It’s Story Week on Dancing with the Stars, which challenged the pairs Monday to perform routines that told a story — while also keeping up with the beat.
Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya started the night off with a high-energy quickstep and, as promised, the Olympic skater delivered despite two broken toes. The dance, which Carrie Ann Inaba called “twinkling, athletic and energetic,” earned the duo 25 points.
Next up were Buzz Aldrin and his partner Ashly Costa, who performed a waltz, telling the story of a father returning home from war to see his daughter. Though emotionally moving, Bruno Tonioli said Aldrin looked “like a statue” at times and the other judges agreed, giving them just 13 points.
Jake Pavelka and Chelsie Hightower offered up a lively quickstep to “Walk Like an Egyptian,” earning a score of 21 while Jake’s fianc Vienna cheered him on from the sidelines.
Niecey Nash and Louis Van Amstel delivered the most poignant performance of the night, choosing to tell the story of a couple in love in the ’60s who cannot be together because it’s not accepted by society — a story which the professional dancer said was personal to him and which moved the comedienne to tears. Their waltz earned them a standing ovation despite a few missteps, and 21 points from the judges.
The playful Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke brought cheer back to the ballroom with their paso doble, telling the story of a matador trying to seduce a woman who wants nothing to do with him — which, they joked, echoed their dynamic in real life. Bruno called the performance “all over the place,” but Carrie Ann praised Chad for being “miles ahead of where you were last week.” They scored a 20.
After escaping elimination last week, Pam Anderson and Damien Whitewood performed the paso doble, which impressed Carrie Ann, who told the Baywatch alum there was “artistry to all your movements.” Len Goodman, however, told her she “needs refinement,” and they scored a 21 — down a point from the week before.
Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska, however, improved their score by a point this week with their quick step, coming in at 20.
Then Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy took to the floor with a dramatic waltz, and the sportscaster donned a blindfold for the majority of the performance. The dance — during which the sizzling duo shared some very close embraces — was “profound” according to Carrie Ann, despite what Len characterized as a “boring start.” They earned 23 points.
Kate Gosselin and Tony Dovolani told the mother of eight’s story of being hounded by paparazzi to — what else? — Lady Gaga‘s “Paparazzi” during a paso doble routine that Carrie Ann called “odd.” The performance, which they developed after working with an acting coach to help Kate communicate her emotions with her expressions and movement, was not a hit with judges, earning them a score of only just 15. “Despite the feedback,” Gosselin told host Brooke Burke, “I’m very much enjoying this challenge.”
Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough wrapped up the evening with a lively quick-step to “Anything Goes,” which Len said strayed from some of the dance’s conventional moves. But Carrie Ann raved, saying, “Lift? Rope hold? Two rules broken but when you take this show on the road, I want front row seats.” The pair, who garnered two 10s and an 8 last week, earned a 23 this week.
One more couple will be eliminated on the results show, which airs Tuesday (8 p.m. EST) on ABC. –Lisa Ingrassia
Tell us: Which couple earned your vote? Who’s in danger of heading home?Craig Sjodin/ABC