Eric McCandless/ABC

In which we all learn what Mark Ballas Face is, and the first couple gets eliminated

September 25, 2017 at 11:45 PM EDT

No one ever said ballroom dancing was easy, but the producers of Dancing With the Stars sure aren’t helping any either. On just the second week of competition, our baby-deer celebtestants are being forced to learn two separate routines. Why, Tom Bergeron, why? Some of these celebrities must be shaking in their dance shoes — and not in the good way.

On this first of two nights of competition (and two eliminations!), our thirteen couples will all be dancing routines in ballroom styles. It’s time to class up this joint!

Debbie Gibson and Alan Bersten
Quickstep, “This Is My Time” by Amy Stroup
Two weeks in and Debbie Gibson already has DWTS figured out: It’s a moving train and she needs to either hop on or risk falling off. It takes some people the entire season to figure that out! Debbie decides to hop on. She’s not using her physical issues as a crutch; she is doing the damn thing. It pays off! Carrie Ann notices an improvement from last week, and Len is pleased to see Debbie exuding such confidence already. Bruno’s critique is something we already know: Debbie and Alan’s chemistry is palpable. Why did it take so long to make Alan a pro partner? He is the cutest. Debbie is cool, too. BUT ALAN.
Judges’ Score: 20/30

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev
Waltz, “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones
Can Nana Bella adopt me? We all could use a real lady like Nana to teach us her lady ways. We knew Nikki would have power, coming from the wrestling world, but this week, she has to dig deep for a more elegant performance. The judges think she pulls it off: Bruno finds it to be very prim and proper, and Carrie Ann gives the girl a shout out for already trusting her partner. That’s a make-or-break lesson on DWTS. And both Len and Tom are proud that Nikki was able to keep her head up throughout. Len gives Tom some grief about stepping on his critique, but Tom’s been doing this for 25 seasons; the guy knows a thing or two!
Judges’ Score: 21/30

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas
Quickstep, “Swing Step” by Jurassic 5
Lindsey and Mark perform a quickstep that, based on costumes alone, tells the story of two Hogwarts students who walk into a tent at Coachella and come out as two beautiful butterflies. Heartwarming, no? Okay, so it’s really about caterpillars and butterflies, but, like, we’ve seen Mark in full rabbit costume, so unless he is dressed up as a literal caterpillar, I’m not buying it. I would, however, like to buy Mark’s butterfly bow tie. Costumes and sets aside, the dance is charming. However, they do deliberately break hold, which in the quickstep is a big no-no. As if ballroom rules apply to Mark Ballas!
Judges’ Score: 21/30

Barbara Corcoran and Keo Motsepe
Tango, “Whatever Lola Wants” by Sarah Vaughan
Barbara shows a much softer side than we’ve previously been privy to. She cries! Barbara doesn’t like being at the bottom of the leaderboard, it reminds her of the tough time she had in school. She doesn’t want to be laughed out of the ballroom. The good news is that she is much more relaxed and fluid in her elegant tango. The bad news is: She’s still not great. The other good news is that Keo wears a green velvet tuxedo that he probably should wear all the time, regardless of whether or not he’s performing. The other bad news is: Green velvet tuxedos don’t win you judges’ points. Although, is that a hard and fast rule or can we negotiate something?
Judges’ Score: 17/30

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