Dancing with the Stars

2005, TV Show

Dancing with the Stars Episode: "Dancing With the Stars"

Season 18, Episode 10
Episode Synopsis: One couple is eliminated after two rounds of dancing, including freestyle performances featuring special effects.
Original Air Date: May 19, 2014

Dancing with the Stars Recap: Monday, May 19, 2014 Season 18, Episode 10

It's finally here! The conclusion of Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars is upon us, and while the winner won't be crowned until Tuesday night, the finale will air over two nights, stretched out as much as a Meryl Davis split.

And we at TVGuide.com have a treat for you, dear readers — it's a group number! We're taking a team approach for this finale recap, so former recapper Joyce Eng and recent DWTS superfan Robyn Ross will be helping me out.

Tonight, each of the final four pairs will perform two numbers: First, a judges' pick (a repeat of the switch-up week dance), and the second a freestyle.

Dancing with the Stars: The sexiest costumes from Season 18

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd
First dance:
Tango
Joyce's take:
Before I get into this, can we have a moment of silence for my adorable one and only Charlie? Poor guy was low-balled all season and got Apolo'd/Ralph'd. You deserve better, Charlie! Honestly, I don't think James has improved that much this season. Peta never cleaned up his footwork or solidified his frame, and his torso is so wooden. But props for attacking the dance and that guyliner! But who cares about anything when they made Team Jeta's ovaries burst? I spotted tongue. You?
Liz's take:
James' frame is still a little off, but he made a great call to put that kiss in the middle of the routine. This dance is smoking.
Robyn's take:
These two mean business, and every time James turns his head I think it might actually come off. OMG they really kissed! And James is wearing eyeliner. But all around super strong performance, and you can tell these two really want the trophy.
What the judges say:
Len praises James for giving it his all. Bruno says it's obvious how badly James wants to win, and also liked the kiss. Carrie Ann compliments James' butt placement, but feels like he's a little uptight tonight.
Score:
29 (out of 30)

Freestyle
Joyce's take:
I just wanna say I hate the "super-sized" freestyles. We just get unnecessary, over-produced routines that swallow up the star/couple. This is like Step Up and Stomp the Yard had a baby and left it on the doorstep of Karate Kid. What's weird is that this is clearly playing to James' strengths, but it's lacking some energy. Even the Peta spin looks heavy and doesn't have any punch. Definite downgrade from Peta's last and only freestyle with Donald.
Liz's take:
I'm down with this West Side Story meets Stomp steampunk aesthetic, and it's nice to see what James can do in his contemporary comfort zone. But it basically looks like a Broadway musical, and I doubt it will be able to top what's inevitably coming down the pipeline from Meryl/Maks and Amy/Derek.
Robyn's take:
Holy Peta in spikes! I love when James does his signature flip that I've been watching since his Big Time Rush days. It looks like these two didn't miss a beat in the routine. And again with the eyeliner.
What the judges say:
Len gives tepid praise but says he liked the routine overall. Bruno compares James to a "post-apocalyptic action hero" and notes that he matched the professional dancers step for step. Carrie Ann agrees with Bruno's assessment and feels James "killed it."
Score:
29

Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy
First dance:
Tango
Joyce's take:
Look, the Chmerkovskiy Coronation is commencing! First, thank heavens Maks is finally styling Meryl well instead of obfuscating her footwork in cowboy boots or platform sneakers. Their chemistry is off the charts, but I prefer Meryl's AT with Val. This is a great routine, but the one with Val was sharper, more intense and compelling. Also, cool it, Maks. Desperation is not a good look on anyone.
Liz's take:
I could watch these two all day. Maks effortlessly tossing and twirling Meryl around is both absolutely brilliant and super hot, much like her outfit. With the couple they're playing here, it feels like a continuation of the rumba they did a few weeks ago.
Robyn's take:
Meryl is rocking the side bun. I love a side bun. I have to say that Meryl's dance with Val, which had a better song choice by the way, was pretty much impossible to top and the lifts tonight didn't compare. But regardless, everything these two do looks so effortless.
What the judges say:
Bruno calls the dance "seductive" and notes that their recent dances have evolved into a story line that resembles a concept album. Carrie Ann says Meryl topped even her tango with Val. Len makes an early prediction that this is the dance of the night.
Score:
30

Freestyle
Joyce's take:
Tara! Evan! Kristi! Excuse me while I have a moment. OK, I'm back. Remember what happened the last time Maks attempted contemporary for a freestyle? #NeverForget This is light years better and more gorgeous than the bedtastrophe, but that's partially because Meryl can emote. That's really what's going to win her this thing because Maks' choreography still leaves much to be desired. I'm sure you're already comparing this to Kellie and Derek's freestyle. I will, and I prefer Kellie and Derek's.
Liz's take:
Is this episode of Dancing rated TV-MA? Because it should be. Meryl's figure skating experience is on full display here, and their near-kiss at the end makes me feel like I need a cold shower.
Robyn's take:
........ Sorry I'm still thinking about that dance and that almost kiss at the end. Can we watch again?
What the judges say:
Carrie Ann is sobbing and tells Meryl and Maks they should get married. "This is what true dance is about," she says, calling the routine "divinity in motion." Bruno agrees that it's "as close as it gets to a flawless work of art" (and later tries to give them an 11). And Len notes that Meryl is in a class of her own, somewhere above good and great.
Score:
30

