Judge Len Goodman called it "Take Your Shirt Off Week," but it was also "Injure Your Body Week" and "Everybody Cries Week." As host Tom Bergeron put it, "So we've got back spasms, broken ribs, bum knees — it's like Grey's Anatomy in here."
Danica McKellar entered Week 7 with a fractured rib, but Amy Purdy was a surprise addition to the injury list when she turned her neck the wrong way after her Rumba and ended up hurting her back. She was injured to the point where she saw a doctor during the show and they had to air the dress rehearsal footage of her Team Loca dance. It was only the second time in DWTS history that a rehearsal performance was judged, but this one was good enough for three out of four 10s. And while the Team Loca footage rolled, the remaining dancers (minus Amy) danced for the live audience ... and all four guys got shirtless.
Speaking of shirtless, #DWTSShirtOff was actually trending during the show, thanks to a Twitter campaign asking Tony Dovolani to have his shirt on or off during his Argentine Tango. Shirt off won by a lot, leaving Tony without his top for one last time this season, before he and NeNe Leakes had to say goodbye. We'll miss your torso, Tony!
The shirtlessness, injuries, and steady stream of tears upstaged guest judge Ricky Martin, but he was pretty good — just a general entertainment judge, but not too wacky or mean-spirited. Speaking of mean-spirited (Abby Lee is coming next week!) Len got a little rude about Charlie’s Paso Doble, adding an unnecessary dig about it not deserving a 10 because it wasn’t special. Len brought out his 8 paddle several times, and even hit a 7 for NeNe, which was a little cold. (Len, 70 is making you extra grumpy. Eat a Snickers!)
But Len wasn’t the judge with his own personal heckler — Carrie Ann Inaba had a loud guy “boo” her whenever she said anything negative, and she even called out to him one time in anticipation of his boo. At least she had a good attitude about it.
But at the end of the night, the leaderboard saw a funky shake-up.
Team Loca got a big bump from winning the team dance, without actually having to dance live. Now that NeNe and Tony are gone, James and Peta Murgatroyd are at the bottom of the leaderboard. How the heck did that happen? What could that mean for next week’s elimination? It’s hard to say. They were "not necessarily” in the bottom two tonight, so they could’ve just been used for drama. Candace Cameron Bure has been struggling but she got a high score this week, and low scores haven’t exactly hurt her anyway. Next week’s elimination could be interesting.
What was your reaction to this week? What dances stood out? Do you agree with the scores? Are you sad to see NeNe go, or was it her time?
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stand after Week 7:
Meryl & Maks — 39 + 39 = 78
Amy & Derek — 36 + 39 = 75
Candace & Mark — 35 + 39 = 74
Danica & Val — 33 + 39 = 72
Charlie & Sharna — 36 + 35 = 71
James & Peta — 35 + 35 = 70
NeNe & Tony — 31 + 35 = 66 — Eliminated
Read on for a full recap of Week 7 action:
OPENING NUMBER: Didn't get to see the opener because local news station focused on tornado warning. Sigh. Bet it was great. Ricky Martin said, as guest judge, he's looking for passion, focus and couples engaging with the crowd.
SAFE OR IN JEOPARDY? First couple safe: Danica and Val. James and Peta are in jeopardy. (The Jeta fans are going to go nuts.) Amy and Derek are safe and dancing first. They already knew they were first this week, though.
1. Amy Purdy and Derek Hough — Rumba — Amy's been in a long-term relationship but the last year and a half it's been very challenging for them because of her schedule. Is this the guy she did Amazing Race with? She could always change her schedule, if it's important. She cried in rehearsals, so Derek joked around to make her laugh. Love this acoustic version of The Doors.
JUDGES: Len Goodman said they lit his fire. He loved the mix, sharp, staccato moves, then smooth and rhythmic. Great content. (Staccato? In Rumba?) Bruno Tonioli said it was sensuous with a sense of courtship. They never lost elegance. Classy and beautiful. Carrie Ann Inaba said she's wonder woman. Her foot came off the ground. She has to say it. Derek doesn't have to put those moves in. YES. Finally. If and when Amy wins, Carrie Ann wants everyone to know she earned it. A bit late for that stand, but better late than never. The judges definitely seem to have a favorite in her, though. Ricky Martin goes by what his heart is feeling. He couldn't take notes, he was focused on her. They were connected, sensuous, passionate. They made him feel a lot of things. Erin Andrews said she’d take that!
SCORES: 9 (Carrie Ann), 9 (Ricky), 9 (Len), 9 (Bruno) = 36 out of 40. Lindsay went around handing out tropical drinks. Later in the night, they said Amy injured herself in her dance. She was being attended to by medics. Now it’s the battle of the injuries.
