Did you know the Osmonds were discovered by Walt Disney? No? Well, that's part of the explanation for why Donny Osmond is guest judging tonight's episode of “Dancing with the Stars.” Oh, and he was Captain Shang in “Mulan.” And he was Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast.” Look, I don't think we need to justify Donny showing up. He won “Dancing with the Stars,” remember? He's going to be a better guest judge than a lot of these random stars who just like watching the show. So let's get to it!
Wasn't it nice when we had a week where someone didn't get shipped home? Of course, that was nice for the couples themselves, but it also made the show feel a little less cluttered. We start with establishing that Drew and Cheryl are safe. And they'll be dancing first. So, no time to celebrate — get to steppin'!
Drew & Cheryl
The Background: She missed him so much! And Cheryl is much easier on him now that she's had time to sample another celebrity, so he's a happy camper.
The Dance: It's a quickstep… with the animated Aladdin genie in the middle. Are they going to toss characters into every dance? I'm not sure I'm thrilled about this, honestly. Yes, the animation is fun and I love it, but I really can't pay attention to the dance. But if it had to happen during one dance, this seems like the one. Nothing against Drew, but the quick step is not my favorite dance to watch. Mostly it looks like elementary gym class to me.
The Judges: Len thought it was zip-a-dee-do-dah. This is not entirely good, by the way. Donny Osmond hates the quick step, but he wanted Drew to know that any arm movement needs to come from the core. Bruno thought the technique suffered because he had so much to do. Carrie Ann loved that he brought the fun, but he makes a weird face when he loses focus.
Scores: Carrie Ann – 7 Len – 7 Donny – 7 Bruno – 7
Charlie & Sharna
The Background: They're dancing to “Mary Poppins.” After slipping down the leader board, he's determined to get back up there. Oh, and he has terrible hand-eye coordination, according to Sharna. I don't believe it! Olympian, Sharna! Olympian!
The Dance: It's like Dick van Dyke and Julia Andrews! Okay, almost. Some of Charlie's footwork looks constrained, as if he can't quite shake those many, many years of doing this sort of thing on ice. No cartoons, just back-up dancers? Good. Oh, he dropped the cane, so maybe Sharna was right about the hand-eye coordination issue.
The Judges: Donny thought it was an amazing performance. He dropped the cane, but it was still amazing. Bruno thought it was one of the best performances they've ever seen on the show. Carrie Ann giggles. She thought he was a wave of happiness. Len thought it was eye-popping and the performance was fantastic. And he doesn't care about the cane.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 10 Donny – 9 Bruno – 9 And it's Len's first ten of the season!
Stop the action! Time to pull out the guillotine! Amy & Derek are safe. Also safe, Danica & Val. But NeNe & Tony are… in jeopardy. For some reason, NeNe cackles. Cody & Witney are in jeopardy too. So, there are two of the three couples at the bottom. I'm guessing Candace & Mark are the last couple. Okay, time for dancing!
Danica & Val
The Background: Danica feels she's disappointed Maks. He just wanted her to relax. But she's more of a Val girl, it seems.
The Dance: This is really, really good, isn't it? I'm impressed. I think this might be the right dance for Danica, as its beautiful and elegant and doesn't involve her having to shake her groove thing, which is slightly out of her comfort zone. Anyway, I love this.
The Judges: Bruno thought she was superb, while Carrie Ann did a lot of squeaking and Len said he agreed with her. Donny was Gaston on Broadway, and he thought this was just as good.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 9 Donny – 10 Bruno – 10
Amy & Derek
The Background: Amy gets frustrated with herself. She did this stuff so easily when she had legs! Amy, seriously, you dance so much better than most people with feet.
The Dance: They're waltzing. It's beautiful and I wish Amy would stop beating herself up. If no one told me she didn't have feet, I would never guess. She's amazing.
The Judges: Carrie Ann saw lifts, but she isn't going to take off points for that. Carrie Ann hopes Disney makes their next princess like her. What, redheaded? Okay, I know what she means, but this sounds a little patronizing, to be honest. Let's just point out she's good by any standard, which makes her accomplishment that much more impressive. Len thought it had wonderful drift, but would have liked more in hold. Donny cried watching her in week three, and he thinks she's a serious contender. Bruno thinks she was irresistible.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 9 Donny – 10 Bruno – 9 I'm actually surprised there aren't more tens.
Cody & Witney
The Background: He's written a song for her, which he croons to her. She melts accordingly. The'll be doing a samba to “The Lion King.” Oh, and she's going to be stricter because Sharna beat Cody up a little last week, and it worked miracles.
The Dance: I usually think Witney's great, but the choreography here is dull, dull, dull. Cody's okay, but he looks like he isn't having much fun, either. I don't predict great scores, honestly.
