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.
When you recall that he scored a mere 12 points in his first week, funnyman D.L. Hughley actually had a decent run on "Dancing With the Stars." But that stint came to an end Tuesday night after he and pro partner Cheryl Burke were voted off the show.
“My heart is very sad, but my knees are happy as heck,” Hughley told reporters after the live broadcast. “We took the ride as long as we could.”
Burke said the comic had a backup plan had he not been sent home since, starting next week, contenders are going to have to start performing two routines.
“He said he was going to pull a hamstring,” said Burke, who only sounded like she was half-joking.
Hughley credits his and Burke’s supporters for keeping them in the game this long. He hopes to take any new fans he's made with him when he launches a new animated sitcom on FX in the near future.
Burke, as is standard with eliminated pros, will continue to make appearances on "Dancing" results shows. She’s also had a meeting with producers of "The Bachelorette," in hopes of headlining an upcoming season, but fans won't catch her there any time soon.
“It’s not up to me,” she shrugged. “They’ve already picked their new bachelorette.”
Oh, and speaking of "The Bachelor," Tom Bergeron was just setting up a joke on Tuesday's results show when he said that there was going to be a televised wedding special in August featuring Sean Lowe and his fiancé Catherine Giudici -- hence the confused look on Lowe’s face! The host was poking fun at Lowe’s budding “bromance” with Tristan MacManus.
An ABC rep told Today that no such wedding special has been confirmed.
Comedian D.L. Hughley and pro partner Cheryl Burke were eliminated Tuesday.
By Drusilla Moorhouse, TODAY contributor
More Maks! More Val! More … Andy Dick?!
Tuesday's "Dancing With the Stars" results show devoted extra airtime to hunky brothers Chmerkovskiy and declared surprising fan favorite Andy safe, so nearly everyone was a winner.
Except, of course, for D.L. Hughley. The comedian and his partner, Cheryl Burke, were sent home after placing in the bottom alongside boxer Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold.
(Soap star Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson, the first pair declared in jeopardy, were spared.)
After a rocky relationship with the judges -- especially the harshly critical Len Goodman -- D.L. was rewarded with a standing ovation from all three fault finders.
Even Tom Bergeron praised the comedian: "I know this has been a bit of a roller coaster, but I applaud how well you've handled the criticism, my friend," he said. "Really."
Hughley left with a good-natured crack at his "verbal assaulter": "Len, you need to watch your hip action," he teased about the elder statement's show package. "The hip replacement Bruno said I should have, I'm willing to you."
Fortunately, we saw much more of Val and Maks' hip action than from Len or D.L. Tuesday night.
First, Len granted the wish of Jacoby Jones -- and viewers who wanted more Maks -- by asking the NFL star and Karina Smirnoff for an encore of their jive. (Anna Trebunskaya partnered with Maks, but he also gave his former fiancée another kiss after the dance.)
Another bonus? Val heating up the dance floor with Oksana Dmytrenko after a commercial break!
The cherry on top of this delicious Chmerkovskiy sundae came from some practice footage, which could sub as a preview for the Ukrainian brothers' reality show. (Make it happen, TV gods!)
"When something's wrong with him, I get b------ at like it's my fault," Maks grumbled, and said Val escapes their mother's wrath only because "I don't let anything go wrong with me."
"Bro, you're one big wrong already," retorted Val. "My whole life!"
(More hilarity ensued when they each threatened to tattle to "mama" and "papa." Adorbs.)
The other performances of the night included Tristan MacManus and Witney Carson dancing to The Band Perry's "Better Dig Two," Tyne Stecklein and Jeremy Hudson twirling around Kerli as she sang "Love Me or Leave Me," and Selena Gomez getting sweaty while she appeared to lip-synch her new tune "Come and Get It."
Next week, Stevie Wonder will be in the house! Tom revealed that the dancers will perform two group routines, with Team Paso taking on Wonder's "Higher Ground" and Team Samba performing to "Superstition."
Asked about his preference, Andy delivered a wisecrack that left even Tom speechless.
"I want to be on your team, Kellie," he told his co-star, "just so we can call it Team Pickler Dick!"
"For the first time in 16 seasons," said the Emmy-winning host, "I got nothing."
Tony Dovo-who? Tristan Mac-whatzit? On Monday night's "Dancing With the Stars," several pros who aren't currently competing in the ballroom bash returned to tackle the show's latest theme, but there was no hiding the real main attraction.
