“Dancing with the Stars” Recap: Zendaya Earns Season’s First Perfect Score
(LOS ANGELES) — Disney star Zendaya earned the first perfect score of the season on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Monday night and found herself atop the leader board while “Bachelor” Sean Lowe fell to last place.
On Monday’s show, the six remaining celebrities each had to perform two individual dance routines — one with his or her regular dance pro partner, and a second with another professional dancer joining them on the ballroom floor. Zendaya earned a perfect score for her trio routine.
The evening also featured screaming fireworks from the judges while reviewing Kellie Pickler‘s paso doble with partner Derek Hough and pro Tristan MacManus. Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli loved the performance, but Len Goodman had the opposite reaction. “I was expecting more than flashing lights and crashing music. It was a hodgepodge of moves just out there to titillate the taste buds,” he declared. Goodman continued his rant and blasted Tonioli, telling him he can’t talk unless he stands up, adding “Stand up your ass.”
The couple with the lowest combined tally of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes will be eliminated from the competition on Tuesday.
Zendaya: The Disney’s star’s whimsical foxtrot with partner Val Chmerkovskiy won the judges over. Head judge Len Goodman called the routine “a pretty dance.” Bruno Tonioli called Zendaya’s performance “pure, graceful, light,” telling her she was “like a breath of fresh air.” Carrie Ann Inaba said she thought the beginning of the routine was a “little weak” but said later parts of the dance took her breath away. Total score: 28 out of a possible 30 points.
Sean Lowe: The reality TV star turned in a tango with partner Peta Murgatroyd that failed to impress the judges. Inaba pointed out that after marked improvement last week, Lowe seemed to have gone back to an inconsistent delivery and failure to keep time. Tonioli agreed, telling Lowe that he started out “extremely well” but then “lost the footwork.” Goodman’s critique was the strongest: “Well, it had plenty of punch and attack. It was sharp and it was powerful. The thing was…you went for so much attack you lost the fluidity…It wasn’t a great dance. It was a little bit ugly.” Total score: 21/30.
Jacoby Jones: The judges raved over the Baltimore Ravens’ wide receiver’s smooth Viennese waltz with partner Karina Smirnoff. Inaba called it “absolutely stunning,” adding, “It was such a nice surprise to see you come out here with beautiful posture, elegance and grace.” Goodman, who has often faulted Jones’ footwork, had high praise for the performance. Tonioli thought Jones lost it for a brief moment, but he commended the football player for making a difficult dance look effortless. Total score: 27/30.
Ingo Rademacher: In video of his rehearsal, Rademacher appeared overwhelmed by the pace of practice, but the foxtrot he delivered Monday with partner Kym Johnson drew positive comments from all three judges. Goodman said Rademacher’s arms could have been softer and footwork stronger, but he loved the performance. Tonioli said Rademacher put in the work and it showed, and Inaba said Rademacher showed his best posture in this routine. She also said he had an ease of movement that was reminiscent of the late dancer, Gene Kelly. Total score: 24/30.
Kellie Pickler: The country music singer performed a light, elegant Viennese waltz with partner Derek Hough in honor of her late grandmother. Tonioli praised her technique and called her performance “a thing of beauty.” Inaba, who had previously faulted Pickler for not being connected enough emotionally to her routines, said, “I do believe that dance without emotion is just a bunch of steps and today I definitely saw that you went beyond the steps…this is what I’m looking for and this, to me, is the key to unlocking you as a winner, and you have something incredible.” Goodman said the routine could have used a few more heel leads, but acknowledged that to be a minor flaw. “It was sophisticated, it had an effortless ease about it…lovely dancing, well done,” he said. Total score: 28/30.
Aly Rasiman: The Olympic gymnast’s Argentine tango with partner Mark Ballas earned her high praise from the judges, who found the routine sultry and passionate. “It had mood, it had atmosphere…it was smooth, it was seductive, it was terrific,” Goodman said. Tonioli teased: “I had no idea you could be so good at being bad.” Inaba saw a minor flaw with Raisman’s lifts but said she had transformed into a passionate dancer. Total score: 29/30.
In the second round of dances, each star and his or her pro partner were joined either by a pro who has been eliminated this season or by a member of the show’s dance troupe:
Zendaya: The judges approved of the Zendaya’s trio dance — a sassy salsa with partner Val Chmerkovskiy and pro Gleb Savchenko. Goodman said the routine properly showcased Zendaya’s skill, and Tonioli called it “a star turn, sizzling and dazzling and amazing.” Inaba called Zendaya “the queen of salsa” and said she loved the choreography. Zendaya earned tens from all three judges for a total of 30 points, the first perfect score of the season.
Sean Lowe: Lowe channeled a magician with his partner, Peta Murgatroyd, and pro Sharna Burgess, as his lovely assistants, but the fast jazz routine had many flaws in the judges’ eyes. “Oh, plenty of magic with a little bit of tragic,” said Tonioli, adding that he wished he hadn’t looked at Lowe’s feet. Inaba agreed with Tonioli, saying Lowe was out of synch with the music too many times, but added that she loved his exuberance and commended him for attempting such a challenging routine. Goodman repeated his critique of Lowe’s first dance of the night, saying there was attack, but at the expense of style. Total score: 21/30.
Jacoby Jones: Jones, his partner, Karina Smirnoff, and pro Cheryl Burke, performed a paso doble that drew a standing ovation, but Inaba thought Jones may have been too aggressive with his partners. She said she “felt sorry” for Burke, adding that Jones needed a little more finesse, but Goodman appreciated the strength. “This isn’t a dance floor tonight. This is a bull ring, and I’m telling you, you came out with fantastic presence…I loved it.” Tonioli said the routine was raw and powerful, but pointed out that Jones’ hips weren’t properly held for the style of dance he was doing. Total score: 25/30.
Ingo Rademacher: Rademacher — with Kym Johnson and Lindsay Arnold — performed a bubbly jive that both Goodman and Tonioli said needed sharper kicks. Goodman, did note that Rademacher communicated the essence of the jive — speed, fun and effervescence. Inaba agreed that it was a little flat-footed, but also found it fun. Total score: 24/30.
Kellie Pickler: Pickler’s dark, dramatic paso doble with partner Derek Hough and pro Tristan MacManus caused heated dissent among the judges. Tonioli said it had “high art and high drama,” adding that it was absolutely entertaining. Inaba loved it so much, she came down from the judges’ podium to give Pickler a hug, but Goodman’s reaction was the exact opposite. “I was expecting more than flashing lights and crashing music. It was a hodgepodge of moves just out there to titillate the taste buds,” he declared. Goodman felt specific moves were missing from the routine. “I can’t believe it,” he added, his voice rising. “This girl is so talented. I don’t want to see flashing lights, crashing music. I wanted a paso doble…” Goodman continued his rant and blasted Tonioli, telling him he can’t talk unless he stands up, adding “Stand up your ass.” Total score: 27/30.
Aly Raisman: Raisman, her partner, Mark Ballas, and troupe member Henry Byalikov, performed a stylish jive that pleased the judges. Inaba told Raisman she was a little flat-footed and lost the music right at the start of the routine, but said the gymnast was demonstrating consistent improvement. Goodman said Raisman, Ballas and Byalikov were “a great combination.” Tonioli said Raisman had grown as a performer. Total score: 27/30.
Here’s a rundown of Monday’s scores (First routine, second routine, grand total):
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 28, 30: Total: 58/60
Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 29, 27: Total: 56
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 28, 27: Total: 55
Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 27, 25: Total: 52
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 24, 24: Total: 48
Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 21, 21: Total: 42
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 Jason DeRulo and Emeli Sande.
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