So everyone’s back to together to the tune of Disney music(I’m not kidding; they have a montage of pairs reunited to “Circle of Life” before the first commercial break!), and we have a DWTS version of the Disney logo opening the show, and an opening Disney medley before guest judge Donny Osmond is introduced, and his history with Disney elaborated on(Osmond brothers were originally discovered by old Walt, and he’s voiced a role in Mulan). He actually ends up observing early on he can’t really judge the technique, though, so his marks will be largely performance based. Also he and Bruno make plenty of allusions to the wild embrace they shared back during his winning season, until Tom threatens to separate them. Then the first two couples are called safe & perform:
Drew Carey & Cheryl Burke: Quickstep to “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin. The fluff contains much humorous omgdramaz on his returning to her after Witney, but also her talking about her using some of the training technique Witney used that worked with him. Unfortunately it doesn’t show up in the dance tonight. There is much to distract us, with them even separating for an interlude so the Genie can dance alongside them(Len notes normally he would object to that, but he waives it this week). He performs well too. But the judges really can’t ignore the technical issues, with Len even calling the performance “zip” and the technique “doo dah,” and they give them straight 7s for 28
Charlie White & Sharna Burgess: Jazz to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins. No animation(though much later Charlie does a bumper with the penguins!), but with a group of dancers dressed up as the band from the movie, and they do a really fun and bouncy number with playful use of umbrella and cane-except at one point he drops it. It’s really a pity, because the number is perfect otherwise. The judges all agree, with Bruno even calling it one of the best performances he’s ever seen. And then Len declares he doesn’t care about the cane drop and breaks out his 10 paddle for the first time this season, though the other three lower their scores to 9, for a 37 total.
Then four more couples line up, and Danica & Val and Amey & Derek are called safe, but Cody & Witney and Nene & Tony are declared to be “in jeoparody.” The latter two teams will have to perform tonight not knowing whether they’ve made it through or not:
Danica McKellar & Val Chmerkovskiy: Quickstep to “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast. She makes sure to comment she didn’t think Maks phoned it in last week. Like the first quickstep we saw tonight, there is a lot of distracting scenery in this one: an animated Lumiere appears at the beginning, and then dancers appear with cupcakes and dish costumes. But unlike Drew, Danica completely nails it technically, until Carrie-Ann is hugging her and everyone’s raving. Except Len has a tiny complaint about body contact, which is the only thing that keeps them from getting straight 10s; he gives a 9 instead to leave them with 39.
Amy Purdy & Derek Hough: Waltz to “So This is Love” from Cinderella. This is her first “ballroom”-type dance, and it turns out the smooth gliding technique requires is something that’s actually really difficult for her legs to manage. At one point she even flees the practice room in tears. They do finally manage it for the dance tonight, but still, for the first time one doesn’t forget it’s not easy. The only prop Derek uses is the fog machine, which does obscure exactly how well she’s gliding at one point, and he also puts him some lifts, and gets away with it, with Carrie-Ann calling it allowable in Amy’s case. Donny loves the performance so much she breaks out the 10, which causes happy tears from Amy, and the others give 9s for 36 total.
Cody Simpson & Witney Carson: Samba to “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from The Lion King. He writes Witney a song about how he missed her, which she loves. It doesn’t stop her from being stricter with him than she was, though, since Sharna being so helped him. Again relatively little props besides a little fog and some rocks they use at the end. It’s not like Cody needs more, his samba is wonderfully energetic and attuned to the music. It’s actually not quite perfect technically, though the biggest criticism is an odd one: Donny seems to think he didn’t give an adequate impression of enjoying it! We only learn after the judge’s comments that Cody had flu so bad he couldn’t practice yesterday, before the scores come out: 9s from Carrie-Ann and Bruno, 8s from Len and Donny, for 24.
Nene Leakes & Tony Dovolani: Foxtrot to “Cruella da Vil” from 101 Dalmations. They’re reunion isn’t quite as cheery as everybody else’s; it’s not easy to go back to another partner after Derek, and she argues with him and at one point walks out for the day(Tony later makes a point of saying they were not arguing the entire week). But she pulls off a great foxtrot, making it sexy without ruining the mood of the dance, and the character really does suit her perfectly, as does Tony’s choreography; Carrie-Ann even calls it the best ever work he’s done there, while Len simply calls it her best yet. They get straight 9s for 36.
Then with three more couples to go, Tom uses the same announcement tactic as the last elimination, except now, one of the three is established as being “in jeoparody,” and which will be announced after they dance:
James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd: Contemporary to “Let it Go” from Frozen. The feels for this one start with the fluff, which shows a viral video of a special needs girl asking James to the prom, and since his schedule doesn’t allow him to accept, he instead invites her to LA with her mother and sister to watch the show tonight. There are bits of animation in the number, snow at the beginning and occasional whirls of sparkles, but honestly, movie magic seems to pale a little in comparison to the magic James and Peta manage to conjure up with the way they move in this perfect interpretation of a song swiftly reaching classic status. Carrie-Ann cries through it, Bruno calls it a “contemporary blockbuster,” and Len says, “That would melt the coldest heart, even mine.” And yes, it’s the first perfect score of the season.
Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerskovskiy: Samba to “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book. He finds this weird, because his thinks of the samba as a primarily sexual dance, so he casts himself as Mowgli and Meryl as the girl with the water jug, and they do a jungle courtship dance. Meryl is her usual perfect self, Maks and she match each other so perfectly Carrie-Ann comments about how much they dance as one, and even when Baloo takes the orangutan onto the floor to join them it’s hard to take your eyes off the humans enough to pay attention. Straight 9s for 36 is a disappointment; even if it wasn’t really possible even for them to top James & Peta, surely someone could’ve given them a 10…
Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas: Samba to “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. As Ariel she agrees to bare her shoulders and midriff, while he wears an unfortunately appalling Sebastian costume, though at least he loses the claws on his hands. And in this dance she actually lets go a little more than she has in her previous ones, which is good to watch, and if her samba isn’t quite effortless or quite technically perfect, it’s still very, very good. Three of the judges even give them 9s, but Carrie-Ann only gives them an 8, for 35 total.
Tom keeps them down on the floor for their scores, and a moment later announces they are the third couple “in jeoparody,” and James & Peta and Meryl & Maks are safe. So they line up with Nene & Tony and Cody & Witney. Nene & Tony are the next pair called safe. Between Cody’s known base of teenage fans and having more points than her as well, you gotta figure Candace is going…
…or not! Cody and Witney are shockingly out! He takes it calmly, saying “It is what it is,” while Witney’s much more upset. I don’t blame her; she could’ve had a great run for her debut season with a partner this good if he just could’ve gotten more votes.
Also the timing for this is really unfortunate, with Party Anthem Week coming up; I bet Cody would’ve excelled at that theme. But instead, all we’ll get is Redfoo…