Opening Number: Mandy Moore did what she does best…use the space and choreograph for the camera. I loved Mark, Derek and Val on the steps. Their trio was my favorite highlight from the opening number.
Drew/Cheryl: While this wasn't his cleanest week, I love that he throws himself into each dance. What I adore about this season is that the cast is really likable. Drew has been one of the biggest surprises for me. Count me as a fan! (And how cute was the pep talk Cheryl gave him before the dance began?)
Charlie/Sharna: I don't care that he dropped the cane — that was spectacular! I am rarely a fan of props on DWTS, but the cane choreography was divine with the footwork. Sharna is one of the best choreographers on that show and she proved it with that number. Congratulations to Charlie for keeping up with such challenging steps. (And hello…he did a bumper with penguins--YES!)
Photo via @JonyCalderon11
Danica/Val: I think this was her breakthrough week. She needed to really step out and distinguish herself since it's a talented group and we are halfway through the season. Val is one of my favorite choreographers on the show and this Quickstep showed off his skills nicely. I had to watch this routine twice though because the plates (AKA Lindsay and Jenna) stole the show.
Amy/Derek: Amy makes everything look so easy. This week, we learned how hard it really is for her. While she is primarily an athlete, she shines in her performance every week. This piece was beautiful in a very pretty and quiet way.
Witney/Cody: While I wasn't surprised it was the end of the line for Cody after Kristin Hope did her awesome Facebook-ology research. (His dance with Sharna was the fans' least favorite during the Switch-Up.) He had a really good showing in the Samba though. I don't agree with Donny at all. Cody is 17, he's not going to have a cheesy Disney grin. He went out on a good note and Witney proved she is a total star. Great first year as a pro!
NeNe/Tony: This was the perfect character for her and I loved what this pair did out on the dance floor. As for the package, they are two strong personalities and things will get heated in the rehearsal room. If you saw their emotion after the dance, you know they really like each other. However, Tony needs to take a constructive comment and roll with it. Carrie Ann shared that Derek's work with Nene helped her out. Any elite athlete or performer will seek out an additional coach for a big performance/event. It's no different in this situation. It only helped their case out on the dance floor.
James/Peta: Hello, star lift! James has proven himself to be such a contender in a jam-packed fight for the Top 4. I'm not sure I would call this a perfect 10 performance, but it was darn close. (And hello…he needed a costume, it's Disney Week!)
Meryl/Maks: I am always wanting more from Meryl and I always go back to wanting Maks to add more content for Meryl. However, I'm starting to think that it's because Meryl makes everything look so darn easy. It's effortless and that's a hard quality to come by. It was a cute routine and I had no problem with Meryl's footwear in this situation…it gave her a barefoot look for the costume — I get it.
Candace/Mark: I'm glad she had such a good week after being unfairly judged last week. I loved Mark as a crab! How did Donny not understand what he was doing with his hands? I have to say I am rooting for Candace. She's not going to be in the Top 4, but her positivity and her message that you can be sexy and still covered up is kind of awesome.
Prediction for Elimination: NeNe--I think that package will hurt her votes a bit even though the producers probably upped the drama on their little tiff.
Amy Purdy Scoop: While I was in New York, I ran into the Toyota executive who was responsible for bringing Amy onto the Toyota sponsorship team. (I had seen him at the DWTS show I attended with my niece, but we didn't get a chance to chat.) He first saw her at the TED Talk back in 2011 and approached her after the speech. He is such a fan and Toyota is truly supportive of all of her endeavors. On the sly, he also told me, "That Peta girl is something, isn't she?" I had to laugh.
(Disclosure: I hosted a show for Toyota for five years.)
Let me know your thoughts on Disney Week in the comments below.