Poor creaky 76-year-old Billy Dee Williams. He clearly was not ready to do a dancing competition with this level of rigor.
He looked stiff from the get go, his mobility limited, his hips frozen in place. It was kind of sad, actually.
So when he bowed out tonight due to a back injury, I’m sure his fans breathed a sigh of relief. He probably watched himself on tape and realized this was a big, big mistake.
With Williams out, everyone else was safe.
We had our first 10s of the competition, courtesy of Meryl Davis‘ foxtrot. Her ice dancing skills are clearly translating onto the ballroom floor. I still think that’s ultimately going to work against her for votes against some of the other dancers.
The judges were in a good mood tonight, perhaps boosted by the presence of guest judge Robin Roberts. Only two dancers received 7s: Drew Carey landed 7s from Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman. Atlanta’s NeNe Leakes received a 7 from Goodman. NeNe’s Rumba did land her her first 8s from the other judges.
NeNe, honoring her favorite year, did her dance thinking of her second marriage to her first husband Gregg using Whitney Houston’s “I Believe In You and Me.”
After the dance, Gregg hugged and kissed NeNe.
“You have this enormous personality but you showed a different side of you,” Roberts said. “You showed the sensual side of him.”
Carrie Ann Inaba said she really as large as her “heart and passion, arms were gorgeous, beautiful job.” Goodman said it wasn’t “overly raunchy.”
But out of nine dancers, she ranked eighth. The competition this year is stiff.
Behind Meryl, four other dancers got 9s across the board: her ice-dancing partner Charlie White , “Wonder Years” actress Danica McKellar, Big Time Rush singer James Maslow and snowboard Amy Purdy.
Cody Simpson had three 9s and an 8 while Candace Cameron Bure scored 8s.