Dancing With the Stars Season 18, Week 2 Recap: A Surprise Double Elimination (Spoilers!)

Dancing with the Stars season 18 cast on Good Morning America
Find out which stars were the first to be eliminated on Dancing With the Stars' 18th season -- are your favorites still in the running? Todd Wawrychuk/ABC via Getty Images

Welcome back, Dancing With the Stars fans! Season 18's second episode on Monday, March 24, brought lots of attitude, energy, and suspense, as not one but two couples were eliminated in a surprise twist. Let's recap! (Spoilers ahead.) Click here to see rehearsal photos of the cast.

After Tom Bergeron's announcement that two stars would be going home by the end of the night, everyone was on edge. Everyone, that is, except Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke, who were the first to be named safe — and the first to perform their week two routine.

Drew and Cheryl

The Price Is Right host lived up to his reputation as this season's crowd-pleaser when he and Cheryl burned up the floor with their jive to the Dovells ditty "You Can't Sit Down." Judge Len Goodman was the first to weigh in, telling Drew, "If entertainment was Judo, you're a black belt." Added Bruno Tonioli: "[You're] the consummate stage animal! There were a couple of moments when you went wrong, but you covered them up beautifully." Carrie Ann Inaba agreed, gushing, "You have such a great spring in your step."

Score: 21 out of 30 (7 from each judge)

Tom and co-host Erin Andrews then brought up three more couples to hear their fates. All three — Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater, Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy — were deemed safe, even though Billy Dee and Emma had last week's lowest score. (Viewer votes made up the difference.) 

Danica and Val

Val was disappointed with his and Danica's week one scores, despite the fact that they tied for third with 24 out of 30 points. In an effort to stand out from the competition more, he choreographed an especially difficult samba. "I'm just feeling pressure because we're getting close, and I don't feel ready," Danica said through tears in her intro package. "I just need to figure out how to get it together."

Whatever she did, it worked! Bruno praised the actress as a "gorgeous little jungle cat," while Carrie Ann said the couple had "dominated" the routine. "I think you were sexy and so grounded and so elegant," she raved. "That first combination, every time you did the samba, I thought you were flawless."

Score: 24 out of 30 (8 from each judge)

Billy Dee and Emma

Billy Dee, the oldest of all the season 18 competitors, seemed a little down on himself in his intro package, telling Emma, "I look like an old man trying to be a young person." But his spirits soared when she brought on two other beautiful women to join their routine. "There are a lot of men your age who are very jealous," Carrie Ann quipped after his tango with the ladies. 

Unfortunately, more dancers didn't translate into higher scores. Though Carrie Ann said Billy Dee handled the choreography well, she told Emma the routine needed "a lot more content." And Len compared the tango to slow-growing ivy, saying, "It just crept across the floor."

Score: 15 out of 30 (5 from each judge)

Meryl and Maks

The Olympic ice dancer put her DWTS veteran partner to work this week, thanks to her choice of a swing dance for their week two routine. The couple incorporated lots of acrobatic lifts and flips into their performance, prompting Maks to quip, "I'm way too old for this." But their efforts paid off. "That swing had wings…Fly on, girl, you're gonna be here for a while," Len exclaimed after their dance. Bruno and Carrie Ann noted a few lapses in timing — much to Maks' chagrin — but overall, the judges loved their style.

Score: 25 out of 30 (9 from Len, 8 each from Bruno and Carrie Ann)

The next three couples to be put on the spot were Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, and Diana Nyad and Henry Byalikov. Amy and Candace were revealed to be safe, but Diana missed the cut. "For years I've wanted to do this show," she said, seconds before taking the floor to do her farewell cha cha cha. Her only regret? Not being able to give Henry "just a couple more weeks."

Candace and Mark

Prior to Candace's "sensual, emotional" rumba with Mark to "Say Something," her ex-boyfriend Jeremy Miller — who also dated season 18 contestant Danica — was asked which of the former '90s TV stars he hoped would go all the way. "It's gotta be both of them," he said diplomatically. "There's no way I could pick. Besides, they'd kill me."

For now, at least, it's anyone's game. Candace got the higher score last week, but her contemporary-heavy routine this week put her three points behind Danica. "I wanted to see more of the rumba," Carrie Ann lamented.

Score: 21 out of 30 (7 from each judge)

Amy and Derek

Amy's warning that her prosthetic legs "could potentially fly off" during her swing dance with Derek had even seasoned vet Tom Bergeron holding his breath. But by the end of her routine to the Jurassic 5 song "Swing Set," all that was flying was praise. "You're amazing," Len gushed. Added Carrie Ann: "It's mind-boggling."

Score: 24 out of 30 (8 from each judge)

Talk about a tough act to follow. If anyone can do it, though, it's James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd, who were named safe along with Charlie White and Sharna Burgess.

James and Peta

After some flirty banter between the Big Time Rush heartthrob and his pro (who once went on a date together), James and Peta took the floor to perform a sexy salsa to the Jennifer Lopez tune "Follow the Leader." Bruno noted afterward that there had been a couple of messy passes, but he also praised James for commanding attention. Carrie Ann, meanwhile, could hardly contain herself, gushing that James (and his abs) had joined DWTS' "sexy hall of fame" — which also boasts Corbin Bleu, Mario Lopez, and Gilles Marini as members.

Score: 25 out of 30 (9 from Carrie Ann, 8 each from Bruno and Len)

Charlie and Sharna

Charlie's "bad boy" tango to Avicii's "Addicted to You" was a high point for both Bruno and Carrie Ann, the latter of whom gushed that the Olympian looked like legendary dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov on the floor. Len, however, took points off for Charlie and Sharna "breaking hold," which is against the rules. "You left me nowhere else to go," he said regretfully.

Score: 25 out of 30 (9 each from Carrie Ann and Bruno, 7 from Len)

Following Charlie's dance, the hosts announced that the remaining three couples — NeNe Leakes and Tony Dovolani, Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff, and Cody Simpson and Witney Carson — would perform their routines before finding out whether they had made it to the next round.

NeNe and Tony

NeNe's jive to Estelle's "Do My Thing" was praised by Bruno as "great entertainment," but Carrie Ann reiterated her criticism from last week, telling the Real Housewives star she needed to go bigger with her arm movements. 

Score: 21 out of 30 (7 from each judge)

Sean and Karina

Sean's salsa to Kat Deluna's "Dance Bailalo" was an improvement over last week's contemporary dance, but the judges noted his "timing issues." Carrie Ann added, however, that he had real rhythm and "an ease in motion."

Score: 21 out of 30 (7 from each judge)

Cody and Witney

Cody's pop sensibility worked mostly in his favor during his tango with Witney to Chris Brown's "Yeah." Though Len said it "could have been a little more compact," all three judges loved his style — not to mention the brief moonwalk he incorporated into the dance. "You have this kind of hypnotic quality," Bruno said. "It's like watching Edward in Twilight." 

Score: 22 out of 30 (8 from Bruno, 7 each from Carrie Ann and Len)

Alas, one of these final three couples had to go home. And after Tom pronounced NeNe and Tony safe, it came down to Sean and Karina and Cody and Witney. Sean was ultimately eliminated, allowing Cody to move on to week three.

Tell Us: Do you think the right people went home?

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