In last week’s “Dancing With the Stars” season premiere, actor Alfonso Ribeiro and reality star Sadie Robertson set a high standard for themselves and the rest of the season 19 cast, finishing at the top of the leaderboard and sailing through to week two, but neither was quite able to match their initial success this week.
For Ribeiro, it may have been nerves that got the better of him. After he and pro partner Witney Carson set the bar so high with their jive, he spent the training week worried about living up to the judges’ expectations – and for that matter, living up to his own expectations. They performed a solid samba despite the pressure, but the judges thought his movements lacked bounce, and they gave him straight 8s, down from the straight 9s he received for his first routine.
For Robertson, it was the choreography the judges took issue with. She and partner Mark Ballas performed a jazz routine with a country-and-western twist, but Len Goodman didn’t think the two styles blended well, and Julianne Hough felt the routine lacked the strong technique of her first performance. She scored three 8s, and a 7 from cranky Len, for a total of 31, down three points from last week’s total.
Ribeiro and Robertson still finished in the top 6 despite losing ground, but they trail a surging Lea Thompson, who answered Ribeiro’s premiere-week jive with one of her own, which Bruno Tonioli thought had the appeal of Ann-Margret in her prime, while the performance gave Hough chills. That was good enough for three 9s and an 8 – again, Len was the stingy holdout – which puts Lea and partner Artem Chigvintsev in first place. Not bad for a team that was in jeopardy a week ago.
Right behind Thompson were two more standout women: actress Janel Parrish, who scored 34 points for a strong foxtrot after being disappointed with her scores last week, and YouTube star Bethany Mota, who aced her own foxtrot and picked up 33 points despite an ankle injury that made for a hellish week of training.
Also enjoying a night of redemption was Betsey Johnson, who was the lowest scorer last week after a prop malfunction ruined her routine with Tony Dovolani. She got a second chance thanks to audience votes and improved significantly this time around, performing a foxtrot that earned straight 7s for a total of 28, up eight points from premiere night.
But Johnson may still be at risk of elimination. Three other celebs received the exact same score – Randy Couture, Tavis Smiley, and Tommy Chong – and only one contestant scored lower: auto racing champion Michael Waltrip, whose energy was infectious but whose technique left much to be desired.
Week two’s scores were as follows:
1. Lea Thompson – 35
2. Janel Parrish – 34
3. Bethany Mota – 33
4. Alfonso Ribeiro – 32
5. Sadie Robertson – 31
5. Antonio Sabato Jr. – 31
7. Jonathan Bennett – 30
8. Tommy Chong – 28
8. Randy Couture – 28
8. Betsey Johnson – 28
8. Tavis Smiley – 28
12. Michael Waltrip – 24
Who will be sent home tomorrow night? Make your predictions below: