Ugh. Disney songs and Donny Osmond. This is not going to be my favorite night. They've given the show the traditional Disney opening, with a mirror ball behind Cinderella's castle. The pros start the night with a medley of Disney songs. Donny Osmond is introduced as guest judge.
Charlie and Sharna are safe, then Drew and Cheryl get their good news.
Drew Carey & Cheryl Burke, Quickstep
From "Aladdin," "Friend Like Me"
Drew and Cheryl are glad to be back together this week. Drew keeps a faster pace than I might've expected. At one point, he and Cheryl are dancing fairly far apart and I'm trying to figure out why, when all of a sudden the Genie is dancing between them. Animated, that is. Oh, this is going to happen all night, isn't it? It's gonna be a looooong night.
Len Goodman says that normally he'd pick on them for breaking hold this week, but because of the animation he'll let it pass. Len says the performance had a lot of zip but the technique was not great.
Donny says the quickstep is his least favorite dance. (Boo. Quickstep is one of my favorites.) Donny also says he's going to be judging on performance more than technique. Then he gives technical notes about arm placement that he got when he was a contestant.
Carrie Ann likes the team being back together. However, she admonishes Drew for his "I'm lost in the routine" face.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Donny: 7; Bruno: 7
Charlie White & Sharna Burgess, Jazz
From "Mary Poppins," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
Charlie has learned the lesson of Samson and he must never slick it down again. Charlie's got a cane and Sharna has a parasol. They do some neat tricks tossing them back and forth to each other. It looks great until Charlie misses a catch and has to chase it down. When the song gets super super fast near the end, they get backup dancers. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Donny says it was an amazing performance. He adds with anguish, "I was so worried you were going to drop the cane and then you dropped the cane." Bruno wants him to do the routine again because it was so, so good except for the one mistake with the cane.
Carrie Ann notes the warp speed at which they were dancing. Len says he's not worried about the cane drop because that was a fantastic performance.
Erin reveals that the live performance was the first time Charlie dropped the cane.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 10; Donny: 9; Bruno: 9
Len says, "It's Disney night, so dreams can come true." I love you, Len.
Tom Bergeron comments that he liked the slow-mo replay of the cane miss from the "Salt in the wound" portion of the show. Oh, Tom. I love you, too.
More results: Amy and Derek are safe. So are Danica and Val. NeNe and Tony are "in jeopardy." Cody and Witney are also "in jeopardy." Cody mutters to Witney, "Toldya."
Danica McKellar & Valentin Chmerkovski, Quickstep
From "Beauty and the Beast," "Be Our Guest"
As Tom is introducing the rehearsal footage, he says, "If you'd like to see how they trained -- you know I'm going for the pun -- be our guest." Tom, I know you're going for the pun. It's a big part of my never-ending love for you.
Oooh, yeah, Lumiere is there in animated form to introduce the dance. I miss Jerry Orbach still. They get lots of backup dancers for this routine too, and I'm still unsure about it. Danica's footwork is fast, but I'm not sure about its precision.
Bruno loves her finish, hold and frame and talks about her improvement. Carrie Ann calls her over for a hug she's so happy. She says it was like her own version of "Beauty and the Beast" coming to life just for her. She's giddy like a little girl.
Len throws a damper on the lovefest by mentioning their loss of body contact. Donny takes the opportunity to point out that he played Gaston on Broadway. Blurgh.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 9; Robin: 10; Bruno: 10
I understand why they've put Erin in more princess-y hair and dress this week, but I'll be happy when she gets back to the sleeker stuff. Erin asks Val if he got tips on being beastly from his brother. Heh.
Amy Purdy & Derek Hough, Waltz
From "Cinderella," "So This Is Love"
Really, Derek? You're Prince Charming, suit and all, and you couldn't shave off that scruff around your mouth? Booo.
Amy's rehearsing in the tiptoe feet again -- I wonder if she'll dance in those for most of the rest of the season. They're figuring out how to work with these feet. Amy rightfully points out that she's trying to balance on a 2-inch-by-1-inch surface. She starts crying because there's a maneuver she just can't get. She laments that she had legs for 20 years so she knows how it's supposed to work, but she just can't get the prosthetic legs to do that for her.
This is a very elegant routine, which suits the music perfectly. There are several inventive and graceful turns and spins. There's one move that I'm curious if Carrie Ann will call a lift.
As the crowd is cheering, three of the Cinderella mice are shown cheering in front of the judges' desk. You can tell exactly when Len sees this on the monitor because his face lights up with delight. Aw. Len, you old softy.
Carrie Ann says that even though she saw several lifts, she's not going to count off for them because they were in there to make up for other content that Amy couldn't do. Is that allowed? Len says he would've liked a little more in hold, but that aside, it was beautiful.
One of the things about the guest judges is that they each have to talk about Amy's situation and how inspiring she is. The regular judges have mostly moved on from that sentiment to talk about it in a more technical fashion.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Donny: 10; Bruno: 9
Erin asks Amy what it's like to get those scores after the emotional week she had and Amy is too overcome to respond. Erin handles the situation so well, by patting her on the shoulder and calling her a princess. I don't want to think about how Brookebot would've handled that.
