Monday night was a night of many emotions at Dancing With The Stars, as the dance floor got heated up with sexy Latin Dances ranging from Samba, to Rumba to Paso Doble, to Jive, which is considered an International Latin dance in Ballroom Competitions. It was an amazing show for only being the second week. Celebrity contestants showed progress, although a few experienced some technical difficulties, but nothing out of the ordinary. However, as excited as we got watching our favorite celebs dance away their night, one had to be eliminated, and not even a sexy Samba saved them.
This season’s format is different, and that’s why now eliminations are on the same nights as the performances. What happens is that the score the couples get from the judges on a week, are carried over to the next week, when the celebs dance once more for viewer votes and a second set of scores from the "DWTS" judges. The judges scores from week one and week two are then combined and added to viewer votes from the previous week of "Dancing with the Stars." The person with the lowest combined score was voted off "DWTS" during the following week of competition.
Yes, sounds a little funky, but we’ll get the hang of it as the show progresses. Now, before spilling the beans and letting you know who got booted off the show, let’s review the highlights of the night. The first contestant to demonstrate that last week was just a little taste of what she’s capable of was Elizabeth Berkley with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. Samba got a whole new meaning and a little extra sexiness added when this couple twirled and swiveled their hips to the beat of the music. The judges loved it, and gave them a 25 out of 30, scoring their first “9” on the competition.
Christina Millian and Mark Ballas stepped their dance up and in a dramatic paso doble, proved how being sexy comes from the attitude, and of course, making sure you hit those marks and do the right steps. They danced to Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” and Mama Monster’s confidence sure was there beyond her song, and it transmitted to Christina, who came out of her shell to deliver a stunning performance. “The stylization is remarkable.” “You were focused, you were fierce, and I tell you, that was terrific,” judge Len Goodman agreed.
Bill Engvall had to overcome his doubts during rehearsal, where he promised that even though many of his fellow competitors were half his age, he would not be intimidated. Partner Emma Slater helped him rock the house with a jive that had Bill shaking his booty all over the ballroom, and his performance showed his confidence. It was fun and energetic and although “the footwork was a little funky,” it was “fantastic fun.” Jack Osbourne had another good week. Partner Cheryl Burke helped him overcome his own worst critic: himself, and delivered a heartfelt rumba to Gary Jules’ “Donnie Darko” version of “Mad World” and he didn’t look terrified at all, as he had admitted he was last week. The whole Osbourne clan was there cheering him on and the judges were also very pleased with his performance.
Leah Remini and partner Tony Dovolani performed a sassy samba. "I'm going through a personal big change for me and my family," she told Tony in a rehearsal segment. "The church (Scientology) is looking for me to fail so they can say to their parishioners, see what happens when you leave." Tony said he was "here to make sure she doesn't." And she proved that she’s a “samba Goddess” as Carrie-Ann Inaba described her and she has a lot more to give. Keyshawn Johnson also delivered an enthusiastic samba, but he fell out of sync with his partner Sharna Burgess during the routine. However he did show some progress. “You were working your assets, I’m telling you,” Len Goodman said. “The key to this show — improve week by week. For me, that was better than last week.”
Nicole Snooki Polizzi and parter Sasha Farber danced the rumba, and although they tried, it lacked continuous movements and more emotion. But the judges got their emotional rumba when Brent Daughetry and Peta Murgratroyd performed and sparks flew all over the dance floor. The undeniable chemistry and the couple’s good look weren’t enough for Len, who felt that was the only reason why they were getting away and that their dance needed to be perfected. At least the judges got a laugh when Bill Nye and partner Tyne Stecklein performed their paso doble.
Judges said they saw improvement. “What I love is that you worked with what you’ve got – your assets, you kind of made fun of yourself while you were dancing a little bit. It was like a weird sort of bizarre masterpiece of insanity and I thought it totally worked but we do have to work on your feet,” Carrie-Ann said, although Nye’s routine lacked some technique, posture, movement quality and hold. Another paso doble that had some issues was Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus’. She had problems with her timing and some steps as it seemed that she had forgotten about a third of the dance.
Amber Riley delivered again. She and partner Derik Hough are dynamite. This week they performed a jive that had the “Glee” star concerned about her figure and all the quick movements, but again, she was able to overcome all her physical obstacles and prove that she is not a “big girl” that moves well for her size, but she is a person that can really dance and look gorgeous on the dance floor. Amber even did a cartwheel at the end that got her another standing ovation. Nevertheless, the couple couldn’t beat their almost perfect score last week, and got 8s from all the judges. However, they’re still at the top of the leaderboard.
Another couple whose jive was off the hook was Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. Everything about it was perfect. It was the story of the baseball star who jives straight into nerdy-hot Karina’s heart. “I love your athleticism, your musicality is spot on. You turned every movement out, but there’s this raw edge to it … exciting!” Said Carrie-Ann, with Bruno Tonioli adding, “This was a performance of dazzling brilliance.” However, Len wasn’t quite convinced but he acknowledged that Corbin can dance, “for me not quite a home run, but you got to third base,” the head judge announced without a hint of irony. Corbin and Karina got the highest score of the night and are now second on the leaderboard.
Now, the sad part. The elimination. Unfortunately, former NFL player Keyshawn Johnson and partner Sharna Burgess were the first to be eliminated. Based on their performance last week, this week, plus their audience votes, comedian Bill Engvall and Johnson were both in the bottom two, putting them in jeopardy of being eliminated. Although Keyshawn was short on votes and scores, he was not short on words. “For a guy who’s never even bobbed his head in the car, the fact that I can have the experience to dance and learn what dancing is all about, and Sharna teaching me, is something amazing to me,” he said.
“Don’t let them give you too hard of a time on ESPN,” host Tom Bergeron cautioned.
Who do you think will get booted off next week?