The Judges: Len liked his energy. Donny didn't see any joy. Bruno thought he had a lot of energy and great timing. He would have liked to see more bounce, though. Carrie Ann thought he brought the power of Cody.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 9 Len – 8 Donny – 8 Bruno – 9
NeNe & Tony
The Background: They'll be doing a foxtrot, and NeNe wants to talk about all the exciting things she did with Derek. Tony thinks the switch-up put a road bump in the middle of their road, and he's not wrong. NeNe would have divorced him if she was his real husband. At the end of the segment she announces she doesn't deserve an attitude… as she stomps off the dance floor with an attitude.
The Dance: Ah, the animation is back! NeNe is Cruella de Ville, which seems fitting. She brings a lot of sass to this, but she moves awfully slow.
The Judges: Donny thinks she owned the dance floor. Bruno thought she was a mean, nasty girl, which is a good thing to him (since he doesn't have to dance with her). Carrie Ann thinks she can rock the villain. Len thinks they're a match made in dance heaven.
The Scores: Carrie Ann -9 Len – 9 Donny – 9 Bruno – 9
Wait, why is NeNe crying? Because the judges loved this? Or because she looked like a bitchy diva on television? So hard to know.
James & Peta
The Background: She gives him massages, which doesn't surprise me at all. Anyway, he can't go to prom with Hannah, this special needs girl who asked him out via a video that went viral, so he sent her three tickets to the show. He and Peta are dancing to “Let It Go,” so this Hannah chick has hit the trifecta of awesome celebrity fan encounters.
The Dance: Hey, there's Hannah! And the dance is very, very good. Really, it looks like an actual contemporary routine. James, it seems, is pretty athletic, which helps in tossing Peta around.
The Judges: Bruno thought it was a contemporary blockbuster. Carrie Ann thought it was pure emotion. Len thought it could melt the coldest heart. Donny thought it was amazing choreography, and he was mesmerized by the athleticism of James' dance.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – 10 Len – 10 Donny – 10 Bruno – 10 First perfect score of the season! I guess Charlie did get dinged for dropping his cane after all.
Hey, Charlie White dancing with animated penguins! This might be the best use of the animation — having creatures pop up here and there, but not in routines. Actually, that would be fun every week, wouldn't it? Let the Beast judge one week! I mean, he could just love everything like some of these other celebrity judges who haven't done the show, so it's not like he'd have to react in the moment or anything.
Meryl & Maks
The Background: They'll be doing a samba to “The Jungle Book.” Maks thinks he looks like Mowgli on steroids. Oh, and Maks doesn't like comedy dancing. He's going to be half-naked dancing funny! He can never show up in Brooklyn again! If it was anyone else, he would phone it in, but for Meryl he's going to try. Meryl thinks Maks is very nurturing. Man, she has a completely different relationship with him than anyone else, ever. I really think he's desperately in love with her, don't you?
The Dance: This is a weird, weird song for a samba. Is she blowing cues, or is that me? I think Maks hates this assignment and, even if he's not phoning it in, I'm really not sure anyone who is not a bear or an ape could dance a choreographed routine to this song. I swear this was the show's attempt to knock Meryl out of the top slot. Yikes.
The Judges: Carrie Ann is puzzled, because they dance like one body. Len thought it was great entertainment and well done. Donny found it thoroughly entertaining. Bruno has jungle fever. For Maks. How cute.
The Scores: Carrie Ann -9 Len – 9 Donny – 9 Bruno – 9 And, of course, not even close to the top scores of the night.
Candace & Mark
The Background: Candace is going to cry! She hates being at the bottom! She's even willing to show some skin as Ariel. The thought of leaving the show is heartbreaking for her. She's going to work harder than she's ever worked before. I think Candace is just assuming this is her last dance.
The Dance: They'll be doing a samba. Again, “Under the Sea” has a slow start, but this is cute. It's really not bad. I hope Candace isn't going home, especially if she's willing to loosen up a little more.
The Judges: Len thinks she had great fundamental samba, but her legs could have been straighter. Donny is glad Mark lost the pincers, but tells Candace what he saw was so promising. Bruno also liked what he saw. It was like the rebirth of Venus. Carrie Ann loves watching Candace when she's in the zone, but when she gets nervous she's a whole other dancer.
The Scores: Carrie Ann – Carrie Ann – 8 Len – 9 Donny – 9 Bruno – 9 Not bad, but not sure it matters.
As expected, Candace & Mark are in bottom three. What isn't expected? Cody & Witney are the ones going home. Given how devoted his fans seem to be, this is a shocker. Are there really more “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Full House” stars texting frantically than Cody Simpson fans? I thought he would stick around a little longer, but really, he's a better singer than a dancer, so it's not so horrible for him to go. Hey, maybe he'll have time to write more songs for Witney!
Are you shocked about who got eliminated? Who are you voting for? And do you think Meryl got a lousy song choice?