‘Dancing with the Stars’ First Elimination night recap: How did ‘DWTS’ deal with Cheryl Burke’s COVID, and who was sent home? [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

We got our first glimpse of the “Dancing with the Stars” season 30 contestants last week during the premiere episode. But week two was when the competition really heated up because it brought us the season’s first elimination, based on the combined judges’ scores and viewer votes from both weeks. So who was the unlucky star at the end of the night? Scroll down for our “First Elimination” night live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments and our commentary throughout the night.

Singer and YouTube personality JoJo Siwa had the highest judges’ score during the season premiere, followed closely by gymnast Suni Lee and “The Talk” co-host Amanda Kloots. Way at the bottom was Martin Kove, who was eight points down from the next lowest scoring contestant, NBA player Iman Shumpert. But everyone had a chance to add to their totals this week, with all 15 celebrities learning a new dance routine in a different style. And those styles can make or break a contestant.

For instance, the samba is one of the most notoriously difficult styles performed on “DWTS,” and this week “Bachelor” star Matt James tackled that one. Meanwhile, Kove had to try to keep up with the fast pace of the cha cha after struggling with his paso doble during the premiere. Three other celebs had the cha cha too: Lee, Siwa, and “Real Housewives” star Kenya Moore. Another four contestants were given the slow, sensual rumba: country singer Jimmie Allen, “90210” actor Brian Austin Green, “The Office” actress Melora Hardin, and Shumpert. Two stars got the foxtrot: Spice Girls singer Melanie C and Kloots. Two got the sexy salsa: “Bling Empire” star Christine Chiu and Peloton fitness trainer Cody Rigsby. Social media personality Olivia Jade danced a Viennese waltz. And pro wrestler Mike “The Miz” Mizanin danced the tango.

But one dancer was forced out of the ballroom this week. “DWTS” veteran Cheryl Burke, a two-time Mirror Ball champion, was forced to step aside from the competition for now after testing positive for COVID-19, leaving her partner Rigsby in an uncertain position. Burke’s quarantine will force her to miss week three of the competition as well. So that’s a lot for these contestants to try to process. How did they do? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (times listed are Eastern).

Daniel Montgomery, 8:03pm — Tyra Banks announces that Cody Rigsby is not in the ballroom tonight due to his partner Cheryl Burke’s COVID diagnosis, but he’s not out of the competition. He’s not performing until later this evening, so we’ll have to wait to find out what that means for his routine.

Matt James and Lindsay Arnold (Samba)

DM, 8:04pm — Matt and Lindsay both know he needs to work on his hip action, and samba is certain trial by fire where that’s concerned.

DM, 8:06pm — Not gonna lie, kind of a clunky samba.

Jeffrey Kare, 8:06pm — It felt like Lindsay was upstaging Matt a bit during their performance.

JUDGES — Len Goodman thought Matt should have worried less about taking off his shirt and more about working on his hips, which were “allergic to music.” Derek Hough adds that he needs to improve his bounce and his feet, but he was still fun to watch. Bruno  Tonioli can think of a lot he wants to say, but nothing about the samba. He’s still mesmerized by Matt’s torso. Carrie Ann Inaba is docking them for a lift, and thought Matt’s bravado was lacking after he took his shirt off; he was dancing too small.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (5), Len (5), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 22

DM, 8:09pm — I feel like Bruno bumped him up a point just for his abs LOL.

Cordell Martin, 8:10pm — Yes it was a bit clunky. Lucky for him he got the dance style of death early on

Olivia Jade and Val Chmerkovskiy (Viennese Waltz)

DM, 8:12pm — Val tells Olivia that the magic in dancing is in loving what you’re doing while you’re doing it. So Olivia is giving Val a … makeup tutorial. Okay, not a super scintillating clip package. Not really feeling the chemistry between them as dance partners yet.

DM, 8:14pm — A pretty terrific waltz. Olivia’s form was so good last week I’m not surprised she was so good at the waltz.

JK, 8:14pm — Perfect song for what the whole world is going through right now. As for the performance, I thought it was wonderful.

CM, 8:15pm — Solid routine.

JUDGES — Derek thought there was a “purity” in the performance. Bruno thinks Olivia has done “incredibly well” for a beginner, despite a couple of “hiccups.” Carrie Ann appreciated the “trust” Olivia showed in her partner and expects them to have a long run in the competition. Len praised the turns and their quality in hold.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 27

JK, 8:16pm — Of course Len is the one who goes one score below everyone else.

CM, 8:16pm — Not bad

Kenya Moore and Brandon Armstrong (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:17pm — Kenya is enthusiastic to dance this style to the song “Hot Stuff,” especially since she’s going through a divorce and wants to feel like she’s still got it.

DM, 8:19pm — Kenya looked a little tentative a couple of times, but really on point and rock solid other times.

