We've got double dancing from everyone during this ninth week of "Dancing with the Stars." The theme is American icons and we've got everything from Frank Sinatra to Notorious B.I.G.
Early on we knew we were in for a shocker after Tom Bergeron informed us the two people who were "safe" and moving on to the finale were Candace Cameron Bure and James Maslow. That meant all of the athletes were in "jeopardy" and one would be sent home! Director and choreographer Kenny Ortega sits in this week as guest judge.
Here's a recap of the dances, from highest score to lowest (find out who was ELIMINATED here):
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- 40 out of 40 points for their Jive / 40 out of 40 points for their Viennese Waltz = 80 out of 80 total points.
Double perfection for the Olympic gold medalist! (And that made it all the more stunning that she was in "jeopardy"). Meryl and Maksim Chmerkovskiy's first routine was a Jive. She recruited Kristi Yamaguchi as the life icon she wanted to speak with, not just for her skating background but also because she's a "DWTS" champ.
Maks is putting loads of pressure on himself with the choreography. He's worried about letting her down and reiterates that she is the best dancer he's ever had on the show. Head judge Len Goodman called her 'no peril, Meryl'; guest judge Kenny Ortega said the duo set sparks on the stage; Bruno Tonioli praised their impeccable style and Carrie Ann Inaba was flabbergasted because Maks came over and kissed her! First time ever (and then he kissed the rest of the judges for good measure)!
Dance number two was a Viennese Waltz and it was a stunner. Len loved the fact they never played it safe; Kenny was blown away by their power and grace; Bruno thought the routine was a grand, cinematic sweep and Carrie Ann said, "You better not go home!"
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough -- 39 out of 40 points for their Quickstep / 39 out of 40 points for their Jazz routine = 78 out of 80 total points.
Amy gets a new set of carbon fiber legs this week! Since they have the quickstep she needs feet that can move, move, move. Once again, I must say she is amazing. We learn the icon she most relates to is Oprah. And what a surprise! Oprah calls during rehearsal! O says she does watch and actually votes. She also promised to take Amy and Derek Hough out to dinner if they win. Now that's incentive!
They dance to the Supremes "Can't Hurry Love" and Bruno said he thought she might be on wires, she moved so effortlessly. Len told Amy that watching her inspires him to do "something." And guest judge Kenny begged the audience to vote and please bring this team back!
Amy is assigned Jazz for her second dance, and clever Derek utilizes a table as part of their routine to "Too Darn Hot" from Broadway's "Kiss me Kate." Bruno called it "too darn good"; Len said the dance was fantastic and gave them his own standing ovation and Kenny told Derek he had redefined choreography for this generation.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess -- 40 out of 40 points for their Foxtrot / 36 out of 40 points for their Samba = 76 out of 80 total points.
Charlie's icon and inspiration is former ice skating champ Scott Hamilton. Scott advises him to show his versatility, and make the audience laugh AND cry. He and Sharna Burgess' first dance is the Foxtrot done to Frank Sinatra's great "New York New York."
Kenny Ortega screamed "bring out the champagne this was the toast of New York dancing!" Bruno called it a blend of Baryshnikov and Fred Astaire and rhyming Len declared "just right tonight, Charlie White."
He had to do the Samba for his second dance. I say 'had to' because the funky and hip filled dance isn't quite Charlie's cup of tea. And do you think he even knew who Biggie Smalls was? I'm guessing no. Kenny called the dance clean and precise, but lacking of the funk. Bruno said he needs to hit the rhythm stick. Len said while it looked a little heavy at times, he thought Charlie deserved to be in the finale.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd -- 40 out of 40 points for their Cha Cha Cha / 36 out of 40 points for their Rumba = 76 out of 80 total points.
James went into his first routine knowing he was safe for the next week. His first dance was a Cha Cha to Michael Jackson's recently discovered song, and to that end, producer L.A. Reid came in as his inspirational icon. Reid told him that Michael never took his work casually and was the hardest working person he had ever met; that seemed to light a fire under James.
Peta Murgatroyd did some inspired choreography, keeping the Cha Cha Cha intact but throwing in some classic "MJ" moves. Carrie called the routine spectacular; Len said it was a fantastic blend; Kenny's word was electrifying and Bruno dubbed it a "thriller" of a Cha Cha Cha. See what he did there?
Dance number two is the Rumba, done to Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream." (A little odd but they made it work). Carrie Ann thanked James for listening to their critiques each week and taking their tips to heart; Len and Kenny both took issue with his hands and Bruno told him to sort out the small details for the finale.
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas -- 34 out of 40 points for their Viennese Waltz / 38 out of 40 points for their Jazz routine = 72 out of 80 total points.
CCB and Mark Ballas reflect on the relationship they've developed over the course of the season and they've both become very comfortable with each other. When she learns one of her songs this week is "Nasty" by Janet Jackson they both break into a serious case of the giggles.
Candace's personal icon is an author and her bible teacher, who reminds the "DWTS" finalist that faith is the center of who she is. Candace also says she tries to stay focused on the fact that she really is performing for an audience of one ? God. She lets the pressure get to her on the Viennese Waltz and messes up a bit. Problem is, she's not good at covering her mistakes. They get some nice encouragement from the judges, though, to come back for round two and go all out.
Their "Nasty" dance is Jazz and Mark mixes pop and Broadway's Bob Fosse. Len said there was nothing nasty about the routine and called it wonderful and unexpected. Bruno encouraged her to continue exploring the dark side (to which Candace said "but I like the light!").
Four couples return next Monday for the first of the two night finale for season 18!