The fight is finally over for Victor Ortiz on "Dancing With the Stars." After floundering for weeks at the bottom of the scoreboard, the welterweight champion and his partner, Lindsay Arnold, were KO'd Tuesday night.
The bad news did nothing to tarnish the boxer's gleaming grin.
"I'm happy to get this far," he told hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet, admitting with a rueful laugh: "I definitely need some dance moves!"
So do Andy Dick and Sean Lowe, both of whom were in jeopardy of going home. But once again, the comeback comedian was declared safe, leaving "The Bachelor" star to await his fate in the bottom two.
Spared for another week, will Sean follow judge Len Goodman's advice and "set (his) sights higher" than just trying to beat Andy?
And do any of the guys stand a chance of beating Zendaya, Kellie Pickler or Aly Raisman? The trio of dancing queens were of course declared safe again, followed by Ingo Rademacher and Jacoby Jones.
Both men reteamed with Zendaya and Victor for another performance of their group paso doble routine to Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground." (The fans, who voted for the encore, obviously appreciated the guys' toned torsos more than the judges, who gave the win Monday night to Team Samba.)
Also appearing on the results show were Olly Murs, who sang "Troublemaker," and Will.i.am, performing his new single "#thatPower."
Leading man honors, however, go to Ingo's adorable son Peanut. The 4-year-old was caught on camera after Monday night's show yelling, "See you at the after-party" like a seasoned Hollywood star.
Andy Dick and "Dancing With the Stars" pro Sharna Burgess.
By Michael Maloney, TODAY contributor
Andy Dick and his pro dance partner Sharna Burgess earned yet another low score (18) on "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night after their samba failed to impress the show’s trio of critics.
“It seems to be our pattern,” lamented Burgess to reporters after the live broadcast.
But the news wasn’t all bad -- there was also a group face-off, and the team that Dick was on earned a slightly higher score than the other one, so the funnyman didn't end the night in last place.
“It’s okay,” Dick said. “The dance for my daughter (in week four) was the most rewarding dance I’ve done, but this week’s was the most fun I’ve had!”
“Yeah, we had fun,” concurred Burgess.
“Maybe,” Dick playfully suggested, “we’re getting punished for having too much fun?”
The night wasn’t a total wash -- the actor-comedian shared the news that he’s been cast in a multi-camera sitcom pilot that will be shooting later this week. Also, Burgess felt that there was some good to be interpreted from head judge Len Goodman’s latest critique.
“When Len gives us a 6 he’s being a purist,” Burgess surmised. “He looks for technical ability, musicality -- all the things that make a dance routine. But what he said to us was worth more than a 10. He said (to Andy), ‘Don’t change what you’re doing. Keep doing what you’re doing.’
“That was an amazingcompliment,” the pro dancer continued. “I bet he wishes he could give us a 10.”
“Len wants to give us a 10 in his heart,” Dick agreed. “But, in his mind, he’s not really allowed to. But what he did say gave us a license to go all the way to the mirror ball trophy!”
Should Dick make it to the finals, Burgess feels that getting a top score is something that’s attainable.
“I want to go on record as saying that I believe, in a freestyle routine, I can get this man a 10,” Burgess stated. “That means we’ll have to go all the way to the finale!”
Not every couple, however, was able to extract something positive from the judges’ remarks.
“Some of their comments were a little unnecessary,” stated pro Peta Murgatroyd, who’s paired with "Bachelor" hunk Sean Lowe. “(Carrie Ann Inaba saying,) ’Go buy an iPod?’ You don’t need to say that. Just give me feedback I can use to work on with Sean for the next week.”
The fans agreed that Goodman was out of line in his critique of Lowe (which included a backhanded swipe at Dick) by booing him. Alas, that only prompted Goodman to fire back at audience members that they weren’t booing him very well!
“There needs to be a change in the booing,” dryly suggested Murgatroyd. “There needs to be something else -- like throwing a tomato at him.”
The ballroom battle continued to heat up on "Dancing With the Stars" Monday night, but there was more than one battle going on in the competition.
