Well, here we are again, Dancing With the Stars.
It seems every season, we go through the same routine: The premiere is jam-packed with high-energy, enthusiastic routines, likely prompting Carrie Ann Inaba to say something like, “I love this season!” or “Season X is going to be amazing!”
And then, Week 2 happens. And that means Latin Night happens.
Why do you do this, DWTS producers? When even the most graceful contestants are still figuring out how to maneuver around the ballroom, why do you insist on giving them the most fast-paced, complex routines in their second week?
It’s not a total surprise, then, that Monday’s broadcast featured a few performances that were terrific, a few that were utterly dismal (rhymes with Schmeraldo Schmivera), but most that were just so-so. Before we get to the results, let’s break down the evening’s best and worst performances:
BEST OF THE NIGHT
Paige VanZant and pro Alan Bersten (Salsa) — First things first: I have to give Mark Ballas a demerit for being the exact opposite of reassuring after slipping a disc in his back during camera blocking. Considering this is only her second week of competition, I doubt that VanZant wanted to hear her partner say, “Oh, I’m hurtin’. Oh, I’m in trouble,” just hours before she was set to perform. That said, VanZant brought such confidence and fire to her crisp movements that it was easy to forget she’d only worked with Bersten for barely a day. Judges’ Score: 24/30
BEST OF THE NIGHT (Runner-Up)
Wanyá Morris and pro Lindsay Arnold (Salsa) — For the second week in a row, Morris brought an infectious energy to the dance floor, ensuring that even if he did slip up, we would hardly notice. Fortunately for the Boyz II Men member, his technique was spot-on during a complicated salsa. I understand why Erin Andrews had the pair re-enact those super-fun shimmies, but the sky-high lift that capped Morris and Arnold’s number might have been the evening’s most impressive trick. Judges’ Score: 24/30
Doug Flutie and pro Karina Smirnoff (Paso Doble) — After winding up near the bottom of the judges’ scoreboard in Week 1, you’ve gotta respect the NFL vet for performing like his Dancing career depended on it. Though it’s easy for the super-intense paso doble to veer into over-the-top territory, Flutie brought the appropriate amount of power to his routine, along with a commitment to each motion that he lacked in last week’s debut. Judges’ Score: 20/30
WORST OF THE NIGHT
Geraldo Rivera and pro Edyta Sliwinska (Salsa) — What do you get when the season’s most abysmal contestant performs a routine dressed as Donald Trump? A place at the bottom of the leaderboard. If the Trump schtick — performed while DWTS contestant/The Donald’s ex Marla Maples was in the same room (!) — weren’t enough to make you cringe, Rivera’s choppy movements and “Hey, I can’t believe I’m really here!” grin surely must have been. Judges’ Score: 13/30
And now, the first results of Season 22:
THREE COUPLES IN JEOPARDY
Mischa Barton and pro Artem Chigvintsev
Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska
Doug Flutie and pro Karina Smirnoff
Geraldo Rivera and pro Edyta Sliwinska
OK, your turn. Was Geraldo the right choice for this season’s first elimination? Which dancing duos impressed you in Week 2? Hit the comments!