When the cast for Season 18 of Dancing With The Stars was announced, I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. I thought that cast was hit and miss, with several stars that I was unfamiliar with. After three weeks I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised. There have been some really great dances from people I didn’t expect, and there were others that were quite predictable.
As I mentioned last season, I have a love hate relationship with theme nights – especially the “most memorable year of your life”. Often times that turns into an emotional night of dancing, and sometimes the judges’ scores represent the emotion instead of the actual dance. Monday night was definitely a night of emotion, but there were also plenty of dances that earned their scores.
James Maslow (Jive): All I can say is WOW! James’ Jive was amazing. It was so much fun to watch. It was a great way to kick off the night. Judges’ Scores: 9-9-9-9
NeNe Leakes (Rumba): It was a huge contrast this week to see NeNe slow things down with a Rumba. As much as I love the Rumba, hers wasn’t my favorite. It just didn’t glide as much as it should’ve. Judges’ Scores 8-7-8-8
Cody Simpson (Jazz): I enjoyed the fact that Cody danced to one of his own songs. It was a fun Jazz number that went over well with the judges, but I wasn’t doing cartwheels over it. Judges’ Scores: 9-8-9-9
Danica McKellar (Contemporary): Danica’s Contemporary number was simply beautiful. In a dance that is supposed to capture the emotion, it was perfect. Beyond the emotion, though, the movement was gorgeous. Judges’ Scores: 9-9-9-9
Drew Carey (Waltz): From the start of the season it was expected that Drew would play into the comedy role, and — while he’s showed his funny-side – he’s also shown that he can dance. This week was no exception with his subtle Waltz. Judges’ Scores: 7-7-8-8
Meryl Davis (Fox Trot): Meryl’s Fox Trot was simply elegant, to the point that it almost gave you the feeling of a Waltz. It was a truly beautiful performance. Judges’ Scores: 10-9-10-10
Amy Purdy (Contemporary): I think Amy stole the show for many people Monday night. Her Contemporary performance was amazing. What amazed me even more were the prosthetic legs she used, which had her balancing on “toes”. Derek and Amy should both be commended. Judges’ Scores: 9-9-9-9
Charlie White (Jive): Talk about another Jive that was full of energy. Charlie was all over the place with his performance – dancing from backstage clear onto the floor where he met up with his partner. It was a ton of fun! Judges’ Scores: 9-9-9-9
Candace Cameron Bure (Jive): Let me start by saying that I adore Candace – and maybe this is because she performed right after such a strong dance – but I think she probably had the weakest performance of the night. She seemed almost skittish during her Jive. The judges even hinted that she needs to become more comfortable in heels. Judges’ Scores: 8-8-8-8
I think it is up in the air as to who will be going next week. My early thought would’ve been Billy Dee Williams, but – if you’ve noticed I didn’t mention him in the recaps – he bowed out of the competition. Problems with his back had doctors recommending that he not continue. While I commend him for putting his best foot forward and trying, I think that was the best decision.
Since I always do, I have to pick who I think will be voted off next week, and my guess is going to be NeNe. I think Drew and Candace have more fans that will probably keep them in the competition. Whatever the case may be – next week should be interesting with the partner-switch-up. I think it will definitely test the stars!
We’ll all find out next Monday at 8pm on WJBF News Channel 6, and you can follow along with my thoughts each Tuesday on Laney’s Look.