Dancing With The Stars gets real in semifinals, Monday 8 p.m. ET

Which of these competitors will return to the DWTS ballroom for the finals?
Which of these competitors will return to the DWTS ballroom for the finals? Photo: ABC

SAN DIEGO, May 11, 2014 – After the Dance Moms judging and duels debacle of last week, ‘Dancing With The Stars’ gives fans a straight-up, no frills, dance packed show for the semifinals on Monday.

Each couple performs two different ballroom dance routines without gimmicks thrown in. There is a guest judge who is beyond reproach: Emmy award winning choreographer and producer Kenny Ortega, known for the “High School Musical” films and working with Michael Jackson.

DWTS is getting real just in time. This week is when it really counts for the couples fighting to make it to next week’s finals. It’s the toughest week of competition because there isn’t any way for the fans to save a couple from blowing it with the judges. To leave a week shy of having a chance to win is the most heartbreaking time to go home, full of what-ifs and shoulda-couldas.

Communities Digital News gets real with our DWTS Live Chat starting at 8 p.m. ET sharp. Join us as we see who makes it and who says farewell.

READ ALSO: LIVE CHAT: Dancing With The Stars semifinals, 8 p.m. ET

The theme is “American Icons” week. Who do the DWTS producer consider “Icons?” It will be governed by whose songs the producers get permission to use. Count on hearing some favorites used on the show in the past with Michael Jackson and Beyonce at the top of the list.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas are fighting for a chance to make the final.
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas are fighting for a chance to make the DWTS final. Photo: ABC

ABC’s promo spots for the show put Candace Cameron Bure and James Maslow in the danger zone as most likely to go home, but fan votes have saved favorites before. Bill Engvall, anyone? Playing against Maslow is the dance assignments, especially the Rumba which has been tough for all the couples this season. He has also stalled out on his technical progress after a promising start.

Candace Cameron Bure has drawn a dance to her strength, Jazz; and she should perform well in the Viennese Waltz thanks to a strong partner in Mark Ballas. Candace is the one true non-dancer, non-athlete left in the show and a large number of fans love seeing someone who has truly learned ballroom dancing from scratch. My prediction is that Candace and Mark will make it to the final.

Whether James and Peta make it or not means one of the favorites will be bumped. Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy were at the bottom of the judges’ leaderboard last week. They will need fan help to make it to next week. Will they get it?

Readers voting in our poll think Candace will be the one going home by an overwhelming margin. Cast your vote below and we will see who is right.

Week 9 Lineup

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: Cha Cha and Rumba

Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Viennese Waltz and Jive

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Jazz and Viennese Waltz

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: Quickstep and Jazz

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: Foxtrot and Samba

“Dancing With the Stars” returns with “American Icons” theme week and choreographer Kenny Ortega as guest judge for the semifinals on Monday, May 12, at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time on the ABC Television Network.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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