The "Dancing with the Stars" semi-finals aired on Monday with three-time Emmy winner Kenny Ortega as guest judge for American Icon Night. In a shocking week, the three Olympians were notified that they were in jeopardy and sadly, the ice dancing gold medalists were separated when Charlie White and Sharna Burgess were eliminated.
Celebrities performed two full individual routines for DWTS American Icon Night as judged by director/choreographer Kenny Ortega, who was mentored by Gene Kelly, partnered with Michael Jackson and renowned for “High School Musical” and “Dirty Dancing.” The 64-year-old megastar advised the dancers to “surrender to one another, enjoy yourselves and take me to a place I’ve never been.” In the packages, each star discussed their personal icons and received inspirational messages to help them deal with the pressure of the "Dancing with the Stars" semi-finals.
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas started the “Dancing with the Stars” competition, and despite low scores, were told first that the pair would appear in the DWTS finals. Candace’s personal icon is Bible Teacher and Bestselling Author Angela Thomas because, “she loves the word of God and so d I.” The pressure was visible in the pair’s first dance, a Viennese Waltz, which only earned a 34. The dancing couple’s Hip Hop routine was better with a 38.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess were next in the lineup and told immediately they were one of the three Olympians on DWTS in jeopardy, even with a perfect score from the week prior. Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton is White’s icon who told the ice dancer to be “versatile” get the audience to emote and then “blow them out of their chairs.” The first Fox Trot was again perfect, a 40, however their Samba only earned a 36. Neither score mattered as the couple was eliminated and won't perform in the finals.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough were also surprisingly in jeopardy. A new prosthetic gave Amy “realistic” bounce and her icon, Oprah Winfrey, told the pair she would take her to dinner if they win “Dancing with the Stars." Both routines, a Quick Step and a Jazz number, earned the couple a 39. They will be in the finals.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd were safe to dance a Cha Cha to Michael Jackson’s new release, “Love Never Felt so Good” co-written by Paul Anka who was in the studio audience. MJ also happens to be Maslow’s supreme icon and L.A. Reid, CEO of Epic Records, visited with James and explained that “Michael Jackson wanted to be the greatest and put in the most work.” Their “thriller of a Cha Cha Cha” scored a perfect 40, but the Rhumba fell flat with a 36.
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were also in jeopardy, not surprising after the “Dance Mom” from hell scored Maks so low. Kristy Yamaguchi, Olympian and DWTS Season Six winner, advised Davis that athletes are ready for the physicality of "Dancing with the Stars," but the mental stamina is overwhelming. Maks too felt the pressure because, “she is the best dancer on the show and he doesn’t want to let her down." Their Jive received a 40, which earned all of the judges a kiss, as did their Viennese Waltz. They will compete in the finals.
The Macy’s Stars of Dance performance added a touch of Hollywood to “Dancing with the Stars” American Icon Night and also provided a small respite before the second number. In a shocking elimination, which included all three Olympians in jeopardy. Fan favorites Charlie White and Sharna Burgess were sent packing and won’t participate in the "Dancing with the Stars" two-day finale that airs next Monday and Tuesday night with the famed Freestyle dances on ABC.