The semi-finals came down to a pair of couples who easily could have vied for the mirror ball against each other, only to result in a bitter departure. Read on for more.
After a beautiful night of dancing by the five remaining couples it was between ice skating partners Charlie White and Meryl Davis.
White, who had a very high scoring night last week, was the one who bid adieu to the ballroom.
“All these people are so deserving,” he said of the finalists, adding that now he’d be Team Meryl. “From start to finish, it’s been an amazing journey.”
Said partner Sharna Burgess: “I love him … He’s taught me so much about positivity.”
The show began with Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, who danced a 34-point Viennese waltz that the actress characteristically dedicated to God.
“The pressure got to you a little,” head judge Len Goodman told Bure, while Ortega said, “You got a little lost, but I credit you.”
But despite some less than stellar routine commentary, the pair got some good news: They were the first couple declared safe.
Next up were White and Burgess, who danced a foxtrot to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” that ended with a small solo part by the Olympian.
“Indescribably delightful. It was like you were the toast of New York,” Ortega told the duo, while the other judges agreed the number was fabulous, giving the pair a perfect score of 40 out of 40 points.
Oprah provided some inspiration for the next couple: Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, who danced a mind-blowing quickstep. Goodman said, “Watching you inspires me.”
Ortega asked America to “bring this team back next week,” and Hough and the Paralympian scored 39 points.
Next up were James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd, who were declared safe before their perfect-scoring cha cha that was themed to Michael Jackson – a number the judges loved.
“It’s hard to pull off Michael Jackson well and you did spectacular,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba raved, while the other critics echoed her sentiments.
Next up, Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who got a little frustrated during rehearsals, danced a perfect-scoring jive that Goodman called “fantastic,” and Tonioli noted, “Stylistically it was impeccable.”
Bure and Ballas showed improvement in their second number, which was a 38-point jazz routine to Janet Jackson’s “Nasty.”
“It was right and it was together. I thought it was phenomenal,” Goodman said, with Tonioli raving, “Ooh, I’ve never seen this side of you before. … And you did it well, my darling.”
White and Burgess then danced a samba to Notorious B.I.G. that scored a disappointing 36 points.
“I thought it was lacking a little funk but I thought it was a great performance,” Ortega said, while Inaba felt White was “a little flat-footed.”
Purdy and Hough wowed yet again with a complicated 39-point routine that Tonioli raved was “classic jazz at its best.”
Ortega praised Hough and said, “You redefine choreography of this generation … It was extraordinary.”
A 36-point rumba by Murgatroyd and Maslow was enjoyed overall, but did have some hand critique, even though Inaba raved that everything about the dance was “just so elegant.”
Next up were Davis and Chmerkovsiy, who danced a perfect-scoring Viennese waltz.
“You went for it 100 percent,” Tonioli raved, while Ortega said, “Power, grace, synchronization, everything you could ask for in a partnership.”