After last week’s somewhat-surprising double heave-ho of Diana Nyad and Sean Avery (were they really the worst dancers, dear voters?) and the premise of a first-ever partner swapping “Shake-Up” just a week away, the spotlight for Week 3 of Dancing With the Stars shifted to an old standby — the tear-stained “Most Memorable Year” themed dances.
Let’s face it, no one (especially the producers) really knows how swapping partners mid-season will shake out – will it be a momentum staller or a scene-stealer? – but this season’s surprise-a-minute theme continued with a stunning, way early-in-the-show celeb injury withdrawal (see below).
But on the upside, tonight’s live show also showcased a high-energy mix of contemporary, jive, rumba and fox trot, along with the glittering presence of resplendent guest judge, Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.
Let’s high-kick right to the highlights:
DANCE OF THE NIGHT: Cody Simpson’s dynamic jazz (danced to his own song “Surfboard”) showed his true potential, Charlie White’s jive was undeniably jive-tastic, and Danica McKellar’s contemporary wowed and inspired Len Goodman (“It was like butter on a hot muffin!”) , but for my money, here’s the top dance of the night:
Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Dedicated to the entire journey (not just a specific year) of her now historic partnership with Charlie White — those old skating clips were priceless! – Meryl’s fox trot brought down the ballroom. Bruno Tonioli called it “world class” while Carrie Ann Inaba said it was so beautiful, she burst into tears (and goose bumps) half way through. Though his dubious ‘9’ denied them an otherwise perfect score, Len appropriately dubbed M & M the night’s most “delicious” duo.
RUNNER UP: James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd. – After sharing recollections of himself as a chubby, bullied kid in the pre-dance clip, the not-so-chubby James’ high-octane jive had the “energy of a lightning strike” according to Bruno, who tipped him as an early Mirrorball contender. “I cannot believe what you’ve achieved in three weeks… the kicks, the flicks, everything was superb.” That said, Carrie Ann warned James that he had “a little claw thing happening” with his hands, but her overall review (her adjectives included “kinetic, vibrant, active”) was equally glowing, and the dance earned a string of 9’s from the judges.
And now for the moment of truth, tonight’s results:
Billie Dee Williams (back injury)
And with that, it’s your turn. Which couple should have really gone home tonight? Which new couples are you voting for to dance together in next week’s Switch Up? Sound off in the comments!