Forget the other pros! Forget the theme! (Really -- more on that later.) Heck, forget the stars! Monday was all about the return of ballroom bad boy Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
For only the second time since Maks first joined "Dancing" back in season two, the fan favorite isn't a regular on the dance floor -- and the producers clearly knew just how much he's been missed.
An opening group routine first showcased the popular pro with plenty of fanfare as he took his former fiancée, Karina Smirnoff, for a spin across the floor. But that was far from the only glimpse viewers got.
The easy-on-the-eyes pro returned -- twice -- for head judge Len Goodman's Side-by-Side challenge. The idea was to feature a pro couple showing off their perfect moves before the stars hit the floor alongside them. That posed a problem many times over the course of the evening, because ... well, pros are better than amateurs -- and it shows.
But there was one time the gimmick worked. That's when Maks (and fellow pro Anna Trebunskaya) joined his brother Val and this season's "Dancing" queen, Zendaya on the dance floor. Maks and Anna attacked the routine, and Val and Zendaya matched them move for move until they broke off for their own intense Argentine tango. For both Zendaya and her pro, the dance was a first -- not that anyone would have guessed.
"It was like a lemon tart: sharp and tangy at the top, crisp and tasty below," Len boasted before giving the perfect-appearing dance a 9.
As for Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, they handed out the first 10s of the season for the effort.
While getting the highest score of the season so far, Val took the opportunity to remind viewers of Monday's tragedy in Boston. "These are our first 10s, and I don’t want to overdo the subject, but I wanna dedicate these 10s to everybody in Boston," he said. "Honestly, this is a difficult show to be part of right now, and I just hope we’re doing something special for everybody."
Though Maks helped Val and Zendaya rocket to the top of the scoreboard, it's not as though he could make every other couple look that good. When he and Anna paired up with the always-entertaining Jacoby Jones and Karina, the skill gap was hard to ignore in their jive. Maks didn't hold back for his part, but Jacoby just couldn't keep up.
Despite high praise from the panel -- and high scores in the form of two 9s and an 8 -- the wide receiver was clearly exhausted as the extra-long dance went on and on, long after his best content ended.
Maks hung up his dancing shoes for the night after those routines (though fans can expect to see more from him on Tuesday's results show), but the dances continued to suffer with the other pro pairings.
In fact, the only other couple that did the challenge justice besides Zendaya and Val was their closest competition in the ballroom, Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough. Teamed up with troupe dancer Henry Byalikov and Anna (again!), the pair shined in a Foxtrot that marked Kellie's first traditional ballroom number and her best score yet -- a matching set of 9s.
Point-wise, Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas (who took the floor with Tony Dovolani and trouper Whitney Carson) trailed Kellie by just two, but the booty-shaking samba lacked finesse and synchronized moves. The latter of which was a problem time and time again.
Despite Len's early assurance that the challenge meant "every move, every step must be perfectly in synch," they just weren't -- not when Sean Lowe attempted to redeem himself after last week's flubbed performance with a 24-point quickstep with his partner Peta Murgatroyd (and Tristan MacManus and Chelsie Hightower); and certainly not when Ingo Rademacher hit the floor for a 21-point cha-cha with Kym Johnson (and Tony and Emma Slater).
But Ingo deserves some credit -- his dance definitely deserved to outscore Victor Ortiz's lastest ballroom blunder (a Viennese waltz with Lindsay Arnold, Tristan and Emma), even though it didn't.
As for the men frequently at the back of the pack on "Dancing," comedians D.L. Hughley (who moved with regular pro Cheryl Burke, as well as Chelsie and troupe dancer Sasha Farber) and Andy Dick (who grooved with partner Sharna Burgess, and Sasha and Emma), their tango and paso (respectively) kept them pulling up the rear with 18 points each, but both put their hearts into the dances -- as they always do.
So who should say "so long" on Tuesday night? It's not too soon for Victor to go, but the funnymen will need plenty of fan support to stick around again.
"Dancing With the Stars" pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy will be blogging about his experiences and thoughts on his fourth quest for the mirror ball trophy in The Clicker throughout the season. The 14-time US champion in dance is paired with 16-year-old Disney star Zendaya, who plays Rocky Blue on "Shake It Up!"
By Valentin Chmerkovskiy
This week, Zendaya and I are very privileged to have my brother Maks and Anna Trebunskaya joining us in our Argentine tango. It’s really exciting. The number is great, the dance is really strong, really passionate.
On a personal level, it’s huge ... I’m very grateful for the opportunity to perform side-by-side with my brother, just simply for all our fans and my family, particularly. I had a conversation with my grandma Thursday and she was just ecstatic that she’s gonna get to see Maks and I dance together.
