It was only the second night of dancing, but we already had a double elimination. Diana Nyad was the definition of class, getting the bad news even before she danced, then rocking a sexy Cha-Cha withHenry Byalikov. When Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater were revealed, early on, to be safe, it looked like Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff might be victims of Sean’s smile-challenged persona. He’s not a bad dancer, although his Contemporary last week was just OK, but "rootability" is often more important than dancing on this show. This week, Sean smiled and did a good Salsa. But it was too late.
Meanwhile, Billy Dee got another 15, but he’s the most senior dancer, he has hip issues, and he admitted he wanted to cry when he got low scores last week. Once again, Emma has a lovable underdog on her hands. It’s easy to root for him. Could that take him past next week or was this a one-week reprieve only?
This week, three couples tied at the top — including Charlie White and Sharna Burgess again — although no one really knocked it out of the park with a near-perfect routine. The dancers are still getting used to one-week rehearsals schedule after having more time to prepare for Week 1, and the pros are starting to show some frustration with the judges. (It was only a matter of time before the facial expressions and talking back started! Excellent…)
Still, Billy Dee is alone at the bottom of the leaderboard, looking like he needs to be saved. If he is saved, who will go home next week? It’s hard to even guess.
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stand after Week 2.
Meryl & Maks — 25
Charlie & Sharna — 25
James & Peta — 25
Danica & Val — 24
Amy & Derek — 24
Cody & Witney — 22
Candace & Mark — 21
NeNe & Tony — 21
Drew & Cheryl — 21
Billy Dee & Emma — 15
Sean & Karina — Eliminated, still got a score of 21
Diana & Henry — Eliminated, danced with no scores
Read on for a full recap of Week 2 action:
BIG INTRO: Another great pro showcase choreographed by Mandy Moore, but this time they include some celebs — and even Erin and the judges get in on it. It’s still not the same without Tristan MacManus, but these intros are much better than the old way, just going down the stairs.
MARCH MADNESS - DOUBLE ELIMINATION?!: Tom and Erin announced the surprise: Tonight, we’ll have a double elimination. Already? Dang. It’s based on last week’s scores and votes. It could take place at any time. Wow, what a mean-spirited twist. Drew & Cheryl were revealed to be safe … but they had to dance right then. Who is doing this and why? By the way, the Switch Up voting has started and continues until March 31, with the partners hitting the dance floor on April 7. Vote for the new pairs here.
1. Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke — Jive — You never know what the producers will use against you, and they showed footage of Drew saying he’d like to master the Jive. Chances are no one will master the dance in a few days, on Week 2, but they’ll give it their all. Drew has such great energy and he’s used to being in front of an audience. He could be the dark horse in this competition!
JUDGES: Len Goodman had confetti stuck in his head. Cute! Len congratulated Drew on getting through to next week. He liked the mix of steps with lots of Jive content. If entertainment was judo he’s a black belt. Work on footwork and posture. Bruno Tonioli said he’s the consummate stage animal, and he gets the crowd going beautifully. He’s so in tune with what the crowd wants. He went wrong a couple of times but covered it well. Carrie Ann Inaba said she wouldn’t have seen him as a Jive guy but he did “excellent.” He had a few little mistakes but he may be surprised by how high the scores are. Good start for these two anyway!
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. OK. Would’ve been higher if he hadn’t made his mistakes.
SAFE OR NOT SAFE: Danica & Val, Billy Dee & Emma, and Meryl & Maks were brought out. Billy was safe! Meryl too. Danica three.
2. Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy — Samba — Val was upset with himself for not making Danica stand out enough. She was great, it’s good to not be far at the top on Week 1. Everyone expects you to stay there. Val really went for it with this routine and it’s stressing Danica out. She’s already crying. It’s Week 2, guys. Pace yourselves! Dance show. Dance show. It’s just for fun. Val apologizes for pushing her. She’s not afraid to show her sexy side, that’s for sure. She has an amazing dance body and he really puts lots of content in this. Samba rolls, too! She’s so good. Stop trying to force the DJ/Winnie rivalry! Happy b-day, Val! Zendaya there rooting for her spring 2013 partner.
JUDGES: Bruno said Danica is like a gorgeous little jungle cat. She’s not quite tame yet. She throws it away on transitions and doesn’t complete her movements. When she gets it right she’s going to be a scorcher. True. The things she needs to improve are relatively easy to fix. Carrie Ann said she was so sexy and grounded. Len said she needs to straighten her legs on occasion but keep doing what you’re doing. Samba is tough on Week 2, she’s not going anywhere.
SCORES: There’s a new Vine booth? OK. Danica and Val may want this too much. Love them, but the intensity is high for Week 2. 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30.
3. Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater — Tango — He wasn’t happy with the judges’ scores last week. For a moment, he wanted to cry. She’s so cute, saying if they turned the leaderboard upside-down, he’d be at the top. Billy’s back is killing him; he thinks he looks like an old man trying to be a young person. No! He wasn’t a great dancer last week, but so what? You move forward. He is the master of his fate, he gets to dance with pretty girls, and this is all about having fun and entertaining fans. Obviously it worked ‘cause he wasn’t even in the bottom two! So this isn’t even a Trio, it’s like a Quad. Should’ve brought the Ewoks back!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said there’s a lot of men his age who are very envious of him She doesn’t want him to get discouraged. He’s the most senior contestant and he has some hip issues. He handled the choreography well but he needs more vocabulary in his movement. More content. True. Fairly put. Len said the Tango needs to be sharp like a cactus. This didn’t have enough attack, but just keep having fun. Bruno said they went for the minimal approach and he doesn’t blame Billy for just having fun with the ladies.
SCORES: 5, 5, 5 = 15 out of 30.
4. Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Swing — Maks is uncomfortable flipping people, but he and Meryl are kind of built for that. He’s taking advantage of that size difference. He says he’s way too old for that, though. Be careful, don’t break Meryl! Their dance starts up in the skybox, it’s cute! Very creative. Their little polka-dot outfits are so cute. Fun.
JUDGES: Len said she was swinging and so was Ray Chew and the band. It was great music and dancing. That swing had wings. Fly on, girl. Bruno said it was a swinging, acrobatic extravaganza. The level of difficulty was incredible. She never lost the style but she lost timing a couple of times and she made a couple of mistakes. Maks disagrees. He just wants to know what so he can fix it. Meryl knows what Bruno means. Don’t go there, Maks! Carrie Ann saw it too. She also saw Meryl working Maks’s butt off. She gave his booty a pat! Carrie Ann appreciated her athleticism.
SCORES: 8, 9, 8 = 25 out of 30. Len was nice to Maks! Erin is cute with Maks. Maks is so cheeky: “The important one gave us a 9.” Ha!
SAFE OR NOT SAFE: Next couple safe is Amy and Derek. Candace and Mark are also safe. Diana and Henry … less safe. They were eliminated right then and there.
DIANA GOES HOME: Just like that? Sheesh. She looks so good in her Cha-Cha outfit! She just wishes she could’ve given “this superlative young man” Henry more time. Oh, OK, she does get to dance, even though she’s leaving. So awkward.
5. Diana Nyad and Henry Byalikov — Cha-Cha-Cha — Sexy, cheeky, fun routine. Tom hugs them afterward. Diana goes and thanks the judges individually. They really shouldn’t do it like this!
JEREMY MILLER! They actually brought him out after his Danica/Candace awkwardness last week. Who is he rooting for? Both of them. They both did so fabulous last week. They really are pushing this rivalry.
6.Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas — Rumba — Candace is Christian and she’s pretty conservative, but she’s still pretty hot out there. She’s doing a sensual Rumba, not a sexy one, which is a good idea whether you’re conservative or not. She does look sexy out there. Another great song for these two. But this is two intense dances in a row, it’ll be interesting to see her do, like, a Cha-Cha or Samba or something.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said this was hard. It was a little too Contemporary in styling. She wanted to see more of the Rumba, and she has to be more careful with her arms. She’s a beautiful dancer, though. Len said her arms have to be as expressive as her face. For him that was the biggest problem. It was a little hard and aggressive. It didn’t come off as a romance. Boos! For someone with no dance background she did well. Bruno loves the fact that when she dances she does it from the heart. Her emotional depth is totally in focus. Rumba is a dance of continual motion and it’s hard to do.
SCORES: Candace talked about being a sexual woman, but she’s been married for 17 years and wants to save some things for her husband. 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. A step back from last week, but not bad. They have a great attitude about it, though, and that will take them far.
7. Amy Purdy and Derek Hough — Swing — If anything makes her nervous about Swing dancing, it’s how quickly you move. Balance can be an issue. They love and hate when her legs click, since it means her legs are together but it also means her legs could come off during the dance. Love her silver and black outfit. They just use one small space, but they get a lot done in it. He carries her over to the judges. Amy is already good - maybe Derek should've had Diana Nyad. She might've been more of a real dance challenge. Or Billy Dee Williams!
JUDGES: Len said they used every nuance in the music to great effect. Amy is amazing, well done. Bruno said it was clever and witty, he loved to vaudeville and jazz touches. They only missed an arm pass, Derek said it was his jacket. Carrie Ann said it’s mind-boggling how synchronized their movements are.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30.
SAFE OR NOT SAFE: James & Peta and Charlie & Sharna are both safe.
8.James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd — Salsa — Playing off the eye candy quip from Len last week, James — in his deadpan voice — says maybe he should wear less clothing for the Salsa. They keep doing the rivalry thing with James and Cody, too. Stop trying to make fetch happen, just dance! His shirt is open in the dance, but she’s still wearing less. Hot couple and he even gets his own little showcase. Lots of movement and content, but it may be too frenetic. Too much.
