DWTS Alek Skarlatos

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

Might Dancing With the Stars be getting a little ahead of itself?

Even though last week’s Season 21 premiere featured a handful of good, if not excellent, performances, it also left me feeling like the newest batch of contestants have a lot of work to do if they want to match last season’s impressive competitors.

That’s why I’m puzzled by Dancing‘s approach to Week 2, which already has the dancers performing two routines in one week, spread out across broadcasts on Monday and Tuesday. Perhaps it’s merely a scheduling hiccup on ABC’s end that’s causing the contestants to pull double duty, but this week’s one-two punch seems a bit lofty for the unpolished newbies in the cast.

But before I get ahead of myself and assume that Tuesday’s show will be full of sloppy footwork, let’s revisit the highlights of Monday’s episode:

Alek Skarlatos and pro Lindsay Arnold (Jazz) — Did other couples score higher than Alek and Lindsay did? Yes. Was the front-porch set of Alek and Lindsay’s jazz routine a bit claustrophobic? Totally. Still, there is something completely mesmerizing — and even jarring — about Alek, whom I constantly expect to fumble his way through the motions. Not only did Alek’s strength allow him to effortlessly pull off insane lifts, but he brought a fluidity and grace to his movements that left my jaw on the floor for at least one commercial break. Judges’ Score: 23/30

Bindi Irwin and pro Derek Hough (Tango) — You can blame the AC/DC music — an odd choice for the tango, no? — for the pair’s runner-up placement, but Bindi brought just as much energy and passion to her Week 2 performance as she did in Week 1. Plus, as enjoyable as Bindi’s bubbly personality is, it’s nice to know she can keep the grinning to a minimum when the routine calls for it. Judges’ Score: 25/30

Kim Zolciak Biermann and pro Tony Dovolani (Quickstep) — Insert the “praise hands” emoji here, because Kim might as well have been resurrected from the dead during Monday’s installment. Last week, the Real Housewife could barely do a box step without looking like she was in immense pain; this week, she was light on her feet (and smiling!) in her quickstep with Tony, which will hopefully earn her enough votes to prove herself further in Week 3. Judges’ Score: 19/30

Nick Carter and pro Sharna Burgess (Jive) — And I’m not talking about Nick’s literal stumble on the dance floor, though that was also surprising and disheartening. (Thanks for nothing, glitter shoes!) Rather, I find it strange that the Backstreet Boy — who has literally danced in front of millions all over the world — is the one struggling with nerves most often. Here’s hoping Nick will hit his stride in Week 3, but the voting audience can only give him the benefit of the doubt so many times. Judges’ Score: 21/30

Victor Espinoza and pro Karina Smirnoff (Jive) — Alternate names for this superlative: Most Uncomfortable Routine. Routine That Made the Viewers at Home Watch Open-Mouthed In Horror. Routine That No One Needed to See, Ever. You may think me harsh, but consider the fact that — outside of his ghastly timing and subpar footwork — Victor spent part of this routine balancing a sombrero on his crotch. Whether or not you wanted the visual of a horse racing jockey balancing a hat on his ding-a-ling, that was the visual you received — and it cannot be unseen. Judges’ Score: 17/30

Now, the results:

Chaka Khan and pro Keo Motsepe
Gary Busey and pro Anna Trebunskaya

Chaka Khan and pro Keo Motsepe

OK, your turn. Were Chaka and Keo the right choice for elimination? Who performed your favorite routine of the night? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Lily says:

    In my opinion, Tamar and Val were the best of the night. I don’t understand why no one gives them credit. They are definitely an underrated couple.

    • Angela says:

      Agreed, they were quite good. I said last week that she may become a surprise frontrunner as the season goes on, and I’m even more convinced of that after tonight’s dance. If she keeps improving, I’d be cool with seeing her competing against people like Bindi or Alek in the finals.
      No argument with the overall sentiments about Victor’s dance. He seems like a really sweet guy, and I think it was Carrie Ann Inaba who mentioned liking his enthusiasm and willingness to just get out there-I will fully agree with her on that. But yeah, his dance tonight was…not smooth. To say the very least. In fact, with all the gimmicks-the sombrero thing, the motorcycle with one of the couples, Nick and Sharna getting out of beds-all I could hear was Len’s voice, telling them all to forget the cutesy openings and just get on with the dance, and I think a few of the couples could’ve used that advice tonight.
      Bindi’s dance was fun. I liked seeing that other side of her, and she just seems so lovely. I know everyone’s got the complaints about Derek’s history on the show, and his sister being a judge, and those are indeed valid complaints. But I can’t help but cheer Bindi on anyway. She’s certainly one of the strongest contestants going, after all.
      I thought for sure Gary would be eliminated tonight. I thought/hoped it’d come down to him and Paula. Perhaps tomorrow night? We shall see.

  2. Lola says:

    Poor Keo! Seriously. Don’t want to make this about race. But DWTS can we please give the only colored man a partially capable partner. Geez!! Second season in a row he was the first one out.

    • liame says:

      What color is he?

    • Buffy0531 says:

      Your heart is in the right place with your opinion, Lola, but “colored”? Please think about words before you use them. Having said that, I so agree about the partnering. With Lolo Jones last time, you could excuse them, because traditionally, athletes usually perform well, and at least are not sucks about it. But this time? He again get stuck with someone who is so not into it, it was embarrassing. I hope if he stays for the next season they give him someone he at least has a chance to progress past week 5 with!

    • To the whole dancing with the starrs panel / team & dancers I feel the competition is unfair when u have older verse’s younger conpeters. Of course the younger ones have more moves ????? Chaka is a singer not a dancer she should not feel ashamed she is still diva deluxe check her creditinals on her website street named after her an day in Chicago/ song book/ icon an many many awards/ songs taught in college course/ even if u had prince/ Steven Tyler/ Mick Jagger / george clinton those peoples lanes are singing an having great bands. An Gary still there ?!! He looks dead ??? Lol

      • Buffy0531 says:

        Sometimes the older contestants can surprise you, but over all, you’re right. The only thing I think Chaka had wrong, was the attitude. I don’t think she was really into it, I don’t get the feeling she was open to either teaching or criticism, and in many ways, it’s understandable. She’s an amazing singer, and has every right to be proud of all her accomplishments. Maybe it’s just harder to take instruction when you are so very well esptablished?

    • Anthony Carpinzano says:

      Colored?! What year is this? 1968?

    • aeromel78 says:

      It has nothing to do with his color. The producers have their favorites and they usually get the partners with the most potential. That’s why Derek and Mark have won so often. Think about pros like Tony, Maks or Louis who have been on this show for years and almost never get decent partners.

      • Abbi says:

        Mark has only won twice and gets partners who are polarizing. I don’t see where you’re comparing Mark to Derek. Derek is OTT promoted and scored best by his sister, which IMO, is a conflict of interest. He is the last one up 95% of the time. The same cannot be said about Mark. They usually stick him smack dab in the boring middle.

    • Olabisi says:

      yeah, and last season, season 20, he was the second couple eliminated. it’s like he gets paired with the worst partners, i feel sorry for him.

    • Olabisi says:

      Don’t you know there are other races? Some of the pro dancers are from Russia, Australia, England, etc.

  3. wrstlgirl says:

    I adore Alek. He’s a pure gem. Question, have Derek or Mark ever gotten an older not so limber partner or do they always get the younger set?

  4. Mike C. says:

    Derek and Mark always get the best partners. Derek always gets the showiest dances. Derek’s sister is ON the judging panel. This show has become a total joke.

    • ds says:

      I totally agree with you. She shouldn’t even be on the judges panel. You can tell she is totally biased.

    • Jane Goodwin says:

      The showiness of the dances is done by the pros. They don’t get them. They make them happen. But Derek and his annoying sister being on the show together is really not fair. And she is a terrible judge. She doesn’t seem to be able to just speak. She shrieks. But I am glad they are down to 3 judges this year. Four is too many.