But the most important thing is Zendaya and her dance, making sure that we don’t sidetrack into something that’s not as important. The goal is to make sure Zendaya looks great, and that’s why I feel really lucky to have Maks and Anna join us because they really helped out with this number.
The truth is I never danced the Argentine tango before in my life. It’s a dance that I’m familiar with, I’m a big fan of, but when it comes to ... maybe teaching it, I’ve never done that. At the same time, I’ve never done contemporary before either, and that was quite successful for me.
Argentine tango, yes, traditionally it’s something that’s very passionate toward the relationship between a man and a woman. But that’s traditionally. We have a song that has a different energy about it, so that allows us to still be passionate, still have the strength and the attitude of an Argentine tango, still have proper technique. But we’re passionate about a completely different topic. There’s going to be a theme to the dance, and I don’t want to reveal before you watch it and that will all make sense as to why there is aggression, why there is passion, why there is a struggle. It’s going to be great, but it doesn’t always have to be about love. Even love has very different angles. We celebrate the love for dance!
This dance has been a lot – a lot – more challenging than any other dance we’ve done this season. The most challenging part of it is the speed, the precision, the intricate footwork. The technique of the dance is like no other. The posture is like no other. The frame, the lead ... so that’s been challenging. The choreography, most importantly, is very, very challenging. I don’t know if it’s going to be noticed by the judges, but most certainly I know that the fans are really going to appreciate.
The dance turned out amazing so far. We took huge risks this week with tricks and choreography. And obviously, there’s a moment in the dance where we’re dancing side-by-side, which is a huge risk because no matter how talented Zendaya is or I am as a teacher, Anna is a professional ballroom dancer. That’s what she does, better than most people. That comparison’s going to be interesting. You don’t have to be the best dancer to be a great performer, and that’s what I really want to showcase in Zendaya this week. I think this tango’s going to do that better than any other dance we’ve done this season.
I think the side-by-side challenge is great. It shows how committed production is to our fans and the viewers. A number danced by one person will never – no matter how incredible it is – will never have the same power and or impact as a group of four people. It’s just the collection of energy that really speaks to the audience and has the opportunity to create a lot more dynamic because there’s more people. It’s going to look cool.
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!"
Lisa Vanderpump's time in the ballroom with pro Gleb Savchenko has ended.
By Drusilla Moorhouse, TODAY contributor
Lisa Vanderpump didn't quit "Dancing With the Stars" -- she was voted out.
Considering how ill she was -- she fainted during practice and was vomiting in her trailer during most of Monday's performance show -- many believed that the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star would withdraw like Dorothy Hamill did in week one.
But she remained, and was the last star standing alongside Victor Ortiz when host Tom Bergeron asked to "cue the dramatic music" (such a card, that guy). The pro boxer will continue to fight for the mirror ball trophy, while Lisa and partner Gleb Savchenko are leaving the ballroom.
While her family (including Giggy) applauded from the audience, Lisa insisted she was leaving on a high note.
"Just to be included with this (wonderful) group of people," she told co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, "I'm really happy. It's been six long weeks -- boy, has it taken its toll. It's been the hardest thing I've ever done."
"I was given a gift dancing with (Gleb)," she added. "He's been so patient. I'd like to thank my castmates -- they've been amazing and made it so much fun."
ABC shook things up by declaring six couples safe -- including "Bachelor" star Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd -- in the first third of the show. Before the last commercial break, Tom revealed that comedian D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke were also safe. Then underdog Andy Dick and his partner, Sharna Burgess, were quickly plucked from the trio of couples in jeopardy.
The first "safe" couple, Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas, were also selected to perform an encore of their Monday dance. (Len Goodman joked that he'd coached the Olympic gymnast all day on how to improve her backflip.)
Other standouts of Tuesday's results show:
Brooke's baffling dress, the inspiration for hundreds of Twitter jokes about her "thong" necklace. (If it were a two-hour show, maybe "Brooke's thong" would have its own Twitter account.)
Blind dancer Brilynn Rakes' beautiful performance with Derek Hough.
Anna Trebunskaya returning to dance with Val Chmerkovisky during Jennifer Lopez and Andrea Bocelli's duet.
Peta Murgatroyd and Tony Dovolani performing while Brad Paisley sang "Southern Comfort Zone" (not "Accidental Racist").
Val dancing with Karina Smirnoff. Maybe not a highlight, but still enjoyable because of their awkward pairing.
