyball and basketball team we played against. In fact, one of my best friends was from another school. I was always friendly and happy and floating from one beautiful flower–aka friend–to another, making sure they had all the support they needed to grow. Then, I flew into the proverbial windshield of life.

My junior year of high school was a tumultuous one at best. My whole life, I had been the bubbly fluttering happy girl floating from flower to flower wanting to be friends with everyone. For a long time, it was because I really did just want to be friends with everyone. In 5th grade, it started to be because I wanted to be loved by everyone. In high school, it was because I didn’t feel loved by anyone. I guess I thought if I was surrounded by as many other butterflies migrating around me as possible, then I’d never feel alone. Silly me. The more people I reached out to and tried to befriend, the more alone I felt. Add on that “all” of my friends had boyfriends while I was “forever alone” and I was miserable. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Like there was something wrong with me. Why didn’t anyone love me? Did I have a lopsided broken wing that I couldn’t see or something? I don’t know, but I was alone or at least I felt that way.

I was going to a private Christian school and I grew up going to church every week and spent a few years in Awana. I knew what the Bible said. I was never alone. Even if everyone else did, God would never leave me nor forsake me. I knew that, but I guess I didn’t believe it, and I certainly didn’t feel it. I know the heart–aka emotions–is deceptive, but feelings–at least for me–are more real than anything else in the world. I’m a very sensitive person. I feel everything. I feel my emotions and somehow I feel the emotions of others around me–even fictional others which is weird to say, but it’s true. You’ve heard of second-hand embarrassment? I feel secondhand everything. So, when I do–or don’t–feel something, it sort of consumes me. That or I block out all the feelings with facts and that’s not healthy either. I’m working on finding a balance between sense and sensibility, but it’s a long, hard battle. A battle I realized I had to fight in high school when I was the social butterfly who felt like a bug on a windshield.

I grew up singing the song. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” I knew it. In my head, I knew it, but in my heart I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t good enough to be loved by a perfect God and I wasn’t bad enough to be saved by a merciful Saviour. I had been saved. I knew and accepted and believed God’s beloved sacrifice when I was six years old. I remembered the scene almost flawlessly and knew without a doubt I had been saved from the fire of hell. What I wasn’t sure about, what I felt like I shouldn’t/wouldn’t be saved from was the darkness of life. I knew I was flawed and broken. I knew I had done a “good job” of not falling into the pits that many others around me had. I didn’t know that we really are all equal in the sight of the Lord. I never consciously believed I was better than anyone else, just better than what my evil nature could have asked me to do. I practically lived at my church. I was there every Sunday for church and was serving weekly. I was there Monday through Friday for Christian school and memorized every verse–about 20 or so every 2 weeks–they asked me to. I was reading my Bible semi-regularly. I was doing all the things a “good little church girl” should be doing. I wasn’t sleeping around, or even kissing anyone. I wasn’t partying, drinking, or smoking. I never snuck out or went anywhere against my parents’ will. I wasn’t doing anything a “good little church girl” shouldn’t be doing. The things I was struggling with were “minor.” I was self-harming, but it wasn’t visible. It wasn’t “as bad as other girls.” I had sort of attempted the behaviors of eating disorders, but hadn’t gone farther than unhealthy thoughts toward food rather than actions. I was depressed and wondering if anyone would miss me if I wasn’t around, but I wasn’t suicidal. All these church girl checkboxes and “minor” issues made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for God’s love, but wasn’t bad enough that I had any right to say I was struggling. And that’s why I felt like I was so unloved.

