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'Dancing with the Stars' recap, 'American Icons' night

It's "American Icons" night for the Semifinals. Choreographer and director Kenny Ortega is the guest judge tonight.

Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas, Viennese Waltz

Candace's frame is pretty good during this, with her head laid back like they like. However, her hands are a little weird in extension sometimes and I'm still not in love with her foot placement.

Len Goodman thinks the pressure got to Candace tonight, with a couple of mistakes showing up in the routine. Kenny Ortega admires her dedication and praises her, despite the mistakes. Bruno Tonioli admonishes her to cover up better when she makes a mistake and says the performance level suffered when she couldn't cover up her reaction to the mistake.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 9; Kenny: 9; Bruno: 8

Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno are the only ones who graded that accurately. In the semifinals, multiple mistakes in a routine shouldn't get you a 9.

Tom reveals, though, that Candace is safe, and will be going into the finals next week. Which means some more deserving dancer is going home. Stinker.

More results: Amy and Derek are in jeopardy. Charlie and Sharna are also in jeopardy. See what I mean about more deserving dancers going home?

Charlie White & Sharna Burgess, Foxtrot

Charlie's personal icon is Scott Hamilton, who comes in to give him words of inspiration.

Charlie almost looks like he starts a little bit off from the start of the music, but by the time they're dancing, it's no big deal. This should be right in Charlie's wheelhouse, but it's falling a little flat for me -- even with his little solo at the end, with all sorts of spins and pirouettes.

Kenny says "Bring out the champagne," and calls it "indescribably delightful." Bruno says a lot of adjectives that equal "I liked it." Carrie Ann says last week was his best week but that this was fantastic, too. Len Goodman says something that rhymes and translates to "I liked it."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 10; Abby: 10; Bruno: 10

Amy Purdy & Derek Hough, Argentine Tango

Amy's got a new pair of prosthetic legs to use tonight -- running legs that are curved and all carbon fiber. It's going to allow her to have some bounce and to travel across the floor, crucial for the quickstep.  

Oprah Winfrey is Amy's idol and surprises Amy with a phone call. Oprah claims that she watches every week and even dials the number to vote for them. If they win, she says, she'll take them both out to dinner.  My housemate wonders if Oprah used a burner phone to call them. Ha!

This is a great foxtrot! Light and fast, with tons of complicated footwork. I swear, if Candace beats Amy, I'm going to set something on fire.

Bruno says that his jaw was hanging open through the whole routine and that if he wasn't watching it live, he would swear that they were on wires, they were so light on the floor. Carrie Ann says the best part was that the dance wasn't static and Amy got to travel, really for the first time.  Len says that technically, this was the most challenging dance for Amy. He would've liked to have seen more body contact and better posture.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 9; Kenny; 10; Bruno: 10

This means Len thought Candace's dance, with multiple visible mistakes, was as good as Amy's marvelous quickstep. I call bullbleep.

More quick results: Meryl & Maks are in jeopardy. James & Peta are safe. This means either Meryl, Charlie, or Amy is going home. And Candace is in the finals. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd, Cha cha

L. A. Reid is there to talk to James, because Michael Jackson is James's idol and he and Peta are dancing to a song from the new Michael Jackson album of previously unreleased songs.

It's all Michael Jackson stuff and neon and moonwalking and crotch-grabbing and whatever.

Before going to the judges, Tom Bergeron points out the co-writer of that song, Paul Anka. Look him up, kids.

Carrie Ann says it was spectacular. Len says that there was plenty of cha cha content, even with all the MJ flourishes. Kenny calls it electrifying. Bruno says it was effortlessly cool and on fire. Then he grabs his crotch. I'm scarred for life.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 10; Kenny: 10; Bruno: 10

Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Jive

Kristi Yamaguchi came to give Meryl encouragement, both as a figure skater and as a former "Dancing with the Stars" champion.

Meryl's working some sort of prim co-ed thing with her costume. Fun jive, though.

Len calls it fantastic. Kenny says the kicks and flicks were sending up sparks and the synchronization was great. Bruno calls them the king and queen of rock 'n roll. He says the movement was clean and sharp and that stylistically it was impeccable.

