It was not happily ever after for one couple after a shocking elimination on Disney night of “Dancing with the Stars.”
But the show did include its own Prince Charming in the form of former champion Donny Osmond, who served as guest judge. And the stars are back with their original partners, after last week’s switch-up.
Tinkerbell opens the show with Disney classics, like “When You Wish Upon A Star,” “Zippity Do Da,” and “Step In Time.”
Brace yourself, folks. I’m not a Disney fan or particularly sentimental, as my blunt DWTS recaps will attest – but this show brought out the giddy 5-year-old in me, in ways that were unexpected and alarming.
Which couple was practically perfect in every way with a perfect 40? Who was the belle of the ball? Which promising couple got that shocking elimination? Did the sheer magic of this show make you question your manhood? Strap on those glass slippers and step in time, 'cause here go!
The show introduces Donny as guest judge, who says he will be voting on performance and not so much technique. Just like the viewers.
Hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews kick things off with some results. Ice dancer Charlie White and Sharna are safe, as are comedian Drew Carey and Cheryl.
Speaking of Drew and Cheryl, they’re up first with a quickstep to “Friend Like Me” from “Aladdin.” Forget the footwork – Drew’s expression makes me wonder if he’s having some undiagnosed medical episode. Looks like he woke up from a Sunny von Bulow Nyquil slumber. Some good energy, but not sharp, little polish and a lot sloppy. At one point an animated Genie joins them, and It’s. Just. Weird. Judge Len Goodman says Drew had plenty of zip, but his technique was not good. Donny immediately critiques Drew’s technique (after saying he wouldn’t), then he and judge Bruno Tonioli have a sashay-off. Bruno calls it was Aladdin at the edge of a nervous breakdown. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba says Drew had a strange face. Score: 28 out of 40.
Hey, I see former contestants Wynonna Judd and Zendaya in the background. Hi, guys! We won’t speak to you or reference you all episode, but hey.
Charlie and Sharna are up with a jazz to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from “Mary Poppins.” It’s enchanting, magical, charming, and I feel transported watching it. This routine is so busy and they make it look so carefree, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke need a spoonful of sugar. Charlie recovers from one slip-up, dropping his cane. Donny calls it an amazing performance. Bruno wants to see it again – and backwards. Carrie Ann says they did difficult moves at warp speed and make it look effortless. Len calls it show-stopping. Score: 37 – with Len’s first 10 of the season.
More results. We learn that Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy and Derek are safe. But reality star NeNe Leaks and Tony are in jeopardy – as are singer Cody Simpson and Witney. Really, DWTS? Cody in jeopardy? Feels like faux drama to me.
Actress Danica McKellar and Val have a quickstep to “Be Our Guest” from “Beauty and The Beast.” The animated candles open the routine. Danica and Val have great sweeping moves and great spins with great hold. Danica and Val also work in lots of comedy. It’s one of those dances every little girls wants to feel like a princess with all eyes on her. Also, Val looks like Prince. Not a Disney prince, but Prince circa 1983. Bruno says Danica tamed the beast with incredible improvement. Carrie Ann hugs her and says it was like watching the movie come to life. Len says, “Everything Carrie Ann said.” Donny says they knocked it out of the park (while throwing shade at prior guest judge Julianne Hough). Score: 39.
Amy and Derek are up with a waltz to “To This Is Love” from “Cinderella.” Amy says she never thought about being a princess, but this show makes her feel like that. Derek was most worried about ballroom dances because of how they rely on controlled foot balance, and Amy does not have feet. But this woman paints art with her body. Their dance is precious, soft and serene. It’s why we watch this show. Carrie Ann hopes Disney will make their next princess like Amy. Len calls it beautiful. Donny says Amy is more than inspiring. Bruno says she never looked more beautiful. Score: 37. When Erin asks Amy how those scores felt after a hard week, she just cries.
Cody and Witney are up with a samba to “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from “The Lion King.” Since the choreography borders on freestyle, he looks like he’s in his element, while getting some samba essentials in there. The tween girls shriek. Len says it kept the samba feeling. Donny says it didn’t seem like Cody enjoyed the dance, but it was phenomenal. Bruno doesn’t agree, saying, “Listen to the good fairy,” and notes Cody’s incredible energy and timing. Bruno then stops himself from saying “something naughty,” but he whispers it to Donny, who slaps the table. Hmm? Carrie Ann felt “the power of Cody.” Also, Cody had a stomach flu. Score: 34.
