'Dancing with the Stars' Live-Blog: Disney night for our original pairings
On last week's Dancing with the Stars, all our favorite pairings were ripped asunder by this season's new "switch-up" feature, which rearranged the dancing configurations in less than desirable ways. Suddenly stars who had found a good rhythm with their pro were trying to recreate it with someone else. Movement was different; steps were just off. Val even had his heart lifted then broken by Meryl Davis in an entirely fictional scenario!
So thank god we're back to our first, best configurations this week (and for the foreseeable future). Tonight is DISNEY NIGHT, aka the night one or several dancers interpret "Let it Go" in truly creative, maybe inappropriate ways. What will happen? Who knows! This is why we live-blog.
9:55pm: Who's going home tonight?
NeNe and Tony, Candace and Mark, and Witney and Cody — these are the couples in jeopardy.
After that emotional dance from Candace and Mark, I'm really hoping it's not them that are headed home. (No offense to Cody and Witney, and what I'm presuming is the whole of Australia). It's gonna be...CODY AND WITNEY! Wow -- was not expecting that.
"It is what it is," says Cody. Witney: "I feel like people didn't get a chance to see Cody yet." Meanwhile the teenage girls in the audience are preparing their pitchforks and small arms to avenge their man.
9:43pm: Candace and Mark take their dance "Under the Sea"
Scores: 36/40 IN WHAT WORLD WAS THAT WORSE THAN JAMES AND PETA'S DANCE? Good God. Let's cut out the political edge here, ABC. (I don't know what I mean by that. I have no backing for that comment.)
"You game to show a little skin this week?" Candace is down, but only because it's Ariel. That and she doesn't want to go home. Time to show some skin, baby!
THE DANCE: Coming on the heels of Meryl and Maks and James and Peta, it's sort of blah. Slow, for sure. But it's got a crab walk, which isn't so bad! And Candace seems committed to the dance in a way she hasn't been before.
THE ASSESSMENT: Thumbs up from Donny! Len likes the way they mixed the samba in with some other moves. Carrie thinks that Candace could take a page from the Frozen playbook and "let it go" a little more. Is she nervous? Candace says it's nerve-wracking to be on live TV which, you know -- understandable!
THE SCORE: 35/40
9:33pm: Meryl and Maks samba to "I Wanna Be Like You"
MERYL AND MAKS ARE BACK TOGETHER! "All is right in the world," says Maks, as they hug for what feels like forever. I love it. They hold hands. "I look like what Mowgli would look like if he were on steroids."
THE DANCE: A shirtless Maks plays Mowgli while Meryl shakes her rump around the stage. Lots of physical comedy, Meryl grabbing Maks by the ear. God, these guys are great. They should win for chemistry alone. Maks might be out of his comfort zone with all the "comedy" stuff, but he's so clearly thrilled to be doing it with Meryl. I'm smiling writing this.
THE ASSESSMENT: Carrie Ann tells Maks that he "never dances like he's so comfortable with somebody." (BECAUSE HE'S SMITTEN WITH HER.) Everyone agrees.
9:19pm: James and Peta reunite to "Let it Go"
It's Jordin Sparks and Jason DeRulo! The latter is rooting for Cody Simpson, for what it's worth. And all of the Cody fans, worldwide, have taken to Twitter to hate on
God, I can't stand James. But TV is telling me I can't hate James, because he's invited this girl who'd asked him to her prom to come to Hollywood and hang out on the DWTS stage.
THE DANCE: Naturally, James and Peta get "Let it Go," the most popular song on the planet for anyone watching this show. I must say, though, I thought both James and Peta danced better last week. Or maybe it's the choreography? I don't know enough about dancing to really comment accurately. James brings a lot of athleticism to the dance, sure, but it's a lot of jumping and leaping to mask a lack of truly interesting moves.
THE ASSESSMENT: Bruno is the effeminate version of Randy Jackson on Idol, physically incapable of removing himself or his NEED FOR ATTENTION from his judging. They all love it, obviously.
Score: 40/40 Are you f***king kidding me? The first perfect score of the show, in what -- again, to my mind -- was a pretty pedestrian routine. I concede that I don't know that much about dance, but I'm not blind. Or am I? This show is rearranging so much of what I thought about myself.
