After a week of confirming many instances of Covid, Dancing with the Stars returned to the Disney+ ballroom on Monday to celebrate Elvis Presley and highlight Tyra Banks’ height advantage over her hosting partner Alfonso Ribeiro. You should put them on opposing sides of the stage. As a result of Daniella Karagach testing positive for the virus overnight, Joseph Baena had to cover up and perform with a replacement dancer from the group named Alexis Warr.
Week 2: here we go!
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Couple: Cheryl Ladd and Louis Van Amstel. Dancing with the Stars: The couple had a sweet ride in a convertible before the show, but their dance to “A Little Less Conversation” left much to be desired. Ladd became disoriented, skipped through several procedures, and panicked when she realized how much was required of her. Holy crap, she’s got some serious swagger! The routine “would have been terrific if we hadn’t gotten out on the wrong foot a number of times,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba observed. I really value your return visits. You maintained repeated visits. Grade: 21 out of a possible 40
Teresa Giudice and Pasha Pashkov. While in New Jersey for rehearsals, Giudice reflected on the times she and her late father watched Dancing with the Stars together. Pashkov urged her to bring that feeling to her dance to “All Shook Up,” but it had little effect on the judges. (Because he is married to Karagach, Pashkov had to wear a mask, too.) “It was colorful and energetic,” the adjudicator, Len Goodman, observed. Too many mistakes were made in your leg motion, and that was the issue. The kicks aren’t as sharp as they should be, which is one of two problems. A 23 out of a possible 40
Joseph Baena and Alexis Warr. Dancing with the Stars: The bodybuilder had a rough break; he couldn’t find his ideal dance partner in time, so he had to do the Viennese waltz with an unfamiliar person while wearing a mask that didn’t quite fit. It “could have been a disaster and it wasn’t,” as judge Derek Hough put it. Inaba chimed in, “You were legitimately leading.” To paraphrase: “Be careful, your hands will start to flatten out.” The final tally was 24 out of 40.
Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten. The country-pop artist promised to stand up straighter. She must have practiced hard since she and her mile-long ponytail started the concert with a foxtrot to “Trouble.” Goodman said, “I enjoyed the combination of steps, I thought your legs were stronger.” In my opinion, this is a step forward from last week. The final tally: 25 out of a possible 40 points.
Sam Champion and Cheryl Burke. Dancing with the Stars: In spite of the fact that the ex-weatherman is still getting acclimated to Burke’s tough love coaching method, it seems to be paying off, as seen by his improved posture and, more crucially, his increased confidence during the Viennese dance to “Heartbreak Hotel.” “Cheryl may be quite a harsh and difficult instructor but she achieves results,” judge Bruno Tonioli stated. You had the appearance of a leading guy, she said. 26 out of 40; not bad!
Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki. Dancing with the Stars: The reality star was ashamed of his poor performance last week and contacted Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino for encouragement before doing the quickstep to “Viva Las Vegas” in a black costume and dazzling Elvis wig. Goodman compared his client’s actions to those of a gambler in Las Vegas. I gave it a 27 out of 40.
Sparks Jordan and Armstrong Brandon. The singer won a karaoke contest when she was younger thanks to her rendition of “Hound Dog,” so she is certainly acquainted with the song; nevertheless, she is unfamiliar with the notion of quickstepping to the fast melody. The judges saw how hard she was working to keep up with Armstrong. Goodman said, “There has to be controlled.” Your frame is your biggest issue. It’s sloppy; tighten up your core, and you’ll go ahead. I gave it a 27 out of 40.
Gleb Savchenko and Shangela. Dancing with the Stars: The drag queen channeled her inner “Beyonce at the Super Bowl” by continuing her high-octane performance from opening night into an upbeat quickstep to “Shake, Rattle, and Roll.” Unfortunately, a hiccup prevented her from surpassing last week’s performance. Inaba praised her precision on stage, saying, “I admire it when you commit to every action.” The response was, “Well done.” I gave it a 28 out of 40.
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Artem Chigvintsev and Heidi D’Amelio. The week two foxtrot to “Suspicious Minds” by the social media celebrity was a vast improvement from her week one cha. A sophisticated grace permeated every aspect of it. Your arms sing with such beauty. Goodman said, “I was pleasantly pleased by how wonderful it was.” It required a little more freedom at times, but in general, it was excellent. I gave it a 28 out of 40.
Selma Blair and Sasha Farber. Dancing with the Stars: After learning about her struggle with multiple sclerosis, the actress had a great first week. Blair had never tried jiving before, so the orchestra did her a solid on Monday night by slowing down “Jailhouse Rock” so she could do a cartwheel and the splits. You took what was there and made it your own, Tonioli remarked. I gave it a 28 out of 40.
Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart. The deaf performer’s mums, Lori and Mary, dropped by practice to see him dance to “King Creole” He put up a good show, man. Or “stank face,” as Banks put it. Marlee Matlin, his CODA co-star, came to show her support, but Hough didn’t mention her Oscar-winning date, Troy Kotsur. It was fascinating to see you, Hough said. The music was remarkable in its musicality. I gave it a 29 out of 40.
Both Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater. Dancing with the Stars: The actor still moved with fear and a sense of “vulnerability” during rehearsals, but his rumba to “You’re Always On My Mind” let him flaunt his sex appeal and impressive abs. Banks, distracted by Donovan’s sexiness, neglected to play Goodman while Tonioli fannied himself nonstop. Do you recall a time when you avoided dancing out of fear? Hough said, “It’s clear that you have a deep appreciation for dancing. 30 out of 40 points
Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy. Dancing with the Stars: Before dancing the Viennese waltz to “Fools Rush In,” the Bachelorette showed off her engagement ring and her new fiancé, Eric Schwer. Tonioli said, “I am completely taken aback.” “You and Val make a great team; you’re like two perfectly tuned instruments.” 32 out of 40
Wayne Brady and Witney Carson. Dancing with the Stars: The night ended with a bang thanks to the Let’s Make a Dealer and their fantastic jive to “Burning Love.” This guy is a pro when it comes to partying. “That was one helluva jive. Seeing you dance was a lot of fun. In order to succeed, you must treat this race like a marathon. Your knees are very important to me since I believe you are a fantastic dancer and I don’t want you to hurt them. 32 out of 40
Mark Ballas and Charli D’Amelio. Dancing with the Stars: The TikTokker’s endurance was put to the limit during quickstep training with her instructor, but she kept her elbows up and her enthusiasm high for “Bossa Nova Baby.” Banks, it seems, has a serious crush on D’Amelio’s neck. In other words, continue providing insightful criticism. Hough said, “That juxtaposition over there was fantastic.” I can tell who you are just by looking at you. 32 out of 40
Dancing with the Stars: Giudice/Pashkov and Ladd/Van Amstel were the two worst pairings. Inaba rescued Ladd, while Hough and Tonioli rescued Giudice. Goodman made the ultimate decision to send Giudice packing by siding with Ladd instead, so the reality star would have to accept his loss.