“Dancing with the Stars” 2013 resumed April 29 on ABC with week seven of the season 16 competition. Although Disney actress Zendaya and her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy turned in a round one paso doble that earned the judges’ acclaim, the effort wasn’t enough to earn them immunity, and the bad news prompted a popular former “DWTS” pro to issue a veiled complaint via Twitter.
During their rehearsal segment, Chmerkovskiy told the 16-year-old “Shake it Up” star that she’d need to muster double the gusto for their Latin night paso doble, which he explained was “all about energy and passion.” Unsure of her own innate intensity, Zendaya said she would draw on her skill set and just act in order to deliver the vigor required.
When Zendaya hit the “DWTS” ballroom to perform to Rodrigo y Gabriela’s “Buster Voodoo,” she looked classy in a long, opaque gown. She mastered the intensity and character of the paso doble, but the costume concealed much of her legwork, which was a disappointment.
All three panelists appreciated the routine. Head judge Len Goodman enjoyed the “attack” and “aggression” but told Zendaya that she needed to lift her chin. Bruno Tonioli quipped “you look like an angel. You dance like a fury,” but agreed with Goodman that she needed to watch her upper line. Carrie Ann Inaba praised her “gorgeous” lines and thought the dance was “beautifully portrayed,” but she too noted a disconnection between her upper and lower lines.
The judges awarded Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy with three nines, for a total of 27 points. The score was only good enough for a tie for third place on the round one leader board, which saw “American Idol” alum Kellie Pickler and Olympian Aly Raisman knotted for first with 29 points each. Pickler earned immunity, sending Raisman, Zendaya and the rest of the remaining celebrity hopefuls to the dance-offs.
After defeating fellow third place couple Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff during their jive dance-off and adding three points to their mark, Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy ended the evening behind Pickler and Hough, who advanced safely to “DWTS” week eight, and Raisman and Ballas, who also won their dance-off.
Following the broadcast, former “Dancing” pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy took to Twitter to express his displeasure over the judges’ scoring, writing “Some things are no longer worth my breath, thought and explanation! #NotWorthAHashtag.”
Zendaya, conversely, took responsibility for her performance and promised better in the weeks to come. She tweeted fans during the west coast broadcast, writing “I love reading your tweets of support!! Sorry I didn’t get that perfect score…I’m gonna continue to work my hardest to earn your votes!!”
To see if Zendaya survives to dance again, watch the “Dancing with the Stars” 2013 week seven results show April 30 on ABC.