9:08pm: NeNe and Tony get through rehearsal troubles to foxtrot to "Cruella De Vil"
THE DANCE: Despite all the emotional setbacks of the week, NeNe and Tony appear to be fine on the dance floor. I mean they're not great together — they haven't been so far on this show — but given the possible outcomes, it's pretty, pretty good.
THE ASSESSMENT: Donny Osmond says they should change the name of the show to "Dancing with NeNe", which, okay. And then Bruno launches into his round of worthless commenting, doing his whole stand up and scream stuff at the dancers thing.
NeNe's crying. Tony tries to explain to the camera: "we love working with each other." Their score: 36/40
I'm starting to think the judges should be a little more conservative with their scoring? Everyone is getting 8s and 9s and 10s -- wouldn't there be more score diversity (and a better way to distinguish one dance from another) if they could use 5s and 6s regularly? Just a thought.
8:52pm: Cody and Witney samba to "I Just Can't Wait to be King"
Derek and Amy's score: 37/40 (with a "10" from Donny Osmond). Amy cries, just like Donny did watching at home!
After watching Cody with Sharna last week, Witney has decided to become a TASK MASTER. She's not taking any of Cody's crap.
THE DANCE: Okay, so now I understand their costumes — very leonine. Cody and Witney spin and spin across the stage, two samba masters. And when they launch into the "look left; look right" portion of the dance, well, look out. Is it as well-crafted as Amy and Derek's routine? Not really, no. But it's got good energy to it.
THE JUDGING: Donny Osmond, the kind of smiling, tells Cody that he didn't see enough "happiness and joy" shining through. Don't worry, Bruno's around. "Listen to the good fairy — you were chasing like a gazelle across the savannah!" Carrie Ann: "I felt the power of Cody."
(Just realized that "samba" is very close to "Simba," so it was an incredibly well-chosen song.)
Cody and Witney's scores: 37/40
Back to NeNe working once again with Tony. Is there T.I.P. here? NeNe's upset that she can't talk about Derek. Tony thinks that the switch-up threw a road bump into what they're trying to do. NeNe can't stop talking about what an excellent student she is. "Thank God we ain't married in real life. We'd be divorced, for real." And that was funny, until NeNe walked out of rehearsal.
8:40pm: Amy and Derek, back together, waltz to "So This is Love"
Danica and Val's score: 39/40 Daaaaaaaayuuuummmm. Nice work!
Waltzing to "So This is Love" from Cinderella. Amy describes the ways in which DWTS is, in many ways, like her own fairytale. But the dance they're doing this week requires more of Amy than did previous weeks. She's frustrated.
THE DANCE: fog machines, gentle waltzing across the stage. Honestly, I'm impressed with the movement of their arms throughout the song. Well-synchronized. It's not the flashiest dance, sure, but Derek and Amy both have great command of the whole thing.
THE JUDGING: Donny tells Amy that he "literally cried watching you." Okay!
8:28pm: Danica and Val invite everyone to "Be Our Guest"
Fingers crossed we're done with Mary Poppins for the night! Anything that reminds the audience of Saving Mr. Banks in any way can't be considered a positive.
Scores for Charlie and Sharna: 37/40
Who's safe from elimination? Amy and Derek; Danica and Val. NeNe and Tony are...in jeopardy. Cody and Witney are...also in jeopardy (and wearing costumes I can't quite place).
Behind-the-scenes of Danica and Val's rehearsal for "Be Our Guest," in which Val complains that Maks has rubbed off on Danica such that she's now an egotistical maniac.
They dance! It's great. "That was a delicious feast for the eyes," Bruno says, bringing smiles to Danica and Val. Then Carrie Ann hugs her! It's a wonderful, life-affirming moment. "It was like my own version of Beauty and the Beast just for me." Nice little self-esteem boost for Danica.
8:20pm: Charlie and Sharna get jazzy with "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
(That's just cut/pasted from the WIkipedia article, by the way. No point trying to actually spell it out myself. We're on a timeline here.)
Charlie is, of course, already a Disney prince. So why he and Sharna didn't choose a song more immediately princey is beyond me. Still, he and Sharna acquit themselves with CRAZY ENERGY on this jazz interpretation of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". Donny sure loved it! Bruno, too, though he acknowledges it was just shy of perfect.
"You're a wave of happiness," says Carrie Ann. True! Charlie has never frowned.