Next week will introduce a brand new theme: Len's side-by-side challenge! Each couple will have to dance alongside returning pros including Maks Chmerkovisky, Chelsie Hightower, Tony Dovolani and Tristan MacManus.
The "Best Year of My Life" night on "Dancing With the Stars" was a celebration for all the stars -- especially Lisa Vanderpump. After falling to the floor in a dead faint during practice Friday and skipping the show's rehearsal Monday, the Real Housewife made a last-minute decision to perform.
Fittingly, she and partner Gleb Savchenko chose "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang for their cha-cha, an homage to daughter Pandora's wedding (with a cameo by Giggy the Pom!).
Although the pair's score of 18 placed them at the bottom of the leaderboard (tied with Victor Ortiz), Lisa said, "Just the fact that we got through was good enough for me," adding that "it's not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up (that's important)."
Whether she'll get back out on the dance floor remains a question mark: Even if she earns enough votes to stay, the reality star could still withdraw from the competition.
According to her doctor, she was suffering from fever and the flu, and there could be "dire results" if she pushes herself too much.
It will be difficult to say farewell to any of the dancers after their rousing routines Monday night.
The most inspiring dances were performed by stars honoring their families -- all of whom participated in some way.
Comedian Andy Dick stole everyone's hearts -- and 21 points from the judges -- with his moving tribute to his daughter, Meg. "I put (my kids) through hell," he said about his struggles with alcoholism. He called the past year the "best ever" because of his sobriety and a chance to earn redemption with his children. After his and partner Sharna Burgess' Viennese waltz to Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," judge Carrie Ann Inaba was crying so hard she couldn't speak. Even harsh critic Len Goodman showed his soft side, telling Andy that whatever happens in the competition, "you'll go out a hero." Aw.
Len even had room in his heart for D.L. Hughley, the subject of his harshest -- and most controversial -- criticism this season. Commending the comedian for his hard work and practice, Len also praised the "elements of fun" and "content" in his foxtrot -- including D.L.'s hip-grinding solo at the judges' table. "But if you think I'm going to kiss you where you pointed," Len added about the star's ribald gesture, "you're out of luck."
When D.L. saw sevens on all of the judges' paddles -- for a total of 21, his highest in the competition -- he fell to his knees in shock and wisecracked, "That's higher than my SAT scores!"
Another highlight of the night came from Jacoby Jones, whose Super Bowl victory paled in comparison to the 2012 birth of his son -- to whom he dedicated his foxtrot. The tiny tot adorably danced along with his dad from his seat in the audience, especially when the NFL star concluded with a flashy solo just for his firstborn. "You have a real shot at winning this," praised Carrie Ann, and he and partner Karina Smirnoff earned a total score of 24.
Kellie Pickler dedicated her rumba to her "sacred" wedding ceremony to Kyle Jacobs -- who performed alongside her, strumming the acoustic guitar and singing the song he wrote for their special occasion, "Say I Do." Although the judges agreed that the country crooner's spectacularly moving performance was "beautiful," they criticized her "staccato" and "clipped" movements. Still, she and partner Derek Hough tied for second place with a total score of 26.
Rounding out the romantic tributes were soap star Ingo Rademacher and "The Bachelor's" Sean Lowe. Ingo and partner Kym Johnson danced a Viennese waltz in honor of his wife and kids. And although he earned only 23 points, Bruno Tonioli called his routine "dashing and deeply romantic" and Carrie Ann raved about how "adding love" to his performance allowed him to blossom.
After Sean's "steaming" Viennese waltz with partner Peta Murgatroyd, the reality star kissed his new fiancée, Catherine, in the audience. Although the judges generally praised his effort, he earned a score of 20, with Carrie Ann warning that "the lift police is back." Watch out!
Victor, Aly Raisman and Zendaya all paid to tribute to their career successes, with varying results. Victor's paso doble, recapturing the moment he first became a boxing champion, earned him only 18 points and a tie with Lisa for last place. "You punched the living daylight out of the paso doble," quipped Bruno, who complained, "You're supposed to dance it, not destroy it!"
Zendaya fared much better with her tribute to the year the Disney star was "discovered." Her and partner Val Chmerkovskiy's sexy samba kept the 16-year-old near the top of the leaderboard with a score of 26, drawing particular praise from the judges for Val's choreography.
But Olympic champion Aly and partner Mark Ballas earned the highest score of the night -- and the competition so far -- with 27 points for their contemporary routine. After Len pretended to critique the gymnast's back flip, Carrie Ann said she was "mesmerized" by her "perfection of emotion."
