Tuesday, 20 May 2014

'Dancing with the Stars' 2014: The final four freestyle

Even before part one of the "Dancing with the Stars" series finale tonight there was drama in the ballroom.

As of showtime, it was uncertain whether Mark Ballas would join his partner Candace Cameron Bure for their two routines this evening.

Perhaps to build suspense and boost ratings, Ballas came out in a sling at the show's opening.

The pro dancer was rushed to the hospital Sunday after he injured his shoulder while practicing a freestyle routine for tonight's show.

The hosts did not address his injury at the top of Monday night's program and instead, introduced the first performers: James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd
"It really is awesome being in the finals," James Maslow told his pro partner during rehearsals.

Maslow and Murgatroyd debated choreographing a kiss into their routine. The pair have been complimented each week by the judges for their amazing chemistry.

They danced a dark and passionate tango for their first performance tonight.

Their fast-moving routine was sexy, sensual and artistic. Maslow kept his butt tucked in, which the judges have instructed him to do on several occasions.

Last week, Inaba told Maslow his ability to take into account the judges' criticism has helped him succeed in the competition.

"Sharp as a razor, clean as a whistle," judge Len Goodman said of the tango. "You came out and gave it your all."

Bruno Tonioli rattled off a list of adjectives to describe the performance. "Dominant, dangerous, passionate, focused," he said.

"You want it and you got it," he told Maslow. (This comment would prove premature...)

"It was sharp, it was intense," Carrie Ann Inaba said. However, she told Maslow he seemed "a little too rigid." She warned him to be mindful of this during the freestyle performance.

Total Score: 9, 10, 10 = 29

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy:

Maksim Chmerkovskiy instructed his partner Meryl Davis to keep quiet in practice this week.

"You have to understand that I have done this before and failed — many times," Chmerkovskiy told the Olympian.

Davis said if they were to win the competition, she would be happiest for Chmerkovskiy.

Tonight, they danced the Argentine tango. The choreography stayed close to tradition and included lots of tricks. At one point, Chmerkovskiy tossed and caught his partner.
"That was scrumptiously seductive," Tonioli said. "In the last few weeks, your dancing has been evolving." He told the pair their routines are like story lines and continue to develop.

"It really is incredible."

Inaba said the last time Davis performed this dance during the switch up week of the competition with the younger of the Chmerkovskiy brothers, Valentin, it was perfection. Tonight, with the added chemistry between Davis and her original partner, it was even stronger, Inaba said.

Total Score: 10, 10, 10 = 30

"This season has shaped up to be incredible," Chmerkovskiy said after he learned of their score.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas:
"It honestly still hasn't sunk in I'm in the finals," Bure revealed during rehearsals. (I bet a lot of viewers would agree).

"I need her to get through these routines," Ballas said of Bure in the pre-recorded footage. The former "Full House Star" broke down in tears while preparing for the quickstep, which the judges have said is one of the hardest dances to learn. The pressure only got worse for the duo who was already stressed, after Ballas injured his shoulder on Sunday.

Bure had an MRI done Monday and was cleared to dance tonight, co-host Tom Bergeron announced.
Bure and Ballas danced a lively quickstep to a remixed version of Rihanna's hit "Umbrella."

If Ballas was in pain, it was not evident. Bure meanwhile looked as though she was chasing the music at times during their routine.

When it came time for scoring, the judges seemed to take into account the rough week the pair had.

"Candace, we've all watched you struggle," Inaba said. "I think every woman has related to your emotional journey. This is the most pressure you've been under so far."

"When you think about the difficulty of the quickstep, all of the pressure you've been under, you did well," Goodman said.

"You portrayed it very well," Tonioli said.

"I was not going to let Candace down," Bure said after their dance and before learning his scores.

Total Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

"I think yesterday was one of the hardest days of my life besides giving birth to my children," a seemingly relieved Bure said.

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough:
"Now that we're in the finals, we're so close to the mirror ball trophy," Amy Purdy said. "I want to win that thing."

Purdy, who hurt her back weeks ago in the competition, seemed to strain it again while preparing for tonight's routine.

Hough said Purdy has fought each and every week to overcome obstacles in this competition and tonight would be no different.

