We heard stories about sabotaged careers and stocking up on eggs (no, not the chicken ones). We saw lots of high scores, low necklines, and Nev’s newly shaved nipples. And what’s that about your gambling mom, Jeannie?
But first, it’s time to talk about Tyra Banks.
Granted, I have mixed feeling about weighing in on the new gal behind the mic — one, because she had a pretty good night on Monday, and two, criticizing the female hosts on Dancing With the Stars has become a tired and repetitive sport. Deny it as much as you like, but I seem to remember that almost none of us liked Erin Andrews when she first started on the show, and ditto for cohosts Brooke Burke and Samantha Harris before her. Killing time during a live show is no easy feat, though the producers never do these women much of a favor when it comes to writing decent, time-filling questions for the gals. (Seriously, hire a journalist! Or ask me, I’ve got a query or two for Anne Heche.) It never mattered who the female host was; that was always everyone’s least favorite part of the show. Now it’s Tyra’s turn to serve as both host and chief clock killer — with no one as her wingman (or woman). Tom Bergeron is a tough act to follow, and being forced to do it alone is even worse. For that, she has my sympathy.
It was a jam-packed night, so let’s start dancing.
Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess: I absolutely adore Sharna, so it’s hard to pay attention to the man in the white shoes — however hot he seemed to look doing his cha cha. Maybe I didn’t miss much? “You’ve got the luck, you’ve got the vibe,” said Bruno Tonioli. “You almost got the timing, but you forgot the hips!” “Your musicality is improved but I want to see what we see in these packages, this easiness,” added Carrie Ann Inaba. “Watch your eyes. You’re looking at Sharna’s feet a lot.” Score: 21 out of 30
Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe: The actress delivered a whammy of a memory while in the rehearsal hall: She informed Keo that dating Ellen DeGeneres back in the day actually cost her a film career. The 51-year-old actress said she was warned about possible consequences if she took DeGeneres to the premiere of Volcano. She did anyway and was subsequently ushered out of the theater by security and told she couldn’t go to the after-party. The gay shaming didn’t end there: Heche said she was fired from her multi-million dollar deal with Fox and didn’t work on a studio picture for 10 years. Seriously, man: who wants to Paso doble after that? Heche did, with aplomb. “When you rise above the storm, you will always find sunshine,” said Derek Hough. “It makes me so happy to see progress each week.” “Let me say I admire you for what you did,” added Tonioli. Heche was definitely elated after her performance. “I feel redeemed. It feels like a blessing to be on this show and to tell my story.” Score: 21 out of 30
Nelly and Daniella Karagach: I feel like Nelly’s huge guns prevented him from holding his arms up perfectly straight, but the way he clenched his teeth through that Paso doble was so cute! Maybe that’s why he got the top spot for the night. “Man, I really liked that!” said Hough. “Storming Nellie, that’s the attitude. The winner takes it all!” added Tonioli. “Now you have to refine the artistry, especially in the shaping.” Score: 21 out of 30
Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong: The Real host exposed her back tats and how her mother is betting against her in the Vietnamese community. Hey, that ain’t nice! But Jeannie took it in stride — and then strode out to the dance floor to tango. “I would not bet against you with all that fire and all that passion,” said Inaba. “Listen, I love the way you can change and switch your personality. Tonight, you are a bad, bad girl,” added Tonioli. “It worked extremely well.” Score: 21 out of 30
Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd: The footballer looked sexy rubbing his chest during that rumba, but let’s be honest: the days are short for this sentimental big bear. There’s just too much competition on this show. “You move better every week, you have natural charm and charisma,” said Tonioli. Score: 22 out of 30
Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko: Oh goodness, the Selling Sunset realtor froze her eggs and look, she’s sticking herself with a needle! That’s an awkward transition from rehearsing the foxtrot. Oh God, now Tyra’s asking Chrishell about shooting herself up with hormones and doing it in front of millions of people. I don’t think we have to cover everything about these celebs, producers. Anyway, nice job Chrishell. “A little more attention to the feet ... but there is so much potential,” said Inaba. “You are growing every week.” Added Hough, “For me, this was your best dance.” Score: 22 out of 30
Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy: Both Chermkovskiys are tough coaches, but I wouldn’t want to partner with anyone else if I were ever lucky enough to appear on this show. So suck it up, Monica; no one really knows who you are, anyway, so quit picking on Val’s style! Okay, okay: I get sensitive when someone criticizes the Ukrainian boys — especially when one of them choreographs a superb samba. And what do you know? The judges loved it! “The chemistry between you, you were formidable partners. It made the dancing so much better,” said Inaba. “This was a proper samba, there was so much content,” added Hough. “Your best dance.” Score: 24 out of 30
Justina Machado and Sasha Farber: The look on Machado’s face during her salsa epitomizes what celebrities should feel whenever they’re fortunate enough to do this show: complete, unadulterated joy. “You got us all up on our feet. That’s the first time it happened this season,” said Inaba. “You have so much charisma, so much fun. You brought it all this week. So much fun!” exclaimed Hough. Score: 24 out of 30
A.J. McLean and Cheryl Burke: DWTS treated this Backstreet Boy to the perfect backdrop — his iconic group projected on the back screen while he cha cha’ed his way to a nifty (and maybe not so deserving) high score. Wonderful! And yes, A.J., you do look like Vin Diesel. “Still need to work on the cha cha cha, but the performance was a winner,” said Hough. “What a great way to end tonight!” continued Inaba. “You know how to bring it. But watch your elbows.” Score: 24 out of 30
Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson: Apparently, Tonioli’s inappropriate comments about Schulman’s hairy chest had an impact; the Catfish man said he manscaped for the first time in 15 years. He can see his nipples now! Poor guy; the quality of his rumba was way more impressive than his newly shaved pecs. “It felt like a romantic dream set to music. You are so in tune, you two.” “The rumba is the woman’s dance, and it’s all about giving good frame. You gave good frame, but added poetry to it,” said Inaba. Score: 24 out of 30
Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart: The skater really does overpower his partner with energy and enthusiasm, don’t you think? It also shocks me it’s taken this long to get him on this show. Personalities like his are the reason why DWTS was invented in the first place. “You were exploding out there. It’s like seeing the real you,” Tonioli said. “It was incredible,” added Inaba. “You were glowing. Everything about you was fantastic.” Score: 24 out of 30
Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev: I think it’s pretty cool that former Bachelorettes have a second chance at stardom in the ballroom, and Kaitlyn is certainly not squandering her opportunity. Her Viennese waltz was a beauty! So I don’t think it’s a stretch to say she will make it to the finals. “Every week you get better and better. It’s so elegant, so effortless,” said Hough. Score: 25 out of 30
Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten: You rarely see the pros cry during the emotional packages, but Alan was super teary while Skai shared her memories of the late Cameron Boyce. So was Inaba after her performance. “I was blown away by that,” said Inaba, choking up. “I’m sure Cameron is watching and is so proud of you. It was sheer perfection.” “This was my absolute favorite dance of the night,” added Hough. “You are a gorgeous ballroom dancer.” Score: 28 out of 30
So how’s this for an ending: Poor Monica and Val were told they were safe, but Tyra called them back to the stage because “there was an error in the control booth.” “This is live TV,” she tried to reason. Oof, at least she didn’t have to go home: Monica was in the bottom two with Anne, who Inaba and Hough didn’t want to stay. So goodbye. Anne! And truly sorry about your career.
Eighties night next week!