DWTS 18: Week 2 Double Elimination

The surprise was Monday night, 24 March 2014 was a double elimination. The two people eliminated did receive low scores last week, but the lowest score for both weeks was Billy Dee Wiliams and his fans are keeping his dancing dreams/nightmares alive.

Drew Carey has the right glasses to be nerdy, but he isn’t nerdy enough to know that jive wasn’t the best choice for him. He has the vitality, but he really needs better foot work. That dance was too fast for him, but he did smile throughout.

Danica looks super sexy, but she needs more hip movement in her samba. She does look fantastic in her costume, but also like she might cry if the judges said something mean.

Oh, really? Three girls already in the second week for Billy Dee Williams tango? Emma isn’t really teaching him how to dance. I think Emma Slater is giving up too easily on Williams. There was no tango. “This was like ivy; it just crept across the floor,” stated head judge Len Goodman. Great music. Poor choice in choreography.

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy had swing and maybe it’s a first, but Davis looks like she might wear  Maksim out.She wants the lifts and the tricks. I think her first problem is learning how to land on a floor instead of ice. I love their routine. It’s really lively and athletic. Perfect for East Coast swing.

What a contrast–Meryl Davis and her swinging routine that tired out Maksim versus Billy Dee Williams who shuffled through a tango. Remember, this was a tango and not an Argentine tango and Williams didn’t even get the ballroom posture down.

Oh, the elimination after one week of preparation in the cha cha cha without letting them dance is nothing but awkward. Diana Nyad & Henry Byalikov were told they were eliminated and all she could comment was it was a shame she didn’t get to dance. She looked pretty good in that red dress and she had an expressive face. I’m just not sure if Byalikov choreographed it well for someone like Nyad. He might have had her dance in lower heals. Salsa heels aren’t normally that high. Kitten heels would have been enough and can still be sexy.  ABC didn’t think the format through very well, but from what’s happening with the ABC YouTube channel, I can tell the network has switched its attention elsewhere.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas danced the rumba and she wanted it to be more sensual than sexual because she is a devote Christian. I have not problem with that, but the choreography was more contemporary dance and felt less like the rumba. Carrie Ann Inaba also felt the same way. Bure didn’t have good transitions. She was stiff although sharp when she should have been soft and fluid. Goodman also thought her arms were too sharp.  So I blame part of this on Ballas and his failure to put in content.

I love the guts of Amy Purdy. She did a great swing routine with Derek Hough. That routine had difficulty and incredible synchronization. Hough is a very good choreographer and came up with a routine that worked with her problems and made them seem very slight. That’s something I don’t think some of the other professional dancers have. I love her costume as well. Those granny boots and peplum bustier with leggings were sexy.

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd had an athletic routine, but I would have liked more salsa moves and I didn’t like her fluffy bikini with random strings. It was sort of an ab contest between Murgatroyd and Maslow. I would have liked more hip action from Maslow.

I don’t particularly like ballroom tango, even international style, but Charlie White and Sharna Burgess might change that. Burgess sent White over to Maksim to learn about arrogance. Goodman let him know that because White broke hold and broke the rules, Goodman was forced to mark him down. That’s a choreography mistake. Love him and loved her, but Burgess has a lot to learn. She did a good job, but in such a close field, she can’t afford to make mistakes like breaking hold.

NeNe Leakes is a big woman and she’s fun. She chose the jive to make her husband happy and perhaps it was too soon, but if she sticks around maybe she’ll get a do-over. Inaba thought Leakes should go bigger,but Tony Dovolani disagreed and he’s the dance professional. Leakes has the looks and personality to go more flamboyant, but she needs to get better lines.

Sean Avery made an effort to smile more and he does have problems with being expressive, but his salsa routines did well enough to score a 21. Too bad he won’t be back but at least the show avoided that awkward moment they had with Diana Nyad earlier.

Cody Simpson had the sharp angular moves for the tango, but he tended to hunch over. His professional partner Witney Carson is shorter than him, but he needed to put his shoulders down and lean back. Carson might not be experienced enough or clever enough to get this right.

Overall, the performances were good with the inexperience of the new professionals hampering the efforts of some of the celebrities. Strategy and good choreography will be especially important with a cast that is so close in skills. At the end of the night three teams were tied for first:

  • Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
  • Charlie White & Sharna Burgess
  • James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd

It should come as no surprise that Davis and White are at the top. The real surprise is Maslow. Below are the standings, scores, dance styles and phone numbers for voting. You can still vote online. See the information below.

“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts will guest judge for the first time alongside Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on “Dancing with the Stars,” MONDAY, MARCH 31 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Roberts serves as the first of many guest judges this season including Julianne Hough, Ricky Martin and Redfoo from LMFAO. The remaining 10 celebrities commemorate “The Most Memorable Year Of Their Life.” Each couple will dance to a song of the celebrities choosing that encompasses a memorable time or experience in their life. These heartfelt performances promise to be some of the most intense and emotional of the season.

Twitter voting for “The Switch Up” is now open and for the first time ever, America will be given the power to change celebrity and professional dance pairings. This new rule will affect all couples as they will be required to switch partners. To vote, viewers must Tweet using #DWTS followed by the first name of the celebrity and the first name of the professional dancer. For example, to pair up celebrity Meryl Davis and professional dancer Derek Hough, use the Tweet “#DWTS Meryl Derek.” In addition, abc.com will have a page dedicated to assisting viewers in casting their votes. There is no limit on the number of votes one person can cast. Twitter voting for “The Switch Up” remains open until Monday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m., ET. The new dance pairings will be revealed live Monday, April 7.

Week 2

Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy:

Charlie White & Sharna Burgess:

James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd:

Danica McKellar & Valentin Chmerkovskiy:

Amy Purdy & Derek Hough:

  • 24 (8, 8, 8)
  • Swing
  • 1-800-868-3411

Sean Avery & Karina Smirnoff:

  • 21 (7, 7, 7)
  • Salsa
  • ELIMINATED

Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas:

Drew Carey & Cheryl Burke:

NeNe Leakes & Tony Dovolani:

Cody Simpson & Witney Carson:

Billy Dee Williams & Emma Slater:

Diana Nyad & Henry Byalikov:

If you look at the scores from Week 1, you can see that Diana Nyad got the second lowest score. The low score was Billy Dee Williams who received 15. Sean Avery was the third lowest score. Williams got the votes to put him above both Avery and Nyad. That’s a shame because I think Nyad and Avery were better dancers.

Week 1

Charlie White & Sharna Burgess

Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas

Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Danica McKellar & Valentin Chmerkovskiy

Cody Simpson & Witney Carson

NeNe Leakes & Tony Dovolani

Drew Carey & Cheryl Burke:

James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd

Sean Avery & Karina Smirnoff

Diana Nyad & Henry Byalikov

Billy Dee Williams & Emma Slater

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday nights during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the “Dancing with the Stars” broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT and closing at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT on Tuesday evenings. For the final week, on Monday, May 19, online voting will open for 15 hours, beginning from the start of the episode on the East Coast at 8:00 p.m., ET/5:00 p.m., PT and closing at 11:00 a.m., ET/8:00 a.m., PT the next day. A custom Facebook app lets fans vote, share whom they voted for and say why, as well as see whom friends voted for.

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