In a season that’s bound and determined to be “surprising” – including a surprise double-elimination this week and the impending prospect of the “Switch-Up” – there was still plenty of traditional fancy footwork on display on Week 2 of Dancing With the Stars.
While the jury’s still out on the popularity of gimmicks like viewer-voted partner-swapping — Question: does this mean fans could potentially pair Maksim Chmerkovskiy with, say, Charlie White or Billie Dee Williams? — tonight’s live show featured
a high-energy mix of Latin dances, jive and swing along with that humbling first (and second) elimination.
Let’s high-kick right to the highlights:
DANCE OF THE NIGHT | Amy Purdy’s swing was simply sensational, and Danica McKellar (samba) and Charlie White (tango) may have juiced up the joint with their respective dances, but for my money, here’s the top dance of the night:
James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd: Though James – whom Len Goodman already deemed the “eye candy” of season 18 – didn’t make good on his pre-dance tease to do a full-nude performance, the sizzling hot duo’s salsa nonetheless raised temperatures in the ballroom. “More of that please!” said Bruno, who noted a few “messy passes,” while Carrie Ann gushed that with his performance, James just joined the DWTS‘ sexy “hall of fame.” Their score of 25 tied Meryl and Charlie for tops of the night.
RUNNERS-UP | Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Making good on his promise to “throw Meryl around a little bit,” Maks led this dynamic duo through an energy-infused Swing, which thrilled the crowd — but not all the judges. This season’s not-so-cranky Len Goodman loved it (“that swing had wings” he said, showering them with a ‘9’), while Bruno’s praise (“a swinging acrobatic extravaganza”) was muted after he pointed out several of Meryl’s missteps, which Carrie Ann echoed before ending on this high note: “You are truly a star in these athletic numbers … fantastic.”
And now for the moment of truth, tonight’s results:
Diana Nyad & Henry Byalikov
“For 9 years I’ve wanted to do this show,” said a gracious-but-clearly-shocked Diana, who swiftly praised both the “superlative” Henry (“I wish I could have given him a few more weeks”) and the show, which she called a “joy and freedom.” Thankfully, the radiant, resplendent-in-red Diana got to do her farewell (and fabulous) cha cha cha before hitting the sidelines.
FINAL THREE COUPLES LEFT “IN JEOPARDY”
NeNe Leakes & Tony Dovolani
Cody Simpson & Witney Carson
Sean Avery & Karina Smirnoff
Sean Avery & Karina Smirnoff
“I made a new friend in Karina, I made some money for an amazing charity Friends in Deed, and I got out of the cold winter of New York,” Sean shared as he took his final bows. “It’s been a good month.”
And with that, it’s your turn. Did America get it right? If not, which couples should have really gone home tonight? Are you celebrating The Switch-Up or hoping it’s quickly shuttered to the DWTS scrapheap? Sound off in the comments!