Olympian ice dancer Charlie White, who had dominated throughout the season, was voted off “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night, just one week shy of the finale.
“I definitely think the fact we were able to make some really special dances makes it a little bit easier,” White said this morning on “Good Morning America” of his perfect scores. “We’re disappointed because we were so close to the final, and to be able to have one last competitive dance with each other would have been special, but just the journey itself, we’re just grateful for all the opportunities and the friendship that we now have with the big ‘Dancing With the Stars’ family.”
His professional dancing partner, Sharna Burgess, explained that although she was technically the teacher, she learned so much from him, as well.
“He taught me so much about positivity and your outlook on life, and just not sweating the small stuff,” said Burgess. “It was wonderful, as much as I was the coach and the teacher, to actually learn something from him, too. It was really a blessing, and like he said, we’ve got a wonderful friendship now, too.”
The ballroom audience booed its displeasure with Monday night’s result, and co-host Tom Bergeron acknowledged the result was a shocker.
White was nothing but positive about his time on the dance floor though, adding he’ll take his new skills and apply them back on the ice.
“It’s a different way of moving,” he said on “GMA.” “The way you hold your partner, the way you lead, the center of gravity, it’s completely different. I expected it to be easier, honestly. It was incredibly difficult, but I learned a lot.”
White had been expected to make the finale next week, but, instead, he and his Olympic partner, Meryl Davis, found themselves and their respective pro partners in danger of elimination.
The star with the lowest combined total of judges’ scores and viewer votes from the previous week’s performance is generally voted off.
Actress Danica McKellar was voted off last week.
Monday’s guest judge was Kenny Ortega, a choreographer who worked with Michael Jackson and on musical films including “Dirty Dancing.” Ortega choreographed and directed the “High School Musical” film series.
This was the ninth week of the ABC’s show’s 18th season.
Actress Candace Cameron Bure – who had been the cumulative low scorer of the season, paralympian Amy Purdy, “Big Time Rush” star James Maslow and Davis will return next week to compete in the finale. The winner will be announced during a live results show on Tuesday.
Each couple danced two individual routines, earning two separate scores which were combined into a grand total for the night.
Candace Cameron Bure: The “Full House” actress’s first dance was a romantic Viennese waltz that drew mixed reviews from judges, who pointed out that she made mistakes that seemed to affect the rest of her performance. “If you go wrong, which – it happens to all of us – cover it,” judge Bruno Tonioli said. “Don’t just show it on your face … .” Head judge Len Goodman said he thought she did “great” despite the mistakes, and guest judge Ortega agreed. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said Bure had the perfect inspiration to do better for her second dance of the night. Bure’s disappointment was visible, but it quickly turned to elation when the show’s co-host, Tom Bergeron, told her she had made it into the next week’s finale. Her pro partner, Mark Ballas, lifted her into the air. Bure has cumulatively been the lowest scorer of the season, Bergeron said. She earned two 8s and two 9s for her Viennese Waltz, for a total of 34 out of a possible 40 points.
Goodman said the actress’s second dance, a jazz number, was crisp and clean. “I thought it was wonderful. I thought you did it marvelously and totally unexpected so well done,” he said. Ortega said the routine reminded him of “the great ladies of Broadway.” Tonioli said she performed well and didn’t go wrong, and Inaba found the routine was well-rehearsed, but she told Bure she would have liked to see more “attitude” in some of the movements. Bure earned two 10s and two 9s, for a total of 38 points. Her grand total for the night was 72 out of a possible 80 points.
Charlie White: Even though the Olympic ice dancer had just found out that he was in jeopardy of elimination, his whimsical foxtrot – his first dance of the night — earned him a standing ovation from Tonioli and Ortega. Ortega called the routine “indescribably delightful,” while Tonioli pointed out White’s flair, sophistication and pizzazz. “You started as Fred Astaire and you finished as (ballet dancing great Mikhail) Baryshnikov,” he said. Inaba said it was “Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!” and Goodman added, simply: “That’s right, tonight, Charlie White! End of story.” White earned four 10s, for a perfect score of 40.
White’s second routine, a samba, got less favor with the judges, who found it lacking. Goodman said it looked “bit heavy at times.” Inaba said she was sad that White was in jeopardy, but agreed that something was missing from the routine. Tonioli and Ortega agreed that White performed well but also said the routine needed something more. White earned four 9s for a total of 36 points, and a night’s grand total of 76 points.
Amy Purdy: The paralympian snow boarder – who was dancing on two prosthetic carbon fiber blades tonight – - got a tremendous lift in spirits when media mogul Oprah Winfrey called during rehearsals to commend her courage. She and pro partner Derek Hough earned a standing ovation for their routine. “My jaw was dropping on the desk. If I wasn’t watching this life I would think you’re wearing wires,” he said. Pointing out her variety of steps, speed and floor craft, he asked: “How do you do it, girl?” Inaba said the routine took her breath away, and Ortega asked voters to send Purdy — who was in jeopardy of elimination tonight — to the finals next week. Goodman said he believed the dance was technically her greatest challenge, and said he’d have preferred to see more body contact and stronger posture, but added: “Watching you inspired me to go and do something.” Purdy earned three 10s and a 9 for a total of 39 points.
Judges loved Purdy’s second routine — a stylish jazz number. Ortega told Purdy’s pro partner, Derek Hough, that he’d “redefined choreography for this generation.” Goodman gave Hough a standing ovation for his choreography, and Inaba said the routine looked “like so much fun to do,” but she pointed out that Hough and Purdy were slightly out of sync at one point. Tonioli called it “classic jazz at its best.” Purdy earned three 10s and a 9, for a total of 39 and a night’s grand total of 78.
James Maslow: The “Big Time Rush” star — elated to learn he would proceed to next week’s finals — danced the cha-cha to Michael Jackson’s newly released song, “Love Never Felt So Good.” Judges were thrilled. Inaba said she was surprised Maslow decided to take on Jackson because it’s so hard to do, but she said he did it very well. “It was, oh my God, it was so good,” she said. Goodman called the performance “a fantastic blend of Michael Jackson references” that still had plenty of cha-cha content. “It was a terrific number. Well done!” he said. Tonioli said Maslow managed to make the routine look “effortlessly cool and yet on fire.” Ortega said the performance was electrifying. Maslow earned four 10s, for a perfect score of 40 points.
In Maslow’s second routine, a rumba, judges faulted his hands, saying he needed to work on extending them fully. Inaba said Maslow’s performance didn’t disappoint, and Goodman said the routine was good, overall. Ortega said the routine was stylish and sexy, and Tonioli said Maslow’s determination was “amazing.” Maslow earned four 9s for a total of 36, and night’s grand total of 76.
Meryl Davis: The Olympian ice dancer was in danger of going home, but her jive earned her a perfect score and rave reviews from the judges. “No peril Meryl! That was fantastic,” Goodman said. Ortega praised the kicks and flicks, turns and sync, and Inaba said the movement was flawless. Tonioli added that the dance was a “fifties-inspired rock ‘n roll extravaganza.” She earned four 10s, for a perfect 40.
Davis’s second routine, a show-stopping Viennese waltz, earned her a standing ovation from three of four judges. “What I love is the fact that you took that right on the edge … there was no playing safe,” Goodman said. Ortega loved the power, grace and synchronization of the routine. Tonioli called Davis and her pro partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, “unbelievable,” and said their dancing was magnificent. Added Inaba: “You are fantastic and you better not go home!” Davis earned four 10s, for a perfect score of 40, and a night’s grand total of 80 points.
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