May 13, 2014 1:32am PT by Natalie Stone
Olympian Charlie White Eliminated from 'DWTS' Semifinals, Oprah Gives Pep Talk
Dancing With the Stars celebrated American icons in semifinal week nine and bid adieu to gold medalist figure skater Charlie White.
No longer will audiences have to determine which Olympian to pledge their allegiance to, as Meryl Davis and the three fellow remaining celebrity contestants said goodbye to her Sochi 2014 Olympics skating partner.
"I'm disappointed, obviously, on many levels, because I thought we had more to give. ... We did everything that we could," White said in regards to being eliminated with partner Sharna Burgess. The Michigan native, who is currently performing in the Stars on Ice tour with Davis, intends on spending his now-free time with ice dancer girlfriend Tanith Belbin at their recently purchased Ann Arbor home. Though saddened that he and partner Burgess will not be able to showcase their freestyle dance in next week's finale, White admitted that his vote is for Davis to win the competition.
"[Charlie] and I have pretty much done everything together. We go to college together, we're spending all day, everyday together for over 17 years, so it's going to be really, very strange," Davis said.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Davis, who earned a perfect score in both of their evening's performances -- jive and Viennese Waltz -- remarked that this season has been a highlight in his life: "It's been the best experience over the last decade."
The last male celebrity competitor in season 18, Big Time Rush star James Maslow, who earned a perfect score in his cha-cha with Peta Murgatroyd, was saddened to say goodbye to White, but recognizes that he must channel both his commitment and discipline to compete for the win.
"I've made some great friends, including Charlie, who I really hope to stay friends with," Maslow said, "but at this point, it is down to the finals, and I want to respect everybody. The claws are going to come out because we're going to try our best. We want to be here."
One of two Olympians remaining in the competition, Amy Purdy, along with partner Derek Hough, received an encouraging phone call during practice from the double amputee's icon, Oprah Winfrey, who invited the pair to dinner if they win the competition. "For me personally, and I know for Amy, my rock stars are the people who inspire people and who live by what they say, and [Oprah] did an absolute perfect example of what that is," Hough said.
Child star and devout Christian Candace Cameron Bure, who also received an inspirational talk from personal icon and best-selling author Angela Thomas, was safe from jeopardy at the top of the night. "It was a bit of mixed emotions because I kind of botched my first dance, which I hadn't the entire week that I had been rehearsing … so when I went out there and I blanked at a couple of points, I was so disappointed with myself, but then they declared us safe."
Professional dancer and Bure's partner Mark Ballas, whose independent single "Get My Name" debuted at number 24 on iTunes in its first week, was thrilled to see Kenny Ortega fill the place of week eight's Abby Lee Miller at the judges' table.
"Kenny Ortega is a living dance choreographic legend. He's worked with the best of the best, including Michael Jackson, and I've been a fan of his since I was a kid," said Ballas, adding, "Growing up in the dance community, it's a dream to work with Kenny Ortega."
Dancing With the Stars season 18 finale airs on May 20 on ABC.