NeNe and Tony foxtrot to “Cruella de Vil” from “101 Dalmations.” The things that worked with Derek last week, NeNe feels Tony will not let her do. He mentions jealousy and insecurity from the switch-up. I got a whiff of that from him last week, too. Did he phone it in with Candace Cameron? She did get the lowest scores. No other pro spoke about the switch-up like he did; most were concerned about helping their switch-up star get good scores. NeNe looks much more at east than in prior dances. She finds a way to be big and brassy. Their hold is nice. But why is everyone else a princess, and she’s a villain? Donny says NeNe owned the dance floor. Bruno says she put bump and grind into the foxtrot, but never lost the style. Carrie Ann says NeNe rocked the villain to Tony’s “best choreography ever.” She says the switch-up was the best thing for them, but Tony doesn’t agree. NeNe, meanwhile, seems about to cry. Len calls them a match made in heaven, and NeNe’s best dance. NeNe keeps looking at Tony, but he won’t make eye contact. Afterwards, he says he loves working with her and wants her to win. Tense. Score: 36.
Waking up wit sore feet, legs, toes, hands, arms & fingers hunni LOL! Wanted 2 giv @TonyDovolani the best I got! Thanks 4 all the love— NeNe Leakes (@NeNeLeakes) April 15, 2014
Nickelodeon star James Maslow and Peta have a contemporary to “Let It Go” from “Frozen.” He invites Hannah, a special needs high school student who invited him to prom, but he couldn’t get out of his grueling DWTS schedule. James is lithe and agile in their dance. They are quite beautiful together, creating nice shapes and a caring performance. Some impressive lifts, too. Bruno calls it a contemporary blockbuster. Carrie calls it absolute artistry. Len says it melted his heart. Donny was mesmerized by the athleticism. Score: perfect 40 – Peta’s first on the show.
We bump in from a commercial break with Charlie dancing to the animated penguins from “Mary Poppins.”
Ice dancer Meryl Davis and Maks samba to “I Wan’na Be Like You” from “The Jungle Book.” These two adore each other. Maks says, “You rekindle the fire in me.” They’ve never looked so loose and carefree together. Usually they are perfection personified, but they look light and breezy. Plus, the best samba rolls I’ve seen on this show. Oh, and there are animated monkeys. It’s infectious, crowd-pleasing fun. Carrie Ann says they dance like one body. Len calls it great entertainment. Donny says they set the bar so high. Bruno calls it wonderful and thanks shirtless Maks for the eyeful. Erin asks, “Who are we wearing?” “The Mowgli Rudyard Kipling Collection,” Maks says. Ha. Score: 36.
Candace and Mark samba to “Under The Sea” from “The Little Mermaid.” Candace has good hip movement, polished steps, and she nails some random tribal moves. For being Ariel, I feel Mark’s choreography needs to showcase Candace more. They have a “crab dance” in there that got a laugh out of me. Prim Candace also shows off her seashells. Len liked the fun mix of steps. Donny calls them promising. Bruno really liked it. Carrie Ann calls Candace earthy and strong, but seems nervous at times, which she admits to. Score: 35.
Tonight’s scores aside, the elimination is already decided based on scores from the prior two weeks. Candace is in jeopardy, but James is safe, as is Meryl.
Final results. It comes down to NeNe, Candace, and Cody. NeNe is safe. So, Candace is going home, right? Because she did get the lowest combined scores the past two weeks.
Nope. It’s Cody! The shrieking teen girls are speechless. Candace and the judges are shocked. Witney is about to cry. She feels like people didn’t give Cody a chance.
secondly I want to thank my incredible partner @WitneyCarson for her patience, persistence and class. you're a beauty mate.— Cody Simpson (@CodySimpson) April 15, 2014
That was surprising. Cody had a likeability factor and got good scores, not to mention the tween girls in the audience would shriek whenever his name was uttered. But he is relatively new on the scene and probably did not have as big a fan base as some might suspect.
Also, the lower-scorers like Drew and NeNe did improve recently, and DWTS viewers love that, while adorably struggling Cameron probably roped some sympathy votes because nobody votes D.J. Tanner off the show!
As for next week, I predict it will likely be Drew or NeNe – again. (I feel like I’ve been predicting these two for months.) Drew’s performance this week was not worth voting for. While NeNe had a great performance this week, DWTS viewers do not like drama, so her and Tony’s antics could do them in.
Were you shocked by Cody's elimination? Is Tony the real Disney villain? Does a spoonful of sugar make the medicine go down? Can we do a Mary Poppins-themed episode every season?
The competition continues Monday night at 8 on ABC. Redfoo from LMFAO visits the show, possibly as a guest judge, for a party-themed episode.