Dancing with the Stars began the second week of this season’s competition with another no frills or thrills, subdued approach compared to seasons past. I didn’t even detect a theme tonight. It was also announced that popular dance pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy had suffered an injury over the weekend that would prevent him from competing. I think my favorite moment of the night was seeing David Ross rapping to Young MC’s “Bust a Move” before one of the commercial breaks.
Nancy Kerrigan & Artem Chigvintsev, Cha Cha
Poor Nancy can’t take a compliment without having a meltdown. That’s a shame because I think she’s one of the standouts this season. Len said it was a nice opening routine and that Nancy sets the bar high, though it lost a little bit of control. Julianne thought it was great except for a misstep at the beginning. Bruno called her a “vision in pink” but noted the footwork and balance could use a bit of work. Carrie Ann felt Nancy needs to work on her nerves. Mixed reviews led to a mixed score from the judges this week.
Erika Jayne & Gleb Savchenko, Foxtrot
Officer Gleb has his work cut out for him this season keeping Erika’s larger-than-life personality in check. Julianne admired her confident presence and the perfect balance of personality and content this week. Bruno called it a “sex trot” but of course he loved it and her elongated, lyrical lines. Carrie Ann was also impressed by her lines but cautioned her about still being too wobbly on heels (I’m amazed at anyone who can dance gracefully in heels). Len called it a “Beverly Hills Foxtrot” full of glamour, style and some of his favorite Foxtrot steps.
Charo & Keo Motsepe, Paso Doble
The Paso Doble was a good choice for Charo, whom I felt came back full of attack for Week Two. Bruno called her a “tornado in taffeta,” telling her she’s her own special creation. No surprise that Carrie Ann loves Charo, though she noted that she was a step ahead of Keo the entire routine. Len said it had fire and flair, enjoying that she came out and gave it her all. Julianne said age is but a number, admiring Charo’s energy and passion. What was up with Charo stealing Tom Bergeron’s microphone and dissing Bruno’s accent? She loves her dramatic flair, but she came across as a bit of a train wreck!
Nick Viall & Peta Murgatroyd, Foxtrot
I will always root for Peta, but I’m honestly not sure what to think of Nick. I’ve never watched an episode of The Bachelor, but if even William Shatner is boycotting him on the program, that might be a compelling enough reason for me not to vote for him. Carrie Ann said Peta threw a lot of content at Nick, telling him he needs to work on his stiffness and relaxing more. Len noted his frame was too hectic, while Julianne said she loved their strong partnership but told them to simplify their routines. Bruno echoed the sentiment that Nick needs to relax more by saying he looked like a rabbit being chased by a fox instead of a leading man.
Heather Morris & Alan Bersten, Jive
I always love it when it’s time for a Jive, but what unfortunate timing for a serious injury for Maks! However, Heather proved how strong of a competitor she is, nailing it with replacement dance pro Alan and even holding her own for a solo with a few female backup dancers. Cantankerous Len enjoyed the Jive but didn’t like the hip-hop nature of it. Julianne was really glad she did the breakdown with the girls because it showed how she’s transitioning into the world of ballroom dancing. Bruno said the second part of the dance had more punch and vivacity because it was noticeable that Heather really got into character then. Carrie Ann disagreed with Bruno, saying Heather came out and threw down the gauntlet from step one.
Bonner Bolton & Sharna Burgess, Viennese Waltz
Sharna and Bonner continued to steam up the ballroom with their romantic Viennese Waltz set to Jennifer Nettles’ “Unlove You”. I find myself really wanting this couple to win – their connection is breathtaking to watch unfold. Julianne loved the simple choreography, saying it was executed beautifully. Bruno found it sweet and touching, admiring Bonner’s dedication. Everyone snickered when he cautioned, “Don’t go woody.” Carrie Ann said it was elegant and earnest, as well as poetry in motion. Len applauded his frame, but thought the dance was too timid for his personality. And he brought his grandmother to cheer him on? How cute was that!
