‘Dancing With the Stars’: Partners Switch, Davis Outshines Competition

By Suzan Clarke

Apr 7, 2014 10:20pm
135074 4257r2 1 Dancing With the Stars: Partners Switch, Davis Outshines Competition

Craig Sjodin/ABC

Stars rose to the challenge when viewer’s vote forced them to switch partners Monday night on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis beating the competition for highest score on the leaderboard.

No one was sent home tonight.

Since no one was voted off last week, when Billy Dee Williams withdrew from the competition, the judges’ scores and viewer votes from that week will be combined with those from Monday’s performance.

The star with the lowest combined total will be voted off next week, along with his or her original partner.

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Former “Dancing” pro Julianne Hough, a two-time mirror ball champion, was a guest judge tonight in the 18th season of the ABC dance reality competition.

Tonight’s Routines

Candace Cameron Bure: Paired this week with Tony Dovolani, the “Full House” actress delivered a punk-inspired quickstep that judges praised for energy but criticized for lack of proper body contact. Head judge Len Goodman, guest judge Julianne Hough, and judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba all felt that Bure lacked proper control and body posture, but  the choreography and energy of the routine were good. Bure earned four 7s for a night’s total of 28 points out of a possible 40, and a two-week total of 60 out of a possible 80 points.

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James Maslow: The singer/actor was paired this week with Cheryl Burke, and judges praised Maslow’s technique. “Every season there’s always, like, the hot guy that takes off his shirt …. that lasts for so long, and for you, you have dedication, you have technique, you have passion, you have everything,” said an enthusiastic Hough. Tonioli said Maslow delivered “a mean tango,” and Inaba said Maslow had a seamless dance with his new partner for tonight. “I didn’t notice at all a switch-up,” she said. Goodman added: “Dance is like fire. Some should warm, some should burn, and this was burning hot, I’m telling you,” he said. Goodman, Tonioli and Hough said Maslow should tuck in his rear in the future. Maslow earned three 9s and one 8 for a night’s total of 35 and a two-week total of 71 out of a possible 80.

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Drew Carey: Paired this week with Witney Carson, the TV talk show host’s funky cha-cha won him cheers from the ballroom audience and brought huge grins of delight to the judges’ faces. “I’ve not had that much fun in a minute-and-a-half since I was a teenager!” said Goodman. Added Inaba: “It’s like you became a cha-cha machine overnight … that was fantastic, Drew!” Tonioli told Carey the routine was brilliant “because you pitched your performance somewhere between Elvis Presley and Liberace,” adding: “You made it work … brilliant performance.” Hough said: “I am a huge fan. I love it.” Carey earned three 8s and a 9 for a night’s total of 33, and a two-week total of 63.

Danica McKellar: “The Wonder Years” actress’s jive appeared out of synch with the music in the beginning. Show co-host Tom Bergeron explained that there had been a problem with her musical track in the beginning, but McKellar was judged on what judges saw. Inaba said McKellar was dancing ahead of the beat, and Goodman said “the jive you did was terrific …,” although he said he would have preferred to see more jive content. Tonioli acknowledged that it could be difficult to recover from an incident during a routine, but told McKellar that she “covered it up well … the jive you did was very good.” Hough took McKellar’s partner for the night, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, to task. Chmerkovskiy is usually paired with Olympic ice dancer Meryl Davis, and Hough said she felt as though Chmerkovskiy simply wanted to push through this week and “phone it in so you could get back with Meryl.” McKellar earned four 8s for a total of 32 points, and a two-week total of 68.

Charlie White: The Olympic ice dancer’s rumba with Peta Murgatroyd caused dissent on the judges’ panel. While Goodman called the performance “terrific,” he said he didn’t think it was a classic rumba because it lacked the requisite hip action and was jerky. Inaba agreed. Hough disagreed, saying the routine was “absolutely stunning and beautiful,” while Tonioli said he liked White’s “grand intensity” and “clean lines.” White earned one 7, one 8 and two 9s for a night’s total of 33 points, and a two-week total of 69.

Amy Purdy: The Paralympic snowboarder’s energetic salsa with Mark Ballas earned her rave reviews. Inaba noted that Purdy was more “exposed” this week than when she danced with season partner Derek Hough, adding that having her do more on her own made for an “excellent” performance. Goodman said the routine was “full of content, full of rhythm,” and praised her figure, adding, “your bottom is the top.” Tonioli said Purdy’s hips were “hot,” noting: “The amount of footwork that Mark made you do tonight is incredible. You never went wrong.” Hough said Purdy was more than an inspiration because of her story. She said Purdy was a real contender. Purdy earned two 8s and two 9s for a night’s total of 34 and a two-week total of 70.

Cody Simpson: The pop singer was partnered with fellow Australian native Sharna Burgess, and he sang a few lines to introduce the music to his whimsical foxtrot. Judges said they knew Simpson was a good performer, but that he needed to work on the small details. Inaba said he should work on his arms, Tonioli said he needed more refinement and control and Goodman appreciated that Simpson tried to get the footwork right but said he still looked “awkward” in hold. Hough said she believed the performance was “incredible.” Simpson earned three 8s and one 7 for a night’s total of 31 points and a two-week total of 66.

NeNe Leakes: Dancing jazz with Derek Hough, the reality TV star, sizzled in a tribal-inspired jazz number. Judges had uniform praise for the routine. “This is a dance that absolutely suits your personality and it’s the best dance you’ve done this season,” Goodman said. Hough said the dance was “so much fun,” adding: “Every girl wants to let their inner Beyonce out.” Tonioli said watching Leakes “was like being in the presence of the Queen of Sheba,” while Inaba said it was great to see her finally in her element. Derek Hough, the guest judge’s brother, said the vocal team’s music came in early but he commended Leakes for not losing her composure during the routine. Judges said they didn’t notice the music issue. Leakes earned four 8s for a night’s total of 32 points and a two-week total of 63.

Meryl Davis: The Olympic ice dancer was partnered this week with Valentin Chmerkovskiy, and their intense Argentine tango earned them the highest scores of the night. Hough said Davis was the most “stunning, beautiful dancer I’ve ever seen,” while Tonioli called the routine “powerful and seductive.” Goodman said there was a little “too much staccato” at times, but called the routine “the dance of the night.” Added Inaba: “I have to say, you two are in a class of your own. You are untouchable.” Davis earned three 10s and one 9, for a night’s total of 39 and a two-week total of 78.

The Judges’ Scores

Tonight’s score plus last week’s score combine for a two-week total out of a possible 80 points. Here’s how the competitors were ranked at the end of the night.

Meryl Davis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 39; 39. Total: 78

James Maslow and Cheryl Burke: 35; 36. Total: 71

Amy Purdy and Mark Ballas: 34; 36. Total: 70

Charlie White  and Peta Murgatroyd: 33; 36. Total: 69

Danica McKellar and  Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 32; 36. Total: 68

Cody Simpson and Sharna Burgess: 31; 35. Total: 66

Drew Carey and Witney Carson: 33; 30. Total: 63

NeNe Leakes and Derek Hough: 32; 31. Total: 63

Candace Cameron Bure and Tony Dovolani: 32; 28. Total: 60

 

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