Dancing With the Stars 2014 Semifinals Recap: Wrong Final Four? Season 18 American Icons Night
The sun just went behind a cloud. The world is a little less happy. Our feelings are not Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Because Charlie White and his hair — true American icons, both — did not make the Finals of Dancing With the Stars Season 18.
Sadly, that means the Olympian's wonderful Australian partner, Sharna Burgess is also gone. They had a great night of dancing on the May 12 Semifinals, starting with a perfect “New York, New York” Foxtrot and ending with an underappreciated Samba to “Mo Money, Mo Problems.” But to paraphrase another song title of American Icons Night, he was just too darn hot to stay.
Once again, we thought Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas might be going home, but they are still here. No hate — they are great partners. She messed up her Viennese Waltz, but you could see Mark support her through it. And she killed that Jazz. So much was asked of her in the routine, more than was asked of Amy Purdy in her own table-top Jazz, which got a slightly higher score.
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were named “in jeopardy,” but you know that was just to have the two Olympic ice dancers next to each other. Were M&M really in the bottom two? We were not told. They were at the bottom of the score-board last week, but they had a perfect night tonight. That's just score-wise, though, since Maks’s stress and temper almost got the best of him in rehearsals. Tame the beast within, Maks! Derek Hough said something about pressure not existing, we create it for ourselves. That seems to be happening with Maks. Then again, that's easy for Derek to say. Mirror Ball trophies fall from the sky for him!
Anyway, now we have our final four: Meryl, James, Candace and Amy. Oprah is backing Amy, which may mean this thing is already locked up. But Charlie is now 100 percent Team Meryl.
Which team are you on?
Here’s a quick rundown of where the couples stand after Week 9:
Meryl & Maks — 40 + 40 = 80
Amy & Derek — 39 + 39 = 78
Charlie & Sharna — 40 + 36 = 76 — Eliminated
James & Peta — 40 + 36 = 76
Candace & Mark — 34 + 38 = 72
Read on for a full recap of Week 9 action:
INTRO: Not sure about Erin Andrews’s green top, but loving Maks’ Elvis look. Three-time Emmy winning director and choreographer Kenny Ortega is the guest judge. What is he looking for tonight? Kenny said they all deserve to be standing there. He’s looking to see them enjoy themselves and to be taken to a place he’s never been.
1. Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas— Viennese Waltz — The stars picked some personal icons to give them inspiration. Her icon is Angela Thomas, bible teacher and author. Candace is so adorkable in rehearsals. They’re dancing to Bruno Mars’ “If I Knew” for VW and Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” for Jazz. Candace is performing for an audience of one, God. Hope God likes the Viennese Waltz! Love Mark’s cap in the dance. Bit of an awkward dance in parts. Not as smooth throughout as it should’ve been. Nice storytelling moment in the end.
JUDGES: Len Goodman said tonight is all about pressure. The pressure got to her a little bit. There were one or two mistakes. Having said that, he liked the way she did the reverse turns. She worked on footwork. Overall, she did great. Kenny Ortega said she’s been blowing him away with her determination. Great partnership with Mark. He has to give that to her. She surrendered herself to the partnership. She got lost a bit, but he credits her. Bruno Tonioli said she started very well. She went into it with the right mood. If it goes wrong, cover it. The performance level collapsed and she couldn’t keep it up, and it showed in her face. It always goes wrong for everyone at some point, but learn to cover it up. Carrie Ann Inaba said they’ve all been there. She messed up big time in her head but she did continue on. She trusted Mark and continued on. Another “surrendered” comment. Is that the word of the night? What was Mark saying to Candace? He was coaching her along. Love Mark. Why is Tom talking to them down there instead of Erin in the Skybox?
SCORES: 8, 9, 9, 8 = 34 out of 40. Two 9s seems way high, considering her visible mistakes. Tom tells Mark and Candace they are safe going into next week. Well, her fans proved us wrong again! What does that mean? Who is leaving?
2. Charlie White and Sharna Burgess— Foxtrot — Amy and Charlie are in jeopardy. Charlie got advice from Scott Hamilton. He was the Olympic champion in 1984, and he was Charlie’s role model growing up. Scott suggests versatility for Charlie to win. Get people choked up but blow them out of their chairs. They dance to “New York, New York.” Another cane! Very cute, fun routine. Great showmanship. Solo bit in the end. This is right up Charlie’s happy-go-lucky alley. Wonderful!
JUDGES: Kenny said to bring out the champagne. “Indescribably delightful.” He was the toast of New York. Bruno called out the flair, sophistication and pizzazz. He started as Fred Astaire and ended as Baryshnikov. What more can he do? Carrie Ann said last week was his best week so far. This week she was looking forward to something fantastic, and he did it. Len said “Just right tonight, Charlie White. End of story.” Len and his rhymes!
