'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Disney Dances for the Top 9
'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Disney Dances for the Top 9
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Now that the big Switch-Up of Dancing with the Stars season 18 is over (with disastrous scoring results for most of the stars), it's back to the original pairs. Nine couples remain, but only eight will move on to next week.

The fifth week brings corporate synergy with ABC's parent company, Disney, as the couples will all dance to classic songs from Disney animated films. So let it go and allow me to become part of your world. Be prepared and be my guest for a whole new world as we paint with all the colors of the wind.

This week's guest judge is DWTS season 9 winner Donny Osmond. I promise not to rant about how Mya and Dmitry Chaplin should've won that season, even though they totally should've. I'm predicting that Candace Cameron Bure will go home, though NeNe Leakes and Drew Carey could also be in danger.

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Before we begin, I'd like to point out a stunning achievement made last week. Val Chmerkovskiy, paired with Meryl Davis, scored a 39. What made that dance special is that it marked the 40th consecutive individual dance Val has done on DWTS without ever getting a 7 or lower from the judges. That's right, 40 straight dances spanning four straight seasons and five different partners (Kelly Monaco, Zendaya, Elizabeth Berkley and now Danica McKellar plus Meryl Davis) and Val has never received anything less than an 8 from the judges. The last time he got a 7 was in the second week of All-Stars in season 15 with Kelly. This doesn't include group numbers (he got a 7 with Zendaya for a Team Paso Doble in season 16). That's astounding.

The closest to his record is Peta Murgatroyd, who had 22 individual dances in a row without a 7 across seasons 14 and 15 (with Donald Driver and Gilles Marini). Mark Ballas began his DWTS career with 21 consecutive individual dances without a 7 thanks to partners Sabrina Bryan and Kristi Yamaguchi in seasons 5 and 6. Derek Hough currently has 14 in a row due to Amber Riley and Amy Purdy.

Tinkerbell welcomes us to the opening number which is classy and brings out my inner child. This is gonna be a fun night, especially since I'm pretty sure NeNe is dressed like Cruella de Vil.

Donny Osmond is in the token third seat for guest judges. He tells us that Walt Disney discovered his brothers and he voiced a character in Mulan. But obviously no one in the audience remembers that movie.

THE RESULTS, PART 1

As in week 2, we'll get the results throughout the episode. To start, Charlie White and Drew Carey are both safe. Like week 2, all of the couples will perform and the eliminated couple will be revealed at the end of the night.

Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke: Aladdin Quickstep

He does his best to make up for saying how much he loved dancing Witney last week by calling Cheryl the most beautiful pro. They're going with "Friend Like Me" and they literally dance with Robin Williams' Genie at one point. Dancing with animated characters is a cute idea, but I don't think it works for this show. This isn't his best dance and the style emphasizes his flaws. He's just all over the place and the judges are very harsh about the technique. Donny admits he's judging entirely on performance because he knows nothing about technique. Even the audience doesn't like that.

Judges' Scores: 7+7+7+7=28

That still seems a bit generous for how sloppy he was.

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: Mary Poppins Jazz

Everyone keeps saying they're halfway through the season, but only three of 12 stars have been eliminated. They dance to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." It's very cheerful and fun and they do some impressive work with a cane and umbrella, though he drops his cane at one point, which is unfortunate. It's so fast and enjoyable, except for the cane drop. This guy was born to do this kind of Disney stuff because he has such a positive energy.

Judges' Scores: 9+10+9+9=37

How can Len Goodman justify a 10 when he dropped the cane? And his first 10 of the season, no less.

THE RESULTS, PART 2

Amy Purdy is...SAFE!
Danica McKellar is...SAFE!
NeNe Leakes is...IN JEOPARDY!
Cody Simpson is...IN JEOPARDY!


Ooh, I knew Cody would be in trouble sooner rather than later. I assume Candace will be the third person in the bottom since the only other dancers left are Meryl and James.

Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy: Beauty and the Beast Quickstep

She defends Maks, but adds that he didn't care as much about details as she and Val do. He says that Maks rubbed off on her, turning her into an ego-maniacal bitch. I love some playful brotherly joshing. They dance to "Be Our Guest" and it's fun, light and energetic. The dancing dishes are a tad distracting, but she shines bright. The judges rave about Danica's performance, almost as if they're surprised how great she has become. Donny uses this as an excuse to brag about playing Gaston on Broadway.

Judges' Scores: 10+9+10+10=39

Hooray! That ties the best score of the season and Val's streak continues to 41.

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: Cinderella Waltz

Amy feels like a princess, and Derek is a pretty great Prince Charming. He's worried about doing this kind of ballroom routine, since it's usually about the toes and feet. In rehearsals she cries because of how hard this is without legs. The performance is classy, but stiff and it doesn't really seem like much of a Waltz. Also, her long dress and a ton of smoke on the floor obscure her feet, solving that problem. There are also some lifts, and Carrie Ann Inaba says she can't take off points for lifts with Amy because of her circumstances. UGH! What happened to the promise that she'd be judged the same as everyone else? It's more excessive praise for a routine with very little content. Even in a Waltz, Derek finds a way to lift and spin Amy for about 10 seconds. I'm so sick and tired of that move, because he spins her for 10 seconds every single week.

