Dancing with the Stars, Season 25, Week 2, Night 1, Ballroom Night
Night one of a two-nighter ends with a three-way tie for first, and poor Keo being the first off again.
It’s a two-night event this week on Dancing with the Stars, which happens in the second week sometimes. On the other hand, this is the first time the celebrities have had to learn two full-blown routines for the second week! Though they’re noticeably on the short side.
We’ll be down to eleven couples after Tuesday night too, losing one each night. But with thirteen routines to get through tonight, and all the judges commenting as normal, there isn’t even time for an opening number. We just get the couples marching out and getting underway with Ballroom Night immediately:
Debbie Gibson & Alan Bersten: Quickstep; “This is My Time” Amy Stroup
Debbie likes the title of the song; she thinks it applies to her. The quickstep’s a demanding dance, but apparently she’s handling the rehearsal’s better now. And she’s certainly happy. That’s clear throughout the dance, and it probably makes her lighter on her feet, and makes us as happy to watch. The judges too. But they do all have a lot of criticisms about her technique, and she gets a Six from Len and Sevens from Carrie Ann and Bruno for 20 total.
Nikki Bella & Artem Chingvintsev: Waltz; “Come Away With Me” Norah Jones
Nikki’s fluff ends up being all about her family. We see her twin sister at the beginning of it, and when told she has to be elegant, she talks about how she wants to be like her elegant nana. And she is indeed elegant in her waltzing, in a powerful lady of the manor way, or maybe of the stars, since they’re looking pretty in the background. Sadly, Nana isn’t able to be in the ballroom tonight. But she would approve, Bruno tells Nikki, and the judges have mostly good things to say before they break out straight Sevens for 21.
Lindsey Stirling & Mark Ballas: Quickstep; “Swing Set” Jurassic 5
After keeping things relatively simple last week, Mark’s ready to get creative. He decides to have them turn into butterflies, with Lindsey calling it symbolic of her recovering from her depression. That means ducking into a green tent and coming out in over the top monarch butterfly outfits, and dancing a peppy routine where they even flap their arms. It’s kind of silly, but also kind of delightful. The judges tell Mark how much they’ve missed his creativity, and speak well of Lindsey’s dancing ability before breaking out straight Sevens again.
Barbara Corcoran & Keo Motsepe: Tango; “Whatever Lola Wants” Sarah Vaughn
Before the fluff they get behind Bruno and pull his ears! In it she talks about starting from the bottom as a dyslexic second grader. But the routine’s a relatively simple one; the only thing to spice it up being Barbara pulling Keo’s shirt open at the end. She does the moves generally better than she did last week, even if her footwork still isn’t the best. The judges praise her for the improvement, though the highlight of that in her asking Bruno where he’s from and him saying Mars! Len raises his score to Five and the other two raise theirs to Sixes, for 17 total.
Nick Lachey & Peta Murgatroyd: Foxtrot; “Mandy” Barry Manilow
This is one of his favorite songs, he notes, as speak of trying to focus on outscoring their spouses. As they get off the bench at the opening, the first part is sweet and romantic and good. Then her dress gets caught, he stiffens up, and things are just thrown off in general. Carrie Ann and Bruno both express their regret for that, since it could’ve been better. But Len dislikes the uses of benches anyway, and calls it too fragile, causing Maks Chmerkovskiy to lead off the boos. He and Bruno give Sixes, but Carrie Ann gives them a Seven for 19.
Drew Scott & Emma Slater: Quickstep; “Sing Sing Sing” Louis Prima
“This fixer-upper is under construction,” Emma declares, before the fluff focuses on the injury he got during the dress rehearsal yesterday. Then, he couldn’t put weight on his leg. But we learn afterwards the quickstep’s one of the less bad dances for it. And tonight, he joins some dancers on the bandstand and just totally rocks around the dance floor, his bouncy knees compensating for his feet. Carrie Ann calls it a showstopper, and Bruno says he’d buy that fixer-upper. But Len calls it too loose, and gives it a Six. Sevens from the other two leave them with 20.
Vanessa Lachey & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Foxtrot; “Hit Me with a Hot Note” Tami Tappan Damiano
Vanessa compares the strict Maks to her military father, but a lot of the fluff focuses on the bloody toe she gets in practice. She’s mostly past that by tonight, though. She saunters easily through this routine, easily holding her own over all the men who are serving as her background dancers for this one, shining as bright as her gold dress throughout. The judges are all really impressed, with Bruno saying her foxtrot “couldn’t be foxier” and calling her “liquid gold,” and Carrie Ann calls her a superstar. Then they break out the straight Eights for 24.