SCORES: 10, 10, 10, 10 = 40. Perfect! When Charlie dances with a cane, he gets a 10 from Len. Remember that if you make the Freestyles!
3. Amy Purdy and Derek Hough — Quickstep — One thing they haven’t done this season is travel across the dance floor. So they use traveling legs, which bounce like a real foot, not the wood feet she’s been using. Is that fair, though? To be able to choose the best feet for the dance? Amy got a surprise from her icon, Oprah. “Hi, Amy, this is Oprah.” Oprah gushed over how she’s doing, and when she hurt her back, Oprah was wincing in pain from afar. So Oprah has been watching and voting for them. When they win, Oprah will take them out to dinner. Well, with Oprah backing them, they probably will win.
JUDGES: Bruno said his jaw was dropping on the desk. If he wasn’t watching live he’d think she was on wires. The lightness of touch, the speed, everything was incredible. Carrie Ann said the best part of that is that she’s an athlete. She got to be in her full throttle this week. Technically, Len sid, this was her greatest challenge. It was light. He would’ve liked more body contact. She inspires him to do something. Kenny said do Oprah and him a giant favor and bring this team back. OK, just hand them the Mirror Ball already.
SCORES: 10, 9, 10, 10 = 39 out of 40.
4. James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd— Cha-Cha-Cha — They are safe! Record producer L.A. Reid visited him in rehearsals. They are dancing to music from Michael Jackson’s new album. Not loving the sparkly outfits, but the dancing is tight. What are the outfits reminiscent of? Maybe Mark and Kristi’s Freestyle? Paul Anka in the house.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann told James they’ve seen MJ a thousand times. It’s hard to pull off MJ well but what he did was spectacular. He gave us Michael Jackson James Maslow style with Cha-Cha all over it. Len said it was a fantastic blend, with MJ references and lots of Cha-Cha content. “It was a terrific number.” Kenny said he put his heart and soul into it. It was electrifying. Bruno said he made it effortlessly cool but on fire.
SCORES: 10, 10, 10, 10 = 40. James has been sick. They joked about him maybe throwing up. Didn’t happen, though, which is good.
5. Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Jive — They are in jeopardy. Meryl got some advice this week from figure skater and DWTS Season 6 champion Kristi Yamaguchi. Kristi said Olympians are ready for the physical side, but it’s the mental side that gets to you. Speaking of that ... two dances and being at the bottom is putting pressure on both Meryl and Maks. Maks is getting stressed. She’s trying to help, but it’s tough. He has a creative block. He’s afraid that he might let her down. He does have the best dancer on the show and that puts a lot of pressure on him. He’s asking for her help, he wants them to make it together. Maks, don’t let your attitude blow this. Meryl said Maks is making her nervous. He’s nervous. He rips off his mic pack. Ugh. You have this. Don’t blow it with your attitude. She tries to lighten the mood but he really needs to be the one to set the tone. Love her cute little Jive outfit. Very cute routine. She is the best, too. So obvious.
JUDGES: Len said “No peril, Meryl. That was fantastic.” Rhymes again! Kenny said Meryl was ice skating tonight. Her kicks and flicks were sending sparks out. He also praised their synchronization and back turns. Bruno said they were the king and queen of rock ‘n’ roll. Clear, sharp, precise movements. Stylistically it was impeccable. Captured the time capsule perfectly. Carrie Ann asked Maks if he just kissed her at the judges’ table. She said Meryl has made him warm and fuzzy but Maks said not according to the video package. WHOA — Maks gives Bruno a huge kiss at the table! Kenny stood up for his own kiss and hug. Love all around to all the judges, including Len. SO CUTE!
SCORES: 10, 10, 10, 10 = 40. Almost everyone got a perfect score tonight!
Macy’s Stars of Dance: Derek leads pro-filled routine to MKTO “Classic.” Apparently that’s Disney Channel’s Jessica Lee Keller from Teen Beach as the female lead.
1. Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas — Jazz — Love her outfit. Looks very Chicago. Such a Mark routine. Requires lots of synchronicity, especially at the start. They do very well. This is a much, much better dance for her. You’d think VW would be more her style, but this suits her more.
JUDGES: Len said it was crisp, clean, tight, and together. “I thought it was wonderful.” Totally unexpected too. Kenny said she’s done it again. It reminded him of the great ladies of Broadway. Brilliant. Bruno said he’s never seen that side of her before. Nasty but tasty. “Explore the dark side.” Candace likes the light. She was very tight, she was on it, she didn’t go wrong. Fosse meets Jackson. She did it well. Carrie Ann said she’s impressed. Mark and Candace rehearsed the heck out of that. She was blown away. She would’ve liked to see a hair more attitude in some of the movements.
SCORES: 9, 10, 10, 9 = 38 out of 40. Total 72. Her first 10s of the season!
2. Charlie White and Sharna Burgess — Samba — They dance to “Mo Money Mo Problems,” which does not seem very Charlie. His gold jacket! They start in an area backstage. Love Sharna’s white gold look. Charlie is not really badass but he can definitely be sexy. Nice Samba rolls. Tough to pull off. Very nice.
JUDGES: Kenny thought it was clean, committed, and precise, but lacking a little funk. Boos. Bruno said he had an effortless sense of fun, but Kenny is right. He hopes Charlie is coming back, but rhythmical dances - hit the beat hard. Carrie Ann said she’s sad that Charlie is in jeopardy. She wants to live in his world. It seems smiley and happy with flying kitties. That joy is so much about what dancing is about, but he was a little flat-footed and there was funk missing. It looked a little heavy at times, Len said. He’s not just talking about tonight. Charlie deserves to be in the Finals.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36 out of 40. Total of 76. Love how Charlie pep talks himself in rehearsals.
3. Amy Purdy and Derek Hough— Jazz — They do a routine set on a table top, Lots of fast leg switching. Very So You Think You Can Dance. Very creative of Derek to work around her legs, but it’s mostly set on the table. She doesn’t move much. Remember when Amber barely moved for her routine last season? But at the end they move a bit more. She does have amazing legs.
JUDGES: Bruno said it was too darn good. (Playing off “Too Darn Hot” song.) Bruno said this was classic Jazz at its best. Carrie Ann said Amy was working it. It looked fun to do. She killed that routine, but in the side by side there was a non synchronized moment. Boos for that. She’ll never forget the slide down the table. Len saluted Derek, and stood for a standing O for Amy. Kenny said Derek redefines choreography for this generation. Derek said pressure doesn’t exist, we create it for ourselves. There was no fear. The piece was extraordinary perfection.
SCORES: 9, 10, 10, 10 = 39. Total 78.
4. James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd — Rumba — Dance dedicated to Peta. Their outfits. Again. It’s a good thing they’re both so gorgeous. Country Western Rumba to “Islands in the Stream.” Interesting. Save a horse, ride a cowboy!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said the Rumba was the sexiest dance. A lot of women have been waiting for this dance from him. He didn’t disappoint because his dancing was totally on par. His hip motion was great, his lines were extended. Carrie Ann thinks he’s the smartest competitor since he listens to everything and she sees it in his movements. He has a weird hand though. Len said he loses his connection between his arms and hands sometimes. Overall it was good. Kenny agreed with Len. He has to extend his brilliance into his hands. It was stylish and sexy. Partnership was tight. Work on the hands. Bruno said they switch it on and it’s great to see. His determination is amazing. He worked so much on his feet and it shows, but it’s just the fine details — extension in the hands.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36 out of 40. Total 76.
5. Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Viennese Waltz — Wild skirt with all those feathers, but Meryl can pull anything off. Maks looks amazing. Love her boots. The dance is gorgeous. Another emotional couple story. So great. Love her for him.
JUDGES: Len said he loved that they took it right on the edge. No playing safe. They went for it 100 percent. Kenny said she blew him away last week and now again tonight at the end of this incredible Semifinal round. Power, grace, synchronization, everything you can ask for. Bruno said they are unbelievable. It had a grand, cinematic sweep. They get the Oscar for role play. Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson. Swept away in Texas. Carrie Ann had something in her hair. What Meryl does is incredible. She watched the room watch her. The power came in, which athletes can do. The whole room came into her like she was running for the touchdown. They’d better not go home!
SCORES: 10, 10, 10, 10 = 40. Back on top! The only perfect score of the night. Maks enjoyed this season more than any other. Not because of past partners but because of himself. He’s different.
WHO GOES HOME? Three Olympians were put in jeopardy: Meryl & Maks, Amy & Derek, Charlie & Sharna. But that only means something for one couple, the other two were probably just put there for drama. The “not necessarily” the bottom two or three. Next couple safe: Amy & Derek. It’s down to Meryl vs. Charlie. Ice dancer vs. ice dancer. “Not necessarily the bottom two.” Bye Charlie. Love you and your hair forever. Sharna, you are a diamond.
Everyone was shocked. What was Charlie’s shock level? Charlie said all these people are so deserving. From start to finish it’s been an amazing journey. Now he can 100 percent be a cheerleader for Team Meryl. Aww! Sharna said Charlie is like her little brother. He’s taught her so much about positivity. He was a joy to teach and a wonderful friend now.