‘Dancing With the Stars’: And another one bites the dust

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

DWTS Recap: Tamar Braxton and Valentin Chmerkovskiy Dance to the Top Spot, While Victor Espinoza Goes Home.

With a salsa that featured more galloping than dancing and a jive notable mainly for its costumes, Victor Espinoza wasn’t destined to last long on “Dancing with the Stars.” The jockey and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, were eliminated Tuesday, the second couple to fail to reach the winner’s circle in this 21st season.

DANCING WITH THE STARS – “Episode 2102” – The couples geared up for one of the toughest weeks of the competition this season with two live shows and a double elimination. Much was made before the season began of the height difference between Victor and Karina, but her reference to the Triple Crown champion’s concussions and related memory issues told the real story of his difficulties. We may never get enough of watching slightly famous people dress up in costumes for a jaunty foxtrot, especially when that slightly famous person is—you guessed it! In “Hometown Glory” night, each couple danced two new dance styles to songs that reminded the celebrity and pro dancer of the places that shaped who they are today.

Another couple with the lowest judges’ score and viewer votes from Monday will be eliminated Tuesday night, when the stars return at 9 p.m. to show off a new dance. The first episode of week two had celebs dance a number inspired by their “hometown glory,” with all stars scoring higher than their debut marks except for boy-band member Nick Carter. The North Carolina native showcased his hometown of Mooresville by riding a motorcycle onto the dance floor — a move that left judges craving more of his effortless dancing. Judge Bruno Tonioli compared him to Tom Cruise in “Risky Business.” After earning the lowest score during week one, reality starlet Kim Zolciak Biermann delivered a quickstep that outshone several of her competitors, who struggled to master two dances in one week.

Please come back every season!” Victor says he wanted to dance for Karina tonight, and he does go out on a high note thanks to a surprisingly strong rumba. Judge Bruno Tonlioli declared it their “best dance” so far and told Hayes, “You are going out there like a model, like a supermodel!” He did note, however, that Hayes needed to tuck his butt in a bit, a critique that fellow scorer Julianne Hough seconded. This has potential to grab longtime viewers because we might be able to glean more about Val Chmerkovskiy, Witney Carson and company beyond how they have to handle their partners season in and season out. (And just how many pros have roots in Utah? Described as a “fiery feisty rockstar” by Hough, the daughter of the late Steve Irwin earned the first nine of the season and the top score of the night with 25 points. Julianne told him he needed to straighten his legs, but commended him for his “groove” and “swagger.” Bruno cheered that the Big Time Rush alum was “relentless and persistent like a bounty hunter” and praised him for covering up well when he’d missed a few steps.

Carrie Ann Inaba, however, said she “wasn’t impressed.” How they did: Gary got really into character as a proud Russian knight and loved every moment of it. The perils of learning two dances so early in the season suggest polish is falling by the wayside, based on Monday’s lackluster routines with missed choreography.

Julianne loves her comfortable in her skin and her willingness to show different sides of her. “So moving,” Bruno said. “Always of the moment.” Carrie Ann loved the connection but she penalized her for a lift that is not allowed in a waltz. Score: 23 (8s from Bruno and Julianne, 7 from Carrie Ann) Kim Zolciak (foxtrot) – Again, Tony gave her very simple (read: very basic) choreography but she has clearly gotten less nervous and came across well. What more can I say?” Bruno asked with a smile. “It was a classic rumba and it was beautiful,” Julianne said before noting that Alexa needs to work on the placement of her weight. He’s in sneakers and has a LOT of sparkle on a black suit, unconventional choices for ballroom but rather appropriate for this high-intensity number.

Score: 22 (7s from Julianne and Carrie Ann, 8 from Bruno) Victor Espinosa (jockey) – He was very intense during his rumba and pulled it off despite the obvious size difference with Karina Smirnoff. Bruno: “Nick is back on track.” Carrie Ann: “There was poetry in your dance tonight.” Julianne: “You got out of your own head and focused on Sharna.” Score: 24 (8s) Tamar Braxton (singer, reality star) – She gets the pimp spot because the producers know she can move. Although Allison grew up in Utah, she identifies Los Angeles as the place she, her husband (tWitch, who is awesome) and her daughter made their home and their life. Carrie Ann thinks the lifts were fine; Bruno agrees with me. (Allison, afterward, tells Erin she felt “totally safe” in Andy’s arms.) The judge does see the stress in Andy’s eyes as well as the commitment to the routine. Now that we’re three dances in, it’s safe to say Lindsay has improved dramatically as a teacher since her prior stint with Victor Ortiz in Season 16.

She has the rawest of raw talent in a man who was unknown until a month ago, and she pushes her partner into routines that are better than many of the other celebrities. Her father and “nan” can’t travel to L.A. to see her on “DWTS” because they’re on dialysis; instead, we see a photo of “nan” holding a posterboard of support for her girl.

Val thanks his parents, the other pros and “DWTS.” Next week, “DWTS” celebrates its own medium – TV, not dance competitions – with a very familiar guest judge: Season 19 champion Alfonso Ribeiro.

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