Here’s everything you need to know about the evening’s festivities, which found our couples tackling either the Quick Step or the Jive. Brace yourselves, ballroom fans, because the season’s first results show is less than 24 hours away!
Shiny Happy People | Who was that judge in the middle, smiling ear-to-ear and dishing out compliments starting with the very first dance of the night (a dynamic quick step from Roshon and Chelsie)? Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce Len Goodman, who clearly snuck a couple of Carrie Ann’s happy pills before tonight’s show. Of course, those pills eventually wore off, but at least our head judge ‘fessed up to underscoring Donald Driver last week. So a thumbs up and a slow clap for Len! Later on, Sherri Shepherd (aka “the happiest contestant ever”) gave us her very finest Tina Turner impression — she even lipsynched! — and her sheer exuberance was so infectious, I didn’t even notice she messed up a step. (Thanks, Carrie Ann, for pointing that out?)
Makin’ Over Martina | It’s still such a hoot to see uber-jock Navratilova unabashedly glam it up in the hair, make-up, and crazy costumes departments; her self-assurance is a thing of beauty, whether she’s curling a mini dumbbell pre-dance or starting her quick step behind the judges’ desk. “I love all the joy,” said Carrie Ann, and I couldn’t agree more — even if the tennis legend’s mistakes-laden jive was less than stellar.
Tears and Tension | Melissa Gilbert’s rehearsal tears sent Maks’ frustration meter soaring — as did her little mid-Quickstep misstep — and it seems like we’re in for one of those seasons where Maks is none too happy with his designated celeb. Meanwhile, after Tristan and Gladys got a boo-inspiring 5 from Len, the singing legend had to work overtime to suppress her own tears. “That’s OK, I love Len,” said the diva, putting her brave face forward. The lady is all class!
Random Faces in the Crowd | Was that Martina’s doubles partner Pam Shriver and the legendary Jimmy Connors in the crowd at the beginning of the show? Thanks to the DWTS camera crew for confirming my suspicions later in the show!
Judges’ Leaderboard (Carrie Ann, Len, Bruno: Total)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 9, 8, 9: 26
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 9, 8, 9: 26
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 9, 7, 9: 25
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 8, 8, 9: 25
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 8, 8, 8: 24
Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy: 8, 7, 8: 23
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 7, 7, 8: 22
Jack Wagner and: Anna Trebunskaya: 7, 7, 7: 21
Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff: 7, 7, 7: 21
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 7, 6, 7: 20
Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus: 7, 5, 7: 19
Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani: 6, 5, 6: 17
Now it’s your turn. Whose Jive or Quick Step stole the night, and/or put them in the danger zone? Who’s vaulted out into early front-runner status? Did Week 2’s numerous ballroom bobbles leave you comparatively underwhelmed? Was William Levy ridiculously over-dressed this week? Sound off below! –Mitch Rustad