Dancing With the Stars recap: See who else was missing from the ballroom due to COVID-19
Oops, she did it again! No bawdy ballgown for Tyra Banks on Dancing With the Stars; now's her chance to don school girl braids and expose her midriff because it's Britney night, bitches! Hey, anything's better than looking like the Dilophosaurus that spit on Newman at the end of Jurassic Park, right?
And what's this? Another absence due to the ongoing pandemic? Add Derek Hough to the list of ballroom no-shows in week 3, behind Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby (both of whom tested positive). "Due to a potential COVID exposure, and although he's fully vaccinated and has tested negative, Derek has elected to sit out tonight's show out of abundance of caution," his spokeswoman tells EW.
But if Rigsby and Burke can work from their living rooms, why can't Hough? I'll save that question for when (and if) I ever return to the backstage press room. On with the show!
Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke: For the first time in the history of DWTS, a contestant and his partner were allowed to stay in the competition while dancing from the comfort of their homes. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? Both tested positive last week for COVID-19 and they certainly couldn't come to work. So the duo performed a split-screen jazz combo live from both coasts. It ended up making great TV, even though it wasn't their finest moment in the competition. (But Cheryl Burke? You make COVID look gorgeous and, quite literally, cool. We all need a constant breeze from a fan!). "I really admire the perseverance and the commitment in spite of it all," said judge Bruno Tonioli. "I know you have the ability. It's very hard to judge the sync. Your eye leads from one to the other. It's a very, very good effort." "We have to judge what we have in this ballroom. Did it compare? Not quite. It wasn't as great as I know you can be," added Carrie Ann Inaba. Score: 18 out of 30
Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach: The NBA star doesn't know his Britney library so "Piece of Me" felt a little foreign. But the tango didn't! "I really appreciate the fact you are concentrating on getting the right moves," said Tonioli. "I did not expect that tonight," said Inaba. "The way you toned down your steps to match Daniella?" Score: 19 out of 30
Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess: Fans bring up a valid point about these two. Do the lovers have an unfair advantage because they get to rehearse 24/7? They've yet to truly address what they do away from the cameras, and they seem to be getting a pass — for now — from the judges. But they're going to have to explain themselves eventually — especially if they make it to the final 3. Until then, let's tango in the rain. "You have finally arrived in the ballroom, my friend," says Inaba. "That was serious dancing. I'm so proud of you." "Your frame was overall good," added Goodman. "Your body contact was there. Your footwork was pretty poor but I must say it was a spirited effort." He then went on about his hand looking like a bunch of bananas but I quickly tuned him out. Score: 19 out of 30
Matt James and Lindsay Arnold: The Bachelor got to tango to the best song of the night: will.i.am's "Scream and Shout." Too bad the best part of the song was bleeped out because you can't say bitch and Britney at 8 p.m. But we can! "I have to say you did a very good job. The concentration in his face," said Tonioli. "I'm gonna do this if it's going to kill me!" Score: 20 out of 30
Jimmie Allen and Emma Slater: The country singer has seen Britney perform a total of eight times, but his love for the songstress didn't exactly translate to his salsa. At least one judge was happy with it. "I thought when you let loose, it all flows beautifully. The rhythm, the hips, it was going brilliantly. Listen to reason, listen to me." Score: 20 out of 30
Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong: The former Miss USA said her pageant win was for "a people" in 1994 — which happened three years after her partner was born. Why are the kids so quick to remind the rest of us how old we are? But I digress. What did you think of her canary-colored tango, judges? "You're back on track! What a good tango that was," said Tonioli. "I never felt you were pushed by Brandon. You were right up with him. Such poise, such elegance." Score: 21 out of 30
Christine Chiu and Pasha Pashkov: The Bling Empire star got all choked up over hitting rock bottom last week, so she decided to focus on Baby G (her son) to pull off a paso doble. I dunno, sequin slaves — I can't get too excited about Ms. Chiu. Turns out I'm not alone. More on that later. "To see you have this moment, you are fighting for every step," says Inaba. "You've danced a really clean crisp, plenty of energy Paso doble," added Goodman. Score: 21 out of 30
Suni Lee and Sasha Farber: The Olympian reminded us that she's juggling college with gymnastics workouts and DWTS. But her foxtrot (and bench handstands) didn't seem to suffer. And how 'bout that J. Lo-inspired costume? "You are definitely pushing your boundaries," Inaba said. "I sense a little bit of discomfort with some of the sensual moves." "I love the fact you actually started to play with the character," said Tonioli. "As you let it go, your performance becomes more effective." Score: 21 out of 30
The Miz and Witney Carson: The WWE wrestler filled his rehearsal video with a bunch of motivational talk that seemed to do the trick: his salsa performed to "Oops!... I Did it Again" was the last number of the night. "When it comes to shirts, less is more," said Tonioli. What? Len Goodman, you go. "Unlike some of our stars, you have absolutely no dance background. To come out and perform to that level, I thought was fantastic." Score: 22 out of 30
Melanie C and Gleb Savchenko: I do appreciate a good set design like the next person, but I wasn't vibing with the whole airplane motif. At least it gave Sporty Spice the lift she needed while rewarding Bruno with a massive pun-a-palooza. "Very impressive cockpit," said Tonioli. "You were flying high on that tango. And the service! First class all the way." OMG. Score: 22 out of 30
Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev: I do heart that Melora; she looks fabulous in the rehearsal hall, even when she talks about feeling vulnerable over those nasty notes from Len and having to learn ballroom in general. Who cares, buttercup? You get paid, regardless. Now cha cha! "That had so much more hip action and it was a great performance," said Goodman. "Well done both of you." "Nothing will contain my excitement. It's like a veil has been lifted," added Tonioli. "I'm seeing you in full focus for the first time. You got it, honey!" Score: 23 out of 30
Jojo Siwa and Jenna Johnson: Jojo said she connects with Britney in so many ways. Both were child stars, both did lots of films, and both had a generally hard time. But did your dad take away your power and control your cash until the age of 40? Yeah, I thought not. Stick with the Argentine tango, girl, which you just happen to do spectacularly. And what a terrific pair of plaid costumes! "It was extremely well crafted routine," said Goodman. "It had a little too much staccato, it looked a little too much like a ballroom tango. Having said that, you can't make a bad performance. You are always on point." Score: 24 out of 30
Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten: Look who got to go first! Fortunately, I missed this dance because I was busy rinsing my eyes out with salt water after seeing Tyra in her schoolgirl outfit. Sounds like it went well, though. Way to go, co-host of The Talk which-used-to-be-hosted-by-all-women-but-now-it's-gone-coed-for-better-ratings. Score: 24 out of 30
Olivia Jade and Val Chmerkovskiy: The influencer is not used to hearing positive things about herself so it was a relief to get those good scores last week from the judges. She also got sweets from her partner for turning 22. Lucky girl, even better tango-er. "Listen to the noise Val! That was a proper tango. Full of staccato, full of attack. This is what I want to see. Not messing about!" said Goodman. "You were on it like a bonnet," added Tonioli. Score: 24 out of 30
The bottom two couples were Christine and Pasha, and Kenya and Brandon. Inaba and Tonioli saved Kenya, so Christine is history.
Look for Disney night next week! It also comes with a Mickey dance challenge. You doing it? Me neither.