CLEVELAND - The first elimination of season 16 of “Dancing with the Stars” is Tuesday night and – after two weeks of lukewarm dances – not a moment too soon!
First up, soap star Ingo Rademacher and Kym doing a quickstep. They do that thing where the couples channel old Hollywood, which is always good. It’s a fun number, but Ingo is hitting all the marks without really selling them. Judge Len Goodman says they asked him to dance last week, and he came out and did that this week. What an astute observation. They get 20. Add in the 20 they got last week, and that’s an overall score of 60.
Next, figure skater Dorothy Hamill and Tristan with a jive. We learn she has an injury that’s limiting her movement. Regardless, their dance is lighthearted and while Dorothy does nothing wrong, she’s just not doing anywhere near as much fast footwork that the jive requires. Dorothy performed pretty bravely for the injury keeping her from practicing. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba says she let fear get in her way. Dorothy says she knows it went south. They get 15, 36 overall.
Ravens player Jacoby Jones and Karina do a jazz. It starts off with Karina dressed like a 10-foot tall flasher in a giant trench coat. Turns out she’s just sitting on Jacoby’s shoulders! Sigh. That aside, this is the goods. The routine starts off with him flipping her, then they just take over the whole floor, their arms and legs flailing wildly. It is rip-roaring fun and he is preposterously silly, but it works. These nutso numbers are what we tune in for. Cue the applause. Carrie Ann says it was rocking. Len says it’s full of razzle dazzle. Bruno calls it spot on. Score: 23, 43 overall.
Boxer Victor Ortiz and Lindsay hit the floor for a jive. Lots of energy, and they look great together, but he’s not the most natural dancer yet. Len says it was good but Victor attacked it too hard. Bruno calls Victor a runaway train. Carrie Ann almost cuts her head open on her spiky bracelet. Score 18, 36 overall.
Country singer Wynonna Judd and Tony do a quickstep. She says her goal is not to pee herself. We’ll just let the suspense build on that cliffhanger. Anyway, they’re wearing cop suits and it looks like a bad outtake from a “Police Academy” movie that didn’t even make the cut. Their quickstep is efficient, if you can call it quick. Tony’s wearing a fake mustache, and host Tom Bergeron said he’s a Super Mario Brother. Bruno then calls him Burt Reynolds. Carrie Ann says the dance was top notch, but Len says it didn’t get out of first gear. Score: 18, 36 overall.
Disney star (and inevitable season 16 champion) Zendaya and Val also jive. This thing is full of fast moves. Zendaya projects an age and experience beyond her 16 years. Wait! 16 years old… on season 16? Is she destined to take home the Mirrorball Trophy?! There are times in this jive where she looks more graceful and natural than the professional dancer who came up with the routine. There are several times they are not in hold, and she does not even glance in his direction to make sure they are on beat. It’s like she’s possessed. And with that shiny gold dress, it’s like she’s already wearing the Mirrorball Trophy. Crowd pleased. Carrie Ann screams “You killed that number!” Bruno says a star is born, and that she has a lot to live up for by setting her expectations so high. Host Brooke Burke asks how Zendaya does it, and Zendaya says that age is just a number. Of course, she has a secret weapon – cartilage. She gets 26 out of 30, 50 overall.
Actor Andy Dick and Sharna whip out my favorite dance of the night, a wild jazz. As if “Alice in Wonderland” couldn’t get any weirder, they found a way with Andy playing one mad Mad Hatter to Lady Gaga’s “Pokerface.” Andy spins her around and picks her up. He’s so colorful, Joel Grey in “Cabaret” is jealous. Oh, and actor Eric Roberts is in the audience and it looks like he’s about to cry. Is that part of this surreal number? This thing just gets stranger yet. Len says it was fun to watch. Bruno calls it a monster jazz. Carrie Ann said it was wacko, demented, and Andy nailed it. Score 20, 37 overall.
“Bachelor” Sean Lowe and Peta do a jive with a lifeguard motif. He is so game for this silly stuff, and he can’t get that smile off his face – understandable with a partner that looks like Peta. Their jive is big and fun, but he’s still getting his footing. Bruno says it was more like a lindy hop or jitterbug. Carrie Ann said Sean fell out of the music a bit. Len says he didn’t see enough jive – and I think Eric Roberts just heckled him. Score 20, 39 overall.
Olympian Aly Raisman and Mark do a quickstep. Mark knows how to choreograph these things, but Aly makes it look easy. This is actually surprisingly traditional for him, but she projects a lot of confidence and smooth strides. Carrie Ann calls it the best quickstep of the night. Bruno said it was like watching a bird in flight. Score 24, 45 overall.
Reality TV star Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb also tackle a jive. She’s a stewardess, he’s the pilot. Gleb choreographed the dance around her. She’s not doing as much as she could be, and she seems to be more game for the flirty performance than the dance itself. Len says it never really took off. Carrie Ann said it was refined but Lisa needs to let loose. Score 18, 36 overall.
Comedian D.L. Hughley and Cheryl also quickstep. There’s some drama in practice and D.L. says he and Cheryl were just doing their Whitney and Bobby. Their quickstep has a slow start, but he’s really trying to get the technique right. He’s definitely better than last week’s fiasco. The judges all note he’s improved. Really not another way he could go after his first dance disaster. Score 16, 28 overall.
Last, country singer Kellie Pickler and Derek do a jazz. Crazy choreography Derek is already out in full swing in week two. He says the judges will either love the dance or they are not going to get it. Oh, and of course, he’s shirtless. That’s just as well; Kellie is wearing a mirror corset. So, it’s dark and smoky, and they slowly wade onto the dance floor with a light saber baton. It’s interesting and mesmerizing, and Kellie’s lines are stunning to watch as Derek works her around the floor as if Kellie is a shirt he’s trying to put on. Carrie Ann proclaims Kellie is a dancer and “freakin’ amazing.” Len says, last week was a spark, this week was a fire. Bruno says they have a smash hit on their hands. All that goes straight to Derek’s head. Score 26, 47 overall.
Zendaya is at the top with 50 out of 60, followed by Aly. Odds are D.L. does not get the last laugh. At 28 out of 60, he’s got the lowest score. The next lowest is 36 – and four couples split that score.
The first elimination show of season 16 airs at 8 p.m. Tuesday night on Denver's 7. Josh Groban and Icona pop are performing.
Next week’s dance theme is prom night. More information can be found at: