DWTS Recap: Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke Go Virtual for Britney Night — How'd They Do? And Who Got Booted?

DWTS Cody Cheryl Virtual

Cody Rigsby may not have performed to “Circus” during Dancing With the Stars‘ Britney Spears Night, but that whole “all eyes on me in the center of the ring” thing? It definitely applied.

After testing positive for COVID-19 days after his partner, Cheryl Burke, contracted the virus, Cody still remained in the competition for Monday’s performance show, dancing a jazz number remotely (and separately from Cheryl) to Spears’ “Gimme More.” And though we’ve all gotten used to virtual backup plans during the pandemic, the thought of Cody and Cheryl dancing live from different homes — on different coasts! — was a tad nerve-racking. (I’m the mere recapper here, and I had a stress dream about this performance last night… some of which actually came true!)

So, how did the historic performance go down? Read on for more thoughts on all of Monday’s Britney Night routines:

Amanda Kloots and pro Alan Bersten (Cha-Cha to “Circus”): For a routine that began with Amanda cracking her whip, this cha-cha strangely lacked the sexiness and fire that I would have expected from her and Alan; Amanda does have a stunning smile, but it felt misplaced here. That said, her dancing capabilities are never in question, and her footwork was as precise as ever. Judges’ Score: 24/30

Iman Shumpert and pro Daniella Karagach (Tango to “Piece of Me”): The fluidity that Iman manages to bring to these routines, despite his own height and the disparity between him and Daniella, is really quite impressive — and even better, Daniella packed this routine with real tango content instead of giving Iman fun filler. I’m not totally sure, though, how many weeks Iman can get by on he’s-good-for-being-so-tall! praise. Here’s hoping a breakout routine — perhaps a slightly more vulnerable one — is around the corner. Judges’ Score: 19/30

DWTS Season 30 Week 3Christine Chiu and pro Pasha Pashkov (Paso Doble to “Stronger,” pictured): Again with the misplaced smiles! Not that you can’t grin your way through a paso doble — as Christine often did here — but it does diminish the intensity of the dance a bit, especially when Pasha was right next to Christine, doing his best smizing. Christine remains one of the more proficient dancers in the competition, but the disconnect she’s experiencing with voters makes some sense: There’s not quite enough passion coming through in her movements yet, and there’s often a slight unsteadiness when she attempts a dip or trick. Judges’ Score: 21/30

JoJo Siwa and pro Jenna Johnson (Argentine Tango to “Baby One More Time”): I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: We’ve gotta give JoJo and Jenna the proper kudos for translating male/female choreography into female/female choreography, namely the three (!) lifts in this Argentine tango that were executed as skillfully and effortlessly as if it had been a male pro hoisting Jenna in the air. And that’s to say nothing of JoJo’s lines, which were truly gorgeous and so self-assured. Judges’ Score: 24/30

Kenya Moore and pro Brandon Armstrong (Tango to “Womanizer”): “I never felt you were pushed by Brandon,” Bruno Tonioli remarked of this tango — and at least physically, yes, Brandon never appeared to be dragging Kenya through the choreography. Was he surreptitiously talking her through every combination, though? Very much so. Judges’ Score: 21/30

Brian Austin Green and pro Sharna Burgess (Tango to “Till the World Ends”): Given the trouble Brian had with the rumba last week, his improvement with proper frame and body contact was lovely to see. Still, I keep waiting for him to deepen his movements, especially when paired with his significant other. Take that moment near the beginning when Brian came up behind Sharna and ran his hands along her shoulders. Give me more passion! Go all the way down those arms, sir! Judges’ Score: 19/30

Melora Hardin and pro Artem Chigvintsev (Cha-Cha to “(You Drive Me) Crazy”): I am forever here for a well-executed body roll, and Melora gave us many during this cha-cha, despite the nerves she alluded to in her rehearsal package. In fact, the whole cha-cha was quite confidently performed, with very well-synchronized side-by-side sections. Judges’ Score: 23/30

DWTS Season 30 Week 3Mel C and pro Gleb Savchenko (Tango to “Toxic,” pictured): I was surprised to hear Len Goodman pinpoint the end of this routine as his favorite part; I felt Mel was starting to run out of steam in the last third of the number, with a strange stiffness like she was forgetting to exhale. Judges’ Score: 22/30

Jimmie Allen and pro Emma Slater (Salsa to “Outrageous”): This man is just full of surprises, huh? Even though this swagger-filled number didn’t always feel like a traditional salsa, Jimmie showcased even more versatility and a fearlessness when it comes to looking a little goofy. The only downside? We saw Jimmie’s tongue much too much. Judges’ Score: 20/30

Olivia Jade and pro Val Chmerkovskiy (Tango to “Hold It Against Me”): There was only one puzzling moment in this tango: right before the chorus hit, when Olivia seemed to shrink into herself a little, pulling her elbows in and looking a bit bashful when she and Val could have created electric tension instead. But aside from that choice — if it was even intentional, that is — Olivia and Val’s tango stood out in a sea of ’em on Monday, with a wonderful certainty and clarity to Olivia’s movements. Judges’ Score: 24/30

Cody Rigsby and pro Cheryl Burke (Jazz to “Gimme More”): It feels impossible to say anything here other than, “They did it!” Given the distance between them and the challenges of rehearsing remotely, it’s a small miracle that Cody and Cheryl even finished the dang thing, let alone with the wind-in-the-hair confidence and sass that both of them delivered. Was it perfectly in sync? No. Was the choreography as compelling as in-person partner work? Of course not! But they did what they had to do this week, and did it as well as could be expected. Maybe even better! Judges’ Score: 18/30

Suni Lee and pro Sasha Farber (Foxtrot to “I’m a Slave 4 U”): Who’s the maniac that paired the foxtrot with “I’m a Slave 4 U”? Who can I speak to about this utterly bizarre combination? Given the strange soundtrack for such a typically elegant style, I don’t blame Suni for looking a bit unsure of herself here, trapped somewhere between sensuality and old-fashioned grace. What does surprise me is the lack of sharpness in Suni’s movements: With arm flourishes in particular, there’s a crispness missing from her execution thus far. Judges’ Score: 21/30

Matt James and pro Lindsay Arnold (Tango to “Scream & Shout”): I’ll have to respectfully disagree with the judges’ remarks that Matt brought “passion” and “attack” to this tango: For much of the performance, I thought he looked as dead-eyed as he did when he kissed all those ladies on The Bachelor. The footwork was much better, though, even if Matt’s kick over Lindsay’s head at the start of the routine lacked some oomph. Judges’ Score: 20/30

The Miz and pro Witney Carson (Salsa to “Oops!… I Did It Again”): I sincerely never know what to expect when The Miz hits the dance floor, but I kinda love it? If nothing else, those lifts and tricks were absolutely killer, though Witney perhaps could have traded in a few of them to give The Miz even more practice with proper salsa steps. Judges’ Score: 22/30

And now, the results!

Kenya Moore and pro Brandon Armstrong
Christine Chiu and pro Pasha Pashkov

Kenya Moore and pro Brandon Armstrong (saved by Carrie Ann and Bruno)

Christine Chiu and pro Pasha Pashkov

OK, your turn! Who impressed you the most during Britney Night? And what’d you think of Cody and Cheryl’s virtual performance? Cast your vote in our poll below, then get discussing in the comments!

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