2. James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd — Samba — He has to have a lot of sexy hip action in the dance and rub up against her. More showmance pushing. They even ask Peta about dating James in her own confessional. Enough about this! Love her outfit, then they strip it off to slinky red devil outfit. Victoria’s Secret ad, as Erin put it. So she’s the one who lost clothing! Oh then he lost his shirt. My, my.
JUDGES: Bruno asked, "What are you doing tomorrow?" It was dirty and he loved it. Carrie Ann said he worked that Samba, it was very sexy. Ricky Martin says they are always taking things to the next level. They are surprise after surprise, wow after wow, the gift that keeps on giving. Len joked that Peta was overdressed. James kept the motor running but the foot action wasn't great and it could have used better hip action. But it was fun.
SCORES: 9, 9, 8, 9 = 35 out of 40. Len is pretty tough on James. He was tough on the Quickstep last week, too.
3. Danica McKellar and Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Salsa — He wants to take on Meryl and Maks as the presumed frontrunners, but he should probably be taking on Amy and Derek. To be the best, you have to challenge the best. The routine is very sexy and passionate. It goes from hot to cold, fast to slow. They show the move that hurt her rib. She heard it snap. It made her Contemporary injury hurt more. Danica cried and it even hurt when she cried. They get the news that her rib is fractured. They show the X-rays. Danica said her doctor said, if it was anyone else, they’d say not to do anything, cause you would make it worse. Instead, Danica is jumping rope at the start of her Salsa routine. She does the routine and you’d never know she was inured. It’s a super-sized routine with other couples in the dance. She seems great. Love her pink shoes.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said she felt for her. Having a broken rib makes that dance very difficult to do. You have to get down and dirty in the dance but her injury lessened the movements. Ricky asked how does she feel. Danica said it’s sore but it’s OK, she’s fighting through it. Ricky had mad respect for that. He thought they had amazing chemistry. Len said there was two sections of what he’d consider Salsa, the rest of a bit pop video for him. It was a bit careful, because of her rib, and they did go wrong at one point. Bruno said they went for a very, very interesting concept. Ghetto fabulous Salsa from the hood. It’s impossible to get that kind of feel if you’re not able to use your whole body and that makes you go wrong.
SCORES: 8, 9, 8, 8 = 33 out of 40. Erin asks America to hashtag #DWTSShirtOn or #DWTSShirtOff for Tony. Even Tom thinks it’s jumping the shark. Don’t blame Erin! It has to be a producer’s idea.
SAFE OR IN JEOPARDY? Candace and Mark are safe. Charlie and Sharna are in jeopardy. Meryl and Maks are safe. NeNe and Tony are in jeopardy and dancing next.
4. NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani — Argentine Tango — NeNe feels like they are the odd ones out. Candace doesn’t have dance experience either, though. NeNe talks about her alter ego, Nay Nay. We’re going to get NeNe and Nay Nay in the AT. Tony takes his shirt off. 90 percent of tweeters said to take it off. Well done, Twitter! Tony has been shirtless more than anyone else this season. That’s pretty magical. Another super-sized routine.
JUDGES: Ricky said was that NeNe or Nay Nay? She said it’s Ne Nay. Ricky said before the music even started she was getting into character. Len said, as always, she got right into character. She came out and sold it. She needs to work on technique. Footwork could’ve been crisper. Bruno said she definitely got the part. She’s got to work on her ganchos. Carrie Ann said the opening walk was a 10 on its own. In general the movement wasn’t sharp enough. There wasn’t a lot of dynamic between speed and motion but she’s impressed with how far NeNe has come. She’s dancing with her whole body.
SCORES: 8, 8, 7, 8 = 31 out of 40. Sharna and Charlie jump on the judges’ desk after this, to prep for their dance. They should stay there and do the whole routine from the judges’ table. #dwtsshirtoff is trending!
5. Charlie White and Sharna Burgess — Paso Doble — Charlie gets advice from Meryl on getting the perfect intensity. Charlie looks good with his curls a bit tamed. He was built for dances like this. He seems sweet but he has the right attitude and movement for this. Mary Poppins boy can be hot when he wants to be. Shirtless! DWTSShirtOff for everyone!
JUDGES: Len called it Take Your Shirt Off Week. To get a 10 you have to do something special and to him this wasn’t special. Ouch! That’s it? Wow. Bruno said he messed it up and he lost balance. He lost it in another pass. He lost a bit of steadiness. Come ON, guys! Carrie Ann said what he needs to do to get a 10 is to end the movements. She wants more sharpness. Huge “boos” from the audience. Ricky said he can see what they are saying but he was living in the moment and he was flying with them. Erotic, sensual, beautiful routine.
SCORES: Charlie's knee caught in the routine. Injuries for everyone! 9, 10, 8, 9 = 36. Maks was so happy in the background with the 10 and so upset about the 8. Len is grumpy tonight. Not cool.
6. Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas — Argentine Tango — Candace has performance anxiety so Mark took her to a sports therapist. Her nerves are causing her to blank out at points during the routine. Candace cried (tears for everyone!) saying she feels like she’s disappointing Mark. Last week it was Meryl and Maks, now we have Couples Therapy for Mark and Candace. She didn’t know that she had these insecurities. She feels like she’s let Mark down. Everyone is breaking at this point. Love the song. This is the best Candace has looked in a while. She seems confident out there. Sharp and clean.
JUDGES: Bruno said “Now we’re in business!” Great legs. Carrie Ann said the confidence was there, the lines were crisp, she might’ve forgotten a couple of beats. Another boo. Ricky said she was focused. Her lines were amazing. It was clean. It was superb. Len said no messing about, they went straight into the routine. Could’ve smoldered a bit more but it was hot and right on.
SCORES: 8, 9, 9, 9 = 35. That 8 seemed low.
7. Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Salsa — The depth of the sexuality involved in the Salsa is different from what she’s experienced. Maks knows Meryl can get down and dirty. You just have to switch it on. Meryl loves that Maks is honest. He doesn’t sugar-coat anything. Now Meryl is hurt too! She hurt her wrist. Maks hurt his leg. Everyone is dying. Tons of dancers on the floor for the Salsa. Meryl out front leading the pack. It’s like her own music video. Interesting fishnets. Impressive tricks! She comes out of lifts so seamlessly. Maks takes his shirt off too! So do the other guys in the dance. Nice!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann thought Salsa might not be the right match for her but Meryl keeps surprising her. Ricky said what they’re doing gets better and better. It was intense and amazing. She’s a pro. Len said the Salsa is the cool guy and the hot chick. He thought it got too involved with the whole production. She doesn’t need that. He found it a bit hectic and too full on. Boo! Bruno said Meryl was the leader of the bang. Bruno told Ricky Meryl bangs. Bruno got a bit TMI there on down and dirty. She was dancing in front of six of the best pros in the country and she held her own. She always pulls focus of attention. Yes.
SCORES: Maks makes a speech about pros trying to keep injuries down. He hurt himself in his dirty place? 10, 10, 9, 10 = 39. Not 40, Erin. Sorry.
Team Vida — they are all in jeopardy, so one of them is going home
Charlie was captain.
Charlie & Sharna
James & Peta
NeNe & Tony
These guys danced on the show, since they were (relatively) healthy. At least the underdogs have their health.
JUDGES: Ricky said that was complicated and they made it look like a walk in the park. He wanted to take them on the road. He thanked them, it was beautiful. Len said to do two dances is tough. Tight, together, and fun. Well done to all. Bruno said it was like an extra large tequila. The energy was incredible. A couple of sync problems, but it was incredible fun. Carrie Ann said the energy was fantastic. The group dance is all about synchronization. Charlie and James were great in their own separate worlds. It was hot energy. She called out to her boo heckler, and he replied with his “boo.”
SCORES: 8 (what? why?) 10, 8, 9 = 35 out of 40. 8s? Come on.
Meryl was captain.
Meryl & Maks
Amy & Derek
Danica & Val
Candace & Mark
Poor Candace was the last one picked, and she begged!
In rehearsals, Maks said he felt sorry for the other team. But they have two injured members.
They are just going to show the dress rehearsal dance and that’s what will be judged. Danica was already injured by this point, but she looks fine. Great tricks from Amy and Derek and Meryl and Maks. Meryl could seriously join the show as a competing pro next season. Well, this is more polished and finished looking than Melissa’s dance back on Season 8. It looked perfect! Oh and everyone got shirtless in the end.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said it was insane. She’s never seen a tighter group performance ever. Ricky said it’s amazing to put so many styles together in a short time. Mad respect. Len said it was fantastic. Watching the dress rehearsal footage is a little different since the pressure is off a little bit, but what he saw on screen was fantastic. Bruno said it was slick, spectacular, showstopper. He regrets them not having a Results Show since it’s worth a repeat performance. (Just hit rewind, then replay!)
SCORES: 10, 10, 9, 10 = 39.
IN JEOPARDY: Everyone on Team Vida
WHO IS GOING HOME? Safe: Charlie and Sharna. So it’s NeNe and Tony vs. James and Peta. They are not necessarily the bottom two. Peta looks emotional. Already crying? NeNe is just smiling. Who is leaving? NeNe and Tony. NeNe still smiles.
What is she most proud of? She’s so proud of herself. She hopes she inspired women all over the world. “This has been amazing, positive experience for me.” She thanked her family, fans, friends and judges. She’s proud of NeNe Leakes for dancing alongside Olympians. You never hear Candace patting herself on the back like this, but maybe she should. Tony said NeNe brought a wonderful attitude, she had him laughing (and half naked). He gained a friend.
Did the right couple go home? Who gets your votes this week? Sound off in the comments!