Judges' Scores: 9+9+10+9=37

No. NO! Just...no. That's absurd and a travesty. It deserved an 8 at most.

Cody Simpson and Witney Carson: The Lion King Samba

It's a Simba Samba! He makes up a song for Witney that's so damn cheesy. But she's still being more strict, telling him not to focus on trying to be cool. They dance to "I Just Can't Wait to Be King." It's another fun and youthful performance. I think he's improved a bit on adding more technique and less of his "cool guy" theatrics, but it still has his swagger. Donny says it looked like Cody didn't enjoy the dance. He gets booed. I love this audience. Bruno Tonioli was about to say something naughty, but stops himself (cuz Cody is only 17), but then he whispers it to Donny and they cackle like frat boys.

Judges' Scores: 9+8+8+9=34

Not bad, but after Amy it's impossible to figure this out.

NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani: 101 Dalmatians Foxtrot

Tony doesn't want to talk about Derek because he's a bit upset that Derek got to have NeNe for a dance with no rules, but now he has to do one that's all about technique. It's like NeNe spent the weekend with her mom's new boyfriend who took her to Disney Land, and now Tony has to be the dad who makes her eat her vegetables and do her homework. And she's being a big bitch about it. Maybe she was just getting into character, because I actually think this is her best dance yet, playing Cruella de Vil. She's deliciously evil and strong and it looks like Tony actually got her to focus on the technique. The judges love her as a villain and Carrie Ann praises Tony's choreography, though he refuses to agree that the Switch-Up was a good idea.

Judges' Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

NeNe gets really emotional and she seems to be all over the place. Wow, I somehow feel badly for her and sympathetic. This is weird.

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: Frozen Contemporary

He gets to do Contemporary with "Let It Go," a current and famous Oscar-winning song? That's a recipe for greatness. Now that they're back together, Peta promises to give him a rub every day (as in a massage). A special needs girl asked James to prom in a video, but since he can't attend, he flies her and her family to the show. How much hotter is he now? The dance is powerful and beautiful. He moves so well with such magical intensity. The judges loved the artistry and pure emotion of it. Even Len's frozen heart was melted.

Judges' Scores: 10+10+10+10=40

This first perfect score of the season! I'm so happy that James and Danica are proving to be extremely competitive with the professional ice dancers. And now the Top 5 of the season have all received a 10.

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The Jungle Book Samba

Maks is very happy to be back with Meryl, saying she has renewed his love of dance. He's going shirtless and playing Mowgli on steroids. He's very embarrassed about being so exposed. The actual dancing is really good, but the routine doesn't come together for me. Maks just isn't good at choreographing these kinds of silly comedy routines and he doesn't seem to have much fun doing it. Maybe it's because a hot hunk of man like him shouldn't play an 11-year-old boy. But the judges love the dancing and praise Maks for seeming to have a renewed interest in this show. Well, yes, it helps when you get a professional ice dancer instead of Kirstie Alley.

Judges' Scores: 9+9+9+9=36

So that was worse than Amy Purdy? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: The Little Mermaid Samba

They dance to "Under the Sea." She's Ariel and he's Sebastian the crab. She loves crab dancing and is more open to showing some skin because it's based on an animated character. The dance itself is...meh. She's not terrible but not as good as most of the stars this season. And Mark, as usual, steals the thunder playing the crab. The judges are kind, but not overly effusive.

Judges' Scores: 8+9+9+9=35

That's a tad generous. She wasn't better than Cody.

THE FINAL RESULTS

Candace Cameron Bure is...IN JEOPARDY!

So she's in the Bottom 3 alongside Cody and NeNe. All did pretty well this week, but I'm sticking with Candace.

NeNe and Tony are...SAFE!

Cody Simpson and Witney Carson ARE ELIMINATED!

Wow, I didn't expect it THIS soon. I guess having 6.5 million Twitter followers doesn't matter. It's a shame he's going home before people like NeNe, Candace and Drew. I think it also proves that being paired with a new pro is a kiss of death since both Witney and Henry Byalikov are already gone.

Based on the scores, it means Candace beat Cody in the viewer vote by more than 1 percent and both NeNe and Drew beat him by more than half a percent. Obviously tweens don't vote for DWTS.


Next week on DWTS: It's party anthem week with some dude from LMFAO as the guest judge. That's a shame, cuz Cody would've been great at that.

THE LEADERBOARD

There's a pretty massive gap between the bottom of the leaderboard and everyone else this week.

40 (13.89 percent): James Maslow
39 (13.54 percent): Danica McKellar
37 (12.85 percent): Charlie White, Amy Purdy
36 (12.5 percent): NeNe Leakes, Meryl Davis
35 (12.15 percent): Candace Cameron Bure
28 (9.72 percent): Drew Carey


(Image courtesy of ABC)

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