(LOS ANGELES) — Dancing with the Stars co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet opened Monday’s performance show with a special message for those affected by the explosions in Boston. Bergeron said their thoughts were with everyone in Boston. Bergeron noted that he has friends and family in the city and added, “My heart is with you.” Burke-Charvet said, “Our entire cast is thinking about you. And as always, our show has been planned in advance and hopefully we can still have an entertaining night of competition for you.”
The celebrities were presented with a unique task Monday: They had to dance alongside returning professional dancers who were doing the very same routine at the very same time.
The side-by-side challenge — devised by the show’s head judge, Len Goodman — pitted the celebrity dancers against some of the show’s most popular dance pros, including Tristan MacManus and Anna Trebunskaya, whose celebrity partners have already been eliminated from this season. Maksim Chmerkovskiy, the popular pro who isn’t in the regular cast this season, also made an appearance.
Disney star Zendaya took the lead after the judges awarded her 29 points — including the first 10s of the season — for her Argentine tango. Comedians DL Hughley and Andy Dick were tied as the night’s low scorers with 18 points each.
The couple with the lowest combined tally of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes will be eliminated from the competition during Tuesday’s results show.
Ingo Rademacher: The soap opera star and partner Kym Johnson performed a cha cha cha alongside dance pros Tony Dovolani and Emma Slater. Judges approved of Rademacher’s attitude but faulted him on technique. Bruno Tonioli said the actor’s hip action was “a bit rigid” and his timing needed to be better, while Len Goodman said Rademacher needed to pay more attention to the finer details of the dance. Total score: 21 out of a possible 30 points.
Jacoby Jones: The NFL player and his partner Karina Smirnoff danced the jive alongside Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya, and Jones’ animated performance earned him a standing ovation from the ballroom audience. “It had great timing. Very, very sharp,” Tonioli declared. “Just one thing: point your feet on the kicks and flicks.” Goodman and Carrie Ann Inaba agreed that the routine was good but Jones’ footwork needed to be sharper. When Goodman told Jones that he’d never earn a score of nine from him unless he improved his footwork, Jones replied with a reference to his NFL accomplishments: “Hey, Len, I love you so much but with these feet I went 108 in 11 seconds,” he said. Total score: 26/30.
Victor Ortiz: The boxer and his partner, Lindsey Arnold, danced a Viennese waltz next to pros Tristan MacManus and Emma Slater. The judges said Ortiz had improved. “Victor, I say that was a victory…you channeled your emotions well,” Inaba said. Tonioli said Ortiz’s performance was elegant, his timing good and his carriage erect. Goodman said the performance was better than last week. Total score: 21/30.
Aly Raisman: The Olympic gymnast and her partner, Mark Ballas, danced the samba next to pros Tony Dovolani and Witney Carson. The judges liked Raisman’s effort. “Your technique is very, very strong and…you have a lovely effortless carefree attitude,” Tonioli said. Goodman pointed out that Raisman’s legs were “a little bit flimsy” on the routine’s syncopated runs, but he approved of the performance. Inaba said Raisman appeared to have lost some of her confidence when Carson wasn’t dancing next to her. Raisman hails from Boston, and after her performance, she sent a message of support to the people in her hometown. Total score: 25/30.
Sean Lowe: The reality star and his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, danced the quickstep alongside dance pros Tristan MacManus and Chelsie Hightower. The judges had high praise for Lowe, saying he had shown tremendous improvement. Tonioli was amazed. “Sean! What’s going on? I have to say, up until now you’ve always been kind of fun to watch but you’ve always been a bit of a lumberjack, haven’t you? A bit clumsy…but tonight you’ve turned into a swan.” Inaba said the dance was “bold and it was beautiful,” and Goodman sent Tonioli into peals of laughter when he said: “Sean, last week a statue, this week a pigeon, you’re flying around that floor…” Total score: 24/30.
Kellie Pickler: The country music singer and her partner, Derek Hough, danced the foxtrot alongside pros Henry Byalikov and Anna Trebunskaya, and she drew high praise for her routine. Tonioli compared her to the legendary screen goddess Jean Harlow, while Goodman said the routine wasn’t a foxtrot but “a hot trot.” Inaba said it was “fabulous.” Total score: 27/30.
DL Hughley: The comedian and his partner, Cheryl Burke, danced a tango with pros Sasha Farber and Chelsie Hightower. Inaba said Hughley didn’t benefit from the comparison with Farber. “I love your intensity and I love your focus,” she said, adding that she saw the differences in the routines when she compared Hughley and Farber side-by-side. Tonioli said the footwork featured too much stomping, but called Hughley’s performance “a brave attempt,” while Goodman said the performance “lacked that attack that you want to see in a tango.” Total score: 18/30.
Zendaya: The Disney star performed an Argentine tango with her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, and dance pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya. The routine brought the ballroom audience to its feet and drew rave reviews from the judges. Goodman declared, “It was like a lemon tart. Sharp and tangy at the top, crisp and tasty down below…it was a gem of a dance.” Tonioli said Zendaya was “up there with the best we’ve ever had.” She earned two 10s. Total score: 29/30.
Andy Dick: The comedian and his partner, Sharna Burgess, danced the paso doble alongside dance pros Sasha Farber and Emma Slater. Dick, channeling a Zorro-style character, made a dramatic entrance on a zip line. Inaba found the entrance entertaining, and said Dick’s dancing with a cape was interesting, but said the rest of the routine “fell apart” after that. Goodman said the routine was like “a couple of Hollywood blockbusters,” then amended his statement, saying: “It wasn’t quite Hollywood…It was more Pasadena than paso doble, but it was, as always…great fun and I enjoyed watching you.” Tonioli said the routine was “indescribable, to be honest,” adding, “It was like the attack of the killer cape.” Total score: 18/30.
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 29
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 27
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 26
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 25
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 24
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 21
Victor Ortiz and Lindsey Arnold: 21
D.L. Hughley and Cheryl Burke: 18
Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 18
One couple will be eliminated on Tuesday’s results show, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern time on ABC. The show will also feature musical performances by Selena Gomez and The Band Perry.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com