At the top of the leaderboard, the fight was for first-place bragging rights -- and that continued to be a neck-and-neck battle between "Dancing" queens Zendaya and Kellie Pickler (more on that later). But from the back of the pack, Andy Dick was fighting too -- fighting to stay in the competition.
Andy is far from the best dancer, but what the actor-comedian lacks in technique, he more than makes up for with sincerity and fun.
For his latest routine, he attempted a sexy samba with partner Sharna Burgess. What he delivered didn't exactly look like a samba, and it certainly wasn't sexy. But it was big on personality, and there wasn't anything halfhearted about it.
"Andy, if the others have climbed hills, you have climbed mountains," head judge Len Goodman said of his efforts.
But moving mountains doesn't show up on the scoreboard. Len and his fellow panelists gave Andy 6s all around.
Fair enough -- or at least it would have been, had the judges not given former "Bachelor" Sean Lowe three more points than that for his own seriously flawed samba.
Len told Sean he needed to set his sights higher than just beating Andy -- a low blow that earned boos from Andy's fans
"Is that the best you can do with the booing?!" Len asked, egging on the crowd.
If that slight made Andy's supporters unhappy, their moods didn't improve after Victor Ortiz took the floor. The boxer looked lost throughout his rumba routine and obviously missed a few steps along the way. Heck, he knew it was bad -- he was shaking his head when it was all over. Still, what turned out to be the worst dance of the night earned him the exact same score as Andy.
The other stars had a far better night. Actor Ingo Rademacher put on his best dance yet with a 24-point tango, and Aly Raisman beat him with her flowing 27-point foxtrot.
And as for the aforementioned "Dancing" queens, they both proved worthy of heir matching scores of 29 points. Zendaya's near-perfect cha-cha wowed the crowd, and Kellie's quickstep wowed Len (who handed out his first 10 of the season for it).
But everyone had one more chance to add to their scores before the night was over. In honor of the show's theme for the evening -- Stevie Wonder night -- the celebs split into teams for group routines.
Team Paso, made up of Zendaya, Ingo, Jacoby and Victor, moved to "Higher Ground," while Team Samba (Kellie, Sean, Aly and Andy) grooved to "Supersition." The judges favored the latter act, giving the samba set a score of 25 points versus 23 for the other team. And that made all the difference when it came to the various ballroom battles.
Suddenly the "Dancing" queens weren't neck-and-neck, as Kellie nabbed the lead for the night.
And Andy? He just barely climbed out of last place thanks to those extra points. Of course, only time will tell if he has enough support from fans to stick around on beyond Tuesday night.
The surprising answer is yes. America really does love a comeback.
In fact, despite his low scores, Dick has garnered enough votes to make it to week five in the competition.
He's even won over the judges. Carrie Ann Inaba was moved to tears by his poignant performance on "Best Year of My Life" night -- a Viennese waltz set to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," which he dedicated to his daughter.
"Your movement vocabulary is small, but what you said with those few words is so beautiful," Inaba said.
What Dick lacks in his dancing skill -- no one believes he's a serious contender for this season's mirror-ball trophy -- he more than compensates for with his enthusiastic effort and his attempt to better himself.
"You're not a great dancer, and you know that," said judge Len Goodman after Dick's comical "Prom Week" cha-cha with pro Sharna Burgess, "but what you do is you make me feel good. I feel better after watching you than I did before you danced."
Obviously, the fans feel the same way, and not just about Dick's dancing. Both on and off the ballroom floor, the audience has grown to appreciate his vulnerability, honesty and genuine emotion. Take, for example, their comments on our Facebook page about his cha-cha:
"Andy Dick impressed me the most. He clearly working hard and trying to improve himself," wrote Pamela Kay. "So glad that I had the opportunity to be in the audience last Monday and to talk with him personally at a nearby restaurant afterwards. He is taking this gig very seriously and it shows!"
Funnyman D.L. Hughley is still in last place on the "Dancing With the Stars" leaderboard heading into Tuesday night’s first elimination show, but the funnyman won a victory of sorts Monday with his much-improved quickstep with pro partner Cheryl Burke.