Wynonna Judd and Tony Dovolani's stiff, sad samba Monday doomed their chances for mirror ball glory.
By Drusilla Moorhouse, TODAY contributor
Country music star Wynonna Judd was the first contestant officially eliminated from "Dancing With the Stars" on Tuesday night's results show.
After an earlier shout-out to Dorothy Hamill, who withdrew from the competition the previous week, Wynonna told host Tom Bergeron, "I faced one of my biggest fears. ... This is the hardest job I've ever loved."
"I'm a singer, not a dancer," the triple-platinum artist reiterated. "I did the best I could."
Her "best" -- a rigid, lifeless samba that judge Len Goodman likened to "Mount Rushmore" -- earned her and partner Tony Dovolani Monday night's lowest score of 15.
The other couples declared in jeopardy were Lisa Vanderpump and Gleb Savchenko and Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess, with only the funnyman standing beside Wynonna after the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star was spared first.
The biggest surprise of the night was comedian D.L. Hughley being declared safe after clashing with Len Monday night.
"I can't get over how kind I've been this season," the judge insisted after Hughley complained that his scathing critique of the comedian's "Sex Machine" salsa with Cheryl Burke Monday amounted to a "verbal assault" and went "too far."
"I'm normally so much harder," Goodman continued as the crowd booed in disagreement. "I always look back at all the performances and sometimes I do get it wrong -- it's very quick. But I had a look, and I think I was a bit generous last night, D.L. "
Still, even though the funnyman earned the second-lowest score of the night, Bergeron had some good news: "This is a tense relationship and you'll get another week to work on it -- because you're safe."
Zendaya and Jacoby Jones opened the show after being crowned Prom Night's king and queen.
"I probably never will go to prom, this is pretty special," said the 16-year-old Disney star.
"I'm happy I didn't get kicked out," the football pro said, referring to his own high-school prom ouster. "I'm safe," he added, correcting himself: "I'm not safe, but you know I didn't get kicked out of prom!"
But the prom king was safe, along with his queen -- as well as Kellie Pickler, Victor Ortiz, Ingo Rademacher, Aly Raisman and Sean Lowe.
The "Bachelor" star was joined by Bruno Tonioli for an encore performance of his "YMCA" cha-cha with pro Peta Murgatroyd. Although the flamboyant judge was clearly proud of his toned torso, Tom cracked that his shirtless display was "the first four-pack we've ever seen."
Next week, the remaining contestants will perform to the resurrected theme of "best year of your life."
For the first time ever, "Dancing With the Stars" presented Prom Night, and the only person who had a worse time at a high school dance than D.L. Hughley was Sissy Spacek’s Carrie.
After the funnyman performed a routine on a 10-foot-by-10-foot box with pro partner Cheryl Burke Monday night, Hughley faced stern and negative comments from judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. The latter critic said that Hughley’s salsa, which required hip action, was more like a “hip replacement.” (Ouch.)
“I don’t have any disappointment,” Hughley told reporters in the press line after the show. “I’d have to have some level of expectation, and I don’t. I don’t see things the way they do.”
The news wasn’t all bad. Burke noted that judge Carrie Ann Inaba was a bit kinder and more constructive in her comments, pointing out that the dance competition is about the individual’s improvement -- and that Hughley has been improving.
"She’s so right,” Burke said. “It’s about baby steps. They really need to judge D.L. against himself.”
Still, the comments from the male judges were stinging.
“I know how to deal with hecklers,” Hughley said. “But I think they obviously have a way of doing things, and I don’t fit into that. That’s just how it is.”
Host Tom Bergeron allowed Hughley to speak to the judges on-air immediately after they gave their critiques, which allowed the comic the opportunity to fire off a few crowd-pleasing zingers.
“I don’t like being verbally assaulted without having the opportunity to retaliate,” he explained.
Hughley, who has lost seven pounds since joining the show, can’t believe that he wasn’t the lowest scoring celebrity of the night. That distinction belongs to singer Wynonna Judd, who earned only 15 points for her samba (compared to Hughley’s salsa, which got 16 points).
“I can’t believe anybody scored lower than me,” he marveled, hastening to add with scores so close to each other, celebrity fan bases are going to be crucial.
“If my fans want me to stay, then I’ll stay,” Hughley offered. “If they don’t, then I’ll be off. But you know what’s cool? If I get kicked off before I do the waltz, then I’ll have to take my wife ballroom dancing so I can do the waltz there.”