The judges picked salsa for the pair.

Purdy was confident and her hip action matched that of Hough.

"The more you see, the more you admire and love it," Goodman said of Purdy.

"This girl is on fire," Tonioli said. "Great instrument you've got there, Derek."

"It was ridiculous because every week you blow my mind," Inaba said. "You've grown and improved just like everybody else in the competition." She said Purdy's moves were cleaner and sharper than before.

Total Score: 10, 10, 10 = 30

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd:
Maslow's father Michael said his son always had a passion for the arts.

In the pre-recorded footage, friends of the Big Time Rush band member also vouched for his dedication and work ethic in the competition.

Maslow and Murgatroyd were joined by two other couples for their freestyle routine. The performance was hip-hop influenced. A shirtless (no surprise there!) Maslow even did a backflip.

"I like the concept, I like the attack," Goodman said. "You came out and really gave it everything."

"Those boys were amazing," Tonioli said of the pro backup dancers. "You were right up there with them."

"You are an action star," Inaba said to Maslow. She complimented him for being "the most versatile" of the competitors.

Total Score: 10, 9, 10 = 29
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy:

During her freestyle package, it was revealed that Davis struggled with dyslexia as a child.

One of her coaches said she recognized talent in the skater from a young age.

"We've never really seen her open up with such emotion," Kristi Yamaguchi said, referring to Davis' performance on "Dancing with the Stars."

"This freestyle is kind of like an homage to the journey we've gone through," Davis said.

Davis and Chmerkovskiy delivered a barefoot performance that kept close to their theatrical, emotional and passionate routines of the past two weeks.

"First of all, I think you guys should get married," Inaba said. "This is what true dance is about." She said their performance was a soulful expression of self and a divinity of motion.

Tonioli described the routine as a work of art.

"There's good and there's great and there's Meryl," Goodman said. The couple earned their second perfect score of the night.

Total Score: 10, 10, 10 = 30
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas:

Bure revealed that she struggled with her weight as a child star on "Full House" and it took a toll on her confidence in her teen years.

She also said, as she has in previous weeks, that she her faith has gotten her through the competition and life.

Clad in a skin-tight gold jumpsuit and joined by four backup dancers also dressed in gold, Bure delivered a solid freestyle routine to "Canned Heat" by Jamiroquai. (Bure even managed to pick her up as he did in rehearsals before his injury).

Bure was pretty stiff, which has been a weakness of hers for weeks, and which the judges would also point out tonight. Overall, she seemed confident during tonight's routine.

"I don't feel like you connected to the music," Inaba said. "But I still love you for going for it."

"I admire your tenacity," Goodman said.

Tonioli said he agreed with Inaba.

"You've got to be on that beat. You cannot be a millisecond behind," he told Bure.

Total Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough:

Purdy recalled losing her legs to bacterial meningitis as a teen and persevering to pursue a career as a professional snowboarder.

She delivered an emotional freestyle routine with Hough highlighted by her spinning from the ceiling from a rope, in a nod to Cirque du Soleil. The performance, while entertaining, had way too many lifts and barely any actual dancing.

"I loved the emotion, I loved the lifts and I loved the choreography," Goodman said.

"Again, you just redefine what is possible," Tonioli said.

Inaba said she was confused at first about the amount of lifts in the routine but when Purdy danced, she felt the emotion behind her movement.

"This is so much more ... this experience, than a dance show," Hough said before learning his scores.

Total Score: 10, 9, 10 = 29
UPDATE: Davis, the top performing female, learns she and Chmerkovskiy are safe. Purdy and Hough will also compete for the mirror ball trophy tomorrow night.

In a shocking upset, Maslow and Murgatroyd are sent home. Bure and Ballas, who have been bottom dwellers for the past few weeks, will advance to the championship finals.

Maslow, who appeared to be confused by the announcement, said he was grateful for the opportunity to perform on the talent competition.
"I love how caring he is with me," Murgatroyd said of her partner in the pre-recorded footage.

Tomorrow night, Davis will perform with her Olympic ice dancing partner Charlie White, who was booted from the competition last week, for the first time on wood.

POST ORIGINATED FROM http://www.nj.com




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