Scoring the first 10 of the season didn’t save singer Christina Milan from elimination on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Milan said she was “shocked” by the outcome after she earned high scores from judges for her “Most Memorable Years” performance, a dance dedicated to the most memorable year of each star’s life.
Milian danced a sassy cha-cha to “Forget You” by Cee-Lo that recalled 2010, the year she gave birth to her daughter and divorced her husband after learning he was cheating on her.
“I was so nervous at the beginning of the week, exposing that part of my life and being more vulnerable, but I was really proud of the fact I was actually opening up,” Milian said on “Good Morning America” today. “Throughout the show I was growing slowly, opening myself up more, especially last night, I felt completely open and showed the world this is me, and it even showed in my performance.”
The ballroom audience booed when Milian’s name was announced, and many looked stunned.
Her pro partner, Mark Ballas, said it was difficult to choreograph such a sensitive subject, but he was proud of Milian’s accomplishment on the dance floor.
“That’s absolutely a tough challenge to take on, but I really like that we took a positive spin on it,” he said on “GMA” of their cha-cha.”It was her best dance yet. It was her best score[s] yet, so I guess you could say we went out with a bang.”
Based on their performances last week, Milian and actress Leah Remini – who was the lowest scorer Monday night – were in the bottom two, putting them both in jeopardy of getting eliminated. Milian was tied with actor Corbin Bleu for the highest score Monday night.
Elimination is decided based on combined judge and viewer votes. The audience votes from last week and last night were combined with the judges’ scores from last night’s performance, and the star with the lowest total was sent home.
Monday night’s show highlighted each star’s personal experiences as the contestants’ routines put their raw emotions on full display.
One couple will be eliminated next week depending on their performances this week.
Christina Milian: The singer’s sassy cha-cha recalled 2010 – the year she gave birth to her daughter and divorced her husband after learning he was cheating on her. The judges liked the routine so much that head judge Len Goodman (back in his chair after missing last week because of an overseas trip) gave her a 10 – the very first perfect score of the season. He said Milian’s performance had fiery cha-cha and icy control. Bruno Tonioli called the routine “indecently hot,” and Carrie Ann Inaba said the dance stood out. “You’ve been great. I have loved watching your performances, but tonight, I have to say, that was something special,” she told Milian. Judges gave Milian 28 points.
Jack Osbourne: The TV personality’s smooth waltz was dedicated to his wife and daughter, and looked back at 2012, when his daughter, Pearl, was born. Two weeks after her birth, Osbourne learned he had multiple sclerosis. Judges were struck by the performance. Not only were his strength and courage admirable, but his dancing tonight was impressive, Tonioli said, adding that Osbourne’s footwork was “so light and musical.” Inaba said there was something “magical” about Osbourne when he danced. Despite a minute criticism about the way Osbourne sometimes held his hands, Goodman also had high praise. Judges awarded Osbourne 27 points – his highest score of the season.
Leah Remini: The actress performed a contemporary routine that she dedicated to anyone who was going through change and was scared but was discovering inner strength. (Earlier this year the actress split from the controversial Church of Scientology, and she has said the church wants her to fail on “Dancing” to prove what happens to people who leave the organization. The church has denied the allegation.) Remini’s routine failed to impress the judges Monday. Inaba said she liked the concept but the execution – including the lifts – was flawed. Goodman agreed with her, adding that the “lifts were a little bit labored on occasion.” Tonioli acknowledged that this was Remini’s first contemporary routine, and said her storytelling was “very, very good and very effective.”
Corbin Bleu: The actor said his sister was diagnosed with scoliosis in 2011, and his elegant fox-trot was dedicated to her. Goodman called Bleu “a terrific dancer” who quickly gets the character of each dance and had smooth movements and good footwork. Inaba deducted a point for what she believed was a lift in the beginning of the routine, although Bleu’s pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, denied that, saying her foot was touching the floor during the moment Inaba was referring to. Tonioli was very impressed, telling Bleu: “You could be the lost child of Fred Astaire and Ben Vereen, it’s incredible!” Bleu earned 28 points.
Bill Engvall: The comedian dedicated his tender Viennese waltz to his wife, Gail, saying she made him a better person since they were wed in 1982. Tonioli pointed out timing problems and said the comedian at times threw his arms out too roughly but said the routine had honest, heartfelt emotion. “You wear your heart on your sleeve, and it’s so good to see, my darling,” he said. Inaba agreed that, despite the timing problems, the routine touched her, and Goodman said he liked the romance of the dance, despite the rough moments. Engvall earned 24 points.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: The star of “The Jersey Shore” said her most memorable year was 2012, when she gave birth to her son, Lorenzo, and all her priorities shifted. Polizzi’s high-energy Jazz routine (set to Britney Spears’ up-tempo new single, “Work B**ch”), captivated the audience and the judges. Inaba said Polizzi surprised her every week. Goodman said the routine was vibrant. “The lifts were clean, it had energy … and it was fun to watch,” he said. Tonioli said Polizzi worked hard on the routine, calling it an “exhilarating bundle of fun.” They awarded Polizzi 27 points.
Brant Daugherty: The actor’s moving contemporary routine was a celebration of his father, who died in 2009 after having been a lifelong champion on his son’s acting dreams. Goodman said he loved the passion, interaction and chemistry that Daugherty had with his pro partner Peta Murgatroyd. Tonioli said the actor threw himself into the routine with fearless dedication and passion, calling it “absolutely wonderful.” Inaba thought the dance worked as well as it did because every single one of Daugherty’s muscle movements was driven by his emotions. She called the routine “breathtaking.” Daugherty earned 27 points.
Amber Riley: The actress said 2009 was a pivotal year in her life, while an employee at IKEA, she tried out for “American Idol” and was rejected. She was devastated, until she auditioned for “Glee” and won the part. Her funky fox-trot drew mixed reviews from the judges. While Goodman liked Riley’s engaging personality and star quality, he found that there wasn’t enough fox-trot content. Tonioli felt very differently, calling Riley “absolutely and utterly sensational,” and awarding her the second perfect score of the season. Inaba told Riley she “danced the heck out of that routine.” Riley earned 26 points.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: The actress paid tribute to 2012, the year her son was born, and 1989, the year she got her big acting break on the hit series “Saved by the Bell.” Judges appreciated the nostalgia of Lauren’s 1980s-inspired jazz, but Inaba said she saw flaws, including soft kicks and Lauren falling out of her pirouette. Goodman, though, thought the actress did a good job, and Tonioli called the routine “incredible fun.” Lauren earned 26 points.