“Dancing with the Stars” season 20 continued April 13 on ABC with Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and the gang in the house as the contestants took part in the show’s highly anticipated Disney Week. By night’s end, an unlikely pair wound up at the bottom of the leader board, while a former front runner made her way back to the top and another hopeful was given her walking papers. Here’s how it all went down, from start to finish.
The episode opened with a fabulous number set to “It’s a Small World” that starred the show’s talented professional dancers and a handful of special animated guests. Tom Bergeron and a very excited Erin Andrews then introduced the nine remaining couples, who entered the scene along with a group of costumed Disney characters.
With little ado, “Shark Tank” star Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson were saved to dance again, while “Three’s Company” star Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani got a double shot of bad news when they learned that they were in danger of elimination and would have to dance first.
During their pre-dance segment, Suzanne struggled mightily, and during a particularly despondent moment, she told Tony that she didn’t think she could stick with the competition. The debonair all-star season champ wasn’t having it, though, and gave his partner an epic pep talk, telling Suzanne that she wasn’t a quitter and assuring her that it would work out.
“He’s a Tramp” served as the musical inspiration for Suzanne and Tony’s slow and sultry jazz piece. The 68-year old looking stunning in her black sequined dress, but the dance itself had some serious problems. In fact, she almost came to a stop right smack in the middle when her heel got caught in her hemline.
Len called her “always easy on the eye” and said without the “little hiccup,” it was her best dance. A pink-haired Julianne Hough appreciated the “raunchy,” and Bruno Tonioli called the first half “very very good.” Carrie Ann Inaba, finally, told her to be proud of herself for bringing her A game. The pair notched 28 out of 40 possible points for the evening’s lead-off effort.
Robert and Kym followed with a quickstep to “Step in Time” from “Mary Poppins.” Kym literally flew into the ballroom in one of the series’ most impressive entrances of all time. But the dance got off to a very unfortunate start for the peppy shark, who went off time in very noticeable fashion. He recovered his feet and his enthusiasm was as infectious as always; Robert is truly lovable in a way that most contestants never manage to be. But it wasn’t his best.
The judges were not pleased. Julianne wanted it to be “fantastic,” but noted “you were not quite there with your footwork.” Bruno joked “in your own world, you were perfectly in time” and Carrie Ann slammed him for bad timing and footwork. Finally, Len (of all people) praised Robert for giving it his all and entertaining the crowd. Even the usually cheerful couple cringed as the judges flashed four sixes, giving them a disappointing Disney Week total of 24.
Following a break, Tom and Erin addressed three more couples. While actress Willow Shields and Mark Ballas discovered they were safe, “The Bachelor” Chris Soules and Witney Carson and Grammy winner Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev learned that they were in danger. Patti and Artem were then told they were up next.
Set to “When You Wish Upon a Star,” Patti and Artem’s waltz was simple but sweet. She moves with a great deal of elegance, but was the content there? Not really. It was good for someone dancing on a bad knee.
Bruno called it “simple and effective” and thought it had “just the right touch of Disney magic.” Carrie Ann called her the “godmother of ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” and Len called it “romantic” and “charming,” though he wished for more “movement and flow.” Julianne, finally, thanked her for keeping a positive attitude. Patti and Artem scored 27 points (which, judging by the others’ scores, was probably about three too many).
Up next, Willow and Mark danced a foxtrot to “Alice’s Theme.” Mark made quite the impressive statement as the White Rabbit to Willow’s Alice. He has such an incredible talent and flair for theatrics.
Carrie Ann called it “an epic production” but thought they’d lost footing while in hold during the first half. Len quipped “you’ve gone from ‘Hunger Games’ to fun and games,” but thought the concept got in the way at times. Julianne told Willow to work on her arm fluidity but loved the execution and concept, and Bruno called it “haunting” and “powerful,” but suggested she take “a couple of ballet classes.” They scored 34 points.
Chris and Witney followed with a quickstep, but not before their pre-dance segment saw the duo struggle through rehearsals in the wake of winding up at the bottom of the April 6 leader board. They eventually hugged and made up, but not before Chris made Wit feel like a bad teacher. Witney had season 19 champ Alfonso Ribeiro come by to help, and Chris said he felt better. But disaster struck the morning of the show when Chris injured his leg and was unsure if he’d be able to dance.
Fortunately, he recovered, and they quickstepped to “Zero to Hero” from “Hercules.” It was an oddly slow dance, and it felt awkward. Chris isn’t a natural dancer, but he got through it, so good for them.
