" Dancing With the Stars" pro Chelsie Hightower weighs in on each of the week 3 performances . The "DWTS" veteran knows what it takes to dazzle on the dance floor and gives her take on the dances, the choreography, and the judges' scores. You can find her on Twitter @chelsiehightowr.
By CHELSIE HIGHTOWER
Monday night's show plucked at our heart strings as each of the celebrities got the chance to tell a personal story about the most memorable year of their lives. Get the tissues ready, folks.
"GMA" anchor Robin Roberts joined our panel of judges, which I loved seeing. I thought she did a superb job, bringing a sense of sincerity and professionalism to the panel. Let's get to it!
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: James did a great job with the Jive tonight. I was entertained from start to finish. There were a few awkward moments … I would coach him on dancing more on the balls of his feet and cushioning into his knees more. But, in all, I would say this is his best dance so far, as Len also exclaimed. Not good enough to get straight 9's yet. 8.5.
NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani: One important thing a dancer can bring to the floor to raise the entertainment value is to tell a story through the choreography. That is what I saw in Nene's Rumba tonight. Not only was she telling it, she was selling it! Although I can't give her a pass on many of the technical elements that were missing, I can give her credit for the passionate and entertaining performance. Of course, coming from Nene, I would expect nothing less. Well done! 7.
Cody Simpson and Witney Carson: Great job on that Jazz, Cody! I found it hard at times to differentiate between the celebrity and the pro and that is exactly the kind of problem you want to have! This was, by far, his best performance to this point in the season. He was smooth and cool, yet sharp and aggressive. Well done! 9
Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: Another top notch routine from Danica!! In addition to the heartwarming choreography, Danica executed her moves in this contemporary number with grace and fluidity. And best of all, I thought it was evident they had worked very hard on every detail of every move in the piece. It is great to witness a celebrity execute each move as seamlessly as Danica did tonight. A VERY good job to Danica! This deserves a 9.
Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke: What a sweet Waltz! What impresses me most about Drew is the effort he puts into his dances. His inner commitment to do well and to be entertaining is evident from the concentration on his face to his smile throughout the performance. Very endearing. If I were teaching Drew, I would have him work on controlling his ankles and knees so to absorb his own weight in a smooth and graceful manner. 7.2.
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: This Foxtrot was beautiful, powerful and emotional. I really enjoyed it from top to bottom. I have no critique for the moves danced outside of dance position, but when they were in hold, I would like to have seen more control. Meryl's steps were many times too big and not as smooth as they should be for the "Smooth Foxtrot." Yet, still a BEAUTIFUL performance! 9.3.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: WOW! From a viewer's perspective, their five minute contemporary dance may be my favorite five minutes I've ever watched on "Dancing"! There aren't many things that can bring me to tears, but this dance tonight was certainly one. They told an incredible story by way of an incredible dance! In spite of her legs, Amy is truly a VERY good dancer. Her movement in this piece was exceptionally smooth and natural. Everything about this was remarkable! 9.2.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: I LOVED this Jive routine! Charlie performed and danced tonight like a professional. He was confident, charming and his technique was pretty dang good!! And such fun choreography! Great job Charlie and Sharna! 9.6.
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: This was a fun Jive routine with a lot of energy and pizzazz! I would have liked to have seen Candace more feminine throughout this routine and that includes her posture (slumping shoulders) and her facial expressions as well. Just show us that beautiful smile of yours, Candace!! But still, I enjoyed the routine! 7.5.
The Judges' Scores
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 39
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: 36
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: 36
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: 36
Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 36
Cody Simpson and Witney Carson: 35
NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani: 31
Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke: 30
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: 32
Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater: Due to problems with his back, Williams withdrew from the competition.