I refused to tell anyone about what I was dealing with, so when they didn’t see it on their own I felt unseen, unloved, and like I wasn’t struggling as much as I was. When I prayed, I didn’t pray about the root of the problem. I didn’t address the real issues. I just wanted it all to go away. I literally prayed for God to take away my free will in these things and make me “good enough.” I felt like if I was asking for it, then that should still be considered free will and that God should accept it. He didn’t. Surprise surprise. When He didn’t, I think a part of me resented Him for not taking it away. Some part of me definitely felt unloved. If He loved me, then why wouldn’t He take the pain away? Why wouldn’t He take the feeling of inadequacy away? And if the people I loved loved me then why couldn’t they see I wasn’t the bubbly and happy butterfly I pretended to be? Why couldn’t they see my wings had been clipped and I was no longer flying? Why? Why? Why?

To be honest, I still don’t know the answers to any of those questions. I can guess that for my people, it was because I was hiding and most people aren’t good at seeing through facades. Most people don’t know to look for a mask or how to look past it. Most people believe what you tell them. I told people I was happy. I told people I didn’t have a worry in the world. I told people I was fine. And with God. I don’t think it’s that He wouldn’t take the hurting away. I think He was just waiting for me to be honest with Him. He knows everything, but He doesn’t force anything. He wants true love and honesty. He doesn’t want robotic obedience. He gave us free will for His and our own good. Who wants to be loved because the lover is forced to love them? Not us and certainly not God. Who wants to be forced to love someone? Forced love produces things like Lord Voldemort. Forced honesty produces broken hearts, anger, and bitterness like with Caroline Forbes, Elena Gilbert, Rebekah Mikaelson, and Stefan Salvatore. Who wants that? Not I and now I’m grateful God didn’t force anything. Now, I know God was trying to love me and doing what He could to help me out of the pit.

At the end of the day, God can do anything with or without our willingness, but that’s almost never if ever how He works. He wants us to be willing which is probably why the one thing that finally pushed me to really be willing to come out of the dark was a documentary about one of my favorite singers. I have always and probably always will be a fangirl. In large part because I am so sensitive to every form of feeling, I really get into anything and everything I love and God uses that to help me understand lessons He has for me. So, when I saw my favorite singer was struggling with things I was struggling with and ended up in a rehab center for it–and other things–I was shocked into action. It pushed me to be honest with God. And it was when I was honest with God that I really started to feel how much He loved me.

In the following year, God would use this singer and another band to show me how much He really cared for me. When someone really loves you, they take notice of the things that you love and the things that make you you. God took the things I loved and used them to help me find His Light and Love. As He walked me through the dark and into the Light, He led me to believe I could be honest with my friends and family about things I had been dealing with. As I did, I learned that they did love me, even if I hadn’t felt it. The reactions to my confessions were so full of genuine love I couldn’t believe I had ever doubted their love for me. Then, I started meeting new friends who I knew loved me from the beginning. Friends that are still loving me today. Friends who have helped me find my wings again.

Earlier this year, a friend from church gave me a purple butterfly from her wedding decorations. Around the same time, a coworker gave me a green butterfly charm engraved with “You are a blessing.” With the little green butterfly came a little card reading, “A butterfly is so beautiful, graceful and elegant… symbolizing… Faith and embraces the journey along the way…” – A.S. Waldrop

I hadn’t thought about being a butterfly in years. I had forgotten that I used to be the butterfly. That my coach/teacher in high school had gone around the room saying the things she loved about each of us girls and had almost forgotten me because I was a social butterfly fluttering around the room, loving on each girl after we had previously discussed the things we would change about our lives if we could. I took pride in that description, even if at the time I hadn’t always believed it was true. Now, as I look at these butterflies on a regular basis I’m reminded that I am a butterfly. God allows me to feel so deeply about anything and everything because it gives me a unique ability to love everyone in the way that they need to be loved. It gives me the wind I need beneath my wings to be able to fly from flower to flower and spread beauty wherever I go. Not because I’m something special and unique–though I like to believe I am–but because He is. What is the primary job of a butterfly? To spread pollen from plant to plant to help them grow. In this world, God is the pollen, people are the flowers, and I am the butterfly. Beautiful or not, I’m not the most important part of this story. I’m just a carrier. In this transfer of growth, pollen is the most important thing, because it feeds the butterfly and the flower. The pollen is what allows life and  beauty to exist. Then the flowers are the second most important thing. They are the reason butterflies do what they do. Both are beautiful, but beautiful in their own way.

