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Surprise semifinal elimination on ‘Dancing With The Stars’

Written By | May 12, 2014

SAN DIEGO, May 12, 2014 – Fans voting in our readers’ poll were wrong and this reviewer got it wrong, too. They predicted Candice Cameron Bure was the most likely person to go home this week on “Dancing With The Stars.”

But at the beginning of the show, Candace and partner Mark Ballas learned they were safe. It was the beginning of a roller coaster ride for viewers in the semifinals.

It has happened before: the lack of fan votes for a favorite sent someone home despite good performances and scores.

If you’d like to know who went home, scroll to the end of this column.

Each couple danced two performances. By the end of the first round, we also knew that the star chosen second most likely to leave in the semifinals was also safe: James Maslow.

This left three Olympic athletes in jeopardy: Charlie White, Meryl Davis, and Amy Purdy.

Everyone scored at least a few perfect tens this week. Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy were on top of the leaderboard with two perfect scores of 40 each for a total of 80 points. The first was for an “Elvis” themed Jive; the second for a Western style Viennese Waltz. How could Meryl and Maks be in danger? Their scores were the lowest on the leaderboard last week and those are what count. They would need help to stay.

Amy Purdy danced her Quickstep using blade type prosthetics.

Amy Purdy danced her Quickstep using blade type prosthetics. Photo: Courtesy ABC.

Right behind Meryl and Maks were Amy Purdy and Derer Hough. For their Quickstep, Amy used “blade” type prosthetic feet, which allowed her to have spring and bounce for the dance. They scored 39 points. Their second routine also scored 39 points, an innovative bit of Derek Hough choreography for a Jazz routine using a table. It also received 39 points, for a total of 78 points.

The next two couples both tied with 76 points. James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd danced a Cha Cha Cha that fused Michael Jackson with Latin rhythm, and it worked. They had the nerve to do it in front of Jackson’s former choreographer, guest judge Kenny Ortega. Ortega loved it, and they routine received a perfect score of 40 points. James and Peta danced a cowboy and saloon girl themed Rumba for their second dances. Rumbas are tough and it was the best one of the season, for 36 more points.

Charlie White was in his element dancing a sparkling, charming Foxtrot with Sharna Burgess, and he was rewarded with a perfect score of 40 points. Their second dance was a Samba and it was a touch slow. Judge Bruno Tonioli said it needed more funk. It received 36 points.

Candace Cameron Bure stepped into a new personality for her Jazz routine with Mark Ballas.

Candace Cameron Bure stepped into a new personality for her Jazz routine with Mark Ballas. Photo: Courtesy ABC.

Candace Cameron Bure forgot a bit of her choreography in the Viennese Waltz with Mark Ballas, and though it was a beautiful dance it hurt her score, 34 points total. Her second routine was out of character, a Jazz routine fusing Janet Jackson and Bob Fosse. Candace was nearly unrecognizable in a black bob and fishnets. It was a sharp sassy routine, good for 38 points.

At this point of the season, it is hard to see anyone go home. Everyone has worked hard. Everyone has improved. Everyone deserves a chance in the finals.

Going to the finals next week with Candace and James: Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, and Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy.

So in a shocker, and to the dismay of his many fans, Olympic gold medalist Charlie White and his partner Sharna Burgess were eliminated. Charlie showed the graciousness that is fitting for any champion.

Now it’s up to the fans to vote. Anyone who does not vote can’t complain about who ends up as the Dancing With The Stars Season 18 champion. No voting, no bitching. Vote via phone or vote online via or Facebook/Dancing With The Stars. It is truly anyone’s Mirror Ball Trophy to win. Some fans reward the non-dancers like Candace Cameron Bure for their improvement. Others like to see perfection and will vote for Meryl Davis. Others will reward Amy Purdy for her execution of ballroom skills under tremendous disadvantage. And some think James Maslow is a great dancer and hot hot hot.

Who will be the champion? Vote in our readers’ poll this week and let’s find out if we get it right.

[polldaddy poll=8042293]

The Semifinals Leaderboard:

Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Jive 40 points plus Viennese Waltz, 40 points = 80 points

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: Quickstep, 39 points plus Jazz, 39 points = 78 points

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: Cha Cha Cha, 40 points plus Rumba, 36 points = 76 points

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Viennese Waltz, 34 points plus Jazz, 38 points = 72 points

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: Foxtrot, 40 points plus Samba, 36 points = 76 points (ELIMINATED)

“Dancing With the Stars” returns with “The Finals” on Monday, May 19, 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 +

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2014 by Falcon Valley Group

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.