La vida loca, indeed! Week seven of Dancing With the Stars' 18th season—the so-named Latin week—was chock-full of drama. One contestant went to therapy, one performed with a broken rib, and another was taken to the hospital halfway through the live show. Plus, one couple was eliminated from the competition. Let's recap! (Spoilers, obviously.)
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, safe
This week's rehearsals were particularly difficult for Amy, not just because of the dance—a rumba to The Doors' "Light My Fire"—but also because of some personal problems she was having at home. "I've been in a long-term relationship with someone who's amazing and supportive, but the last year and a half has been really challenging for us because of my schedule," she said through tears. "Derek is my support system right now, and he knows how to make me feel better."
Indeed, Derek's goofy mugging for the camera got Amy smiling again—and dancing. Her rumba was praised by judge Bruno Tonioli as "hot" but still elegant, and Carrie Ann Inaba gushed that she was like Wonder Woman. "I'm telling you, you lit my fire out there," Len Goodman added. "First out, first class."
(Unfortunately, Amy injured her back shortly after performing and had to be tended to by medics. "It just seized up," she told co-host Erin Andrews. "It's hard to breathe right now." As a result of her injury, she was taken on a stretcher to the hospital and missed her team dance later in the night. "She was crying," an onlooker told Us Weekly.)
Score: 36 out of 40 (9 from everyone)
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd, in jeopardy
Ay ay ay! James and Peta dialed up the sex appeal in a big way this week, with a steamy samba that had the audience, not to mention all four judges, hot and bothered. Their chemistry was so off the charts that they were asked—again—whether they're dating. "All I want to say is I look forward to coming here and seeing him every day," Peta replied coyly. Added James: "I'm not denying that we like each other. We do. She's beautiful and cool. But we're trying to keep it as platonic as possible."
That can't be easy, especially when they're both so scantily clad. James went shirtless for their routine this week, while Peta wore little more than a red lace bra and matching boy shorts. "Peta, I think you're a little overdressed," Len quipped. And as for their samba? "That blew my spark plug!" Bruno raved. "It was filthy!"
Score: 35 out of 40 (8 from Len, 9 from everyone else)
Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy, safe
Danica and Val suffered a huge setback this week when Danica fractured her rib during one of the stunts they were practicing for their salsa. "Everything's not fine," she told Val as she sat in the bathroom, crying. Her doctor warned her she could re-injure herself if she continued to dance, but she decided to push through the pain. "It's a fine line between being strong and toughing it out and being stupid and staying in competition...and I don't really know where the balance is," she confessed.
To her credit, Danica never even grimaced during her salsa with Val. But all four judges said it was obvious she was limited by her injury. Carrie Ann described her movement as "stifled," while Len questioned some of the choreography choices. Guest judge Ricky Martin, however, offered "mad respect" to the star and praised her "amazing chemistry" with Val.
Score: 33 out of 40 (9 from Ricky, 8 from everyone else)
NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani, in jeopardy
NeNe channeled her alter ego, NayNay, for this week's Argentine tango—with mixed results. While the judges loved her enthusiasm and attitude, they were less effusive about her lines and legwork. "As I mentioned last week, you need to work on your technique," Len said. He noted, however, that she "came right out and sold it."
Score: 31 out of 40 (7 from Len, 8 from everyone else)
Charlie White and Sharna Burgess, in jeopardy
After his ice dancing partner, Meryl, earned a perfect score last week, Charlie was determined to do the same. Unfortunately, his paso doble wasn't quite up to par in the judges' eyes. "To get a 10, you have to do something special, and for me, this wasn't special," Len said after the performance. Added Bruno: "You put so much into it that you kind of lost a little bit of steadiness."
Score: 36 out of 40 (10 from Ricky, 9 from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 8 from Len)
Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, safe
Being in danger of elimination two weeks in a row really took its toll on Candace—so much so that she and Mark decided she needed to talk to a sports psychologist about why she keeps psyching herself out during the live show. During their session with the doctor, Candace confessed that she feels like she's holding Mark back. "I want to be the best for you," she told him, crying. "I want the two of us to get to the end. I never want to be the reason for disappointment." She later said the chat brought up some insecurities she didn't even know she had. "Sometime along the way, I feel like I let him down," she told the cameras tearfully.
The psychologist offered Candace a few tips to help her cope with her nerves, and they seemed to work—for the most part, at least. "The confidence was there, the lines were nice and crisp," Carrie Ann raved. Added Ricky: "You were focused. The tension was necessary for the tango, and your lines were amazing...Superb!"
Score: 35 out of 40 (8 from Carrie Ann, 9 from everyone else)
Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy, safe
Meryl and Maks had a few slight mishaps in rehearsal this week, but you never would have known it from watching their salsa. Despite Maks' claims that they were "beat" and "in pain," they performed a near-perfect routine for the second week in a row. The only complaint came from Len, who said the staging—which involved several extra dancers—was "a little bit hectic" at times.
Score: 39 out of 40 (9 from Len, 10 from everyone else)
Team Vida: Charlie, James, and NeNe
Purely by coincidence, all three of Team Vida's couples—Charlie and Sharna, James and Peta, and NeNe and Tony—were in jeopardy this week. But they managed to put on a pretty good group dance to Ricky Martin's song "La Copa de la Vida." Ricky even invited all of them to go on tour with him. Bruno and Carrie Ann praised the energy of the routine, but both also noted a couple of synchronization problems.
Score: 35 out of 40 (10 from Ricky, 9 from Bruno, 8 from Carrie Ann and Len)
Team Loca: Meryl, Candace, Danica, Amy
With Amy in the hospital because of her back spasm, Team Loca had to rely on footage of their dress rehearsal performance for their scores. (They performed live, too, but mostly just for the benefit of the crowd, since Derek was missing his partner.) Afterward, Carrie Ann gushed that it was the tightest group performance she'd seen in 18 seasons of the show. And Bruno raved that the routine was "slick, spectacular"—a real showstopper. "I regret we don't have a results show, because this is worth a repeat performance!" he exclaimed.
Score: 39 out of 40 (9 from Len, 10 from everyone else)
In the end, NeNe and Tony were eliminated from the competition for having the lowest combined total of judges' scores and viewer votes. NeNe cried saying goodbye to her fellow contestants, but she put on a brave face for the judges. "I couldn't have been happier to step out of my element," she said. "I am so proud of myself, and I know my husband and kids are proud of me, too."