So, yes. I am a butterfly. I am beautiful and strong and I finally have my wings again. I am only one beautiful but small creature in a field of flowers–hundreds or more of differently beautiful creatures. And, like a butterfly, my fluttering wings are either anxious or excited–there’s not much in between.

What are you? What is God showing you in your struggles? Are you a butterfly like me? Are you a flower? An owl? A unicorn? A tree? A book? Everything in this world has significance. Everything matters. Everything can an example of who we are in Christ. While life isn’t about us. It is important to find our identities. To find how God wants to use us and to embrace that. God is using me as a butterfly to spread His beauty to others. How is God using you?

DWTS: Juniors – Songs from The Year I Was Born Night

Team Gleb – McKenzie and Sage – 2004 – Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” Quickstep. Holding frame. Quick energy. High school jock and cheerleader theme. I’m liking it. It’s especially funny that she called Gleb “like a dad.” Mandy was super impressed. Adam says she 100% delivered. Val gives and a standing ovation and says she killed it.

Judges’ Scores – 24 out of 30

Team Alan – Sky and JT – 2008 – Cha Cha to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” – She’s grateful for their patience.

Gymnastic moves. They’re doing pretty well. Full of performance. Adam says it’s so clean. Val says she can do anything and is impressed with her maturity. Mandy asks if she practices her facials as much as her steps, because her face is on point.

Judges’ Scores – 22 out of 30

Team Sasha – Sophia and Jake – 2008 – Foxtrot to “Love Story” by Taylor Swift – Cute and elegant. Perfect for the song. Val says it was incredible and that she looks like a Disney Princess. Mandy has one correction for her to use her back muscles with her arm movements. Adam wants her to turn up her personality in her dance.

Judges’ Scores – 20 out of 30

Team Emma – Jason and Elliana – 2007 – Jive to “Shake It” by Metro Station. He says he’s never heard this song in his life. That’s kind of nice to hear, because it’s not really an appropriate kid song, but I love it! Dressed like aliens they’ve got all the energy needed for a jive and he’s got the performance needed for it. He’s adorable. Mandy loves his poise. Adam loves his confidence. Val is impressed too.

Judges’ Scores – 21 out of 30

Team Cheryl – Mandla and Bryton – 2005 – Salsa to “Pump It” by the Black Eyed Peas. He’s got some moves in his arsenal. I’m impressed, especially because he’s so shy. Adam says the dance was more of a freestyle, but the performance was off the charts. Val says the same. Mandy tells him to think more about feeling the dance out.

Judges’ Scores – 22 out of 30.

Team Hayley – Hudson and Kameron – Paso Doble – Super Hero themed to “Four Minutes” by Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Timbalan – Val says he killed it. Mandy saw his muscles working through the dance. Adam is so impressed with their partnership. He tells him to loosen up and enjoy the dance.

Judges’ Scores – 22 out of 30

Team Lindsay – Miles and Rylee – 2004 – “I Don’t Wanna Be” by Gavin DeGraw. A very strong and intense argentine tango. They have to keep their frame the whole time, says Rylee and that’s hard. They seem to be doing a good job. Mandy loves that he took command of the performance. Adam is proud of the content and partnership. Val says all the things the others did.

Judges’ Scores – 24 out of 30

Team Artem – Alana and Tristan – Cha Cha to Pussycat Dolls “Don’t Cha” – She’s got the performance fact and shake for the cha cha. I hope she does well. I liked this dance. Adam says she owned it and that there was a moment when she was walking around like she was at the mall. Val is proud of the transformation she’s showing. Mandy agrees with both, but comments on her timing.