JUDGES: All Bruno could say is “more of that, please.” James is coming out of his shell. There were a couple of messy passes, but that’s OK. when you’re side to side with a pro and everyone is looking at you, that’s an achievement. Carrie Ann said “Dayum!” There’s a sexy Hall of Fame in Carrie Ann’s mind and with this dance, James joined the Hall of Fame. Len said he came out full on, full of attack. Because of that he lost a little bit of the quality of the dance. (True.)
Ease off the gas a bit and you go further.
SCORES: 9, 8, 8 = 25 out of 30.
9. Charlie White and Sharna Burgess — Tango — Charlie has no bad boy to him, so Sharna turned to Maks for “bad boy” lessons. Charlie has a girlfriend of close to five years, so he’s a one-woman type of guy. He’s not used to the James Bond arrogant player personality. Love his throne! The smoke machine is on overdrive. Great song. Sharna looks gorgeous.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann challenged Maks saying power comes from all the women, the power came from him. The power is from the confidence in himself. She said Charlie looked like a wild-haired Baryshnikov. Len said Charlie comes from sports and knows you have to follow rules. Len doesn’t want to be nasty, but you can’t break hold. You can a little in the beginning and end but you not in dance. They broke the rules so he has nowhere else to go. That’s a Sharna call, not a Charlie one. Bruno said don’t worry he loves Charlie when he’s bad. Slick, stealthy, a predatory killer instinct came out of him.
SCORES: 9, 7, 9 = 25 out of 30.
10. NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani — Jive — NeNe repeats that this was her husband’s choice as dance. Tony said she’s making him happy. She added the TMI that she made him happy this morning. Hello! Maybe NeNe and Gregg should dance the Jive together on the Finale. NeNe looks hot in her pink dress. Once again, amazing shoes. She looks just as comfortable this week, but Jive is tough for tall people. All the kicks and flicks. Good, though.
JUDGES: Len said she had a little mistake on the stage, which was a shame, but it was a cute routine. Having Jive on Week 2 is tough. Bruno said she can do her thing beautifully. She went wrong and Jive has to be much sharper on the footwork. Carrie Ann said her arms could still be bigger. Tony said he didn’t want them to be. Carrie Ann said they were too small for her. Carrie Ann vs. Tony. Stylistic smackdown. Tony talked to Erin about how stylistically he wanted NeNe to keep her arms by her side.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. Tony wasn’t happy, but Bruno kept repeating there was a mistake.
11.Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff — Salsa — Sean said DWTS wants you to walk around with a smile all the time and that’s just not him. He thinks his facial expressions are improving. He doesn’t want to be the first to go home, and he already met that goal. Second, though? He does smile during the dance. You can see his effort at it. He’s not bad, you can see the work he’s put in. He has some moves. Wow. Where was the smile last week?
JUDGES: Bruno said when he smiles his whole personal changes. If he stays, he’d like to see more of that. He’s light on his feet, he has rhythm, couple of timing issues. Get his hips going, though. Carrie Ann said he’s very authentic when he dances. She’s worried for his future dances. There’s an ease of motion to him and his rhythm is for real. Len said the secret of DWTS is to get higher marks each week and that’s what he’s going to get from Len. No, the secret is to smile and look like you’re having fun, not stressing people out.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7, = 21 out of 30. It’s up from last week. Actually, he may have deserved an 8.
12. Cody Simpson and Witney Carson — Tango — Witney reminds Cody of the rules, not letting go in Tango. Len will appreciate that, Wit! Cody doesn’t like all these rules. Save some stuff for the Argentine Tango, man! They literally glow out there. This is a fast song for a Tango, but they are the young, energetic couple, so maybe they can’t help it.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann loves the way he stylizes thing. Sometimes it worked against him but halfway through it came together. For the future, though, she’d like to see him with someone taller, ‘cause he leaned forward. What a thing to say to Witney! Sheesh. Len said it could’ve been more compact but he appreciated the moonwalk. Bruno said when he’s on, he has a hypnotic quality like Edward in Twilight. (Stop trying to be hip, Bruno!) He can see all the work they put into it. Cody leans forward and it makes him look unsteady, but he likes what he saw.
SCORES: 7, 7, 8 = 22 out of 30.
WHO IS GOING HOME? Diana & Henry already left, but three couples still need to learn their fate. NeNe & Tony … you’re safe. It was Sean & Karina vs. Cody & Witney. Sean had to go. Sean said he made a new friend in Karina and made money for his charity, he got out of the cold winter in New York. Karina wishes we had seen more of Sean’s personality. Yeah, that would’ve helped. His dancing wasn’t bad, this is basically a slow-warm-up issue. Personality > dance talent on this show.