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas
First dance:
Quickstep
Joyce's take:
Dancing with the Props! Did we learn nothing from Charlie's umbrella fiasco? This is adorable, and Candace handled the characterization well, but she's still too tentative on some steps and still can't hide it at all. I am really glad Mark got Candace this season. Her modest ways have subdued him, his choreography is better, and we didn't get Mark the Ham or even spats!
Liz's take:
Seeing Mark's injury play out made me wince, so props for him for fighting through the pain to do this routine. For the first part of the dance I can't concentrate on anything other than this horrid version of Rihanna's "Umbrella." It seems like Candace misses a few cues.
Robyn's take:
What is up with the music tonight? It stinks. While Candace is much improved, these two are just not on the others' levels. But I have to give it to Mark for getting through the dance after that injury. And Candace's "I'm having so much fun out here!" face was in full effect.
What the judges say:
Carrie Ann tells Candace she's "surprised and impressed" at how lighthearted she was, but notes that her shoulders were up. Len says they did a good job with the toughest dance, and Bruno says it was an improvement over Candace's last quickstep.
Score:
27

Freestyle
Joyce's take:
DJ Tanner. Gold lamé catsuit. Dying. Dead. Bless Candace's heart. She's giving it her all and having a blast, but she's off beat and sort of all over the place. At least Mark's shoulder didn't pop out? I would die/love it if Candace somehow wins this, but she hasn't really held up her end of the bargain. She still needs that one ace dance. I'm also gonna need a GIF of Candace's daughter's reaction to that score.
Liz's take:
This is a delight — and not just because Candace coming out as (literal) DJ Tanner made me say "Omigod" out loud while sitting alone in my living room. She looks like she's on Cloud 9, and while it's not on the same artistic level as, say, Meryl and Maks' routine, it's hard to find fault with something that's so fun.
Robyn's take:
I'm sorry, was that opening for real? Candace, gotta love her, but she can be so cheesy. It was cute and all but I would've loved to see her try the contemporary-type routine she nailed in Week 1.
What the judges say:
Carrie Ann says Candace didn't connect to the music, but she still loves her. Len gives broad praise about Candace's journey throughout the season. "I love a disco diva, and you went for it with gusto," Bruno gushes, but agrees with Carrie Ann.
Score:
24

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough
First dance:
Salsa
Joyce's take:
Before I can even write "booty bongos," I can't believe Derek recycled that frozen, upside-down leg move from his (Emmy-winning) mambo with Shawn. I expect more from you, dude. This is fun, but safe, and I still resent Amy for having more musicality than I have with two legs. I do think Derek babies Amy a little too much in hold, but they did make a little better use of the floor.
Liz's take:
All of these lifts make me very nervous for Amy's back. The dance is technically sound, but Derek's choreography doesn't leave my jaw on the floor for once. Overall, I feel like this isn't one of their stronger numbers.
Robyn's take:
I've never stared at Derek's footwork before and I swear I could get lost watching those legs! And Amy and her lifts, upside-down moves and butt-shaking wins the dance. I'm still wondering how she even did all of that without getting motion sickness. (PS: What is this musicality thing Carrie Ann always mentions?)
What the judges say:
Len says it was "fabulous," while according to Bruno, Amy is "on fire." Carrie Ann can't even speak at first but eventually tells Amy that she's shown huge improvement throughout the competition and blows her mind every week.
Score:
30

Freestyle
Joyce's take:
Defying Gravity: not a Gravity sequel. This is hilarious because Derek basically did what he decided not to do with Kellie last year (he originally wanted her hanging from a sheet) with that aerial rope spin. The actual dance is lovely, soulful, and I'm just happy Derek is letting her dance. Dare I say Amy might've danced more than Meryl's lift-heavy number (I know, it's freestyle, so it's a moo point in the end). Honestly, none of the freestyles blew me away.
Liz's take:
I'm officially rooting for an Amy-Meryl finale. This dance is great, even though they fall short of M&M in the chemistry department. Derek's choreography is stunning though, and Amy spinning Cirque du Soleil style on a rope is completely eye-popping and inspiring.
Robyn's take:
Amy went all Pink on us and absolutely wowed with her ending aerial stunt. I love the pure emotion that always comes through when these two dance and, like Meryl and Maks, they seem to be on a whole other level.
What the judges say:
Len loves the emotion of the performance, but doesn't think the rope was necessary. Bruno tells Amy she "redefines what is possible." Carrie Ann says Amy was dancing with her soul and had a total "come to God" moment. (Isn't that Candace's shtick?!)
Score:
29

Unfortunately, only three couples will be advancing to tomorrow's (real) finale. So let's get to what will surely be a heartbreaking elimination.

Safe: Meryl and Maks, Amy and Derek (surprise, surprise)

Eliminated: James and Peta

Meaning Candace and Mark will face off against Meryl/Maks and Amy/Derek in the final.

What did you think? What was your favorite routine of the night? Did you enjoy our team recap? And who will you be rooting for in Tuesday's final? Sound off below — and catch up on the latest Dancing with the Stars episodes here.

show less

It's finally here! The conclusion of Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars is upon us, and while the winner won't be crowned until Tuesday night, the finale will air over two nights, stretched out as much as a Meryl Davis split.

And we at TVGuide.com have a treat for you, dear readers — it's a group number! We're taking a team approach for this finale recap, so former recapper Joyce Eng and recent DWTS superfan Robyn Ross will be helping me out.

Tonight, each of the final four pairs will perform two numbers: First, a judges' pick (a repeat of the switch-up week dance), and the second a freestyle.

read more

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Premiered: June 01, 2005, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Celebrities are paired with professionals in a ballroom-dance competition, with one pair typically eliminated each week.

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