JK, 8:19pm — They brought some terrific energy this week!

CM, 8:20pm — Okay Kenya. Four 6s.

JUDGES — Bruno says Kenya is “simply irresistible.” She went wrong in the beginning, but when she got it right she was “exceptional.” Carrie Ann agrees it was “amazing,” but with a “rough start.” Len says she has “plenty of gear in the rear,” despite the “little blunder” at first. Derek thinks Kenya is “absolutely amazing” with great rotations, but she needs more consistency.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (6), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 24

JK, 8:21pm — Which is exactly what they got.

Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Witney Carson (Tango)

DM, 8:25pm — I like the ida of a tango on The Miz. Some good passionate intensity, but he’ll also need a lot of control. Witney agrees that Mike has the theatricality and aggression the handle the tango.

DM, 8:27pm — The Miz sold the hell out of it, seemed a little uncomfortable in hold, though

JK, 8:27pm — Great song choice, great production values, OK performance.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann says, “That’s what I wanted to see from you” with his entertainment value and control. Len thought it had “plenty of attack, very little finesse,” but “good footwork. Derek was worried he wouldn’t be able to contain his energy, but his “control was awesome.” Bruno loved the “aggression and bravado” that was “very well channeled.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (5), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 26

DM, 8:29pm — I’d have met them in the middle and given them a 6.

JK, 8:30pm — Me too.

CM, 8:30pm — Fun performance. I think The Miz could be a sleeper contender.

Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess (Rumba)

DM, 8:33pm — Kind of a no-brainer to give real-life partners Brian and Sharna the sexy, romantic rumba. The chemistry shouldn’t be a problem.

DM, 8:35pm — Really solid rumba, probably the strongest of the male stars tonight so far, though that’s not necessarily saying too much tonight

JK, 8:35pm — I thought that was lovely.

CM, 8:36pm — It lacked a bit of hip action. I agree with Len.

JUDGES — Len liked the romance, but not much else. It was “just a load of posing.” Derek though Brian and Sharna gave a performance that was just for them, which is fine, but he needs to watch his free arm. Bruno thought it was an “honest dance” and a “pure” expression, but it was more contemporary than legitimate rumba. Carrie Ann wants them to build on their chemistry and “sustain the movement” more.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (5), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 23

Christine Chiu and Pasha Pashkov (Salsa)

DM, 8:39pm — Christine has been a fan of “DWTS” since season oen. She even sat in the audience once. And she showed huge promise last week, and I think salsa will suit her quite well.

DM, 8:41pm — Good moves for Christine, though I thought it lacked a bit of passion.

JK, 8:41pm — In my opinion, it was solid for what it was.

CM, 8:42pm — Better than I expected.

JUDGES — Derek liked her hip action and her awareness of her body, but she got a little stiff as the dance progressed. Bruno thought she missed the dismount on her lift a little. Carrie Ann thought 75% of the routine was “awesome,” but she got lost a little on the underarm turns. Len doesn’t think Christine is likely to be eliminated after her two performances.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (6), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 24

DM, 8:44pm — I agree with those 6s. But after everyone showed so much potential last week, I’m not seeing week-to-week progression from many.

CM, 8:45pm — I think Iman and Jimmie have the best chance of seeing a big jump in their scores.

JK, 8:45pm — We shall see.

Jimmie Allen and Emma Slater (Rumba)

DM, 8:46pm — Jimmie is dancing to one of his own songs, so you’d think this performance should be right in his wheelhouse, but rumba isn’t a dance style you’d think of from a country artist, which actually makes me excited to see it. It could be a breakout moment for him, especially after the clip package where he remembers his mother’s strength during a time when they struggled financially.

DM, 8:48pm — Okay, Jimmie really benefitted from performing his rumba after Brian because he did it better with a lot more fluid movement and hip action.

JK, 8:48pm — Stunning!

CM, 8:49pm — He should definitely get a 7 or two

JUDGES — Bruno could feel an “undercurrent” of passion, and he used his arms and lines very well. Carrie Ann thought it was “amazing,” and it was the first time this season she’s felt her heart attached to what he was doing. It was “so beautiful.” Len thought the footwork was “hit and miss,” but his upper body was great, and he improved from week to week. Derek agrees that there was struggle in the lower half of his body, but he nailed the upper half.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 27

Amanda Kloots and Alan Bersten (Foxtrot)

DM, 8:52pm — They’re dancing to “It Had to Be You,” which was the song she and her late husband Nick Cordero danced to at their wedding. And I think foxtrot should be a cake walk for a trained Broadway performer like Kloots.

CM, 8:54pm — Amanda will get at least one 8. Beautiful!

JK, 8:54pm — Glorious!

