Celebrity contestants Diana Nyad and Sean Avery are sent home but get to do their dances, while Billy Dee is safe despite landing in the bottom of the scoreboard.
"Dancing with the Stars" already featured a twist early in its season 18. Opening the Monday, March 24 episode, host Tom Bergeron announced that not just one, but two pairs would be sent home this week. The show revealed the results in between the contestants' dance.
Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke danced a high-energy jive. Bruno Tonioli loved that Drew covered his mistakes up "beautifully" and agreed with Len Goodman that he needed to work on his footwork and posture. The judges gave the comedian 21 points.
Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy's samba was sexy. Carrie Ann Inaba called it "so sexy and so elegant" as Len dubbed it "terrific and fantastico," noting that "samba's a really tough dance." Danica earned 24 points.
Billy Dee Williams was safe despite earning the lowest score last week. He danced a tango with Emma Slater this week and earned only 15 points, matching last week's score. Carrie Ann said he handled the choreography well but he needed more content, while Len thought the performance didn't have enough "attack."
Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced a fiery and cute swing. Bruno admitted that "the level of difficulty was incredible," but the pair handled it well. Maks disagreed when Bruno said that she made some mistakes in timing. Carrie Ann said the routine was "fantastic." Meryl earned 25 points.
The first eliminated pair was then revealed. Diana Nyad and her pro dancer partner Henry Byalikov got the boot. "For nine years I've wanted to do this show. It's spectacular - the spirit of it," she said. "It's joy, the freedom."
Praising Henry, the swimmer added, "I only wish that this superlative handsome young man who I've locked my body with now for three weeks. He's elegant and brilliant and I wish I could have given him a few more weeks." They got to dance their cha-cha before leaving.
The competition was back on with Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas dancing a rumba, but Candace didn't want it to be raunchy. Carrie Ann didn't like that it was more contemporary than it was rumba-like. The former "Full House" star got 21 points.
Amy Purdy and Derek Hough danced a swing. She was afraid that her prosthetics would separate from her legs during the swing, but things went just fine. Len called it "amazing," and Carrie Ann loved that the two dancers were in sync. The paralympic snowboarder earned 24 points.
James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd danced a steamy salsa, prompting Bruno to ask, "More of that, please!" Carrie Ann, meanwhile, declared that James earned a spot in the "DWTS" sexy dancer "hall of fame." The Big Time Rush member earned 25 points.
Charlie White continued to stun the judges, this time with a fierce tango with his partner Sharna Burgess. Len said they broke the rules by breaking hold, but Bruno said, "Charlie, don't worry. I love you when you're bad." The Olympic ice dancer earned 25 points.
Partnered with Tony Dovolani, NeNe Leakes danced a jive which was picked by her husband. Len said it was fun, and Bruno called it a "great entertainment" but wanted her to be sharper. Carrie Ann, meanwhile, had an argument with Tony when complaining about NeNe's arms. The reality TV star earned 21 points.
Sean Avery and Karina Smirnoff showed improvement when dancing a salsa. Len said "that's much, much better," and Carrie Ann praised him for being "very authentic" when he danced. Bruno took issue with his timing and hips. The former NHL player earned 21 points.
Cody Simpson and Witney Carson's sizzling tango was deemed a "little bit loose" by Len. Bruno "loved the moonwalk," while Carrie Ann loved how he stylized his dances. The Aussie singer earned 22 points.
The second eliminated celebrity contestant was revealed at the end of the episode, and the unlucky one was Sean Avery. Still, the hockey player managed to see the positive side of joining the competition, saying, "I made a new friend in Karina. I made some money for charity. I got out of the cold winter of New York."
Next week will see the first "Switch Up" challenge, in which the stars and pros will switch partners for a week. Fans can help determine the new pairings by tweeting #DWTS followed by the first name of the celebrity and the first name of the professional dancer without spaces (ex: #DWTSMerylDerek).