'DWTS' RECAP: Olympians Rule The Night
By ZACH SEEMAYER
March 24, 2014
Caution: This is a recap of the most recent episode of DWTS, meaning it is absolutely full of SPOILERS.
ABC's reality sensation Dancing with the Stars had a wild night, filled with surprises, sensuality, and sexy outfits. But at the end of the episode, Olympians Charlie White and Meryl Davis, alongside Big Time Rush heartthrob James Maslow, managed to earn the highest scores, while Billy Dee Williams, although not eliminated, found himself in last place yet again. Here is your Dancing with the Stars in-depth recap.
This week, DWTS kicked off its second episode with a huge musical number with all of the couples opening the show in spectacular fashion, riling up the audience and elevating the atmosphere immediately.
However, the mood got tense when hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews revealed the long-anticipated surprise that they had teased in the previous week. On this episode, there would be two eliminations! And more than that, the first elimination could come at any point during the show.
Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke were the first couple to be informed that they were safe, and were also the first to perform. Drew and Cheryl danced an energetic jive that the judges loved, despite a few little mistakes here and there.
Judges Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba all commended Drew for choosing such a difficult dance, and were impressed with Drew's ability to get a crowd excited and cover up his minor mistakes with expert showmanship.
Carrie, Bruno and Len all awarded Drew and Cheryl 7s, making their total score 21 out of a possible 30. It was a result that the partners seemed very satisfied by.
Next on the chopping block were partners Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater, and Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. After the tension was built, everyone turned out to be safe from elimination, even Billy Dee Williams, who ended up in last place based on the judges scores last week, but was saved by support from the viewers.
Danica and Valentin were up next dancing the Samba, and it was a hot number. Danica was decked out in a revealing gold fringe wardrobe that showed off lots of skin while Valentin danced the whole number showing off his tanned and toned chest.
Their passionate Samba was appreciated by the judges, and, despite some notes about Danica "getting lost" in a few of her moves, they encouraged the partners to keep going, and assured them that they are headed in the right direction.
Once again, the judges were all in agreement giving Danica and Val 8s across the board, giving them a judges' total of 24 out of 30.
Billy Dee William and Emma Slater, who only scored 15 out of 30 last week, were up next with a Tango, along with two other beautiful dancers, and Billy Dee seemed like he was having a great time, despite his chronic back pain.
Carrie Ann Inaba was first to give feedback, and she was supportive of his on-point performance, but made it clear that he would have to try more complex dances to get higher scores. Len Goodman was more critical, but encouraged Billy Dee to just have fun.
Billy Dee and Emma got three 5s, for a total of 15, matching their previous week's score.
Meryl and Maks performed a wild and energetic 50s-style swing number, that played spectacularly with the judges. Len couldn’t have been more excited for the performance, but Bruno drew boos when he commented on the few times Meryl missed her timing. However, he and Carrie Ann were still very impressed with their consistency and their dedication to the style of swing.
Carrie Ann and Bruno awarded the cheerful duo 8s, while Len gave out a rare 9, giving the beautiful Olympian and her pro-dance partner a total of 25 out of 30.
Couples Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, and Diana Nyad and Henry Byalikov were the next in the spotlight to find out who would be eliminated. Unfortunately, for Diana and Henry, they had the lowest combined judges' and audience scores and had to go home, making them the first couple eliminated this season.
Not wanting to let their rehearsals and wardrobes go unappreciated, Diana and Henry performed a wonderful Cha Cha Cha before giving the judges hugs and waving their goodbyes.
Candace and Mark were up next with a slow, sensual Rumba that accentuated their tenderness and stayed true to Candace's conservative values. However, they got slammed a bit by the judges, who claimed that they didn't really stay true to the spirit of the Rumba.
Despite the criticism, all three judges awarded them 7s, for a total of 21.
Amy and Derek were up next performing a swing number, which Amy, a double amputee and paralympian with two prosthetic feet, freely admitted was a difficult number to master. However, their dedication and excitement resonated with the audience who cheered with exuberance.
Len, Bruno and Carrie Ann all swooned for the performance, complimenting her synchronization and dramatic flair, and awarded them three 8s for their efforts for a combined score of 24.
James Maslow and his partner Peta Murgatroyd, along with Charlie White and Sharna Burgess were the next two couples to learn their fate and, as expected, they both were safe.
James and Peta danced next, performing a sultry, sexy salsa that spanned across the dance floor.
"When you're side-by-side with a professional and everybody is looking at you, that's an achievement," Bruno told the excited couple. Meanwhile Carrie Ann declared that James had just entered the DWTS "sexy hall of fame."
Bruno and Len awarded the partners 8s, but the love-struck Carrie Ann gave out a 9, for a total of 25.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess performed a spectacular, fog-filled tango, for which Charlie needed to find his "inner bad boy" and the young Olympian surly managed to pull that off, delivering one of the nights most memorable dances.
Bruno and Carrie Ann gave Charlie a lot of credit for his magnetic performance and personality. However, Len was far more critical, saying that Charlie, as an Olympian, knows that he needs to follow the rules to get scored well, and that he simply didn't follow the rules of the tango.
His critique was reflected in his surprisingly-low score of 7, which was even more shocking compared to the 9s awarded by Bruno and Carrie.
After a strong showing, Charlie and Sharna walked away with score of 25.
The last three partners to learn their fate were Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff, Cody Simpson and Witney Carson, and finally Nene Leakes and Tony Dovolani. However, unlike earlier in the episode, no one got to know who would be eliminated until all three had already danced.
NeNe Leakes danced first, showing off their skills with a fun-loving jive that seemed to fit NeNe's take-charge attitude, and her hot-pink dress managed to draw every eye in the house to her smooth moves.
Bruno and Len appreciated NeNe's exuberant energy, while Carrie Ann got into a bit of argument with Tony about the way they orchestrated NeNe's hand movements.
However, when it came to scores the judges agreed across the board giving NeNe and Tony three 7s for a total of 21.
Sean and Karina were up next, and they performed a fun and enchanting Salsa, during which Sean actually smiled quite a bit, not a trait associated with the stoic hockey player.
Bruno encouraged Sean to keep smiling, and to keep working on his Latin hips, and Carrie Ann complimented his natural style. Even Len guaranteed that if he kept going at this rate he could get higher and higher marks every week.
The scores for Sean were identical to NeNe's, with the judges awarding three 7s for a total of 21.
Finally, the last dance of the night featured Cody and Witney with a very passionate tango in a blue-LED lined tuxedo and ball gown that Tom Bergeron called "Tron formalwear." The number was flashy, bold and showed their chemistry. Carrie Ann, Len and Bruno all had criticisms, but they respected their flair and dedication, and all the judges loved how the partners managed to work in the moonwalk into a tango.
Carrie Ann, Len were on the same page, awarding a pair of 7s, while Bruno upped their score with an 8, brining Cody and Witney's total to 22.
After performing, the axe finally came down and the episode's second couple were sent home. Despite a sports background and not-terrible judges' scores, Sean and Karina were still eliminated after getting the second-lowest combined scores last week.
Dancing with the Stars will return next Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC, where they will reveal the next couple (or possibly couples?) to be eliminated.
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - 25
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd - 25
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess - 25
Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy - 24
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough - 24
Cody Simpson and Witney Carson – 22
Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke - 21
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas - 21
Nene Leakes and Tony Dovolani – 21
Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater - 15
Diana Nyad and Henry Byalikov
Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff