Hey thereDancingaficionados! Don't be frightened by the change in author -- I'm just taking over for Liz for the night. I'm Robyn, resident Vampire DiariesandBachelorexpert, and a newbie toDancing. I'll admit I never watched even a minute of the show ...
Hey there Dancing aficionados! Don't be frightened by the change in author -- I'm just taking over for Liz for the night. I'm Robyn, resident Vampire Diaries and Bachelor expert, and a newbie to Dancing. I'll admit I never watched even a minute of the show for the first 17 seasons, yet somehow found myself tuned in for the Season 18 opener -- partly because of my love for '90s TV and partly because of my love for James Maslow, who I interviewed back when he was a shaggy-haired, up-and-coming actor about to start Big Time Rush. (I'll spare the embarrassing photo of us.) Anywho, I'm now officially obsessed with the show and cannot wait to share my ru-down of Latin Night!
Ricky Martin opens the show and I can't understand a word he's singing, but everyone is definitely having fun dancing along. As a judge he's looking for passion, focus and engagement. We also find out right away that Danica and Val are safe and James and Peta are in jeopardy. Say whaaa? Amy and Derek are also safe and they're up first!
Derek Hough and Amy Purdy (rumba)The dance: Amy goes into this "love" dance feeling emotional because she and her boyfriend of seven years are having some trouble at home. But Derek lifts her spirits, and on the dance floor, the pair has definitely got it going on. Overall the dance was a little more of a snoozefest compared to their previous routines, but Amy still impresses and inspires. And that last leg, split thing? Pretty insane. What the judges say: Len says she lit his fire and was first class. Bruno - distracted by Ricky - calls the dance sensuous with a bit of elegance. Carrie calls Amy Wonder Woman and "darn sexy." She also adds that her foot came off the ground, which is a no-no in the rumba. "I want everyone to know you earned it [if you win]," Carrie Ann adds. Finally, Ricky says Amy made him feel -- a lot of things. Score: 36 (out of 40)
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd (samba)The dance: These two are living La Peta Loca! (Had to.) And you know it's going to be good when during rehearsals the producer asks, yet again, if they're dating. (She doesn't confirm or deny, he says they're trying to be platonic.") The dance starts and they're totally working the gas station attendant fantasy thing and I'm into it. Who would've thought that was hot? Also James has his shirt off and I'm OK with it. What the judges say: Bruno wants to book a "full-service" with James. Carrie Ann is speechless and then calls their chemistry "beyond sick." Ricky says they were unexpected, wow after wow, the gift that keeps on giving. Len says the footwork wasn't all that great, but it was full of energy and fun. Score: 35 (out of 40)
Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy (salsa)The dance: Danica is coming off of a broken rib, but you'd never know watching them. Do they get points docked for dancing in sneakers? Because that seems easier than heels, right? Also why does Danica look straight out of the '80s? Regardless, not her best but the girl is still a great dancer. What the judges say: Carrie-Ann says she managed well, but didn't get down and dirty. Boos come from the audience. Ricky is a gentleman and asks her how she feels. "Sore, but you fight through it," she says. Dance-wise, he says they have powerful chemistry. Len says it was too pop video for him, Bruno says they'll be back to dazzle them again. Score: 33 (out of 40)
We get an update that Amy injured her back during her routine and is being attended to by medics. Yikes! Also, Candice and Mark are safe (and literally jump for joy) as are Meryl and Maks. Tony and NeNe, and Charlie and Sharna are in jeopardy.
NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani (Argentine tango)The dance: NayNay is out and proud - did a backup dancer just motor boat her? Although NeNe seems to be struggling a bit, her character never breaks. So there's that. But it's a weaker dance for her. As for Tony, Erin Andrews singlehandedly (blaming it on Twitter) made him dance shirtless. What the judges say: Ricky appreciates that she became a character. Len says footwork could've been crisper, but it was fun to watch. Bruno says her something or other needs to be sharper, and Carrie Ann is impressed with how far she's come. Score: 31 (out of 40)
Another update: Amy is not doing well. Erin says that rules state Amy and Derek get judged on their dress rehearsal, which will get played back for the judges.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess (pasa doble)The dance: After getting some advice from his ice partner Meryl, Charlie is determined for a Perfect 10. And boy is he pouring on the sex. For some reason Charlie trying to be sexy comes off more like creepy to me (he's just too darn cute), but I still think the guy is damn talented. Ooh, and he pulls of his shirt to take it up a notch. What the judges say: Len immediately crushes Charlie's hopes by saying, "To get a 10 you have to do something special and this wasn't special." Bruno said they had flair and purpose, but they lost balance. Carrie Ann says he needs more sharpness, but Ricky says he was blown away. Score: 36 (out of 40)
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas (Argentine tango)The dance: Candice is always in her head during her performance, so Mark suggests they see a sports therapist. And by sports therapist they mean the Couples Therapy therapist on the esteemed VH1. Candice feels like she let Mark down and hopes the tools Dr. Jenn gave her, along with God, will help her get through another week. On the dance floor, Candace is pretty sharp, her footwork seems on point, and I'm digging her low bun. For someone anti-sexy, the dance was pretty hot. What the judges say: Bruno calls it Basic Instinct. Carrie Ann says they might've forgotten some choreography but the confidence was there. Ricky says her lines were amazing, and Len agrees. Score: 35 (out of 40)
Maks Chmerkovskiy and Meryl Davis (salsa)The dance: Full disclosure: I want these two to fall madly in love. (If they're not already.) I mean, they're basically making out in rehearsals now. And calling each other baby! OK back to the dance. Another group performance. (Why the added dancers this week?) I think I blinked and Meryl did some twisty, underneath Maks' crotch-type move. If these two don't win the season, then the show is rigged. Amirite?What the judges say: Carrie Ann says Meryl continually surprises her. Len thinks it got too involved with the production and was too hectic. Bruno gets out of his seat and to quote Ricky says, "She bangs!"Score: 39 (out of 40)Team Dances: Team Vida vs. Team LocaCharlie and Meryl are the captains and pick their teams "dodge ball in elementary school"-style. Candice is the last one picked. Sad face. Derek, on Team Loca, has never lost a team challenge so immediately his competitors decide they should go for the least amount of clothes as possible.
Team Vida (Latin freestyle)The dance: These guys are definitely acrobatic with all their flips and jumps. Charlie rocked his solo portion; too bad this wasn't for his earlier dance! Overall, I'm really impressed! Everyone was in sync and held their own. What the judges say: Ricky says the dance was beautiful. Lenny says they were tight with lots of action. Bruno likens it to an extra-large tequila. Carrie Ann is happy they featured NeNe, but calls James and Charlie out for being in their own worlds.Score: 35 (out of 40)
Team LocaThe dance: Danica and Val definitely kill their solo portion, and Candace does her little crab dance during hers. Amy and Derek do this awesome twirl, and Maks and Meryl do their thing as well. I'm a little distracted by the "Dance rehearsal" chyron on the screen the whole time, but I'm pretty sure this is the stronger team. Apparently everyone (minus Amy) danced along to their tape for the live audience as well. What the judges say: Carrie Ann says she's never seen a tighter group performance. Len calls it fantastic, even though the pressure isn't on during the taped rehearsal. Bruno says it's worth a repeat performance. Score: 39 (out of 40) And Derek is 11-0 in the team dance, my colleague Joyce points out.
Safe: Charlie and Sharna
Eliminated: NeNe and Tony. NeNe knew she was out of place at this point in the competition, but girl put in a valiant effort. "I am proud of NeNe Leakes," she proclaims.
Next week: Dance Mom's Abby Lee Miller stops by as the couples dance side by side.
What did you think of Latin/injury/shirtless night? Are you sad to see NeNe and Tony leave? Who was your favorite? Will Derek ever lose a Team Dance-off? Sound off in the comments!
View original Dancing with the Stars Recap: Monday, April 28, 2014 at TVGuide.com
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