Week 8 of season 18 on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” delivered 2 perfect scores and a couple of close misses, a child star elimination and a vicious verbal slap. The quarter-finals were everything they should have been and then some, according to Entertainment Weekly on Monday night. Abby Lee Miller from “Dance Moms” appeared as a guest judge.
Six couples faced off, first with their individual couples’ performances and then in the first ever Celebrity Dance Duel. Two couples were paired for side by side dancing and then the pros left the floor mid-routine to leave the 2 celebs to dance together.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess were announced as safe and then performed first. They gave what the judges thought was Charlie’s best dance of the season. Their quickstep had Bruno remarking that Charlie was like a “thoroughbred at the Kentucky Derby.” Score: A Perfect 40.
Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy learned they were in jeopardy and went next with a fiery tango that Abby Lee called it an “amazing concept” while Bruno thought it was Danica’s most powerful dance yet. Score: 38 out of 40.
Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy, who were safe, went third with a sensual rumba that Bruno called inspired and unconventional. Both Len and Carrie thought it needed a bit more rumba content. Abby Lee went afoul of Maks when she criticized Meryl’s feet as being “fickle” and said she had spent too much time in ice skates. Later, Maks insulted Miller by saying, “I really don’t care for anything she has to say.” Score 36 out of 40.
Next, Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas learned they were in jeopardy again. Their foxtrot was confident and vibrant. Carrie Ann said it was a breakthrough, while Len said it was “bright” and “fun.” Abby Lee made another comment that had everyone wondering why she was there. She remarked, “I would have dropped her and walked off,” in deference to the song they were dancing to. No one got it and she had to explain she meant it choreographically. Score: 36 out of 40.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd, also in jeopardy, danced and elegant Viennese waltz. Both Len and Carrie Ann pointed out that he needed to work on his legs a bit. Bruno was more focused on the fact that James was “a bit overdressed tonight.” We agree. Score: 36 out of 40.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough were safe and delivered an Argentine tango that was heart-stopping. Carrie Ann said it caused her stop breathing at least 3 times. Len Goodman said, “If I’m dreaming, don’t wake me up. Score: A perfect 40.
We moved onto the Celebrity Dance Duel. Meryl and Maks danced alongside Danica and Val. Their samba was full of good content but the routine went wrong when the 2 celebs danced side by side without their partners. They lost their synchronicity during that segment and it cost them, Score: 34 out of 40.
Next were Charlie and Sharna with Candace and Mark. Their contemporary number was brilliant. During the celebrity segment, Charlie kept Candace lifted off the floor the entire time in a series of breathtaking moves. Score: 38 out of 40.
The last pairing was Amy and Derek and James and Peta with a fast-paced jive. Len said it was “everything I could have wished to see.” They were in sync every step of the way. Score: 39 out of 40.
After the final routine was scored, host Tome Bergeron announced that Danica McKellar, an early favorite had been voted off. No doubt her rib injury which stifled her performance last week contributed to her results and elimination.
Next week, ABC will present the semi-finals on “Dancing With the Stars.” The stakes will be higher as the remaining 5 couples compete for a chance to go to the finals and take home the coveted mirror ball trophy.