Judges’ Scores – 19 out of 30

Team Witney – Akash and Kamri – Cha Cha to “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz. He’s got the tude for the dance. He doesn’t seem to have the hip movements for the cha cha, but he looks like he’s having fun. He’s adorable with Jordan teasing him about swag. Val asks if spelling or dancing is more fun. He says they’re both his favorite. Mandy is impressed. Adam loves it too. Witney is loving him.

Judges’ Scores – 21 out of 30

Team Brandon – Ariana and Artyon – 2007 – Jive to “Girlfriend” by Avril Lavigne. This is definitely my favorite dance! I love the song, yes, but the dance is great! Ariana and Artyon are just so cute and talented! Mandy says she is really good and therefore held to higher standard than the others and she’s meeting that standard. Adam gives them a standing ovation. Val says they are one of if not the couple to beat.

Judges’ Scores – 24 out of 30.

Elimination

Team Hayley – Hudson and Kameron – Oh my word. He looks so sad and now he’s crying.

DWTS Season 27 – Most Memorable Year

This is always my FAVORITE episode of the season! I LOVE getting to know people through their stories and it’s so much better when it’s through art! I can’t wait to watch this episode!

Mary Lou & Sasha – The Vietnamese Waltz. 1984 – the year she won the gold medal in the USA. It was most memorable because she had knee surgery only six weeks before winning the metal. Wow! Chills! I don’t get chills, but that’s a chills moment! The doctors told her she would need at least six weeks just to walk again, let alone to compete on it! And yet, she won a gold medal! Oh my word!

We are the champions. A song that got her through the six weeks leading up to her gold medal competition. Oh, but it’s slowed down and acoustic. I love it! This is such a beautiful dance and makes the song even more amazing! Wow! She is beautiful and strong. That’s another reason why I always love this night! Bringing the star’s story into the performance gives them so much power and emotion in their dance to really push through and give their best performances. Len loved her performance and has comments on her hands. Bruno commends her for working on her shoulders as he advised before. Carrie Ann is fighting back tears. She’s so deeply moved by Mary Lou’s number, but noticed some missed steps in the beginning even with her improvement.

Judge’s Scores – 24 out of 30.

Milo and Witney – A jive for 2018. Zombie’s came out. He’s on DWTS. He’s graduating high school. He’s starting his own life this year. He feels like the luckiest seventeen year old in the world.

Aww! The dance is set to the theme of a high school graduation. I love him. He’s got such a fun personality! He kind of reminds me of a cross between my sister Lydia and my brother, Jacob, in some ways. Ooh! Solo dance on the judge’s table and a flip! Bruno calls him ready for the big league hitting ace after ace after ace. Carrie Ann is so impressed, but comments on his one zombie arm. Len thought it was fun and sharp. He has a small critique for his posture, but otherwise liked it.

Uh oh, Milo hurt his hamstring in practice, but you couldn’t tell.

Judges’ Scores – 27 out of 30

Nancy and Val – Ramba to “Love Someone” by Lukas Graham for 2006. She moved to a ranch in Texas from LA with her husband and two daughters. This dance is a tribute to her family.

A slow-burning love story set to a dance. It’s as beautiful and touching as you would expect. I’d give her dance a decent score. She seemed to do pretty well with her lines and frame and everything. Carrie Ann loved her dance. Len thought it was charming, but thought there should be more hip movement. He also compliments Val on his judging on DWTS: Juniors. Bruno agrees with Len. Val says it was a conservative Romba.

Judges’ Scores – 22 out of 30

Alexis and Alan – Contemporary for 2014 on Mother’s Day when her dad told her there was something wrong with her mom. She had stage 4 cancer. On January 8, she learned her mom was gone. Oh, gosh. The tears are coming. DWTS was her mother’s favorite show. She even took ballroom classes. She wears her mother’s wedding ring every day.