Frankie Muniz & Witney Carson; Tango “Whatever It Takes” Imagine Dragons
The fluff has her saying she’s doing to push him harder, and then talks about the back injury he’s struggling with. But while dancing tonight, he shows no signs of pain. In fact, this is a really good and engaging number, and danced well. Bruno especially praises him for keeping time to this song when it’s a really hard one to keep time to. But Len declares it was “too aggressive,” uncaring when the boos fill the ballroom, and gives them only a Seven. Two Eights from Carrie Ann and Bruno leave them with 23.
Terrell Owens & Cheryl Burke: Foxtrot “Pillowtalk” ZAYN
He expresses a belief in the fluff he was underscored, if only because he was sure he was more than a point better than Barbara! But he doesn’t cope well with learning this week’s dance. Also, like Keo, he ends up with her shirt getting opened. Really, this feels more like rumba. It’s as hot as one, with these two building the tension and steam while dancing really well. Carrie Ann even demands, “Where was this last week?” But Len is not at all happy with all the raunchiness. This time it’s a Six from him and Sevens from the other two for 19.
Sasha Pieterse & Gleb Savchenko: Viennese Waltz; “I’m Going Down” Rose Royce
The fluff features a visit to the studio by her professional dancer parents, but also Gleb talking about her needing to show more emotion. The routine turns up the glamour, featuring girls with big feathers which is kind of silly. But Sasha takes to it, soaring around the floor like a queen. Carrie Ann sums that up by calling her a star. Bruno does say there wasn’t enough fluidity in her arms, though, saying they were “karate chopping things.” That keeps his score down to a Seven, but Carrie Ann and Len both give them Eights, so they total 23.
Victoria Arlen & Val Chmerkovskiy: Tango; “Look What You Made Me Do” Taylor Swift
The fluff focuses mostly on last week, and what an emotional experience that was for her. Such a great moment isn’t easy to follow. But the two of them do their best with this one. They do a vampire routine, which isn’t something everyone will like. But Victoria is mesmerizing from the start, sharp and fierce in her tangoing, and with technique that makes Carrie Ann marvel. Bruno tells her how much she looked like a leading lady, and Len just calls it a “super duper dance,” before they break out the night’s second set of straight Eights.
Derek Fisher & Sharna Burgess: Foxtrot; “Hallelujah I Love Her So” Ray Charles
The fluff once again stars his mother, who’s arrived in the ballroom, and when she first got there Saturday, we see him lead her around the floor! The routine is a ridiculously cute one, with cheesy background houses and outfits of a pair of neighbors. But Derek turns out to be pretty good with that, and the goofiness is just too endearing and entertaining. But his technique’s still not good, and then Carrie Ann is of the opinion that he danced “a little small.” She and Len only give them Sixes, but they get a Seven out of Bruno to total 19.
Jordan Fisher & Lindsay Arnold: Viennese Waltz; “Count on Me” Judah Kelly
The fluff is mostly a love fest, which also sees them brainstorming crazy moves in the studio. There aren’t any of those tonight though. Instead there’s a traditional but well-choreographed routine where their main props are their emotions. They nail the feelings absolutely, making this a memorable end, and their moves are good. But Len does think the latter were a little too staccato. Carrie Ann also notes their nuances weren’t ballroom nuances, and she asks for Latin nuances for tomorrow night. The scores are still straight Eights, so they, Vanessa & Maks and Victoria & Val are now in a three-way tie.
With three minutes left for the elimination, the couples line up, and Tom just names two of them who are in jeopardy: Terrell & Cheryl and Barbara & Keo. Who, as Terrell notes earlier, were only a point apart. But when Terrell & Cheryl were still ahead, and you gotta figure they’re getting more votes, you figure there’s only one way this one can go. And it goes that way: Barbara & Keo are first out.
Barbara’s first response to that is to wonder how she’s going to live without Keo, to which Erin says, “We all feel that way.” She’s got that one right. Seriously, producers, why do you keep giving him bad partners?
Tomorrow night is Latin night, so things’ll get steamy. What one less routine leaves us with time for we’ll have to find out.