SAN DIEGO, September 23, 2013 – One of the big questions answered tonight on Week 2 of “Dancing With The Stars:” yes, the judges are still giving out high scores early in the season.
Mostly, the competitors are earning them. But a few struggled with the routines for Latin Night. All were assigned one of four Latin style dances: Paso Doble, Samba, Rumba, or Jive.
The other big question: who would be the first to go home in the first ever Monday night elimination? We had to get through two hours of Latin dancing before finding out.
The leaderboard did not change much from last week to this week. early favorites Amber Riley and Derek Hough remained on top with another energetic routine, this time the Jive. Riley chose to wear flat shoes and it may have hurt her ability to point her feet. It would have been hard to replicate last week’s nines, and she scored three eights. It was still a tremendous routine.
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff nearly caught up with their version of the Jive. What these two couples have beyond most of the other competitors is the speed at which they can executive the moves. It’s what pushes a routine from decent to spectacular. The “High School Musical” theme was a crowd and judge pleaser. It was the highest score of the night, a 26.
The majority of the couples improved their scores from the previous week. Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkoskiy came in third with 25 points for their crisp Samba. Also dancing the Samba were Leah Remini and Keyshawn Johnson. Leah has the advantage of dancing with the best Samba pro on the show, Tony Dovoloni and he helped her shine. Keyshawn has hopeless hips and he lacked the bounce the dance requires, but he gave it a good effort.
Jack Osbourne, Brant Doughterty, and Nicole Polizzi all drew the Rumba. It’s a disadvantge for them because it’s a very subtle, languid dance without any “wow” factor built in. Jack and Brant did an admirable job and are both strong partners for their pros. Nicole wasn’t so succesful. She was the only competitor besides Amber to get a lower score this week. For all three it’s a good dance to get out of the way early.
Christina Milian and Mark Ballas did an excellent job with their Lady Gaga themed Paso Doble. Milian has strong arm movements which suit this dance. Once her legs catch up she will be a top competitor. Valerie Harper had nice enough moments in her Paso but struggled a little. Bill Nye performed his Paso in character as Beethoven, the Mad Composer and it actually worked for him.
The bottom trio based strictly on points remained the two Bills, Engvall and Nye, and Johnson.
For the first Monday night elimination, host Tom Bergeron read off all the names of the couples who were safe. One of the first saved to the delight of his many fans including members of MENSA in the audience to support him: Bill Nye. He’ll be back next week.
The bottom three were Bill Engvall, Keyshawn Johnson, and Elizabeth Berkley. Berkley was a distraction and taken out immediately. To no one’s huge surprise, Keyshawn Johnson was sent home. He was gracious, saying that “for a guy who’s never even bobbed his head in his car,” he enjoyed the opportunity to learn ballroom dancing, and had nothing but praise for his pro partner Sharna Burgess.
This was the first season in which a professional athlete went home first. So the playing field is very even as we go forward. It’s truly anyone’s Mirror Ball Trophy to win, although some competitors need to work harder than others. We’re talking to you, Jersey Girl.
Fans remember that they still need to vote now for next Monday’s elimination. Fans can vote by phone for only one hour after the show in each time zone. Vote for 24 hours on the Dancing With The Stars Facebook page until 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. and on ABC.com’s DWTS page. This week’s fan votes will combine with the Week 3 judges’ scores to determine who goes home next week. All the scores through this week are gone. It’s a clean slate.
Amber Riley and Derek Hough
Jive – 8/8/8 + 24 points plus 27 Week 1 / 51 points
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff
Jive – 9/8/9 = 26 points plus 24 Week 1 / 50 points
Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy
Samba – 8/9/8 = 25 points plus 24 Week 1 / 49 total
Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke
Rumba – 8/8/8 = 24 points plus 23 Week 1 / 47 total
Christina Milian and Mark Ballas
Paso Doble – 9/8/8 = 25 points plus 22 Week 1 / 47 total
Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd
Rumba – 8/7/8 = 23 points plus 22 Week 1 / 45 total
Leah Remini and Tony Dovoloni
Samba – 8/8/8 – 24 plus 21 Week 1 = 45 points
Snooki Polizzi and Sasha Farber
Rumba – 6/7/7 = 20 points plus 23 Week 1 / 43 total
Valerie Harper and Tristan McManus
Paso Doble – 6/7/7 = 20 points plus 20 Week 1 / 41 points
Bill Engvall and Emma Slater
Jive – 7/7/7 = 21 points plus 18 Week 1 - 39 total
Keyshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess
Samba – 6/6/6 = 18 points plus 17 Week 1 / 35 total
Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein
Paso Doble – 6/5/6 = 17 points plus 14 Week 1 / 31 total
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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