Simone Biles & Sasha Farber, Cha Cha
Sasha showed Simone some tough love as they rehearsed for their Cha Cha set to Jessie J’s “Burnin’ Up”, but she did look stunning as a result. Bruno said she set off all the fire alarms in the studio! Carrie Ann called her a sparkler, though she pointed out that she was out of sync with Sasha at times. Len admired the vitality and Sasha’s expert choreography. Julianne told her she doesn’t need to worry about looking sexy, but she wants to feel more things when she’s watching Simone dance.
Chris Kattan & Witney Carson, Jazz
I never knew how bad Chris Kattan injured himself … my heart was breaking for him during his rehearsal package. Their old Hollywood production costumes were adorable and my favorite of the night! Dancing a Jazz routine to Outkast’s “Hey Ya”, I thought Chris did a wonderful job. Carrie Ann admitted it’s a miracle that Chris is able to dance as loosely as he does, given the extent of his neck and spine injuries. Len said it was fun and entertaining, while Julianne called it incredible. Both said it was definitely an improvement from last week. Bruno said if this dance were a movie, it would achieve cult status for being unforgettable. I almost teared up when Chris said he felt welcomed afterward and then he received low scores from the judges again. Come on, America!
Normani Kordei & Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Cha Cha
Dancing a robust Cha Cha to Sigala’s “Give Me Your Love”, Normani and Val continued their winning streak despite the jet lag. Len commended them for putting forth a full routine despite having incredibly busy schedules, while Julianne enjoys how much Normani feels the dance. Bruno said it was “jet set” not “jet lag.” Carrie Ann said her star quality came out and she dazzled her with her strong sexiness.
Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater, Viennese Waltz
Rashad tapped into the pain of a broken engagement to deliver an emotionally charged Viennese Waltz set to Charlie Puth’s “Suffer”. These two are another of the couples I’m rooting for this season. Julianne was speechless, finally calling it hot and vulnerable. Bruno said Rashad put everybody in the mood for love, calling it “Fifty Shades of Viennese Waltz.” Carrie Ann admired his raw sexuality, his connection with Emma and the difficult choreography. Len praised the dance, although he called Rashad flat-footed at times.
Mr. T & Kym Herjavec, Paso Doble
Aww. Don’t be so hard on yourself, Mr. T! I believe in you. Dancing to “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III, I admired his obvious improvement and the makeshift boxing ring that the DWTS crew set up in a mere matter of minutes. Although Bruno liked it, he said the Paso Doble required a better command of the dance floor. Carrie Ann said he hit every step and she was impressed by his growth. Len called him the “spirit of the show” and he saluted him for his effort. Julianne praised his intensity and commitment. Mr. T may not be the best dancer in the competition, but as my boyfriend pointed out, there’s a novel by Norman Mailer titled “Tough Guys Don’t Dance”. Fact or fiction?
David Ross & Lindsay Arnold, Cha Cha
A Cha Cha set to Young MC’s “Bust a Move”? From the wavy, neon background to their costumes and dance moves, it was awesomely ’90s. Carrie Ann wasn’t sure what to think, saying it had great energy but it didn’t meet her expectations because she enjoyed his Quickstep so much last week. Len told him to work on his footwork because he was pigeon-toed but said he’s well past second base in the competition. Julianne loved the song choice because she won her first Free Style dance to that song and she loved their energy and partnership. Bruno called him “MC Gramps” but loved the show and costumes.
It’s never easy to say goodbye to anyone on Dancing with the Stars, and it’s even harder when you’re the first to say goodbye for the season. The first elimination came down to Chris & Witney and Charo & Keo. Ultimately, it was Chris & Witney who went home and Chris looked like he was about to cry. The judges were way too hard on him last week and I guess America didn’t do its part to save him. Such a shame, as he was so entertaining and inspirational. Next week is Most Memorable Year Night. Who will shine and who will be going home?
Did the right star go home? Who is your favorite? Who do you think deserves to go home next week? Tell us in the comments below!