Cody Simpson & Witney Carson, Samba (or as Tom calls it "Simba Samba")
From "The Lion King," "I Just Can't Wait to Be King"
Cody serenades Witney with a little ditty and she's charmed.
It's been a while since I saw "The Lion King," but I don't remember Simba wearing dropped crotch pants. I also don't remember Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, being in it, but that's who Witney is channeling. This is a weird samba. The song and the dance style don't suit one another.
Len liked the energy and Cody's timing, but thinks the technique could be better. Donny says that Cody's enjoyment of the dance didn't come through on his face during the performance. Bruno tells Cody, "Listen to the good fairy." OH BRUNO. Bruno also praises Cody's timing, but would've liked a little more bounce.
Bruno and Donny are whispering back and forth while Carrie Ann is trying to talk. BOYS. Share with the rest of the class. I'd LOVE to know what those two are saying to each other.
Erin lets us know that Cody didn't practice yesterday because he was out with a stomach flu. Poor guy.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 8; Donny: 8; Bruno: 9
NeNe Leakes & Tony Dovolani, Foxtrot
From "101 Dalmatians," "Cruella de Vil"
NeNe keeps bringing up how Derek did things. She and Tony start squabbling and NeNe says if they were married, she'd divorce him. And then she'd write a book about it. And then she'd remarry him on a reality TV special. Oh, wait, I added those last two things.
NeNe walks out of practice because she doesn't like Tony's attitude. Ugh. She is pulling a total diva. This is the kind of behavior that probably got encouraged on "Real Housewives," but I don't like it finding its way onto my "DWTS."
NeNe's totally in character, but her foot placement seems off to me. The routine has a lot of character but not so much content, from my point of view.
Donn says something that triggers the censor's mute button. What on earth could an Osmond say that can't be aired on television???? Bruno liked that the routine suited NeNe's personality. Carrie Ann says it was Tony's best choreography ever. Len says these two are a match made in dance heaven.
NeNe's got a trembly lower lip and tears welling up in her eyes. But when Erin asks what's wrong, NeNe insists she's OK. Tony insists that the contentious rehearsal footage we saw isn't what went on all week and that they love working together.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Donny: 9; Bruno: 9
James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd, Contemporary
From "Frozen," "Let It Go"
There's a special needs student named Hannah who made a video asking James to go to prom with her. He declined because of his "DWTS" commitment, but brings her, her sister and her mom out for a meeting and to see the show.
I still don't like contemporary on this show. I just don't know the rules enough to judge it. I do know there are a lot of impressive lifts and a lot of anguished arms.
Bruno says it was a "breath of romanticism." Carrie Ann says every move he did was "pure emotion." Len says "that would melt the coldest heart -- even mine." Donny compliments Peta on her amazing choreography. He then compliments James' athleticism.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10; Len: 10; Donny: 10; Bruno: 10
First perfect score of the season.
Back from the commercial, Charlie gets to do a tiny bit with some animated penguins. It's more than adorable.
Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Samba
From "The Jungle Book," "I Wan'na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)"
Maks is having a hard time with the dance because he thinks of the samba as a sexual dance.
I'm finding Maks's giant tattoo on the left side of his ribcage very distracting. They get to dance with animated Baloo and King Louie. And then they execute some perfectly gorgeous samba rolls.
Carrie Ann is puzzled because they dance together so well that it's like they're one body. She says their pairing is very special -- she's never seen Maks so in tune with a partner. Len calls it "great entertainment."
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 9; Donny: 9; Bruno: 9
I'm kind of surprised. From all the gushing, I thought they'd get higher.
Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas, Jive
From "The Little Mermaid," "Under the Sea"
Mark is wearing crab claws, because of course he is. Blech. In rehearsal footage, Candace says that this is the one week she'll let her "conservative walls down" with regard to costuming. These walls apparently do allow for a lot of awkward hip gyration and pelvic thrusting.
Len says there was good fundamental samba mixed in with new choreography. She does mention that Candace needs to straighten her legs a little more. Donny razzes Mark for the crab claws. I might be turning around on Donny. Bruno says that she's taken their critiques to heart and her foot placement and shoulders are much improved. Carrie Ann tells Candace that the only thing holding her back at this point is her own mind. Candace admits to her nerves getting the best of her.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 9; Robin: 9; Bruno: 9
Tom tells Candace and Mark that they're in jeopardy. He confirms that Meryl & Maks and James & Peta are safe.
The three "in jeopardy" contestants are assembled for the elimination. NeNe and Tony are spared. They're both ecstatic. Erin clarifies that the two remaining couples may not be the bottom two. Given Cody's rabid fanbase, I'd be shocked if he's in the bottom two.
And when Cody's elimination is announced, it's clear Candace is possibly even more shocked than me. Whoa. This says a lot about the support that must be out there for Candace.
James & Peta: 40
Danica & Val: 39
Charlie & Sharna: 37
Amy & Derek: 37
NeNe & Tony: 36
Meryl & Maks: 36
Candace & Mark: 35
Drew & Cheryl: 28
Things aren't looking good for Drew. Which is a shame because I'd rather watch him dance than Candace. He seems to be having way more fun and is way more fun to watch too.