A pure and beautiful, but heartbreaking struggle of a dance to “How to Save a Life.” She’s crying through the dance and yet doing so well. I’m impressed. Alan comforts her and it’s just so heartbreaking. Len is never disappointed by Alexis’ dancing. He did, however, notice a little too much sharpness. Bruno says she danced like an angel tonight. Carrie Ann calls her a dance a beautiful dance. This may be a ten or at least nines.

Judges’ Scores – 26 out of 30. Bummer, maybe not. But it is her highest score so far, so that’s nice.

Evanna and Keo – Vietnamese Waltz for 2006 when she booked the role as Luna Lovegood–a dream come true. When she was 11 or 12, she was battling an eating disorder. The only thing that distracted her from that was reading Harry Potter. She wrote to J.K. Rowling who wrote her back and they became pen pals. “I love the feeling acting more than I love the feeling of being skinning or being perfect.” Being in Harry Potter proved to her that she had something to offer.

Aww! They’re dancing to the theme of Harry Potter! The aesthetic is a starry night. I already knew Evanna’s story, but it’s still so inspiring to hear it from her mouth and to see her dance to it. This dance seems very empowering for her. It’s beautiful. It’s like she’s Luna all over again, though she always has been.

Bruno says her magic is stronger than ever. He loved her self-confidence in her dance. Carrie Ann comments on how much her performance has improved since the first dance. Len says it was a magic performance. Evanna confirms that JK Rowling didn’t know she auditioned for Luna until after she got the role.

Judge’s Scores – 27 out of 30.

Joe and Jenna –  Vietnamese Waltz for 2018. He had commitment issues a year ago and now he knows Kendall. He always wanted a family, but he was afraid. On the Bachelor, he was afraid of love. Then, he nailed it with Kendall. Now, he has to nail dancing, which he’s also afraid of.

Oh, a smoky love song. What the heck. Why is the camera showing the performers instead of the dancers? Joe is doing better for this dance, but he’s still not the best. With all the nerves, I am glad he’s pushing himself to dance. His frame is weak. His lines aren’t very sharp, but he does seem a little more confident. Kendall looks so proud in the crowd.

Carrie Ann says it’s so hard to judge him. He was so much more confident and open tonight. However, he is still growing. He didn’t miss any beats tonight, but he’s still growing. Len says the same thing. He’s not there yet, but he’s getting more confident and strong. Bruno agrees with the others. He’s adorkably nervous. Poor guy.

Judges’ Scores – 18 out of 30

Jenna and Val (Non-competitive) They’re so beautiful together. I’m glad they’ve found love with each other. I still loved Val and Janel together when they competed together, but she’s married now and it’s beautiful. He’s engaged and they’re beautiful.

Juan Pablo and Cheryl – Samba for 1999. That’s the year he moved away from Buenos Aires, Argentina to become a performer. He was heavily bullied in Argentina. When he was cast as Danny in Grease at seventeen, that’s when he knew he wanted to act. His big break came many years later when he was offered a roll in Mama Mia.

They dance the samba of celebration for where he is today. It’s a Latin dance set to Latin music and I don’t hate it. I don’t love it, but I do like it. It’s very exciting. He’s got great hip movements and he’s really into the dance. I don’t know how good it is, but it is good. The audience goes wild.

Len gives them a standing ovation saying sometimes you don’t need words. Bruno believes it is one of the best Sambas he has ever seen. Carrie Ann loved it too. Even Cheryl was impressed. This is for sure going to be all tens!

Judges’ Scores – And it is! The first perfect score of season 27! 30 out of 30!

John and Emma – 2016. The year he lost everything. A river in Lousiana flooded everything he and his mother’s house. The only thing that got him through was his dating relationship with Alisha. That same year, his mom died. He believes she died because she knew he had someone who loved him. Ugh, more tears!

A beautiful heartfelt waltz to a song called smile. Aww, a show of yellow rose petals–his mother’s favorite flower.

