Celebrity dancers on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night each had to perform a 15-second solo during routines that recalled the best years of their lives.
At the end of the show, gymnast Aly Raisman was in the lead with 27 points, while boxer Victor Ortiz and reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump were tied for last place with 18 points each.
The star with the lowest combined tally of viewer votes and judges’ scores will leave the competition during the results show tomorrow.
Country music legend Wynonna Judd was eliminated from the competition last week.
Sean Lowe: The reality TV star’s Viennese waltz represented 2012, the year he met his fianceé, Catherine Giudici, on “The Bachelor.” Head judge Len Goodman approved of the routine. “That was a pretty good effort at a difficult dance … your footwork was a little bit haphazard sometimes but overall I thought you did a very good job,” he said. Judge Bruno Tonioli said Lowe stumbled at times, but said the performance was sweet and tender. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba also thought Lowe did well, but pointed out that he and pro partner Peta Murgatroyd performed two prohibited lifts. Lowe earned 20 out of a possible 30 points.
Victor Ortiz: The boxer’s paso doble recalled the highlight of his boxing career, when he won the World Boxing Council championship in 2011. While his technique was less than stellar, judges applauded Ortiz’s spirit. “Victor, you definitely punched the living daylights out of the paso doble, but the thing is darling, you’re supposed to dance it, not destroy it,” Tonioli said, adding that Ortiz had missed some of the footwork. “I hope you come back because I know you can dance, I know you can do better.” Inaba gave the round to the paso doble, but Goodman said he admired Ortiz’s determination, particularly in the face of judges’ criticism. “You came out and gave your all. Well done to you,” Goodman said. Ortiz earned 18 points.
Jacoby Jones: The NFL player said his son’s birth in 2012 marked the best year of his life, and he dedicated his fox trot to his son. Judges had high praise for his performance. “That dance was just phenomenal,” Inaba said. She told him she thought he had a “real shot at winning” the competition, and cautioned him to keep his buttocks tucked in. Tonioli said he loved Jones’ exuberance. Goodman told Jones: “Well I know you’re not a fan of the fox trot, but I’ll tell you this: I was a fan of that fox trot tonight.” Jones earned 24 points.
Aly Raisman: The gymnast said 2012 was the best year of her life because she got to represent the United States at the Summer Olympic Games in London. Her athletic contemporary dance won rave reviews from the judges. Goodman said it was a dance “worthy of an Olympic champion,” while Tonioli said it was emotionally intense, dramatic and deeply felt. Inaba was moved. “You were completely in the moment and I was mesmerized by you,” she told Raisman. “It’s the beauty of the perfect movement and the perfect emotional connection, it was just profound. Good job.” Judges awarded Raisman 27 points – the highest score in the competition so far.
Andy Dick: The comedian said being sober and able to get “another chance” with his children made 2013 the best year of his life, and his tender Viennese waltz – which he dedicated to his daughter — brought Inaba to tears. She sobbed as she prepared to review Dick’s routine, then called him for a hug. She told him that his routine was like “the simplest poem” that created beauty with the smallest vocabulary. “Thank you for those beautiful movements,” she said. Tonioli agreed, saying the performance was “simple, effective, straight from the heart,” adding that delivery had a “wonderful fragile quality.” Goodman said that no matter what happened, Dick would leave the show “a hero.” Judges awarded Dick 21 points.
Zendaya: The Disney star chose 2009 – the year she said her career took off – as the best year of her life. Her samba – performed to Beyonce’s “Love on Top” – had Inaba praising Zendaya’s interpretation and declaring “Beyonce better watch her back!” Even though Goodman wanted more samba content in the solo, he said there was no question Zendaya was a fantastic dancer. Tonioli said Zendaya had true star power, adding that her samba was fearless, cool, hip and slick. “Every kid that watches you wants to go out and dance like you do,” he said. Zendaya earned 26 points.
Ingo Rademacher: The soap opera star said his best year was 2009, when he got married. All three judges commended Rademacher for his improvement, saying his Viennese waltz showed that he had taken their advice from last week and work hard. Tonioli called the performance “elegant, dashing, deeply romantic” and said Rademacher did a fantastic job. Goodman commended the actor’s footwork and his solo, and while he pointed out a few flaws, said “overall I enjoyed it very much, it’s a great effort. Well done.” Rademacher earned 23 points.
D.L. Hughley: Hughley’s fox trot harked back to the fun and the innocence of his years in eighth and ninth grade, and judges – who’ve been extremely critical of his performances throughout the competition – declared him much improved this week. “Obviously tough love works for you,” Tonioli said, pointing out that Hughley’s routine had more dance content that he’s had before. Inaba cheered. “Hallelujah! That’s a real breakthrough, my friend,” she said. Goodman agreed that the routine had more dance content, was smoother and had elements of fun. Hughley earned 21 points.
Kellie Pickler: The country music’s singer’s rumba – danced to a song her husband performed live in the ballroom – recalled her wedding day in 2011. Inaba said she though the singer’s movements “were a little clipped” even though she said Pickler created “beautiful pictures” with her body. Goodman agreed that Pickler’s movement was “a tad staccato” and needed more fluidity, but he appreciated her dancing to her husband’s singing. Tonioli gave his enthusiastic approval. “Darling, it was like watching a sequence of magical images underscored by the soundtrack of love,” he said. “Beautiful.” Pickler earned 26 points.
Lisa Vanderpump: The reality TV star passed out during rehearsals and a doctor told her she had a fever and flu-like symptoms. Even though there was some doubt about whether she would perform tonight, she showed up and danced a cha cha cha that recalled the day her daughter got married. Judges acknowledged that she made several mistakes, but attributed it to her being under-rehearsed because she wasn’t feeling well. “I think there was so much potential there,” Inaba said. Goodman said that Vanderpump did her best given the circumstances, adding that what she was able to do was good. Judges awarded Vanderpump 18 points.
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 27
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 26
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 26
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 24
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 23
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 21
D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke: 21
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 20
Victor Ortiz and Lindsey Arnold: 18
Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko: 18