    • Olabisi says:

      she judges him, just like she judges good, decent, or worse dancers, beside she is a proffessional dancer who has won DWTS 2 times, so she already knows a thing or too about dancing stuff, like footwork, for instance

  5. LaShawna says:

    I was surprised that Chaka was the first one gone. I figured her fanbase would carry her through a few weeks. I thought it would have been Paula, Victor or Kim going home tonight.

    • What planet have u been living on not to have heard a chaka khan or Rufus featuring chaka khan song?????? Check her song list on u – tube an peep her awards on her website an catch up cos u sound like u been dead ……….

  6. kevstar says:

    Yes, the right went home. I am a big Chaka fan, but it was painful to watch her.

  7. Debbie H says:

    I TOTALLY agree with the other comments! Poor Keo is such an awesome dancer with such energy and there’s something his personality that makes you fall in love with him right from the start!
    And yes! Mark and Derek ALWAYS get the BEST partners, just like poor Kim would always get the older and uncoordinated stars. It definitely seems that there is favoritism for certain dancers! I just hope that they don’t keep Gary Busey on the show for his odd actions and antics.

    • Buffy0531 says:

      So agree! I want to see what Keo can do with someone who actually wants to be there! At least Kim’s partners seemed to want to be there, and really tried hard…some of them even improved to the point of contending. And yes, as much as I love Anna, Gary needs to go…but not before Paula. And that’s too bad, because I had been looking forward to Louie’s return!

  8. lauri5567 says:

    My best friend and I were texting all through this. We agree that Alek is a good dancer and adorable. I like watching the Triple Crown, and I wanted Victor to do well. But it’s just painful. I was surprised at how many couples seemed to improve this week.

  9. I truly wanted Paula to leave tonight because of her dancing AND the course remark she made at the panel. However, Chaka was on my “poof be gone” list too, along with several others. I love her though, and am thankful she doesn’t sing like she dances.

  10. Gloria Peters says:

    OMG! Chaka Kahn was eliminated?!? I learned contemporary dance from Soul Train from Chaka Kahn dancing. Most people thought my dancing was cool, and asked me to teach them to dance like Chaka. OK, so it’s not Ballroom (too stiff), it’s not Ballet (too regal), not modern (too abstract), it was just us (too common).

  11. Jane Goodwin says:

    Why do they keep bringing Keo back? He gets the boot early every season. Now they need to get rid of Gary Busey. He is a total nut and shouldn’t even be on the show. Then that cute little jockey needs to go. And if Lindsay Arnold doesn’t get a clue and zip her lip she is going to annoy her partner so much he is going to tell her off on camera..

  12. Lauren says:

    Aww I love Keo so much! I hope he gets a more capable partner next time. Wouldn’t you love to see how things would shake out if Derek had Shaka and Keo had Bindi? (Lots of weird names in there)

  13. H says:

    Was it just me, when they were dancing did they speed up the dance. It looked like in the second hour of DWTS they were moving somewhat quick and it just seemed a little off. I guess they sped it up for time wise but that doesn’t make it livvvveeeeee, anymore. I like to see it in the moment. Also how come 20+ seasons of the show and they still be rushing for time at the end of the show?

  14. KC says:

    Gary and Paula both need to go!!!

  15. JBC says:

    I love Alek, who has proven to be a wonderful surprise. I wish Keo could have had a more capable dancer. I would like to see him go past week 3 at least. Kim improved so much this week -shocked. For those that continue to complain about Derek, please remember that ABC needs to put on a show, and of course their emmy award winning choreographer is going to get some of the better contestants. I am very glad that he and Mark get good people. I really love watching them both. Val is also someone who gets decent contestants, glad he has Tamar because they are great to watch together. I don’t mind Julianne being a judge. The one I wish would leave is Erin. They could save time if they only would give the scores after they talk to Tom.

  16. Agnes Wiley says:

    it was over for Keo each year they seem to give him the worst female to dance with. it would be nice to actually get to see him complete more than one or two weeks.

  17. Abbi says:

    I thought for sure it would be Paula who was gone and I really didn’t think we’d see Gary, as bad as he was, in the bottom 2.