Welcome to week two of Season 28, subtitled: “We know Bobby Bones broke everything, and we’re really trying to fix it if you’ll just give us a chance.” The new rules are that you can vote online at ABC.com or by text during the show. No more 800 numbers. And the wrinkliest wrinkle: when the bottom two vote getters are announced, the judges get to save one of the them. The question is how long will that veto power last? Oh, and apropos of nothing, I’m loving Erin’s dress this evening.
James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater (20) He’s just so excited to dance in front of an audience. He admits the DWTS story he played on Don’t Trust the B was his idea, born out of a secret wish to go on DWTS. He says that was just twenty seconds of cha cha and this is obviously a little more major. Their routine is a very 80’s-ish cha cha. James is once again a solid performer, and he has good hip action. Len points out the Cuban breaks (good), but he didn’t like the gimmicks (what else is new). Bruno makes a very flirty comment about leg kicks, but points out a missed step. Carrie Ann agrees that the beginning was out of sync, but then he shined. In the audience, his kids are so freaking cute!
Sailor Brinkley Cook and Val Chmerkovskiy (18) After being pressed into service last week to help her mom out, Sailor is thrown into the deep end by having to dance a Rumba in week two. She and Val look great together, but she’s struggling with character. Bruno says her intention has to be stronger. She’s a little too smiley through the dance. Carrie Ann wants more consistency and intensity and less giggling in between, but says she’s flexible and moves beautifully. Len wants her to push through the floor–no heel leads!
Ray Lewis and Cheryl Burke (15) To say Ray’s foxtrot is a little stiff is an understatement. There’s a lot of stomping. Cheryl tries so hard to cover. Carrie Ann calls him natural and comfortable but says however that there were tons of mistakes. Len calls it flat footed and not gliding. He says there was no rise and fall. He goes on to say that only his personality got him the mark he got. Bruno adds that he lights up the room.
Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber (20) Ally has had issues with online bullying about her dancing skills, setting the stage for an emotional Viennese Waltz. It’s a perfectly fine dance and Ally should be proud. Len calls it pretty, but points out that rotation was stopping and starting and that Ally had trouble on reverse turns. Bruno says she can dance and that it was compelling and heartfelt, but it must be fluid and she has to keep her shoulders down. Carrie Ann gives her a hug.
Mary Wells and Brandon Armstrong (15) Mary has a Cha cha. Her enthusiasm and feet are better than her hips and arms. Bruno points out the glamour. He says the routine was simple, effective, and nicely presented. Carrie Ann says she worked the room. There were a lot of little mistakes, but she’s a consummate professional. Len says it was lively and full of freedom, but she needs to straighten her legs, which Mary heard as “spread your legs”. Tom missed it, which is probably for the best.
Lauren Alaina and Gleb Savchenko (19) Their paso doble is pretty strong and Lauren stays in character the whole time, finishing with full splits. It’s strong and sexy. Carrie Ann admires her flexiblity, but says her shoulders are too high, so she needs to work on being consisent.Len says it lacked shaping. He asks Gleb for more steps, which Gleb says he’s saving. Len is grumpy about that. Bruno says she was nasty and he liked it.
Sean Spicer and Lindsay Arnold (16) Sean has a tango. Len says it was better than last week, and then he stops himself there. Bruno says it looked like a tango, but militaristic. Carrie Ann calls it a sure footed tango, alluding to the stomping.
Karamo and Jenna Johnson (19) They quickstep to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince. It’s pretty good, not amazing, but solid and he sells it. Bruno calls it full of panache and flair. He says they lost a bit of body contact, but it was good. Carrie Ann says this is what she wanted to see; his confidence and charisma. Len notes the absolute lack of body contact and the top line, which should have had no movement. Len also doesn’t like Karamo’s shoes, concluding that the routine was too hectic. Geez, Len!
Kate Flannery and Pasha Paskov (21) Their foxtrot is elegant and sweet if a bit careful. Carrie Ann says it was amazing technique. She says it reminds her of Kelly Osbourne’s time on the show. Len calls it refreshing, and lots of good technique. Bruno says “we have lift off!” Kate admits that she moved more like a lumberjack when she was on The Office and this is completely different.
Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson (20) Kel’s dad had a brain aneurysm (!) this past week; luckily, he’s recovering well. Kel’s samba is hip hop flavored by virtue of the Bobby Brown music. Len calls out a lot of recognizable steps,and says there’s an easy action about him that suits this dance, calling it a good job all in all. Bruno says it was a cool samba, never forced. Carrie Ann says some bounces became thrusts (lol), but his has nice lines, and is improved from last week.
Lamar Odom and Peta Murgatroyd (12) We learn that Lamar had 12 strokes and 6 heart attacks while in his coma four years ago. As a result he suffers from Short term memory loss. He moves like he’s on stilts. Bruno says there’s more freedom of movement. Carrie Ann says there’s not as many mistakes, but he maybe missed a lift. He notes that it’s clear that Peta is in charge in hold. Len compliments Peta’s work. He says he got a ways to go, but is on right track.
Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten (24) Their Viennese Waltz is lovely and polished. Carrie Ann says she’s telling a story with her body and has good extensions. Len liked the rotation, but wanted more natural turns. He thinks she has lovely musicality through her arms, calling it the best dance of night. Bruno points out that she finished her lines correctly and says he felt transported into a dream.
Results! Lamar and Peta saved first followed by James and Emma, Ally and Sasha, Karamo and Jenna, Sean and Lindsay, Hannah and Alan, Sailor and Val, Kel and Witney, Lauren and Gleb, and finally Kate and Pasha, which Erin stresses is in no particular order.
Bottom two: Ray and Cheryl and Mary and Brandon. Carrie Ann picks Mary, Bruno picks Ray, and Len breaks the tie by saving Ray. So, Mary’s the first to go. EJ will be here next week, which we hope will be the last of Spicey, but if not, well, we’ll try not to think about it too much.