SAN DIEGO, September 19, 2016 – Season 23 got off to a crazy start but settled down in Week 2 with several surprisingly good performances and improved dancing from nearly every couple. They’ve shaken off the nerves of the first routine and fans can see the talent rising to the top of the leaderboard.
The Tuesday night elimination show is back, so no spoilers here other than the scores.
Could we just go ahead and give the Mirror Ball Trophy to Laurie Hernanez already? Julianne Hough called Laurie Hernandez “Disney’s Beyonce” after her Jive with Val Chmerkovskiy to the theme from the animated series “Ducktails.” The judges had nothing but praise for her style, energy, and technique. They scored eights for 32 points total, highest of the season so far, and a leaderboard total of 63 points.
James Hinchcliffe raced in the Indy Car series on Sunday, and had minimal time to rehearse his “Walking Dead” theme Paso Doble with Sharna Burgess. Considering the minimal preparation, he continues to impress with his dancing and performance skills. The judges gave him 29 points and he’s right behind Laurie with 60 points. With a full week of rehearsal he’ll stay right at the top of the leaderboard for weeks to come.
The next four couples are all tied with a two week total of 56 points.
Terra Jole and Sasha Farber performed a charming and technically superior Foxtrot full of charm to the theme from “Bewitched,” aided by the stage crew’s set moving from black and white of the original series to the color of DWTS. The judges showered praise on Terra’s performance and rewarded her with 31 points.
Babyface Edmonds and Allison Holker brought a smoulder to their Scully and Mulder “X Files” Argentine Tango. It worked surprisingly well. Bruno Tonioli commented how well the couple brought the chemistry between the original couple from the series to the dance floor with mystery and intensity. Babyface’s pedigree as a singer, songwriter, and producer shows as he actually produced a new version of the song for his routine. It scored 30 points.
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko performed a Tango to the theme song of her big hit show “I Don’t Want to Be” from “One Tree Hill.” Jana injured her ribs during rehearsal and Gleb said he changed a bit of the choreography to help her get through it. She didn’t perform to her maximum capability but powered through nicely and all the judges praised her for it. They scored 29 points
Marilu Henner said she knew at some point she would dance to the theme from her hit comedy “Taxi,” so at least it’s out of the way. It’s easy to forget that Marilu is in her 60s because she has wonderful grace and energy. The judges praised their Foxtrot and rewarded them with 30 points.
Calvin Johnson channeled his inner Urkel with Lindsay Arnold for a “Family Matters” Quickstep that impressed and charmed the judges. Len Goodman said, “The Detroit Lion has come out with a roar!” Before getting his scores, Calvin got a visit from the real Urkel, Jaleel White.
Jaleel said he’d give him a ten, but the judges gave him a solid 28 points, for 54 points total.
Robert AKA Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson produced a “Thrilla From Vanilla” according to Len Goodman, who enjoyed their “Married With Children” Foxtrot. Robert/Vanilla Ice showed potential and he plays characters well, but he’s still a little rough around the edges. No one enjoyed it more than Robert did, who seems to be having the time of his life. He scored 26 points for a two week total of 51 points.
Amber Rose said she felt more confident playing Khalessi Danaerys Targaryen with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy as Khal Drogo dancing a “Game of Thrones” theme Viennese Waltz. But her costume including a clunky pair of boots got in her way. The judges encouraged Amber’s effort, but only gave her 24 points for 49 total.
Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke performed a lighthearted Quickstep which offered a nice counterpoint to the craziness of Week 1. The attitude was perfect but the steps weren’t, and the judges gave them 24 points, for a total of 48 points.
Tied at 48 points with Ryan is Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev. They led off the show with the most obvious assignment – a Quickstep to “The Brady Bunch Theme.” Bonus: Florence Henderson made an appearance, and that is worth a ten on its own. The judges praised Maureen’s increased confidence and improvement, and rewarded her with 26 points.
Jake Austin had a rough first week, so he could only improve with a Cha Cha to the theme from his former show “Go Diego Go!” with Jenna Johnson. Judges agreed he improved but he is so anxious he is ahead of the music. Len Goodman pointed out he lost his timing due to rushing. He scored 24 points for a total of 46 points.
Rick Perry and Emma Slater performed a Quickstep to the theme from “Green Acres,” and it was plenty corny. Governor Perry seemed to be having the greatest time and Emma made a wonderful Zsa Zsa Gabor. Len Goodman praised his effort and they did improve from Week 1 with 22 points, leaving them in last with 42 points.
Who’s going home first? It seems like Govenor Perry is going to lose this election, unless his fans come through and Jake Austin can’t rally the votes.
Voting Information (couples in order of their scores)
Laurie Hernandez and Val Chmerkovskiy: Jive, 8-8-8-8 = 32 points plus 31 points = 63 points
James Hinchcliffe and Sharna Burgess: Paso Doble, 7-7-7-8 = 29 points plus 31 points = 60 points
Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: Foxtrot, 7-8-7-7 = 29 points plus 27 points = 56 points
Babyface Edmonds and Allison Holker: Argentine Tango, 8-7-7-8 = 30 points plus 26 points = 56 points
Terra Jole and Sasha Farber: Quickstep, 8-7-8-8 = 31 points plus 25 points = 56 points
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: Tango, 7-8-7-7 = 29 points plus 27 points = 56 points
Calvin Johnson and Lindsay Carson: Foxtrot, 7-7-7-7 = 28 points plus 26 points = 54 points
Vanilla Ice and Witney Carson: Foxtrot, 6-7-6-7 = 26 points plus 25 points = 51 points
Amber Rose and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Viennese Waltz, 6-6-6-6 = 24 points plus 25 points = 49 points
Maureen McCormick and Artem Chigvintsev: Quickstep, 7-6-6-7 for 26 points plus 22 points = 48 points total
Ryan Lochte and Cheryl Burke: Quickstep, 6-6-6-6 = 24 points plus 24 points = 48 points
Jake Austin and Jenna Johnson: Cha Cha Cha, 6-6-6-6 = 24 points plus 22 points = 46 points
Rick Perry and Emma Slater: Quickstep, 6-5-6-5 for 22 points week plus 20 points = 42 points
Voting information: Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite couples via phone on Monday nights during the show and up to one hour after the end of the DWTS broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and closing at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Tuesday evenings.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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