Dancing with the Stars Week 2 Recap – Underdogs Outshine the Ringers

This week had some improvement over the less than stellar premiere.  Some of the Stars showed improvement, but there were a couple who took a step back.  Two unlikely competitors stole the show, two ringers showed personality, but the ringer of all ringers just needs to go.

I have nothing personal against Heather Morris.  She seems like a very lovely woman and she is talented as hell, but SHE IS A PROFESSIONAL DANCER!  I get why the show has to have the ringers onboard.  They need the guaranteed WOW factor each week.  But I argue the WOW factor is comes from the unexpected stars who are discovering how to move.  It is cheating to have a professional dancer pretending to be a struggling learner on the show to up the WOW factor.

And why was Chad Johnson in the audience?  Is he trying to get face time so he can go back to Bachelor in Paradise?  I seriously doubt he and Nick Viall are buddies considering the fights Chad started, so he is not there to support his BiP cast mate.

Image Courtesy of ABC

Even Nyle DiMarco has a “WTF?  Why is Chad here?” face going.

Anyways… Back to DWTS.  Starting from Lowest and going to Highest Scores:

Chris and Witney (Jazz) – The comedian is struggling.  Not only with dance, but with finding out what kind of comedian he is going to be now that he can’t do the physical comedy he became famous for.  My heart goes way out to him.  It is not easy starting over from scratch.  His Jazz routine was a big improvement from last week’s cha-cha and a hell of a lot more fun to watch.  Witney couldn’t fill it with a lot of content, but the steps that were there, Chris performed well.  Score: 22

Mr. T and Kym (Cha-Cha) – Another person struggling who saw much improvement this week.  The actor/activist is a fighter, making the paso doble a perfect dance for him.  Too bad he didn’t attack the moves like he was in the rehearsal package.  His scores would have been higher if he would have just gotten out of his head and danced.  I hope to see even more improvement from him next week as he becomes more comfortable with moving his body.  Score: 22

Nick and Peta (Foxtrot) – Elegance is not Nick’s thing.  Anyone who watches The Bachelorette/Bachelor/BiP (yes, I am guilty of watching those shows) knows he is a strange and awkward guy.  No surprise the sophisticated foxtrot gave the reality star trouble.  He got off early during the big side-by-side turns and he didn’t recover well.  It didn’t turn into a total train wreck, but if he would have not been rattled by the mistake, his scores would have been much higher.  Score: 25

Image Courtesy of ABC

Charo and Keo (Paso Doble) – The paso inspires much passion from the Spaniard entertainer.  Growing up, Charo’s family lost everything when the Spanish government seized their property.  Her dance was dedicated to her family and her Spaniard heritage.  It was a very enthusiastic and spirited paso doble, but the execution was a bit lacking.  I say A++ for effort.  I just can’t handle her after the dancing stops.  Score: 25

David and Lindsay (Cha-Cha) – The retired baseball player came out of the gate last week so strong, but took a step back with his cha-cha.  The intention was there, but he was ahead of his pro partner and his steps were not as clean as they were with his quickstep.  The personality was all there.  Can I just adopt him?  I know he is five years older than me, but he is just too adorable.  Score: 27

Nancy and Artem (Cha-Cha) – The Olympian started the night out with flair.  There were a couple of missteps, but Nancy didn’t let that get her down and came out with a fire and enthusiasm that makes it so easy to root for her.  And I get the compliment thing.  When some people pull the “uncomfortable with compliments” line, it is because they are fishing for more.  With Nancy, I believe it when she says she can’t handle praise.  This is a woman who has received a lot of harsh criticism over the years as a competitor.  I can see her in the finals as long as the louder personalities don’t overshadow how talented she is.  Score: 28

Erika and Gleb (Foxtrot) – I wasn’t sure how the Housewife star was going to handle the romantic dances given how much she embraces and wants to show off her sexy side.  Give a hand to Gleb who found a perfect balance in his choreography.  Erika was wonderfully racy, but still brought the romance and elegance of the foxtrot.  The partnership between Erika and Gleb is not steamy (that is the next couple on the list), but it is playful and the two build a great chemistry with it.  This woman is a delight and I hope she sticks around for a good long while.  Score: 28

Image Courtesy of ABC

Bonner and Sharna (Viennese Waltz) – These two make me blush and want a cigarette every time I see them on screen together.  H.  O.  T.  HOT.  Erika and Gleb brought the racy to the foxtrot, Bonner and Sharna brought the steamy romance to the Viennese Waltz.  Sharna’s choreography was very simple and had shades of a Texas Two-Step there, but there was a sophistication to the simplicity.  Can I just say, I cannot wait for them to do an Argentine Tango.  Score: 29

Simone and Sasha (Cha-Cha) – Simone is going to be excellent no matter what dance she does.  The lady has the moves.  So, I gotta hand it to Sasha in trying to push the gymnast out of her shell and embrace something different about herself.  She didn’t reach the levels of Erika or Sharna sexy, but Simone showed of some feminine wiles proving sexy doesn’t always equate to raunchy.  Really fun cha-cha.  Score: 29

Heather and Maks/Alan (Jive) – After Maks hurt his back in rehearsals, Heather pulled off a fantastic performance with Alan because (say it with me) SHE IS A PROFESSIOINAL DANCER!  Score: 30

Normani and Val (Cha-Cha) – I take back what I said about Normani being bland.  Her cha-cha this week was all personality, full of content, and highly entertaining.  She slayed the ballroom floor.  And she traveled from Tokyo to LA that day?  I’ve made that flight on more than one occasion and I can tell you it is pure hell.  I don’t know how she pulled it off, but she has earned my respect.  Keep it coming.  Score: 32

Image Courtesy of ABC

Rashad and Emma (Viennese Waltz) – Normani may have slayed the floor, but Rashad owned it.  His Viennese Waltz was vulnerable, elegant, and told a truly heartbreaking story.  I love how the NFLer was willing to put his emotions out there and showed real men can embrace how they feel.  Rashad lead the dance like he was born to do it.  Score: 32

After all the dancing was done, it was down to the nitty-gritty as the first couple of the season had to be sent home.

Couples in Jeopardy:

Image Courtesy of ABC

Charo & Keo and Chris & Witney

Eliminated Couple:


Image Courtesy of ABC

Chris Kattan and Witney Carson

I’m genuinely upset Chris was sent home.  This is a man who was doing everything he could with some serious pain and limitations.  I was really hoping he would stick around and get a chance to do more, but I kinda figured this is how it would go.  Still doesn’t make it suck any less.

I also know that next week Heather won’t go home and someone like Mr. T or Charo, who are trying their best, will.  If you are reading this, do me a favor, don’t vote Heather.  Give the real competitors a chance.

Next week is Vegas Week!  This should be so much fun!

Talk to me in the comments section.  Did you think this week was an improvement on last week?  Do you think the right dancer went home?  Do you think Heather should be on the show?  Let me know what you think.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

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