Dancing With the Stars, Season 18, Week 7, Latin Night

Latin night opens with Ricky Martin, as he sings the opening number(though there is one odd moment of lost sound) before being introduced as a judge.  Also discussed is an already reported rib injury to Danica, and an assurance that she will be dancing tonight.  Also, she’s the first person called safe, while James & Peta are declared “in jeopardy,” and also called safe are the first couple to perform:

Amy Purdy & Derek Hough: Rumba to “Light My Fire.”  Not the best timing for her; apparently she’s been having relationship trouble at the moment.  The fluff shows Derek cheering her up with wacky behavior, and tonight, she puts her off-floor heartache aside to dance a routine with good heat and good hips.  The only complaint anyone has is Carrie-Ann warning them she can’t stay lenient about the lifts, and the routine started with a slight one.  The judges give them straight 9s for 36. Shortly after we learn she’s just hurt her back tonight!  We’ll have to see if she can do the team dances!

James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd:  Samba to “Gasoline” by Daddy Yankee.  The fluff deals main with them dancing sexily and maintaining that they are keeping the relationship platonic for the moment.  The routine begins with a corny gas station setup, but really is far better once they forget about that and get their hips pumping and each other’s clothes off.  Except that Len had multiple technical critiques, and he only gives them an 8, combining with 9s with the other three for 35.

Danica McKellar & Val Chmerkovskiy: Salsa to Watch Out for This (Bumaye)“by Major Lazer feat. Busy SignalThe Flexican & FS Green.  As promised, we learn more  about her rib injury; she actually suffered it while performing their contemporary, but this week it got worse, with a painful fracture.  Tonight she gamely comes out with the background dancers, but this is not a good dance to do when you have to worry about making a rib fracture worse; she isn’t really able to let go the way she needs to, and she isn’t quite clean.  The judges take note of this, and Len also raises objections to much of the choreography.  Ricky Martin gives them a 9, but 8s from the other three leave them with 33.

The next four couples are lined up.  Candace & Mark and Meryl & Maks are called safe, while Charlie & Sharna and Nene & Tony are “in jeopardy.”  The last are the last of the four to hear which ones they are, and the first to perform, while the viewers are given a chance to vote for Tony to dance shirtless, which of course they do overwhelmingly.

Nene Leakes & Tony Dovolani: Argentine Tango to “Can’t Remember to Forget You” by Shakira.  Fortunately, Tony has prepared a routine(with background dancers), which allows Nene to take the attention away from his bare chest back to herself by beginning just be being her diva self; Carrie calls that “a 10 on its own.” But this routine proves opposite James’ & Peta’s; it has a better beginning before they start doing the content; she does it, but it’s dull-edged, which it’s very much not good for the Argentine Tango to be, really.    It’s another dance where Ricky Martin gives a 9 and the others 8s for 33.

Charlie White & Sharna Burgess: Paso doble to “Sail” by Awolnation.  The fluff has him expressing his wish for 10s, and even asking Meryl for advice.  He certainly comes out all guns blazing for this one, intense and passionate and hard to look away from, and shirtless by the end of it to boot. But he goes through it too fast and makes mistakes, and Len tells him flatly it wasn’t special enough for a 10, and he in fact gives them an 8.  But Ricky Martin gives them a 10, which combines with 9s for the other two for 36.

Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas: Argentine Tango to 1977″ by Ana Tijoux.  The fluff shows how she’s been struggling to focus and deliver during the live performances, and Mark takes her to a sport psychologist.  It seems to help; tonight she does manage to more or less perform her dance, with her legs wonderfully working for a very content-heavy routine, and her character also doing well.  But it’s still not quite technically perfect, resulting in an 8 from Carrie-Ann and 9s from the others  for 35.

Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerskovskiy: Salsa to “Adrenalina” by Wisin.  The fluff starts with Maks telling Meryl she’s got to dance dirtier than she’s used to, and ends with them both incurring injuries, albeit ones that seem to have never really threatened their ability to dance tonight.  They too employ the background group, and like Tony, Maks choreographs a number that makes Meryl far more the star than her pro is, and she takes full advantage to command the stage; the others are meaningless extras, at least until three of them accost her with their shirts off.  But Len thinks they threw in too much, breaking out the “hectic” comment, meaning they miss out on a perfect 40 and get 39 instead.

And now it’s time for the team dances, but as if these things didn’t cause too much chaos by themselves, Amy’s back has required her to be taken to the hospital, and now her team can’t dance.  It has been decided, instead, that in accordance with DWTS rules, the judges will watch and judge the routine as done during the final dress rehearsal. So now the team dances, which probably have too much power as it is, will continue to wield it even when three stars can perform and one cannot.    The fluff shows the choosing of the team, with the two ice dancers becoming the two captains thanks to most accumulated points.  Meryl choses Danica & Val, Amy & Derek, and Candace & Mark, while Charlie & Sharna get James & Peta and Nene & Tony,which, as is pointed out multiple times, leaves all three vulnerable couples performing together.   In honor of the guest judge Charlie’s team is called Vida and Charlie’s team Vida and Meryl team Loca, and they are dancing to Ricky Martin:

Team Vida: Freestyle to .”The Cup of Life.”  This team gets creative, with fancy costumes, and the fog machine, and the routine is choreograped to play to Charlie’s technical skill, he and James being the only men left, & Nene’s ability to command attention.  Also it’s professional-level choreography, but the execution wasn’t as well done, with Len pointing out sync issues and lowering his score to 8, and Carrie-Ann doing the same, though Bruno still gives a 9 and Ricky Martin a 10, to leave them with 35: 71 for Charlie & Sharna, 70 for James & Peta, and 68 or Nene & Tony.

Team Loca: Freestyle to “Living La Vida Loca.”  Much like the last performance, expect tape-recorded.  And clean and crisp.   And thrilling to watch, even when it’s not live.  It probably helps everyone’s mood that the dancers get in place and perform their parts in a number, despite the lack of Amy being involved.  They nearly get a 40, but Len still only gives out a 9, for another 39 and the team dance won even with only the dress rehearsal performance!  That leaves Meryl & Mark with 78,Amy & Derek with 75, Candace & Mark with 69,& Danica & Val with 68.

It seems likely now the only reason Charlie & Sharna were left hanging was so the entire team could be, and the two of them are called safe.  So now it’s Nene & Tony versus James & Peta, based off a week with 2 points difference.  Did Nene get enough votes to best him?

No, she didn’t; she and Tony are gone!  She thanks everyone around while the camera shows her husband a lot.

But now we have also learned tonight that next week the stars are going to all being dancing with each other!  This might not be the best idea…

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