“Dancing With the Stars” pro Chelsie Hightower weighs in on each of the week’s 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
There was a major upset in the ballroom Monday night. Charlie White, one of the best dancers this show has seen, was sent home, being outlasted by James Maslow and Candace Cameron Bure and just one week short of making the finale, in which he most definitely deserved to be.
I, for one, am upset. What do you guys think?
Monday night also saw the legendary director and choreographer Kenny Ortega on the panel as a guest judge and a great one he was! Let’s get to it.
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas
Dance 1 – Viennese Waltz: That package had me feeling so good I don’t even want to say anything negative about this performance but, unfortunately, I’ve got a very serious job to do, and that is to deliver ‘Dancing’ critiques to America. It really doesn’t get much more serious than that, folks. OK, onto the dance. I thought Candace looked beautiful and, personally, it’s so hard not to love this woman. But the judges were pretty easy on Candace. Unfortunately, it looked like she got lost throughout the routine many times and didn’t look like she was really “in” the performance until the last, maybe, five seconds. Well, at least it ended well! You still shine bright Candace. Keep shining!
Dance 2-Jazz: I really loved this dance! Candace comes from a strong Christian background so dancing to the song “Nasty Boys” had to have been a bit of a stretch for her, haha! But, surprisingly, for the most part, you couldn’t tell. Mark did a great job with creating clear pictures and strong lines to make this dance clean, powerful and in sync: something fresh for all of us to feast our eyes upon. Great job guys!
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess
Dance 1- Foxtrot: Another fantastic stand-out routine from Charlie and Sharna! This dance was pure sophistication and class from beginning to end and really showcased Charlie’s amazing ability. It was easily one of the best dances of the night. Everything was on point from the choreography to the dancing to the concept to the costumes. Great job, you guys!!
Dance 2-Samba: This was a very interesting song choice for Charlie and does not aid him well in being able to feel much Samba rhythm, unfortunately. Regardless of that challenge, if this dance were a book it would be a really great read, and that’s my cheesy line for the night! But, seriously, this dance was great. Although on a critical note, he was flat-footed throughout and his steps were very staccato, which is not the right feel for the Samba. But, again, I am going to blame that on the music. I’m really sad to see Charlie go home tonight and felt that throughout most of the competition he was really underscored. Happy he went out on a high. We’ll miss you Charlie!
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough
Dance 1-Quickstep: Just like the song says, “You can’t hurry love,” you also can’t hurry the Quickstep. But, seriously, although she rushed the beginning a bit and body contact was lost throughout the whole dance, it was fun, cute and Amy danced with such confidence and ease. It was a slam dunk of a dance!! Great job Amy!
Dance 2-Jazz: This routine this was one of my favorite dances of the night, no question. Derek really gave Amy the best possible routine for her to do well in for this genre of dance style. It was incredibly clever with a bit of inspiration from Chris Scott, another choreography genius, I’m sure. Amazing job!
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd:
Dance 1- Cha Cha: While James is one of my favorite personalities on the show this season, this dance was not one of my favorite dances he has performed this season. I felt it started out really strong with his dancing solo on the stairs and had a couple great moments throughout the dance, but when it came to the actual cha cha basic steps, the quality fell short. Nonetheless, he carried himself with charisma and confidence and I think those are two things we can expect from James every week, which is very important. Great job James!
Dance 2-Rumba: Beautiful dance from a beautiful couple!! One thing James does well that you wouldn’t be able to tell from the naked eye is that he leads very well. They really danced with each other in this dance and you can tell Peta relied on him to dance this well, which is one of the primary roles for a man. Yes, that’s right, to make us look good ;) Great job!!
Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy
Dance 1- Jive: Meryl is, in my opinion, the best dancer to have ever come on this show so I can understand where Maks would feel the pressure. You always want to give your celebrity the best possible chance of winning but with Meryl it’s more of an expectation and that can make the mental part of the competition tough. With that being said, I thought this was a great dance with lots of character. Meryl’s leg action was on point, her spins are always beautiful and, overall, she rarely has moments where she looks awkward, which is rare. But, then again, we do expect that coming from the experience she’s had. Regardless, great job Meryl!
Dance 2- Viennese Waltz: WOW, what a powerful waltz! These two are both powerhouses so when you put them together it is magical. This routine had some incredible moments and had some moves that no other celebrities would have been able to do in any other season. On a bit of a critical note, I wasn’t an advocate of the boots she was wearing. I thought they were clumpy and unnecessary. Otherwise, a beautiful dance.
Click HERE for a Full Recap of Semifinals Night
The Scores (1st routine, 2nd routine)
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 40, 40. Total: 80
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: 39, 39. Total: 78
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: 40, 36. Total: 76 (White was voted off tonight.)
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: 40, 36. Total: 76
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: 34, 38. Total: 72