DWTS Season 25

Dancing With the Stars Week 2, Night 2 Recap: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

Here are two words guaranteed to strike fear in the heart of any Dancing With the Stars contestant: Latin. Night.

This time last week, most of the Season 25 amateurs were just learning how to do a box step for the first time — and a mere seven days later, they’ve been asked to master sambas, rumbas and Argentine tangos. (Oh, my!)

Oh, and the entire cast had to learn two routines this week. And two contestants were eliminated in the span of 24 hours.

It’s clear that DWTS is not going easy on this season’s novices, but that approach actually seems to be working; not one performance on Tuesday’s broadcast was Rick-Perry-doing-the-paso-doble levels of cringe-worthy, and that’s all we can really ask for this early in the competition. Let’s break down the highlights from the second episode of the week:

BEST OF THE NIGHT
Lindsey Stirling and pro Mark Ballas (Salsa) — That energy! That technique! That split at the end! Lindsey has already proven that she’s willing to match her partner in both diligence and kookiness, and that combination made for a really fun salsa. Lindsey might need to rein in the facial expressions at some point — she’s currently stuck on the “OMG, I’m actually dancing!” setting — but she’s already got such a terrific grasp on the intricacies of Mark’s choreography. Judges’ Score: 24/30

MOST ENTERTAINING
Frankie Muniz and pro Witney Carson (Cha-Cha) — Frankie’s movements sometimes veer into herky-jerky territory, and I’m hoping he’ll eventually get those nerves to fade so he can sink into the pocket a bit more. But I had previously written off the former Malcolm in the Middle star as a forgettable, middle-of-the-pack cast member, and he proved on Tuesday that he’s got a lot more to offer than that. I’m not sure the routine was worthy of a nine from Bruno, but it was still incredibly enjoyable to watch. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good Bruno Mars soundtrack and a sparkly jacket. Judges’ Score: 25/30

MOST IMPROVED
Drew Scott and pro Emma Slater (Rumba) — I’ll try to cobble together a better critique than Len Goodman’s befuddling home-improvement metaphor (what was he saying about the grass being beautiful?): Though Drew is by no means the most technically proficient contestant, I was so pleasantly surprised by the tenderness he brought to this rumba. Rather than charging ahead with all of the sexiness he can muster, as many rumba performers do on this show, Drew danced the entire number with a really lovely, authentic sincerity. Judges’ Score: 21/30

MOST DISAPPOINTING
Debbie Gibson and pro Alan Bersten (Argentine Tango) — I’m hesitant to call this dance the worst of the night, because Debbie certainly nailed the choreography — but it was disappointing that her much-hyped chemistry wasn’t really on display with Alan, even in this sexy style. Instead of communicating a sultry, seductive, get-a-room-you-two vibe, Debbie and Alan’s dance just felt small. (No thanks to all those tables and chairs, of course.) Judges’ Score: 21/30

And now, the results:

COUPLES IN JEOPARDY
Nick Lachey and pro Peta Murgatroyd
Debbie Gibson and pro Alan Bersten

ELIMINATED
Debbie Gibson and pro Alan Bersten

Your turn, Dancing fans! Did Debbie and Alan deserve to get the boot? Hit the comments with all of your thoughts on Tuesday’s episode.