After their dance, Hughley joked to co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet that he and Cheryl "were doing our Whitney (Houston) and Bobby (Brown) imitation for a little while," referring to the duo’s tense spat that was shown in the pre-taped video segment shown before their dance.
Did Hughley plan the remark about the late pop singer’s reported tumultuous relationship with her ex -- or did it hit him in the moment?
"Of course, it was spontaneous," Hughley told The Clicker after taping. "Let’s be realistic -- I’m a comedian. Even if I danced the quickstep to perfection, people aren’t ever going to watch me do it (outside of this show). They want me to try hard while I’m here."
So Hughley’s remark begs the question -- who’s the Bobby and who’s the Whitney in their dynamic?
"I’m ‘Bobby,’" quipped Burke, hastening to add that the tension shown in the video package was a mere few moments of a week-long rehearsal. "D.L. did an amazing job. You can’t even compare his performance from last week. He put so much time into rehearsals and he worked so hard."
"I feel exactly the same way,” Hughley added. “I know if I work hard, I’ll keep improving."
Still, going into Tuesday night’s elimination with a mere 28 points means Hughley could be going home. But no one can take away his improvement from Monday night.
"No matter what happens, I didn’t let the bully take my lunch money," he said.
Hughley wasn’t the only star to get improved comments (if not improved-enough scores) from the judges. Actor-comedian Andy Dick (who had the support from former cast members of his sitcom "Less Than Perfect" in the audience Monday) recalled getting a rise out of judge Len Goodman during his Mad Hatter-themed jazz dance.
"I saw Len biting his lips so he wouldn’t laugh," Dick said. "We (actually) made him laugh."
Dick’s partner, Sharna Burgess, seemed to be handling her role as Dick’s pro partner, therapist and BFF like a seasoned pro -- not someone brand new to the show.
"Yeah, I’ve been in the industry for a long time," she told The Clicker. "I’ve been on Broadway and made my mark as a dancer. This is about being here for Andy’s journey."
"Dancing With the Stars" pro Sharna Burgess with celeb partner Andy Dick on Monday night's show.
By Ree Hines, TODAY contributor
"Dancing With the Stars" originally kicked off with a simple premise: Take a group of non-dancing celebrities (or former celebrities ... or almost celebrities) and train them to move and groove from scratch.
Sure, over the years a few ringers have joined the ballroom bash, and it's always fun to see their near-perfect performances. But nothing is quite like watching someone go from left-footed fumbler to passable hoofer -- even if the judges don't always recognize the progress.
Case in point? On Monday night, just two weeks into the competition, comedians Andy Dick and D.L. Hughley showed just how serious they are about turning their reps around, and it was a treat to behold the ballroom comebacks.
Actually, Andy's week-one performance wasn't really a problem for a first effort; he outshined several competitors. But one thing was obvious -- he was scared. The rehabbed celeb shared his fear of the ballroom and of the bottle, and the fright showed on the dance floor.
For his second performance, it was like a new man hit the stage. Dressed as the Mad Hatter and claw-dancing through Lady GaGa's "Poker Face," Andy's jazz routine entertained and raised his personal bar. Of course, he still has room for lots of improvement, but his newfound confidence and his daring approach put him way ahead of some (such as Ingo Rademacher and Sean Lowe, both of whom matched Andy's score of 20 points for less impressive routines).
As for D.L., although the judges were unduly cruel in how they delivered their reviews last time, the truth is he was just awful in week one. In fact, had he simply come out and not delivered the worst dance of the night on Monday, it would have been considered a big improvement.
But he did more than that. After a tough round of rehearsals -- featuring plenty of expletives and more than one remark about his "humiliating" treatment from head judge Len Goodman and the gang -- D.L. put his all into a quickstep that wouldn't have seemed possible just last week.
"It doesn't matter where you start," Len said, remarking that it's all about improvement.
Then again, Len's comments might have made more sense if he and the other judges didn't follow them up with a score of just 16 points. Those odd marks put D.L. two points behind three lesser dancers -- Wynonna Judd, who slowly moved her way through a quickstep; Lisa Vanderpump, whose jive lacked big kicks and solid footwork; and Victor Ortiz, who proved he really needs to find his own comeback after giving the jive a try.
Of course, some contestants didn't need a comeback at all. Last week's leaderboard topper, Zendaya, continued to wow with a fast, precise jive that earned her 26 points and praise from the panel.
"A star is born -- big time," Bruno Tonioli told her.
Kellie Pickler, who showed promise with her cha-cha-cha last week, completely won over the judges with a modern jazz routine that showed off her near-perfect form. Carrie Ann Inaba called it "freakin' amazing," and the others must have agreed -- after all, she earned 26 for the dance.
Relying less on form and more on fun, Super Bowl champ Jacoby Jones wowed the crowd with one heck of jazz number. The slightly goofy dance -- which got him 23 points -- played to his personality and showed that he can get the audience out of their seats. (And it was certainly more entertaining than the fine but forgetful 24-point quickstep Aly Raisman delivered.)
Firmly in the back of the pack was for figure-skating great Dorothy Hamill. The gold-medalist was feeling pain in rehearsal thanks to a cyst and accompanying nerve pain, and when it counted, it showed in her jive. Missed marks and sloppy steps dominated the 15-point dance and left the judges little choice but to kindly mention all of the problems.
To Dorothy's credit, when Len heard boos for his criticism, she defended him.
"It's true," she told the crowd of her shortcomings.
That was it for Monday's ballroom action. As for what's to come Tuesday night, someone's got to go. Will it be D.L., whose combined score for both weeks landed him in last place despite his turnaround? Or will Dorothy go for a more flubbed routine? Frankly, there are plenty of far from perfect hoofer hopefuls who won't be able to rest easy while they wait to find out the results.
The new season of "Dancing With the Stars" is still a week away, but that doesn't mean the pressure hasn't already kicked in for the ballroom beginners. In fact, for one celebrity, the pre-show stress almost proved too much to handle.
"I had a breakdown. I just hit a wall," actor-comedian Andy Dick shared with "Entertainment Tonight." "I cried forever."
The problems mounted until Dick found himself lashing out at his pro partner, "Dancing" first-timer Sharna Burgess.
"When I'm not getting something, I just blamed her," he said. "'What are you doing wrong that I can't get it?!' But it's really me. I had to change my attitude and my concentration level because when I would get frustrated, I would shut down entirely."
And for the star who's struggled with addiction issues in the past, that's a problem.
"That's where I would hit the bottle in life in the old days," he explained. "('Dancing With the Stars') is better than rehab. This is like 13 rehabs condensed into one."
Dorothy Hamill, D.L. Hughley and Wynonna Judd are among the stars ready to go "Dancing."
By Ree Hines, TODAY contributor
In just three weeks, glitz, glam and a whole lot of spray tan return to prime time as "Dancing With the Stars" kicks off its 16th season. The battle for the mirror-ball trophy will see 11 stars -- or reasonable facsimiles -- face off for ballroom bragging rights. But which 11 stars?
ABC teased the first star Sunday night -- Super Bowl champ and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones. As for the rest of the cast, they were revealed Tuesday on "Good Morning America."
Here are the stars and pro partners who'll soon get ready to rumba:
Wynonna Judd will dance alongside Tony Dovolani.
Dorothy Hamill will learn some ballroom basics from Tristan MacManus.
D.L. Hughley is set to perform with pro dancer Cheryl Burke.
Lisa Vanderpump will partner with new pro Gleb Savchenko.
Victor Ortiz will try out his fancy footwork with first-timer Lindsay Arnold.
Andy Dick will hit the floor with some help from yet another new pro, Sharna Burgess.
Zendaya is set to step out with Val Chmerkovskiy.
Aly Raisman and pro Mark Ballas will vie for the mirror ball together.
Kellie Pickler will waltz with Derek Hough.
Ingo Rademacher will perform with Kym Johnson.
And as for Jones, he'll be joined by pro Karina Smirnoff.