SAN DIEGO, March 27, 2012 – While critics and fans agree that Season 14 of Dancing With the Stars got off to its best start ever, there is still no getting past the cold reality that one contestant would be the first to get voted off the island on Tuesday night.
Oh sorry, wrong show! One contestant would go home without having the chance to wear any more spandex or sequins or shake their moneymaker for America, having received the lowest combination of judges’ scores and fan votes.
After a performance by Sugarland and Matt Nathanson featuring the professional dance troupe, the producers made their smartest move of the night. They let fans know that William Levy and Cheryl Burke were safe. Host Tom Bergeron announced, “William and Cheryl, we’re avoiding a riot. You guys are safe.” Levy then said he couldn’t go home, because we hadn’t seen him dance topless yet. Uh, #winning!
Also safe early on: Jaleel White and Kym Johnson. White immediately posted on Twitter, “The votes are in and all I wanna do is rehearse again.”
The first couple “in jeopardy” of going home was Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower. The show is careful to announce this does not necessarily mean they have the lowest scores of all the couples. Some couples are put in jeopardy deliberately and then saved in order to put a little scare into their fans and make sure they vote in the following weeks to save their favorites. Judging by how upset Fegan’s fans were on Twitter, it will work exactly as intended. Later the audience saw later he wasn’t leaving after all. ABC is very good to its Disney cable actors.
In a surprise to many who expected she might be in trouble, Melissa Gilbert made it through the first elimination, probably on the strength of her partner’s popularity. Maks Chmerkovskiy has a lot of devoted fans. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough and Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas are safely into the next round. Sherri Shepherd did a little happy dance of joy when she learned she was safe from elimination with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. The Packer Nation breathed a sigh of relief learning Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd were safe.
Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya along with Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus escaped elimination to dance again. Joining the bottom three couples were Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovoloni and Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff, to no one’s real surprise including theirs.
Producers quickly put the fans out of their misery and called Roshon Fegan safe.
So, would it come down to the worst dancing of the night or the dancer with the least fans voting? It was a result based on merit, or lack of it: Martina Navratilova, who forgot the steps of her jive, was eliminated. It was the right and fair result and not one based on sheer popularity. Tennis players have a terrible track record on Dancing With The Stars. At least she won’t have to wear another terrible costume or heels. Gavin DeGraw will return to dance the rumba next week.
Next week, the eleven remaining couples will dance either the salsa or the rumba. We know William Levy will be shaking it up salsa style. Be sure you have a cold drink handy. You’re going to need it.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns with Week 3 of Season 14 on Monday night, April 2, at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, on the ABC Television Network.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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