Bruno warns him to be careful with his unsteady hold. Carrie Ann comments on his posture. Len tells him to polish it up a bit. Otherwise, they all felt the depth of emotion in the dance.

Judges’ Scores – 21 out of 30.

Bobby and Sharna – Contemporary Dance for 1998 when he graduated high school. No one in his family had ever done that. His mom didn’t graduate high school. She had him at fifteen while struggling with addiction. He never had his own room. He slept on the couch and used the underneath it as his closet. His mom died in her forties from addiction, but got her GED because of him.

“A Million Dreams” from the Greatest Showman. It starts with him at the foot of a bed. Wow. There’s so much emotion. He’s still not perfect, but it’s a great dance. I also like that whoever is singing in the back is dressed to look like a little Bobby–Malachi Barton. Aww, Bobbie sits on the floor and starts to cry. Trying to fight the tears, he just keeps looking at the ground and squinting his eyes to avoid the tears. He wants everyone to know that no matter where you come from, you can do this–whatever this is.

Carrie Ann can’t put into words what was so spectacular about that dance, but it was authentic magic. Len tells him it’s his best dance. Bruno tells him to keep the inner child alive and well. He’s so somber right now. It’s so weird. He’s always so chipper and happy.

Judges’ Scores – 23 out of 30. His highest score.

Tinashe and Brandon – The Rumba to 2014. The year she released her first official album. She wrote her first song at six years old and sang it at a recital. They will be dancing to a remixed, acoustic version of her debut single.

I think this will be her best dance yet. Well, she looks beautiful in her costume. The dance is just as beautiful. It is, in my opinion, her best dance. I really like it. Len says it was her best dance. Bruno calls it beautiful. Carrie Ann feels like they’re only beginning to get the best of her.

Judges’ Scores – 27 out of 30. Her highest score.

DeMarcus and Lindsay – Argentine Tango for 2016 when he won the Super Bowl with the Broncos. He and his wife had three pregnancy complications and thought they couldn’t have kids, so they adopted a little girl before having a son two years later.

He carries Lindsay’s limp body onto the floor and tosses her into the air. It’s an intense dance, one you can’t take your eyes off of. Aww, and at the end, his kids come running up to him.

Bruno calls him a panther. Carrie Ann loved it, but saw it almost as more of a Paso Doble. Len was impressed with the lifts.

Judges’ Scores – 26 out of 30

Elimination

Nancy and Val – In Jeopardy Eliminated

Tinashe and Brandon – In Jeopardy (Wow! I was not expecting that one!)

DWTS: Juniors – The Premiere

Oh my gosh. These kids are so adorable! I haven’t even officially started yet and I love them! The mentors are so great too! I’m so glad Jordan and Frankie are the hosts! And I’m glad we finally get to see who the DWTS Mandy Moore is! I knew it wasn’t the famed singer and actress Mandy Moore, but I didn’t know who she was!

Team Keo: Addison & Lev – Aww, Addison makes them a meal. Keo teaches them the cha cha. I love her fire. I really like Keo now. I guess I just needed to see him a few times before I liked him.

They’ve got a cooking dance. I like it. It might be my favorite so far! She’s got the perfect kind of fire for a cha cha. Is it perfect? Probably not. But she’s got the attitude for it! Adam comments on her talking her talking herself through her dance. He did like the dance though. Mandy loved her sass and working it too. She tells her to try to hit the move even sharper than Lev does. Val agrees with Mandy. He wants her technique to improve.

Frankie asks Addison how dancing compares to cooking. Cooking doesn’t have to be as exact as dancing. She tries to stay calm, cool, and collected, but you can tell she wants better.

Judges’ Scores – 15 out of 30.

Team Witney: Akash & Kamri – Are these the youngest contestants of the show? They’re the smallest it looks like. They’re adorable. I love Witney. I love everyone in this show, but Witney might be my favorite!

