The opening number tonight was a fun piece showcasing the entire DWTS cast by Emmy nominated choreographer Mandy Moore.
To start the competition, Drew and Cheryl were announced as being safe thanks to the combination of the judges’ and viewers’ votes and that they would be dancing first in Drew’s choice dance: the Jive. Drew needs to clean up the footwork but he is a great performer and definitely fun to watch. Len told him “if entertainment was judo, you’re a black belt” but advised Drew to watch the posture and his feet. Bruno and Carrie Ann echoed his comments both feeling that Drew’s stage presence covered the “few mistakes.” In all Drew and Cheryl earned 7s across the board for a total of 21 points.
Billy Dee and Emma were announced to be safe next along with Meryl and Maks and Danica and Val.
Then Danica and Val (Happy Birthday, Val!) danced a Samba. There were some tears of frustration in rehearsal but Danica was all smiles on the stage. And with good reason: her Samba steps and hip rolls were very clean. Bruno said she still needed some polishing (i.e. the transitions) but overall beautiful to watch. Carrie Ann said Danica “dominated that Samba” and was “sexy” as well as “elegant.” Len pronounced the performance “fantastico” for only being the second and week as well as a very difficult dance style. The final score was 24 with three 8s from the judges.
The Tango was Billy Dee’s choice for himself and partner Emma. He was a little disheartened from last week’s scores but the viewers obviously wanted to keep him around. Emma brought in two other dancers to spice up the routine a bit and Billy Dee was great about staying in tune with the music and the choreography. Carrie Ann wanted to encourage him saying he handled the choreography well but wanted “a lot more content.” Len wanted more “attack” but said Billy Dee should continue to have fun. Bruno was simply envious of the performance concept of having three lovely partners. They awarded Billy Dee and Emma 15 points.
Meryl and Maks danced her choice of a Swing. Meryl admitted to looking forward to some lifts and tricks and she certainly got her wish (and a few of the inevitable spills during rehearsal). The dance was fun and energetic and Meryl really showed bravery and athleticism as she allowed Makes to toss her around on the dance floor. Len loved the music and the dancing. Bruno commended Meryl for the “incredible level of difficulty” but named a couple of mistakes. Carrie Ann echoed the mistakes but said the Meryl “really shined.” Their score was 25 with Len awarding the coveted 9 which according to Maks was “the only one that mattered.”
Candace and Mark along with Amy and Derek were declared safe while Diana and Henry were going home. Diana had some very gracious words for the show and her partner Henry and-at her request-they did let her dance the Cha-cha-cha they had rehearsed as their last hurrah.
Somehow the producers managed to talk poor Jeremy Miller (from Growing Pains) into coming onto the show to say he was cheering for both Candace and Danica. You may recall from last week that Candace and Danica were both rivals in ratings and in love in the 1990’s when Jeremy reportedly dumped Candace for Danica. (He has since apologized)
Candace and Mark danced a Rumba which tended to resemble last week’s Contemporary piece rather than the steps of a Rumba. Carrie Ann found the choreography to be a little too Contemporary and said Candace still needs to work on her arms. Len wanted to see more fluid arms but said Candace did well. Bruno praised Candace’s “emotional depth.” She and Mark earned 21 points.
Amy and Derek were next dancing Swing. There was some concern in rehearsal that Amy might lose a leg but that was obviously not an issue. Derek’s choreography was genius because there were very subtle pauses in the dance-especially after tricks and turns-to allow Amy to regain her balance. Amy, of course, was amazing with great use of her upper body and her feet were incredibly sharp and in sync with Derek. Len said “amazing!” and “well done!” Bruno called the performance a “knockout.” Their overall score was 24 with 8s across the board.
Charlie and Sharna were declared safe for another week with James and Peta.
For their Salsa, James was all for convincing Peta to go for sex appeal. The result being an open shirt for James and his six pack. He is still a good, strong partner with the obvious trademark of a performer. However, his feet were still on the sloppy side. Carrie Ann inducted him into the DWTS sexy hall of fame (inductees including Mario Lopez) and Bruno appreciated the abs. Len liked James’ “attack” but commented that he lost some of the “hip action” in all his enthusiasm. James and Peta’s score was 25 earning a 9 from the swooning Carrie Ann.
Before Charlie’s choice of a Tango, Sharna sent him to “bad boy school” with Maks to give him some pointers. As usual, it is really difficult to note who is the pro with Charlie and-forgive the editorializing-it is a relief that Charlie did not take Maks’ “bad boy” training to heart. Carrie Ann compared Charlie to Baryshnikov (definitely better than the hall of fame, sorry James!). Len cited the ballroom rules that Tango partners must maintain contact through the majority of the dance so, unfortunately, his score was a 7 while Carrie Ann and Bruno awarded 7s for a total of 25 points.
The pairs Nene and Tony, Sean and Karina and Cody and Witney were left in suspense as to their status after last week until they had all danced.
Nene and Tony danced a Jive at Nene’s husband’s request. (Rock the Fosse!) Nene is definitely expressive with really decent musicality and personality. Len said the routine was “cute” and “so much fun to watch.” Bruno wanted to see a sharper Jive but said it was “great entertainment.” Carrie Ann suggested better use of Nene’s long limbs. The score was 7s with a total of 21 points.
Sean was a little anti-smiling initially but Karina seemed to persuade him otherwise for his Salsa performance. Sean is still a little stiff but excellent in the lifts and repetitive footwork. Bruno commended Sean for being “light on his feet” and for staying with the rhythm of the dance. He only wanted to see Sean work his hips a little more. Carrie Ann liked his “authentic” dancing and Len said he had improved since last week. The overall score for the Salsa was 21 points with a 7 from each judge.
Last came Cody and Witney with a Tango. Cody wanted to dance the Tango because his parents had done so at their wedding. (All together now: Awww!) A well-placed moonwalk and some great effort made this a passable performance. Cody did seem a bit hunched for a good portion of the dance and Carrie Ann pointed out that this could be due to the height difference between him and Witney. She did add that she loved the stylization in the choreography. Len wanted to see tighter movement but loved the moonwalk. Bruno praised Cody’s hard work and called the dance “compelling.” The final score here was 22 with Bruno giving the highest points of 8.
Sean and Karina were ultimately the second couple to be sent home this evening.
To vote to switch up (or keep) the dancing couples, use the #DWTS tag on Twitter or go to ABC.com to vote.
Albuquerque viewers can catch DWTS Mondays at 7pm MST on KOAT Channel 7.
Readers, who do you hope gets paired up? Or stays together?