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'Dancing With the Stars' recap: A Disney night shocker!

April 15, 2014|By Allyssa Lee
  • Youth was not on their side.
Youth was not on their side. (Adam Taylor / ABC )

Now that we’re halfway through Season 18, “Dancing With the Stars” has made a nod to ABC’s parent company and star Meryl Davis’ uncanny resemblance to Jasmine the princess in Disney theme night, which host Tom Bergeron likened to Disney on Ice -- but without the ice!

All the original star/pro partnerships are back, to the delight of most. “We’re doing some conscious recoupling,” Tom quipped.

Though the couple who did not end this evening happily ever after came as a shock: Cody Simpson and Witney Carson. (Low-scorers Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas were also in jeopardy, but not necessarily in the bottom two.) 

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The gasps that came from the audience showed this went over like the reality ballroom equivalent of the “Game of Thrones” purple wedding (cue the Rains of Castamere, but set to a pop beat). Apparently Cody’s gaggle of teenage fans invaded the ballroom in droves with their swooning screams of devotion but didn’t bother casting their vote for the teenage YouTube sensation. Though was Tom’s interesting word choice of “and the thinning of the herd continues,” could have been a hint to Cody’s safari routine. 

And it’s too bad, because while he wasn’t the best ballroom dancer, it seemed Cody was finally embracing his lion stance in this cheesy reality dance extravaganza with his Simba samba, slathering on the unexpected joys of bronzer, and getting a sparkly taste of what it was like to be ballroom king.

“It’s tough, but it its what it is,” Cody said with his trademark laidback attitude.

Well, Witney did say both Cody and Simba are “young, energetic, a little wild, and they have good hair.” Maybe Cody will make like the lion cub and take down Scar and come back in some sort of circle of life mirrorball triumph. 

Ah, but that was the sad ending to an otherwise mostly enjoyable evening devoted to classic songs from Disney’s repertoire of animated films. Season 9 winner Donny Osmond said he was there to evaluate performance and then critiqued stars on their technique, flirted with Bruno, and was as self-referential as a guest judge could be. And a new star leader emerged out of the frozen depths of our dancing pack. 

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Big Time Rush’s James Maslow got the week’s highest scores, and he wins an extra gold star for bringing Hannah, who invited James to her prom, to the “DWTS” stage instead. And then he and Peta Murgatroyd reunited to perform a perfectly lovely contemporary routine to “Let it Go” from “Frozen.” And it could not have been performed better had Adele Nazeem Idina Menzel belted it live herself. The cool graphics that made the ballroom floor look like ice were a dazzling touch, and Peta was the perfect blonde snowflake to James’ flawless tree-trunk. Bruno called it “a contemporary blockbuster.” Carrie Ann said she cried the whole time. Donny was “blown away by the whole performance.” Len said that routine “would melt the coldest heart, even mine.” And very much like “Frozen” broke the record set by “Toy Story 3” to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time, James and Peta broke the season record with a perfect score – the first one of the season. Total: 40 out of 40. 

Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy are back to play Beauty and the Beast and wow the audience with their “Be Our Guest” quickstep. Some of Maks rubbed off on Danica as she’s continuing to learn not to sweat the details and just go with the flow in her quickstep. And this was the most, um, “animated” Danica’s been all season. Loved the dancing dishes and Val’s Beast-turned-Prince in "Purple Rain" get-up, hair and all. Though the real unsung hero was that humongous bottle of champagne, just chilling on the stage. Bruno bellowed that the “Wonder Years” actress tamed the beast. Carrie Ann gave Danica a hug. “Both of you guys knocked it out of the park!” Donny exclaimed. Danica was as excited as a kid on her first trip to Disneyland. “I love Disney and I love this dance and I love this song, and I love this dress,” she gushed. Total: 39.

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