Aww! They dance the tango to LOVE from the Parent Trap. He seems nervous, but their dance is so cute. His technique seems like it could improve and he seems a little lost at times, but they’re just so cute. Val thought it was beautiful. Adam just can’t. He advises him to keep learning. Mandy agrees. He is the youngest guy there. Okay, maybe it wasn’t off. Not enough at least for judge’s comments.

Judges’ Scores – 21 out of 30

Team Artem: Alana “Honey Boo Boo” & Tristan – Honestly, I just can’t believe Honey Boo is so old and tall now! I’ve never watched her in anything, but you’d have to live under a rock not to know who she is. She definitely has the attitude she’s known for, but I think she might be a good dancer if she puts the work in.

She’s definitely got the sass for a Salsa. I’m not sure how I feel about the dance. I can’t tell if she’s doing it well her not. She’s got the performance vibes down, but it’s up to the judges if she’s got the technique. Adam loved the performance. Mandy throws Honey Boo Boo away and talks directly to Alana. She had a moment when she was offbeat, but was mostly on. Val wants her to improve the technique a little more and work more on teamwork. Despite her sass, which comes from her mom, I think she might actually be pretty likable. I hope she sticks around.

Judges’ Scores – 19 out of 30

Team Hayley: Hudson West and Kameron – Hayley is kind of starstruck over the Emmy-nominated actor Hudson West. He is so professional.

They’ve got a “cool guy” themed cha cha to the Shawn Mendes song, “Nothing Holding Me Back.” Hudson seems pretty good too. He could stand to be a little stronger in his lines, but he’s adorable. Adam is super impressed. Mandy is impressed but comments on one moment of off movement. Val agrees with both Adam and Mandy.

Judges’ Comments – 22 out of 30.

Team Brandon: Ariana & Artyon – Ariana is so adorable! I vaguely remember her from the one to two episodes of Stuck in the Middle that I’ve seen, but I’ve never watched Guardians of the Galaxy. I really like Brandon and the kids! They’re all adorable!

Another Cha Cha. Full of personality and no particular theme. Just a simple, clean dance. She’s feisty and spirited with some pretty smooth dance moves. I like it. Mandy loved it. The technique could improve though. Val disagrees about the technique. I agree with Val. His feedback is more based on teamwork. Adam loved it too. He’s basically Bruno. It’s funny. These two are the most adorable kids.

Judges’ Scores – 24 out of 30.

Team Emma: Jason & Elliana – Jason is so adorable. I love Elliana and Emma both say they’re starstruck.

Aw, their cha cha is basically them pretending to be adults. He’s sitting at a desk and he’s like her assistant or something. He’s actually pretty good and he’s got such a performer’s spirit. I’m wondering how the judges will actually judge the kids and if there will be eliminations. Aw! Emma is so proud! I love her! Mandy loved the dance. He’s got great rhythm and confidence. Val agrees with Mandy. He picks on the technique telling him to focus on his footwork. Adam agrees with the other judges.

Judge’s Scores – 18 out of 30.

Team Cheryl: Mandla Morris & Brightyn – Brightyn was born the year Cheryl started on DWTS–2006. That’s so funny. I love it. Aw. He’s doing DWTS so he will be recognized for who he is and not who his dad is.

They’re dancing the Jive and he’s pretty good too. Man, these kids have way more rhythm than I think I would. Cheryl is so proud of them. Maybe I do like her more than I used to. I hope so. Mandy is amazed he’s never danced before. It was professional. Val is also impressed calling it the performance of the night. Adam agrees. I’m sure they’ll have the best scores of the night. If not, then I’ll be surprised.

Judges’ Scores – 24 out of 30 a tie for highest score of the night.

Team Gleb: Mackenzie & Sage – Are these two the oldest? They’re 14 and 15. They’re just as adorable as the littles though.