Len said he “did it fine” and noted how hard the quickstep is to master. Julianne asked him to remember to have fun and connect with his dances. Bruno told Chris to “let the music transport you” and noted “a slight disconnection musically.” Carrie Ann disagreed, and called it “your best dance by a long shot.” She was pumped, but noted there was a mistake. They were given 27 points, which makes Robert and Kym’s scores for the same style inexplicably, unjustifiably low.
With three couples already in jeopardy, Tom and Erin addressed the final four couples –Olympian Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough, war vet Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess, singer Riker Lynch and Allison Holker, and model Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy– and all four learned they were safe to dance again. An on-stage celebration ensued before Noah and Sharna learned they were next to perform.
Foxtrot was the word for the pair, who were still flying high following an “American Soldier” contemporary routine that scored more than 30 million views on Facebook. As they rehearsed for their “A Whole New World” dance, Noah struggled with how the loss of his knee affected his rise and fall, but Sharna kicked his bum verbally, reminding him that he needed to “suck it up, princess.”
Like Kym earlier in the evening, Noah rode into the ballroom from above. He’s just so cute and charming and he emotes so well for a non-entertainer that it’s impossible to be anything but impressed with what he does each week.
Julianne called his frame “right on” and loved his “clear and assertive direction” when he moves. Bruno appreciated the pair’s “connection and interaction,” and Carrie Ann noted how he’d “captured the heart and imagination” of the entire ballroom, but admitted that she “wanted to see a little bit more” in the way of content. Len appreciated the sway, lines, musicality, and feel, and called him “great.” Noah and Sharna earned 28 points.
Riker and Allison followed with a “Pirates of the Caribbean” themed paso doble. Riker was completely devoted to being Jack Sparrow, and actually made a very convincing Johnny Depp, too. It felt a little forced at times and he nearly threw Allison across the floor, but man alive was he ever fully committed. It’s like it was his dream to be Captain Jack.
The audience screamed with approval as Bruno deemed the effort “mad and wonderful” and “a super production for a super talent.” Carrie Ann called it “a beast of a paso” and her favorite ever. Len called it “fast and furious,” and Julianne called it “artistry: a combination of everything.” The special Disney Week 10-paddle made it’s appearance for the first time as Riker and Allison scored 38 points.
With only two couples –the ostensible front runners– remaining, Rumer and Val were up with their samba to “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Their pre-dance segment made a point of noting that although Rumer was offered “Frozen,” she decided to go with a villain’s role as the Sea Witch Ursula from “The Little Mermaid.”
Rumer was 100 percent the star of her dance. She looked every bit the part of Ursula and the production value was amazing. Val made an excellent choice by letting himself fade into the background as the slimy eel because it gave Rumer a chance to shine in spectacular fashion. Carrie Ann called it “sickly creative” and “out of their world and odd and weird, but it turned me on.” Len called her a fantastic dancer, and Julianne marveled over how she’d made Ursula sexy. Bruno, finally, called her “deliciously wicked.” The couple earned 39 points.
Closing out the performances were Nastia and Derek with the evening’s “Frozen” inspired routine, a jazz dance to “Love is an Open Door.” It was totally adorable; it could be part of a Broadway show. It was a nice way to close out the evening.
Len called it “a warm hug on a cold evening” and loved seeing Nastia’s warm side. Julianne also loved seeing the fun side of Nastia. Bruno thought it “captured the essence of the wonderful world of Disney,” and Carrie Ann liked it, but was distracted by the lip syncing. They wound up earning 38 points and a tie for second place on the night’s leader board.
With the dancing in the books, the three couples in danger of elimination hit the stage one last time to find out which of them would get the boot. Patti and Artem were saved to dance again, leaving Chris and Witney, and Suzanne and Tony –who were not necessarily the bottom two, per Erin– under the glare of the red lights. After the requisite dramatic pause, Suzanne and Tony were eliminated from the competition.
Suzanne praised Tony for “giving me everything he had” and called him a “gentleman” after (oddly) encouraging all women her age to go on hormones.
With Suzanne and Tony gone, only eight couples remain alive in the hunt for the 10th anniversary mirror ball trophy. Will Robert and Kym survive the bottom of the leader board? Will Val and Rumer stay on top? Watch “Dancing with the Stars” season 20 when it returns with a sixth week of ballroom action on April 20 and find out.