DM, 8:55pm — Effortless, easily the best performance of the night so far.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thinks Kloots is a “star,” like watching a Broadway music built around her with her beautiful legs and lines. Len loves the song and liked the performance so much he wanted it to keep going. It was “smooth … like butter.” But she did a little too much kicking. Derek disagrees that she should do any less with her legs; she was a “vision.” Bruno calls her “radiant,” and “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Derek (8), Bruno (8) = 32

JK, 8:56pm — For a second, I almost thought Len was gonna go a little below 8.

DM, 8:57pm — Yeah, kinda surprised Len went higher than 7 given his critiques.

CM, 8:57pm — Me too, well deserved. I’m curious how she’ll handle the Latin dances.

DM, 8:59pm — Me too. Elegant ballroom dances are perfect for her, but Latin might be an interesting challenge. If she can nail those, she could be a finalist.

JoJo Siwa and Jenna Johnson (Cha Cha)

DM, 8:59pm — Cha cha should be a perfect routine for JoJo’s infectious energy. She’ll need a little more control than she had last week. In their clip package, she appears to live in a candy-colored sparkle mansion. Just how rich is this teenager anyway?

DM, 9:01pm — Great attack from JoJo but not too much, and tons of choreographic content!

JK, 9:01pm — Incredible!

JUDGES — Len thinks this was his favorite Latin dance of the season so far. Derek loved her performance and energy, but she needs to contain her energy a little bit more, especially during her side-by-side moments. Bruno thought it was “crackling” with “vitality and zest.” But he agrees that she needs more control. Carrie Ann thought it felt like a “dance off” but in a good way, and they’re “fantastic together.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (8), Len (8), Derek (7), Bruno (8) = 31

Iman Shumpert and Daniella Karagach (Rumba)

DM, 9:05pm — I’m worried for Iman on a rumba. A slower dance could help a tall performer, but will he have the grace and hip action with his massive frame?

CM, 9:07pm — This song choice sucks.

DM, 9:07pm — Not bad. I was a little worried for Iman. Not as good as Jimmie’s rumba, but solid.

JK, 9:08pm — Alright. Though it seemed like Daniella was doing most of the work.

JUDGES — Derek enjoys how much Iman seems to enjoy himself, and how smooth he was. Bruno could tell Iman was working on following the melodic line of the music, but he needs to work on his feet. Carrie Ann loves how connected Iman was to the music. Len “liked it … It was a great improvement on last week.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 25

CM, 9:10pm — A 7? Wow

DM, 9:10pm — Fair scores. I agree more with the 6s than the 7.

JK, 9:10pm — So do I.

Martin Kove and Britt Stewart (Cha Cha)

DM, 9:13pm — Martin even thought he was “dreadful” when he watched himself on TV. Martin is hoping to improve from last week by having more fun on the dance floor. That will be really key, especially with a cha cha where I’m not sure he’ll be able to keep up with the motions.

DM, 9:15pm — I can’t be mad at that dance from Martin. He’s so game and charming and likable out there , but yeah probably 4s.

JK, 9:15pm — Sorry, only young Matthew Broderick in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” can dance to that song pretty well.

JUDGES — Bruno appreciated there was more content, but not necessarily in the right order at the right time. Carrie Ann appreciated that he was having fun. Len can’t give it a big mark, but “well done.” Derek thought it was fun and loved the James Brown moves.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (4), Len (3), Derek (4), Bruno (4) = 15

JK, 9:17pm — Even a little lower than 4s.

CM, 9:18pm — Dang.

DM, 9:18pm — Martin’s two dances put together scored less (28) than Amanda and JoJo scored just tonight.

Melora Hardin and Artem Chigvintsev (Rumba)

DM, 9:20pm — They’re performing to Celine Dion’s version of “All By Myself,” which Melora thinks is perfect before her daughters have left the nest. Melora is also all by herself as the only woman tonight doing a rumba, which should contrast nicely with the men who performed it earlier tonight.

DM, 9:22pm — Melora had such lovely, great musicality, nice lines.

CM, 9:22pm — Beautiful.

JK, 9:23pm — Quite elegant.

JUDGES — Carrie Ann thought it was “very dramatic,” and she has a knack for storytelling through her body with stunning arms and great balance. Len thought it was “easy like Sunday morning,” but she needed more hip action, and Artem needed more rumba content in the choreography. Derek thought she was fun and easy to watch with “beautiful” movement. Bruno thought it was well acted and centered.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (6), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 27

DM, 9:25pm — I think the judges are definitely trying to help her out with their scores. There’s so much natural grace and potential there. I want her to stick around awhile too and worry she won’t have enough of a fan base without the scores.

Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke (Salsa)

DM, 9:28pm — Cody is in isolation too since he was in close contact with Cheryl, who tested positive for COVID. so the judges will score the dance and the audience will vote based on their taped rehearsal performance.

DM, 9:31pm — Hard to judge their performance based on a rehearsal. It was solid, but obviously a little tentative since it wasn’t fully polished at that point.

CM, 9:32pm — I’m surprised they didn’t save Cody for last.

JK, 9:33pm — For a rehearsal performance, I thought it came off pretty well.

CM, 9:33pm — Me too. Great song choice

JUDGES — Len thought the performance had a lot of salsa content and “razzle dazzle” with good dancing. Derek thought it was “really good” for rehearsal, though with a few parts out of sync. Bruno missed it in the ballroom, which would’ve added more to the performance, and Cody needs to ground his hips more Carrie Ann thought it was inevitably “a little lackluster.”

SCORES — Carrie Ann (6), Len (6), Derek (6), Bruno (6) = 24

DM, 9:35pm — I feel bad for Cheryl and Cody. They looked super bummed having to be there via webcam, especially since they probably would’ve had a lot more fun doing it live than they did doing it during rehearsal.

Melanie C and Gleb Savchenko (Foxtrot)

DM, 9:36pm — They’re dancing to “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. they’re from Liverpool, of course, which is not far from where Melanie grew up. And it’ll be nice to see how Melanie tackles an elegant ballroom style.

DM, 9:38pm — Rock solid performance, beautiful rise and fall, lovely movement in her arms and legs. She’s a dark horse to win.

JK, 9:39pm — Very slick!

CM, 9:39pm — Mel C is really good.

JUDGES — Derek thinks she’s a clean, effortless, gorgeous dancer, but she shouldn’t look down so much and she looks like she’s thinking a little too much. Bruno thought she combined “lyricism with dynamics.” Carrie Ann loved seeing this elegant, soft side of Melanie, but she needs to watch her clenching hands and trust herself a little more. Len thought the routine really pleased him, definitely not a hard day’s night.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Derek (8), Bruno (8) = 30

DM, 9:41pm — Glad a couple of 8 paddles came out for that. Well deserved.

JK, 9:42pm — So am I.

Suni Lee and Sasha Farber (Cha Cha)

DM, 9:44pm — Suni had trouble coming out of her shell last week, and a cha cha would be a perfect opportunity to be more playful. Gymnastics made her that way. You have to be rock solid, or else it shows weakness.

DM, 9:46pm — Suni gave exactly what Derek asked for, a little less perfect, but a lot more expressive, playful, kinda frisky. I dug it!

JK, 9:47pm — Electrifying!

CM, 9:47pm — Fun performance, three 8s one 7

JUDGES — Bruno thinks Suni shines when she smiles, but she needs to inhabit a character more, “become someone else in each dance.” Carrie Ann disagrees a little bit, she saw Suni being a little more herself and gaining more confidence. Len thought it was well danced and performed much better. Derek felt like the character was “sassy Suni,” plus she did a flip in heels.

SCORES — Carrie Ann (7), Len (7), Derek (7), Bruno (7) = 28

JK, 9:50pm — More like four 7s and no 8s.

DM, 9:51pm — I thought there would be an 8 in there, but I thought the 7s were fair.

SCORES (Week one + week two)

1. Amanda Kloots — 28 + 32 = 60
1. JoJo Siwa — 29 + 31 = 60
3. Melanie C — 27 + 30 = 57
4. Suni Lee — 28 + 28 = 56
5. Melora Hardin — 26 + 27 = 53
6. Olivia Jade — 25 + 27 = 52
7. Christine Chiu — 26 + 24 = 50
7. Mike “The Miz” Mizanin — 24 + 26 = 50
7. Kenya Moore — 26 + 24 = 50
10. Jimmie Allen — 22 + 27 = 49
11. Cody Rigsby — 24 + 24 = 48
12. Brian Austin Green — 24 + 23 = 47
13. Matt James — 24 + 22 = 46
13. Iman Shumpert — 21 + 25 = 46
15. Martin Kove — 13 + 15 = 28


DM, 9:55pm — Safe celebs, in no particular order: Iman Shumpert, Amanda Kloots, Suni Lee, Cody Rigsby, Matt James, JoJo Siwa, Melora Hardin, Jimmi Allen, Melanie C, and Olivia Jade. Also safe are … The Miz, Brian Austin Green, and Kenya Moore. That means Martin Kove and Christine Chiu are in the bottom two.

CM, 9:57pm — I figured Christine would be in the bottom.

DM, 9:57pm — Man, Christine must have virtually no fan base.

JK, 9:57pm — Hopefully, this can encourage more people to support her.

DM, 9:58pm — Derek votes to save Christine, no surprise there. Not sure why we should draw this out. Bruno also saves Christine. Carrie Ann votes that Christine is safe, which makes it official, and Len makes it official: Martin Kove is eliminated.

JK, 9:59pm — Not surprised nor sad to see Martin and Britt go.

CM, 10:00pm — Unfortunately, Christine is going to have an uphill battle.

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