SAN DIEGO, April 28, 2014 – The dance floor was smoking hot for Latin Week on “Dancing With The Stars,” but for one couple, the heat was a little too much and the party was over.
If you want to learn who it was, scroll to the end of the column.
Seven couples are left and all of them start thinking they have a real possibility of making the final, especially if the final this season includes four couples. There are only two eliminations left after tonight, so the math works out.
Apologies if you’re getting tired of reading this: at the top of the scoreboard again were Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy for a streetwise Salsa routine loaded with difficult choreography and tricks borrowed from the Jive. The judges loved seeing Meryl in front of her “backup” professional dancers from the troupe. It received 39 points, the high score of the night.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough started off the show with a sensual, fluid Rumba. Amy has shown excellent hip action and swivel, which is at the heart of a great Rumba. Derek explained why Amy finds the slower dances challenging: “It’s like riding a bide slow.” That makes sense! Her slow bike still pleased the judges, receiving 36 points.
After coming off the stage, Amy Purdy reported turning her head and her shoulder and back seizing up, and she barely made it up the stairs to the balcony. Halfway through the show, she announced she would be leaving to have it checked out, and wasn’t able to perform in the team dance. Host Erin Andrews said the team would be judged on video from the dress rehearsal. It has only happened once before on the show.
UPDATE: 11:50 p.m. ET: Amy Purdy is hosting her West Coast Twitter chat from a hospital bed. She reports she is in pain but feeling OK as she watches the West Coast broadcast of the show and answering fan questions with a friend tweeting her answers. She says she hopes to dance next week; she has the Argentine Tango.
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess performed an intense, dynamic Paso Doble. But Charlie had a slip and judge Len Goodman felt his movements weren’t finished. Still, the couple tied Amy and Derek with 36 points, including a ten from Ricky Martin. But they learned a bit later they were in jeopardy, an unexpected bit of news.
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas were at the bottom of the leaderboard last week, but a trip to a sports psychologist seemed to turn things around. Candace and Mark danced an excellent Argentine Tango with strong lines and beautiful ganchos (that’s the snap of the leg like a hook around the partner). They scored 35 points and better yet, were told they were safe and would be dancing next week. Fan votes came through for them.
Fan votes failed James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd; before dancing they were put in danger of leaving. Still, they set the dance floor on fire with a hot tamale Samba to the song “Gasolina.” James got the spirit of the dance down but had a little trouble with his feet. But he gets a ten for Best Shirt Removal in the midst of a routine. It was still good enough for 35 points.
Danica McKellar’s rib injury earlier in the week was healed enough for her to dance, but it hampered her ability to dance full out in a creative, street styled Salsa with Val Chmerkovskiy, assisted by members of the professional troupe. She got through it well enough for 33 points, and she and Val are moving on to next week.
The rest of the competitors can’t hold a candle to NeNe Leakes’ confidence and attitude on stage. Unfortunately, she’s dancing based on attitude. Her Argentine Tango with Tony Dovoloni lacked a lot of tango content and the moves were plain mushy. The routine scored 31 points.
This is the first week with two dances for the stars. The remaining couples were put into two teams dancing freestyle choreograpy to Ricky Martin hits.“Team Vida” was Charlie and Sharna, NeNe and Tony, and James and Peta, dancing to Ricky Martin’s “Vida.” “Team Loca” was Amy and Derek, Danica and Val, Meryl and Maks, and Candace and Mark, dancing to Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”
Team Vida was a little out of sync but managed to mesh their various styles and skills fairly well. They received 35 points added to each couples’ score. Team Loca danced so well in their dress rehearsal, even the video version was smoking hot. They were rewarded with 39 points. These scores were added to each couples’ scores for the night.
Even though they were missing Amy, the rest of Team Loca danced live in the studio for the fans sitting in the ballroom, a nice touch.
Under the red lights tonight in jeopardy were all of Team Vida: James and Peta, NeNe and Tony, and for the first time, Charlie and Sharna. Leaving the show in week 7 were NeNe and Tony. NeNe went out with head held high, sticking around longer than she imagined against Olympians and seasoned performers.
The Week 8 Leaderboard:
Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Salsa 39 points plus 39 points = 78 points
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: Rumba (“Light My Fire,” Jose Feliciano) 36 points plus 39 points = 75 points
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Argentine Tango (“1977″ by Ana Tijioux) 35 points plus 39 points = 74 points
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: Paso Doble (“Sail” by AWOL Nation) 36 points plus 35 points = 71 points
Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy: Salsa (“Watch Out For This (Bumaye)” by Major Lazer) 33 points plus 39 points = 72 points
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: Samba (“Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee) 35 points plus 35 points = 70 points
NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovoloni: Argentine Tango (“Can’t Remember to Forget You” by Shakira) 31 points plus 35 points = 66 points (eliminated)
“Dancing With the Stars” returns with guest judge Abby Lee Miller of “Dance Moms” on Monday, May 5, 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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