They’re dancing the foxtrot in a very ballroom themed dance. Here frame seems strong, oh, but now it’s a faster foxtrot. It doesn’t seem quite as strong, but not terribly weak either. Gleb is so proud. Val loved it, but was disappointed that most of it wasn’t a traditional foxtrot. Adam advises that she dance into the floor. Mandy asks how different ballroom is from the contemporary she’s used to. Mandy liked it, but could tell how her muscles were used to working a certain way and that way is different than ballroom.

Judges’ Scores – 22 out of 30.

Team Alan: Sky & JT – I’m so pumped about Sky! I love skateboarding! I wish I could skateboard! It’s always been one of my favorite things! Alan is so adorable with the kids!

A skateboard themed Salsa. She starts on a skareboard and goes into the dance. Those hip movements. Man. I can bearly dip my hips, let alone twist my hips. Ha. ha. Adam calls her a fierce competitor stating everything was clean and sharp. Mandy loves their top half was was strong like it should be while their bottom halves should be wiggling and it was. Val says he’s their biggest fan.

Judges’ Scores – 22 out of 30.

Team Lindsay: Miles & Rylee – Aww! Lindsay is mentoring her kid sister! How sweet is that? Rylee is so cute! She is so adorably Lindsay’s sister! “Just become friends with your partner and you guys are going to be really good. But no boyfriends. Only friends!” I love Lindsay! ha, ha.

Yay! They dance to “Who Let the Dogs Out?” And they’re both so great! The energy is great! I didn’t catch what dance they were doing, but it’s fun! It might be the cha cha, but I’m not sure. Oh, no! The Salsa. That makes sense too. There was a lot of hip movements. Mandy thought it was awesome. Val asks Rylee if she’s crying. She is. So is Lindsay a little bit. Val asks Miles to focus on the style and asks for more content for the actual style. Adam loved it.

Lindsay comments that she was more nervous for her sister’s dance than she normally is for herself.

Judges’ Scores – Oh! 22 out of 30.

Team Sasha: Sophia & Jake – Sasha’s reaction to meeting Scotty Pippen is adorable! Yay! They’re dancing the Jive! I love the Jive! It’s my favorite!

Aw, it’s cute 50’s diner vibes to “Do You Love Me?” She seems a little lost. Not terribly lost, but maybe a little off or something. I don’t know. But this kid, Jake, seems like a cool cross between Derek and Mark! haha. Val is so proud of her. He felt she was very clean in all the content. He commends Jake for his partnership. Adam says she killed it. Mandy thought her rhythm was great. Okay, maybe it was just her shy vibe or something. I mean I didn’t think her moves were clean, but I don’t know. What do I know?

Judges’ Scores – 21 out of 30

Team Jenna: Tripp & Hailey – Aww, so Jenna is Hailey’s Aunt. That’s so sweet! Wow. Bristol has lost so much weight! I didn’t even recognize her at first! She looks so great! Tripp is so adorably shy!

Aww, their dance is so cute. A flirty little kid foxtrot set in a stage park. He’s pretty good. He still seems a little shy and nervous, but he’s definitely got potential! Val is proud of Tripp and calls him a stud. Adam calls him a dancer. Mandy shouts out to Jenna for the choreography. Mandy loved it. In the audience Bristol and Sarah are so proud of him and proud of the comments. Frankie asks if Tripp’s mom has given him any advice. He says she said to give your oohs and ahhs. Hailey says she’s so grateful to have her aunt there were with her, even if she is a little bossy. Tripp is definitely a small town country boy. I’m glad to see he’s so nervous and down to earth when his family is so well known.

Judges’ Scores – 17 out of 30

Eliminations

So sad that two couples will be eliminated tonight. I wonder if it’s better that way though.

Team Keo and Team Jenna are eliminated. I’m super bummed! I wanted to see more from Tripp and I know my brother wanted to see more from Addison. Poor things. They did get the lowest judges’ scores though, so at least it’s not a case of politics (I hope) but simply an agreement between Judges’ scores and audience votes. I’ll miss them both.