Seven stars strutted their stuff to Latin hits on Monday as part of “Dancing With the Stars’” Latin dances night, which also featured live performances from Colombian-born Spanish rock musician, Juanes.
The stars first danced their individual routines with their pro partners and, in a format twist, co-host Tom Bergeron announced that the star with the highest judges’ score from that routine would be safe from elimination this week. The remaining six couples had to take part in a dance-off, competing against each other in either the cha cha cha, jive or rumba. For each of those three separate contests, the judges selected a winning couple, giving that star three bonus points.
At the end of the show, gymnast Aly Raisman was in the lead, and comedian Andy Dick was in last place.
The star with the lowest combined tally of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes will be eliminated from the competition on Tuesday. Country music singer Kellie Pickler won immunity, so she cannot be eliminated.
The Individual Routines
Jacoby Jones: The NFL star’s salsa was the first dance of the night, and judges had high praise. “I don’t know what’s going on. Was that an earthquake or did you just rock this place?” head judge Len Goodman said. While he said he would have preferred fewer lifts in the routine, he added, “You came out looking great. The cool dude, the hot chick. Really was first rate.” Judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba were in agreement. Inaba drew chuckles when she told Jones, “It’s like you could fart the salsa. I mean, it’s so in your body.” Jones earned 27 out of a possible 30 points.
Ingo Rademacher: Judges said they thought the soap opera star’s rumba was lacking in emotion and fluidity. “Ingo, Ingo, Ingo. They say hips don’t lie; in your case, I wish they could. In your case it was too staccato. The hip action has to be fluid,” Tonioli said. Inaba said she believed Rademacher was thinking so hard about his technique that he failed to deliver on fluidity and sensuality, and Goodman said he thought Rademacher tried his best but couldn’t quite deliver. Rademacher earned 22 points.
Kellie Pickler: The county singer’s samba brought her a standing ovation from the ballroom audience and a near-perfect score from judges, although Carrie Ann Inaba said she didn’t believe Pickler connected emotionally with the dance. “When you dance, I see perfection in every single move you do. You are such an incredible student, every line is perfect … but I don’t feel you when you dance,” she said. Her fellow judges strongly disagreed. Goodman said he “thought it was brilliant,” and Tonioli said, “it was a perfect blend of technique and performance. Everything you would want from a samba was there.” Pickler earned 29 points.
Andy Dick: The comedian again found himself the target of judges’ criticism when his rumba failed to impress. Tonioli said Dick took “an unforgettable, classic dance” and made him wish he could forget it. Goodman praised Dick’s attitude but said that, as a rumba, the routine was more “erratic than erotic.” Inaba said judges were paying attention to every detail at this stage of the competition, adding that she thought Dick was so focused on portraying a character that he neglected to fully incorporate his arms into his routine. Dick earned 17 points – the lowest score of the night.
Aly Raisman: The Olympic gymnast’s bubbly salsa won judges over. “More of those, please!” Tonioli said, likening the performance to “an uplifting, tutti frutti, delicious cocktail of tropical flavors perfectly shaken.” Inaba was in full agreement. “I loved it,” she said, smiling as she added, “this is the Aly that I knew was always in there waiting to come out. You nailed it. You made me so happy.” Goodman also likened the routine to a mixed drink – a tequila sunrise: “It was sharp, it was fruity, it was tasty and refreshing,” he said. Raisman earned 29 points, tying with Pickler.
Sean Lowe: The reality TV star’s rumba drew approval from Inaba and Tonioli, but Goodman wasn’t impressed. “It was like a match. Peta was hot; you were a bit wooden,” Goodman said. Inaba told Lowe that it was clear that he had listened to judges’ previous critiques and was hearing the music. “That was just wonderful,” she said. Tonioli said Lowe’s musicality was “so much better,” and told him he should be proud. Lowe earned 24 points.
Zendaya: The Disney star performed a dramatic paso doble, and while judges said she was an outstanding dancer, they noticed small flaws. Goodman told her to lift her chin a bit, and Tonioli agreed, adding that she needed to fully extend her arms. Zendaya earned 27 points.
Since they didn’t know which dance they would be required to perform, each of the dancers had to learn all three dances – cha cha, rumba and jive.
Even though Pickler and Raisman were tied tonight, the rules said the dancer with the higher cumulative judges’ score of the season would win immunity, so Pickler didn’t have to perform in the dance-off, co-host Brooke Burke said. Three of the remaining couples picked their opponents, who in turn chose the style of dance. After each pair of couples danced – doing the same style of dance to the same music – the judges chose the winner.
The winner of each match-up won an extra three points on top of their score from tonight.
Cha-cha-cha: Dick and Raisman faced off, with Raisman earning the win. The judges’ decision was unanimous.
Jive: Jones and Zendaya battled in this round, and, in a unanimous decision, Zendaya took the win.
Rumba: In this match-up between Rademacher and Lowe, judges chose Rademacher, although the decision was split. Tonioli chose Lowe.
The Scores: Individual routine (dance-off winners get an extra 3 points), grand total:
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 29, 3: 32
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 27, 3: 30
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 29 (Pickler won immunity, and cannot be eliminated on Tuesday)
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 27
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 22, 3: 25
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 24
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 17