Carrie Ann makes a crack about Maks kissing her. Then Bruno demands some sugar and Maks obliges. Kenny begs for love and Maks embraces him, then Len, then Carrie Ann again. It's a lovefest tonight.

Carrie Ann compliments Meryl's costume, with its streamlined effect emphasizing her movements.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 10; Kenny: 10; Bruno: 10

Maks is going a little nuts up in the kiss 'n' cry loft, throwing stuff around. Erin quips, "I don't know what he's doing and I don't care as long as he's not kissing anybody." I never got to say "quip" in relation to Brooke. I'm so glad we got Erin this season.

Macy's "Stars of Dance" is a "tribute to old Hollywood." It's the regular pros and troupe, though, so it doesn't feel that exciting.

Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas, Jazz

This is Janet Jackson via Bob Fosse, with the costuming and choreography.

Len calls it "tight and together." Kenny says it reminds him of the great ladies of Broadway (really?) and mentions the Bob Fosse influence. Carrie Ann says it was precise, but she would've liked to see a touch more attitude in some of the hard-hitting moments.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 10; Kenny: 10; Bruno: 9

Again, Carrie Ann and Bruno are the only people scoring accurately.

Charlie White & Sharna Burgess, Samba

Why did they have to dance to the Notorious B.I.G. version of this song, when the Diana Ross song would've done just fine? Oh wait. It's because Charlie's a male figure skater who has a girlfriend, so he can't dance to a song called "I'm Coming Out."

Kenny thinks it was a great performance but it lacked funk. Kenny? Have you looked at Charlie. This is a man without funk. Funkless. Len saysit looked a little heavy, but that Charlie deserves to be in the finals.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Kenny: 9; Bruno: 9

Amy Purdy & Derek Hough, Jazz

This routine involves a lot of dancing on a table, under a table, around a table. It IS jazz, so maybe Len won't get too upset.

Tom announces them as "Amy, Derek, and a very happy table."

Bruno calls it a new classic moment on "Dancing with the Stars." And then he says it's "classic jazz at its best." Carrie Ann says it looked like so much fun to do. She does point out a slight synchronization flub. Len salutes Derek's choreography. Kenny says that Derek is defining choreography for a new generation. That's high praise from someone like Ortega.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 10; Kenny; 10; Bruno: 10

James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd, Rumba

It's a cowboy rumba because they're dancing to "Islands in the Stream." It's a rumba so I'm bored no matter. There was a death spiral type thing, and if Peta didn't keep her feet on the floor, Carrie Ann will ding them for a lift.

Carrie Ann praises his ability to take the criticism they give each week. Len says there is a little work to be done on his hands. Kenny calls it stylish and sexy. Bruno talks again about extension in the hands.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Kenny: 9; Bruno: 9

Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Viennese Waltz

Meryl is in cowgirl get up, with a giant ruffled shirt and cowboy boots. This skirt looks like those flouncy pantaloons Little Bo Peep wore, but in skirt form. I find it distracting, but what do I know?

Len loves that it wasn't safe and really went for it. Kenny and Bruno praise it as well. When the camera cuts to Carrie Ann for her comments, she's got her hands buried in her hair scratching her scalp. Tom tells her it's not an attractive look.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 10; Kenny: 10; Bruno: 10

The three Olympians in jeopardy are called forward. Amy & Derek are called safe first, because of course you want Meryl & Charlie standing there together for maximum dramatic impact.

And it's Charlie going home. Boo. Should've been Candace. Although, realistically, Charlie wasn't going to win the whole shebang anyway. He was a good, sometimes great dancer, but never quite caught fire as a contestant.

Scoreboard

Meryl & Maks: 40 + 40 = 80

Amy & Derek: 39 + 39 = 78

James & Peta: 40 + 36 = 76

Candace & Mark: 34 + 38 = 72

I swear to you, if Amy or Meryl doesn't win this thing, I'm going to be seriously ticked off. See you next week for the two-night finale!

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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